Guys, we are around 50 hours from kickoff at the time of my writing this. That’s only two more hours than the number of points Auburn scored in the Iron Bowl last year. It’s so close we can taste it.
With what’s left of the preseason, let’s do the most preseason-y thing possible. I, with the help of my colleagues at the other SBNation SEC team sites, have created the ultimate SEC preseason poll.
You see, it’s not enough to just have people, who may or may not know anything about other schools in the conference, pick what think the standings will be at the end of the year. No, I think it’s better to have them pick every game. I have a couple of reasons for doing this:
- By picking every game, it forces voters to actually consider how a team is going to get to a certain number of wins. It’s easy to blindly say Georgia should win the East, but is it so obvious when you go through the schedule? Florida is right there...
- If some idiot backs into a perfect prediction in terms of standings, we can still make fun of them for getting specific games wrong (I, too, could be that idiot).
- More data is always better.
So here’s how this works - I sent out the bat signal to the other team sites, asking them to fill out a form picking each game. I took submissions from as many writers as possible, and for sites that had more than one voter, I simply averaged out the extra votes into one ballot for the site. So what you’ll see is 21 votes synthesized down into ballots for 11 of the 14 SEC team sites. Alligator Army, Roll Bama Roll, and Good Bull Hunting (TAMU) declined to participate.
- No shocker here, Alabama is the runaway favorite to win the West. Shouts to Anchor of Gold, though, for going against the grain.
- In the East, most folks favor Georgia, but Florida’s schedule sets them up for a good shot to steal it. They don’t draw Auburn or Alabama out of the West (Georgia gets both), meaning they could theoretically win the East without having to beat Georgia.
- Our friends at Arkansas Fight are all in on the coaching change, I guess. They had Sam Pittman’s first Razorback going 6-4, and winning a tiebreaker against LSU to get to second in the West. We’ll see how they feel in a few days, as they lead off the year with Georgia.
- Similarly optimistic was For Whom the Cowbell Tolls, the Mississippi State site. They think State wins every game except for Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia en route to a 7-3 year, where they too would win a tiebreaker versus LSU for second place in the West.
- As usual, Auburn is the team with the most controversial opinions. Voters placed Auburn just barely behind LSU, with an average ranking of 2.9 to 3.0. Auburn actually picked up more second place votes (five) than LSU did (two), but Auburn also picked up four fourth place votes and a fifth place vote courtesy of Arkansa Fight.
- Things were much more status quo in the East, with only Tennessee being the real point of disagreement. Surprisingly, their highest vote was from Anchor of Gold, who picked them to finish second ahead of Florida, while their lowest vote was from Arkansas Fight, pegging them for fifth in the division.
- Outside of the Arkansas Fight ballot, voters have Arkansas and Vandy slated for a rough 2020. Of all 21 submissions from across the league, the two teams averaged 0.71 and 0.52 wins, respectively.
Be sure to book mark this post, folks, because we’ll be sure to come back in December and laugh at how wrong everyone was.
Again, big thanks to the folks at Anchor of Gold, Arkansas Fight, And the Valley Shook!, Dawg Sports, For Whom the Cowbell Tolls, Garnett and Black Attack, Rock M Nation, Red Cup Rebellion, Rocky Top Talk, A Sea of Blue, and my colleagues here at College & Mag.
Merry football season everyone.