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So Which SEC Team *is* Overrated Every Year, Anyways?

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Ranking every SEC team's performance versus the Media Days preseason predictions over the last decade.

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Between last month's SEC Media Days and last week's release of the preseason Coaches poll, there's been a lot of discussion here on RTT and elsewhere about expectations (as there is every year, being honest). Here at RTT we like #science and #lists, so today we'll settle the question once and for all: which team gets the most unearned love in the preseason? He's a look at every SEC's team's Media Days predicted finish over the last decade, versus their actual final standing. Also, we ranked it, because we're a sports blog, duh.

14. Vanderbilt

SEC Media Days- VAN

Average Media Days Prediction: 5.8
Average Final Position: 4.8
Difference: +1.0
Years at or Above Prediction: 8

Behold the power of lowered expectations, folks. The combination of being picked to finish dead last in the East six of the last ten years, that wacky '08 season and the fleeting James Franklin Experience gives Vanderbilt the crown of least overhyped team in the last ten years. With Vandy meeting or exceeding expectations in 8 of those seasons and averaging a full position better than predicted, you could call them the league's most underrated team: but it's Vandy so let's just stick with "least overrated."

13. Mizzou

SEC Media Days- MIZZ

Average Media Days Prediction: 4.25
Average Final Position: 3.25
Difference: +1.0
Years at or Above Prediction: 2

Mizzou's smaller sample size obviously detracts here, but hey, nobody saw those back-to-back titles coming. Or last year's meltdown, to be fair.

12 (T). Mississippi

SEC Media Days- MISS

Average Media Days Prediction: 5
Average Final Position: 4.2
Difference: +0.8
Years at or Above Prediction: 8

12 (T) Mississippi State

SEC Media Days- MST

Average Media Days Prediction: 5.5
Average Final Position: 4.7
Difference: +0.8
Years at or Above Prediction: 8

Power of lowered expectations, part two: we're not terribly interested in starting a land/flame war here, so we'll just note that both Mississippi schools have- uh- a lot in common? Both outperformed their Media Days expectations by .8 positions on average, albeit with State generally working from the bottom-er rung. Ole Miss exceeded expectations six out of the last ten years, versus the Bulldogs' five.

10. Kentucky

SEC Media Days- KEN

Average Media Days Prediction: 5.7
Average Final Position: 5.4
Difference: +0.3
Years at or Above Prediction: 8

The media has been on whole pretty accurate in picking the Cats. That's genuinely all we can think to write about this chart.

9. Texas A&M

SEC Media Days- TAM

Average Media Days Prediction: 4.75
Average Final Position: 4.5
Difference: +0.25
Years at or Above Prediction: 3

As your counterpart to upstart Mizzou, Texas A&M has largely performed as expected, so long as you're willing to swap 2012 and 2013 (and who isn't, really?).

8. Arkansas

SEC Media Days- ARK

Average Media Days Prediction: 4.3
Average Final Position: 4.2
Difference: +0.1
Years at or Above Prediction: 7

A little like Kentucky, Arkansas has hovered fairly close to projections, though when the media misses, they've really bottled it, as in '06 and '12.

7. Florida

Average Media Days Prediction: 2.2
Average Final Position: 2.2
Difference: 0
Years at or Above Prediction: 7

SEC Media Days- FLA

Florida is who we think they are, averaging exactly the same position as predicted over the last ten years- though they'd be slightly underperforming over the last ten years without the major overperformance outlier last year.

6. Tennessee

SEC Media Days- TENN

Average Media Days Prediction: 3.8
Average Final Position: 4.1
Difference: -0.3
Years at or Above Prediction: 6

Well, there it is. The Vols have underperformed by .3 positions on average and only overperformed twice, but on the other hand nobody has really been expecting much out of the Tennessee since '08. Yay?

5. Georgia

SEC Media Days- UGA

Average Media Days Prediction: 1.8
Average Final Position: 2.1
Difference: -0.3
Years at or Above Prediction: 6

Conversely, Georgia has been picked to finish first or second nine times in the last ten years, but has also only overperformed expectations twice, despite three East titles. Run the dang ball, yall.

4. Alabama

SEC Media Days- ALA

Average Media Days Prediction: 1.8
Average Final Position: 2.4
Difference: -0.6
Years at or Above Prediction: 5

Alabama is basically Bizarro Vandy (and we're taking that claim TO THE GRAVE). They've been predicted first six times in the last ten years, but have won the West only five times, thus falling .6 slots below expectations on average. Must be tough.

3. LSU

SEC Media Days- LSU

Average Media Days Prediction: 2.3
Average Final Position: 2.7
Difference: -0.4
Years at or Above Prediction: 4

LSU is a weird one, and this ranking is admittedly debatable. Purely on difference, they should probably be higher- but while they've placed in the top three in the West eight of the last ten years and won two division titles, they've also underperformed in six of the last ten years and generally make a point of never, ever meeting expectations. Don't @ me.

2. Auburn

SEC Media Days- AUB

Average Media Days Prediction: 3
Average Final Position: 3.8
Difference: -0.8
Years at or Above Prediction: 5

Yeah okay we take it back: this is the weird one. What is even going on in this chart? Nobody ever knows anything about Auburn. Auburn is a house with a thousand rooms. We don't even know why they're ranked here instead of LSU. Life is a mystery: everyone must stand alone. 

1. South Carolina

SEC Media Days- USC

Average Media Days Prediction: 2.8
Average Final Position: 3.7
Difference: -0.9
Years at or Above Prediction: 4

USCe on average performs almost a full position worse than their preaseason rankings, and has failed to meet the SEC Media Days projections in six of the last ten years, while overperforming only once. So, here you go folks, your Most Overrated Team: the South Carolina Gamecocks. The team now coached by Will Muschamp. Now, does anybody feel any better knowing that? Ezra Pound said, "Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing." Ezra Pound was also a Nazi. We hope yall're all proud of yourselves.