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College Football Around the SEC:
Coaching Hot Seat

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Who is gone? Who is good as gone? Who is tenuous? Who is safe?

"Hey, man. Wanna trade?"
"Hey, man. Wanna trade?"
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

We are trying something new this season: attempting to put a weight on records by measuring in certain factors. It is the first attempt (plus I barely made Cs in Statistics 101 & 102 when I was at the Capstone), so it may need some tweaking in the future.

Some of you had queries about it and I have some clarifications.
  1. Week 1, Mississippi State played at Southern Miss. Should they get 0.5 point for winning on the road? No. No credit is awarded for winning at a cupcake's stadium.
  2. Also Week 1, Texas A&M played in Houston but only received 0.125 point for neutral location. College Station to Houston is just under 100 miles. Phoenix to Houston is about 1,100 miles. More fans, more familiarity, easier commute.
  3. So, why should they get any points at all? Even with all the advantages listed above, there is nothing like playing in your home stadium on your field with your locker room in front of your fans/students, etc. etc. etc.

A new tweak added is holding off on "Win over a ranked opponent = additional 0.5" until the end of the regular season. The logic (if there is any) is that a team ranked in September, may not be in December. [Hi Auburn!] By that time, perhaps I can come up with a good bonus equation.

Below is the key.

Win-Loss Record key:
  • SEC - conference record
  • P5 - non-SEC record against Power 5
  • MM - record against Mid Majors/Non-Power 5 but projected bowl participant
  • CC - record against cupcakes

Trying something new this season, we will attempt to put a weight on records.

  • Win over P5 = 1 point
  • Win over a ranked opponent = additional 0.5 (See above)
  • Road win = 0.5
  • Neutral site win = 0.25
  • Win over a MM = 0.5
  • Win over a CC = 0
  • Loss to CC = -1
  • Loss to MM = -0.5
  • Home loss = -0.5

You know what this is. Let's get right into it.

Florida Gators (10-1, SEC 7-1, P5 0-0, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 9.25 Points

Points this week: 0 home win over a CC.

Florida State at Florida 6:30pm/7:30pm, ESPNESPN

Jim McElwain has surpassed everyone's expectations. The only question is what he is calling his Process without infringing on Saban's trademark.

Tennessee Volunteers (7-4, SEC 4-3, P5 0-1, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 4.5 Points

Points this week: 1.5 road win at Mizzery.

Vanderbilt at Tennessee 3pm/4pm, SECN

Tennessee fans seem enamored with Butch Jones despite his 19–17 (9–14) record and inability to beat Alabama or Florida. If he beats Vandy and wins UT's bowl game, the Vols finish 9-4. That would secure his spot in Knoxville for a while. I wouldn't be surprised if he got a little salary bump. That is what these ADs do.

Auburn Tigers (6-5, SEC 2-5, P5 1-0, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 3.25 Points

Points this week: 0 home win over a CC.

ALABAMA at Auburn 2:30pm/3:30pm, CBS

Gus Malzahn has gotten progressively worse from 12-2 to 8-5 to this season's 6-5 with Alabama left to play. Gene Chizik was 30-10 in his first three season before a disastrous 3-9 season in 2012 got him fired - two seasons after national championship. Malzahn currently sits at 26-12 with a championship runner-up but the fan base seems to like him a little better than his predecessor. It is unlikely that Gustav gets canned after this season but I wouldn't be surprised if he looked for an escape route. Will 8 wins in 2016 be enough?

Texas A&M Aggies (8-3, SEC 4-3, P5 1-0, MM 2-0, CC 1-0) 5.75 Points

Points this week: 1.5 road win at Vandy.

Texas A&M at LSU 6:30pm/7:30pm, SECN

Despite middling success in College Station, Kevin Sumlin's name is still a #hottake around the interwebz. Now in his fourth season, he has no SEC West titles but has won his three bowl games.  He has been labeled a quarterback guru but has not done so well since Johnny Manziel left town. The last two seasons has been a roller coaster of quarterbacking highs and lows.

His record at TAMU of 36–14 (17–14) is respectable but is it enough for football crazies in the Lone Star State. He is safe for now but when will the rich boosters start demanding more?

Kentucky Wildcats (5-6, SEC 2-6, P5 0-0, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 1.5 Points

Points this week: 0 home win over CC.

Louisville at Kentucky 11am/12pm, SECN

The best hire UK ever made was a guy named Paul Bryant (71% winning percentage). The second best was his successor Blanton Collier (53%). Since he was fired in 1961, no Wildcats coach has accumulated a winning percentage. Mark Stoops has gone 2-10, 5-7, and 5-6 so far this year.

