The conference pecking order is def. beginning to take shape. Here are my takes; after I tally, we'll see how close they are to the rest of the voters.
Ghost of Chucky predicted it last week, before they beat Tennessee in Knoxville and Kentucky lost at Ole Miss. No one is playing as well as the Tigers right now.
Still good, but obviously have problems.
Playing very well since the loss to Number 4. Things will get tougher, though. That said, in a lot of ways this seems like the 2006 team; very good, but only getting together during the regular season. Will they be perfect in March?
4. South Carolina
I'm a homer, so take this with a grain of salt: this is going to be the surprise team of the year in college basketball. I really think we're about to take off on a winning streak. If they could only get those free throws to fall, it'd be so, so easy...
I have my suspicions as to whether they're even this good. They have the athletes, but they're not a good basketball team. Can't wait to get them in CLA.
Jeff Lebo, once again, has proven that he can coach a thin team to slightly above mediocrity. But is that good enough for a school that has lately invested a lot of money into having a big time hoops program?
7. Mississippi State
A solid year in the works for one of the SEC's most consistent programs. This won't be Stansbury's best best team, but it's a testament to his abilities that he can have a good team in an off year.
8. Ole Miss
Like Auburn, this is a team low on talent but high on coaching. Andy Kennedy, despite the drama, ain't too bad.
Better than their record. When A. J. Ogilvy comes back to some degree of effectiveness, they could be decent.
Took out Bama tonight at home. This team has a future, but not one that will manifest itself soon.
No coach, no game. Maybe next year.