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Grading the SEC

The final grades for the 2010 season are in for all 12 SEC teams, and here’s a quick review:

  • Alabama: B-

  • Arkansas: B+

  • Auburn: A+

  • Florida: C-

  • Georgia: D-

  • Kentucky: C-

  • LSU: B+

  • Mississippi State: B+

  • Ole Miss: D

  • South Carolina: B+

  • Tennessee: C+

  • Vanderbilt: D

These grades were based in part on preseason expectations coupled with what teams were able to get out of their talent level. Consistency counted. Doing something you hadn’t done in a while (or ever) counted, and so did finishing the season on a strong note. Those teams that played below their talent level were graded down. Those teams that persevered received bonus points. It’s important to remember that all grades aren’t created equal, either. For instance, Arkansas and LSU were both better football teams than South Carolina, but the fact that the Gamecocks made it to the SEC championship game for the first time in school history was enough to get them a B+. If you have a problem with your school’s grade, you’re welcome to go through the appeals process.

Overall, the SEC gets a B+. Six teams ended the season nationally ranked in the two polls, including five in the top 15. Counting bowl games, the SEC was 15-10 against other BCS conference schools. Auburn captured the league’s fifth straight BCS national championship, and four teams won 10 or more games (Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn and LSU). What keeps this from being an A was the Eastern Division being so down. Four of the six teams in the East finished with losing records. Also, the SEC was just 5-5 in bowl games. But with five straight crystal trophies on display, the reality is that the SEC is the standard in college football … and everybody else is playing for second.