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Midseason SEC Report Cards

Mid Season SEC Report Cards

Valedictorian

LSU: A+

Preseason Prediction: 5-1 (1-1)

2019 Record: 6-0 (2-0)

LSU has come out this season dominating. We knew they’d be good, we didn’t expect them to be this good. Ed Orgeron has made the spread work and also fielded arguably the best defense in the SEC.

The LSU offense surprisingly has the best offense in the SEC, even better than Alabama. They are led by the passing game, none more important than veteran quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow has the best passer rating in the SEC as well as the most yards thrown and highest completion percentage. He’s thrown 25 touchdowns versus 3 interceptions.

The Tigers have dominated and controlled every game this season including two against top 10 opponents. They’ll another likely top 10 matchup with Auburn on October 26th. After that they’ll have a week off before taking on No.1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa in one of the biggest games of the season.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 10-2 (6-2)

Updated Prediction: 12-0 (8-0)

Summa Cum Laude

Alabama: A

Preseason Prediction: 6-0 (3-0)

2019 Record: 6-0 (3-0)

It has now been 11 SEC games since Alabama last lost a conference game – 12 if you include conference championships. Nick Saban is once again just cruising along, led by an outstanding offense.

The offense has yet to score under 42 points which came week one against Duke. The defense has shown signs of concern however. Injuries have affected depth a little and some higher than expected points allowed to inferior teams has the SEC thinking Alabama may have a potential weak spot in 2019.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 12-0 (8-0)

Updated Prediction: 11-1 (7-1)

Magna Cum Laude

Florida: A

Mid Season SEC Report Cards
Florida controls their own destiny in the East at 3-1. (Photo courtesy of teamspeedkills.com).

Preseason Prediction: 7-0 (4-0)

2019 Record: 6-1 (3-1)

Florida may have lost its College Football Playoff hopes this past weekend but they still played respectably in Death Valley. They dominated then No.7 Auburn and have been on a hot streak since mid September.

Most fans understandably worried when starter Feleipe Franks went down in the Kentucky game. However they have cruised with backup Kyle Trask and arguably flowed more smoothly on offense.

The defense has been dominant as well, ranking second in points allowed and third in yards allowed. The defensive line has been a nightmare for opposing offenses and they’ve also forced the second most turnovers in the league.

With Georgia tripping up against South Carolina last weekend, the East is wide open for Florida to take. They’ll get them on a neutral field in Jacksonville on November 2nd with the winner likely heading to Atlanta for the SEC Championship.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 9-3 (5-3)

Updated Prediction: 10-2 (6-2)

Auburn: A

Preseason Prediction: 3-3 (1-2)

2019 Record: 5-1 (2-1)

Auburn has us looking silly this season. Gus Malzahn’s squad came out with a bang against Oregon to start the season, thanks to the heroics of freshman quarterback Bo Nix.

Auburn has received a large push from one of the nations best defensive lines. Derrick Brown and company have held constant pressure against opposing quarterbacks all season. They’ve also helped lead the SEC’s third best run defense this season.

Except for the game against Florida, Auburn has played the part of a legitimate SEC West contender. They’ll still have their hands full with games against highly ranked LSU on the road, and two home games against Georgia and Alabama. Even with the great start, they may find themselves with a less than respectable record.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 5-7 (2-6)

Updated Predictions: 8-4 (4-4)

Georgia: A-

Preseason Prediction: 6-0 (3-0)

2019 Record: 5-1 (2-1)

Bulldog fans probably don’t think of this season as an A- after last week’s shocking loss. Nobody predicted the surprising loss, Georgia certainly didn’t.

Before Saturday’s surprise between the hedges, the Bulldogs had been cruising through the 2019 schedule. The 23-17 win against then No.7 Notre Dame highlighted what looked for sure like a playofff contender come postseason.

With the loss, Georgia needs to run the table and probably win the SEC Championship game to be back in contention. They’ll have their hands full the next three weeks with a neutral site game against Florida, a home game against up and coming Missouri, and a road game at Auburn.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 12-0 (8-0)

Updated Prediction: 10-2 (6-2)

Mid Season SEC Report Cards
Graduate transfer Kelly Bryant has a career best QBR of 156.1 this season. (Photo courtesy of wruf.com).

