Thursday, September 2, 2010

Now That It's Finally Here, My SEC Predictions (That I've Had On My Computer For Over a Month)

The season starts tonight, and while I keep my closest eyes on the weekly point spreads and unfolding locker room drama, it would be nice to go ahead and get my predictions down so that the world can bask in my whimsical knowledge of SEC football.
With details to come later on, I present you with my W/L predictions for the 2010 SEC football season, with schedule breakdowns below:

SEC East:
  1. Florida (11-1, 7-1)

  2. South Carolina (10-2, 6-2)

  3. Georgia (9-3, 5-3)

  4. Tennessee (6-6, 2-6)

  5. Kentucky(5-7, 1-7)

  6. Vanderbilt (2-10, 0-8)

SEC West:

  1. Alabama (12-0, 8-0)

  2. LSU (10-2, 6-2)

  3. Auburn (7-5, 4-4)

  4. Arkansas (8-4, 4-4)

  5. Ole Miss (7-5, 3-5)

  6. Mississippi State (6-6, 2-6)

Finish it up in December with the rubber match. Alabama over Florida in the SEC title game.

As for the team-by-team schedule breakdown, here we go:

Florida (11-1, 7-1)

Wk 1, Miami-OH, Home, Win

Wk 2, South Florida, Away, Win

Wk 3, Tennessee, Away, Win

Wk 4, Kentucky, Home, Win

Wk 5, Alabama, Away, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 6, LSU, Home, Win

Wk 7, Mississippi State, Home, Win

Wk 9, Georgia, Neutral, Win

Wk 10, Vanderbilt, Away, Win

Wk 11, So Carolina, Home, Win

Wk 12, Appalachian State, Home, Win

Wk 13, Florida State, Away, Win

On my count, Florida has 11 Wins for sure, with only one questionable game against Alabama. What makes this work is that there are no real tests for Brantley in September, so by the time he gets to Week 5 against Alabama, he should be ready. Florida's schedule could not have worked out any better for their situation. Best Case: 12-0, Worst Case: 11-1.

South Carolina (10-2, 6-2)

Wk 1, Southern Miss, Home, Win

Wk 2, Georgia, Home, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 3, Furman, Home, Win

Wk 4, Auburn, Away, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 6, Alabama, Home, Loss

Wk 7, Kentucky, Away, Win

Wk 8, Vanderbilt, Away, Win

Wk 9, Tennessee, Home, Win

Wk 10, Arkansas, Home, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 11, Florida, Away, Loss

Wk 12, Troy, Home, Win

Wk 13, Clemson, Away, Questionable - predicting Win

6 wins for sure for Spurrier, 2 losses are set against the SEC big dogs in Florida and Bama, but Spurrier has FOUR questionable games this year. And perhaps my SOS bias shines through, but with all the trouble Tennessee is in coupled with the pressure Mark Richt finds himself in this season, I'm going out and saying that this is the year that it all falls into place for the Head Ball Coach. The Clemson Game is winnable, but the early season results will dictate what happens to the Gamecocks this year. Both Georgia and Auburn in September. Here's hoping that Stephen Garcia has gotten it together. Best Case: 10-2, Worst Case: 6-6.

Georgia (9-3, 5-3)

Wk 1, La-Lafayette, Home, Win

Wk 2, South Carolina, Away, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 3, Arkansas, Home, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 4, Mississippi State, Away, Win (*Danger Game!!)

