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2013 SEC Football Preview 

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Of course everyone is aware that the SEC has won the past seven national championships, including 2012 where they had two representatives in the championship game, but when folks like myself have realized in the past few years is that the SEC has been putting out the best product on the planet. Yes I am aware that the NFL is made up of the best of the best and the speed is nowhere near the same. But when you watch the NFL now it’s mostly teams focused on scoring a ton of points. The NFL has made so many rule changes that benefit the quarterback and the passing game that I really feel that the SEC provides a more enjoyable all around game. Every game is of the utmost importance and every game features a bunch of monsters beating the piss out of each other on both sides of the ball. The run game and the defensive scheme is more important than being able to throw for a million yards and the rules don’t fully benefit the offense, yet. So take my advice and follow this conference closely. Even the “crappy” teams are worth watching. Watch as much of it as you can I promise you will not be disappointed.

PS. If they weren’t already good enough (six teams ranked inside the top 13 in preseason polls this year) the SEC also won the recruiting game this year too landing the top four recruits. Oh and they had three of the top five recruiting classes, including #1 in the nation.

My love for the SEC took true form a few years back when my buddy Vinnie and myself went on a road trip to Atlanta for the NASCAR race and there just so happened to be a college game at the Georgia Dome. Opening night of the college football season featured UNC vs LSU. When I say the LSU fans were out in droves I mean I have never seen anything like it. Being from the Boston area we had no real rooting interest at the time so we just looked at the wardrobe we had brought with us. Neither of us regularly wears purple so light blue and a wager on UNC it was. Once we got down to the stadium and saw the miles of purple we knew we had made a mistake. We were taunted by all the LSU fans, while aggressive they were some of the most fun sports fans I have ever spent time with. Despite wearing the colors of the opposition they understood where we were coming from and took us under their wing a bit. Everyone wearing Tar Heels garb was met with a “TIGER BAIT” chant only to laugh it off and have an in depth conversation about beer and food. Then the game started and we witnessed guys like Tyronne Mathieu and Patrick Peterson playing on another level. From there I fell in love with the SEC and haven’t looked back since.

This year we are in for another dynamite season. There are six teams in the SEC alone with a legit shot at winning a national championship. That means every week the season will be on the line for those teams. One loss could end up ruining the entire season. So let’s take a look at what to watch for this season in the SEC.

Players to watch:

Johnny Manziel, QB, A&M (So)

Johnny Manziel (I refuse to call him Johnny Football it’s just a fruity nickname he should be trying to get away from, you know if he wasn’t 21 years old and completely full of himself.) has had one wild offseason. Some people have lost love for this kid for some reason. Apparently getting drunk and being dumb isn’t something a college kid should be doing any longer. Now Johnny Hancockgate has affected his value in many peoples minds. Thanks to the lovely ESPN get used to hearing about Johnny Hancockgate because it is going to virtually take over your college football life for the next four plus months.

The only thing that bothers me about the signings, besides ESPN’s coverage of this, is that he either wasn’t aware of the rules or thought he was above them. How many guys need to get busted for shit in the NCAA before the new batch of kids get it? If he wasn’t aware then he may be dumb and that scares me off of him. If he thought he was above the rules/didn’t care, then he is dumb in a different way but more so incredibly narcissistic. I’m talking like Lebron in his prime level of being unaware, and that obviously scares me as well.

While it doesn’t excuse Manziel, the rule itself is insane. Up until this occurred the NCAA was profiting off of the same players they said couldn’t profit off of their stature. Obviously that’s among the all time hypocritical sports things. Now they have changed that but I don’t see how it makes them any better. Point is life as a college kid involves being broke as hell and when you are that big of a star you shouldn’t have to call mom and dad for money to buy books/party like an animal. If you don’t want these kids to profit off of their stature then either pay them enough to get by or don’t promote them as celebrities. Why should Manziel and people of his kind be forced to deal with the problems big time celebs must (paparazzi, full disclosure on your life, constantly having people come up to you asking for pictures and autographs, a mass of sports media ripping your every move among many other things), when he isn’t being paid like one? Isn’t the argument against any celeb that complains about hating the exposure “Shut the hell up you make a shit ton of money.”?

Here’s how this will play out... The NCAA doesn’t want to lose it’s most exciting player and will drag its feet until after the season resulting in no punishment before Manziel hits the draft. So ya, get ready for those four plus months of ESPN annoying you with talk about this because it will end the exact same way as Cam Newton’s “investigation” did, though maybe without the national title.

