We, like a lot of people, were surprised by how big Auburn’s lead was over the Florida men, who seemed to be on fire, after two days of the SEC Championships. After two days, Auburn had 574 points to Florida’s 541.5, as compared to about a 4.5 point lead after two days last year.
Now, put in context that the 122.5 point lead at a conference championship meet, especially one where C finals are scored, isn’t as big as it would be at an NCAA Championship meet. However, this should still set things up for a fantastic team finish.
Given what happened on Wednesday, we thought it would be worth looking at where things shape up on Thursday, and how the teams could line up if everything breaks their way (or if nothing breaks their way).
There’s no diving on Thursday to factor in, and with Auburn generally dominating Florida there this year, that will give Florida a chance to make up some ground.
The splits for A finalists, B finalists, and C finalists:
|400 IM – Auburn||400 IM – Florida||100 Fly – Auburn||100 Fly – Florida||200 Free – Auburn||200 Free – Florida|
Florida in total has 8 A finalists, to Auburn’s 4. Florida has 2 B finalists, with Auburn having 4. Florida has 3 C finalists, and Auburn just 2.
For those not yet acclimated to C-final scoring quite yet, reference the bottom of this page for a reference chart. In sum, A-finalists score between 22 and 32 points; B finalists score between 11 and 20 points, and C finalists score between 1 and 9 points.
So doing some quick numbers, if we consider the “average” score for an A finalists (27 points), a B finalist (15.5 points), and a C finalists (5 points), that would have Florida outscoring Auburn 262-180, conservatively, tonight.
That’s, of course, a very blunt look at it, but based on where different swimmers sit after prelims, both teams should come out about at that average when looking across the three finals. Florida has the best chance of ‘beating’ that estimate by a significant amount, because of the bonus points given for event wins, and Florida has the top seed in all three events, so call them a slight edge.
That means that a good prediction would be about a Florida +100 on the night. That means headed into the 4th of competition (out of 5), Auburn should have about a 20-point lead. Diving seeds mean even less than swimming seeds, but Auburn has the three top seeds on the men’s platform, where Florida will be fighting to get guys into the B-final. That should give Auburn a slight edge on the day overall. That should give Auburn right around a 20-30 point lead headed into Saturday where, with diving done, Florida should be able to make up the difference.
In other words, right now, we still see Florida as having a slight lead. One big DQ, however, could change that, and we’ve seen quite a few of those in this conference in the last 2 years. The men’s 100 back will be a key race for Auburn on Friday, as they’ll need to take advantage of an opportunity to extend their lead early in the Friday finals session.
C-final scoring chart.