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2012 SEC Football Schedule: Winners, Losers And Standings Projections

The winners and losers in the 2012 SEC schedule. If Vandy is going to ever make a serious move, next year would be a pretty good time for it. Also: poor Auburn, Kentucky and Ole Miss.

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 22:  Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers watches from the sidelines during the game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 22: Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers watches from the sidelines during the game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Georgia wins! South Carolina loses! Oh my God, Ole Miss is doomed! Most initial reactions to the release of the 2012 SEC football schedule followed the same lines; it makes sense, really, as those things all appear to be true. But what else can we learn about the 2012 slate? Using 2011 numbers, quite a bit.

One of the better ways to imagine the impact of the 2012 schedule is to look at the impact it would have had in 2011. Using F/+ numbers and actual 2011 results, we can come up with a loose set of projections. Some guidelines:

1. If the two teams really played, that result is used. Only, in almost every case, the home-road status of the game is flipped. In those instances, we will flip the score by approximately seven points in favor of the home team. That is a generally-accepted number for home-field advantage -- you lose about 3.5 points going from home field to a neutral site, and you lose about another 3.5 points going from neutral to road.

2. For games that did not take place (i.e. most Missouri and Texas A&M games, plus a few others), we will use F/+ projections as our guide (those results are in bold). These ratings will change slightly once bowl results are factored in, but this is still a solid place to start.

Date Away Home Winner
30-Aug South Carolina Vanderbilt South Carolina by 11
8-Sep Auburn Mississippi State Mississippi State by 1
8-Sep Florida Texas A&M Texas A&M by 8
8-Sep Georgia Missouri Georgia by 3

The main problem with using F/+ projections: they don't really take Texas A&M's late-game collapses into account. Using every play and every drive of 2011, A&M was a pretty damn good team, ranking 18th overall. The timeliness of their poor plays and drives was staggering. Perhaps they would have indeed beaten Florida by eight, but who knows how the tendency toward collapse would have factored in. Meanwhile, No. 14 Georgia is able to edge out No. 33 Missouri.

Date Away Home Winner
15-Sep Alabama Arkansas Alabama by 17
15-Sep Florida Tennessee Florida by 3
22-Sep LSU Auburn LSU by 28
22-Sep Kentucky Florida Florida by 45
22-Sep Vanderbilt Georgia Georgia by 12
22-Sep Missouri South Carolina South Carolina by 5

Home field carries South Carolina over Missouri in Columbia No. 1 (or is it Columbia No. 2?).

Date Away Home Winner
29-Sep Ole Miss Alabama Alabama by 52
29-Sep Arkansas Texas A&M Arkansas by 1
29-Sep Tennessee Georgia Georgia by 15
29-Sep South Carolina Kentucky South Carolina by 44

Arkansas beat Texas A&M by four points at Jerry World; a flip to College Station would be worth about three points.

Date Away Home Winner
6-Oct Mississippi State Kentucky Mississippi State by 12
6-Oct Arkansas Auburn Arkansas by 17
6-Oct LSU Florida LSU by 23
6-Oct Georgia South Carolina South Carolina by 10
6-Oct Texas A&M Ole Miss Texas A&M by 16
6-Oct Vanderbilt Missouri Missouri by 6

Safe to say, the Collapse Factor would not have been enough to cost A&M against Ole Miss. Meanwhile, Missouri earns Win No. 1 at home over Vandy.

Date Away Home Winner
13-Oct Alabama Missouri Alabama by 16
13-Oct Kentucky Arkansas Arkansas by 23
13-Oct Auburn Ole Miss Auburn by 11
13-Oct Florida Vanderbilt Vanderbilt by 2
13-Oct South Carolina LSU LSU by 29
13-Oct Tennessee Mississippi State Mississippi State by 7

Drawing LSU certainly does South Carolina no favors, eh? Meanwhile, Bama slowly pulls away from Missouri just like they slowly pulled away from most SEC opponents. And flipping Florida-Vandy to Nashville flips the result, too. This will become a trend for the 'Dores.