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, SC (Jr)

No words needed for this guy, just this...

Aaron Murray, QB, UGA (Sr)

Somehow this guy is still incredibly underrated. The only thing he hasn’t done is break through and win a big game. He came within 5 yards of winning the SEC, and probably a national championship, last year and this year he returns with revenge on his mind. The media will love covering him seeing as to how he is on the verge of breaking every UGA and SEC record there is...

He Already Earned:

  • The right to say he is the only SEC QB ever to throw for 3,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.
  • The UGA career passing touchdown record with 95. Second on the list? David Greene with just 72.
  • UGA’s single season passing yards record with 3,893 yards last year.
  • Also last year he threw for 36 touchdowns breaking his own mark.
  • He owns the UGA passing yards record as a freshman, sophomore and junior. He would need just 3,396 yards this year as a senior to break all four records.

He looks to earn:

  • The career SEC touchdown passes record. He trails Danny Wuerffel by just 19.
  • The most career pass attempts in the SEC/for UGA. He trails Jared Lorenzen by 382 for the SEC record and is just 309 back of the UGA record held by David Greene.
  • The most completions in the SEC in a career. He trails Florida’s Chris Leake by 199.
  • The most passing yards in SEC and UGA history for a career. He trails former UGA QB David Greene by just 627 yards.
  • And my personal favorite he looks to break Tim Tebow’s SEC record for most total yards. Murray trails Tebow by just 1,939 yards.
  • Of course I’m sure he would trade all of those for an SEC championship and a shot at the national title.

I have been a fan of Murray’s since his early days and believe in him. A lot of people are trying to classify him as a guy that can’t come through in the big game already. He’s in college for christ sake that shouldn’t have that big of an impact on his pro skills. This kid is going to be good in the future and really good this year. He could carry this team to the first SEC championship since 2005 and their first national championship since 1980.

PS. What I personally learned most from this... David Greene was pretty frigen good. Which forced me to Wiki him of course and turns out he was on my beloved Patriots at some point in 2007 as well as the Seahawks in 2005-07, Chiefs in 2007 and the Colts in 2008.

Todd Gurley, RB, UGA (So)

Of course, Aaron Murray is going to need some help. Todd Gurley just so happens to be the best running back in the nation this year. Last year as an 18 year old freshman, Gurley ran for the 2nd most yards on the 2nd most carries and scored the 2nd most touchdowns in the country. What more can you ask of a freshman? Even if he shows up without getting even 1% better he is the best in the country. But he will be bigger and better. This kid can lower his shoulder and barrell through defenders and he can make them look foolish by dancing around them, plus he has breakaway speed, he is the full package and has a long career in football ahead of him.

TJ Yeldon, RB, Bama (So)

Who is the second best running back in the country you ask? TJ Yeldon. With the backup running back position still up for argument you know who will carry the bulk of the load out of the backfield for Alabama this year. Yeldon really burst onto the scene last year as a freshman late in the season. He even sort of upstaged Eddie Lacy with his five 100+ yard rushing games against UGA in the SEC championship and ND in the national championship. At 6’2 225lbs he has a bit of Darren McFadden in him. He should blow up like McFadden did starting with this upcoming season.

CJ Mosley, LB, Bama (Sr)

Remember this suplex?

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This kid was a sure fire top 15 pick had he come out for the draft last year. He took a lot of heat for not coming out after winning MVP of the BCS national title game.  Instead he chose to stick around get his diploma and go for the three-peat and try and improve on his 107 tackles from last year. This kid is already a star. I have my fingers crossed that things work out for him and that he doesn’t get injured. He is going to have a stellar NFL career and will make a lot of money.

Amari Cooper, WR, Bama (So)

Well folks if you were a believer in Alabama this season you should be by this point. Amari Cooper is certainly the best receiver they have had since Julio Jones and not even Julio recorded a 1,000 yard season as a freshman. Even as good as Julio was he didn’t look nearly as explosive either. With Yeldon beating down the defense and drawing guys into the box Cooper is going to become even more important. Now that he has a year under his belt he should continue to be the best deep threat in college football and become more reliable with his all around game. This kid is going to be a stud at some point. It should be starting with this year but if it takes him a few years you’ll be able to think back on the times when you watched him as a college player and think about how far he has come since you started following him. He has the potential to be a rich mans Julio Jones.

Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Bama (Jr)

Trust me when I say that while I may like Alabama they are not my team of choice, they are just this GD good. Adrian Hubbard is a 6’6 260lb freak. Including Hubbard the Crimson Tide may have three linebackers as good or better than anyone else in the nation. He didn’t blow up the box score last year but he did everything he could to help. He can play outside, inside, hands up, hands down, run/pass protection anything. He would have been a high pick in last years draft yet he returns and will be part of the best linebacking core on the planet. Expect to hear a lot about this kid this year. He is going to blow up.

Louchiez Purifoy, CB, Fla (Jr)

Aside from him having my favorite name, and AP3’s favorite player from NCAA ‘13 the video game, Purifoy is a flat out athlete. This kid will look like the honeybadger at times in the secondary all the while returning kicks and maybe even seeing some time at wide receiver. Right now he is a broke mans Deion Sanders minus the baseball but he has all the intangibles that Primetime had.

Mike Evans, WR, A&M (So)

Thankfully this kid has an easy name to remember because he is going to be in our lives for the next dozen years or so. While he isn’t the fastest guy on the field he has the potential to be the best NFL player to come out of this Texas A&M team (yes better than Manziel). This 6’5 former basketball player has absolutely insane range. Believe it or not he makes Manziel look even better than he is. All Johnny has to do it throw the ball within ten feet of this guy and he is going to haul it in. He is bigger and stronger than basically every defensive back in the college game and he is only getting better. As mind boggling as it might be the weakest part of Evans’ game is the redzone. That shouldn’t last long though, he should instinctively know how to use his body for position and he can outjump anyone. Manziel actually hurts him in the redzone too so don’t look too far into the fact that he had just five touchdowns last year. He should double that this season at the very least. When the worst part of your game is the part that plays into your hands the most you are going to grow into an absolute stud. I’d compare him to Marques Colston but I think that might be a disservice to him, he is going to be that good.

Haha Clinton-Dix, S, Bama (Jr)

Another phenomenal name. Unless of course you delve into the fact that his parents named him “Haha”. While his name makes me smile it also makes me think that he comes from some dumb parents/bloodline. Let’s try and eliminate that thought from our brains and think of him as his own person. We have seen plenty of dumb people be incredibly smart at this particular game (IE: Aaron Hernandez; not that I am degrading Clinton-Dix to Hernandez’s level but I think you get what I am saying). Even if he may not be the smartest guy at a party he is a beast on the field. As a sophomore he led the Crimson Tide in interceptions and he may have led the team in big hits if that was somehow kept as a stat. This kid could end up being a first round pick in the 2014 draft. He should be a standout this year and maybe for years to come.

Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss (Jr)

6’3 230lbs and can run a 4.4 40 yard dash. What more do I have to say? As a sophomore without a great signal caller he recorded nearly 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. This year he looks to expand on his breakout 2012 season. Remember his name because he is going to be in your life for many years moving forward.

Craig Loston, S, LSU (Sr)

It may have taken this kid a few years and a suspension to the Honeybadger but he really stepped up last season. With a year under his belt he suddenly becomes the veteran in a young secondary. Something about him tells me that he is going to make a great leader among these boys and lead LSU to another stellar season. When he wasn’t fully counted on to do so this kid made plays. Now that he is going to be the quarterback of the LSU defense he should have a standout season.

There are enough great players in this conference to fill a draft board. These are just some of the guys to watch. The SEC is so incredible that this could be the length of a book and it wouldn’t do it justice. I am not trying to write a book, just yet, so let’s dive into what the final division standings will look like..

How the East will finish:

7. Kentucky 50-1

I’d like to think they are trending in the correct way but I can promise you all the UK students are waiting on opening tip of the hoops season.

6. Vanderbilt 12-1

Last year the Commodores were one of my sleeper picks and actually won me a good bit of coin. This year they lost A-Ro’s baby brother and will suffer because of it. Vanderbilt didn’t exactly build their team up for his departure and will suffer the consequences. They have somewhat of a bright future with some young talent but this is the big leagues it is going to take more than that to overcome the sexual assault case WR Chris Boyd has found himself entrenched in.

5. Missouri 18-1

They struggled last season and they are going to struggle again this season. We all assumed they would struggle getting acclimated to the SEC, they have just been outshined by the likes of Johnny Manziel. This year they find themselves in a loaded division once again and will show shines of excellence but won’t be consistent enough to truely compete in this conference.

4. Tennessee 18-1

The Vols...

