My Picks

If you’ve been following along with each of my previews for every team in the SEC, I’ve already made my predictions for every single game involving an SEC team this season. This post is to serve as a wrap up piece and share my predicted rankings based on the SEC schedule. This IS NOT my power rankings for the SEC. When I think of power rankings for a league, I consider every team playing each game on a neutral court and every team playing every other team. That’s not exactly the case with the SEC and most other conferences in college basketball. Especially since the SEC has 14 teams and only 18 league games, some schools are bound to draw easier conference schedules and I think that shows with my projected rankings. If you are interested to see how each school’s record breaks down, make sure to go back and check out that team’s preview that I wrote in the past two weeks.

Because no predictions are perfect, and I’m certainly not going to claim mine are either, I have also included a high and low ranking for each team. For some teams this range might be quite large, especially this year where the league has a lot of new talent and is seemingly wide open after Kentucky. On the other hand, Kentucky for instance, this range might be very small which means I’m fairly confident in my prediction for that team.

As always, if you want to disagree or question my rankings, I welcome intelligent discussion on Twitter.

Rank Team Record H L
1 Kentucky 17-1 1 1
2 Texas A&M 14-4 2 6
3 South Carolina 12-6 2 8
4 Auburn 12-6 3 8
5 Vanderbilt 11-7 3 10
6 Arkansas 11-7 2 8
7 Florida 11-7 2 8
8 Mississippi State 11-7 3 10
9 Georgia 9-9 3 10
10 Alabama 7-11 6 12
11 Ole Miss 4-14 8 14
12 Missouri 3-15 10 14
13 LSU 2-16 8 14
14 Tennessee 2-16 10 14

Ties were broken using the SEC’s tie-breaking procedure.

Submitted Picks

Because I’ve started to enjoy using Google Forms to take input from my Twitter followers and others, I decided to open up a form and see how other people think the SEC will play out. Admittedly, most of my followers are Auburn fans, but there were about an even number of responses between Auburn fans/followers and other SEC schools. I also obviously can’t speak for the knowledge of college basketball or SEC hoops so these results are just a fun little insight.

Since I didn’t have people pick each game, I have replaced the record column with the average ranking from all the responses. The high and low columns also reflect the highest that anyone had a team ranked and vice versa for the low column. I also am not sure the methodology used for these rankings, so users could have taken it as power rankings or actual predicted standings, although I was looking for predicted standings.

Thank you for the input from those that chose to submit a response and I definitely plan on doing more of these kinds of things throughout the season, most likely via Twitter.

Rank Team Avg. H L
1 Kentucky 1.067 1 2
2 Texas A&M 3.231 2 11
3 Florida 4.333 1 13
4 Auburn 4.800 3 9
5 Vanderbilt 6.692 2 13
6 Georgia 7.333 2 11
7 Arkansas 7.667 3 12
8 South Carolina 8.077 5 12
9 Mississippi State 8.400 3 14
10 LSU 9.533 5 13
11 Ole Miss 9.867 7 14
12 Alabama 10.400 6 14
13 Tennessee 10.538 6 13
14 Missouri 13.200 7 14

Conclusions

I’m not the first person to pick Kentucky to win the SEC and I definitely won’t be the last. The interesting thing this season, like it’s been several times before, is where do the next four, five, or six teams land.

In my predictions, I have nine teams that I think could finish as high as third place or better. This is mostly due to the continued rise in talent on SEC teams. With young talent comes much more variation. Mississippi State for instance, with six 4-star recruits, could be very, very good, or turn out to be right around the middle of the league. These are the hardest things to project and there are several similar teams in the conference this season.

From my point of view, I think I have a reasonably good idea of what few teams will be at the bottom of the league, but even some of those could climb up towards the middle. With the outside responses, it seems that several people have different views of who’s going to be at the bottom of the barrel in the SEC this season. I count as many as twelve teams, including Texas A&M, Florida, and Vanderbilt, that at least someone thinks could finish in the bottom four of the SEC.

I am already looking forward to SEC conference play and that’s not usually the case. I think the league will be a fun competition to watch unfold this season and it won’t just be a bunch of mediocre and bad teams trying to avoid the bottom of the rankings while Kentucky just breezes on through like it has been in years past. Of all years, I expect to be wrong this season, but that’s what makes the season so exciting.