SEC hype, and the lack thereof

With SEC Media Days kicking off next week, Barrett Sallee takes a look at how the media’s done with its team predictions over the past six seasons.

We looked back at the past six preseason predictions (since expansion in 2012) and compared them to how division races actually turned out. Teams are ranked based on their final standing within the division relative to where they were picked in the preseason media poll. Head-to-head results and standard SEC tiebreaker procedures were used to prevent ties being factored into the final standings.

Team Performance vs. hype (wins) Average (wins)
Mississippi State +10 +1.67
Missouri +6 +1.0
Kentucky +4 +0.67
Vanderbilt +3 +0.5
Florida +1 +0.17
Ole Miss +1 +0.17
Texas A&M +1 +0.17
Alabama -1 -0.17
Auburn -1 -0.17
Georgia -4 -0.67
South Carolina -4 -0.67
LSU -5 -0.83
Arkansas -5 -0.83
Tennessee -6 -1.0

It’s natural to see the top and bottom of the list as the big stories, but for me the amazing number there belongs to Alabama.  To live up to sky high expectations every year except 2017 (and even there, it was nothing worse than a second-place finish — and they still won the natty!) is a testament to Saban’s coaching.

As far as Georgia goes, here’s what Sallee writes:

(-4) The Bulldogs used to be known as the king (or, at least co-king) of preseason hype. However, in four of the six years since expansion, the media has been spot-on. The only two swings and misses were 2013 and 2015, when they were the preseason favorite in the division and finished third.

Hopefully, those days are gone for a while.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

11 responses to “SEC hype, and the lack thereof

  1. We finished 3rd in 2013 due to that ratty Kneeland turf, but I like that we are turning the corner on expectations.


    • Bulldog Joe

      The 2013 team was well-below scholarship limits even before the suspensions and injuries took their toll. On defense and special teams, opponents took easy advantage of our walk-ons and malcontents. We had some talent on offense before the injuries, but that team was already going nowhere, even in a very-weak SEC east.

      Happy to see most of those fundamental issues addressed now.


      • Not sure I agree. That team doesn’t lose to either Missouri or Vanderbilt with Marshall, JSW and Michael Bennett available. The only SEC regular season loss ends up as the Prayer at JH. Dawgs play (without Aaron Murray) Tigers in a rematch in the Dome.

        That team was solidly in the top 10 when the injuries struck.


        • Bulldog Joe

          Our defensive coaching staff, backfield, and most of the recruiting class was dismissed after the end of the season for good reason.


  2. TomReagan

    We may be entering into a period where we have no way to go but disappointment like Alabama. I just hope we handle it as well as they have. Easily the most impressive thing about their run.


    • Like killing trees, giving Deshaun Watson grief in Tuscaloosa, throwing bricks through coaches’ windows, etc.

      Bammers are the worst at handling disappointment. They believe the national championship is their birthright.


      • 1smartdude

        They may believe it’s their birthright, but just as importantly to them, it’s also their history. I’d like the chance to be that arrogant for a while. I do belive I can do it without killing oaks, or tossing bricks but I’m sure the Bama fans I know would would think I was a major dick. I’d make sure of it.


    • JCDAWG83

      I’d be more than happy to have a decade or longer of Bama style “disappointment”.


  3. ChiliDawg

    I would like for the local posters suffering from cockphobia to take note of which team resides fourth from the bottom on this list.