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SEC Power Poll Ballot, Week 5

1. LSU. This is merely a formality at this point. Sure, they struggled for a bit against Tulane, but that was on Upset Saturday, that once-a-season weekend where everyone big seems to lose; LSU didn't.

2. Kentucky. Slightest of edges over the Gators. There's still a question of whether the Wildcats have looked impressive against unimpressive teams because Kentucky is impressive or because the opponents were unimpressive. Thursday should begin to answer that.

3. Florida. What bothers me is that they did so much to beat themselves against Auburn, a team they knew is always dangerous to a highly-touted Gators team. We should know by the end of Saturday whether it's a blip or a pattern.

4. South Carolina. If Smelley is getting into a rhythm, this could be a powerful offensive team. If he's going to be completing right around 50 percent of his passes in a few weeks, though, it will still take a stout defensive effort to contend in the East.

5. Georgia. They seem to be regaining their footing, though their win came against Team No. 12, so factor that in. This is a team that will have plenty of opportunities to prove itself in the next few weeks.

6. Alabama. Not a great showing against FSU. But I don't believe Arkansas has done enough since the Bama game to justify jumping them. Yet.

7. Arkansas. Blasted North Texas. Which means...they blasted North Texas.

8. Tennessee. Idle, so they don't move.

9. Mississippi State. Didn't actually move up this week, but this team is on the cusp of being good enough to win six. Not much more, but bowl eligibility would get Croom another year to prove he's turning the ship around.

10. Auburn. I still want to see more from Cox and Co. before saying they're back. But with Florida politely offering the game, the Tigers did enough to take it -- which is sometimes what mediocre-to-good teams do.

11. Vanderbilt. What can you say? Nice win against a directional Michigan.

12. Ole Miss. Somebody's got to be No. 12.