Thursday, October 21, 2010

Week Eight SEC Power Poll and Picks


Carefully scored by a panel of three judges, former figure skater Scott Hamilton, current Secretary of the Navy (and former Mississippi governor) Ray Mabus, and a shadowy Russian judge, this poll attempts to rank those in the SEC who are living the good life. And by that I mean should probably go buy lottery tickets in bulk. Pronto.

1. Gene Chizik
What an upset! I never thought we'd see Les Miles fall out of the top spot until he lost or received the Les Miles treatment from another team. I assume we can chalk this up to the SEC replay official who didn't get a good look at the two easiest calls he could make because his head was buried in his ass.

2. Auburn
Again, another upset! By the way, did the SEC ever issue an official release of sorts saying we made a mistake? Or are they walking the company line saying nothing was missed? The SEC office operates like Major League Baseball. NOTHING IS WRONG HERE. MOVE ALONG. IT'S ALWAYS WORKED LIKE THIS.  CHANGE IS BAD.  NOTHING IS WRONG. PLEASE KEEP MOVING. ENJOY YOUR DAY.

3. Les Miles
This man should get on his knees everyday and give thanks that he's employed, paid very well and not wrapped up in a white jacket right now. Observe:
"He's (Cam Newton) a guy you can focus on him and get beat by the other very talented perimeter. Auburn looks with that quarterback as playmaker. When he dishes the ball, when he throws it or hands it off, it's a very talented group."
"If you take a spy and play him (Newton) up and in, you're getting blocked. If you take a spy and play him in the center of the field and allow the deception in the perimeter to be divided, can you tackle Cam Newton in a position where you stop him from being a first down carry."
"If I could have a spy no one could see, a guy on the field that didn't count, that would be a great answer."
"I prefer to be lucky. That's met with some earnest preparation and some hard work. Guys that get lucky, maybe they work hard. I kind of enjoy that. I hope it continues."
4. LSU
These people are enjoying the lucky fruits of that crazy man.

5. Jarrett Lee
Defying every law of science and knowledge, Lee will continue to get opportunities, as announced earlier this week.

6. Ted Roof
What will Roof buy Gus Malzahn for Christmas? Anything worth less than half his salary is unacceptable.

7. Mike Hartline
I'm not even sure Mike Hartline thought the day would come where he would throw for 300+ yards, 4 TDs and no interceptions in a conference game.

8. Mark Richt
Back-to-back conference wins has him back in the sad SEC East race, and with Kentucky this weekend, things suddenly look less I'm-going-to-get-fired.

9. Dan Mullen
One win away from becoming bowl eligible and the Blazers of UAB (2-4) are rolling into town.

10. South Carolina's Secondary
Vanderbilt and Larry Smith this weekend.

Last week: 3-3
Season: 43-12

Ole Miss at Arkansas
Among the many things that terrify me about this game is the fact that the one thing the Ole Miss defense does reasonably well, stopping the run, is the one thing Arkansas' offense doesn't even bother doing. They are the best passing passing team in the conference by 96 yards. NINETY SIX. While Ole Miss has made strides, check that, baby stutter-steps in improving the pass defense, they're still checking in at 10th in the league, only ahead of the disasters at Auburn and South Carolina. It's the absolute worst offense for Ole Miss to face. And no, it doesn't matter who starts or even plays at quarterback for Arkansas. First through ninth string will do just fine.

Luckily for Ole Miss, Arkansas' defense is nearly just as bad at stopping the one thing Ole Miss does pretty well: running. If the Ole Miss offense can use its advantage in the running game and control the clock, just maybe they have a chance. At the very least, they'll give their defensive backs time to rest before they have to start chasing down receivers again. They'll need to attack Mallett repeatedly and hope he makes some Alabama-like bad decisions that result in turnovers. And I'm guessing they'll need in the neighborhood of 300 yards rushing. Unless Ole Miss falls behind early and Houston Nutt starts to panic and begins throwing every play, I don't think this will be the blowout I once thought it would be.