Wk 5, Colorado, Away, Win

Wk 6, Tennessee, Home, Win

Wk 7, Vanderbilt, Home, Win

Wk 8, Kentucky, Away, Win

Wk 9, Florida, Neutral, Loss

Wk 10, Idaho State, Home, Win

Wk 11, Auburn, Away, Win (*More Danger)

Wk 13, Georgia Tech, Home, Questionable - predicting Win

8 Wins, 1 Loss, and 3 Question Games. Like the Gamecocks, Mark Richt and his kids are playing for #2 in the SEC East. Gotta beat SC for that to happen. Richt does get a boost having a cakewalk through middle third of the season, and that will help him keep his job for 2011. Best Case: 11-1, Worst Case: 8-4

Tennessee (6-6, 2-6)

Wk 1, UT-Martin, Home, Win

Wk 2, Oregon, Home, Question - predicting Win

Wk 3, Florida, Home, Loss

Wk 4, UAB, Home, Win

Wk 5, LSU, Away, Loss

Wk 6, Georgia, Away, Loss

Wk 8, Alabama, Home, Loss

Wk 9, So Carolina, Away, Loss

Wk 10, Memphis, Away, Win

Wk 11, Ole Miss, Home, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 12, Vanderbilt, Away, Win

Wk 13, Kentucky, Home, Win

5 Wins, 5 Losses, 2 Question Games. Dooley will have a tough October, as he'll be in the midst of a 4 game losing streak. And, it's possible that he could lose 5 or 6 straight from Oregon to South Carolina. Vol fans won't like that. Good news is that the Vols will finish the season well, and a win over Ole Miss would be a big bonus for this program. Best Case: 7-5, Worst Case: 5-7.

Kentucky (5-7, 1-7)

Quickly: Joker starts the year with 3 Wins against Louisville, Western Kentucky, and Akron. Then the ball rolls downhill with 6 straight losses to Florida, Ole Miss, Auburn, South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi State. Back to winning times against Charleston and Vanderbilt before finishing the season with a loss in Knoxville.

There's nothing questionable about it. Kentucky wins 5 games this year, right on the button, and they lose seven.

Vanderbilt (2-10, 0-8)

Even quicker: Vandy beats Northwestern and everyone loves Robbie Caldwell. Then they lose to LSU, Ole Miss, and UConn in Wk 5. Robbie carries the torch one more time with a win over Eastern Michigan before rattling off six more losses against Georgia, So Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The Wake Forest game in Wk 13? Questionable, but I'm predicting a loss. Good news is that by Wk 8, everyone's forgotten who Robbie Caldwell is - and that's how the Vandy coach should be. Best Case: 3-9, Worst Case: 2-10.

Alabama (12-0, 8-0)

No need for the weekly breakdown here. Bama beats everyone, with the only questionable game coming against Florida in Wk 5 at Bryant-Denny. I predict a win for the home team here. Bama has no luck in scheduling, as it seems everyone has a bye week leading into their game. (With 6 SEC opponents) The Tide can only respond with a bye week prior to LSU.

Pay close attention to the dynamics of Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram. With Ingram out in Wk 1, and going week-to-week after that, it'll be interesting to see how quickly Richardson is sent in to be the premier back should Ingram struggle in his return. Best Case: 12-0, Worst Case: 11-1.

LSU (10-2, 6-2)

Wk 1, North Carolina, Neutral, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 2, Vanderbilt, Away, Win

Wk 3, Mississippi State, Home, Win

Wk 4, West Virginia, Home, Win

Wk 5, Tennessee, Home, Win

Wk 6, Florida, Away, Loss

Wk 7, McNeese State, Home, Win

Wk 8, Auburn, Away, Win

Wk 10, Alabama, Home, Loss

Wk 11, La-Monroe, Home, Win

Wk 12, Ole Miss, Home, Win

Wk 13, Arkansas, Away, Questionable - predicting Win

I know, I know. As president of the Les Miles Is A Buffoon Club, you would think that the SEC's coach on the hottest seat wouldn't have such a shiny outlook from me. But I can't find games that they are going to lose. Not enough, anyway. 8 Wins for sure, 2 Losses, and 2 Questionables. And I think he's going to win those.

The UNC game will show a lot about where Jordan Jefferson is starting the season, if he plays well, good tidings for LSU. So good that they may go into November with only one loss. Of course the Auburn and Arkansas games are big for the SEC West #2 slot. And, who knows they do play Bama in Baton Rouge. Les has gotten luckier before. Best Case: 10-2, Worst Case: 8-4.

