Methodology note: Chris, KidBourbon and I agreed on the top four teams this week, but there's significant disagreement among the three of us on virtually everyone else. Of course I'm not one to cast aspersions, but I can only assume it has to do with KidBourbon's daily consumption of Greene County White Lightning mixed with bath salts and Pendley's proclivity for relaxing with a vintage opium pipe and the recordings of Pat Boone.
Actual Power Poll Methodology note: We usually don't pay too much attention to the distinction between resume rankings and true power rankings here on this blog, but it's worth noting that this late in the season, there's a huge distinction between teams that have played well in the past and teams that are playing well at this moment. So by all means, fire up the hot oil and sharpen your pitchforks, but consider the idea of Team X playing Team Y on a neutral field and get back to us first.
Here's the link to Team Speed Kills, where the consensus rankings are available: SEC Power Rankings, Week 12.
SEC Power Rankings, Week 12: Ranking is child's play
- Alabama. Chris: Fresh off a demolition job over top-10 (FCS) team, Charleston Southern. Lest you think that's a joke, based on the rest of the SEC's performances this week we're just claiming anything that looks like credit. Seriously, nobody needs to be ranked between 2 and 9. KidB: What's the point spread going to be for the SECCG game, like Alabama -22.5 or something? That's not hyperbole, to be clear. Hunter: Alabama v. Florida for the SEC Championship Game? # TeamMeteor #TaketheBravesFrontOfficeWithYou
- Ole Miss. Hunter: Maybe #TheNetwork should have been more focused on paying the refs for a win in the Arkansas game instead of trying to keep Greg Little away from Texas A&M. Chris: Came off the top rope to bodyslam an already woozy LSU. Bonus points for administering the coup de grâce to Les Miles, because the Tigers are determined to learn absolutely nothing from Tennessee's time in the wilderness. KidB: A very close call here between Colonel Reb and Commandante CLANGA. I'm gonna go with the Black Bears on account of the strength of the Landsharks. And also because Hugh Freeze is totally auditioning for the LSU job, amirite?
- Mississippi State. Chris: Once you get below Alabama, it's all guesswork, so let's give CLANGA credit for rebounding after getting their collective faces pounded in against Alabama. KidB: It was really great to see how excited Dan Mullen was in the postgame interview after beating BERT. You won't see much of that next year when Dak -- who is just certifiably solid -- is gone and we get an immediate reminder that the talent level in Starkvegas is roughly equivalent to Pinkel's gang of diamonds in the rough. Hunter: McElwain will probably win SEC Coach of the Year, but Mullen has quietly done an excellent job with the fewest number of returning starters in the conference. If he wants to win a conference title, the opening at Virginia Tech has to be appealing.
- Arkansas. Chris: If your goal in life isn't to follow around Alabama taking advantage of beat-down opponents to grind them into a fine paste, what are you doing with your life, BERT? Now y'all lost to Mississippi State at home. KidB: Who was it who said that BERT is the most widely varying team in the SEC? The team that can both beat the best outfit in the conference and lose to the worst (well...maybe not THE worst, at least not this year) and you wouldn't be terribly surprised at either outcome? Oh right, THAT WAS ME! And now that Brandon Allen appears to have found a new gear, this is a team nobody wants to play. Hunter: I can't wait to see the Arkansas Head-to-Head Police (Motto: "Razorbacks over Internet Hacks") twist themselves into knots trying to justify that last second loss to Mississippi State. Attention, idiots: sometimes the best team doesn't win.
- Tennessee. Chris: Had the best win among SEC East teams last weekend, which is to say won a game against an actual FBS team by more than 1 score. Hunter: That shutout win over North Texas doesn't look so bad after the SEC's horrible showing in cupcake games this past week. KidB: Yes, I think we would be favored over LSU on a neutral field if we played them tomorrow. Why wouldn't we be? Have we not played two of their last three opponents and fared appreciably better in said contests? Can we not commit to stopping them in the run game, and make Treon's long lost brother Brandon beat us? Don't we have the personnel to pull that off? Methinks we might.
- Leonard Fournette's back is getting tired. Chris: Yes, a one-man team is getting power-ranked in the top 6 of the SEC Power Poll. Viva la SEC! Hunter: Hiring someone who can beat Nick Saban consistently basically boils down to: 1) Urban Meyer or 2) the guy at Disneyland who determines if you're tall enough to ride Space Mountain. KidB: I'll miss The Mad Hatter.
- Texas A&M. Chris: Decent enough, but largely off the map lately. The Aggies get a chance to bury the Les Miles era for good this week, though. Hunter: Sumlin has a chance to notch an impressive late season victory for the first time since Manziel was on the field. Or it least it seems like it. KidB: TAMU isn't finishing particularly strong per usual and, yeah, maybe they don't inspire confidence like Jimmy Chitwood in the huddle, but making them only four point favorites against Vanderbilt was just insulting, and it was also Free Money. NOTE: I mean, it would have been Free Money if gambling were legal here in this country. They showed those shoddy handicappers.
