Written By: Colby Dant (@TheColbyD) also check out:
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SEC East Preview
Everyone’s riding Tennessee here but I like the Gators to win the division. Jim McElwain may look like a McDonald’s manager but he’s a pretty damn good coach. The Gators out of conference schedule are these games vs Umass, vs North Texas, vs 1AA Presbyterian & @Florida State. I expect the Gators to go 3-1 in those games. In conference on the road they have games @Tennessee, @Vanderbilt, @Arkansas & vs Georgia (in Jacksonville). If they Gators can go 3-1 there I think they can win the East. The home games include Kentucky, LSU, Missouri, & South Carolina. If they can get past LSU I think they will go undefeated at home. At the end of the day I’m thinking the Gators go 9-3 and win the East.
Everyone is high on the Vols this season. Some experts have them playing in the playoffs while almost every expert is picking them to win the SEC East. I’m just not sold on Butch Jones. Yeah he’s been recruiting well but his teams always seem to lose the close games. I was never sold on him at Central Michigan or Cincinnati so why should I be now. The schedule that everyone thinks favors them has some dangerous games in it. Out of conference the Vols get games vs Appalachian State, vs Virginia Tech (in Bristol), vs Ohio and vs 1AA Tennessee Tech. I know everyone thinks 4-0 but I could see the Hokies pulling the upset but hey lets say they go 4-0. On the road in conference the Vols play @Georgia, @Texas A&M (back to back weeks), @South Carolina, & @Vanderbilt. I think 3-1 is possible but 2-2 is also very possible. Home games include games vs Florida, Alabama, Kentucky & Missouri. I think the Vols go 2-2 at home. Public enemy said it best “Don’t Believe The Hype”. With that said the Vols still go 8-4 and make a decent bowl game.
The Kirby Smart era is set to begin and some people are really convinced that the Bulldogs will be playing for an SEC Championship this season. I think Smart was a good hire but I’m not sure he was a better hire than Mark Richt. The Bulldogs out of conference schedule looks like this vs North Carolina (in Atlanta), vs 1AA Nicholls State, vs Louisiana Lafayette, vs Georgia Tech. I think the Bulldogs go 4-0 in those games but don’t sleep on North Carolina. In conference the road games are @Missouri, @Ole Miss, @South Carolina & @Kentucky. Thats a favorable schedule there. I think they go 3-1 in those four. At home the Bulldogs get Florida (in Jacksonville), Vanderbilt, Tennessee & Auburn. I think they go 2-2 in those 4 games. All in all I’m thinking the bulldogs go 9-3 or 8-4.
Ever since the Missouri Tigers entered the SEC people have slept on them and its no different this year. Most experts have the Tigers finishing 5th or 6th but I think the Tigers are going to have a solid year. Out of conference the Tigers have games @West Virginia, vs Eastern Michigan, vs 1AA Delaware State, vs Middle Tennessee. I think the Tigers go 3-1 in those games. In conference on the road the Tigers play games @LSU, @Florida, @South Carolina, & @Tennessee. That’s tough but I think they get the South Carolina game and go 1-3. At home they get Georgia, Kentucky, Vanderbilt & Arkansas. I think the Tigers go 2-2 in that stretch and go to a bowl game at 6-6.
The Wildcats are an interesting team that could surprise some people. Mark Stoops has done a pretty good job of making the Wildcats a better football team. This year the East is more wide open this year than normal with all the coaching changes so maybe the Wildcats can make a run for it. Out of conference the Wildcats have games vs Southern Miss (upset alert), vs New Mexico State, vs 1AA Austin Peay, & @Louisville. I think 3-1 is what should happen but watch out for Southern Miss. In conference The Wildcats play road games @Florida, @Alabama, @Missouri & @Tennessee. They’ll be lucky to steal one of those but I’m thinking they go 0-4 in those games. That means they must win some conference games in Lexington if they want to go bowling. The home games in Lexington are against South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, & Georgia. Wow there’s some nice breaks there. Maybe they go 3-1 in those games and make a bowl game. I think the wildcats go 5-7 and barely miss out on a bowl game.
6. South Carolina
Well this take two for coaching in the SEC for head coach Will Muschamp. Hopefully it goes better than his first experience at Florida. The out of conference schedule has games vs East Carolina, vs Umass, vs 1AA Western Carolina, & @Clemson. The Gamecocks should go 3-1 against those teams but the ECU game is always dangerous. In conference the away games are @Vanderbilt, @Mississippi State, @Kentucky, & @Florida. I think 2-2 is what fans need to hope for but I think 1-3 is more likely. At home in Columbia they’ll need to pick up some wins to make a bowl the schedule has Texas A&M, Georgia, Tennessee & Missouri all coming to town. I think they’ll be lucky to win one of those games. When it’s all said and done I think the Gamecocks are looking at a 5-7 season and missing out on a bowl game.
Wow they just don’t realize how good they had it when they had James Franklin and now they get this. Vandy was pretty awful last year and I know this years team is more experienced but what good is experience if you’re not any good? The Commodores out of conference schedule has games vs Middle Tennessee (I’d favor MTSU I think), @Georgia Tech, @Western Kentucky, & vs 1AA Tennessee State. If you are a Commodores fan you need to hope for 2-2 because it’s very possible that they’ll be 1-3 going into SEC play. The in conference road schedule has trips @Kentucky, @Georgia, @Auburn, & @Missouri. They’ll be lucky to win any of those games. At home in Nashville they get South Carolina, Florida, Ole Miss & Tennessee. Ouch. They might be able to win week 1 against South Carolina. If not there’s no chance they win a in conference game. When it’s all said and done I’m thinking a 3-9 season in Nashville.
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP : ALABAMA over Florida. Bama advances to the Playoffs.