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SEC Power Poll, Week 4: The East Rises Again

The SEC West may have just shrunk to a one-team race, as the LSU Tigers nearly laid an enormous egg with a much-closer-than-expected win over Auburn. Yeah, they outlasted the War Iggles on the road, but "outlasted" is generally not a word you want to be using in connection with a team that just, well, outlasted Louisiana-Monroe.

Over in that other division, though — you know, the one about which all those "What the hell happened to them?" articles have been written over the last couple seasons — the race looks bigger than expected. The two presumptive frontrunners, Georgia and South Carolina, have been doing just fine, but suddenly Florida is looking like they're back to their former selves, too.

Tune in to Team Speed Kills on Wednesday, when all the ballots will be tallied.

1. Alabama — Yardage the Crimson Tide has given up in each of its first four games: 269, 224, 137, 110. If this trend continues, they'll hold a team to negative net yardage by mid-October.

2. LSU — Meanwhile, a so-so Auburn defense held LSU to its lowest yardage output of the season. They'll start dropping in this poll if Zach Mettenberger can't add any more pop to the offense than that.

3. Georgia — The 45-point beatdown they handed Vanderbilt was worse than Vandy's last seven losses combined.

4. South Carolina — Made their first date with Mizzou a lot less interesting than it could have been. And Jadeveon Clowney isn't done doing that to SEC teams in 2012.

5. Florida — OK, you shut out Kentucky. Now, when you can do that to Western Kentucky, well, we'll talk.

6. Mississippi State — A second straight ho-hum game against a Sun Belt opponent they could've blown off the field. Did the post-Auburn hangover last two weeks?

7. Texas A&M — Laid 70 on South Carolina State, but that was a cupcake. We really won't know anything about them until they play Ark . . . yeah, you know what, never mind.

8. Missouri — Two SEC games, two 21-point losses. Never said this was gonna be easy, fellas.

9. Tennessee — After four opponents that haven't exactly constituted a murderer's row of offenses, the Vols are allowing nearly 400 yards a game. And they haven't played Georgia, Alabama or South Carolina yet. Never said the transition to a 3-4 was gonna be easy, fellas.

10. Auburn — Doesn't exactly bode well that a two-point loss is as excited as anybody's been about this team all season.

11. Ole Miss — If the blowout loss to Texas didn't convince everyone that the Rebels' 3-1 record has been constructed with smoke and mirrors, whatever hell Saban has planned for them this weekend will probably do the trick.

12. Vanderbilt — Outscored 88-29 so far this year by FBS competition. Hard to put a happy face on that no matter how plucky they are.

13. Arkansas — Then again, "plucky" sure beats whatever the Razorbacks have going on right now. Which ain't much.

14. Kentucky — Some teams run to set up the pass; Kentucky passes to set up the punt.

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