2017 SEC Predictions

Well, you know I love all college football, but I have a special place in my heart for the SEC. It’s the conference my Hogs play in and it’s the best conference in college football. And it’s the conference I know best.

SEC West
We in the SEC West like to talk a lot of smack. It’s just how it is. Lucky for us, Alabama tends to back up our talk. This year I think a couple other teams could walk the walk. Bama is my favorite, because of course they are, but I also see LSU and Auburn challenging the Tide. I just want the division to be a little better this season. Mainly so people stop saying the Big 10 East is the best. The top 3 of that division are great, I’ll give them that, but I’d take Ole Miss and Miss State over Maryland and Rutgers 100 out of 100 times. I just love the SEC West… except for LSU.

1. Alabama (8-0)
2. LSU (7-1)
3. Auburn (6-2)
4. Arkansas (5-3)
5. Texas A&M (3-5)
6. Mississippi State (1-7)
7. Ole Miss (1-7)

Alabama
Predicted SEC Record: 8-0
Wins: at Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, at Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, at Mississippi State, at Auburn
Losses: none
My uncle recently told me “it doesn’t take much guts to pick the Tide.” But he followed it up with “but it wouldn’t show much brains to pick against them.” I agree. As much fun as it would be to pick someone else and be right or to go against the grain and be wrong, I can’t pick against them. LSU and Auburn have the best chances to knock them off, but I just don’t see it. Their first game against Florida State should show us a ton, and I think it will show how good this Alabama team is. I also think they will beat whoever comes out of the East.

LSU
Predicted SEC Record: 7-1
Wins: at Mississippi State, at Florida, Auburn, at Ole Miss, Arkansas, at Tennessee, Texas A&M
Losses: at Alabama
Since Derrius Guice started playing, I have been of the opinion that he was better than Leonard Fournette. So, I’m not worried for LSU when it comes to the RB position. Danny Etling will be the QB, but Guice will be the playmaker on this offense. LSU’s defense has been strong in recent history and I think that trend will continue. The LSU Bama game has been one of the best games of the CFB season over the last few years, and it should be another great installment in 2017.

Auburn
Predicted SEC Record: 6-2
Wins: at Missouri, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, at Arkansas, at Texas A&M, Georgia
Losses: at LSU, Alabama
Of course, the biggest news surrounding Auburn this preseason is QB Jarett Stidham. Stidham went to Baylor his freshman year and started 3 games after Seth Russell got hurt, but then he hurt his ankle. He left Baylor for a community college, where he did not play football, and then transferred to Auburn. This kid can sling the ball. He is a dual threat, but his passing ability is stronger than Auburn has seen in a while. The Tigers also return RB Kamryn Pettway, who rushed for 1240 yards. Stidham should make this team a contender.

Arkansas
Predicted SEC Record: 5-3
Wins: vs Texas A&M, at South Carolina, at Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri
Losses: at Alabama, Auburn, at LSU
I wish I could tell you Arkansas would go 8-0 in SEC play. But I can’t. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong. After two seasons of being a second half of the season team, Arkansas ended last season on two very bad notes. I hope the team has learned from those losses. The Hogs have a very good and experienced QB in Austin Allen. Most of the skill guys around him will be new faces. The defense does have some experience and the secondary should know what they are doing. I really hope we can get that win over A&M. We haven’t done that since the Aggies have been in the SEC. We need that win. And I believe we can.

Texas A&M
Predicted SEC Record: 3-5
Wins: South Carolina, Mississippi State, at Ole Miss
Losses: vs Arkansas, Alabama, at Florida, Auburn, at LSU
A big question for Texas A&M is at the quarterback position. Trevor Knight is gone and there are a couple guys who could earn the job. Whichever one comes out on top will have one heck of a WR to throw to in Christian Kirk. The defense needs to step up if they want to contend in this division. I think they are going to surprise some people, but I don’t think they are going to upset the big boys in the conference this season.

Mississippi State
Predicted SEC Record: 1-7
Wins: Ole Miss
Losses: LSU, at Georgia, at Auburn, Kentucky, at Texas A&M, Alabama, at Arkansas
The Mississippi schools are set up to have a tough season. I am giving the edge to Miss State because of their veteran QB and their HC. Nick Fitzgerald was solid last season, but he wasn’t great. He loses his leading receiver in Fred Ross, but Donald Gray is coming back. This team is in a prime position to pull some upsets, only time will tell if they’ll be able to do it.

Ole Miss
Predicted SEC Record: 1-7
Wins: Vanderbilt
Losses: at Alabama, at Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, at Kentucky, Texas A&M, Mississippi State
Not many teams have had a more tumultuous offseason than Ole Miss. NCAA sanctions and then losing their head coach. They do have a QB who has seen the field and led the Rebels to a huge upset over Texas A&M last season. Patterson did struggle in his last two starts, but having the starting experience should be really helpful. Ole Miss loses a lot of playmakers, I think it’s going to be a tough season for Ole Miss.

SEC East
I like to poke fun at the SEC LEast, but they are getting better. They are also getting much more competitive within their division. That makes me happy but it also makes my job much harder. Georgia and Florida seem to be the two who will duke it out for the chance to play Alabama, but Tennessee or Kentucky could surprise us all. I guess that’s why they play the games and we don’t just predict them.

