2017 SEC Preview

The SEC had a relatively down year in 2016. However they still were able to get a team into the Championship game for the 2nd year in a row. We expect the SEC to bounce back some this year as there is a lot of depth. Alabama despite many thinking they will take a step back, should remain as good as they were the last 2 years. They recruit at an unprecedented pace, and are easily able to reload. Auburn should take a step forward with a legit QB to go with their outstanding recruiting elsewhere. It will be interesting to see what Georgia does in its 2nd year under Kirby Smart as well as Florida and Tennessee in the East. If those 2 teams can take a step forward this year and create some balance in the SEC then it should once again reign supreme as the best conference.

 

For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.

 

SEC Predictions:

West

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Alabama – 11-1 (7-1)  /  9.97 (6.43)  /  5.25
  2. Auburn – 9-3 (6-2)  /  8.64 (5.22)  /  4.91
  3. Ole Miss – 8-4 (4-4)  /  7.64 (4.02)  /  4.40
  4. LSU – 8-4 (4-4)  /  7.98 (4.38)  /  4.73
  5. Arkansas – 7-5 (3-5)  /  6.81 (3.24)  /  4.25
  6. Texas A&M – 7-5 (3-5)  /  6.95 (3.55)  /  4.26
  7. Miss State – 5-7 (2-6)  /  5.54 (2.39)  /  3.89

 

East

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Georgia – 9-3 (6-2)  /  8.27 (5.09)  /  4.59
  2. Florida – 8-4 (6-2)  /  7.19 (4.35)  /  4.49
  3. Tennessee – 8-4 (4-4)  /  7.75 (4.14)  /  4.36
  4. South Carolina – 6-6 (4-4)  /  6.37 (3.69)  /  4.03
  5. Vanderbilt – 7-5 (3-5)  /  6.96 (3.56)  /  4.28
  6. Missouri – 6-6 (2-6)  /  6.31 (2.89)  /  3.96
  7. Kentucky – 5-7 (2-6)  /  6.06 (3.01)  /  3.94

 

Alabama wins the West outright, despite losing to Auburn to close the regular season. Georgia beats Florida head to head and wins the tie-breaker.

 

Championship game – Alabama puts the whooping on Georgia (Saban stomping his protege) in the Championship game. Giving them their 4th straight SEC championship (something only Florida accomplished in 1993-1996 under Steve Spurrier).

 

 

That makes 12 bowl teams for the SEC:

Sugar Bowl – Alabama (Playoff)

Cotton Bowl – Auburn

Citrus Bowl – Georgia

Texas Bowl – LSU

Belk Bowl – Ole Miss

Outback Bowl – Texas A&M

Music City Bowl – Florida

Liberty Bowl – Tennessee

Camping World Independence Bowl – South Carolina

Birmingham Bowl – Arkansas

Tax Slayer Bowl – Vanderbilt

Quick Lane Bowl – Missouri

SEC 2016 Preview and Predictions

For each of the conference Predictions I will put in both the Predicted Finish according to Win-Shares, as well as my own personal predictions (which are largely very similar).

 

SEC Win-Shares

West

 

Alabama – 9.41 (5.8)

LSU – 8.94 (5.27)

TAMU – 7.35 (4.75)

Auburn – 7.19 (3.74)

Ole Miss – 6.76 (3.61)

Arkansas – 6.19 (2.97)

Mississippi St – 6.14 (2.79)

 

East

 

Georgia 8.01 (4.67)

Tennessee 7.9 (4.31)

Florida 7.13 (4.0)

South Carolina 6.6 (3.24)

Kentucky 6.33 (3.24)

Missouri 6.24 (3.23)

Vanderbilt 6.01 (3.19)

 

Alabama over Georgia in the SEC championship.

 

Essentially the West will come down to Alabama and LSU winner with the East coming down to the Georgia and Tennessee winner. SEC would have an astonishing 14 teams qualify for bowl games. I can pretty much guarantee you that won’t happen. This is a very strong year for the SEC. With Elite teams and a lot of depth (especially with Vanderbilt catching back up the pack). Most notable things is Missouri and South Carolina falling back to where they traditionally have been in the SEC pecking order.

 

Simplified Football Predictions

West

 

Alabama = 11-1 (7-1)

LSU = 10-2 (6-2)

Ole Miss = 8-4 (5-3)

TAMU = 8-4 (4-4)

Auburn = 8-4 (4-4)

Miss St = 7-5 (3-5)

Arkansas = 6-6 (3-5)

 

East

 

Georgia = 9-3 (5-3)

Tennessee = 9-3 (5-3)

Florida = 7-5 (4-4)

USCe = 7-5 (4-4)

Kentucky = 6-6 (3-5)

Missouri = 6-6 (3-5)

Vanderbilt = 4-8 (1-7)

 

Alabama over UGA in the SEC Champ

 

SF has the same SEC Champ game match up and outcome. A few notable differences is Ole Miss performing better than Win-Shares indicate as well as a few slight differences in the standings with teams like Auburn, Miss St, and Arkansas.

