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2011 SEC
College Football
Season Preview


Please note: Our conference reports analyze what the Congrove Computer Rankings preseason forecast predicts. Team power ratings change weekly during the season to reflect the actual results of the games. For projecting results, 3 points are added to the home team.

During the 2010 season, from beginning to end, including bowl games:
Overall, 11 teams gained 10 or more "power points". San Diego State led the gainers at 13.57, followed by Hawaii at 13.28.
In the SEC, Auburn gained the most at 10.20.
Overall, 16 teams gained 5.00 - 9.99 points.
Overall, 28 teams gained less than 5 points.
Overall, 34 teams fell less than 5 points.
Overall, 28 teams fell 5.00-9.99 points.
Overall, 3 teams fell 10 power points or more. Texas fell the most at 15.88, followed by Buffalo at 10.73.
In the SEC, Florida fell the most at 7.17
Overall, the average change of teams in 2010 was a loss of 0.02 points.
In the SEC, the average change of teams in 2010 was a gain of 2.05 points.

2011 Projected Order Of Finish
East
Team Over-All
W-L
Conf.
W-L
Nat'l
Rank
Power
Rating
Sched.
Rank
1. South Carolina 10-2 6-2 15 80.51 43
2. Florida 7-5 4-4 54 73.77 21
3. *-Georgia 6-6 3-5 62 70.23 42
4. *-Kentucky 7-5 3-5 59 69.39 51
5. Tennessee 6-6 2-6 64 68.78 30
6. Vanderbilt 1-11 0-8 115 57.83 26
*-Tie-breakers: Georgia beats Kentucky


West
Team Over-All
W-L
Conf.
W-L
Nat'l
Rank
Power
Rating
Sched.
Rank
1. Alabama 12-0 8-0 2 91.50 39
2. LSU 11-1 7-1 6 89.81 13
3. Arkansas 9-3 6-2 21 83.76 16
4. Mississippi State 9-3 5-3 25 81.12 35
5. Auburn 6-6 3-5 60 74.00 10
6. Mississippi 3-9 1-7 99 64.66 15
*-Tie-breaker: None


Championship: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 in Atlanta at 4:00 ET on CBS
South Carolina VS. Alabama


Conference Champ
Alabama
Title Game Result: Alabama over South Carolina by 10.99

2011 Conference Preview

Also See:
SEC Media Preseason Poll
All-SEC Preseason Team - Coaches
All-SEC Preseason Team - Media

Preview

The big question, of course, is whether or not the SEC can make it 6 BCS titles in a row. The answer is that the conference will be represented, but will be a slight underdog in the game itself.

The Congrove Computer Rankings forecast an Oklahoma-Alabama championship game with the Sooners favored by a mere 0.54 points. The Crimson Tide get there by surviving the regular season unscathed and then dispatching South Carolina by 10.99 points in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. The Tide and Gamecocks do not meet this year in the regular season.

'Bama will have to get by LSU, though, and the Tigers are only 4.69-point underdog in Tuscaloosa on November 5th. Nick Saban's team is also just a 7.39-point pick at Mississippi State the following week.

LSU's chances for a national title run may have taken a hit, just days before the season kicks off, with the suspensions of QB Jordan Jefferson and WR Russell Shepard in separate incidents. It is unclear how long either suspension could last. The Bayou Bengals have a solid backup QB in senior Jarrett Lee who had a better TD-interception ratio than Jefferson, and a higher completion percentage. The difference is in each QB's style of play - Jefferson is a dual-threat QB who was the teams' 2nd-leading rusher last year, while Lee is a dropback passer.

Arkansas is lying in wait for both the Tide and Tigers to slip up. The Hogs are picked to go 9-3 with their only losses coming on the road to Alabama, Texas A&M (at Arlington) and LSU.

The 9-3 forecast for Mississippi State is the best preseason projection ever given the Bulldogs in the 19-year history of the Congrove Computer Rankings. The team has reached 9 regular season wins just once since the CCR's inception in 1993 and that came in 1999 when it went 9-2.

Other computer "firsts" in this season's forecast include a 10-2 projection for South Carolina, representing the best preseason projection ever given the Gamecocks.

Conversely, the 6-6 forecast given to Georgia is the worst preseason projection ever given the Bulldogs. And a 1-11 forecast ties for the worst preseason projection ever given to Vanderbilt. It also picked last year's squad to go 1-11.

Overall, the computer sees 10 SEC teams qualifying for the bowl season with only Vandy and Ole Miss being left out of the party.

Georgia barely makes it, however, with a 6-6 forecast that would likely spell the end of Mark Richt's job as head coach. And Florida limps in at 7-5 in the first year of the hybrid Will Muschamp-Charlie Weis experiment.

Vanderbilt is the only other SEC team to make a head coaching change in the offseason. The Commodores hired James Franklin away from Maryland where he was the head coach-in-waiting.

Last year's national champions, Auburn, barely gets qualified for the postseason with a 6-6 record, along with Tennessee.

If the computer's forecast of a 7-5 season for Kentucky holds true, it would be the 6th straight year that the Wildcats completed a regular season with a record of either 6-6 or 7-5.



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