It’s hard to believe that the 2014 college football regular season is already halfway over. Yet here we are six games in, and to this point the season has been anything but predictable. In fact, it has been the opposite of that. The preseason projections set forth by the media at SEC Media Days in July are so far off-base, it makes you wonder if these so called “experts” are worthy of the titles they have been given. Here you can see why.

Here are the preseason projected SEC standings as predicted by the media:

SEC East

  1. South Carolina
  2. Georgia
  3. Florida
  4. Missouri
  5. Tennessee
  6. Vanderbilt
  7. Kentucky

SEC West

  1. Alabama
  2. Auburn
  3. LSU
  4. Ole Miss
  5. Mississippi State
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Arkansas

Here are the current SEC standings halfway through 2014 regular season:

SEC East

  1. Georgia: 5-1 (3-1)
  2. Kentucky: 5-1 (2-1)
  3. Florida: 3-2 (2-2)
  4. Missouri: 4-2 (1-1)
  5. South Carolina: 3-3 (2-3)
  6. Tennessee: 3-3 (0-2)
  7. Vanderbilt: 2-5 (0-4)

SEC West

T-1. Mississippi State: 6-0 (3-0)
Ole Miss: 6-0 (3-0)
T-3. Alabama: 5-1 (2-1)
Auburn: 5-1 (2-1)
5. Texas A&M: 5-2 (2-2)
6. LSU: 5-2 (1-2)
7. Arkansas: 3-3 (0-3)

Obviously no one expects everything to go as predicted, and that is what makes college football (specifically the SEC) so great. As the 2014 college football season begins to take shape, here is a list of my team and individual awards through the halfway point.

Midseason Awards

Most Surprising Team: Mississippi State

  • If you go back over the course of the past few decades, it may be hard to find a team that has made the stark rise that the Mississippi State Bulldogs have made through the first half of the 2014 season. Not only were the Bulldogs picked to finish 5th in the west, they also did not receive a top 25 ranking to start the year. Now ranked #1 in the nation for the first time in school history, the boys from “Cowbell Country” have beaten three consecutive top 10 teams by an average of over 12 points per game. The surprising early season run that has led to being the top ranked team has been a long time coming for Coach Dan Mullen, as he is seeking to become the first coach in school history to have four consecutive winning seasons.

Most Improved Team: Kentucky

  • Kentucky easily could have been the “Most Surprising Team” through the halfway point in the season, but that would not have served them justice. If you compare where the Wildcats are now, to where they were at this point in the previous two seasons, it is remarkable. In 2012 and 2013 Kentucky entered this Week 8 with a 1-5 record. In 2014 Kentucky enters Week 8 with a record of 5-1. This is a testament to Coach Mark Stoops and his staff. In addition to the talent level improving, the Cats fundamental discipline has improved as well. Now just one win away from being bowl eligible for the first time since 2010, Big Blue Nation is excited about football once again.

Most Disappointing Team: Vanderbilt

  •  A drop-off for Vanderbilt was undeniable this year. Entering 2014 the Commodores were coming off of consecutive nine win seasons that included bowl wins in both, and they were losing undoubtedly the best coach in school history (James Franklin), as well as one of the best players (Jordan Matthews). Although a drop-off was expected, I do not think anyone expected Vanderbilt to plummet back to the doormat of the SEC. New Head Coach Derek Mason seemed like a hand-in-glove type fit coming from his defensive coordinator position at a successful football program at a university with high academic standards (Stanford). Yet to this point in the season Vanderbilt has only managed 2 victories by a combined 4 points over the likes of UMass and Charleston Southern (a FCS School). Their five losses have been by an average of 23.8 points.

Most Inconsistent Team: Missouri

  • Will the real Missouri Tigers please stand up? After a surprising loss at home to lower ranking Big Ten team, Missouri went on the road and left with an impressive come-from-behind-victory over then ranked #13 South Carolina. They followed that up with an embarrassing 34-0 loss at home to the Georgia Bulldogs, a game in which the Tigers turned the ball over five times. With only a 1-1 record in SEC play, the door is still open for Missouri to perhaps repeat as SEC East Champions, but the consistency in their play has to improve substantially if there is any hope of that.

Most Valuable Player: Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott

  • When you think about one player who has meant the most to his team through the first half of the season, it has to be Mississippi State Quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott has had 2 or more touchdowns in every single game to this point in the year. In addition to throwing for nearly 250 yards per game, he is rushing an additional 96 yards per game. His near 350 yards per game have accounted for over 65% of the Bulldogs total offense. It is also worth mentioning that Prescott has directed 3 consecutive victories over top 10 opponents, and it statistically on pace through six games to equal the yardage and touchdown totals set forth by Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, and Johnny Manziel during their Heisman Trophy winning seasons. It is still a long road ahead for the Mississippi State Bulldogs if they want to retain the #1 ranking, and if they plan to do so Dak Prescott is going to be the man who is leading that charge.

Coach of the Year: Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops

  • Not to be too redundant of what was said about Kentucky earlier, but here is the bottomline. Mark Stoops has taken a team that had not won a SEC game since 2011, and now has them positioned second in the SEC East and one win away from bowl eligibility. Of all the impressive coaching jobs that have taken place through the first half of the 2014 season, you are going to be hard fetched to find one better than what Stoops has done so far in Lexington, Kentucky. With the toughest portion of the Wildcats schedule still remaining, Stoops will attempt to keep the momentum rolling into the second half of the season.

Second Half Predictions


  • Wins: Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, Western Carolina
  • Losses: Auburn
  • Final Record: 10-2


  • Wins: UAB, Ole Miss, Missouri
  • Losses: Georgia, Mississippi State, LSU
  • Final Record: 6-6


  • Wins: South Carolina, Texas A&M, Georgia, Samford, Alabama
  • Losses: Ole Miss
  • Final Record: 10-2


  • Wins: Missouri, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Eastern Kentucky
  • Losses: Georgia, Florida State
  • Final Record: 7-4


  • Wins: Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Charleston Southern, Georgia Tech
  • Losses: Auburn
  • Final Record: 10-2


  • Wins: Missouri, Louisville
  • Losses: LSU, Mississippi State, Georgia, Tennessee
  • Final Record: 7-5


  • Wins: Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas A&M
  • Losses: Ole Miss, Alabama
  • Final Record: 8-4

Mississippi State

  • Wins: Kentucky, Arkansas, UT-Martin, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss
  • Losses: Alabama
  • Final Record: 11-1


  • Wins: Vanderbilt, Texas A&M
  • Losses: Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas
  • Final Record: 6-6

Ole Miss

  • Wins: Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, Presbyterian
  • Losses: Arkansas, Mississippi State
  • Final Record: 10-2

South Carolina

  • Wins: Furman, South Alabama, Clemson
  • Losses: Auburn, Tennessee, Florida
  • Final Record: 6-6


  • Wins: South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Vanderbilt
  • Losses: Ole Miss, Alabama
  • Final Record: 7-5

Texas A&M

  • Wins: Louisiana-Monroe
  • Losses: Alabama, Auburn, Missouri, LSU
  • Final Record: 6-6


  • Wins: Old Dominion
  • Losses: Missouri, Florida, Mississippi State, Tennessee
  • Final Record: 3-9

SEC Championship

  • Georgia Bulldogs vs Mississippi State Bulldogs


Brooks Carter is the Sports Director at WVUA-FM, and a senior at The University of Alabama. Follow WVUA-FM’s coverage of SEC and Alabama Football on Twitter @Capstone_Sports.