Usually I'll do a draft ballot for the power poll, but to speed things up a bit on this holiday week, I'll skip that step until next week. Let me know what you think of this ballot, though. As always, results will be posted at Team Speed Kills.
I would have voted for LSU in my preseason poll, but there's not much you can say against Alabama after the show they put on Saturday night. 'Bama's running game is probably the best in the nation, with a stable of talented backs running behind a dominant line. That's a winning combination every time.
2. LSU Tigers
No real trouble for the Tigers, but not as impressive as the Tide by any stretch of the imagination.
The next three teams all looked less than impressive in their openers. In comparison to Georgia and Arkansas, I think you have to give South Carolina credit for (1) winning a road game against an SEC team, even if it was Vanderbilt, and (2) doing it with a hurt QB. As I've said before, most successful teams have to fight through adversity a couple of times throughout the season. USC did that.
Georgia's defense will improve once the suspended players return, but what really surprised me in this game is that Buffalo's offensive line looked halfway decent against Georgia's vaunted defensive front. I'm going to chalk that up to a failure to get pumped up for the first game, though, and say that Georgia's defensive trench play will be fine. Going to Mizzou without the suspended players remains a major concern, though.
The offense looked just fine without Petrino, but questions remain about the defense after it gave up 24 points to JSU.
I'm not ready to call them back (who knows if N.C. State is any good), but you at least have to admit that Cordarelle Patterson is going to make the Vols faithful forget Da'Rick Rogers pretty quickly. Defense looked hit and miss. Beating Florida would do a bit more to get my attention.
Mizzou, you're big chance is coming right up. From one Columbia to another, please don't disappoint us.
Dominated a SWAC team. Nothing to really take away here.
The down-field passing game remains non-existent, as was to be expected. Running game looked solid, but how long will that last once the Gators play a team that isn't afraid to challenge Florida to throw?
10. Texas A&M Aggies
Nothing to see here.
11. Auburn Tigers
Gave up over 500 yards to Clemson. I had expected their defense to be improved with Van Gorder and some talented veterans. Either Clemson's offense is going to rock this year, or Aubie is in for another long year. Probably a little of both.
All is not lost for Vandy, but you have to admit that they gave up a golden opportunity for a season-defining win. Letting a one-armed QB beat you is no way to go through life.
Were losing in the second half to an FCS team. Doubt things are going to be much better for these guys this season.
Based on what we saw yesterday, I'd say there's about no chance Joker Phillips survives this season. Getting blown out by a Big East team is no way to keep your self-respect in the SEC.