Weixlmann's Tidbits: SEC Dominates AP Poll, Grabs Five of Top 10 Slots

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer ISeptember 15, 2008

The Georgia Bulldogs might have dropped a spot in the newly-released AP poll, but the SEC is still clearly the most dominant conference in college football.

The Bulldogs dropped to No. 3 after a less-than-impressive showing at home against Steve Spurrier's South Carolina bunch, but they had four other SEC schools join them in the Top 10 in the country.

The Florida Gators, led by 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, got one first-place vote and sit just one spot behind the Bulldogs in the No. 4 slot.

Although no SEC team played spectacularly enough to jump the No. 5 Missouri Tigers, who won 69-17 in a rout over Nevada, LSU still made enough noise against podunk North Texas to garner No. 6 consideration.

The biggest shuffle, though, was Alabama joining the party at No. 9 after they dismantled the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky, 41-7.

Voters were apparently swayed by the fact that they believed the Auburn Tigers still deserved a spot in the Top 10 despite a defensive 3-2 win over Mississippi State on Saturday.

Because the voters didn't want to punish the Tigers for the gritty win, they instead voted the Crimson Tide up two slots to knock the Texas Tech Red Raiders out of the Top 10.

What does this all mean?  Well, it clearly means that there will be more fit than relief in trying to figure out who will take home the SEC crown this season.  With so many qualified and talented squads, the upper half of this conference will face a difficult opponent virtually every weekend.

It doesn't make it any better that perennial "cellar dweller" Vanderbilt is off to one of the best starts in school history.

Ole Miss, who rarely puts together a tough squad, has two wins over lesser opponents but forced nationally-ranked Wake Forest to the brink two weeks ago.

The aforementioned Mississippi State, led by head coach Sylvester Croom, was off to a poor start with an opening weekend loss over Louisiana Tech, but bounced back to beat Southern Louisiana easily and narrowly lost against Auburn.

Arkansas, under head coach Bobby Petrino, doesn't figure to be a quality ballclub this year either, but they are still riding a 2-0 record after their latest game was postponed.  That contest would have been quite the measuring stick for the Razorbacks, as it was against the No. 8 Texas Longhorns.

Lastly, after Kentucky lost star quarterback Andre' Woodson and tight end Jacob Tamme, expectations were admittedly down this year for the Wildcats.  Instead, UK stomped all over rival Louisville 27-2 in the opener and have reeled off two straight wins since then.

This conference is clearly the cream of the crop in college football, and it will sure be interesting to see how these Top 10 teams navigate through slightly more treacherous waters in 2008-2009.