One extra feature I'm adding to this week's Compu-Picks analysis is a closer look at the top six SEC teams, who are currently ranked 4th through 9th in the BCS.
There are a lot of different ways of looking at these six teams, who are of course all very good, but I'm going to try and focus this discussion on two different sets of results: the games they all played against each other, and the games they played against everyone else.
Let's start with the games they played against each other. Given that they're collectively undefeated against all other opponents, it's interesting to look at these results and see what they can tell us:
|Alabama||Louisiana State||AWAY||21 - 17|
|Florida||Louisiana State||HOME||14 - 6|
|Florida||South Carolina||HOME||44 - 11|
|Florida||Texas A&M||AWAY||20 - 17|
|Georgia||Florida||NEUTRAL||17 - 9|
|Louisiana State||South Carolina||HOME||23 - 21|
|Louisiana State||Texas A&M||AWAY||24 - 19|
|South Carolina||Georgia||HOME||35 - 7|
|Texas A&M||Alabama||AWAY||29 - 24|
This isn't quite a full round robin, but it's most of the way there. And in these games, here's how everyone has done:
Were we to just look at these games and nothing else, Florida would be a pretty obvious #1, the bottom 3 would be some combination of South Carolina, Texas A&M (worst records) and Georgia (blowout loss, close win), and Alabama and LSU would probably rate close to each other. Obviously this is a simplification (especially since A&M's win at Alabama is MUCH better than this analysis suggests), but it's worth noting how each of these teams have done against the best opponents they've faced to date.
|1||Alabama||Arkansas||AWAY||52 - 0|
|2||Texas A&M||Mississippi State||AWAY||38 - 13|
|3||Louisiana State||Washington||HOME||41 - 3|
|4||Alabama||Missouri||AWAY||42 - 10|
|5||Alabama||Mississippi State||HOME||38 - 7|
|6||Alabama||Tennessee||AWAY||44 - 13|
|7||Alabama||Western Kentucky||HOME||35 - 0|
|8||Georgia||Vanderbilt||HOME||48 - 3|
|9||Alabama||Michigan||NEUTRAL||41 - 14|
|10||Texas A&M||Arkansas||HOME||58 - 10|
|11||Texas A&M||Southern Methodist||AWAY||48 - 3|
|12||Georgia||Auburn||AWAY||38 - 0|
|13||Georgia||Mississippi||HOME||37 - 10|
|14||Florida||Vanderbilt||AWAY||31 - 17|
|15||Alabama||Mississippi||HOME||33 - 14|
|16||Georgia||Missouri||AWAY||41 - 20|
|17||Texas A&M||Auburn||AWAY||63 - 21|
|18||South Carolina||Missouri||HOME||31 - 10|
|19||Louisiana State||Mississippi State||HOME||37 - 17|
|20||Florida||Tennessee||AWAY||37 - 20|
|21||Alabama||Florida Atlantic||HOME||40 - 7|
|22||Florida||Kentucky||HOME||38 - 0|
|23||South Carolina||Arkansas||HOME||38 - 20|
|24||South Carolina||East Carolina||HOME||48 - 10|
|25||Louisiana State||North Texas||HOME||41 - 14|
|26||Florida||Missouri||HOME||14 - 7|
|27||Georgia||Florida Atlantic||HOME||56 - 20|
|28||South Carolina||Kentucky||AWAY||38 - 17|
|29||South Carolina||Alabama-Birmingham||HOME||49 - 6|
|30||South Carolina||Vanderbilt||AWAY||17 - 13|
|31||Florida||Louisiana-Lafayette||HOME||27 - 20|
|32||Texas A&M||Mississippi||AWAY||30 - 27|
|33||Florida||Bowling Green State||HOME||27 - 14|
|34||South Carolina||Tennessee||HOME||38 - 35|
|35||Georgia||Tennessee||HOME||51 - 44|
|36||Louisiana State||Idaho||HOME||63 - 14|
|37||Texas A&M||Louisiana Tech||AWAY||59 - 57|
|38||Georgia||Kentucky||AWAY||29 - 24|
|39||Georgia||Buffalo||HOME||45 - 23|
|40||Louisiana State||Auburn||AWAY||12 - 10|
Here is where Alabama's resume truly shines. Much like in last week's analysis of top unbeaten teams, Alabama almost exclusively occupies the top half of the list. The single game that's in the bottom half, their win over FAU, is (barely) in the bottom half more because it's just an irrelevant game against a bad opponent than due to anything disapointing about the performance.
Conversely, LSU plays the role of Notre Dame, almost exclusively occupying the bottom half of the list, including the worst performance of the lot, by a material margin, in their awful 12-10 squeaker over a train wreck Auburn squad. If you want to know why Compu-Picks puts LSU near Georgia and South Carolina instead of close to the top, this is why. To give context to that performance, the only losses by these six teams to get a game grade below 12-10 were the blowout losses by Georgia and South Carolina.
South Carolina is a similar story. Nothing like the Auburn showing, but still a bunch of lower-level performances. Too many struggles, not enough elite or even close to elite performances.
Texas A&M's major strength really was that their Alabama win was way better than just "won at a team 1-1 against the group," but at the same time they have a number of quite solid performances, and generally ended up on the higher rather than the lower end.
Florida's showings on this list are kind of blah. Nothing awesome, nothing sucky. A lack of elite performances is why they are rated 3rd best among the 6 despite a 3-1 record against the group. Still a solid resume, but you can see how things have slipped a bit when they haven't been facing top-notch opposition.
Finally, Georgia. Similar to Florida, there's some on the top end and some on the bottom end. 2 of the 3 worst games and 3 of the worst 6 definitely hurt them, but at the same time they had a few really solid performances too. Overall it's a mixed bag, but still enough to put them a touch above LSU and South Carolina.
There are a few important notes and caveats I need to make about this model:
1) Compu-Picks does not endorse implicitly or explicitly any form of illegal gambling. Compu-Picks is intended to be used for entertainment purposes only.
2) No guarantee or warranty is offered or implied by Compu-Picks for any information provided and/or predictions made.
Questions, comments or suggestions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org