Bill Connelly previews the SEC East.

S&P+ sez the SEC East is gonna be a bitch, y’all.  (Although not quite as rough as its Western counterpart.)

  • Georgia:  2019 S&P+ projection: 10.1 wins (No. 2)
  • Florida:  2019 S&P+ projection: 8.7 wins (No. 6)
  • Missouri:  2019 S&P+ projection: 8.1 wins (No. 16)
  • South Carolina:  2019 S&P+ projection: 5.9 wins (No. 18)
  • Tennessee:  2019 S&P+ projection: 6.5 wins (No. 21)
  • Kentucky:  2019 S&P+ projection: 6.1 wins (No. 37)
  • Vanderbilt:  2019 S&P+ projection: 4.9 wins (No. 53)

It’s something to expect the eighteenth-ranked team to be engaged in a season-long struggle for bowl eligibility.

One side note worth sharing is the second-year effect in the SEC.

There’s one more factor in UT’s favor: the second-year effect. If a coach is going to oversee a major surge in his program, it’s probably happening in either his second or third season. Pruitt’s division rivals, and a certain former boss, provide anecdotal proof of that.

Kirby Smart’s second UGA team went from 42nd in S&P+ to fourth. South Carolina improved from 85th to 41st in Will Muschamp’s second year. Missouri went from 70th to 28th in Barry Odom’s second season. Kentucky improved from 74th to 51st in Year 2 under Mark Stoops. Former Pruitt boss Nick Saban oversaw a leap from 31st to 10th at Alabama in 2008.

There are a lot of SEC head coaches entering into their second year at the helm.  Given how tough the conference appears to be shaping up, I doubt they can all shine in 2019, but we’ll see.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

21 responses to “Bill Connelly previews the SEC East.

  1. ChiliDawg

    The year 2 bump doesn’t happen magically – it always follows a concerted effort by the coaching staff to bolster the talent pool and gain some traction with their offensive and defensive identity. It’s hard to make the case that Pruitt has improved the talent pool at Tennessee any. They just hired a new OC, and he’s handed off the DC position to an assistant. Doesn’t seem like they have the usual contributors for the year 2 effect going for them.


  2. Russ

    I’m hoping the only second year bump Side Show Dan sees is the thumping we give them in Jax again.


  3. Mayor

    Metrics are what they are but I still don’t get the love for FU. I think Mizzou is better than the Gators Nd Georgia’s main competition in the East. The schedule has a lot to do with it but also I just don’t think FU has the personnel. I’m including coaches when I say that.


    • Cojones

      Agreed, Mayor. Mizzou will have a better chance at a “second year bump” Than Tenn and with a first yr coach and QB. They are dangerous because their ability runs the gamut with their O line and RB figured into the equation, plus a great passing/running QB. If they bring along their D game, we will have all that we can handle.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nate Dawg

    This is what scares me:
    2nd year bump playing A&M (and playing them so late..)
    We all keep banging on flaurdah yet all these numbers/rankings, etc keep landing them 2nd in the East and presumably the Dawgs biggest competition even after all the transfers, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Otto

      If UGA runs the table in East again and beats Auburn, the A&M game is meaningless in terms of the team controlling their destiny.


  5. sectionzalum

    I was told there would be no math.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Biggus Rickus

    I’ll say the same thing I did to FPI. I don’t see Tennessee having this massive improvement, and I think there’s something off when 10 of the 14 teams in the league are in the top 21.


    • Biggen

      I’m thinking the same thing.

      Perhaps they are overrating the East because the media needs another team to talk about than UGA.


      • Macallanlover

        Exactly what I felt before, and after, watching the talking heads yesterday in Hoover. They need someone to be talking about to pressure UGA, and frankly, we do also. The schedule says Mizzou, the analysts are all in love with FU, I think we blitz the East. Biggest roadblocks look to be Auburn on the road if their QB situation gets decided positively for them, and A&M is thet catch us either napping, or beat up physically (both of those factors worked for LSU last season.) Big gap between UGA and the other East opponents on a talent basis, we will have to give it away, imo.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Uglydawg

    The SECE has made a strong comeback.
    So he has UGA ranked ahead of Clemson. That’s interesting.
    I doubt UF #6 but if it will give an inflated sense of expectations to their fans, only to be deflated, I’ll accept it.
    SC in top twenty but with only 6 wins projected. I hope two of their wins are over UT and UF.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Russ

    If Sackerlina becomes bowl eligible, they should give Boom a raise.


  9. biggityben

    I feel like Kirby’s second season bump was due to 1) Fromm, very curious if Eason could have done what Fromm did 2) Overall talent that Kirby had to start with – Chubb, Michel, R, Baker, Wynn, Carter – Bellamy is on a pro roster 3) 2017 UGA Recruiting #3 class – 2019 vs UT 2019 Class #12.

    I guess my point is, while UT may have a slight bump, it’s unrealistic for anyone to think they’ll be anywhere near what the KirbStomper did. Also we didn’t have to play UGA in year two of Kirby’s tenure.


  10. DawgPhan

    There is just so much talent collected in the SEC right now, seems hard to argue that the teams are going to be average.

    USC with about the 8th best recruiting in the SEC has more blue chip talent than nebraska, wisconsin, and oregon.