The finale against Louisville may seal his fate. A win gets his team bowl eligible and endears him to fans for a win over their rival for the first time since 2010. A fifth loss in a row to the Cardinals might not sit well plus another losing season should mean the end of this little experiment. But we are talking Kentucky here. Football takes a back seat to bouncey balls.

Ole Miss Rebels (8-3, SEC 5-2, P5 0-0, MM 1-1, CC 2-0) 5.5 Points

Points this week: 1 home win over LSU.

Ole Miss at Mississippi State 6:15pm/7:15pm, ESPN2

Hugh Freeze's second straight W over Alabama is enough to keep him in charge for awhile. Win the Egg Bowl this Saturday and they may erect a statue. He is pretty safe in Oxford but loses a lot of talent after bowl season. If he tanks 2016, might he get the David Cutcliffe treatment? He is still young (46) and has been bowl eligible in all four of his seasons.

Missouri Tigers (5-6, SEC 1-6, P5 1-0, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 1.5 Points

Points this week: -0.5 home loss to Tenn.

Missouri at Arkansas 1:30pm/ 2:30pm, CBS(Friday)

Gary Pinkel is walking away from Columbia as the all-time winningest coach in program history. He was diagnosed in May with lymphoma but continued into the season. That may be a move he regrets since it has been a dreadful year of controversy, suspensions and a 5-6 record. Methinks the cancer is not the entire reason he is leaving.

South Carolina Gamecocks (3-8, SEC 1-7, P5 1-0, MM 1-0, CC 0-1) 0.25 Points

Points this week: -1.5 home loss to a CC.

Clemson at South Carolina 11am/12pm, ESPNESPN

There is a 0.001% chance that Interim Coach Shawn Elliott is given the full time gig. Steve Spurrier's October departure has give the Gamecocks ample time to research candidates. If AD Ray Tanner screws up this, his first major hire, it may be his tail on the line.

Arkansas Razorbacks (6-5, SEC 4-3, P5 0-1, MM 0-1, CC 2-0) 3.5 Points

Points this week: -0.5 home loss to MSU.

Missouri at Arkansas 1:30pm/ 2:30pm, CBS(Friday)

Bret Bielema's consecutive victories at Ole Miss and LSU probably quelled concerns for this year, his third in Fayetteville. A win over Mizzou will get him to 7-5. Next season, the Hogs play at TCU in Week 2 while he breaks in a new quarterback. A win in Fort Worth would go a long way. He may need 8 wins next season to keep his job.

Vanderbilt Commodores (4-6, SEC 2-4, P5 0-0, MM 1-2, CC 1-0) 1.5 Point

Points this week: 1 home win over UK.

Vanderbilt at Tennessee 3pm/4pm, SECN

Things got better for the 'Dores after Derek Mason named himself defensive coordinator but only the defense got better. And that is where he excels. The man is an excellent DC but has no business being a head coach at this stage of his career. The offense is embarrassingly bad, dead last in FBS in scoring offense at 14.0 ppg.

He won't get fired after two years because it's Vandy. He probably won't even get shown the door after next season's losing campaign for the same reason. I question how much the University cares about winning football when they get a share of the SEC pie regardless of what they do on the field.

Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-3, SEC 4-3, P5 0-0, MM 1-0, CC 3-0) 5.0 Points

Points this week: 1.5 road win at Arky.

Ole Miss at Mississippi State 6:15pm/7:15pm, ESPN2

The Clanga-clangs seem content with what Dan Mullen is doing: winning records, bowl games, the occasional upset, and not letting Ole Miss win the Egg Bowl every year. There have been no rumors surrounding him at all. Beating Auburn and Arkansas secured another year in Starkness.

I was thinking he should've left after last season when he lost a bunch of starters and upperclassmen but Dak Prescott saved his hide this year. Prescott is a senior and surely MSU will stink next year, right? If Mullen wants to make a jump for a bigger payday, he should do it while he is peaking.

Georgia Bulldogs (8-3, SEC 5-3, P5 0-0, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 6.0 Points

Points this week: 0.5 win over a MM.

Georgia at Georgia Tech 11am/12pm, ESPN2

The heat has really been turned up on everyone's favorite nice guy coach. The Mark Richt dilemma is that he wins games, runs a clean program, and defeats Georgia Tech (12-2) and Auburn (10-5) on a regular basis. This season is no different. With a bad Yellow Jackets team and a bowl game yet to play, Richt could see his tenth double-digit win season, fifteenth straight bowl game, and fourteenth winning season overall. But the rub is that he cannot put a full season together to win a championship. His last SEC title was 2005 when Nick Chubb was nine years old. Every year his team loses a big game that might be a signature win. Also, he is 5-10 against Florida.