Tangent: When you think Vols/Volunteers you think Lady Vols right? Not that I’m a chicks sports aficionado, it’s just that that name leads me to think chicks, metrosexual men or worse the metrosexual lesbian with an attitude. I’m sure this is painful to hear as a Tennessee fan but you can’t possibly expect your team to succeed, especially in the SEC, with a team named the Volunteers. Also despite your great draft class you can’t expect to bring in top tier players willing to play as “Volunteers”. I’ve followed Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel closely enough to know that they aren’t volunteers and your team name shouldn’t be that if you want to win nowadays.

… have a bright future (what a lame ending to that sentence, sorry). Tennessee managed to end up with the third best recruiting class in the nation this past season. Mash that in with anyone else playing QB and a fresh start should do them wonders. While they seem like a longshot to anyone under 25 they are still have powerhouse potential. The Volunteers seem to be tracking more towards the old Vol’s than they do the recent so look for them to emerge at some point and be a difficult opponent throughout this season. They are the best longshot bet in the division but don’t expect too much from them until next year or the year after. 18-1 though isn’t too shabby.

3. Florida +350

This team has true sleeper potential. They have a nice young offense that has tremendous upside. The only problem is that their schedule this year really hurts them. It is going to be very difficult to have a better conference record than 5-3 with a schedule of vs Tenn, atKY, vs Ark, atLSU, vs UGA (in Jax but after a bye), vs Vandy, and atSC. 7-1 is going to win this division. It is just a matter of the single loss from the top three possible teams. I have it scored at Fla finishing at 5-3...

2. South Carolina +160

SC has the unfortunate draw of playing atUGA in Week 2 but other than that they should win out in their conference schedule. They are probably overrated a bit as far as the odds are concerned but the Gamecocks draw a halfways easy schedule with the exception of playing atUGA in Week 2. I wrote about it in the College Football Schedule Preview but this game may end up determining who will play for the SEC Championship, even though it’s week 2.

1. Georgia +110

With Jarvis Jones out Jordan Jenkins will take over as the leader of that Bulldogs defense. If Aaron Murray is going to win this year he is going to need his defense to step up and that starts with Jordan Jenkins. Jenkins might end up better than Jones when it’s all said and done. He certainly has the talent to surpass him. But he needs to pick things up and needs the rest of the team to step up around him. With Todd Gurley plowing through defenses the Bulldogs should get plenty of rest and be able to compete for a national championship. Of course this means I am picking Georgia to beat the Gamecocks in Week 2. Yes that game will determine who will play in the SEC championship and anyone that wants to combat me as to how the BCS sucks can just look at how important that is as a week 2 matchup and suck my fuckin dick.

How the West will finish:

7. Arkansas 35-1

Wow is the SEC loaded. Arkansas is a team with enough talent to be able to steal Bret Bielema from Wisconsin this past offseason. While they have plenty of talent they aren’t well rounded enough to be a legit contender this year but this is without a doubt the best last place team in football.

Their strength is certainly their defensive line. They have two stud pass rushers in Chris Smith and Trey Flowers. Those two were good enough to hide the fact that the defenders behind them were so bad last year.

On the offensive side of the ball they are going to need to replace QB Tyler Wilson. It looks like Brandon Allen (Jr) will have the task of stepping into some big shoes. Word is spreading on true freshman running back Alex Collins. He and Jonathan Williams will split the load at the tailback position. Except the Hogs to be competitive in most of their games but their inexperience will be their undoing. Coach Bielema has said that they could play 10 true freshmen. With that inexperience their four week stretch of vs A&M, atFlorida, vs South Carolina and atAlabama, starting 9/28, will be nearly impossible to overcome. The future however does look bright.

6. Auburn 35-1

The schedule is what really gives Auburn the nod over Arkansas. While every SEC schedule is difficult that four week stretch for Arkansas is nearly impossible. Auburn drew their toughest games following some of their easiest.

Last season Auburn finished dead last in total offense and next to last in total defense. This year new coach Gus Malzahn looks to right the ship. He will bring back the spread offense which should benefit Nick Marshall (Jr), who was just named as the starting QB. The offense will also rely heavily on tailback Tre Mason who eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark one year ago. They have a solid offensive line in place to help him out too. But they need to get better production out of their wide receiving core. They have some potential spread out wide but a lot of inexperience. Ricardo Louis was a big time recruit that had a fantastic spring but obviously we don’t know if that will necessarily translate to the fall. If he can turn into a number one type of guy their offense could be scary. There are plenty of ifs of course. If first year starter Nick Marshall can succeed, if Tre Mason has another great season, if Louis can stand out and if that offensive line can continue to do what they have then receivers Quan Bray and Trovon Reed could burst onto the scene with their ability to make big plays.

