Thursday, November 04, 2010

Week Ten 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

The first step to Auburn's 9-0 start (and coincidentally the savior of Nathan Stanley's life; if not for a lap top in Oregon, we'd be starting a walk-on quarterback from Lamar Academy by now, while Stanley would be facing months of rehab to repair a broken core).

2. Ted Roof
27.7 points a game in conference play. That's what Roof has coached his defense to give up. TWENTY SEVEN POINT SEVEN.

3. Auburn
Seriously, Kyle Parker, screw you. Your guy was wide-ass open and you missed him, forcing the rest of us to put up with this team. And don't think you're off the hook either, Steve Spurrier and Stephen Garcia. Holy hell, how did you let this happen?

4. Tennessee
The Vols have had very little fortune this year, but receive a triple-scoop waffle cone of it this week as they face Memphis. The Tigers, 1-7, average, AVERAGE giving up 41.5 points a game. The great Ted Roof scoffs at the impression of his defense.

5. Steve Addazio
For the first week all season, jorted Florida fans aren't ready to march on his house or office and turn it to ash. Thanks to a new hurry-up offense, the Gators snapped out of their offensive poop show and looked like they had actually practiced before the Georgia game. Also, in no way, shape or form was this Addazio's idea.

6. Ole Miss
Finally, a team, Louisiana-Lafayette, that may not score 30 points against us. Or, if they do, we should score at least 40 on them. Maybe. I hope. Gulp. Oh no.

7. Florida
A new offense of sorts and a season-ending injury to Vanderbilt's one offensive player, Warren Norman, that moderately frightens an SEC defense (exceptions: Ole Miss, who ranks him as "terrifying"; Auburn, who ranks him as "yikes, this guy is pretty good"; Tennessee, who ranks him as "we'll shut him down for a quarter"; Kentucky, who ranks him as "at least he won't throw on us").

8.  John Brantley
Sort of like Addazio, no Florida fan is cursing the 1.3 yard passes so intricately designed by Urban Meyer and Addazio.

9.  Kentucky
I-AA this week.

10.  Georgia
I assume Idaho State is I-AA.  Either way, Idaho State, everyone!

Last week:  4-1
Season:  52-14 (.788)

Florida at Vanderbilt
If not for Wake Forest remaining on its schedule, I doubt Vanderbilt could score more than 25 total points for the rest of the year.  Warren Norman is out, Larry Smith is still there and Jared Funk is the answer to Larry Smith.  That's Funk, Jared, who's a crisp 6-15 for 123 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs.  Those are also his career stats and he's a senior.  So 2011 Vanderbilt will have an especially strong chance of going 0-12.

/forgets Ole Miss is always on the schedule
/opens front door and curses at traffic and random jogger
/apologizes to jogger, but not the traffic

Idaho State at Georgia
Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is taking heat for giving the choke sign to and yelling "you're going to f*&^%$# choke" at Florida kicker Chas Henry during the timeout before Henry kicked the game-winning field goal on Saturday.  It's good to see Grantham still had his competitive spirit after getting his ass handed to him by STEVE ADDAZIO's offense.  My suggestion, Todd, is that one not attempt to coach defense with a hand wrapped around the throat.

Charleston Southern at Kentucky
I thought Florida had an agreement in which they were the only team in the SEC allowed to play Charleston Southern.  Urban Meyer will not be happy about this.

Chattanooga at Auburn
Here's the picture I was looking for last week, State fans.

Alabama at LSU
Looking at how these teams stack up against one another, it's very clear that Alabama's stack is much higher than LSU's.  And that makes this game an excellent test to see if Les Miles has refinanced his deal with the devil (note:  not Jackie Sherrill; the real devil).  According to what we've all seen this year and, more importantly, statistical evidence, LSU may not collect first down number one until sometime in the third quarter.  Or maybe not at all.  Though the Tigers have left Vanderbilt in their wake, they still come in at 11th in the conference in total offense (10th in scoring).  And at last check (checking....), Alabama does everything very well defensively.  This means LSU's defense will need to provide all of the offense, which is possible, but not very probable.

That is unless Miles has also promised the Harvester of Souls his children, grandchildren or future grandchildren, his dog (such a sucker that devil, DOGS DON'T HAVE SOULS), half the elderly population in Baton Rouge and Skip Bertman.  Then maybe, just maybe five defensive touchdowns could be given rush delivery on a Saturday.  What, you didn't think FedEx went there?  If there's money to be made, they'll be there, lest those bastards at UPS get a sliver of the pie.

I think Les has used up all of his negotiating power, with the Florida game fulfilling the very favorable contract.  No more gifts until the bill is paid in full.  I like Alabama and for you gambling enthusiasts, I am most intrigued with Alabama (-6). 

Former Directional School at Ole Miss
Some form of an apology is due to Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix.  As I've spent the better part of the season running his skills or lack of into the ground, I should have given him some company.  Special teams coordinator James Shibest belongs standing shoulder to shoulder with Coach Nix in the needed-to-be-canned-yesterday line.  Shibest has succeeded this year in turning the Ole Miss special teams into one of the worst in the conference.  Observe:

Kickoff returns 12th
Net punting 12th
Punt returns 1st (hey, look out!  Thank you, Jesse Grandy and your short, but fast legs)
Kickoff coverage 8th

If not for Grandy's punt return for a touchdown against Fresno State, his group would not be ranked first and would not have the only positive play it has made all year.  So there you go, Tyrone Nix supporters (if you exist outside of his family and Houston Nutt), a disparagement of an equally bad coach.  Ugh.  This season needs to be over.

Arkansas at South Carolina
The amazing thing about the SEC East right now is that if South Carolina loses this game, which will give them three conference losses, they'll fall back into a tie with Florida for first in the division.  That means this is not a game they absolutely have to win.  And given South Carolina's history of self-asphyxiation in the face of any kind of pressure, this is most certainly a good thing.  Now they can blow this game and not feel too terribly doomed.  That will come when they play Florida for the right to go to Atlanta (assuming Florida beats Vandy) next week.

As miserable as a matchup as this is for the South Carolina secondary (dead last in pass defense while Arkansas is first in pass offense), the Gamecocks should be able to push Arkansas around on offense, mainly through running, though it doesn't hurt to have an Alshon Jeffery.  Teams that have trouble stopping the run (Arkansas is 9th) have a hard time controlling a game.  By that I mean the Arkansas defense is going to spend the majority of the game on the field, unable to get the ball back for the offense.  A few screw-ups by the Hogs' offense (remember, Ryan Mallett has only played one full good game on the road and it was against Georgia) and they'll find themselves down, unable to get the ball back.  Even if they don't screw up, running is always much easier than passing.

My lack of trust in Mallett on the road, the shaky Arkansas defense and the complete removal of pressure to win this game has me siding with South Carolina. 

Tennessee at Memphis
The best argument Memphis has for joining the Big East, which is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN, is that their brand of intolerable, downright sad and unsupported by its fans brand of football would fit right in with what the Big East has going right now.  In all seriousness, one of these teams is going to a BCS game:

Pittsburgh 5-3; best win:  at Syracuse
Syracuse 6-2; best win:  at West Virginia
South Florida 5-3; best win:  Rutgers
West Virginia 5-3; best win:  Maryland
Connecticut 4-4; best win:  West Virginia
Louisville 4-4; best win:  Connecticut
Rutgers 4-4; best win:  Connecticut
Cincinnati 3-5; best win:  Louisville

No, seriously, that's a conference in Division I football.  And a conference with a BCS tie-in.  Look out, Fiesta Bowl, slightly below mediocre is approaching your door!

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