SEC Power Poll Ballot: Pre-SEC Championship Game

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Last ballot of the season. Let me know your thoughts.

1. Auburn Tigers

What can you say about this team? On the one hand, even though they've obviously improved legitimately over the course of the year, I continue to feel like the Tigers are overachievers. I'd say chances are better than not that the Cinderella ride ends against Mizzou on Saturday. On the other hand, give credit where credit is due. The Immaculate Deflection may have been one of the luckiest plays ever, but it was all set up by a bad call on the Murray TD run. Auburn may have beaten 'Bama on an improbable TD return of a missed FG on a day when 'Bama missed four field goals, but you have to tip your hat to Auburn for rushing for almost 300 yards against the vaunted 'Bama defense. They have the best single win of any team in the nation after beating 'Bama, and that's why I have them at the top of the heap.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide

Does missing out on a national title hurt less when you have as many of them as 'Bama? I'll bet it does when it happens like that. Brutal way to lose a football game if you're a Tide fan. Saban deserves as much blame for how it went down as Auburn deserves credit.

3. Missouri Tigers

Proved the naysayers wrong by winning the SEC East in its second year. The Tigers did it in large part with defense, too, despite the reputation for being a soft finesse team. Impressive that they took down Texas A&M with the pressure on.

4. South Carolina Gamecocks

For the third straight year, the Gamecocks finish 10-2 on the season but don't win the East despite beating the champ head-to-head. Ranked eighth going into bowl season, though, the Gamecocks do have a chance to finish in the top five for the first time in school history if some of the teams above them lose and they win their bowl. Throw in another win over Clemson and Gamecocks fans can't complain too much.

5. LSU Tigers

Hard to believe they let Arkansas hang around on Friday, but they got the job done with an exciting finish.

6. Texas A&M Aggies

Pretty disappointing finish to Johnny Football's and TAMU's season.

7. Vanderbilt Commodores

After a close victory over Wake Forest, Vandy finishes with eight wins on the season. An even bigger win for the 'Dores was knowing that James Franklin won't be heading out to California.

8. Georgia Bulldogs

Tough season for these guys, but the comeback over GA Tech will be remembered fondly by UGA fans. Gamecocks fans can empathize with the joy of beating a rival with a backup QB.

9. Mississippi St. Bulldogs

Miss. St. gets to bowl eligibility with a stirring OT victory over rival Ole Miss. This has been a decent team in recent weeks, despite the poor record that came as a result of a lot of tough opponents. You have to give Dan Mullen credit; he's had trouble getting his team into the West's upper tier, but it's not easy to be decent as consistently as he has in Starkville.

10. Ole Miss Rebels

This still has the look of an emerging program, but in a season that showed a ton of promise around mid-year, the past two losses--one in a home game against Mizzou and the other at rival Miss. St.--are a huge disappointment. Hard to ignore that Hugh Freeze and staff's inexperience have shown through in the losses. They made some serious in-game errors and failed to keep their team focused.

11. Florida Gators

And the season from hell ends for the Gators.

12. Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas showed some fight late in the season, even if it didn't show up in the wins column. Will be interesting to see whether Bielema can start winning next year.

13. Tennessee Volunteers

Another team that will be looking for a turnaround next season.

14. Kentucky Wildcats

After another abysmal season of getting crushed by nearly every SEC team they played, it looks like it's going to take more than a year for Mark Stoops to rebuild this program.

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