1. Georgia (7-1)
2. Florida (6-2)
3. Kentucky (5-3)
4. Tennessee (4-4)
5. South Carolina (2-6)
6. Vanderbilt (1-7)
7. Missouri (0-8)

Georgia
Predicted SEC Record: 7-1
Wins: Mississippi State, at Tennessee, at Vanderbilt, Missouri, vs Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky
Losses: at Auburn
This Georgia team is loaded… if they can stay healthy. Last season freshman QB Jacob Eason turned a lot of heads. Will he be able to avoid a sophomore slump this year? UGA also returns RBs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel for their senior seasons. Their defense needs to improve a little from last year, but I think Georgia is the team to beat in the SEC East.

Florida
Predicted SEC Record: 6-2
Wins: Tennessee, at Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, at Missouri, at South Carolina
Losses: LSU, vs Georgia
No one knows who is going to be quarterbacking this team, and no one will know until Saturday. Florida was a weird team last season, losing to Arkansas but beating LSU. They were a very up and down team last year and will need to even out to win their division this year. I’m not worried about the Florida defense because they are always good. We’ll know a lot about this team after they face off with Michigan.

Kentucky
Predicted SEC Record: 5-3
Wins: at South Carolina, Missouri, at Mississippi State, Ole Miss, at Vanderbilt
Losses: Florida, Tennessee, at Georgia
Kentucky seems to be right on the edge of being a very good team. They have shown flashes of brilliance but haven’t been able stay strong for a whole season. This season Kentucky gets Mississippi State and Ole Miss from the West, which should be very helpful. Their defense is their biggest concern. On average, the Wildcats gave up 31 points last season. That has to change.

Tennessee
Predicted SEC Record: 4-4
Wins: South Carolina, at Kentucky, at Missouri, Vanderbilt
Losses: at Florida, Georgia, at Alabama, LSU
Tennessee was weird last season. You never knew what team you were going to get. It might be more of the same this year without Josh Dobbs. New people are going to need to step up and make plays. The question mark at QB is hard for me to overcome. I’m interested in how this team will do this season and if they can become Champions of Life.

South Carolina
Predicted SEC Record: 2-6
Wins: at Missouri, Vanderbilt
Losses: Kentucky, at Texas A&M, Arkansas, at Tennessee, at Georgia, Florida
South Carolina did some impressive things last season. Their biggest win came against Tennessee and they were in a couple other big games. They return their QB Jake Bentley for his sophomore season and they hope he will bring stability to the position. This team could be on the precipice of being a competitor. It will be interesting to see what this team can do this season.

Vanderbilt
Predicted SEC Record: 1-7
Wins: Missouri
Losses: Alabama, at Florida, Georgia, at Ole Miss, at South Carolina, Kentucky, at Tennessee
Vanderbilt had to beat Tennessee in the final game of the regular season to become bowl eligible. Not only did they win, they won by 11. For Vanderbilt to be successful, they need their offense to be a little bit better, and that should be the case this season. QB Kyle Shurmur is back and so is star RB Ralph Webb. Shurmur will need to be more accurate than he was last year, but with most of his receivers returning, his confidence should be improved. The ‘Dores could steal a few this season.

Missouri
Predicted SEC Record: 0-8
Wins: none
Losses: South Carolina, Auburn, at Kentucky, at Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, at Vanderbilt, at Arkansas
Missouri was able to find an offense last season after not having one in 2015. The Tigers return almost all of that offense this year. The defense is another thing. To win in this conference you have to be able to stop the other teams from scoring. Missouri hasn’t been able to do that in the last couple seasons. QB Drew Lock needs to keep improving to give his team a chance.

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Posted in 2017 Season, Football

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CFP Top 25

1. LSU
2. Ohio State
3. Clemson
4. Georgia

5. Alabama
6. Oregon
7. Utah
8. Penn State
9. Oklahoma
10. Minnesota
11. Florida
12. Wisconsin
13. Michigan
14. Baylor
15. Auburn
16. Notre Dame
17. Iowa
18. Memphis
19. Cincinnati
20. Boise State
21. Oklahoma State
*22. Iowa State
*23. USC
24. Appalachian State
*25. SMU

*New Team

Dropped Out: 19Texas, 23Navy, 24Kansas State

AP Top 25

1. LSU (10-0,6-0)
2. Ohio State (10-0,7-0)
3. Clemson (11-0,8-0)
4. Georgia (9-1,6-1)
5. Alabama (9-1,6-1)
6. Oregon (9-1,6-1)
7. Utah (9-1,6-1)
8. Oklahoma (9-1,6-1)
9. Penn State (8-1,5-1)
10. Florida (9-2,6-2)
11. Minnesota (9-1,6-1)
12. Michigan (8-2,5-2)
13. Baylor (9-1,6-1)
14. Wisconsin (8-2,5-2)
15. Notre Dame (8-2)
16. Auburn (7-3,4-3)
17. Cincinnati (9-1,6-0)
18. Memphis (9-1,5-1)
19. Iowa (7-3,4-3)
20. Boise State (9-1,6-0)
21. SMU (9-1,5-1)
22. Oklahoma State (7-3,4-3)
*23. Appalachian State (9-1,5-1)
*24. Texas A&M (7-3,4-2)
*25. Virginia Tech (7-3,4-2)

Dropped Out: 21Navy (7-2,5-2), 22Texas (6-4,4-3), 24Indiana (7-3,4-3)

*New Team

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