Conference Preview: SEC
The most dominant conference in college football over the last 10 years has certainly cooled off. The SEC comes into 2015 with more question marks than any other league.
-How will Alabama respond after two disappointing postseason finishes?
-Will Auburn live up to the hype?
-Will the Mississippi teams sustain success?
-Can Georgia win the East?
-Which surprise team can emerge this season?
Certainly these are questions that need answering. So let’s go through them.
Saban will have work cut out for him
Just three starters back on offense and no word on who the starting quarterback will be. A lot of people are probably putting the Tide in their top five of their preseason rankings, and why? Because it’s Alabama, when really this team, in all likelihood, will not make the playoffs. I don’t care how well they recruit, this team lost almost all of their playmakers from a year ago. They lost their best player on defense in Landon Collins and their defense was mediocre at best last season. Don’t believe me, look at how many yards they gave up to Ohio State and Auburn. I think Alabama will once again have a disappointing season, by their fans standards.
Auburn has to prove it
ESPN has Auburn incredibly high in their power rankings and in a lot of expert’s preseason playoff predictions, why? All they did was lose their quarterback, running back and top receiver Sammy Coats. All this came after lost to Wisconsin in their bowl game. The Tigers lose the third most starters of anyone in the SEC from a year ago. I’m not buying the Auburn hype just yet. They have to prove it to me, because all I see is ESPN scrambling to find another SEC team to put the playoffs.
Ole Miss can, Mississippi State, not so much
Ole Miss has a lot of talent back on defense and their top receiver, Laquon Treadwell, comes back from injury. This team can certainly compete for the top of the SEC West. The rebels were overrated last season, because they peaked too early. I think this could be the year for the Rebels to win the division. However, Mississippi State lost most of their starters on their defensive front, which was also overrated, and gave up almost 500 yards rushing to Georgia Tech. Dak Prescott is not a Heisman candidate and received way too much hype last season, he only completed 61 percent of his passes an threw 11 interceptions. I think Ole Miss will have a nine or ten win season, Mississippi State will probably win seven or eight.
Georgia can win the East
A quarterback needs to emerge for the Dawgs, but Nick Chubb is a stud. Georgia returns a defense that was young a season ago, and can be solid this season. A good run game and solid defense is a great formula. If Georgia can find a quarterback that can avoid turnovers and manage the game, Georgia should have no problem winning a weak East division. Also, South Carolina is struggling with an aging Steve Spurrier, Florida has much work to do with a new coach and Missouri has to get past Indiana before I believe in them.
Dark horse: Texas A&M
Such a young team a year ago, with a young, inexperienced defense. The Aggies need their young guys that were so highly recruited, like Myles Garret, to step up and have a big year. A&M has not had a good defensive year under head coach Kevin Sumlin. The pieces are in place for the Aggies to explode on offense. This team recruited so well the past three years, if they can play some defense, they can make a run for the division.