5. Ole Miss 7-1

Hugh Freeze has really brought this program to life in just his second year as head coach. Freeze followed up a surprisingly competitive 2012 with the #5 recruiting class in the nation. This team is young but expectations are through the roof.

Two of their key contributors are brothers. Denzel Nkemdiche is a sophomore LB who burst onto the scene last year with 82 tackles three picks and three sacks. Then of course there is his brother Robert Nkemdiche who was ranked as the #1 recruit of 2013 at DE. Pair those two with an offense that can score points and they might just have something. However if they truly want to succeed they will need to get a lot better at defending the pass.  

Their lack of experience and the fact that they have to play a stretch of at Texas, BYE, at Alabama, at Auburn, vs Texas A&M, and vs LSU drops them behind their interstate rival Bulldogs, whom they must visit in the final game of the season. Don’t fear Rebels fans, the lack of experience and tough schedule might bite you this year but the future is very bright.

4. Mississippi State 35-1

This is a really underrated team. This young team has just ten seniors but a ton of upside. Last season they started off 7-0, climbing into the top 15 of the polls. Then Alabama ripped their hearts out. This young team let Alabama get into their heads a little too much and cost them four of their next five. All five of their losses were by double digits. Hopefully I won’t lose too much credibility (not that I have any anyway), with this next statement but anyways, If you played NCAA Football 2013 (the video game) you probably noticed that after the first year or so of your dynasty that Mississippi State was hovering inside the top 5 of the rankings every year you played. I know that doesn’t mean much but I feel like it is a good representation of which way this team is trending. Of course EA Sports is incredibly lazy but on paper they are right this team is really good, but may not be SEC good.

This year they have some much needed experience despite still being very young. Their schedule does them some favors though they are still in the SEC. By favors I mean they get to play LSU at home the week after a bye, and the week after LSU visits Georgia, as well as Alabama and Ole Miss at home. But they will have to square off against five opponents currently ranked; Oklahoma State (In Houston), vs LSU, at South Carolina, at Texas A&M, and vs Alabama. The kicker is those last three take place on consecutive weeks. After facing that gauntlet they will have to travel to Arkansas to play a hungry Hogs team before hosting rival Ole Miss.

The Bulldogs do return a very talented offensive line to block for quarterback Tyler Russell (Sr) and running back LaDarius Perkins (Sr). Those two elder statesmen are going to need to step up and be the leaders if they want to have any chance at competing in the SEC West division.

3. Texas A&M 4-1

Oh how Johnny Manziel has surrounded this team by an abnormal amount of media coverage. His redshirt freshman season gave the media enough reason to head to College Station, nevermind the now infamous Johnny Hancockgate. I’ve talked about Manziel enough in this column so I will leave you with the fact that they have a halfways easy schedule. At first glance you see that they draw Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State at home as well as Ole Miss and LSU on the road but coming off of a bye. But then you realize that LSU is also coming off a bye and is at home in a game that will most likely decide 2nd place in this division. Despite the favorable schedule for A&M I see them struggling this year. While they have a ton of talent, they have actually become really overrated this past year. The love for Manziel, mostly promoted by ESPN, has become overbearing. Johnny Manziel is either the best college football player of all time or the hype is going to get to the Aggies resulting in possible losses at Arkansas heading into a bye, at Ole Miss coming out of said bye, vs Mississippi State heading into a different bye, and/or at Missouri (whom has become a new rival of theirs given their induction into the SEC at the same time. Yes it feels forced but only time will tell if it is lasting.)

Everyone has their eyes on 9/14 when they will meet Alabama at home. The Aggie fans will tell you they are super confident but behind those lying eyes is a scared/delusional fan. It may be cliche/ESPN-esk, (wow even I feel like I’ve dogged ESPN too much in this marathon of an SEC preview. But with Fox Sports 1 having a great opening day I can’t help it.), but this early season matchup will decide the fate of the Aggies. If they win they will realize their potential and be incredibly focused the remainder of the season. If they lose Johnny Manziel might take the team out for a several week long bender resulting in a disgraceful second half of the season.

2. LSU +550

They get the nod over A&M, A. because they draw A&M the week following a bye and that bye follows a week that will probably will result in two weeks of being pissed off after a loss at Alabama. While LSU must play at Georgia, while A&M dodges them, they still get the nod over them. While most of their talent on offense has returned their defense lost a ton. However when was the last time you remember LSU struggling on defense? They have scored some of the best recruits on the defensive end as long as I can personally remember. They have some young talent that will need to step up on that side of the ball to be legit contenders but their offense won’t skip a beat. They return quarterback Zach Mettenberger (Sr.) as the signal caller and still have an absolutely loaded backfield.

