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SEC Spring Football Stability Ratings

Smack-dab in the heart of spring practice, we at MrSEC.com thought it would be a good time to step back and taken inventory of where each SEC football program stands as it heads into the fall of 2012.

As is usually the case around here, we looked to back things up with some numbers.  So below you’ll see that we’ve ranked the SEC’s programs — East and then West — according to their status in a number of categories.

Here’s how our formula works:


* Stability at head coach = 10 points

* Stability at offensive coordinator = 10 points

* Stability at defensive coordinator = 10 points

* Stability at starting quarterback = 10 points

* Total number of starters expected to return = 1 point per starter

* Total number of 2011 SEC wins for 2012 foes = -1 point per opponent’s victory (Missouri and Texas A&M — for argument’s sake — were graded as though they’d gone 4-4 last season… so -4 if they’re on a team’s schedule)

* Hot seat questions about coach or turmoil in the program = – 10 points


Before we show the results, let’s be clear that we understand that it’s entirely likely that fans of a school will view any coaching change as a positive.  The same goes for some quarterback departures.  But we’re grading stability here and no one can truly project who’s do what when the games start this fall.  (After all, the same coordinators and QBs you hated last year were once viewed as your squad’s saviors.)

One school — South Carolina — has lost its true defensive coordinator but promoted it’s co-defensive coordinator from within.  We gave them 5 points rather than the full 10 on the stability scale for that reason.  Paul Petrino has returned as Arkansas’ offensive coordinator after a short absence so they got 5 points on the stability scale, too.

Also, we look at which teams have their starting quarterbacks from a year ago on the roster.  That doesn’t mean last year’s starter will win the job in 2012.

Finally, we’ll explain why we’ve deducted “stress & turmoil” points for some schools as we lay out the list.

Now, to the numbers for the SEC East:


School
Opp. SEC Wins
Starters Back
QB Back
HC Back
OC Back
DC Back
Stress & Turmoil
Total Points
UGA
-22
15
10
10
10
10
0
33
VU
-27
18
10
10
10
10
0
31
USC
-33
14
10
10
10
5
0
16
UK
-31
13
10
10
10
10
-10
12
MU
-32
13
10
10
10
10
-10
11
UT
-33
20
10
10
10
0
-10
7
UF
-34
18
0
10
0
10
-10
-6



These aren’t our projections for the fall standings, of course, just a look at which programs appear to be most stable this spring moving forward.

We’ve deducted “Stress & Turmoil” points from Kentucky (Joker Phillips is on the hot seat), Missouri (they’re switching leagues and their starting quarterback is now a question mark due to injury), Tennessee (Derek Dooley is on the hot seat, 7/9ths of his staff has changed and their were team unity problems last year) and Florida (Will Muschamp will start to hear more Ron Zook talk if he doesn’t have a better Year Two than Year One).

Now for the SEC West:


School
Opp. SEC Wins
Starters Back
QB Back
HC Back
OC Back
DC Back
Stress & Turmoil
Total Points
ALA
-29
13
10
10
0
10
0
14
LSU
-32
14
0
10
10
10
0
12
ARK
-33
15
10
10
5
0
0
7
MSU
-32
13
0
10
10
10
-10
1
AUB
-36
18
10
10
0
0
-10
-8
UM
-40
17
10
0
0
0
-10
-23
A&M
-34
16
0
0
0
0
-10
-28



Again, these aren’t our fall projections.  We’re simply looking at which programs appear to be the most stable headed toward their fall schedule.

We’ve deducted “Stress & Turmoil” points from Mississippi State (last year was a step back and Dan Mullen needs to beat someone in the SEC West other than Ole Miss), Auburn (turnover with the coordinators and folks asking how good Gene Chizik really is), Ole Miss (turnover across the board), and Texas A&M (turnover across the board plus they’re switching conferences).


Observations:

Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina look to be in good shape overall.  Ditto Vanderbilt, though they’re successes are judged at a different level for now.

The numbers suggest Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Florida have the most obstacles to overcome over the next few weeks and months.  Doesn’t mean they can’t do it… just means they have more question marks.

As for those teams in the middle — Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi State — it appears they’re in decent shape heading into “prove it” years or their programs and their coaches.  Moving from the Big 12 to the SEC, this season will obviously be such a year for Missouri, too.

We’ll discuss these numbers tonight on CSS’ “SportsNite” in a bit more detail.  Hope you’ll join us at 6pm ET.

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