Sunday, February 21, 2021

Bubble watch: SEC

Yes, this is moving slower than anticipated.  First bracket will come sometime next week.

SEC seems to be the easiest conference in the world to project.  6 teams in good shape and everyone else in terrible shape.  That said, I'm surprised the top 6 haven't separated in the conference standings more than they have already.  I think the unbalanced schedule has created a bit of a mess here.  But I'm disappointed that Missouri and Florida and Tennessee in particular haven't separated from the bottom half of the conference more clearly.

Lockbox


Alabama (18-5) (13-1) NET 8  SoS 22
Vital signs:  7-3 vs. Q1, 5-1 vs. Q2, 7-4 R/N
Signature wins:  @Tennessee, @LSU, Arkansas, etc etc
Bad losses:  WKU, if that counts

That one Q3 loss is probably juuuuust enough to keep them off the 1 line.  Everything about the resume is pretty rock-solid.  No other home losses, enough quality road wins, great metrics across the board.

Arkansas (17-5) (9-4) NET 25 SoS 61
Vital signs:  4-4 vs. Q1, 4-1 vs. Q2, 4-4 R/N
Signature wins:  @Missouri, Florida, @Kentucky?
Bad losses:  none realy

This seems like the classic resume of a team that beats everyone they should, but loses to everyone they should too.  They've missed most their chances at the biggest signature wins, which will limit their seed upside to maybe the 4 or 5 line.  Safely in, though, obviously.

LSU (14-6) (9-4) NET 27 SoS 19
Vital signs:  3-6 vs. Q1, 3-0 vs. Q2, 4-4 R/N
Signature wins:  Tennessee, Arkansas, @Ole Miss?
Bad losses:  @Kentucky I suppose

No losses outside of Q1, solid SoS numbers, and a generally inoffensive resume means they're a tournament lock.  However, with the lack of quality road wins, it's tough to argue they belong anywhere around a protected seed.  8 line is where they're at, and it sounds about right.

Tennessee (15-6) (8-6) NET 17 SoS 117
Vital signs:  5-4 vs. Q1, 1-2 vs. Q2, 3-3 R/N
Signature wins:  @Missouri, Kansas, Colorado
Bad losses:  Kentucky

At least with this team, they're some non-con results that give them extra support.  There's some good home wins...and a couple dumb home losses.  With the SoS numbers being a bit low, I kind of put them in the same bucket as Arkansas and LSU; maybe slightly higher because of NET.  4 line seems aggressive for them, unless the eye test is getting thrown in.

Missouri (14-6) (7-6) NET 37 SoS 14
Vital signs:  6-4 vs. Q1, 3-2 vs. Q2, 6-4 R/N
Signature wins:  Illinois, Alabama, @Tennessee
Bad losses:  @Georgia and MSU?

lol what.  They're 4-0 vs. Q1A.  That's hilarious.  and 6 losses outside of Q1A.  What in the world is this resume.  Beat Tennessee and Arkansas on the road....lost to them at home.  Such a weird resume.  Ultimately.....bad NET, but great SoS, high end wins...I dunno.  Too many losses to be a 1 or 2 seed perhaps, but no reason they can't be a protected seed - IF they win the games they're supposed to.  They don't need quality wins right now for the resume, they just need steady results.

Bubble


Florida (11-6) (7-5) NET 30 SoS 50
Vital signs:  3-3 vs. Q1, 3-2 vs. Q2, 5-4 R/N
Signature wins:  @WVU, Tennessee, LSU
Bad losses:  S Carolina, Kentucky, @MSU

What's mostly different here is the dumb losses are a little more dumb than the teams above them.  Their quality win chances down the stretch appear to be limited, so I'm a bit nervous about this resume if they do something stupid.  It seems like they're down on games played compared to everyone else; this is a resume that kind of really needs volume.  They need to make up some games; I think it'll have a direct impact on their resume.

Is it just me or does the conference fall off a cliff after Florida?

Ole Miss (12-9) (7-7) NET 60 SoS 78
Vital signs:  2-4 vs. Q1, 4-3 vs. Q2, 4-5 R/N
Signature wins:  Tennessee, @Auburn?  Missouri
Bad losses:  MSU, Georgia

The entire resume is basically a home win over Tennessee.  I give them half a chance if they pick off Missouri on the road.

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