This is part of a series of posts going up on December 26. Let's look back at everyone's performance in the non-conference schedule and take inventory on where everyone is at.
The SEC might not be as terrible as originally thought. Now, they're still pretty terrible and will struggle to get a 4th bid, but at least they've rallied a bit. Actually, the schedules across the board aren't too bad, which is helping. They're also compiling good records.
Florida (7-4) was supposed to be the #2 team in this conference, but a marginal (for them) schedule around 100th has hurt. None of the 4 losses are horrible (home to Miami might be; the other 3 are to elite teams), but Yale might be the signature win, and not much help is coming in conference play.
Arkansas (9-2) has emerged. Marginal SoS, and a marginal loss at Clemson, but by beating @SMU and Dayton, they've given themselves a chance. LSU (9-2) has a similar profile, right on down to the loss to N-Clemson. However, their signature win of @WVU is better. These two entered the season as the likely 3/4, and seem likely to stay that way.
Two teams have kinda emerged. Georgia (6-3) has a really good non-con SoS around 25, and the losses aren't bad (@Ga Tech might be, N-Minny might be). Wins over Colorado and Seton Hall at home have given them a chance to gain bubble ground. South Carolina (6-3) has a decent SoS, and while the bad losses (N-Charlotte and N-Akron) are a bit worse, they at least have a win over Oklahoma St to lean on. Can either make it? Possible but not probable.
That probably cuts off the reasonable NCAA hopes for the conference. Florida, and probably 2 of the next 4. They'll get to 4 teams overall.
Let's quick-hit the rest of the conference. Texas A&M (7-3) has reasonable computer numbers but no quality wins. Ole Miss (8-3) actually has some decent wins in the pocket (@Oregon, N-Creighton, N-Cincy), and not an awful SoS, but very marginal losses (WKU, Charleston Southern) are killing them right now. Vanderbilt (7-3) has SoS issues, a bad loss, and just marginal wins to lean on. Alabama (7-3) actually has no bad losses but no real quality wins either. Tennessee (6-4) is maybe a weird case. Beat Butler, Kansas St, lost to N-Marquette, and some other good teams...not sure what to do with them.
The bottom 3 are in their own tier. Auburn (6-5), Missouri (4-6), and Mississippi St (5-5) are too far off the pace.
Oh, and we should mention Kentucky (12-0), I guess. Top 5 SoS, signature wins everywhere. You don't need me to analyze them.