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The SEC’s Best Bets For Undefeated Septembers

We’re now a full week into college football season and we’ve seen 13 of the SEC’s 14 schools in action.  Granted, some teams were playing patsies.  Others were probably being as vanilla as they possibly could.  And we still have no idea how some teams will fare on the road.

With so many unknowns, why not go ahead and try to predict which SEC squads have the best shots at making it through September unbeaten?  Makes sense, no?

Most folks will admit that picking games week to week is tough enough.  To do so weeks in advance — with no knowledge of who’ll be hurt or suspended — is true folly.  But we’ll give her a shot anyway.

Here’s our take on which SEC squads have the best chance of remaining unscathed by the time October rolls ’round:

 

Alabama (1-0, win over Michigan)

Remaining September Schedule:  Western Kentucky, at Arkansas, Florida Atlantic, Ole Miss

Comments:  Not to disrespect Western Kentucky or FAU, but Bama should win those two games easily.  Ditto against a thin Ole Miss squad.  That leaves a road game at Arkansas as the key.  Arkansas’ defense wasn’t great against little Jacksonville State last Saturday while everything about the Tide looked good against Michigan.  But the Tide looked great for the first part of 2010, too, even trouncing Florida at home… before losing at South Carolina the next week.  Arkansas shouldn’t be taken lightly, regardless of how good Bama looked on Saturday.  Still, though, if you’re playing the odds, you gotta like Alabama’s chances.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  95%

 

Arkansas (1-0, win over Jacksonville State)

Remaining September Schedule:  Louisiana-Monroe, Alabama, Rutgers, at Texas A&M

Comments:  Louisiana-Monroe should be a win.  Rutgers — with a first-year coach — should also be a victory.  As for Alabama and a yet-to-be-seen Texas A&M team?  That’s a bit trickier.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  50%

 

Auburn (0-1, loss to Clemson)

Remaining September Schedule:  at Mississippi State, Louisiana-Monroe, LSU, Open Date

Comments:  If Auburn doesn’t straighten things out quickly, the Tigers could possibly be 1-3 by the end of the month.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  Nil.  The Tigers have already lost to Clemson.

 

Florida (1-0, win over Bowling Green)

Remaining September Schedule:  at Texas A&M, at Tennessee, Kentucky, Open Date

Comments:  Kevin Sumlin is sure the Gators went vanilla against Bowling Green last week.  If so, they could still make it through September without a blemish.  If not, road games at A&M and at Tennessee could both be losses.  We think they were vanilla… but not that vanilla.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  50%

 

Georgia (1-0, win over Buffalo)

Remaining September Schedule:  at Missouri, Florida Atlantic, Vanderbilt, Tennessee

Comments:  FAU should be a win.  And UGA won’t overlook Vandy after last year’s tight contest and postgame brouhaha.  A road game at Missouri with — we expect — several players suspended will be very difficult.  And if Tennessee didn’t just play over its head in its opener, the Vols and Dawgs could stage quite the shootout in Athens at the end of the month.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September: 70%

 

Kentucky (0-1, loss to Louisville)

Remaining September Schedule:  Kent State, Western Kentucky, at Florida, South Carolina

Comments:  UK had better take care of Kent State and WKU because Florida and South Carolina will likely prove too much for Joker Phillips’ youthful squad.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  Zip.  The Cats have already lost to Louisville.

 

LSU (1-0, win over North Texas)

Remaining September Schedule:  Washington, Idaho, at Auburn, Towson State

Comments:  Washington could be pesky and Auburn might be a tough road test, but LSU’s schedule looks pretty favorable to us.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  95%

 

Ole Miss (1-0, win over Central Arkansas)

Remaining September Schedule:  UTEP, Texas, at Tulane, at Alabama

Comments:  The Rebels struggled with Central Arkansas for a half and yielded plenty of yards and points.  There’s a chance Ole Miss might not win again until October.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  1% if you believe in miracles.

 

Mississippi State (1-0, win over Jackson State)

Remaining September Schedule:  Auburn, at Troy, South Alabama, Open Date

Comments:  When three of your first four opponents are Jackson State, Troy and South Alabama you should go undefeated for the month.  But it all depends on whether MSU can get over the hump and finally topple Auburn.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  75%

 

Missouri (1-0, win over Southeastern Louisiana)

Remaining September Schedule:  Georgia, Arizona State, at South Carolina, at UCF

Comments:  Mizzou looked terrific in its opener against a greatly overmatched foe.  Georgia and Carolina will be a different type of contest altogether.  Arizona State’s got a new coach and should be a win.  UCF on the road could be trickier than most expect.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  40%

 

South Carolina (1-0, win over Vanderbilt)

Remaining September Schedule:  East Carolina, UAB, Missouri, at Kentucky

Comments:  USC’s defense should be good enough to bring home victories against ECU, UAB and UK.  Missouri might be able to put up enough points to make life tough on the pass-challenged Gamecocks.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  75%

 

Tennessee (1-0, win over North Carolina State)

Remaining September Schedule:  Georgia State, Florida, Akron, at Georgia

Comments:  Georgia State and Akron are cupcakes.  A home date with Florida and a road game at Georgia look like toss-ups if the Vol offense can be as consistently potent as it looked in Week One.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  50%

 

Texas A&M (0-0)

Remaining September Schedule:  Florida, at SMU, South Carolina State, Arkansas

Comments:  Throwing darts in the dark here.  The Aggies’ opener was postponed so we haven’t seen Kevin Sumlin, his new system or his new redshirt freshman quarterback.  SMU and SC State should be wins.  Florida and Arkansas both travel to College Station, but a homefield advantage might not be enough to pull off a pair of wins.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  30%

 

Vanderbilt (0-1, loss to South Carolina)

Remaining September Schedule:  at Northwestern, Presbyterian, at Georgia

Comments:  Presbyterian is a piece of pathetic scheduling, but Northwestern and Georgia on the road will be difficult.