So rejoice, Arkansas fans, you've been waiting for nearly two years and now you'll finally have your revenge. In celebration of your impending victory, I think you should fire off another Freedom of Information Act request to find out what everyone else thinks of your current coach. Wait, hold on, I have that information right here.
"I was never even there. As far as I am concerned. I never even was there. When a coach quits in the middle of the year and ruins a bunch of people’s families and doesn’t’ have enough guts to at least finish out the year. I am not a part of that."
"He (Petrino) is a coward. Put that in quotes. He ruined a bunch of people’s lives, a bunch of people’s families, kids, because he didn’t have enough nuts to stay there and finish the job. That’s the truth.”
"He came in and said he resigned, he would talk to us all at a later date, walked out of the office and no one has ever talked to him since. Not that anybody wanted to. He’s a gutless b—–d. Quote that. I don’t give a s—.”
"How about this, gutless MF. You can use that.”
LSU at Auburn
One of these teams will finally see its unprecedented streak of finding $100 bills throughout the day come to an end. They both wake up to one on their forehead. Oh, look, there's another by the toothbrush. Hey, neat-o, another by my keys. Wow, look what I found in my General Tso's Chicken! Another hundred! And during this time, they both get hit by buses and walk away with only damage to the bus.

So how do we even begin to decide who will come out on top of this madness? Let's go to the tale of the tape.

Advantage: Auburn via Cam Newton

Advantage: LSU via Ted Roof

Backwards-hat-wearing-towel-waving assistants
Advantage: Auburn (and in a runaway)

Games they won but had no business winning
Advantage: Push (LSU: Tennessee, Florida; Auburn: South Carolina, Clemson)

Indecipherable coach-speak
Advantage: LSU

Games in which a "God thing" helped them win
Advantage: Auburn

Eternal affiliations
Advantage: Auburn (according to the Bible, the New Israel will ultimately prevail over the forces of evil, with which Les Miles unfortunately signed a deal)

So there you have it. By a score of 4-2, Auburn should be the team that continues its ass-backwards lucky ways.

South Carolina at Vanderbilt
Not even Stephen Garcia or South Carolina's ability to shit the bed against teams like this could prevent them from winning this one. Take a look at this:

Vanderbilt SEC Team Rankings
Scoring offense: 12th
Scoring defense: 9th
Total offense: 12th (way to go, LSU!)
Total defense: 11th
Rushing offense: 7th
Rushing defense: 12th
Pass offense: 11th (keep trying, Tigers!)
Pass defense: 7th

Minus the two 7's and the 9, that is straight out of the Ed Orgeron era. How did Ole Miss lose to them again?

/stares out the window
/gently weeps
/smashes head through window
/bleeds profusely for the rest of the day

UAB at Mississippi State
Point of interest: UAB lost its three non-SEC games by an average of 19 points. It lost its one SEC game by three. Unfortunately for the Blazers, State is not operated by Matt Simms, nor does it have a defense that gives up 27.5 points a game.

Alabama at Tennessee
It's too bad for Alabama that Tennessee did not play well against Georgia two weeks ago because it's established law that bad team can't play two good games in a row (thanks to Ed Orgeron for his fine work in establishing solid data in this field). And throw in that they had an off week (apparently like all 12 teams Alabama will play this year), I think this will be one of Tennessee's "good" games. They won't win, but they'll annoy the hell out of Alabama and its fans, who will pepper the Saban call-in show with insanity-laced questions and comments like perhaps (note: not a word they would use) it's time to change quarterbacks or we should cut back on Mark Ingram's carries.

Next week, however, you should fully expect the Vols to get murdered by South Carolina.

Georgia at Kentucky
Don't look now, actually, do look now so you'll know what I'm talking about, but the Bulldogs are somehow still in contention for the East title. They do not control their destiny, but they haven't been mathematically eliminated just yet, so I'm telling you there's STILL A CHANCE. But, I think that chance comes to a face-first smash into the wall end this weekend.

Both of these teams stink, but only one of them has not had that stink show up in the last two weeks. And that would be Georgia. Yes, Kentucky did pull off the upset last week against South Carolina, but they were horrible for the first half. Not enough minutes have expired from their good second half until now. Georgia last saw its true self nearly three weeks ago against Colorado. They were blessed with the terribleness of Tennessee and Vanderbilt the last two weeks, but Kentucky checks in as reasonably competent (when compared to those teams). And reasonably competent means that the house has pulled a dealer change and is about to take back some of the money Georgia has earned.

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