SEC East Predictions
Beast Of The East
By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
College football in the SEC is back operational again with players being back on campus and working out getting ready for the 2020 football season. Here is my predicted finish for the SEC East this fall.
1.Georgia: The Georgia Bulldogs have out-recruited everyone in the SEC East by a mile lately.
The roster is stacked with the only legit question is what will UGA do at the QB position.
The QB room is stocked from a talent perspective. Will JT Daniels be granted a waiver to play immediately like Justin Fields was at Ohio State? We all know UGA has that road trip to Alabama on 9/19. Many think that will be a loss.
The QB job looks like it is Jamie Newman’s to lose right now. If Newman lives up to the hype this team will be in the national title hunt.
Games of concern for 2020: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and South Carolina. Final regular season record: 11-1 with a loss at Alabama or Auburn.
2.Florida: The Gators are on the way back and are the trendy pick in the SEC East this fall.
Why is that the case? They don’t have a more talented roster than UGA and Dan Mullen is 0-3 against Kirby Smart as a head coach.
I see question marks at running back, wide receiver, and defensive line for Florida.
Florida should be recruiting at a higher level than they currently are.
Can Brenton Cox live up to his five-star hype and be the pass rusher the Gators need?
Dan Mullen is regarded as a great game day coach. I don’t think the Gators are there yet. Close but not there.
Games of concern this fall: Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia, and FSU. Final regular season record 10-2 with losses to LSU, and Georgia. Ole Miss is a trap game.
3.Tennessee: I was on vacation in North Georgia this week and I saw Tennessee shirts everywhere on tourists. I haven’t seen that in years, which means the Tennessee fan base is getting excited again about Tennessee football.
There are plenty of reasons to be excited because Jeremy Pruitt is turning this thing around in Knoxville.
Tennessee has been a dumpster fire for a decade now. QB is a concern along with roster depth across the board. We will know all we need to know about the Vols when they travel to Oklahoma in week 2.
Games of concern this fall: Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia. Final regular season record 8-4 with losses to Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.
4.Kentucky: The Cats have as many as 18 starters returning and will be a thorn in the side of just about everyone they play, but this is not March and Kentucky finds ways to lose football games they can win. Games of concern this fall: Florida, South Carolina, Auburn, Tennessee, and Georgia. Final regular season record 8-4 with losses to Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and Georgia.
5.South Carolina: Will Muschamp is on the hot seat in Columbia.
The schedule is brutal once again. Can Carolina get six wins and a bowl game?
Games of concern this fall: Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU, Clemson. Carolina will have to beat Kentucky in Lexington to go 6-6. I see Carolina losing all of the games above and finishing 5-7 with a decent football team.
6.Missouri: The Tigers are in full rebuild mode.
Games of concern this fall: Every SEC contest. I see the Tigers going 4-8 with its lone SEC win being over Vanderbilt.
7.Vanderbilt: The only win I can see on Vandy’s schedule this fall is opening day against Mercer.
Final record 1-11 and the firing of Derek Mason. Good football coach at an impossible place to win.
Labor Day weekend can’t get here quick enough.
The SEC East Crystal Ball
By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
We are now under three months and counting until the start of College Football Season.
As far as I’m concerned, no other sport compares to College Football and the best conference from top to bottom is the SEC.
Clemson from the ACC won the Natty in 2018, but the ACC is nothing near the caliber of the SEC in football. If that previous statement bothers you then get some sensitivity training. We will take a look at the SEC East.
Here are my SEC East Predictions for 2019:
Georgia 11-1: Kirby Smart is the best recruiter in the business. Georgia has the best 85-man roster in the country.
Jake Fromm could be a sleeper contender for the Heisman. The offense could be scary good with the best offensive line coach and players in the country.
Will this team lay an egg against someone they are not supposed to? History says yes.
I’m dreading the Auburn trip on 11/16. This team will play for the SEC title and will contend for the College Football Playoff. If the Dawgs win the SEC, they are in. This could finally be the year. The pass rush must improve in 2019.
Missouri 9-3: Kelly Bryant will be at QB in 2019. Barry Odom is doing a fine job in Columbia. Could the Tigers be 8-0 coming to Athens on November 9th? Florida comes calling on November 16th for second place in the East. Give me the Tigers over the Gators.
Florida 8-4: Two words, Feleipe Franks. Will Franks lead the Gators to back to back 10-win seasons?
Dan Mullen has trolled UGA in the off-season, but the schedule is tough. The Gators open against Miami and have Auburn, LSU, and Georgia in the heart of the SEC schedule.
Florida is putting all of its’ eggs in the Georgia basket, but they better be careful.
They have a solid defense, but again Feleipe Franks. If this team contends in the East it will be because of improved QB play. Can Mullen recruit with Kirby? Time will tell.
Tennessee 7-5: If the Vols win in Gainesville on 9/21 then excitement goes through the roof in Rocky Top.
Jeremy Pruitt is a fantastic coach and he is starting to put some pieces together in Knoxville.
Will Tennessee ever beat Alabama again in football? Pruitt needs two more top 15 recruiting classes to get Tennessee back to being Tennessee again. Be patient Vol fans you are on the way back.
South Carolina 6-6: The Gamecocks have a brutal schedule. Alabama and Texas A&M from the west and Clemson to close out.
I think Will Muschamp is a pretty good football coach, but with Georgia being a national power, and Florida and Tennessee on the way back it is going to be hard for Carolina to get any traction in the division.
South Carolina is putting together a good 2020 recruiting class. This team will upset someone in 2019, and ruin their season.
Kentucky 5-7: The Cats will come back down to earth in 2019. Benny Snell is gone.
The Cats host Florida early in the season after breaking a long losing streak that stretched over 30 to the Gators in 2018. Basketball is king in Kentucky. Cats go back to being a bottom feeder in football.
Vanderbilt 3-9: Vandy hosts UGA in the opener and LSU in week 3. This is going to be a long season for Vandy football.
Vandy fans might better tune into the College World Series starting this weekend as that may be the high-water mark for the athletic program for the rest of 2019.
Biggest division game: UGA vs UF in Jacksonville
Division upset of the Year: South Carolina over Texas A&M. The Aggies get caught overlooking Carolina at home the week before playing Georgia in Athens.
Bowl Teams: Georgia, Missouri, Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina.