Rating the girls of the SEC is a bit like choosing your favorite child. You like them all and they each have their own particular charms, unusual traits and annoying tendencies that somehow make them even more endearing.
Of course, this analogy would have more power coming from me if I actually had any children. But, to be clear, you really can't go wrong when it comes to the women of the SEC. In fact, the quality of the women in the SEC might be the only thing more competitive than the football games.
It's altogether possible that if you took any of these 12 SEC schools and put their girls up against any other school in the country, the SEC would win. But that doesn't eliminate the need for the ClayNation SEC Girls Power Rankings. So here we go.
These rankings are guaranteed to make me unpopular with some fan bases. In fact, I've already been getting e-mails lobbying me one way or the other. Since I already killed the suspense by endorsing Ole Miss girls as the overall No. 1, I've even been getting lots of e-mail arguments suggesting that my Ole Miss decision is flawed.
Jeff from Gulfport, Miss.: "As to your having the monumental task of ranking the hottest girls in the SEC, how much will attire come into play? I ask because every girl at Ole Miss dresses up for games like they're going to prom. They don't get out to tailgate under their chandeliers until late because they are so worried about the way they look. To me, at least, I find it much sexier when a girl puts on a tight T-shirt (jersey, tank top, etc.) and short shorts/tight jeans and gets out to the tailgate at an early hour to begin drinking. I'm not trying to take away anything from the girls at Ole Miss because they are rather attractive, I just find girls at other schools that aren't afraid to show their school spirit (while still looking hot) more attractive. I hope this helps."
Bo from Mississippi: "I find myself in Oxford about three times a year (generally, twice accompanying my wife as she recruits law students and once for some sporting event involving Auburn) and every time I make a point to critique their heralded women. While I freely admit that Ole Miss girls always try their best and often succeed, their pure talent level lags girls of other more Southern and Eastern SEC schools. In sum, Ole Miss girls are Danny Wuerffel-esque."
A few of these e-mails have not even focused on Ole Miss, but have just been threats.
Such as John from Florida: "If you don't rank UF No. 1, I will beat your #####."
Now I know how Thurgood Marshall felt when he was litigating cases in the deep South. Incidentally I did my legal thesis on Thurgood Marshall, and the coolest fact I learned about him? His legitimate fraternity nickname, and I'm dead serious about this, was One Nut. Because he only had one testicle.
What odds would have you have given me on a Supreme Court justice having a nickname like this before you read this column? Ten-thousand-to-one? But despite all these e-mails seeking to lobby me, I've been true to my own view during my 8,500 miles worth of fall travels around the SEC.
The only adjustment these results have received is based on the benefit of the weather. That is, I've never met or seen a girl who didn't look better in the sunshine than she did in the cold or the rain. So, all things being equal, there was a clear advantage conveyed for games that were on campus in September or October. So I've done my best to take this into account.
The ClayNation DDT SEC Girl Power Rankings:
1. Ole Miss: Put any man in the Grove for more than an hour, give him legitimate openness of opinion (e.g. his wife can't be a graduate of a competing school and threaten withholding of sex if his vote doesn't comport with her own vote), and I personally guarantee he will be blown away by the beauty. Put it this way, if you clubbed a guy in the head, dragged him to the Grove, woke him up and told him that he was dead and now in Heaven, he'd probably believe you.
2. Georgia: Maybe it's partially the Hope Scholarship and the resulting college funds that end up funding fake breasts, but a weekend in Athens is jaw-dropping. Everywhere you look there's another gorgeous girl with a plunging neckline in a black or red dress. By the way, one of my friends has a real problem with fake breasts being called fake.
After my column ran about the visit to Georgia, he pulled me aside and said, "Listen, Clay, if it's inside the skin then it isn't fake. I mean, you don't run around pointing to people with new hearts or new hips or new knees and talk about how those are fake hearts or fake knees or fake hips. They're just breasts, glorious, under-the-skin breasts." I'm persuaded by this logic. That's one reason that Athens is the Cleavage Capital of America. And No. 2 on this list.
3. Vanderbilt: Per capita, an absolute gold mine. Top four Vanderbilt Law School topics of conversation:
1. You get this round
2. Oh my God, did you see that girl?
3. Your team sucks
4. Oh my God, did you see that girl?
Plus, every Vandy girl I've ever met could actually carry on a conversation without a nonsensical giggle by the third sentence. Not to say that Vandy girls are completely bereft of the nonsensically giggling contingent, just that they are much reduced. Also, Vandy is a much smaller school than the others. So there's much less of a barrier between the largest male dork on campus and the hottest girl. You can imagine why this might appeal to me. Don't get me wrong, Vandy isn't a campus where Lucas wannnabees come to find fulfillment, but it's closer than every other school in the SEC. Also, if you ever spent a Tuesday night in Sportsman's Grille here in Nashville, you would never feel comfortable arguing in favor of any other SEC school. It's an absolute gold mine of hot girls.
