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Examining The Complete Turnover of The SEC East

The Old Timers of the SEC East (Via Voz-CDN)

When is the last time that the SEC East mattered on a national level? Was it 2013 when South Carolina and Missouri finished in the top 5 of the final AP pole? Or was it all the way back in 2008 when Florida won the nation title? Regardless of when they last mattered the bottom line is that none of the teams matter now. In today’s AP rankings Florida was the only team in at #19 while nearly half of the other East teams were announcing a coaching change. Maybe the drop in relevancy is why the league has completely turned itself over these past four seasons. Check it out:

Team Coach In 2012 Coach In 2016
Florida Will Muschamp Jim McElwain
Georgia Mark Richt Kirby Smart
Kentucky Joker Phillips Mark Stoops
Missouri Gary Pinkel Barry Odom
South Carolina Steve Spurrier Will Muschamp
Tennessee Derek Dooley Butch Jones
Vanderbilt James Franklin Derek Mason

So What Does It Mean?

Following the 2012 season the only two teams to make head coaching changes were Tennessee and Kentucky. That makes Mark Stoops and Butch Jones the longest tenured coaches in the SEC East.

Why Does It Matter?

The SEC East is now, perhaps more than ever, up for grabs. 3 of the 7 teams will have new head coaches which translates into some big questions for next fall. Georgia, South Carolina, and Missouri will all be rebuilding efforts to some degree. Georgia is going to have the easiest road back to relevancy but is Kirby Smart going to be able to handle all the duties of a head coach? Will Muschamp’s first stint in the East wasn’t exactly a success and that was at Florida. How well will he be able to rebuild the Gamecocks while Clemson dominates his new state?

Current SEC East champs, Florida, will head into year two of McElwain after uneven results in year 1. The Gators went 10-3 but won against East Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Florida Atlantic by a touchdown or less. Their stellar defense that Muschamp built is going to lose a ton of talent to graduation and the NFL draft. Oh and Will Grier is suspended for the first six games of the season. Expect the Gators do take a major drop next fall.

So now year 4 of the Mark Stoops era begins to look like a major opportunity. Tennessee should be picked to win the East after an 8-4 year in which they left several wins on the table. But after them the results are a toss up. As of now, Kentucky will return basically their entire offense (less Towles) and has a bunch of young talent ready to take over the defense. Granted, after the regression we saw this past season that may not seem too exciting but with the East in a state of flux the chance to make noise appears to be there.

Either way, year 4 is going be the one to make or break the Stoops era. What are your way too early predictions on how things in the east will eventually shake out?

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

20 Comments for Examining The Complete Turnover of The SEC East

  1. micahmoyers
    4:21 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

    6-6 hopefully. I’d be very happy with that.
    Wouldn’t be shocked if we went 5-7 again.

    • The Rest of the story
      7:12 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

      Dude? Do you live in a vacuum or what? There is a snowballs chance in hell that UK will get 5 wins next year likely more like 3 wins with the pathetic coaching and development that is missing so much.

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:39 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

      ^^^ Noted…

  2. DennyC
    4:40 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

    The two longest tenured coaches hired the same year. One has been to TWO STRAIGHT BOWLS and the other . . . . . OH FORGET IT . . . . . . . . . . .

  3. wildcat502
    4:52 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

    I still cant believe how a lot of fans have given up on Stoops. I havent liked the way the last 2 seasons went, but look at what he took over and needs to be rebuilt. This isnt basketball where freshmen can come in and take over. It takes 3 years to be prepared to play major college football. Stoops year 5 will be the bench mark on where we stand, that will be when the current freshmen and sophomores will be junior and seniors. Butch Davis took over a much better Tennessee team.
    Sec East could pan out as follows next season:
    South Carolina
    We return one of the best, returning defensive back fields a year older. Better linebackers than the past year. Good defensive ends, but the nose tackle and tackles needs to improve.
    We need a great improvement from the offensive line, but our running backs return, redshirted receivers to come in and push. Tight ends a year older and more imformed on what to do. It depends on the offensive line, I like Barker, but he`ll be young.

    • The Rest of the story
      7:18 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

      Giving up on Stoops is easy, blew the second half against ULL and hung on to win, blew the second half against S. Carolina and hung on to win, took overtime to beat an FCS team in EKU who finished with a losing record, and lets not talk about the blowouts week after week in the SEC. Dude Stoops makes it easy to give up on him.

