By now you’ve seen that the SEC has an unprecedented five teams in the top ten of the AP poll. That’s a great accomplishment, but do they all belong there?
No. 3 Georgia – Yes. They have a great defense and a few good weapons on offense, though the offensive line is a liability.
No. 4 Florida – Yes. They have Improved defense and a fantastic offense.
No. 6 LSU – Probably, though they haven’t played anyone. They have serious questions at quarterback and lost their excellent defensive coordinator, but otherwise this is a loaded team. In particular, they have a nasty D-line.
No. 9 Alabama – Probably not. The Tide is living off demolition of a Tommy Bowden team when pressure was on it, which is not unique or telling. Their true value lies between the near-loss to Tulane and blowout over WKU; we’ll find out in conference play.
No. 10 Auburn – Maybe. The defense is definitely top-10 material, but the offense definitely is not. Defense wins championships, but the offense might not score against top-rate competition. We’ll learn a lot from its game with LSU this weekend.
Here’s the question though – if you take one of these out, who do you put it?
No. 11 Texas Tech, whose defense is giving up relatively alarming amounts of points and yards to cupcakes? Eh.
No. 12 USF might work, given its win over Kansas.
No. 13 Ohio State, after its collapse in the Coliseum? Too soon, probably.
No. 14 BYU? The win over UCLA was great, but let’s not forget nearly losing to Ty Willingham and Washington.
No. 15 East Carolina? Perhaps, though we don’t know the true quality of its wins over VT and WVU, who might not even be top-25 material. Of course, Clemson might not be either, so this claim is at least strong as Alabama’s and Auburn’s.
No. 16 Penn State? The 55 points a game is impressive, but we don’t know if Oregon State is any good and the Lions’ other two games weren’t against anyone good. Like ECU, probably as strong a claim as the two Alabama schools.
It’s still too early yet to throw out preseason prognostications and go on strict resume ranking, so that’s probably why Auburn is still clinging to the top 10. Alabama will be inconsistent all year thanks to its youth, but the young ‘uns can play.
Only two conferences have looked any good so far: the SEC and Big 12. Right this moment, the Big 12 has performed better among the two.
The Big East sadly is awful again, the ACC has looked bad for the most part, Ohio State undermined the credibility of the Big Ten with its flop in L.A., and the Pac-10 had a disastrous Week 3 once you get past USC.
Ultimately, it’s not worth worrying about polls right now. There’s way too much football left to get worked up over them. This is a nice historical note for the SEC, but there’s no chance it lasts. The toughness of the league will ensure that.