The SEC East is going to be pretty fascinating in 2017. Last year’s two best teams, Florida and Tennessee, have quite a bit to replace, while the other five teams in the division — Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt — all return a ton of last year’s production.
If you look at last year’s S&P+ rankings, these returning production figures create a situation in which virtually everyone enters the season thinking they have a chance at the division title. Florida (15th in S&P+) and Tennessee (28th) won’t fall that far, and Kentucky (67th), Georgia (68th), Missouri (69th), Vanderbilt (71st), and South Carolina (79th) could all improve by a decent amount. In theory, that could create quite the exciting logjam.
Not so, says the conventional wisdom.
According to 243 media members, Mizzou, which beat Vanderbilt, nearly beat Georgia, and outgained both South Carolina and Tennessee in road losses, is a distant last.
Breaking the points into a per-voter average (with 7 points being a first-place vote and 1 being a last-place vote), we see just how distant Mizzou’s deficit is.
- Georgia 6.4
- Florida 6.3
- Tennessee 4.1
- South Carolina 3.7
- Kentucky 3.6
- Vanderbilt 2.2
- Missouri 1.6
Conventional wisdom is an ass sometimes. But it certainly helps to provide some extra motivation.