    • kybigblue
      8:52 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

      Two years before Davis arrived in Knoxville UT finished last in the SEC East behind UK and Vandy. Not sure I would say Davis had a lot more to work with than Stoops in 2013.

  4. bigbluetrue
    4:56 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

    Our schedule will be even tougher next year. I agree that Stoops must win at least 6 games but don’t see it happening. Hope I’m wrong but 4-5 games won will be the best we will do.

  5. 2thepoint
    5:21 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

    I think we have to wait until the season opens to see if it will be tougher. I remember this year Auburn was supposed to be really good so we will see. I do think the team improves enough to get another win or two.

    • MegatonRange
      7:33 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

      You’re exactly right 2tP, however you think the schedule plays out, will be totally wrong. Some strong teams will turn out to not be so strong & the wear & tear of the schedule will have an impact, too.

      Somebody said Mike Leach would have been a better choice of coach, but if he were here & had the same results as he’s had at WSU, he’d be on the hot seat. His records…3-9, 6-7, 3-9 (at this point everybody would call him a disaster)…but in year 4, he went 8-4. You can’t rebuild a football program as horrible as UK was in 2 1/2 recruiting years. Let’s see how year 4 goes before we start firing everybody in sight.

  6. Reese Davis
    5:25 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

    Tennesee is no longer in “rebuilding mode.” If you look at their schedule they could’ve easily gone 10-2…even 11-1. They had Oklahoma up 17-0 going into the fourth quarter, and OU is now a playoff team, plus the fact that Tennessee is returning just about everyone. We will be improved next year no doubt, but very unlikely that our record shows it with automatic losses to Georgia, Bama, Tennessee, and every other game besides 2 being tossups.

    • scorpiocard
      10:10 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

      You think at Louisville is a tossup? That’s interesting. You just got dominated by them (consider two TDs were a gift to you from Kyle Bolin on horrible throws) and U of L is very young, and has everybody back. Not a single player who recorded an offensive stat against uk is a senior.

      How in the hell is uk going to catch them, and beat them at home no less?

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:25 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

      ^^ Cool story, bro.

  7. jaws2
    8:15 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

    I can’t believe anyone thinks Florida will not be even better next year. Sure they lose some defensive players, but there backups this year will be better than most teams starters next year. Oh, and there coaching staff does coach players up.

    • The Rest of the story
      8:22 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

      Player development is paramount to any football teams success. UK is a failure so what does that tell us bout player development.

  8. kyjohn
    9:01 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

    Yes on paper UK has recruited better players,but the big question ,are they?Stoops first year class (those that are left) will be 4th year participants,his second recruited class will be in their 3rd,and his third year recruited class will be in their 2nd year.Can anyone say that these recruits will win at least 6 games next year.From what we have seen in player development and on field play,you could give Stoops 10 years and things will not get that much better.There just seems to be something missing with his program .Butch Jones had some higher rated recruits,but he also has a staff that has fire and brimstone in their belly and that doesn’t seem to exist at UK.

  9. kybigblue
    9:04 pm December 6, 2015 Permalink

    Expect UF to bring in one of the top ranked recruiting classes. Remember the state of Fl. last year produced more Div. 1 players than any other state. UT will be favored to win the SEC East but don’t expect UF to have a major drop off. Four of their first six games are very winnable. With Harris at QB they may fall to LSU and UT but after that Grier will be back at QB. His first game will be against Missouri. It isn’t like the SEC has been making big strides in recent years.

  10. Howdy Doody
    10:35 am December 7, 2015 Permalink

    Matt Jones

    I want my money back Matt.

  11. Scrappy Cat
    4:55 pm December 8, 2015 Permalink

    How can this guy have the nerve to try and put a positive spin on us having the same offensive players back next year. Did he watch the games? Our offense was horrendous. The player development so far has been non-existant, not only have they not shown much progress many have regressed. I would love to be optimistic about next year, but if we are honest with ourselves, it’s very hard to see 2016 looking better than 2015. As far as odds go, there is a better chance it looks worse. I am a true fan and I’m not saying I’m done with the football team like some are doing. Lord willing for me to be alive to see next season I will certainly be watching and cheering for the team to do well. But I am certainly not going to set unwarranted high expectations for next season just to be most likely let down. The truth hurts sometimes but it’s still the truth.