We've long since figured out that LSU and Alabama are the cream of the league and Ole Miss and Kentucky are at the bottom; everything in between remains mysterious, though, and it doesn't help that as many of five of the teams in that scrum may be starting different quarterbacks this weekend from the ones who started the season atop the depth chart. My rankings are after the jump, and the final tally of all the ballots will be revealed at Team Speed Kills later on this week.
1. LSU -- The first touchdown called back due to excessive celebration in a BCS-conference game . . . and the penalty was called on LSU's punter. You can't tell me Les Miles didn't script that.
2. Alabama -- The way Alabama has been playing lately, only beating Vanderbilt by 34 almost qualifies as a kindness.
3. Arkansas -- Only the third-best team in the SEC West, but they'd probably win the East with a two-game cushion.
4. South Carolina -- "Oh, Conor Shaw. You're the quarterback I never had . . . at least until you throw an interception at Mississippi State next week, at which point I'll pull you off the field, tell the media you're a disappointment, ruin your credit rating and put Garcia back in."
5. Georgia -- If the secondary has finally figured out how to disrupt passing games again -- and against a decent quarterback in Tyler Bray, they certainly seemed to -- then perhaps the reports of Mark Richt's demise have been premature.
6. Auburn -- We knew the defense was a sieve, and now the offense seems to be getting worse with each passing week.
7. Florida -- Congratulations, Gators, you managed to hit the elusive "elevener" against LSU -- the score that says "At least we're still competent enough to execute a two-point conversion long after the game has gotten out of hand."
8. Tennessee -- My girlfriend, a UT grad, was saying weeks ago that the Vols should just sit Tyler Bray for the LSU and Alabama games so that he wouldn't get "snapped in half like raw spaghetti" by their defenses. Not sure this is how she wanted that wish to be granted, though.
9. Mississippi State -- With Chris Relf getting benched for poor performance against UAB, I'm really worried that we may have seen (and heard) the last of the melodic "Relf-to-Bumphis" passing combo. But the Bizarro Bulldogs have more pressing issues to attend to at the moment, i.e. the fact that they had to bench their starting quarterback for poor performance against UAB.
10. Vanderbilt -- The 'Dores have scored a grand total of three points in their last two games and may not get much more than that against Georgia's resurgent defense this week, but I still think they might have three more wins lurking on their schedule.
11. Ole Miss -- Speaking of teams somehow finding a way to manufacture six wins: If the Rebels can get wins over Kentucky and LaTech, then find a way to pull road upsets in Auburn and Stark . . . yeah, OK, forget I said anything.
12. Kentucky -- Everyone's been clowning poor Joe Bauserman's line from Ohio State-Nebraska, but check out what four Kentucky passers managed to cobble together against South Carolina: 4-of-26 for 17 yards, no TDs, and four interceptions -- an aggregate QB rating of -9.9. To say that the Wildcats' offense has screwed the pooch this season is an offense to zoophiles.