Date Away Home Winner
20-Oct Alabama Tennessee Alabama by 24
20-Oct Auburn Vanderbilt Vanderbilt by 7
20-Oct South Carolina Florida Florida by 2
20-Oct Georgia Kentucky Georgia by 2
20-Oct LSU Texas A&M LSU by 19

With S.C.-Florida taking place at the Swamp, the Gators steal a win, leaving South Carolina two games in the hole with the new slate.

Date Away Home Winner
27-Oct Ole Miss Arkansas Arkansas by 12
27-Oct Texas A&M Auburn Texas A&M by 7
27-Oct Florida Georgia Georgia by 4
27-Oct Kentucky Missouri Missouri by 18
27-Oct Tennessee South Carolina South Carolina by 18
27-Oct Mississippi State Alabama Alabama by 24

Does A&M hold on in Auburn? Meanwhile, Homecoming No. 1 for Missouri goes swimmingly.

Date Away Home Winner
3-Nov Alabama LSU LSU by 10
3-Nov Missouri Florida Florida by 3
3-Nov Ole Miss Georgia Georgia by 21
3-Nov Vanderbilt Kentucky Vanderbilt by 23
3-Nov Texas A&M Mississippi State Texas A&M by 4

Missouri is done no favors by facing South Carolina and Florida on the road. Flip those two games and send them to Athens, and the Tigers go 2-1. As is, they go 0-3. Also: does A&M hold on in Starkville?

Date Away Home Winner
10-Nov Texas A&M Alabama Alabama by 19
10-Nov Arkansas South Carolina Arkansas by 9
10-Nov Georgia Auburn Georgia by 31
10-Nov Mississippi State LSU LSU by 20
10-Nov Vanderbilt Ole Miss Vanderbilt by 16
10-Nov Missouri Tennessee Missouri by 3

Home-road status makes no difference on the Tigers' first trip to Knoxville.

Date Away Home Winner
17-Nov Arkansas Mississippi State Arkansas by 20
17-Nov Ole Miss LSU LSU by 56
17-Nov Tennessee Vanderbilt Vanderbilt by 1

Flipping Tennessee-Vandy to Nashville swings the game in Vandy's favor, and ... poor Ole Miss. These margins are horrendous.

Date Away Home Winner
24-Nov Auburn Alabama Alabama by 35
24-Nov LSU Arkansas LSU by 17
24-Nov Kentucky Tennessee Tennessee by 4
24-Nov Mississippi State Ole Miss Mississippi State by 21
24-Nov Missouri Texas A&M Missouri by 7

All is right with the world: Tennessee beats Kentucky in Knoxville. And Missouri still wins at College Station. (Fun note: they will have the chance to win in College Station for the third consecutive year next fall. An odd scheduling quirk.)

East Conf. Rec. Record Diff
Georgia 7-1 10-2
South Carolina 5-3 9-3 -1 Win
Vanderbilt 5-3 9-3 +3 Wins
Florida 4-4 7-5 +1 Win
Missouri 4-4 7-5
Tennessee 1-7 5-7
Kentucky 0-8 3-9 -2 Wins

Your big winner: Vanderbilt. They draw Auburn (at home) instead of Arkansas, and sending Florida and Tennessee to Nashville flips those tight results. (This assumes, of course, that Vandy has the same homefield advantage as other SEC schools. Everybody got the same seven-point flip in this exercise.) This does suggest that, if James Franklin's Commodores are going to make a move, next year would be a pretty good time.

Meanwhile, even if Missouri loses to Arizona State, they finish with the same overall record thanks to the addition of an extra cupcake opponent. And yes, South Carolina is done no favors here, even if they don't suffer as much as others.

West Conf. Rec. Record Diff
LSU 8-0 12-0
Alabama 7-1 11-1
Arkansas 6-2 10-2
Mississippi State 4-4 8-4 +2 Wins
Texas A&M 4-4 8-4 +2 Wins
Auburn 1-7 4-8 -3 Wins
Ole Miss 0-8 2-10

Obviously things at the top of the West were not going to change much. Your three most impacted teams are Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Auburn, though A&M's collapsibility (that's a word now) could have resulted in no change at all for them. Auburn is hurt the worst in this new arrangement, while Mississippi State, in drawing Tennessee at home and getting Auburn in Starkville, benefits quite a bit.