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The SEC Tournament bye contenders

Written by thomasgoldkamp, February 14, 2012, 0 Comments,
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Florida coach Billy Donovan is always getting his team to focus on one game at a time, and with good reason, as the Gators are coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in almost two years.

That’s never stopped us at Gator Country from doing a little looking ahead, though. With six games left before the SEC Tournament, we stop to take a look at the seven teams competing for the league’s three remaining byes (assuming Kentucky runs away with the title to earn the top spot).

The Gators have a tough stretch coming up, with four of their next five games on the road.

However, none of the next four games are particularly difficult, as Florida will face two .500 teams and then a pair of sub-.500 teams.

If Florida can take care of business in the next two games against Alabama and Arkansas, the Gators will put themselves at 9-3 in league play while also bumping both the Crimson Tide and the Razorbacks to the fringe of bye contention.

A loss in either game would put Florida into the frenzy that will likely shake loose in the running for the final bye slots heading into the SEC Tournament.

At 6-4 in league play, Mississippi State faces a similar road stretch with four of its next five on the road. However, the Bulldogs face three sub-.500 teams, two .500 teams and Kentucky. It’s a tricky stretch because of the four road games, but not all that difficult.

Vanderbilt’s schedule is considerably tougher. At 6-4, the Commodores must face league leaders Kentucky and Florida, as well as .500 Ole Miss and .500 Tennessee.

Finally, each of the league’s four 5-5 teams (Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Tennessee) will face the other three once to close the season. That will thin out the contender crowd considerably.

Looking at each of the four .500 teams’ remaining schedules, Tennessee looks to be the team with the best shot to challenge for one of the league’s four byes. The Volunteers are the only .500 team in the league that plays just one remaining game against a team above. 500 (against Vanderbilt in the season finale).

Alabama and Arkansas both face Florida and Mississippi State, while Ole Miss still has to face Kentucky and Vanderbilt.

Below is the remaining league schedule for each SEC team currently at .500 or better, excluding Kentucky, who leads the league by 3.5 games with a perfect 11-0 record.

FLORIDA – 7-3

- @ Alabama

- @ Arkansas

- vs. Auburn

- @ Georgia

- @ Vanderbilt

- vs. Kentucky

MISSISSIPPI STATE – 6-4

- @ LSU

- @ Auburn

- vs. Kentucky

- @ Alabama

- @ South Carolina

- vs. Arkansas

VANDERBILT – 6-4

- @ Ole Miss

- @ Georgia

- vs. South Carolina

- @ Kentucky

- vs. Florida

- @ Tennessee

ALABAMA – 5-5

- vs. Florida

- vs. Tennessee

- @ Arkansas

- vs. Mississippi State

- vs. Auburn

- @ Ole Miss

ARKANSAS – 5-5

- @ Tennessee

- vs. Florida

- vs. Alabama

- @ Auburn

- vs. Ole Miss

- @ Mississippi State

OLE MISS – 5-5

- vs. Vanderbilt

- @ Kentucky

- @ Tennessee

- vs. LSU

- @ Arkansas

- vs. Alabama

TENNESSEE – 5-5

- vs. Arkansas

- @ Alabama

- vs. Ole Miss

- @ South Carolina

- @ LSU

- vs. Vanderbilt

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Florida coach Billy Donovan is always getting his team to focus on one game at a time, and with good reason, as the Gators are coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in almost two years.

That’s never stopped us at Gator Country from doing a little looking ahead, though. With six games left before the SEC Tournament, we stop to take a look at the seven teams competing for the league’s three remaining byes (assuming Kentucky runs away with the title to earn the top spot).

The Gators have a tough stretch coming up, with four of their next five games on the road.

However, none of the next four games are particularly difficult, as Florida will face two .500 teams and then a pair of sub-.500 teams.

If Florida can take care of business in the next two games against Alabama and Arkansas, the Gators will put themselves at 9-3 in league play while also bumping both the Crimson Tide and the Razorbacks to the fringe of bye contention.

A loss in either game would put Florida into the frenzy that will likely shake loose in the running for the final bye slots heading into the SEC Tournament.

At 6-4 in league play, Mississippi State faces a similar road stretch with four of its next five on the road. However, the Bulldogs face three sub-.500 teams, two .500 teams and Kentucky. It’s a tricky stretch because of the four road games, but not all that difficult.

Vanderbilt’s schedule is considerably tougher. At 6-4, the Commodores must face league leaders Kentucky and Florida, as well as .500 Ole Miss and .500 Tennessee.

Finally, each of the league’s four 5-5 teams (Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Tennessee) will face the other three once to close the season. That will thin out the contender crowd considerably.

Looking at each of the four .500 teams’ remaining schedules, Tennessee looks to be the team with the best shot to challenge for one of the league’s four byes. The Volunteers are the only .500 team in the league that plays just one remaining game against a team above. 500 (against Vanderbilt in the season finale).

Alabama and Arkansas both face Florida and Mississippi State, while Ole Miss still has to face Kentucky and Vanderbilt.

Below is the remaining league schedule for each SEC team currently at .500 or better, excluding Kentucky, who leads the league by 3.5 games with a perfect 11-0 record.

FLORIDA – 7-3

- @ Alabama

- @ Arkansas

- vs. Auburn

- @ Georgia

- @ Vanderbilt

- vs. Kentucky

MISSISSIPPI STATE – 6-4

- @ LSU

- @ Auburn

- vs. Kentucky

- @ Alabama

- @ South Carolina

- vs. Arkansas

VANDERBILT – 6-4

- @ Ole Miss

- @ Georgia

- vs. South Carolina

- @ Kentucky

- vs. Florida

- @ Tennessee

ALABAMA – 5-5

- vs. Florida

- vs. Tennessee

- @ Arkansas

- vs. Mississippi State

- vs. Auburn

- @ Ole Miss

ARKANSAS – 5-5

- @ Tennessee

- vs. Florida

- vs. Alabama

- @ Auburn

- vs. Ole Miss

- @ Mississippi State

OLE MISS – 5-5

- vs. Vanderbilt

- @ Kentucky

- @ Tennessee

- vs. LSU

- @ Arkansas

- vs. Alabama

TENNESSEE – 5-5

- vs. Arkansas

- @ Alabama

- vs. Ole Miss

- @ South Carolina

- @ LSU

- vs. Vanderbilt

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