Saban's earned his $4M this year as the Tide finally put it all together for 4 quarters and obliterated a hapless Auburn team. They finished the regular season undefeated and #1 in the country, so they stay #1 here.
The fact that they're a double digit favorite over #1 and undefeated Alabama tells you what the Gators have done since their loss to Ole Miss.
3. Ole Miss
The Rebels have outscored their opponents 152-20 over the last 4 weeks and are playing the best football in the conference behind the Gators and Tide. Should (but won't) get the Capital One bid.
Meanwhile, the 'Dawgs defense is reeling, having given up 187 points over their last 5 games. The defensive performance Saturday was nothing short of embarrassing.
Only here because every other team sucks worse than the Bayou Bengals do. With Saban's success at Alabama and the Tigers' 5 losses, Les Miles seat is getting warmer by the nanosecond.
6. South Carolina
Someone should have asked Chris Smelley to, I don't know, maybe stop throwing the ball to Clemson at some point. Who does he think he is? Jarret Lee?
7th is probably higher than most will pick the Vols, but after they smoked Vandy and Kentucky the last 2 weeks of the season, how can they rank below them? They're playing as well as they have all year.
Aside from Ole Miss, no team improved more offensively from the beginning of the season to the end. The defense is another story.
I'll use big words since it's for Vandy. The offensive ineptitude once masked by an opportunistic defense is now manifesting itself on weekly basis.
Bowl-eligible sure, but bowl-worthy? Limping to the finish line and will be without dynamic freshman Randall Cobb in their bowl game.
Suffered an emphatic ending to the unprecedented win streak over the Tide. Tuberville better get a cohesive staff in place quickly or run the risk of being on the wrong end of a similar streak.
12. Mississippi State
Mercifully, the Bulldogs' season has ended. Made the right move firing the inept Croom, but it's going to be a tough sell to get someone to move to Starkville to compete against Saban, Miles, Nutt, et al.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008