Typically with the Southeastern Conference, if a team finishes with under four losses, they’re successful. That’s not always the case, but for the most part, it’s the benchmark.
Alabama is, of course, a winner this season, as they have perhaps the most dominant team in college football history. Georgia could also find itself in a National Championship game as they’ve had a terrific season, too.
But, let’s examine some of the not-so-obvious winners and losers.
Florida – An offseason full of memes about Dan Mullen looking goofy in Jordan’s produced a 9-3 season. It appears Feleipe Franks settled in at the quarterback position which was expected under Mullen who’s coached Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott. The Gators finished the regular season with a dominant win over rival Florida State, and should play in a New Years Six Bowl.
LSU – No one was on the hot seat more than Ed Orgeron at the beginning of the season. Eddy O turned that into a 9-3 season, and it would have been 10-2 if not for an overtime game against Texas A&M the Tigers should have won. LSU also dominated the East Champion Georgia Bulldogs 36-16. Joe Burrow should be back next year and should improve an offense which sputtered at times.
Mississippi State – Anytime a long-time coach leaves, you expect a downgrade in the first season under the new coach. Joe Moorhead didn’t let that happen. The Bulldogs finished 8-4 and all of their losses came to ranked teams. The Bulldogs didn’t have the strongest recruiting class last year, so hopefully their successful season will help that.
South Carolina – This was supposed to be the year the Gamecocks competed for the east with Jake Bentley returning. Almost every game they played in the SEC was a nail-biter, so you could say some games could have went their way, but just as easily say some games could have gone the other way. Their defense didn’t look improved and that’s Muschamp’s baby. They gave up 44 to Ole Miss, 56 to Clemson, 35 to Florida and 41 to Georgia.
Auburn – Gus Malzahn has been on the hot seat a couple of times in his tenure at Auburn and that seat got a lot hotter this off-season. The Tigers will play in a bowl game, but the 7-5 finish to the regular season was not what fans expected with Jarrett Stidham at the quarterback slot. Their offense played like they had ankle weights on all year, especially in the running game, the backbone of Malzahn’s offense.
Tennessee – Tennessee looked to take a step back after the Kentucky game. Pruitt and staff were flying high looking for a bowl game and got embarrassed by Missouri (50-17) and Vanderbilt (38-13). Offensive Coordinator Tyson Helton is taking Western Kentucky’s head coaching job and Pruitt will have a very important coaching hire to make this off-season. Their offense was lackluster all year and appeared hampered by conservative play calling. The only bright spot was a much-improved defense with most of the dynamic plays coming from freshmen.