Friday, September 12, 2008

SECPP Roundtable

This week's SEC Power Poll is up at Garnet and Black Attack, but there's also a new spin on it this week as we're entering the wild and untamed land of the Roundtable. Questions from cocknfire are here; answers from the JCCW are ...


1. Pretend for a minute that Vanderbilt wasn't 2-0, then answer this question: What has been the most surprising thing in the SEC so far this season?

Though it's wicked, wicked early and I suspect there are any number of high school football teams in Texas that would have provided more of a challenge than Norfolk State, I would say Kentucky's defense approximating "competent" is the bigget head-turner for me. We heard all offseason about how stout they were going to be, but that was always coming from the UK coaches and players who have made similar pronouncements about defensive improvement pretty much every single year I've been alive. And every year until this one, those pronouncements have been as accurate as the ones advising you to invest in, your online home for corkscrew shopping. But this time, they may actually have been right. Who knew?

2. Conference action has either just begun for most teams, or will Sept. 20. (The exception is Kentucky, which I believe plays I-AA teams until mid-November.) From what you've seen so far, how will your team fare in your division? If it's not going to win, which team will?

Nothing's changed for Auburn expectations-wise since the preseason; the Spread Eagle could have perhaps had a little more bite to it, but that's been offset by the defense looking even more galaxy-devouring than expected. Particularly after 'Bama's inexplicable slog against Tulane, the Auburn-LSU winner remains the legitimate favorite for the West. As for who that will be, God alone knows, and even he's sort of feeling a bit unsure about it.

3. Which SEC player that few of us are paying attention to is poised to have a breakout season? Try to choose someone not on your team.

Fine then, I'll try to get my plug in for Clinton "Saturn V" Durst (Auburn's new walk-on punter and anti-aircraft weapon) another way. With Casey Dick probably too obvious an answer, I'll go with Ole Miss's rugged Brandon Bolden, who was an afterthought to the likes of Enrique Davis and Jevan Snead to even many well-informed SEC fans (read: me) in the preseason. Now he's the unquestioned lead dog at tailback for an offense that is going to put up some serious points and cause some srious headaches for the West powers-that-be.

4. Both Arkansas and LSU have had games delayed because of hurricanes. If you could choose a game on your team's current schedule to get postponed because of inclement weather, which game would you choose and why?

Easy pickings: Tennessee, Sept. 27, a week after Auburn faces LSU. For the entirety of this decade, Auburn's players have come out of the LSU game looking like they'd just gone 10 rounds with Bald Bull. Having more than a week to recover from that before trying to handle a team with as much talent as the Vols (even if said talent is always delpoyed as effectively as it might be) would be much, much appreciated--though I'd rather the inclement weather be something like, I dunno, a hailstorm of Werther's Originals.

5. So, the Large Haldron Collider hasn't destroyed the Earth -- so far, anyway. But had the world ended Wednesday morning, which SEC game would you have most regretted missing? Assuming, of course, you had been around to regret it. (Head...hurts...)

Assuming I can't say Auburn-LSU or the Iron Bowl, the 2008 World's Largest Cocktail Party is the obvious--and correct--choice. It'd be one thing if we were just tuning in to see two terrific and terrifically-coaches SEC football teams tear each other to pieces with the national and conference stakes as high as they could go, but it's another when there's as much boilin' blood as there's bound to be after the Celebration. Even if the Hadron Collider did destroy the Earth, I think the Gators want this one bad enough that their spirits would live on and try to goad the Dawgs into having a spirit-game on some other ... plane. (This sounds like the plot to Final Fantasy 27, doesn't it?)

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