Missouri: A-

Preseason Prediction: 6-0 (2-0)

2019 Record: 5-1 (2-0)

No one is quite sure what happened week 1 at Wyoming. Missouri never woke up for that game and ended up losing in the end behind it’s worst defensive performance of the season.

Since then the defense has been dominant. Even with projected First Team All-SEC linebacker Cale Garrett going down for the season the Missouri defense was able to shut down the suddenly run heavy Ole Miss Rebels last week.

Kelly Bryant has been spectacular on offense and been a big reason for offensive success. His 1,575 yards, 12 touchdowns and four interceptions has commandeered the Tigers to a dominant 5-1 season. They have scored less than 37 points just one time this season – 34 against South Carolina.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 11-1 (7-1)

Updated Prediction: 10-2 (7-1)

Second Honors

South Carolina: B

Preseason Prediction: 3-3 (1-3)

2019 Record: 3-3 (2-1)

Right on track with the preseason prediction if you shuffle some in and out of conference games. The Gamecocks played a very competitive game against the Tide earlier this season. Pair that with the upset against the Bulldogs and it looks hopeful for the postseason.

They got dominated by Missouri, as expected, but turned around and dominated a decent Kentucky team. Concern began when freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski took over the offense after losing the starter for the season. However he has proven formidable but has also himself gone down with injury in the game against Georgia.

The Appalachian State game is no longer considered an automatic win for the Gamecocks. They’ll have their hands full moving forward with the rest of the schedule this year. A tough loss in week one against UNC may end up being the difference in 2019.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 7-5 (4-4)

Updated Prediction: 5-7 (3-5)

Texas A&M: B-

Preseason Prediction: 4-2 (2-1)

2019 Record: 3-3 (1-2)

Overall, falling short of the preseason prediction isn’t all bad. The good part of the equation is that the Aggies’s three losses this season are to top 10 teams – two against No.1 teams.

Losing to Auburn isn’t the worst thing, it wasn’t predicted that they would solidify their role as a top 15 team this year. However the Aggies still have some cause for concern.

Kellen Mond appears to be falling short of the preseason expectations. He ranks 7th in the conference in QBR. He is also 7th in completion percentage. His total yardage and touchdowns ranks top 3 in the conference however.

With a mediocre defense and a seemingly mediocre offense, it would appear the Aggies are destined for a mediocre season. The remaining schedule doesn’t do them any favors either as they’ll have three more mediocre SEC teams to play followed by two likely top 5 teams in Georgia and LSU.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 8-4 (5-3)

Updated Prediction: 6-6 (3-5)

C’s Get Degrees

Mid Season SEC Report Cards
Kentucky has now won 3 of the last 4 games against Arkansas. (Photo courtesy of kentucky.com).

Kentucky: C+

Preseason Prediction: 3-3 (1-3)

2019 3-3 (1-3)

Mark Stoops’s Wildcats started off the season silencing the critics with two easy wins against sub-par teams they were expected to struggle against. It’s been a cloudy road to recovery ever since.

Starting quarterback Terry Wilson went down the second game of the year against Eastern Michigan, striking concern throughout Big Blue Nation. Replacement Sawyer Smith was unable to score a win in any of the following games.

It would take wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. to pull off a come from behind victory against Arkansas this past weekend. The second half heroics by the Ohio native has Wildcat fans hopeful for a few more wins to turn this rebuilding year into Stoops’s fourth straight postseason appearance.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 6-6 (2-6)

Updated Prediction: 7-5 (3-5)

Ole Miss: C

Preseason Prediction: 4-3 (2-2)

2019 Record: 3-4 (2-2)

Ole Miss has had it’s fair share of struggles this year but seems to be finding it’s way as the season progresses. To start the year, the offense could not have looked more lost against an underwhelming Memphis team. Since then they’ve seemed to improve with each game.

The defense has had it’s moments but still ranks 13th in the league in scoring allowed. It’s certainly an improvement over last year but frankly anything would’ve been an improvement over those numbers.

