Pre-SEC Season Not As Billed

Remember when we were told how good the teams were that we played prior to the SEC and how most would challenge for their conference titles? Well have you been following how that has worked out?
Setting the Way-Back Machine to November 10 when the Hogs routed Samford 95-56. Samford was going to be good. How good? 8-18 on the year and third from last in the mighty Southern League good. Ooooops.
Game two featured Bucknell, the only team that actually has a lead in its conference. Bucknell is 11-2 in the Patriot League and 17-9 overall. A truly good Hog victory.
Next came Fresno State, which has been up and down all season playing a good schedule, but trails Boise State by three games in the Mountain West. They are still a plus victory.
In Portand the Hogs got their best victory by knocking off Oklahoma in their opener in the PK80 tourney. The Sooners have now lost five of their last seven games in the crazy Big 12 and now are 16-7 overall taking a little luster off that win for the Hogs. Still the Young led Sooners count as a notable win.
A loss to North Carolina and a win over UConn finished off the tourney and both of those teams have had poorer than expected seasons. NC is 17-7 and five and a half out in the ACC, while the Huskies have meandered along at 12-12 and are way out of the American race.
Houston then played poor hosts and blew the doors off the Hog Train and have gone on to have a good season. But they trail Cincinnati by three and a half games in the American.
Victories over Colorado State, Minnesota, Troy, Oral Roberts and Cal State Bakersfield finished off the pre-conference season and all of these foes have suffered through highly disappointing season. Some have been down right awful.
So to say the preseason did not live up to the hype would be an understatement. But it does explain how the Hogs looked like world beaters before the SEC and middle of the pack in the SEC. The consecutive wins vs. Bucknell, Oklahoma and Fresno State are helpful. This was when the Hogs were playing their best ball of the season. The Minnesota win should carry some respect, but the rest were just fluff wins when it comes to going Dancing. I believe CMA believed what he said when he sold this schedule. It just didn’t turn out that way through no fault of his own.

ESPN rates our non-conference strength of schedule at 101 and our non-conference RPI at 17. We went 11-2. Losses were to UNC (10) and Houston (37).

This was actually a discussion that I had with Matt Jones on here in the preseason. The OOC games were based off last year’s records. This is a New year, we won’t know how the perform until around March

Minnesota has lost a 2 key players (1 to injury, 1 to suspension) since we played and they lost Eric Curry in the pre-season. That was a good team we beat, but it doesn’t look like it now.

Bad luck for Baby Pitino.

People just think scheduling games and coaching games is so easy. As if we are the only ones playing out there. That has always amused me.

The NC schedule that we played is more difficult than we are getting credit for if all you do is look at current records. Samford lost their All_Southern Conference center in game 2 due to injury and another starter went down in game 9. They have played the entire conference season without two starters, one of whom was a candidate for SCPOY, and are down to a 7-man rotation. We played them at full strength.

Likewise, we also played Minnesota at full strength. With their full rotation they are no worse than top 40. However, Lynch was suspended for sexual misconduct allegations right after they won 5 in a row following their BWA beatdown. They have collapsed since the suspension. Coffey also has been injured in Big 10 play.

Colorado State has also suffered self-inflicted wounds due to new allegations against Eustachy for player abuse. They got two nice road wins at Wyoming and Utah State and then descended into turmoil. Our NC schedule has been cursed. The teams that we played are in many cases much better than the teams that are currently on the floor.

Bucknell and Fresno have been exactly what they were billed as, namely solid top-100 competition. OU and UNC are top-20 in the computer polls. Houston is much better than they were billed at the time that we played them.

It’s a crap shoot! The games we needed to win we failed too! Just like in conference play. The hogs don’t deserve much respect for what they have done this season. This team is nit as good as last years team and that’s hard to take. Their mouths get in their way. In the North Carolina game Macon was talking trash to a fan while he was invounding the ball. This team isn’t that good! They have simple showed up and failed to play in the conference schedule. There was no reason to get beat at Moo U other than poor execution on offense late the 2 senior guards had turnovers. Macon and Beard. Of course the whistle was one way for Moo U. The 2 LSU games just simply make me sick. LSU has 4 conference wins 2 aginst the hogs and 2 aginst A&M. Head scratcher for sure. They have played their way from the 5-6 seed line in early January to the 8-10 seed line early February. The teams that have performed get the higher seeds and have a better chance to advance in the Dance. The hogs may not even make the Dance. That’s their fault the players. Not the coach like everyone complains about. These next few conference games they better play like thier tear ends are on fire from the opening tip until the final Horn because they have no room for error. In short this has been an underachieving team this year!
Attitude has been thier problem and no leadership on the court.

The refs decided the MSU game. We didn’t play poorly. The LSU home game is our worst performance of the season, but they are a bad matchup for us. We have been better against average offense/good defense than good offense/average defense.

Go look where we were at this time last season. We were licking our wounds from a home blowout to Vandy for our third loss in four games, and we had one win over an NCAAT team. The schedule has been more difficult this season. This team has accomplished more to this point. Whether it can close strong remains to be seen.

I watched every game last year too! This years bunch has just flat out not showed up too play in too many games.
The Moo U game was poorly officiated for sure but the 2 senior guards had the ball on back to back possessions and one called for an offensive foul the other for a walk! The free throw line decided the game but with a 6 point lead a Moo U team that had been 20% from 3 hit 2 wide open 3’s down the stretch. That’s the game I think they failed to ever build on a small lead by not valuing the ball and of course the refs called every foul possible on the hogs and if I remember correctly WR shot 12 free throws. To Moo U took 39 and made 24. That’s how it has always been in the SEC for the hogs. Nothing has changed.
If the hogs don’t make the Dance it’s the players fault. They fail to play defense for 40 minutes. They loose focus and don’t have idea about time and score.
They better win 6 of the 7 conference games in front of them. They need to beat Bama on the road. Kentucky on the hill will be a game the hogs better build a lead. If it’s close the refs will take care of Kentucky.
What your prediction on the 7 remaining confeeence games

I certainly don’t think they have to win 6 of 7.

That would make them 22-9.

They play Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Auburn Texas A&M at home as well on the road at Ole Miss, Alabama and Missouri on the road.

Get 4 of those and your 20-11 and 9-9 and get in because of your RPI and the scalps you will have taken down the stretch.

I think they’ll go 5-2

I thought 5-2, possibly 6-1. I think Porter’s return may have a negative impact towards Missery.

You guys must be seeing a different team than me, 5-2 or 6-1? Who are we going to beat, Bama, A&M, Missouri, Aub are some of the hottest teams in the league. Not to mention a road game at OM and a home game with Kentucky. If I squint I see 4-3.

Yes. We were seeing a different team. You still squinting?