As some of you might be aware my team is the Florida Gators, "chomp chomp" and all that good stuff. (Psst yes I can enjoy other teams too before my Spartan/Viking podcast host mate jumps in, but this is my "actual" team)
After watching more games last season, a little research and listening to many podcasts, I wanted to jot down my thoughts on how the SEC shakes out this year.
I know there is people that have far more knowledge on all the programs than me out there so please don't take this as if I know what i'm talking about. (I know you didn't anyway) but I enjoyed putting this together and thought I'd give it a little explanation afterwards on how I see certain teams performing.
South Carolina (1-7)
Texas A&M (6-2)
Ole Miss (5-3)
Mississippi State (1-7)
SEC Championship Game
Georgia 27-34 LSU
It’s probably not a big surprise to see Georgia and Alabama dominating their conference games, although I'm not seeing many people sharing my love for LSU. I understand why, with the concerns with the off the field rumours surfacing last season and the bottom falling out of the program. Despite this I still believe in Coach O, especially with the amount of talent that is still on that roster.
LSU were always facing an uphill battle following their phenomenal 2019. I think they regroup and get back to winning ways. It was intriguing to see who would win the starting battle at quarterback although with Myles Brennan's fishing injury ruling him out, Max Johnson now has a clear path to becoming the starter and more importantly, gaining the opportunity to have all the fall camp starter snaps ready to be the week 1 starter. I have them falling to Texas A&M in the final game of the season which derails their playoff chance, but they surprise the world by going to Bama and coming back with the W.
Now let's get to Georgia, I think week 1 they push Clemson, but fall just a little short before dominating their SEC schedule. People will get carried away but given that they manage to avoid Bama, LSU and Texas A&M this year, the only impressive victory comes against the Gators. All other results are as expected apart from a shock defeat to Auburn. This defeat ends their playoff chances despite finishing 7-1 in the conference and winning the East. Despite all of this the Georgia Bulldogs will be one of the best teams in College Football this season. They can get away with a defeat to Clemson, but even a defeat to the Gators or anyone else on their weaker SEC schedule will see them outside the top 4 heading into the playoffs.
Texas A&M put in another fantastic season and once again only just missed on an SEC Championship and playoff opportunity. I have Bama beating them, which is no real surprise, although as mentioned I have them edging out LSU in the final game of the season. However I have them slipping up to an Ole Miss or Missouri in a surprise loss. When you look at their schedule outside Bama and LSU, it should be a fairly straight forward schedule with some big wins. It will be interesting to see how well they replace four year starter Kellen Mond, although with Jimbo Fisher at the helm I have no doubt they are one of the stronger teams in the SEC once it is all said and done.
Lets face it, not many programs would survive losing so many players to the NFL Draft let alone the talent the 2019 and 2020 Bama teams had. This is no ordinary program though and I expect them very much to be once again in the mix for an SEC Championship at the very minimum. I have them falling to LSU but they do face a few challenges on this schedule. 1st up they travel to Miami for a tricky opener before facing Florida in week 3. The Gators lost to Alabama in the Championship game last season but also lost some big pieces too. Week 3 could still offer a chance for a program like Florida to spring a surprise but coming from a Gators fan I think this will be an easy win for Alabama.
They also get Texas A&M on the road, before facing LSU late in the season.
Auburn, Missouri and Kentucky I think find themselves being tricky opponents on their day. Missouri should be fun to watch. Auburn moved on from Gus Malzahn after 7 years, being replaced by Bryan Harsin who has yet to experience a losing season as a head coach. It’s going to take time to shape this school to his way of thinking but I think he makes them a tricky prospect who manage to just about keep his winning streak active once more.
It will be great to hear your feedback, this was mostly a little bit of fun and to hopefully spark up some conversation.