Went to the beach last week on our annual family vacation. As always, I took 3 CFB pre-season mags with me and consumed them all. I try to be as unbiased as possible in making these predictions and many will violently disagree with them, mock them and shun them. Last year I picked Auburn 2nd in SECW and was burned at the stake. But that what makes it fun. Here is my order of finish for the SEC in 2011 with a short blurb on each team. I will give a team by team more detailed analysis the rest of the week.
1. Southern Carolina – I think they win it on a tie breaker. DL is going to be strong, and they have playmakers on O. If Garcia is not a buffoon they go to ATL.
2. VOLS – Will be the surprise team in East if can avoid injuries on D. SEC schedule works against them. Must get a W in the Swamp. Offense will be ringing up points.
3. FLA. – Talent all over the place, but new systems and no veteran leadership will hurt. DL is best in SEC, but big ? at OL, WR, DB, QB and RB.
4. UGA – Easiest SEC schedule but things are just not right in Athens with suspensions and defections. Erin “2 gloves” Murray will melt. Relying on true frosh RB with weak, thin OL is not recipe for success. Could start out 0-2 and wheels fall off. Richt is walking on thin ice.
5. KY – Who cares?
6. Vandy – Care even less?
1. Bama – I hate making this pick, but Defense is absolutely nasty and 2 deep with freaks at most positions. Very good OL and good RBs. QB is still an unkown and not sold on WRs. Tough games are at home.
2. LSU – went back and forth with Arky here. D is going to be crazy good, and Spencer Ware will be household name. Jefferson will have a break out year and Miles has horse shoe up his arse.
3. ARKY – could finish 2nd. D will be vastly improved with Bequette at DE and solid LB corp. Good RB corp and best WR group in SEC. Wilson will be a good QB under Petrino. DBs are a questionmark.
4. STATE – Solid team with a very good HC and staff. Could pull some upsets again this year. Serviceable QB with a a very good WR corp and good RBs in spread system. Lose some good leadership on D at LB and DL.
5. Ole Miss – have to be better than last year. Nutt does well when he is not expected to. QB issues abound. Very good RB and good WRs. DL should be fine. LBs and secondary not too good.
6. AUB – from 1st to worst. They lose more from last year than I have ever seen. % of tackles returning (48% = 116 in nation), % of off. yds returning (31% = 110 in nation), OL career starts returning (15 = 118 in nation) and % of lettermen returning (55% = 120 out of 120 in nation). Won 6/7 close games last year and have to go on road for big games. Looking at 6-6 here.