You say good bye


As we sit here today, Florida’s basketball team is in position to avoid the first day of the SEC Tournament for the first time since the 2007 tourney (which Florida won in dominating fashion). It’s early, I know, and I’m not trying to jinx the Gators, who are currently in first place in the SEC East.

Instead, I thought I’d look back at the teams that received byes for the last six years in the tournament. The reason I chose the last six years is because of this amazing NFL statistic. In the last six years, the teams that received first-round byes and missed Wild Card Weekend in the NFL have gone 12-12 in the second round. Kind of makes you wonder what all the hoopla is about in the last weeks of the season teams are securing home-field advantage.

Of course, basketball is a different sport and there is no home-court advantage in the SEC Tournament (unless you are Kentucky, which turns every SEC Tournament into a series of home games).

The byes matter in the tournament. In the last six years, the teams that received byes have gone 18-6. There has been a loser among the teams with byes in each of the last five years and the bye teams split in 2006.

Here are the six teams that didn’t take advantage of the byes (along with their regular-season SEC records and the records of their second-round opponents):

2010: Ole Miss (9-7) lost to Tennessee (11-5), 76-65.

2009: South Carolina (10-6) lost to Mississippi State (9-7), 82-68.

2008: Kentucky (12-4) lost to Georgia (4-12), 60-56 (OT).

2007: Vanderbilt (10-6) lost to Arkansas (7-9), 72-71.

2006: Tennessee (12-4) lost to South Carolina (6-10), 79-71; Alabama (10-6), lost to Kentucky (9-7), 68-61.

In 2005, the bye teams all won their second-round games by an average score of 19.5 points. It was not a good year to be playing on Thursday in the tourney.

If the season ended today (I write this before Tennessee-Auburn Thursday night), the byes would go to — Florida, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas. The first-round games would be as follows:

Kentucky vs. Auburn

South Carolina vs. LSU

Georgia vs. Mississippi

Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State

Might be a good day to sleep in. But that Friday’s second-round games — even with the SEC being down — should be a lot of fun. Still a lot of ball to be played.


  1. Jesus, Dooley,
    Of the 8 games remaining on the schedule, there’s only one that I would bet money on with any confidence. The SEC East is so tight, we could easily be at the bottom of the division by the end of next week.

  2. Dooley ain’t always right, but he’s often pretty good. Haters begone! (I thought he might be referring to the Jaguars “Ask Vic” Ketchman moving up to Green Bay. A great writer gone to football heaven.) Thanks for the stats to ponder. If we beat KY tomorrow, this article becomes A LOT more relevant. Guess it had to come out today, right?

  3. ‘Bye’ gones, Pat, this Fla team has the most impressive, and unique ways of winning and I don’t think a BYE is going to upset this Fla team. But an INJURED Parsons might!?!
    Is Kentucky ranked too high for 7 losses-I THINK SO!
    GO GATORS!!!