Chance of Being Undefeated After September:  Bupkes.  The Dores already have a loss to South Carolina.

 

Final Tally:

Alabama, LSU– 95%

Mississippi State, South Carolina — 75%

Georgia — 70%

Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee — 50%

Missouri — 40%

Texas A&M — 30%

Ole Miss — 1%

Auburn, Kentucky, Vanderbilt — 0% as they’ve already lost

 

(UPDATE — Folks, it’s ridiculous that I have to write this, but in the age of comment boxes, I must.  The above piece is basically taking a look team by team at what we believe to be each squad’s chance of going undefeated in September.  We’re not doing math to determine actual percentages.  This is a ballpark exercise.  To us, Alabama has a 95% of winning all their games in the month.  We think they’re that good.  Arkansas — who Bama plays — is given a 50/50 shot at going undefeated.  Why?  How?  Because Arkansas would need to take care of business at Kyle Field and upset Alabama in addition to handling two lesser foes on its docket.  We give them a 50% chance of pulling that feat.  If you want to break out a computer and try to make the percentages add up… have at it.  But that’s not the point of this piece.  Never was.

In horse racing, for example, each horse is given odds.  You don’t add all the horses’ odds up as one big total.)

 


16 comments
YUNoProofread
YUNoProofread

Ole Miss has already lost? And here I was thinking they won last weekend.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

The percentages don't have to equal 100%. 

 

Just as the odds in a horse race don't have to equal some magic number.

 

We're simply saying, "This team's chance of going undefeated in September are, we think, 'bout 80%."  Or 30%.  Or 50%. 

 

If you don't get that... you're either dimwitted or just a smart aleck.  Either way, feel free to find another website.

 

John

Should_Be_Working
Should_Be_Working

John,  

As an educator, I must apologize for you having to explain what you meant when giving EACH TEAM'S percent chance of remaining undefeated through September.  I am afraid our education system is failing even worse than I feared.  Those of you confused about percentages, do us all a favor and go back and finish 5th grade.  John, keep up the good work (although it does hurt me to that you only gave Arkansas only a 50% chance of remaining undefeated, even though it's probably less than that after our performance last Saturday).  

Best Regards!

SouthernAggie
SouthernAggie

As an American, I hope you're not a math teacher. The percentages he assigned are mathematically impossible, and Alabama and Arkansas provide the clear example. Since they play each other, their percentages are not independent of each other. Their percentages should add up to less than 100%, to account for the possibility they could lose to another opponent. So, if you think Arkansas has a 30% chance of beating Alabama, then Arkansas would have a <30% chance of being remaining undefeated and Alabama would have a <70% chance.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

I think the comments are being a little hard on John. 60% of the time, he's right every time.

Math Guy
Math Guy

I think he thinks most games will end up in a tie with those percentages he gives...

SEC Fan
SEC Fan

You might want to check the 0% & overall tally.....you're only listing 12 teams & some of that info is wrong.

SEC Fan
SEC Fan

Vanderbilt (0-1, loss to Vanderbilt)

 

They did WHAT?

DawgInMemphis
DawgInMemphis

Been reading your stuff for a good while... Mr. SEC has some of the best writing out there.  Thanks for including humor and wit in your craft.

 

Hopefully this is the weekend Mullen and co. break through that SEC West barrier.  Hail State!

Thomas
Thomas

Sorry... Vandy-USC was in August. Calendars ARE tricky, I know.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Thomas...

 

I think it's pretty darn clear if you read the piece that we're talking about who'll be undefeated come October.  Matter of fact, here's the actual line:

 

"Here’s our take on which SEC squads have the best chance of remaining unscathed by the time October rolls ’round:"

 

Reading IS tricky, I know.

 

John

 

 

Thomas
Thomas

 @John at MrSEC I accept the shame that comes with realizing you are correct. Shouldn't comment when I have a migraine... sass leads to idiocy.

mikee4bama
mikee4bama

Yea ark is 50% for sept & bama 95% when they play each other 09/15?  Our mrsec guy has some great stuff but I think he might struggle with fractions!

Crayton
Crayton

I am not sure math is being used here.

 

Georgia and Tennessee have a combined chance of going 120%??? Ha

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

40% for Missouri is generous playing both Georgia and South Carolina in the month of September. If Mizzou goes undefeated in September, the entire state of Missouri will be on Cloud 9 and in the Top 5.

I4Bama
I4Bama

"Not to disrespect Western Kentucky or FAU, but Bama should win those two games easily."

 

Still laughing.  It's the gift that just keeps on giving.



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