Saturday, February 15, 2014

SEC Update

With seven games left in the season, it's finally time for UK and Florida -- the two top teams in the SEC -- to play each other.  They meet in Lexington tonight, and then the Cats travel to Ole Miss for a huge game on Tuesday night.  Those two games will do a lot to decide how the rest of UK's season plays out.

By the way, I would like to give a shout-out to Cuonzo Martin, who took over a UT program that had been shattered by Bruce Pearl's NCAA irregularities.  For the last three years, Martin has coached in a town still longing for Pearl's return, and in a conference featuring two of the best programs in America.  His 2012 team went 19-15.  His 2013 team went 20-13.  And this year the Vols are 15-9 and ranked 27th in the country by Ken Pomeroy.  The Vols are 6-2 in SEC games against teams not called Florida or Kentucky.  For this fine work, Martin was greeted by a column in Outkick the Coverage this week saying that he should be fired and replaced by Bruce Pearl.  I don't think that will happen, in large part because UT will be strongly favored in each of its last six regular-season games, and should go into the post-season on a roll.  But if UT goes in a different direction, I think other SEC teams could do worse than Coach Martin.

As for Florida, I think people should really start taking them seriously as a national championship contender.  They are playing extremely well, and are in a strong position to end up with a number one seed in the NCAA's.  Consider this fact:  SEC road teams are 23-54 this year in conference play.  Florida has gone 5-0 on the road.

4.  Florida:  11-0
14.  Kentucky:  9-2
79.  Mississippi:  7-4
96.  Georgia:  7-4
27.  Tennessee:  6-5
68.  Louisiana St:  6-5
44.  Missouri:  5-6
101.  Vanderbilt:  5-6
153.  Texas A & M:  5-6
52.  Arkansas:  4-7
104.  Alabama:  4-7
127.  Auburn:  3-8
231.  Mississippi St:  3-8
128.  S. Carolina:  2-9

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