JichaelDick wrote:I'm not going to go into as much depth as Donger on his B1G preview, because damn it, I'm lazy like that. But, my picks for the SEC this coming year, starting in the East...
1. Georgia-A bit off the board here, but there is still a good amount of talent, one of the best RBs in America in Nick Chubb, a decent newcomer in Jacob Eason at QB, and most importantly, perhaps, they get the #2 team in my list at home. Plus, they cross with Ole Miss, so that should bode well for them.
2. Tennessee-I fully expect them to beat Florida for the first time since 2004, and I expect them to win 10 games. The returning talent, including Space Dobbs, Alvin Camara, Jalen Hurd, and Derek Barnett, is as good as just about anybody anywhere. Sadly, their two losses will be to Georgia and Alabama, which will knock them out of the SEC Championship Game and the playoff picture.
3. Florida-Almost by default, because the rest of this list is WOOOOOOOF, but McElwain did a nice job before the offense fell apart and the defense wore down. Still lacking a true QB, but should have enough talent to overcome the rest of this poop pile.
4. Vanderbilt-Bring back an extremely solid defense, and a very good runningback in Ralph Webb. May find a way to sneak into a bowl game this season, but that's about all they can do, because their offense minus Webb is an atrocity.
5. Missouri-Barry Odom did a nice job with this team's defense, and surely to God their offense can't be that bad again, can it? Still, not a lot of talent there.
6. Kentucky-Mark Stoops has done a nice job of getting legit SEC recruits to Lexington. He's done a piss poor job developing them (see Elam, Matt). This figures to be Mark Stoops' last season in the Commonwealth.
7. South Carolina-Sorry, Yorkel. I actually think Muschamp may be able to get some good recruits to South Carolina before too long, but Spurrier's lacksadaisical recruiting as well as too many question marks on both sides of the ball leave you here.
1. LSU-I only put them here because the Alabama-LSU game is in Baton Rouge, and that might be just enough to get LSU over the top. Leonard Fournette is back, as is most of their defense, their receivers, their quarterback--which, of course, is why people are afraid to jump on that bandwagon. I get it. At the end of the day, this is the toughest one to call.
2. Alabama-Should be absolutely loaded on defense, even with the losses of Reggie Ragland and Cyrus Jones. Offensively, well, they have good receivers and they'll be able to plug in a runningback and get about 1500 yards and 14 TDs out of him, and it's not like they need a veteran QB to run that offense. Them vs. LSU in Baton Rouge should be nasty.
3. Ole Miss-Returning the best quarterback in the SEC in Chad Kelly, and most of the receiving corps from last year, including Damore'ea Stringfellow, Quincy Adeboyejo, Markell Pack, and tight end Evan Engram, as well as redshirt freshmen Van Jefferson and Demarkus Lodge, and true freshmen AJ Brown (from Starkville High) and DK Metcalf. O-line lost Tunsil, which is huge, but returns almost everybody else and even has the services of former TE/QB hybrid Jeremy "Big Lig" Liggins this season. The defensive line should still be solid with Fadol Brown, Isaac Gross, and Breeland Speaks back. Linebacker is a major question mark, as is the secondary. And having FSU, Alabama, and Georgia in the first 4 games is--well, not good. I expect a 1-3 start, but then for Ole Miss to crank it up before falling to LSU and probably ending up in a crappy bowl. Still, this could be as good a team as Ole Miss has had in a while.
4. Arkansas-Arkansas's MO the last two years has been start slow, get hot down the stretch. I expect about the same. They did lose a stud runningback in Alex Collins as well as a very good QB in Brandon Allen, but Bret Bielema should do well enough to get these guys to compete and win a few games they probably shouldn't.
5. Texas A&M-This is the one I'm not 100% sure on. If Trevor Knight is decent, they have a shot to be dangerous--their receiving corps is explosive, John Chavis has made this defense at least respectable, and their talent is very good. But lately, it seems like TAMU just can't get out of its own way, and if Knight struggles, Sumlin may pull the trigger on someone else and lead to more QB issues.
6. Mississippi State-They will take a step back without Dak Prescott, but low-key, Dan Mullen generally has a way of getting a lot out of his talent and making good quarterbacks. I figure they'll be good enough to pick off a couple of wins and get themselves into another bowl game.
7. Auburn-I'm not sold on JFIII, a kid who (spoiler alert) couldn't even beat out a white kid from Louisville, MS, for a national powerhouse JUCO team (said white kid only had one offer--Mississippi College, a rival of my University of North Alabama Lions). Auburn also ran off its leading rusher Jovon Robinson, their receiving corps is meh minus, Kevin Steele is defensive coordinator--yeah, there's not a lot to be excited about. Of course, if 2010 and 2013 were any indication, it is about time for another #blessed Auburn season.
Heapin' helpin' of friggin awful there. Am excited for the Auburn-Oklahoma State Sugar Bowl, doe.