SEC Poll Reactions, Week 2
Week 2 wasn't kind to the Razorbacks in the polls, but the rest of the SEC is doing just fine.
This week's polls have been released. Here's how the SEC fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.
1/1. Alabama. No surprise at the top, as the Tide's ho-hum 35-0 victory over Western Kentucky kept them firmly atop both polls. In fact, thanks to USC's three quarters' worth of trouble with Syracuse, they extended their balloting lead at No. 1, picking up three extra first-place votes in the AP and five in the Coaches.
3/2. LSU. Speaking of USC, the Trojans slipped to third in the Coaches as that poll reversed its previous change of heart and bumped the Tigers back to second after their 41-3 domination of Washington -- a decision we agree with. The margin between USC and its old 2003 co-national champion rival remains slim enough in both polls, however -- 10 points in the AP, 17 in the Coaches -- that it could change again next week. The Trojans have their first Pac-12 test of the season against Stanford, while LSU will likely be out-of-sight-out-of-mind vs. Idaho.
7/7. Georgia. Despite earning a decisive 40-21 win over Missouri, the Dawgs remained No. 7 in both polls, albeit a narrow No. 7 in the AP -- the Dawgs are just five points behind both <span data-shortcode= State" data-canon="Florida Gators" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> and Oklahoma. Of those three teams, we'd argue the Dawgs should be ranked the highest, not the lowest, though; Oklahoma's "best" win was a lackluster 24-7 slog past UTEP, and while impressive on the scoreboard, both of Florida State's victims were lower-rung FCS teams. With all three teams sporting similar preseason profiles, the benefit of the doubt should be given to the one that's actually beaten a quality team (on the road, no less).
8/9. South Carolina. After dispatching East Carolina with surprising ease, the Gamecocks move up one spot in the AP thanks to Arkansas's evaporation from the poll and a win in their the Week 1 tiebreaker with West Virginia. The Coaches (who sagely already had Arkansas at No. 10 before the ULM upset) kept the 'Eers one spot ahead, however and in the Gamecocks in 9th. With UAB on tap for Carolina this weekend and the Mountaineers taking on FCS James Madison, that's not likely to change until the Gamecocks' CBS-televised showdown with Missouri in Week 4.
18/17. Florida. The Gators' big road win over Texas A&M (and some chaos elsewhere in the poll) was worth a six-spot jump in both ballots. No one in Gainesville's complaining, but for the record, the Gators should be even higher -- neither of the two teams in front of them in the AP (TCU and Michigan) has accomplished anything half as impressive as winning at Kyle Field, and the Wolverines in particular have looked less-than-impressive in both outings.
Unranked/21. Arkansas. We've covered this already, but to briefly reiterate: No team whose resume-to-date consists entirely of a sloppy win over an FCS program and a loss as 30-point favorite to a Sun Belt team should be ranked. Poor form, Coaches. At least Alabama's visit to Fayetteville this Saturday should remedy this mistake quickly.
23/unranked. Tennessee. Well, least the AP fixed last week's error, when the Vols deserved a spot on the poll's back end after their impressive win over NC State. Tennessee's sparring match with Georgia State doesn't merit inclusion by itself, but their Week 1 performance still should place the Vols over the likes of the Razorbacks, Wisconsin, and Nebraska -- all of which are ranked by the Coaches despite having a loss and no quality wins. Boo, Coaches. Boo.
Also receving votes: <span data-shortcode= State" data-canon="Ole Miss Rebels" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> could be a week away from sneaking into the poll; their 88 points were enough to place them "No. 28" in the Coaches, one spot ahead of Tennessee. It's still to-be-determined how much that win over Auburn will really be worth, but a road win over Troy this Saturday would mean voters would have worse choices than the Bulldogs come this time next week.
In further evidence the Coaches Poll has no idea what it's doing, Ole Miss picked up three points for beating UTEP. (Though in fairness, at least the Rebels did it by one more point than Oklahoma did.)
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