I was going to try for something clever here, but I went back to see what I posted after the same week last season and was floored. I repeat what I wrote then, because literally nothing has changed.
And so, another regular season comes to an end. This last week made one thing painfully apparent: this is the most mediocre the SEC has been in years.
One year’s a blip. Two years in a row are something that should be more troublesome to folks like Greg Sankey and SEC athletic directors. I’m sure they’ll get right on it after Alabama wins the national championship.
As I always do, with each team I’ll add their net yards per game figures, in a crude attempt to ascertain the overachievers and underachievers.
- Alabama (+232.80). While I’m repeating myself, here’s what I said about ‘Bama at this time last year: “The opening betting line for the SECCG is the largest in twenty years.”
- LSU (+102.70). The SEC’s second best team fired its head coach mid-season.
- Auburn (+100.90). The SEC’s third best team scored one touchdown in its last two conference meetings.
- Florida (+61.10). McElwain did a good job managing what he had, but it doesn’t change the likelihood that his team is about to get its ass handed to it in the championship game.
- Texas A&M (+23.90). You gave up 54 points to LSU? Seriously?
- Tennessee (-22.90). I got a lot of things wrong about college football this year, but I think my biggest miss was predicting Shoop would be a major upgrade over Jancek. And, yes, that net yardage figure is correct.
- Ole Miss (+3.00). This team really fell off the deep end after Chad Kelly’s season-ending injury.
- Arkansas (+9.20). You have to wonder if Bert’s name starts showing up on coaches hot seat lists next year.
- Vanderbilt (-51.90). The conference’s biggest overachiever, Vanderbilt was the only SEC team other than Alabama not to suffer a double-digit loss to a conference opponent. Derek Mason did a helluva job, especially in the second half of the season.
- Mississippi State (-12.30). Not a great year, but they’ll take that Egg Bowl win with a smile. Nah, make that a shit-eating grin.
- Georgia (+54.40). The net YPG figure suggests that, once again, Georgia was the SEC’s biggest underachiever. Good to see at least some traditions live on.
- Kentucky (-11.20). Stoops finally breaks through and gets his team to a bowl game. Another raise would seem in order, no?
- Missouri (+20.80). If the Tigers learn to play defense, this team could rise rapidly.
- South Carolina (-70.80). Give Boom credit — this team has no business playing in a bowl game, but it’s one step up on the Mississippi schools in that regard.