The East So Far

You know how sometimes people complain about doing something but then end up doing it anyway? Yeah, that’s me right now. In preparing a quick look at the Eastern Division as we approach week 3 of the season, I was struck by a dilemma of my own making. I’m talking about the Florida Gators and how I should rank them. They haven’t played anyone of consequence yet they’ve looked, frankly, like a bad football team these last two weeks. Clearly, the loss of key personnel, both among the players as well as on the coaching staff, has led to the team being a bit out of sorts. But they’ve continued to win and it’s hard to fault a team with positive results at the end of the day (see, r, I can be objective about football). In the end, I ranked the Gators where they probably should be ranked but not where I would like to rank them.

So here we go. I make no claims of doing any scientific research (unless Google counts as scientific) in coming up with these rankings. But I did get more than seven hours of sleep last night. I’m sure that counts for something.

1. South Carolina – It’s easy to rank the Gamecocks as the best team in the East so far (easy like pulling out teeth; all one needs is strength and resolve…and copious amounts of opiates). They’ve certainly performed the best out of all the teams in this division. Last Saturday’s showing has certainly convinced this Dawg that these guys aren’t the same Gamecocks of yesteryear. But it’s early yet and with their schedule (at Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, at Florida) the Chicken Curse still has a chance to make it’s appearance.

2. Florida Gators – You know, it’s just too early in the season. The amount of venom required for me to truly talk about the Gators has not yet reached sufficient levels. So I’m just going to sum up their season thusly: Tebow’s gone, Charlie Strong’s gone, Urban’s gone, I mean, back, I mean…what the fuck ever, and they’re still ranked in the top ten nationally in most polls because, well, Tebow! Yeah, level of venom rising…

3. Kentucky Wildcats – That’s right. Kentucky. Long time offensive coordinator, Joker Phillips, has taken over the helm and these guys are playing like they might actually care about football this year rather than waiting for roundball (oops, how’d that get in there?) season to start up. Only thing is that they haven’t played anyone just yet. OK, it’s true that Louisville isn’t exactly a nobody. After all, the Cardinals’ new coach, Charlie Strong, knows what he’s doing. He certainly gave us fits when he was the defensive coordinator at South Carolina. And we all know what…fats (a bigger version of fits) he gave us when he was defensive coordinator at Florida. But Louisville is a Big East team (come on, now). Still, hard to argue with Kentucky’s 2-0 record.

4. & 5. Georgia Bulldogs/Tennessee Volunteers – Ah, Barbara’s Boy. Big Orange is hurting this year. They’ve got a new coach, a complete and total lack of depth on their defensive roster and they just lost got beat down by some Ducks from out in the left coast. That said, Dawgs and Vols are in a similar position at this point in the season: we’ve both looked good in our opener, not so good the next week and now we’ve both got lots of questions about our teams that remain unanswered. On top of that, we both face SEC opponents in big games this weekend (UT faces Florida…hoo boy, this could get real ugly…kind of like our game against the Razorbacks…).

6. Vanderbilt Commodores – Vandy has had a tough start to their season. But a close opening loss against a pretty good Northwestern team and a tightly fought contest against a vastly superior LSU team has shown that this Commodores squad will fight for their new head coach, Robbie Caldwell. I love this man. I’ve never met him but I feel like I’ve known him all my life. That’s probably because I have, in a way. I grew up in the South. Although I’ve been told that I can’t be a Southerner due to not having been born here nor having parents who were Southerners, I feel like I can at least identify what it means to be a real Southerner. And Robbie Caldwell is a real Southerner. I honestly and sincerely mean that in the best possible way. Go ‘Dores!

We’ve got lots of very important games to go and these rankings are very likely to change from week-to-week. Our loss to the Gamecocks last weekend complicates matters in terms of Dawgs making it to the SEC championship. In a nutshell: if we beat Florida but then lose to the Dawgs, then…no, that’s not right. Florida loses to the Dawgs but then beats the Gators before losing to…dangit, I had it for a second there. Let’s just make it easy to figure out by never losing again. Ever. That should clear things up.

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One Response to “The East So Far”

  1. […] mentioned in the past that I’m a big fan of Vanderbilt’s head coach, Robbie Caldwell. Thrust into […]

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