- Georgia. Chris: Dropped a dud against a sneakily-good Georgia Southern team, but eventually pulled the win out in OT. I assume that it wasn't due in part to ref-related shenanigans, because I didn't watch a single minute of it. Why? Because friends don't let friends watch SEC East games. Hunter: ...and just like that, the Bulldogs are a win over Georgia Tech from another 9-win regular season. KidB: "I'm just shocked that a Butt Cut coached squad will end the season 9-3," said no one, ever. God bless Mark Richt-- too good to fire, not good enough to win anything of consequence.
- Auburn. Hunter: Regression to the mean makes for boring football. Come on, Gus! Reach down into your wizard hat and pull out some magic to make the Iron Bowl more exciting. Chris: Comfortably beat their cupcake opponent, which-- based on the rest of the SEC East-- is good enough to vault them up a couple spots. KidB: They're only getting 13 points against Bama. Methinks the Vegas handicappers are giving a little too much credit to the whole "anything can happen in rivalry games" mantra, which isn't in fact true.
- Florida. Chris: Dropped a dud against a not-good-at-all Florida Atlantic team, but eventually pulled the win out in OT. Shoutout to the uncalled pass interference on the last play, because we haven't seen Florida win games in OT against bad opponents thanks to uncalled penalties before. Will represent the SEC East against Alabama in a couple of weeks and could still end up in the playoff because the universe is cruel and capricious. KidB: Congrats to the SEC East Champions Florida Atlantic....er...I mean The University of Florida. My mistake. Ole Donkey Teeth is just off-putting as a general matter. Hunter: Everyone's favorite PED-fueled quarterback lost his NCAA appeal, which means that McElwain won't have a chance to flash his pearly yellows in Knoxville next year.
- Kentucky. Chris: Beat the tar out of their cupcake opponent, but a) lost to Vanderbilt and b) will lose to Louisville. KidB: The Homeless Man's Stoops Brother. Hahahaha.
- South Carolina. Chris: Dropped a dud against a sneakily-good Citadel team, but ...wait a sec. Y'ALL S'POSED TO BE SEC. Now watch them beat Clemson, setting up an Oklahoma/Alabama/Iowa/Notre Dame playoff. Come join me. Let's watch the world burn together. Hunter: Someone on Garnet and Black Attack suggested the Gamecocks go after Jon Gruden. I love the Silly Season. KidB: Yeah, they lost to The Citadel, but have you seen numbers 12-14? Not a lot of great options here.
- Missouri. Chris: Scored a touchdown! Again! Now they only need to beat a pissed-off Arkansas team to get bowl eligible. Good luck with that. Hunter: No recruits, no head coach, no bowl game. This is really ratcheting up the degree of difficulty for We Do What We Do to Fallout on Hardcore intensity level. KidB: Don't worry Missouri fans, Gary Pinkel doesn't mind that you left his last home game in the third quarter. He understands that it's hard to sit in the cold and watch your team get shellacked. Those kids who've worked hard all year and a legendary head coach are nothing compared to your own comfort. At least your social justice movement forced the payout of golden retirement packages to two administrators, reducing the amount of funding available for campus diversity programs in a hollow victory for student activism everywhere (unless you think a conservative state government is going to approve additional funding-- good luck with that).
- Vanderbilt. Chris: The Commodores were shut down by Texas A&M in the most predictable SEC game of the weekend. I guess they're making progress in the grand scheme of things, but they need to beat a decent team one of these years. Hunter: Anchor of Gold has a fanpost up studying Vandy's chances of making a bowl game at 5-7. Shoot for the stars, kids. KidB: Yeah yeah yeah, they beat the Social Justice Warriors 10-3 and the Fighting Homeless Man's Stoops 17-21. "The scorelines of those games just exude repeat performance," said no one, ever.
___________ IS FALLING DOWN, FALLING DOWN
Hunter: 1. Alabama, 2. Ole Miss, 3. Mississippi State, 3. Arkansas, 5. Tennessee, 6. LSU, 7. Florida, 8. Georgia, 9. TAMU, 10. Auburn, 11. South Carolina, 12. Vanderbilt, 13. Missouri, 14. Kentucky
Chris Pendley: 1. Alabama, 2. Ole Miss, 3. Mississippi State, 4. Arkansas, 5. LSU, 6. Tennessee, 7. Texas A&M, 8. Auburn, 9. Kentucky, 10. Georgia, 11. Florida, 12. Missouri, 13. Vanderbilt, 14. South Carolina
Kid Bourbon: 1. Alabama, Ole Miss, 3. Mississippi State, 4. Arkansas, 5. Vols, 6. LSU, 7. Georgia, 8. Kevin Sumlin's Quarterback Carousel, 9. Auburn, 10. Florida, 11. South Carolina, 12. Kentucky, 13. Poor Pinkel, 14. Vanderbilt