Sunday, September 16, 2012

SEC Expectation Scorecard, Week 3 | The Expectation Battles

Updated expectation scoreboard for the SEC is here. But, I've been thinking (and I've known this for some time) - fan bases are incredibly short-term centric, and the changes in expectations from off-season to in-season are dramatic.

In this, lies either the inaccuracy or ingeniousness of my expectation scoreboard. We can account for both.

So I can get it out of the way, the updated preseason expectation scorecard:
Click to enlarge.
Tennessee +2
Ole Miss +1
Missouri +1
Miss State +1
Florida E
Georgia E
South Carolina E
Alabama E
Texas A&M E
Auburn -1
Kentucky -2
Arkansas -2
Vandy -2

And, if we could all just remember (and stick with what we thought the season was going to be like, then this would probably be pretty accurate. Problem, like stated above, is that we change our expectations. This is where things get dangerous for coaches, because think about it - who is it that answers for expectations? The coaches. It's their fault or to their credit on where the team performs against them.

So, based on where you thought the Tennessee Vol fan base's expectations were going into this weekend, should they still be on top of these rankers?

Or how about Auburn barely holding on against ULM? To be only just below offseason expectations feels a bit generous doesn't it?

I bet you'd dock points from both.

Tennessee should be at EVEN - because they are doing exactly what you would have thought going into the year... with Dooley making a mess in his and Vol Nations' collective orange pants.

Auburn? If it wasn't for John L. Smith, Gene Chizik would have the lowest Q Score of all SEC coaches right now. (Apologies to Joker Phillips - he'd be up there too if anyone in Kentucky cared.)

And that ain't good - Chizik needs to set a higher bar than John L.

It works the other way, too - if your team is kicking ass, then you can get some bump. As in, I expected Alabama to win its first three games. I didn't expect them to beat the shit out of everyone like this. Plus 1 for Nasty Nick.

Georgia, South Carolina, and LSU are all right on with expectations so far - LSU really doesn't have a shot at picking anything up until October, so they'll have to hold tight (unless they throw up 80 on Auburn, then we can reconsider).

So, let's adjust the scorecard:
Ole Miss +1 (Hey, they shouldn't have been anywhere close to Texas Saturday, and they weren't. That's right in line.)
Missouri +1 (It's been a fine introductory season. They are where they should be, or even a little better.)
Miss State +1 (The Mullen train has got a shot to win 10 games. Holy mackerel.)
*Alabama +1 (From 'EVEN'. Stomping mudholes has become de facto in Tuscaloosa, but this is ridiculous.)
Florida E (Still not sold on the QB situation, as Florida has to continue to rely on Trey Burton's seventh year of eligibility to help them score. Good athletes all over, though, and that beats Tennessee.)
Georgia E (Playing northeast Georgia junior high teams.)
South Carolina E (Winning ugly, but I've become accustomed to it.)
LSU E (Just waiting on their season to begin.)
Texas A&M E (Not scoring at the rate Sumlin wants, so Sumlin should change his expectations.)
*Tennessee E (From +2. As far as expectations are concerned, the Vols fell in love after Week 1. Oh, they will be disappointed. Don't get those hopes up, Knoxville. And start passing the hat for Petrino before someone else does.)
Vandy -2 (I like James Franklin, the coach. Good attitude for Vandy, but the air is coming out of the balloon.)
*Auburn -3 (From -1. Fans are fed up, but they have been using the "but he's a good guy" excuse. Georgia fans must be lending it to them this year. The lack of player development at Auburn is starting to raise a lot of eyebrows. 5-19? Mmmph. Auburn fans were expecting a little more than this.)
*Kentucky -4 (From -2. There's one thing to lose to a team that's better than you, but when you are the state's university, you shouldn't be the third best team in the state. Bobby Petrino is #1 on speed dial.)
*Arkansas -Infinity (From -2. I don't know the keyboard code for 'infinity' so please pass along if you do. I called it from the jump that this was going to be a disaster. But boy, I had no idea it was going to be this bad.)

Now, I'm not sure this all makes sense, but I benefit from college fan bases and college sports from not making much sense, either. So don't hate on me, hate the game. But it's like the value of football tickets over the course of the season, expectations move with the successes and perceptions of the on-field product. Up and down.

Then after it's all over, you say, "Well, what did we expect was going to happen?"

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