2015 Way Too Early SEC Predictions
Alabama – this will be Lane Kiffin and Kirby Smart’s last year as coordinators for Alabama. Mike Bobo threw down the gauntlet taking the Colorado State job last year and those two will take notice immediately. SEC schools are not hiring coordinators any longer. Butch Jones, Gus Malzahn and Jim McElwain all had to get lower level experience before becoming the man in the SEC. Kiffin and Smart need success at some level before they get a sustainable SEC Head Coaching job or they can roll the dice in Nashville.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Arkansas – will be on the cusp of a “Big Six” bowl going into the last week of the season. The Razorbacks won’t be in the playoff discussion but a win over Missouri in the season finale will be enough to put them in the Sugar Bowl or a similar game. This is a 10-2 team very similar to Mississippi State a year ago…expect a very strong start until they travel to Tuscaloosa.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Auburn – Jeremy Johnson will be the first team All-SEC QB at the end of the year. Johnson has the best receiver in the SEC returning in Duke Williams and Gus Malzahn’s offense has always molded itself to the strengths of the QB. Jeremy is a good physical runner like Cameron Newton but he isn’t as fast as Cam or as elusive as Nick Marshall was the last two years. Even if Auburn has the same amount of attempts this year as Marshall did last year…Johnson’s accuracy will improve the passing statistics.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Florida – will not go to a bowl game. Treon Harris is definitely not the quarterback Jim McElwain wants to start. Will Grier doesn’t have any SEC experience yet but will likely be the man come the start of the season. Schedule is nasty and it will take Florida’s coaches some time to recruit and develop the skill players needed to survive in the SEC. You can also expect a step back on defense because Will Muschamp is no longer there and defense was not Florida’s problem.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia – will have a repeat of 2014 where they beat Missouri handily but end up behind the Tigers in the East standings. Georgia will sweep the East but the two games against the West opponents Alabama and Auburn will be their issue in an attempt to get back to Atlanta.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Kentucky – Patrick Towles will start every game for the Wildcats this year. That might not sound crazy but look back at how many quarterbacks have played for Kentucky the last few years. The lack of consistency at the QB position had at least 5 different QBs take meaningful snaps the last 3 seasons. This is Towles job now and he will continue to improve on a good 2014 season instead of taking a step back like some Wildcat QBs have recently.
[su_spacer size=”40″] LSU – The offensive overhaul will start November 30th. Cam Cameron will be gone and Les Miles will start looking for a JUCO or QB transfer early in the season for 2016. There is a chance that Brandon Harris can take over the QB job and lead the team but it is less likely that Anthony Jennings is able to do so. The offense will continue to sputter even with Fournette as teams load up to stop him with zero fear of the two inaccurate starting QBs. Kevin Steele will be earning that paycheck from day one to keep LSU from completely falling apart.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Mississippi State – will not make a bowl game this year. The Bulldogs simply lost too much and the schedule is not very forgiving. Dak Prescott struggled down the stretch in 2014 and with seven starters from opening day a year ago gone on offense it will take a monumental effort from Dak to have a great season. Throw in eight starters gone from the MSU defense and this looks like a very challenging year for Dan Mullen. Last year was a perfect storm of seniors and the Dak Attack but that storm seems to have passed.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Missouri – will win the East for a third year in a row. The defense will be fine, Matty Mauk will be a little less than fine but the schedule is once again completely in their favor. South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi State and Tennessee at home go along with road games at Kentucky, Georgia, Vandy and the finale at Arkansas. Missouri is sneaky good and they keep winning games so expect most teams to ignore them and analysts to expect them to lose every game the last four weeks.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Ole Miss – will finish last in the SEC West. Don’t like the QB situation, don’t like the running backs and while we saw Bad Bo Wallace from time to time… Chad Kelly has so much work to do with maturity and learning to lead before we can have any faith in the Rebels chance of success. Hugh Freezer received a raise out of fear this season and if he can succeed this year that money will obviously have been earned.
[su_spacer size=”40″] South Carolina – will be one game worse in 2015 than they were in 2014. Dylan Thompson wasn’t an elite QB but he was an experienced upper-classmen. Connor Mitch will be a fine SEC QB but South Carolina has so many issues on defense and years of inadequate recruiting will catch up with the HBC this season.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Tennessee – will be one game better in 2015 than they were in 2014. Still not 100% sold on the Volunteers and won’t be until we get to October. We know Josh Dobbs is fine against the delicious cupcakes that Tennessee gets every year after Alabama but is he good enough the first 8 weeks of the season?
[su_spacer size=”40″] Texas A&M – The QB situation will be a mess all season long as the backup QB will be the most popular player on the team no matter who starts. Kyler Murray is the polar opposite of Kyle Allen…Murray is a true dual threat QB while Allen is a prototypical pocket passer. Kevin Sumlin will play both QBs this year and it will work at times and flounder at others. It would make sense to go with one but Sumlin isn’t going to do that…you don’t bring in an athlete like Murray to sit for 3 years. Whoever is not playing will be the ones fans want to see.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Vanderbilt – prediction…”Pain”