Category Archives: SEC Football

“Ibuprofen and Aleve became my best friend…”

Amidst this Dennis Dodd work of praise for Missouri – certainly deserved, although “dominance of the SEC East” might be a bit of a stretch – we learn that Maty Mauk’s poor play last season may have been a result of injury.

Maty Mauk took the needle — several times — last season. Toward the end of 2014, his separated right shoulder ached so much, “Ibuprofen and Aleve became my best friend,” Mauk said.

The junior quarterback has plenty of excuses for last season, but he won’t use them. It looked like he wasn’t reading defenses properly or bolted from the pocket too quickly. He completed less than half his passes in SEC play.

But let’s be historically accurate. There was that shoulder dinged late against Georgia.

“Sitting in class and just having it dangling,” Mauk said, “It was just something that bothered you … It would be hard to get up for workouts on Sunday morning.”

At least Dodd’s not putting the blame for Mauk’s flame out against the Dawgs on his banged-up shoulder.  At least not totally.  So I guess compared to the excuses we heard after the Celebration, we’re making progress.  Of a sorts, anyway.

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Filed under SEC Football, The Body Is A Temple

Point spreads and power ratings

Chase Stuart goes through a little exercise each preseason that I find useful in terms of evaluating opening betting lines.  He takes the Golden Nugget point spreads and runs them though his Simple Rating System (SRS) to rank the teams by the results.

The 2015 preseason SRS rankings are here.  And you can see Vegas ain’t buying the “SEC is dead” talk.  Five of the top ten teams, seven of the top fourteen, eight of the top eighteen and ten of the top twenty five are from the SEC.

There are seventy teams that had enough lines published to make the rankings.  Georgia plays nine of those, five being in the top twenty.

Don’t read too much into this.  As he notes, “The methodology may be somewhat complicated, but all these ratings are intended to do is quantify public perception.”  It matters as much as you think the Golden Nugget knows what it’s doing.

Besides, it’s still July.

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Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Like the sun rising in the east…

Mr. Conventional Wisdom’s got the SEC’s back.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Life in the last decade of the SEC

Matt Melton manages to throw a boatload of trivia into one long paragraph.

… And speaking of divisional crowns, in just three seasons of play in the SEC, Missouri has already won twice as many SEC East titles as Kentucky, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt combined. In the SEC Championship Game itself, the west has reeled off six consecutive victories (with five coming by at least 17 points). Before we close this chapter of Statistically Speaking, I will leave you with what I feel is an extraordinary piece of statistical minutia regarding the SEC. Since 2005, every SEC team (including newbies Missouri and Texas A&M) has had at least one season with at least four conference wins and one season with at least five conference losses (i.e. a .500 conference record and a losing conference record).

As Matt says, make of that what you will.

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Filed under SEC Football

The SEC East and the Alabama hangover

So, Barrett Sallee has a post up about potential snagging points in Georgia’s path to Atlanta.  As far as it goes, it’s not a crazy list.  But there are a couple of items on there that he, along with others, have raised that I question, at least a little bit.

First, there’s this.

Of all of the teams in the SEC East, Georgia got perhaps the worst draw of any team.

The Bulldogs draw Alabama out of the SEC West in addition to the traditional cross-division rivalry with Auburn. Those two teams were picked to finish first and second in the SEC West by the members of the media at media days, respectively, with the Tigers pegged as the overall conference champion.

‘Bama is ‘Bama.  I get that.  But when does Richt get credit for handling Auburn the way he has over the past few seasons?  Auburn’s got two wins in the modern “Mark Richt sux” era, neither of which was exactly dominating.  Meanwhile, Georgia can claim more than one rout in its set of victories over that period.  None of which is to dismiss Auburn’s chances, obviously.  But I think Georgia’s entitled to go into that game not wetting its pants.

But speaking of ‘Bama and pants wetting, read this and despair.

On top of that, the Bulldogs have to travel to Knoxville to play Tennessee—which was picked second in the SEC East—the week after facing the Crimson Tide in Athens. SEC teams are 10-13 the week after playing Nick Saban’s squad over the last four years, with three of those wins coming against out-of-conference competition.

Ooh, automatic trap game!

Not to say that the close way the Vols have played Georgia the last two season doesn’t make me nervous, but the Alabama hangover is a little overrated there.  Some of those 23 games were played by some pretty bad teams – it may be hard to believe now that every coach in the West is making bank, but just a few short years ago, Ole Miss and Arkansas stunk – and a bunch of those next week games came against ranked opponents.  I can’t say the Dawgs will be dominant this season, but I’m pretty confident they’ll win more games than they’ll lose.  And if Tennessee is a ranked opponent, it’s going to mean wins against Oklahoma, Florida and Arkansas before Georgia rolls into Knoxville.  We’ll see about that.

Besides, let’s not forget the Alabama hangover cuts both ways.  Tennessee has to play at Kentucky the week after its Alabama meeting, and I have it on good authority that the Wildcats won’t suck this season.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

SEC, you just lost Montana.

Stewart Mandel: “So you’ll have to forgive us if we’re not exactly spilling tears over all the apparent slights that are keeping down the S-E-C, where the “E” apparently now stands for “Excuses.””

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Scheduling as a factor in this year’s SEC East

It’s not as straightforward as you might think in 2015.  Yes, Missouri goes in with a leg up on the competition, as the Tigers’ conference opponents this season have the worst combined league record from 2014 of all the other SEC teams’ opponents.

And here’s an eye-popping stat for you:

Missouri’s gone 10-0 on the road over the past two years. Georgia’s gone 5-4. 

That’s one way to overcome a 34-point shellacking in Columbia last year.

However, check out the home/road splits for this season (based on the 2014 conference records of schools’ 2015 opponents) David Morrison’s compiled in his article.  Particularly the latter:

Road

1. LSU: 21-11 (38-15)

2. Ole Miss: 21-11 (37-15)

3. Tennessee: 20-12 (35-17)

4. Alabama: 19-13 (36-16)

5. Arkansas: 19-13 (36-17)

5. South Carolina: 19-13 (36-17)

7. Mississippi State: 16-16 (34-19)

8. Florida: 16-16 (31-21)

9. Kentucky: 15-17 (30-21)

9. Vanderbilt: 15-17 (30-21)

11. Texas A&M: 9-15 (20-18)

12. Auburn: 11-21 (28-23)

13. Missouri: 10-22 (25-25)

14. Georgia: 7-17 (18-20)

That should definitely be an equalizer.  If it’s not, that doesn’t say much for Georgia’s improvement (or chances) in 2015.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football