AURex 1,531 Posted July 30, 2015 Share Posted July 30, 2015 Of all the SEC coaches in recent years who lasted more than 3 seasons, only four have improved records from season 2 to season 3. In other words, most SEC teams level off or do worse in year three of their head coach's tenure. The 4 coaches who had better records in year 3 than they did in year 2 -- Nick Saban, Les Miles, Bobby Petrino, and Hugh Freeze. All of the other coaches in recent years had a drop off in year 3. So, we have an opportunity to look at this pattern in action again this year. The SEC has 3 coaches entering their 3rd year. Bret Bielema - Arkansas. Second year record 8-5 (3-5 SEC) finished strong by clobbering Texas in its bowl game. Butch Jones - Tennessee. Second year record 7-6 (3-5 SEC) finished by pounding Iowa in its bowl game. Gus Malzahn - Auburn. Second year record 8-5 (4-4 SEC) with a loss to Wisconsin in its bowl game. Expectations are high for all three of these teams. With great recruiting classes now maturing, Tennessee is widely expected to compete with UGA and Missouri for the East title. A lot of pundits think Arkansas is poised to pick up where it left off last season. And of course, Auburn has been high in most of the national preseason polls (although not necessarily on Vegas betting cards). Tennessee faces a pretty stout schedule again this year, facing Oklahoma OOC and both Bama and Arkansas as non-division opponents, as well as UGA and Missouri in their division. They will need to win at least one of those games to improve on their 2014 record. Arkansas has to run the West division gauntlet of Bama, LSU, Ole Miss, A&M and Auburn, and faces both Tennessee and Missouri from the East. Their OOC schedule is all patsies. Still, can they beat 4 or more of those formidable SEC opponents? Auburn always has a tough schedule that includes Bama, LSU and UGA as well as the rest of the SEC West - A&M, Ole Miss, Arkansas and MSU. But with Kentucky from the East, it's only other real challenge will come from Louisville in its OOC opener. The Tennessee/Arkansas game on October 3 may determine whether either of those teams can improve on last year's schedule. Auburn has a good chance of attaining a better record this year, if it can avoid losses in games that *should* be in the W column (Kentucky, A&M, OM, MSU, Ark). The Louisville game may be the clue to the season. What say you? Can all three teams improve over last year? Of Tennessee and Arkansas, which do you think has the best shot? And do you think Arkansas is a threat beat Auburn this year? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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