ATHENS – I’ve been participating in the SEC Power Poll voting on our sister site SECcountry.com all year. If you haven’t been keeping up, it’s a simple power ranking one-through-14 of all the league’s teams regardless of division.
It’s just one of my many responsibilities to do on Sunday each week and I haven’t really thought much about it. So I haven’t written about my personal poll every week. But going forward I’m going to share my vote every week and let you guys pick it over like pigskin piranhas. I always appreciate feedback, whether I agree with it or not.
On that note, in the interest of full disclosure I must confess that I actually voted Georgia No. 1 in this ranking at one point this season. That’s right, I had the Dogs at No. 1 in the last poll of September. I might have been the only one.
I know, I know, it seems laughable now. And it is knowing what we know. But, at the time, Georgia was undefeated, ranked No. 6 in the coaches’ poll, was coming off two games in which it had outscored its opponents 100-26 and Greyson Lambert had two incompletions in his last 35 attempts.
Amazing what a difference two months makes, huh? The Bulldogs lost to No. 13 Alabama 38-10 that Saturday, lost Nick Chubb on the first play against Tennessee a week later and, not coincidentally, would go on to lose three times in October.
Which brings us up to date. Georgia (7-3, 5-3 SEC) just completed the SEC schedule with a 20-13 win over Auburn this past Saturday. Amazing to think that the two teams that squared off at Jordan-Hare Stadium were the favorites to play in the SEC Championship game in the preseason.
So where do I have the Bulldogs now? I picked them fifth in the poll I submitted Sunday afternoon. That’s probably higher than most, but not the highest among the pollsters. Somebody picked Georgia third.
The Bulldogs were sixth according to a tally of the 17 reporters who participate in the poll. The low vote for UGA was ninth.
Sixth is probably about right. My thinking in polls such as these is I try to be a little generous on my assessment of the team I cover. That’s because (a) as the beat guy you tend to be a little more critical of your team because you see them up close and therefore see all their flaws; and (b) a little regional bias helps balance what you’re naturally going to get elsewhere.
And while you’re still laughing about my late-September vote on Georgia, there is one I’m proud of. Following Alabama’s win in Athens on Oct. 3, I’ve had the Crimson Tide at No. 1 every week. While they may come as no surprise now, I was about the only one of the pollsters who stuck with Alabama from then on.
Ole Miss, LSU and even Texas A&M spent time ahead of the Tide in the poll. I never liked Ole Miss or LSU’s defense and I felt the Tigers were way too one-dimensional on offense. But I think anybody who witnessed Alabama on that monsoon of a day in Athens probably shared my assessment.
But that was then. This is now. Here’s how I voted this week:
CHIP’S SEC POWER POLL
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M
- Miss. State
- South Carolina