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College Football Around the SEC: Past & Future

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Bowl Projections for the SEC, Kirby, and the futures of SEC teams.

What is the future of Kirby Smart?
What is the future of Kirby Smart?
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

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
Georgia Bulldogs (9-3, SEC 5-3, P5 1-0, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 7.5 Points

Points this week: 1.5 road win at GaTech.

Awaiting Bowl invitation. Prediction: Music City Bowl vs. ACC/Big Ten.

If you listen to the Atlanta media, the big question is not who will replace Mark Richt. It's who Kirby Smart will choose as his coordinators. "Will he keep Jeremy Pruitt or will he bring in Will Muschamp?" Reports from the newspaper in that city say that Smart will be named as the next coach of the Bulldogs on Sunday. No word on how long he will stay with the Tide but it would be hard to imagine that he leaves before the last game is played.

One major ripple from from the Richt firing: See below.

Florida Gators (10-2, SEC 7-1, P5 0-1, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 8.75 Points

Points this week: -0.5 home loss to FSU.

SEC Championship: ALABAMA vs. Florida 3pm/4pm, CBS

It's safe to say that NOBODY expected this team to win ten games this past season. There is a solid foundation for Jim McElwain to keep this train going but he'll need to find a quarterback and it's not Treon Harris. Will Grier will not be reinstated until October 12, 2016.

With the dismissal of Mark Richt, 5-star QB Jacob Eason, once a hard commit to UGA who Dawgs fans have labeled as their "Messiah", took an official visit to Florida yesterday. Karma anyone? He has been getting a lot of renewed attention from coaches across the country. There is a chance Alabama could get a visit as well.

Tennessee Volunteers (8-4, SEC 5-3, P5 0-1, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 5.5 Points

Points this week: 1 home win over Vandy.

Awaiting Bowl invitation. Prediction: Outback Bowl vs. Big Ten.

The Vols finished up with the regular season with their best record since 2007, three coaches ago. The CFP Rankings slid them into the #25 spot this week. They have a good foundation but need to learn how to win the big games. UT was 0-3 against currently ranked teams and 1-4 against Power 5 teams with winning records. The one victory was against UGA.

Auburn Tigers (6-6, SEC 2-6, P5 1-0, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 2.75 Points

Points this week: -0.5 home loss to Bama.

Awaiting Bowl invitation. Prediction: Birmingham Bowl vs. AAC (Memphis?)

For a team that many tabbed for the four team playoff (and some said National Champs) at the beginning of the season, this year's campaign has been a masterful letdown. The future of this program under Gus Malzah is a bit nebulous. A lack of depth and confusion over team roles has this program in disarray. Another bad season might spell the end of the Gustav experiment on the Plains.

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

Points this week: 0 road loss to LSU.

Awaiting Bowl invitation. Prediction: Texas Bowl vs. Big 12 (Texas Tech?).

Around this time every year, Kevin Sumlin's name makes the rounds of the rumor mills. Is it still merited? When he took the Houston job, he was blessed with returning starting QB Case Keenum. When Keenum's eligibility was up, Sumlin fled to College Station where he inherited Johnny Manziel. Now that he has QBs of his recruiting, he is having problems knowing how to implement them.

The heralded hiring of defensive coordinator John Chavis has paid off with the improvement of average points allowed from 28.1 in 2014 to 21.6 this season. Total yards allowed per game dropped from 450.8 to 367.2. Yet the team sits at 8-4. A bowl loss would match last season's record.

Kentucky Wildcats (5-7, SEC 2-6, P5 0-1, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 1.0 Points

Points this week: -0.5 home loss to 'Ville.

Season Over or small possibly of the Independence Bowl vs. ACC.

It was deja vu all over again for the Wildcats. Like 2014, this season started out with promise with wins over SC and Mizzou, and ended with terrible losing streaks including defeat at the hands of Louisville. The 'Cats have not had a winning record since the 2009 team went 7-6. Is there any reason to think next season will be any different?

After being benched in favor of freshman Drew Barker, former starter QB Patrick Towles plans to grad-transfer. The top two running backs return but it is the other 80 or so guys that is the problem.

Ole Miss Rebels (9-3, SEC 6-2, P5 0-0, MM 1-1, CC 2-0) 7.0 Points

Points this week: 1.5 road win at MSU.

Awaiting Bowl invitation. Prediction:Sugar Bowl vs. Big 12 (Baylor?).

It appears that if #18 Florida loses to Alabama in the SECCG that #13 Ole Miss will be the SEC representative in New Orleans. The participant is chosen according to the CFP Selection Committee Rankings. With a Gators loss, both teams will have three losses but the Rebels résumé looks a bit better despite a 38-10 loss to Florida in October.

Beyond New Year's Day, there are a lot of questions to be answered in Oxford. Many of the Rebs best players are seniors (C.J. Johnson, Mike Hilton, Tra Elston, Cody Core to name a few) and juniors who may go pro (Laquon Treadwell, Laremy Tunsil, Evan Engram, Robert Nkemdiche, Tony Conner).

Missouri Tigers (5-7, SEC 1-7, P5 1-0, MM 1-0, CC 2-0) 1.5 Points

Points this week: 0 road loss to Ark.

Season Over. Focusing on new coach hire.

