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Updated SEC football projections after 9 weeks

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This morning, I used F/+ projections to help figure out what to expect from the national title race. In this space, let's go back to the conference races.

Kevin C. Cox

Win projections

The big result of Week 9 for the SEC was obviously LSU's win over Ole Miss. The Rebels saw their win projections drop a good amount (as is usually the case when you lose a game the numbers expect you to win), and LSU looked good enough in defeating Ole Miss that they now have a puncher's chance at reaching 6-2 and giving us the five-way, 6-2 West tie we've dreamed of ever so.

Odds of SEC conference records
East F/+ Ranking Proj. Conf. Wins Last Week (Change) With Week 10 win With Week 10 loss
Georgia (4-1, 6-1) 14 6.20 6.55 (-0.34) 6.25 5.25
Missouri (3-1, 6-2) 39 5.29 5.84 (-0.55) 5.44 4.44
Florida (2-3, 3-3) 56 3.55 3.26 (+0.29) 4.50 3.50
Tennessee (0-4, 3-5) 37 3.11 3.21 (-0.10) 3.47 2.47
South Carolina (2-4, 4-4) 52 2.76 3.17 (-0.41) 3.39 2.39
Kentucky (2-3, 5-3) 72 2.36 2.21 (+0.14) 3.20 2.20
Vanderbilt (0-5, 2-6) 115 0.17 0.16 (+0.01)

West F/+ Ranking Proj. Conf. Wins Last Week (Change) With Week 10 win With Week 10 loss
Mississippi State (4-0, 7-0) 4 6.52 6.44 (+0.09) 6.60 5.60
Ole Miss (4-1, 7-1) 1 6.23 7.42 (-1.19) 6.59 5.59
Alabama (4-1, 7-1) 3 5.95 6.01 (-0.07)

Auburn (3-1, 6-1) 2 5.41 4.84 (+0.57) 6.05 5.05
LSU (3-2, 7-2) 12 5.02 3.89 (+1.13)

Texas A&M (2-3, 5-3) 62 2.45 2.46 (-0.01)

Arkansas (0-4, 4-4) 35 0.99 0.55 (+0.43) 1.91 0.91

Mississippi State is the most obvious beneficiary of Ole Miss' loss; the Bulldogs now have a slight edge in the projected wins department. But obviously they'll still probably have to win in Tuscaloosa or Oxford to actually take the West crown.

EAST
Major contenders: Georgia
Minor contenders: Missouri

Missouri just keeps hanging around. If Georgia slips up against Florida, Kentucky (in Lexington!) or Auburn, the Tigers could move ahead in the East race if they handle their business. Of course, having watched every Mizzou snap this year, it's hard for me to imagine that this team wins each of the last four games, as would probably be required. (Technically, yes, they could lose again and win the East if Georgia loses twice more to finish 5-3.)

Mizzou's legitimately strong defense and special teams have kept them in the race to date, but the offense still has a long way to go, and Georgia is not only 14th overall in F/+, but the Dawgs seem to also still be improving. I have to figure Georgia pulls away in this race, though as a Mizzou fan I'd be thrilled to be proven wrong.

WEST
Serious contenders: Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama
Minor contenders: Auburn, LSU

It's funny seeing that Auburn is the No. 2 team in the country and then calling the Tigers a "minor contender," but that's just what happens when you've got November road trips to No. 1 Ole Miss, No. 3 Alabama, and No. 14 Georgia. Even as the second-best team in the country, Auburn is probably looking at 2-1 at best in that stretch. So that leaves MSU, Ole Miss, and Alabama. The one-game advantage in the loss column gives the Bulldogs the best odds here, but again, they'll have to actually win at Ole Miss or Alabama to maintain that advantage.

Slog Level Delta

Here are the odds of a division champion finishing with a particular record:

Record East Winner West Winner
4-4 0.0% 0.0%
5-3 4.4% 0.0%
6-2 61.6% 9.7%
7-1 34.0% 81.6%
8-0 0.0% 8.7%

A couple of people asked me to look into the possibility of a five-way West tie at 6-2. Obviously it's still on the table thanks to LSU, but as we see above, the odds of a 6-2 West champion are small, simply because that would require Auburn to lose once more (and only once more), Alabama to lose once more, Ole Miss to lose once more, and MSU to lose twice.

Still, it appears there's a 1.43% chance of a five-way tie. That's better than 0.0%, anyway.

All Projections

Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
10 01-Nov-14 Arkansas Mississippi State 7.9%
10 01-Nov-14 Auburn Ole Miss 35.7%
10 01-Nov-14 Florida Georgia 4.8%
10 01-Nov-14 Kentucky Missouri 15.6%
10 01-Nov-14 Tennessee South Carolina 63.4%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
11 08-Nov-14 Alabama LSU 64.9%
11 08-Nov-14 Florida Vanderbilt 89.2%
11 08-Nov-14 Georgia Kentucky 94.1%
11 08-Nov-14 Texas A&M Auburn 1.4%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
12 15-Nov-14 Auburn Georgia 68.7%
12 15-Nov-14 Kentucky Tennessee 14.2%
12 15-Nov-14 LSU Arkansas 75.7%
12 15-Nov-14 Mississippi State Alabama 32.9%
12 15-Nov-14 Missouri Texas A&M 65.0%
12 15-Nov-14 South Carolina Florida 39.2%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
13 22-Nov-14 Missouri Tennessee 34.5%
13 22-Nov-14 Ole Miss Arkansas 88.4%
13 22-Nov-14 Vanderbilt Mississippi State 1.4%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
14 27-Nov-14 LSU Texas A&M 91.0%
14 28-Nov-14 Arkansas Missouri 56.6%
14 29-Nov-14 Auburn Alabama 38.5%
14 29-Nov-14 Mississippi State Ole Miss 30.4%
14 29-Nov-14 Tennessee Vanderbilt 95.9%