Between Alabama vying for a three peat and Johnny Hancockgate, LSU has been sort of forgotten. But believe it or not their backfield of Alfred Blue (Sr.), Kenny Hilliard (Jr.), Jeremy Hill (So.) and others, is even more loaded than last year. Plus QB Zach Mettenberger has another year of experience under his belt. However he will be asked to assume a bigger role this year and will need to throw the ball down the field with more accuracy this season.

As far as the schedule goes, LSU will kick things off with a difficult matchup with TCU in Arlington, Texas to kick things off. After that they have drawn stretches of at Georgia, at Mississippi State, vs Florida, at Ole Miss and then surrounded by two bye weeks at Alabama followed by a matchup at home against Texas A&M. In fact they are the only team in the West that has to play both Florida and Georgia so the schedule might be their biggest opponent, well besides the fact that Les Miles is their coach.

1. Alabama -150

Yes this is an obvious pick but come on. They are without a doubt the most powerful/complete team in college football. Week 1 against Virginia Tech in Atlanta will show us just how good the Crimson Tide really are. After that they have a bye before playing Texas A&M in College Station. However after that the schedule really benefits Nick Saban’s crew. They draw Ole MIss, Tennessee and LSU at home. If they don’t finish the regular season undefeated I will be absolutely amazed.

Best Bets to win the SEC Championship:


ma +145

I’m not sure how you are going to get better odds than this. Maybe if they fail to show on opening night against the Hokies? Maybe Va Tech plays Beamer ball incredibly well and shocks the nations’ #1 Alabama Crimson Tide? I hope you aren’t waiting on that. Odds are that Alabama will “roll” through Va Tech by 20+ and those odds will drop now that everyone knows they are legit. They are 18.5 point favorites over Virginia Tech for a reason.

Georgia +410

South Carolina +510

South Carolina probably has the easier overall schedule but UGA gets to play them at home with a more complete team out for revenge against Alabama. However, if I am betting Georgia then I probably won’t betting Alabama which means that South Carolina is a must bet just for hedging purposes. Even if Georgia beats them in week two they still have to win at home against LSU and at Tennessee in back to back weeks and then again in Jacksonville against Florida and not to forget their visit to Clemson in their season opener. The Georgia season could either be soaring or drowning as early as week 2, so please trust me and bet South Carolina along with the Georgia Bulldogs.

Tennessee +6050

Mississippi State 100-1

Here’s the two best value bets of the bunch. The Vols, ugh, face back to backs featuring at Oregon and at Florida in weeks three and four as well as vs South Carolina and at Alabama, so I don’t love their chances. But they are young and should rise to become SEC championship contenders within the next few years. If they hit the ground running and gain some confidence vs Austin Peay and vs Western Kentucky, then the young guys might have some comfort by the time they have to travel to Oregon.

Mississippi State may not have the pleasure of playing in the East, not that the East is that much weaker, but they have the benefit of a very kind schedule until November. Mississippi State should enter November with an overall record of at worst 5-2. However one of those losses accounted for is in the opening week against Oklahoma State in Houston. Without giving too much away from my week 1 college football picks column, Mississippi State +12.5 is quite possibly my favorite pick on the board. Underrated SEC team plus 12.5 points against a probably overrated Big 12, with only ten teams, team? I love MSU. The other loss accounted for comes at home against LSU following a bye. A game in which LSU will in turn be coming off a battle at UGA. These Bulldogs could very likely be 7-0 overall, confidence sky high heading into their difficult home stretch. Point is... they probably won’t win but have you ever heard of a 100-1 shot that started off 7-0? Me neither.

The SEC should be back to its prime form in 2013-14. Every game counts, it’s why people will remember the BCS fondly in a few years. Just you wait, once there is a big tournament at the end of the season the regular season matchups will lose their meaning making games more missable. This is an entire column on the horizon so I won’t burn any more of it but point is the BCS has drawn a lot of haters but most of them aren’t true college football fans. Anyways, the SEC is the bees knees, whatever that actually means... do bees even have knees?... the best there is. Every game is worth watching even if it’s the last place team going up against the #1 team in the country. No team can be taken for granted. There is no football schedule tougher than an SEC conference schedule.

PS. If you love the SEC as much as I do then you should follow John Cooper aka @JohnSDS on Twitter, for great SEC updates.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

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