Last June I compiled a ranking of each SEC school based on football, basketball and baseball for that school year. Let's do the same thing for 2012-13. Here is the criteria I based it on (same as last year): (1) football is more important than basketball - which is more important than baseball. (2) which sport means more to be successful in to that particular school. (3) the history of success in a particular sport for that particular school. And (4) the level of excitement generated by the season they had. I'll start with number 14..
14. Auburn - War Eagle football was a pathetic display reminiscent of OM in 2011. 3-9 and Chizik fired. In basketball, the Tigers garnered yet another last place finish in the SEC. Baseball looked to salvage the year but they came up just short of making a Regional.
13. Kentucky - When you don't make the big dance at Kentucky it's a bad year. Not only were they unable to do that, but football went 2-10 resulting in Joker Philips getting fired, and baseball was a top 10 team early in the season but tanked to end the year 11-19 in the SEC with no Regional.
12. Tennessee - For the second consecutive year, the Vols don't make a bowl game, missed the NCAA tournament and a Regional. Pathetic for an athletic program like that. Derek Dooley was fired after going 4-7 (didn't coach vs. UK). Cuonzo Martin did get UT to the NIT, but at least that was expected - still they lost in the 1st round to Mercer. Baseball was just flat awful again.
11. Arkansas - What was supposed to be a national title contender in football turned into a 4-8 mess after Bobby Petrino's dismissal before the season started. The basketball was just average again and baseball was underwhelming. The Hogs were a preseason top 5 team but were unable to host a Regional and ended up losing to Kansas State in Manhattan. To make matters worse, UCLA won it all with basically the same type of team.
10. Missouri - The Tigers got a big welcome to the SEC in football: 2-6 in conference after seven consecutive winning seasons in the Big 12. They made up for things a little bit with a good showing in basketball - but many thought they underachieved despite the NCAA tournament appearance. Baseball bombed - 18-32 (10-20).
9. Texas A&M - It's hard to put a team that went 11-2 and had the Heisman Trophy winner this low, but it's just the way the card fell. It was a big time surprise to see what the Aggies did on the gridiron but not much else. Basketball was very mediocre and while baseball went to a Regional, they weren't too solid of a team.
8. South Carolina - Steve Spurrier has build a really solid program in Columbia, and another 11-2 year showed that. Frank Martin's first year was pretty horrible as they finished tied with MSU for 2nd to last place, but lost to them in the SEC Tourney. The string of national championship series appearances in baseball ended, but they were able to host a Regional and took #1 overall seed UNC the distance in the Super.
7. Georgia - The Dawgs were oh so close to winning a national championship. The 2012 SEC Championship Game will be replayed for a long time - an absolute classic against Bama. They finished with a 12-2 record after winning the Capitol One Bowl. The basketball team was pretty poor at first but finished a lot stronger, ultimately with a 9-9 conference record. Baseball was a disaster and ended in the dismissal of David Perno.
6. LSU - Another year, another really solid Tigers football team. They went 10-3 but lost the Chick-Fil-A Bowl to Clemson. Johnny Jones' first year as head coach was okay - they went 19-12 but were unable to reach the NIT. Baseball was excellent once again as they won the West and went to the College World Series, but surprisingly went two and que.
5. Florida - For any other school these accomplishments would vault them to the top of the list, but kind of ho-hum for the Gators. Will Muschamp got football back on track with an 11-1 regular season although they lost the Sugar Bowl. Billy Donovan made his third straight Elite 8, and baseball went to the Indiana Regional but lost in two games - and they actually ended the year with a losing record.
4. Ole Miss - Hugh Freeze's first year was an overwhelming success as he took them to a bowl game and 7-6 record after many viewed 4 wins as a success going into the year. For the first time in 11 years the Rebs made the big dance and won a game there, but perhaps even more memorable they won the SEC Tournament. Baseball was a success as per the expectation with a Regional appearance.
3. Mississippi State - 8-5 in Starkville is nothing to scoff at for MSU fans despite a late season slide. It was the third consecutive bowl game, which is only the second time in history that has happened. Basketball was in a rebuilding mode dominated by Murphy's Law, but baseball is really what set the year apart. All the way to the national championship series for the first time in school history.
2. Vanderbilt - Once doormats in pretty much everything they have found a way to make some noise in the SEC. At 9-4 the 'Dores had their highest win total since 1915 -wow. It was a special year in football for sure. The usually solid basketball team missed the postseason for just the fourth time in Kevin Stallings' 14 seasons at Vandy. But the baseball team picked up the slack as they went an incredible 26-3 in SEC play and had the #2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, but fell short in the Nashville Super Regional.
1. Alabama - The Crimson Tide top the list once again. They hold the only national championship this year among the major sports and it was in the biggest, football. Not only did they win their 3rd in the last 4 years, but they narrowly missed the NCAA basketball tournament, ending the year in the NIT quarterfinals and a Regional in baseball. A pretty great year in Tuscaloosa.
Nationally, no one could beat what Louisville did this year: Sugar Bowl win, basketball national championship and a trip to the College World Series. And for good measure throw in a women's basketball national runner up.