We are closing in on the home stretch. Just two conferences to go. This week we examine the SEC. Here are the 2015 SEC standings.
SEC Championship Game. A confluence of factors allowed the Gators to win the SEC East in their first season under Jim McElwain. Florida finished 3-1 in one-score conference games, boasted the best in-conference turnover margin (+8), and scored three non-offensive touchdowns. For Alabama, the results are more mystifying. The Crimson Tide lost only once all season (by six points), and won just a single conference game by fewer than thirteen points. The Tide were not especially buoyed by turnover margin either, finishing a respectable, but hardly superb +1 in SEC play. However, the Tide did take advantage of unconventional touchdowns. They returned four interceptions for touchdowns in SEC play, including three against Texas A&M. The Tide continued to score in unconventional ways in the playoffs, returning a punt for a touchdown against Michigan State (not needed for the victory) and a kickoff for a touchdown against Clemson (vital to the win).
2015 closed the book on the Steve Spurrier era at South Carolina. As a Columbia resident and degree holder from the university (I try to keep this a secret), I decided to conduct a review of Mr. Spurrier’s overall body of work in the SEC. We’ll start with some basic housekeeping. While Spurrier retired/resigned/quit halfway through the season, we are going to credit the win over Vanderbilt and the three other conference losses under Shawn Elliott to his account. This was his team after all, even if he couldn’t stand to see them play defense either.
Let’s start by looking at his SEC record. The following table lists the conference record for each SEC team since the 2005 season. Newcomers Missouri and Texas A&M are listed at the bottom.
once (and perhaps future) power Tennessee. One interesting, non-Gamecock related observation: Kentucky should be very ashamed. Their league record is worse than Vanderbilt’s over the past eleven seasons!
Let’s break that record down a little further. How have the Gamecocks performed against every SEC team? The following table lists South Carolina’s record against every SEC team since 2005. The table is sorted alphabetically with SEC East teams appearing first.
Finally, how did Spurrier performe as a favorite and as an underdog? The following table lists Spurrier’s record against conference foes in both roles. These results are straight up, and not against the spread.