As I alluded to yesterday, i'm a bit under the weather this week and it's been sapping my energy and creativity (I know, I know: what creativity?).
So as a way to spice up this weekly power poll ballot, I'm including each team's luck as determined by Pythagorean expectation along with their rank in the same nationally. Any value between about -0.9 and 0.9 for luck is nothing to get excited about; more than 1.5 or less than -1.5 is getting into truly anomalous territory. All I-AA games have been taken out of the figures.
1. Auburn (luck: 1.61; rank: 2)
Auburn has been fortunate this season. The Clemson and South Carolina games especially comes to mind. Given that Auburn doesn't have another team from the Palmetto State on its regular season schedule, the Tigers should be in good shape.
2. LSU (luck: 1.32; rank: 4)
You didn't think these Tigers would be shorthanded in the luck category, did you? Les Miles is like the villain in a horror movie: you must kill him, re-kill him, and then kill him with fire if you plan on defeating him. Anything less, and he'll come back to get you in the end.
3. Alabama (luck: -0.34; rank: 84)
The Tide might have been able to win more half heartedly, but I'm not sure how. I'm also seriously wondering if Mark Ingram or Trent Richardson will hit 100 yards in a game again this season (Georgia State game exlcuded).
4. Mississippi State (luck: -0.47; rank: 91)
The Bulldogs have come by their five wins the honest way. By the way, the defense has been spectacular. It has given up more than 20 points twice: in loads of garbage time against Houston and against LSU where lots of turnovers helped the Tigers score 19 points on five drives of 32 yards or less (plus 10 points on drives of 55 and 60 yards).
5. Arkansas (luck: 0.25; rank: 41)
The Razorbacks didn't flinch when Ryan Mallett went down, but it's difficult to slow down Auburn's onslaught at this point.
6. South Carolina (luck: -0.44; luck 88)
The Gamecocks are a different team without Marcus Lattimore. That team is not so great on offense.
7. Georgia (luck: -2.46; rank: 120)
This is what happens when you combine three giant blowouts with three close losses: your luck value sucks. Two other things: this team is far better at home than on the road, and I was 1000% right when I said back in August that the schedule conspired against this team.
8. Florida (luck: -1.00; rank: 111)
So close and yet so very, very far. This team is two plays away from being 6-1, but almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. The ingredients are there for a good finish to the season, but it's all on the cooks to make it happen.
9. Kentucky (luck: -0.18; rank: 73)
The Wildcats finally stole one. The offense is better than most give it credit for, but the defense is still suspect. In other words, it's a mirror image of the program the last two years.
10. Ole Miss (luck: 0.27; rank: 27)
I have a more difficult time getting interested in this team than any other in the conference. I never thought that'd be the case once the Jeremiah Masoli transfer went through, but here we are.
11. Tennessee (luck: 0.04; rank: 55)
These numbers say that 2-4 is right where Tennessee should be. That's not encouraging.
12. Vanderbilt (luck: -0.29; rank: 78)
The Commodores took the worse beating at the hands of Georgia, so they fall behind the Vols for now. They still control their own destiny in the league, though.