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SEC Power Poll Ballot, Week 2: The Importance Of A Balanced Meal

Usually this time of year, the SEC is still scarfing up as many cupcakes as it can find, but there were a few games of actual import on Saturday -- a pair of conference matchups involving ranked teams, plus Alabama's trip up to Happy Valley to face Penn State. LSU and Bama still hold on to the top spots, but there's a bit of movement below them. As usual, check in with Team Speed Kills on Wednesday to see how everyone shakes out in the final tally.

1. LSU -- Steamrolled an FCS opponent this past weekend, but considering what they did to Oregon the week before, they deserved a snack.

2. Alabama -- Went far away from home to face a much better defense than they saw in Week 1, but still managed to cut their turnovers down from five to zero. If that sloppy performance against Kent State was just opening-day jitters on the part of the Tide QBs, it's officially time to raise the threat level back to red for Saban's team.

3. Arkansas -- As is customary for the Hogs, they've played two body-bag games and have one more coming up before they go to Tuscaloosa on the 24th. Not that you asked, guys, but I don't know that Missouri State, New Mexico and Troy qualify as adequate preparation for that trip.

4. South Carolina -- They'll go as far as Marcus Lattimore can carry them this season, unless Stephen Garcia grabs the wheel from him and drives them off the road into a ditch. (Someone asked me Saturday evening whether Garcia was drunk; actually, he seems like the kind of guy who performs better with a few shots in him, and 11-25 with two picks is what he does stone-cold sober.)

5. Florida -- Charlie Weis' offense has now trampled two bad mid-major defenses, but it remains to be seen how well they'll fare in an actual SEC game.

6. Auburn -- That defense is going to get them all killed one of these days. Then again, I remember saying that 20 or 30 times last year.

7. Mississippi State -- Still too early to make any sweeping judgments, but at the moment it looks like they're missing former D-coordinator Manny Diaz just a bit.

8. Georgia -- Managed to improve in many of the areas in which they looked so lousy against Boise State, but otherwise they're the same team we've been seeing for a few seasons now: Enough talent to step to anyone, enough penchant for bizarre mental errors that they can lose to anyone, too.

9. Tennessee -- Took a moderate step up in degree of difficulty from Week 1 to Week 2, but I still don't know whether the defense can hold, or Tyler Bray has improved his decision-making, against real-deal SEC competition.

10. Vanderbilt -- The offense is still lucky to get out of its own way, but the defense is stout enough and they're disciplined in terms of turnovers. That's more or less the same recipe they used to get to a bowl game in '08.

11. Ole Miss -- Still looking for a reason they won't go 4-8 again this year, and still not finding one.

12. Kentucky -- If you witnessed any of the Croom/Orgeron-era Egg Bowls and thought to yourself, "I simply cannot conceive of a more ineptly played game between a pair of BCS-conference in-state arch-rivals," then hoooo lordy are you in for a treat when Kentucky and Louisville square off this weekend.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.