Friday, January 9, 2009

SEC Basketball Power Poll, Week 1

While I've been mired in real life the last several days, the rest of the voters from the SEC Football Power Poll ventured into the blogosphere and voted on the inaugural SEC Basketball Power Poll, hosted as usual by Garnet and Black Attack.

I will say this as the season gets under way... At least one of the trio of Mark Gottfried, Dennis Felton, and Jeff Lebo is unemployed by season's end, probably much sooner. At least one of these schools will see how LSU is doing this year and start the Anthony Grant sweepstakes early.

While I failed to get my ballot in on time, here's how it would've looked:

1. Arkansas
The Hogs are too young and inexperienced to hold this position all season, how can you not have them ranked here right now? They've knocked off 2 Top 10 teams this year and are playing at a very high level. Courtney Fortson is one of the best freshmen in the country.

2. Tennessee
Have struggled at times this year, but still the favorite to win the conference title. The Vols just need a little more stability from the PG slot.

3. Kentucky
Toss up right now between the 'Cats and Gators, but I give the slight edge to the 'Cats on the strength of PatPat down low.

4. Florida
Gators on a roll right now and have a chance to make some noise in the conference. Nick Calthes is one of the best all-purpose guys in the country.

5. LSU
They've been less than stellar in the non-conference slate, but the experience on this team will help them greatly once conference play starts.

6. South Carolina
With 4 guys in double figures, including All-SEC guard Devan Downey, the Gamecocks are one of the most balanced teams in the country. They've got a chance to move up when they finally beat someone of note.

7. Vanderbilt
A far cry from last year's remarkable start, but still solid. Today's game at Rupp will see what this team is made of.

8. Mississippi State
Lost a lot from last year's team, but returned the conference's top defender in Jarvis Varnado. When the style of play turns to ugly and defensive in conference play, he'll be invaluable.

9. Alabama
Talent + Mark Gottfried = underachievement more often than not.

10. Ole Miss
Pretty sure that OM coach Andy Kennedy would happily take a mulligan on this season, which has seen 3 of his top 4 guards go down with torn ACLs, not to mention an embarrassing arrest. The Rebs just don't have the depth to compete night in and night out.

11. Auburn
Korvotney Barber has picked up where he left off, but I still think this team has a lot of questions to answer once SEC play starts.

12. Georgia
Proving unequivocally that last year's SEC Tourney magic was a fluke. Dennis Felton is a great guy and a decent coach, but he's a dead man walking in Athens.

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