Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports
With only three weeks to go the SEC is shaping up as a 3-team race, at least through the eyes of tempo-free performance.
I meant to post this yesterday before Kentucky's game with Arkansas but then left the file at home when I headed to school. Oh well. I think it's still relevant even without the information from Thursday's games.
A couple weeks ago I posted the first look at the SEC using in-conference offensive and defensive efficiency. At that time Kentucky was coming off back-to-back drubbings of Mississippi St and Auburn and leading the conference in both offense and defense. Since then the competition has improved and the Cats have lost two games. Here's how the rest of the SEC looks:
Pace: The average number of possessions in a game for each team. Higher = faster.
PPP: Points per Possession or the average number of points that a team comes away with each time they get the ball.
Opp PPP: Opponent's scoring per possession or what the defense allows on average each time the opponent has the ball.
EM: Effective Margin which is PPP minus Opp PPP.
Avg M: The EM multiplied by the average number of possessions in an SEC game this year.
- Is Texas A&M the best team in the conference? It's hard to argue with the kind of domination they are displaying although they still have trips to South Carolina and Tennessee and a home game with Kentucky to go.
- Kentucky's defense has held up, but the offense has dropped off a cliff. It's still well above average, but not nearly as much as it was two weeks ago.
- Look out for Vanderbilt. The Lady Commodores are way better than their 5-4 record suggests and Kentucky's road game on Sunday looms large.
- Good gracious but Mississippi St is bad.
The women have a rough road ahead of them. 4 of their final 6 games are against the top 6 (or 5 since the Cats can't play themselves) and the two "easy" games are on the road at LSU and Ole Miss.
Texas A&M also has 4 games against the top 6 with 3 of those coming on the road. They get Ole Miss and LSU at home.
Tennessee only has 3 games remaining against the top 6. Given that they are tied for 1st and have the easiest remaining schedule among the top 3 teams, they have to be considered the conference favorite at this point.