2011 Conference Predictions – SEC

The conference that has produced the last 5 national champions might see a bit of a shakeup this year.

Or at least that’s what the predictive 2011 wins says.

First off, what exactly is that crazy number at the bottom of my team previews, and why is always the last stat to present?

The answer to that question is this. It’s a formula called Predictive Pythagorean wins that can roughly guess wins, but is a far more useful tool for figuring out true team strength. The equation has been around for a while, and was used on Pro-Football-Reference.com’s blog section to start off. It basically uses two things…

  • How many games you won last year
  • Your pythagorean winning percentage, which was originally developed by legendary baseball sabermetrician Bill James for figuring out how many games a team should have won in a given year.

Pythagorean winning percentage can be multiplied by the amount of games the team played to get their Pythagorean wins. PWP(pythag. winning percentage), can show future results better than actual winning percentage, thus, it carries more weight than how many games your team actually won.

So, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are the SEC predictions for 2011….

Some things to point out here.

  • Maybe Auburn isn’t as hopeless as first thought. Second in the division according to this. Cam Newton, according to the wins produced formula, accounted for around 34% of Auburn’s wins last year. A large share? Yes, but considering the average starter should produce around 25% of his team’s wins, it’s not as dramatic as you would think.
  • Alabama was really, really unlucky last year. That team was easily the most talented team in the conference last year, but dropped 3 games somehow. They should rebound and contend for a national title this year
  • The 5th best team in the West would win the East this year.
  • Georgia could overtake South Carolina for the top spot in the East.
  • Florida could be a lot worse off that one would think. They were about a win better than what they actually posted, but still, it might not be enough to win the East.
  • You might notice that 11 teams are projected to have a winning record. No, I don’t expect 11 teams in the league to post a winning record, but 11 teams at least have the chance to.
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