Currently the Rebels are facing a quarterback crisis that Matt Luke and Rich Rodriguez have managed to flip into their favor. The duel quarterback dynamic kept Missouri off balance this past weekend and kept the game competitive when it was seemingly out of reach.

The remaining schedule looks to favor a 2-3 record which means yet another season without a bowl game. Texas A&M this weekend is likely the last opportunity to get within that six win territory and would need to happen if the Rebels want to go bowling.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 5-7 (2-6)

Updated Prediction: 5-7 (3-5)

Mississippi State: C-

Preseason Prediction: 4-2 (1-2)

2019 Record: 3-3 (1-2)

Mississippi State has stayed pretty close to course but not in the way we thought they would. The loss to Tennessee was originally thought to be a loss to a competitive Volunteer team. Instead it was a loss dominated by a largely underwhelming Volunteer team.

The loss to Kansas State was another setback. Bottom line, This Bulldog squad has little to nothing working for them on offense, coming in at 11th in the conference in scoring. Match that with very questionable quarterback play and this offense looks unable to pull together too many more wins this season.

The Bulldogs are staring at what is likely three more SEC losses left on the schedule. Suddenly the Egg Bowl is having big implications that may decide whether they make the postseason or not. Joe Moorhead is no longer loved by fans and may have some big questions to answer by season’s end.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 7-5 (3-5)

Updated Prediction: 5-7 (2-6)

Summer School

Tennessee: D-

Mid Season SEC Report Cards
Tennessee started the season 0-2 at home. (Photo courtesy of usatoday.com).

Preseason Prediction: 4-2 (1-2)

2019 Record: 2-4 (1-2)

Volunteer fans may already be looking forward to the 2020 season. The 2019 season has mostly been a disaster and one to forget.

From kickoff week one, Tennessee has been a massive disappointment. Weeks one and two saw Neyland Stadium play host to two inferior teams which the Vols had no business losing two. Instead Georgia State dominated the fourth quarter to take a win, and BYU escaped with an overtime victory.

The Volunteers finally got their first win against a D1 opponent this past weekend against Mississippi State. After a loss to Alabama next week, Tennessee will have a tough time stringing four more wins together to be bowl eligible. They’ll likely be at home again this postseason.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 6-6 (2-6)

Updated Prediction: 4-8 (2-6)

Arkansas: F

Preseason Prediction: 3-3 (0-3)

2019 Record: 2-4 (0-3)

Minus a head scratching loss against San Jose State, the Razorbacks are pretty much where we saw them being. However there has been little to be excited about once again in Fayetteville.

The quarterback crisis with Nick Starkel and Ben Hicks has not done an already weak offense any favors. The defense ranks 12th in points allowed this season. There’s little hope of improving upon either side of the ball with Auburn and Alabama the next two on the schedule.

Chad Morris‘s seat already seems plenty warm 1.5 years in. This season seems to be heading down the same path as last year, and little visible progress has been made thus far. They’ve fought hard in their last two games against A&M and Kentucky. They’ll get a struggling Mississippi State team in three weeks with their best chance to get Morris his first SEC win.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 5-7 (1-7)

Updated Prediction: 3-9 (0-8)

Vanderbilt: F

Preseason Prediction: 2-4 (0-3)

2019 Record: 1-5 (0-3)

Vanderbilt has been fairly close to the preseason prediction but have looked awful in the process. Add on to that being absolutely dominated by UNLV and this season is a complete failure thus far. UNLV came into Nashville at 1-4, losing their previous four games by at least 16 points. They absolutely dominated the Commodores.

Things looked promising after putting up a decent fight against Georgia and LSU but the last three weeks have been brutal. There is absolutely no offense to be found and the defense is seemingly letting everyone score. Both sides of the ball rank dead last in scoring in the SEC.

It’s possible Vanderbilt steals a win from a weakened Kentucky or a flailing Tennessee towards the end of the year. But in all likelihood they’ll copy the basketball team and go winless in the SEC. Derek Mason’s job is definitely in trouble.

Preseason Overall Prediction: 4-8 (1-7)

Updated Prediction: 2-10 (0-8)

 

 

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