Auburn (7-5, 4-4)

Wk 1, Arkansas St, Home, Win

Wk 2, Mississippi State, Away, Win (*Danger Game!!)

Wk 3, Clemson, Home, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 4, South Carolina, Home, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 5, La-Monroe, Home, Win

Wk 6, Kentucky, Away, Win

Wk 7, Arkansas, Home, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 8, LSU, Home, Loss

Wk 9, Ole Miss, Away, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 10, Chattanooga, Home, Win

Wk 11, Georgia, Home, Loss

Wk 13, Alabama, Away, Loss

5 Wins, 3 Losses, 4 Question Games. Chizik's crew could be all over the board this year. I think they break even on it. Weeks 3 and 4 make or break Auburn's year, and their tough games at the end of teh season. For a GREAT year to be possible, they need to go into week 11 with 7 wins. Best Case: 9-3. Worst Case: 5-7.

Arkansas (8-4, 4-4)

Wk 1, Tennessee Tech, Home, Win

Wk 2, La-Monroe, Home, Win

Wk 3, Georgia, Away, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 4, Alabama, Home, Loss

Wk 6, Texas A&M, Neutral, Win

Wk 7, Auburn, Away, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 8, Ole Miss, Home, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 9, Vanderbilt, Home, Win

Wk 10, So Carolina, Away, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 11, UTEP, Home, Win

Wk 12, Mississippi State, Away, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 13, LSU, Home, Questionable - predicting Loss

Could be a wild ride for the Hogs. 5 Wins, 1 Loss, and 6 Question Games. That's tough. We'll see where Arkansas is in October, as Weeks 3&4 make or break it. Best Case: 11-1, Worst Case: 5-7.

Ole Miss (7-5, 3-5) - Since it changes daily, I'm going under the assumption Masoli doesn't play...

Wks 1-5: Jacksonville State, Tulane, Vandy, Fresno State, Kentucky - ALL WINS.

Wk 7, Alabama, Away, Loss

Wk 8, Arkansas, Away, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 9, Auburn, Home, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 10, La-Lafayette, Home, Win

Wk 11, Tennessee, Away, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 12, LSU, Away, Loss

Wk 13, Mississippi State, Home, Questionable - predicting Loss

6 Wins, 2 Losses, 4 Question Games. Ole Miss fans may not be thrilled with me, but just think - before the NCAA gave Jeremiah Masoli the stiffarm, I had you all at 9-3. Flip the Auburn and State games if he becomes eligible.

Ole Miss will of course start the year 5-0, no matter who is playing behind center. But after that Week 6 bye week, things get real tough. But underline two games this year to make or break it for Ole Miss - Arkansas and Mississippi State. Need to win both of those. Best Case: 10-2, Worst Case: 6-6.

Mississippi State (6-6, 2-6)

Wk 1, Memphis, Home, Win

Wk 2, Auburn, Home, Loss

Wk 3, LSU, Away, Loss

Wk 4, Georgia, Home, Loss

Wk 5, Alcorn State, Home, Win

Wk 6, Houston, Away, Questionable - predicting Win

Wk 7, Florida, Away, Loss

Wk 8, UAB, Home, Win

Wk 9, Kentucky, Home, Win

Wk 11, Alabama, Away, Loss

Wk 12, Arkansas, Home, Questionable - predicting Loss

Wk 13, Ole Miss, Away, Questionable - predicting Win

4 Wins, 5 Losses, 3 Question Games. Brutal schedule, and it's tough early to boot. But there are some exciting games for State. Houston should win CUSA, and with some good luck, Dan Mullen could take the Bulldogs bowling this year. Best Case: 7-5, Worst Case: 4-8.

And there you have it. Of course South Carolina could lose tonight and blow it all up. But I don't think that will happen.

Although it does seem that we'll have the same two teams in the SEC title game for the third straight year, there should be lots of excitement in the SEC this year. The five teams that will be all over the place: Arkansas, Auburn, South Carolina, Georgia, and Ole Miss. And of course there's always the thrill ride of Les Miles' clock management.