Can Alabama repeat as SEC champions this year?

Published 3:51pm Friday, July 23, 2010

OK! The gauntlet has been set.

The media at the SEC media days picked Alabama to repeat as champs of the league today…can they do it?

When it comes to predictions in any sport before their particular season is set to begin, I love to look and see what is predicted and how they end up after season’s end.

In my filing cabinet to my left as I sit here and type this, I have the predictions by ESPN of who will win the 2010 World Series. The Phillies lead the way in that prediction with 11 picks to be the Series champs. Just an FYI as of right now, they are 7 games back of the Braves in the National League East and 3 1/2 back in the wildcard.

Back to the SEC picks from media days.

Looking at different articles from today after news of the picks hit the Web, here are some facts of the picks about the media and the SEC picks:

• Only four favorites in the past 18 seasons have gone on to win the title.

• Since 1992, the year the SEC expanded to 12 teams and split into two divisions, the news media have only a .222 success rate in forecasting the race.

• An SEC school has won a national championship eight times since 1992. Six of those winners were not the preseason SEC favorite. The exceptions were LSU in 2007 and Florida in 2008.

• Four times since 1992, a defending national champion has been picked to win the SEC title. None of those four teams went on to wear a league crown.

• Alabama has been the preseason favorite twice in the past 18 years, but it failed to win the championship either time. In 1993, it lost to Florida in the SEC championship game. In 2000, the Crimson Tide finished 3-8.

• In the past 18 years, 11 favorites haven’t even won a division championship.

Here is a list I found of the favorite to win that year and the actual champion. (See if you can spot a trend. Here is a hint: the predicted winner and the actual winner are wrong more times than they are right!)
1992- Florida/Alabama
1993- Alabama/Florida
1994- Florida/Florida
1995- Florida/Florida
1996- Tennessee/Florida
1997- Florida/Tennessee
1998- Florida/Tennessee
1999- Tennessee/Alabama
2000- Alabama/Florida
2001- Florida/LSU
2002- Tennessee/Georgia
2003- Auburn/LSU
2004- Georgia/Auburn
2005- Tennessee/Georgia
2006- Auburn/Florida
2007- LSU/LSU
2008- Florida/Florida
2009- Florida/Alabama

According to the media vote from this year, Alabama will win the West and Florida will win the East and will meet in the SEC championship game for a third straight year, with the Crimson Tide winning. The two teams will play earlier in the season this year in Tuscaloosa Oct. 2. How big would a rematch from last year’s championship game be and a rematch from earlier in the season?

Just a side note as well, the last team to repeat as SEC champion was Tennessee in 1997 and 1998. Does that put more pressure on the Crimson Tide this season?

For the votes this year, every league team received at least one vote to win the SEC championship with the exception of Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, but the Commodores did receive a first-place vote in the Eastern Division.

Here’s a look at how the voting went in the two divisions:

Eastern Division (First Place Votes)
1. Florida (153) 1030
2. Georgia (15) 791
3. South Carolina (8) 790
4. Kentucky 462
5. Tennessee 450
6. Vanderbilt (1) 194

Western Division (First Place Votes)
1. Alabama (157) 1034
2. Arkansas (6) 726
3. Auburn (10) 691
4. LSU (1) 653
5. Mississippi State 320
6. Ole Miss (3) 293

Also, here’s a look at how the voting went for the SEC champion: Alabama led with 143 while Florida followed with 17, Auburn (7), Arkansas (3), Ole Miss (2), Georgia (2), LSU (1), South Carolina (1), Kentucky (1).

Hopefully for our upcoming 2010 football tab, I will be able to make my predictions for T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal this fall. I enjoyed that last season. I think I only missed one game for each school as for them winning or losing that game. I had T.R. Miller beating Straughn and W.S. Neal beating Hillcrest, but those two games went the other way. And just for the record, I predicted W.S. Neal’s score against Monroe County right on the nose!

I am going to go ahead and stick my head out on the limb and make four predictions this year. No. 1, I think Alabama WILL REPEAT as champs this year. No. 2, I predict that if Alabama and Florida do meet in the championship game, the winner of the SEC championship game will not be the winner of the regular season game. No. 3, predictions are just predictions and rarely does anyone go perfect in their predictions and will be wrong in one of these predictions. And, last but not least, No. 4 concerning predictions for T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal, I am going to go ahead and pick the winner of  the Battle of Murder Creek for this year. And the winner is……drum roll please………are you kidding me? You think I am going to predict this game? NEVER!

Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s edition of the blog. I tried to interject a little humor into the blog today, with some seriousness. I hope everyone has had a great week and will have a great weekend. Until we meet again here or out in the world of sports, God bless.

Editor's Picks

Please go vote

In less than one week, voters will go to the polls to begin to determine who will be the next leaders of our state and ... Read more