The college football world loves narratives. In the technologically savvy world that people live in today, short attention spans run rampant throughout society and it's just easier for people to ingest their college football #hottakes 140 characters at a time.
One of the major narratives for the 2015 college football season will be the apparent downfall of the mighty SEC. While Auburn and Alabama failed to win the national title in 2013 and 2014, respectively, the league still boasted the best quality from top-to-bottom. This season, however, has no such fall-back for the proponents of the SEC, and thus, the narrative may actually have some worth.
The SEC-East is even worse than it was last season, as four of the seven teams in the division were dreadful in their own depressing ways. Heck, even the top three teams had serious issues. Florida hasn't been able to do anything on offense in over a month, Tennessee spent the first half of the season blowing every semblance of a lead they could find, and Georgia just fired their long-time coach because of how disappointed everyone in Athens was that Mark Richt couldn't win this weak division.
The SEC West is still the best division in college football, but the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the division lost to Memphis and Toledo, respectively. Neither one of those teams will even play for their Group of Five conference championships this week.
2015 was definitely not the crown jewel of the SEC's last decade of dominance, but it's hard for Alabama fans to care too much about that. The Crimson Tide will head to Atlanta on Saturday looking to become the first back-to-back champions of the SEC since Tennessee pulled off that feat in 1997-98.
The final composite Power Poll can be found over at Team Speed Kills.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide. Incredible defense, running the football over and over again to set up the play-action pass, and deadly efficient special teams play. The same things win that have always won.
2. Ole Miss Rebels. If not for the fluky loss to Arkansas a few weeks ago, the Rebels would be headed to Atlanta for the first time ever this Saturday. Ole Miss left no doubt that they are near the top of the conference by jumping all over Mississippi State early. If the selection committee values the overall quality of a team over a head-to-head result, the Rebels will deservedly be headed back to a New Year's Six bowl game.
3. Mississippi State Bulldogs. State got slapped around pretty badly by Ole Miss, but this was still a great season for Dan Mullen's bunch. For a team to have lost the amount of quality talent and experience that the Bulldogs lost from last season and still end up back at the top of the power rankings is pretty impressive. Dak Prescott may be the greatest player in the history of Mississippi State football.
4. Arkansas Razorbacks. After the shootout loss to State, the Hogs decided to get back to their old ways of dominating at the point of attack on both sides of the ball against Missouri. Alex Collins deserves an award for the amount of work he put in this season for Bret Bielema.
5. LSU Tigers. What an incredible scene it was to see LSU's players lift Les Miles up in his time of need, both literally and figuratively. Letting Miles go would have been a fatal error for the Tigers. This is a very talented young group with another top-ranked recruiting class on the way. 2016 may be the year for the Bayou Bengals.
6. Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols finally put the whole package together this past Saturday against Vandy, destroying the 'Dores on both sides of the ball. 523 yards of offense is extremely impressive against this Vanderbilt defense. If only the SEC could file some sort of waiver to have Tennessee take Florida's place this weekend in Atlanta.
7. Florida Gators. The Gators offense has done absolutely nothing since the month of October. Good luck this weekend in Atlanta, because unless Jimmie Hunt is suddenly eligible to come catch 'Hail Mary' bombs for the Gators this Saturday, it's going to be tremendously difficult for this team to score anything at all.
8. Georgia Bulldogs. After another horrendous 9-3 season, the Bulldogs decided that three near-misses at the National Championship (2002, 2007, 2012) isn't good enough for a program with one National Championship in the modern era. The Dawgs just couldn't muster up much offense after the injury to Nick Chubb mid-way through the season, and it cost Mark Richt his job.
9. Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies never had a chance at snapping their drought against LSU with the Mad Hatter's back up against the wall. That is definitely not the situation one wants to have to face Miles in.
10. Auburn Tigers. Gus Malzahn will have his hands full trying to develop some semblance of a passing game this offseason. Without the proper constraints, the Gus Bus offense just doesn't have the same polish on it.
11. Vanderbilt Commodores. The 'Dores definitely have a foundation to build upon now after this season. They had a legitimate top-25 defense this year, Ralph Webb is an extremely underrated running back, and Kyle Shurmer has the potential to make a difference in the passing game.
12. Missouri Tigers. The Missouri offense was so putrid in 2015 that, even though they got an invite to a bowl game, Gary Pinkel said, "Nah, I'm good," and exited stage left. He has always been a caring man.
13. Kentucky Wildcats. The Louisville game was a microcosm of Kentucky's last two seasons, as the Wildcats jumped out to a big early lead, only to see it come crashing down in inevitable fashion.
14. South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gamecocks hung with the #1 ranked team in the country about as well as they did The Citadel, so there's that.