On Thursday, the assembled media in Hoover wrapped up the week by releasing its annual preseason predictions for the SEC standings. If you've read literally anything about those predictions, you already know that they're almost always wrong — since the SEC introduced a conference championship game 24 years ago, the media has accurately predicted the winner just five times.
|Year||Preseason pick||Result||Actual SEC champ|
That table is from SB Nation's Christian D'Andrea, who also notes...
In fact, just spamming "Alabama" or "Florida" every year would have a better success rate (5-19) than the media's current picks. Since 1996, only four of the league's favorites in July went on to play in the SEC Championship Game. In four other instances, the preseason favorite failed to finish in the top half of its division.
So yea, we know the media ain't great at forecasting the championship game. But what about the rest of its picks? How much stock, for example, should we put into this year's projection of Ole Miss finishing third in the West behind Bama and LSU?
To get an idea, I went back and pulled both the full predictions and the final standings for each of the last 10 seasons. Here they are: