Tuesday, August 1, 2017

SEC 2017 Projections

Long thought of as the best conference in FBS football, last season largely looked like Alabama and everyone else, as the Crimson Tide was the only team in the league that won at least 10 games. The Tide is still head and shoulders above everyone else right now, but is there anyone else ready to step up to their challenge?

1. Georgia: The Bulldogs must get consistent play from Jacob Eason at QB to give his loaded RB corps a chance to get loose. The good news is that the East is weak again, and 8 or 9 wins should be enough to get it done.

2. Florida: The Gators are in need of solidity at QB, and with Malik Zaire, they are hoping to have it. That said, the Gators may not have as much talent loaded up as the Bulldogs do, and it could cost the, a trip to the SEC title game.

3. South Carolina: Will Muschamp did a solid job of moving the Gamecocks in the right direction after a few bumpy years. He has a rock solid QB, but how leaky will the defense be?

4. Tennessee: Butch Jones is squarely on the hot seat. He looks like a very good recruiter who cannot coach the talent he recruits to maximize potential. There are questions on offense and defense, and this may be the biggest challenge he has had with the Vols.

5. Kentucky: The Wildcats squeaked into a bowl bid last season, saving Mark Stoops' job in the process. They cannot afford a fall back. That is going to be the challenge.

6. Vanderbilt: Recruiting has gotten worse every season since Derek Mason took over. Will the Commodores, who have a star RB in Ralph Webb, be able to stay out of the SEC East basement, or will they surprise. Neither would shock me.

7. Missouri: The Tigers have a rock solid offense, but the defense is a mess. If the Tigers can win a few shootouts, maybe they surprise everyone. If they cannot keep up score for score, it becomes a long season.

1. Alabama: Alabama loses a ton of talent to the NFL again, but they have more than enough talent to make up for it, again. Another title run looks likely.

2. Auburn: The Tigers could end up as the most improved team in the SEC this season. Jarrett Stidham may be the answer to finally challenge Alabama, and give the SEC another 10 win team outside of the Tide.

3. LSU: The Ed Orgeron era officially begins, and he is already pissing off the media, as all preseason practices are closed. Will the offense have enough ammo to challenge, or are we headed for more mediocrity?

4. Texas A&M: Kevin Sumlin is another SEC coach trying to hold onto his job. The Aggies have a tough slate, and winning eight will not get it done this season.

5. Mississippi State: Nick Fitzgerald may be the most important QB in the SEC this season, as all Bulldog hopes are really pinned to his ability to get the job done. Eight wins are well within range if everything lines up.

6. Arkansas: Austin Allen is a solid QB, but the Hogs are missing so much else. Bret Bielema has not gotten it done in Fayetteville, so how much longer do the locals stay patient?

7. Ole Miss: The Rebels were largely picked last in this division by a majority of national media types, and then the allegations and the Hugh Freeze drama came along. This may no end up being the worst team in the SEC in 2017. Matt Luke, good luck.

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