College Football Preview: SEC East

The defending national champions, Tennessee and Georgia on the upswing, Spurrier still threatening to make South Carolina good … and Kentucky even won 8 games last year. All of these factors make the 2007 SEC East season a hard one to predict. Has Florida lost too much on defense? Will Tebow be a superstar? How good will Tennessee and Georgia be? Can the Cocks do anything significant, and how real is Kentucky? I”m inclined to believe the following:

- Urban Meyer is for real and has abundant young talent at Florida. But getting back to the SEC Championship Game will be a struggle this year.

- Tennessee and Georgia should both be strong, but Tennessee has a slightly more favorable schedule.

- Even before the season begins, Spurrier is struggling to keep things focused at South Carolina, with suspensions coming down to star players. A breakout year is not likely.

- Kentucky has a lot to prove in a year when nobody will take that W for granted.

Running through the schedules, I come up with a few potential outcomes, all involving Florida, Georgia or Tennessee taking a slight edge in the division. I don”t think any team in the East goes undefeated or only loses one conference game; two of the three contenders are likely to finish 6-2 with a head-to-head tiebreaker sending one to Atlanta. Please note that I am only predicting conference records, because what matters is winning the SEC. Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina each face significant out of conference foes.

The scenario I believe the most in:

1. Tennessee – 6-2, beating Georgia and Alabama, losing to Florida and South Carolina.

2. Georgia – 6-2, beating Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, losing to Tennessee and Auburn.
3. Florida – 5-3, beating Tennessee and South Carolina, losing to Auburn, (spoiler alert!) LSU and Georgia.
4. South Carolina – 4-4, beating Tennessee, losing to Georgia, (spoiler alert!) LSU, Arkansas and Florida.
5. Kentucky – 2-6, beating nobody, losing to people who Kentucky should lose to.

So in the end, I think this season the SEC East will be about good teams beating up on each other with no single powerhouse making a national title run and the top teams in the SEC West coming out on top in cross-division games.

Tomorrow: LSU and the SEC West

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One Response to “College Football Preview: SEC East”

  1. [...] game Nov. 1. I picked Georgia to win the game last year (and Tennessee to win the division – really!) because of schedule pacing, and I’ll call it for Florida again this season for the same [...]

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