His job may be a 50-50 right now. It feels like the AD wants to keep him but the boosters are hungry for something more. The real twist here is that Richt might just resign/retire. He has been uncharacteristically curt with reporters and does not look like he is having too much fun these days. He is a devout Christian and has talked about doing missionary work. He could take a year off to serve the Lord and then return to the game in 2017.

LSU Tigers (7-3, SEC 4-3, P5 1-0, MM 1-0, CC 1-0) 6.0 Points

Points this week: 0 road loss to OM.

Texas A&M at LSU 6:30pm/7:30pm, SECN

And the one you have been waiting for... Several news outlets are reporting that Les Miles will be fired at the end of the season, maybe as soon as Sunday. Miles is 110–32 (60–27) at LSU with the two SEC championships and a crystal football. He has never had a losing season nor has he missed a bowl in his time in Red Stick. That is the argument for keeping Les. The opposition says that ever since losing to Bama in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game that things have gone downhill: 10–3 (6–2), 10–3 (5–3), 8–5 (4–4), 7–3 (4–3). His Tigers have lost to Alabama five straight times since the 9-6 Game of the Century victory. The fans wonder "he is putting amazing talent into the NFL (except quarterbacks), so why can't he win with this talent? And why can't he develop a quarterback?"

My feeling is that it is highly likely that he is gone and that it is a big mistake on their part. I don't know who they think will be better but it will have to be a home run hire to appease the rioting villagers. The buyout would be north of $15 million just for Les.

alabama logo script a 100x100

Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1, SEC 6-1, P5 1-0, MM 2-0, CC 1-0) 9.25 Points

Points this week: 0 home win over a CC.

ALABAMA at Auburn 2:30pm/3:30pm, CBS

It is that time of year where every moron with a live mic in front of him thinks that he knows what Nick Saban is thinking. Rumor-mongers have been spreading what-ifs to places like the Indianapolis Colts and even suggestions of the Texas Longhorns giving it another go-around. I feel pretty confident in saying that Saban is in his last full-time head coaching position. His next move, when he chooses to do it, will be to ESPN, an administration role, or sitting on his back porch sipping lemonade with Miss Terry and the grandbaby.

tiny football

TOTALS:

Team Week 2 Points Week 3 Points Week 4 Points Week 5 Points Week 6 Points Week 7 Points Week 8 Points Week 9 Points Week 10 Points Week 11 Points Week 12 Points
Alabama 1.75 1.25 1.75 3.25 4.25 5.75 6.75 6.75 7.75 9.25 9.25
Florida 0.5 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.5 5.5 5.5 6.75 7.75 9.25 9.25
Georgia 1.5 2.5 2.5 2.0 2.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 4.0 5.5 6.0
LSU 1.5 2.5 4.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.0 6.0
Texas A&M 1.625 2.125 3.25 4.25 4.25 3.75 3.75 4.75 4.25 4.25 5.75
Ole Miss 0.5 2.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 2.5 3.5 5.0 4.5 4.5 5.5
Mississippi St -0.5 -0.5 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.5 2.5 2.5 4.0 3.5 5.0
Tennessee 0.0 0.0 0.0 -0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 2.0 3.0 3.0 4.5
Arkansas -1.0 -1.5 -1.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 2.5 4.0 3.5
Auburn 1.25 1.25 0.75 1.25 1.25 2.75 2.75 2.25 3.75 3.25 3.25
Kentucky 2.0 1.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.0 2.0 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Missouri 1.0 1.0 1.0 2.0 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.0 2.0 1.5
Vanderbilt -1.0 -1.0 -1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.5 0.5 1.5 1.5
South Carolina 0.75 0.75 1.25 1.25 1.25 2.25 2.25 2.25 2.25 1.75 0.25

HELP!

In regards to coming up with a formula for calculating wins over ranked opponents, I think I have a half-arse solution. Admittedly, I am no stats savant. My thought is to reward points on a scale of subtracting 0.03 beginning from 1.0.

CFPC Rank Points
1 1.0
2 0.97
3 0.94
4 0.91
5 0.88
6 0.85
7 0.82
8 0.79
9 0.76
10 0.73
11 0.7
12 0.67
13 0.64
14 0.61
15 0.58
16 0.55
17 0.52
18 0.49
19 0.46
20 0.43
21 0.4
22 0.37
23 0.34
24 0.31
25 0.28

The rankings will be based on the CFP rankings after the SEC Championship game.

LMKWYT!

#ROLLTIDE!