SEC Report Cards
Making The Grade In The SEC
By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The regular season is over in the SEC for the 2017 football season. Nine SEC teams are going to bowl games, and two are going into the college football playoff.
Overall Conference grade: C
Ole Miss tried to cheat their way to a title and big 6 members Florida and Tennessee are dumpster fires is ultimately what kept this grade from being higher.
For the first time in the new playoff format two teams from same conference, Alabama and Georgia made the final four while the Big 10 and PAC 12 champions got passed over.
Individual Team Grades:
Alabama: B+. The loss at Auburn kept the Tide out of the SEC title game but sitting at 11-1 Alabama will play Clemson in the Sugar Bowl in a national semifinal game.
The LB corps have been decimated by injuries, and Jalen Hurts needs to throw the ball better. Nick Saban is still the best coach in football.
Arkansas: D-. Bret got fired and the Hogs looked awful for most of the season. No bowl and a 1-7 record in the conference and 4-8 overall. Enter Chad Morris to fix this mess.
Auburn: B+. The Tigers beat two number one teams Georgia and Alabama at home in November, but blew a 20-point lead at LSU who lost to Troy.
Kerryon Johnson was the SEC Offensive player of the year and the defense played well all season. The blowout loss to UGA in the SEC Title game kept this from being an A grade.
Florida: F. Worst Florida team I have seen since the late 70’s. The offense was offensive with no QB play and this team mailed it in after the LSU game. Dan Mullen has been hired to fix this huge mess. Mullen has to change the culture in Gainesville.
Georgia: A. 2017 SEC Champions. Roquan Smith is SEC Defensive Player of the year, Kirby is SEC Coach of the year, and Jake Fromm is SEC Freshman of the year. In year two Kirby has won a title and gotten a Rose Bowl against Oklahoma in National Semifinal on NYD. Could be a really special year in Athens.
Kentucky: B. A seven win football season in Lexington does not come often. The Music City Bowl game against Northwestern upcoming. Nice season for the Cats.
LSU: B-. A loss to Troy and getting blown out in Starkville won’t cut it in Red Stick but the season turned with the Auburn win and the Tigers outplayed Alabama everywhere but the scoreboard in Tuscaloosa.
A win over Notre Dame in Citrus Bowl would get the Tigers to 10 wins and set them up for an SEC title run in 2018.
Mississippi State: B: Nice season in Starkville. The loss to Ole Miss was a fluke with the Nick Fitzgerald injury 5 minutes into the ball game.
Missouri: B. Most improved team in the SEC in the last half of the season and a Bowl game against Texas. Drew Lock throws the best deep ball in the league.
Ole Miss: F. Matt Luke will clean up that stinking cheating culture in Oxford.
South Carolina: B+. I like where Coach Muschamp is taking this program. The Gamecocks will beat Michigan in the Outback Bowl to get to 9 wins.
Tennessee: F-. 0-8 in the SEC and it has taken almost a month to find a coach. This program has hit rock bottom. May take 3-4 years to recover from this train wreck. Phil Fulmer is on the job as AD now and that is good unless Steve Spurrier takes an AD job in the conference. Spurrier owns Fulmer.
Texas A&M: C. Kevin Sumlin got fired with a 51-26 record in College Station. Enter Jimbo Fisher at a price tag of $75 million.
Vanderbilt: C. About what I expect from Vandy. Derek Mason is a very good coach who deserves a better opportunity to win at a bigger program.
What if we have a Bama/UGA national title game? The national media will want to blow up this current playoff format.