Home-Road Factor

I've been writing for weeks how tough it is to win road games in SEC basketball, and I was looking pretty smart until last weekend arrived ...

LSU won at Kentucky. Alabama won at Ole Miss. Auburn won at Mississippi State. Tennessee won at Florida. Four of the six SEC games saw the home team LOSE. The only teams who protected their home floor were Vanderbilt (vs. South Carolina) and Arkansas (vs. Georgia).

Naturally, these events had significant impact on my Home-Road Factor ratings, which project where teams will finish based on how often they win on the road and how often they lose at home.

Florida's home loss to Tennessee and Kentucky's home loss to LSU essentially knocked the Gators and Wildcats right out of contention for the SEC East title. Tennessee's win at Gainesville, conversely, shot the Vols right back into the thick of the East race.

As noted in previous articles, the Home-Road ratings award two points for each road win and deduct two points for each home loss. A plus-4 rating means a team that wins its remaining home games and loses its remaining road games will finish four games over .500 ... or 10-6. A plus-2 rating means a team that wins its remaining home games and loses its remaining road games will finish two games over .500 ... or 9-7.

Tennessee and South Carolina currently share the SEC East lead with 9-5 records and plus-4 Home-Road ratings. Although they'll break the tie in Thursday night's head-to-head meeting at Columbia, the Vols and Gamecocks still project to share the SEC East title at 10-6. That's because the odds suggest SC will win Thursday night on its home floor but lose Saturday at Georgia. The odds also suggest UT will lose Thursday at Columbia but beat Alabama Sunday in Knoxville.

Of course, we saw how dependable the odds are last weekend, didn't we?

Regardless, here's a look at the newest SEC Home-Road ratings, with each team's projected final record in parenthesis:

EASTERN DIVISION

S.Carolina 7-0 home 2-5 road 9-5 total .... PLUS-4 ... (10-6)

Tennessee 5-2 home 4-3 road 9-5 total .... PLUS-4 ... (10-6)

Florida 6-1 home 2-5 road 8-6 total .... PLUS-2 ... (9-7)

Kentucky 4-3 home 4-3 road 8-6 total .... PLUS-2 ... (9-7)

Vanderbilt 5-2 home 1-6 road 6-8 total .... MINUS-2 ... (7-9)

Georgia 2-5 home 0-7 road 2-12 total .... MINUS-10 ... (3-13)

WESTERN DIVISION

Louisiana St. 7-0 home 6-1 road 13-1 total .... PLUS-12 ... (14-2)

Auburn 5-2 home 3-4 road 7-6 total .... PLUS-2 ... (9-7)

Miss. State 4-3 home 3-4 road 7-7 total .... ZERO ... (8-8)

Ole Miss 5-2 home 1-6 road 6-8 total .... MINUS-2 ... (7-9)

Alabama 5-2 home 1-6 road 6-8 total .... MINUS-2 ... (7-9)

Arkansas 2-5 home 0-7 road 2-12 total .... MINUS-10 ... (3-13)


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