4. Auburn: These girls are just hot. Aside from non-functional belts, there didn't seem to be any one particular type of style that was popular here. Girls were in sweatpants, jeans, khakis, pants, jerseys, sundresses. It didn't matter what they were wearing, they were hot. And if I didn't know better, I'd think some of the Hope Scholarship money is getting secretly funneled into Auburn. In fact, it's altogether possible there is a secret Tunnel of Hotness somehow connecting both Athens and Auburn. This place was No. 2 on the cleavage meter.
5. South Carolina: My mom pointed out how attractive the women were in this town. When your retired mother who otherwise makes no comments about the attractiveness of women feels compelled to acknowledge how attractive the women are, this really counts for something.
Plus, I met several hot girls who were breaking into oysters in heels and dresses. This is the kind of spirit you like to see. Also, South Carolina's state flag is so popular that it's probably the only state in the nation where women regularly incorporate the flag into foreplay. Somehow, this kind of state pride seems deserving of honor.
6. LSU: My friend Kerry endorsed LSU games as having the hottest gathering of women over 30 on earth. I think there's some truth to this. In addition, there is just something about LSU girls that seems naughty. Maybe it's the prevalence of Mardi Gras beads or the fact that, per capita, the girls consume more alcohol here than anywhere else I visited. But you get the idea that things go on in the dorm rooms and off-campus apartments here that would make Caligula blush.
Add in the Golden Girls, who basically exist solely to be hot girls on the football field, and we're talking a collection of women that probably beats every other school not in the SEC hands down.
7. Tennessee: This is what I'm talking about when I say people are going to hate me no matter what selection choices I make. I live in Nashville. I've been a UT fan all my life and I personally know a lot of hot women who went to UT. Having said that, this is an accurate ranking. As a group, UT girls are too fond of make-up. Several girls from my high school came back from Knoxville after their first year and I didn't even recognize them. They were very attractive before, but then they started putting all these gobs of make-up on and they all looked like Joan Rivers. This is an unfortunate trend. Tennessee women are hot enough without the excessive accoutrements. But until they give them up, this is the best I can do.
8. Alabama: Alabama falls to No. 8 because I thought the girls were the most Ole Miss-like of the other SEC schools. All of the girls here were also dressed up in heels and sundresses. Only they were just a little bit worse in every category than the females at Ole Miss. Don't get me wrong, Alabama girls are hot, but hot in that way that Ashley Simpson is in comparison to Jessica Simpson.
You know, if you saw Ashley out by herself you'd probably think she was pretty good looking. (My wife excluded. She hates Ashley Simpson with an outrageous degree of passion.) But put her next to Jessica and you don't even notice Ashley. This is Alabama and Ole Miss.
9. Kentucky: This was one of the games where I felt really constrained by the weather. It was freezing at the time of the tailgate and every girl was wearing enough clothes to be a Boise State cheerleader. Plus the readers I met when I went out kept apologizing to me that there weren't more hot girls out.
So this makes me think that Kentucky has their fair share of hot girls. The only other possibility is that Kentucky men are keeping up a conspiracy of hot girls existing to try and bring in other hot girls since hot girls follow each other. This is far too diabolical. Even for Kentucky fans. But I didn't see the girls there when I visited. So I'm putting them here.
10. Arkansas: Hairspray seemed very popular here. So did dressing up and going out like you didn't go to school in the South. It just reeked of trying too hard. Look, your campus is in the middle of the Ozarks, in a town several hundred miles from anywhere, don't try and be something you're not. Yet, head out in Arkansas and every bar has a trendy one-word name and girls are dressed up like they're hitting Manhattan at one in the morning.
This is ridiculous because Fayetteville is a really cool town. Arkansas girls, you and your friends have nothing in common with Carrie Bradshaw and her loathsome Sex and the City friends. You aren't 30-something Manhattanites out sipping martinis. Embrace your Southernness. Or just stay lame.
11. Florida: It all comes back to the extra six to eight pounds of weight on the back of the arms. The pork-loined shoulders factor. The best thing that can be said for Florida girls is that Erin Andrews once went there. The second best thing is that they are doubtlessly always carrying snacks in their oversized purses.
Actually, one of the undergrad girls I met on campus told me that as Florida's selectivity as a university has increased, their female attractiveness has decreased. Who knows? Winning two national championships in nine months probably makes making out with a fat girl not so bad. At least as long as your fingers don't get lost in the arm fat. Gross. Having said all this, if Tim Tebow were a woman, I'd rank them No. 1.
12. Mississippi State: Maybe it was the 11:30 a.m. start, or perhaps it was because the best looking girls in Starkville don't even go to the actual games, but my friends from George Washington were disappointed in the quality of the girls. When guys come down from the East Coast and aren't impressed with SEC girls, it's an indictment of epic proportions. I actually found myself apologizing to them. This is my revenge.
Check back next week for the DDT top 12 rankings of the overall football environment. If I'm still alive, that is.