The SEC Championship Game History: A Breakdown.

As a Florida Gator fan, I hear a lot of fans groan about UF’s current recruiting. I understand it. From a composite ranking point of view, UF is doing quite well nationally, but is middle of the pack in the SEC (7th ranked in terms of team talent on roster in 2019, https://247sports.com/Season/2019-Football/CollegeTeamTalentComposite/?Conference=SEC). A lot of fans are also very happy with the improvement of the team since Dan Mullen took over, and expect the team to continue to improve and make a championship run. I’m an optimist, so I’ll go with the latter. But, to see where UF currently sits relative to previous SECCG participants, I took a look at the 4-year moving average (MA) of recruit ratings for each SEC team going back to 2003. And for fun, I looked at the SECCG results and found some interesting superlatives, which I put at the bottom of this post.

The density chart below shows the 4-yr MA for each team that has participated in the SECCG since 2003:

dens

The vertical lines are the averages for each group. You can see the distribution is left-skewed. The outliers, as determined using Median Absolute Deviation (MAD) were all on the low end. I kept them in, as I don’t need a Gaussian distribution for this effort.

UF’s current 2020 MA (blue vertical line) is between the average winner MA (green vertical line) to the right and average loser MA (red vertical line) to the left. The scores on the x-axis are standardized by year to control for fluctuation in national ratings. Here is the data table:

data table 1

Florida’s current 2020 MA for average recruit rating is 90.41, which is 1.692 standard deviations above the national average. Looking at that same data table with heat mapping on the scores, you can see how teams have ebbed and flowed over the years:

data table 2

A couple things are obvious from the table above. The first is that the SEC got much better overall around 2009-2010, Another is that UF clearly faded a bit from 2015-2018 in terms of 4-year MA. Back to the point: How does UF’s current average recruit rating (RR) rank relative to previous SECCG participants:

SECCG barchart

This bar chart shows the 4-year MA for RR of winners (orange) and losers (blue) of the SECCG since 2003. UF 2020 is the green bar.

Here is the same data by year, which shows the difference between the opponents:

SECCG bar chart by year Clearly there have been some talent disparities in the SECCG. The biggest disparity occurred when Missouri (4-yr MA of 85.15, Std_Score of 0.764) played Alabama (4-yr MA of 93.12, Std_Score of 2.421) in 2014.

Where Florida Stands Now vs History:

Florida’s current 4-yr MA is 90.41, or 1.7 standard deviations above the national average. This would put the current UF roster in the 65th percentile of historical (2003-present) SECCG participants. UF would be in the 54th percentile of SECCG winners and in the 76th percentile of SECCG losers.

Some Superlatives:

data table 3

Way to go, dawgs.

Various data sets:

data1

big table

credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEC_Championship_Game

 

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