The NCAA announced that they will award bowl bids to teams with 5–7 records that have the best Academic Progress Rate scores. Missouri, which ranks second among five-win teams in APR, announced Monday that they would not apply for bowl eligibility in order to focus on hiring a new coach.

Reports say that the Tigers are interviewing possible candidates this week, including California coach Sonny Dykes, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, and Colorado State coach Mike Bobo.

South Carolina Gamecocks (3-9, SEC 1-7, P5 1-1, MM 1-0, CC 0-1) -0.25 Points

Points this week: -1.5 home loss to Clemson.

Season Over. Time to find a new coach.

When Steve Spurrier quit on his team back in October, it gave the Gamecocks a big head start on the rest of the nation to find a replacement. However, it seems that they haven't done much of anything and are being beaten to the punch by all the other teams with head coaching openings.

With the departure of wide receiver Pharoh Cooper to the NFL, the cupboard will be pretty bare in Columbia. It's going to be more than a rebuilding. SC is going to need a complete overhaul.

Arkansas Razorbacks (7-5, SEC 5-3, P5 0-1, MM 0-1, CC 2-0) 4.5 Points

Points this week: 1 home win over Mizz.

Awaiting Bowl invitation. Prediction: Liberty Bowl vs. Big 12.

The Razorbacks had an unusual number of injuries this past season. Despite the health issues, they still finished with a winning record and look like a team to be dealt with in the near future. Many of the starters should return but quarterback Brandon Allen is a senior.

Vanderbilt Commodores (4-8, SEC 2-6, P5 0-0, MM 1-2, CC 1-0) 1.5 Point

Points this week: 0 road loss to UT.

Season Over.

Vandy is not going to fire Derek Mason...yet. The Commodores "improved" from 3-9 (0-8) to 4-8 (2-6). Don't expect them to win five games next season. They had an absolutely abominable offense that scored 15.2 points per game (good for 124th out of 128). One bright spot on offense for next season will be the return of rising junior running back Ralph Webb (1152 yards, 5 TD).

Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4, SEC 4-4, P5 0-0, MM 1-0, CC 3-0) 4.5 Points

Points this week: -0.5 home loss to OM.

Awaiting Bowl invitation. Prediction: Belk Bowl vs. ACC.

Well-well. Whadda ya know? Dan Mullen is looking to get out of town. With Dak Prescott out of eligibility, the MSU coach is thinking of jumping a sinking ship. Sources have said that Mullen, who has a 54-35 record in seven seasons with Mississippi State, interviewed with Miami officials on Monday. It seems odd unless he is trying to get a salary bump. Mullen made $4 million in 2015. Former Hurricanes coach Al Golden was making $2.5 million.

The Bullies return a bunch of rising seniors but receiver De'Runnya Wilson and DT Chris Jones will probably not be among them as they try their luck in the NFL.

LSU Tigers (8-3, SEC 5-3, P5 1-0, MM 1-0, CC 1-0) 7.0 Points

Points this week: 1 home win over TAMU.

Awaiting Bowl invitation. Prediction:TaxSlayer Bowl vs. ACC/Big Ten

It was a weird series of events in Baton Rouge with Les Miles looking like he was good as fired to being the toast of the town. Leonard Fournette and some talented young receivers will be back but quarterback will still be a major issue. The real interesting thing to watch will be seeing what happens next season if the Tigers have another three or more loss season.

alabama logo script a 100x100

Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, SEC 7-1, P5 1-0, MM 2-0, CC 1-0) 10.75 Points

Points this week: 1.5 road win at Aub.

SEC Championship: ALABAMA vs. Florida 3pm/4pm, CBS

Okay, think back to August. Bama fans were concerned about quarterback, the offensive line, and the secondary. Even the kicking was a little disconcerting. Yet Nick Saban worked his magic and - dare I say it - overachieved with this team. He has to be one of the most underappreciated coaches in the nation. He has not won the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award since 2003 when he was at LSU. The AP Coach of the Year Award has not come his way since 2008.

Next season, the Tide will be breaking in a new quarterback, center, and a bunch of guys on defense. But it's next man up time! Bama might also see some coaches leave. You already know about Smart. Lane Kiffin could get some offers but the feeling is he wants to stick around a little longer. Mel Tucker could get better offers. And Mario Cristobal's name has been batted around.

tiny football


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 Week 13 Points
Alabama 1.75 1.25 1.75 3.25 4.25 5.75 6.75 6.75 7.75 9.25 9.25 10.75
Florida 0.5 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.5 5.5 5.5 6.75 7.75 9.25 9.25 8.75
Georgia 1.5 2.5 2.5 2.0 2.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 4.0 5.5 6.0 7.5
LSU 1.5 2.5 4.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.0 6.0 7.0
Ole Miss 0.5 2.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 2.5 3.5 5.0 4.5 4.5 5.5 7.0
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 5.75
Tennessee 0.0 0.0 0.0 -0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 2.0 3.0 3.0 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 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 4.5
Auburn 1.25 1.25 0.75 1.25 1.25 2.75 2.75 2.25 3.75 3.25 3.25 2.75
Missouri 1.0 1.0 1.0 2.0 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.0 2.0 1.5 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 1.5
Kentucky 2.0 1.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2 2 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.0
South Carolina 0.75 0.75 1.25 1.25 1.25 2.25 2.25 2.25 2.25 1.75 0.25 -0.25


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.

Rank  ~  Points

  1. 1.00
  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. 0.70
  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. 0.40
  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.