I promised the 2012 reviews would start coming Fast and Furious. This marks the final BCS conference review as we finally examine the SEC. Here is the link to last year's SEC post.
First here are the 2012 SEC standings.
And here are the 2012 SEC SDPI standings. The standings are sorted by division by total SDPI with ranking for each
category (out of 14 teams) in parentheses.
The 2012 SEC marked the first time any BCS conference featured 14 teams. And while there was a great deal of heft at the top of the league, there were also some serious millstones at the bottom. Both Auburn and Kentucky went winless in the conference. For Auburn, it marked their first winless league campaign since 1952! As a point of reference, both Georgia Tech and Tulane were in the SEC back then. For Kentucky. one does have to go back quite as far.
So Who Was Better Than Their Record Showed?
You knew the Arkansas Razorbacks were in for a rough year after a tumultuous offseason that saw their coach fired in disgrace, a psychopath hired in his place, and an early loss to Louisiana-Monroe. However, the Hogs were not quite as bad as their record showed. Tight losses to Ole Miss and LSU and an in-conference worse turnover margin of -13 ensured Arkansas would miss out on a bowl for the first time since 2008.
So Who Was Worse Than Their Record Showed?
LSU continues to defy the odds under Les Miles. Despite another season of middling peripherals, the Tigers won 75% of their league games and were 5-2 in one-score conference games. Under Miles, the Tigers are an amazing 25-11 in one-score conference games. Call him clutch, call him lucky, call him insane, but the man gets things done in tight spots.
Best Offense: Texas A&M 2.23
The league newcomer lead by eventual Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, absolutely shredded SEC defenses. After being held to 334 yards in their conference opener, the Aggies averaged an incredible 577 yards over their last seven league contests and topped 600 yards four times.
Worst Offense: Auburn -1.76
Texas A&M's lowest offensive output in the conference (334 yards against Florida) would have represented about 100 yards more than Auburn's average SEC output.
Best Defense: Alabama 1.78
LSU, Texas A&M, and then Georgia in the SEC Championship Game proved the defense was not impenetrable, but it sure seemed that way through their first five league games where the Tide held opponents to just 204 yards per game and allowed just four offensive touchdowns.
Worst Defense: Tennessee -1.79
The Volunteer offense was pretty good (ranking fourth in a strong league), but the defense was an absolute turnstile. Every conference opponent, even a woeful Kentucky squad, topped 400 yards against the Vols.
Winning the Les Miles Way
Some might say this is lazy, but I just feel I wrote a great article a few months ago. Head on over to College Football by the Numbers to check out a little something I wrote about Les Miles and the spread. You won't be disappointed.