 

That is 13 bowl teams for the SEC

 

Peach Bowl – Alabama (Playoff)

Sugar Bowl – LSU

Citrus Bowl – Georiga

Outback Bowl – Tennessee

Liberty Bowl – Ole Miss

Belk Bowl – Auburn

Texas Bowl – TAMU

Music City – UF

Tax Slayer – USCe

Birmingham Bowl – Miss St

Independence – UK

St Pete – Arkansas

Heart of Dallas – Missouri

Week 8 Match Ups

4-2 again last week. On the season 21-15. Think this is a tricky week.

  1. Cal 34 – UCLA 31
  2. Clemson 28- Miami 24
  3. Oklahoma 42 – Texas Tech 28
  4. Ole Miss 38 – Texas A&M 34
  5. USC 35 – Utah 31

Week 7 Match Ups

Last week went 4-2, brings total on season to 17-13.

Had 6 games picked for the week, but wasn’t able to publish picks yesterday, so I will leave off the Stanford over UCLA pick as it’s a day late, and add the FSU v Louisville Game.

  1. Northwestern 17 – Iowa 14
  2. Michigan 24 – Michigan St 17
  3. Alabama 31 – Texas A&M 28
  4. LSU 24 – UF 17
  5. Notre Dame 38 – USC 28
  6. FSU 28 – Louisville 17

Week 6 Top Match-Ups

2 Weeks ago I was 3-3 which brings me to 13-11 on the season.

This weeks games:

  1. Clemson 24 – Georgia Tech 17: In a defensive battle Clemson is able to run the ball against GT and come out on top in this rivalry game.
  2. Michigan 17 – Northwestern 10: In a game that pits 2 of the better defensive teams, both with little offense, expect a very low scoring game. Michigan continues to impress in this game and comes up victorious.
  3. West Virginia 30 – Oklahoma St 28: In what will be the biggest defensive battle in the Big 12 this year, WVU is able to a tenacious OK St pass rush to win.
  4. Florida 24 – Missouri 17: Florida continues their assent to the top of the SEC East and is able to get a little more offense than Missouri in this game.
  5. Florida State 31 – Miami 21: Florida State is able to control the line of scrimmage and keeps the ball on the ground against Miami. The key will be turnovers. FSU has less turnovers than Miami.
  6. California 28 – Utah 24: Cal upsets Utah on the road, as Utah struggles to stop the Cal passing attack.

Week 2 Top Match-Ups

Last week was a very good start to the season getting all 6 games correct. This week there is only 5 match-ups, and one of them is a stretch to include in this. But there are 3 match-ups including Ranked teams, and 1 match-up of Group of 5 teams that could end up impacting the Playoff race.

 

Notre Dame @ Virginia

  • Notre Dame looked mighty impressive last week dismantling the Texas Longhorns. Virginia looked the opposite against UCLA. I included this game as I think there is a mild chance of an upset here with Virginia likely having a bounce-back game and looking better against Notre Dame than they did against UCLA. However in the end Notre Dame is just much more talented than UVA, and should pull away at the end. I do think Virginia’s defense will have some success against Notre Dame with Folston out for the year.
  • Notre Dame 28 – Virginia 14

Oklahoma @ Tennessee

  • I am a lot more bullish on Tennessee than most, and not sold on Oklahoma. Tennessee is more talented and is playing at home. A win here should solidify them as a top 25 team and people will start to talk about them in SEC East Championship circles. I don’t think this will be quite as high Scoring as many do. I think Tennessee out lasts Oklahoma and blasts Rocky Top all around campus all night long.
  • Tennessee 31 – Oklahoma 24

Oregon @ Michigan State

  • This is the biggest game of the day and the one with the most playoff implications on the line. A loss for either team could see them on the outside looking in, but won’t knock either from contention. Oregon is more talented overall, but Michigan State has quite a bit of talent. Both offenses looked very stellar and this should be a different looking game than last years. The score in this game could potentially get out of hand pretty quickly and perhaps approach 100. Although I think both offenses will be slow to start before gaining traction. Look for a very exciting 2nd half. In the end I think Oregon is just too much for Michigan St.
  • Oregon 42 – Michigan St 38

LSU @ Mississippi State

  • First SEC West match-up of the year. I do not think this one will disappoint. I am very high on LSU this year, and not so much for Mississippi State. However looking at the match-up I think Mississippi State matches up well with LSU and with it being at home (MORE COW BELLS??!!) I think Mississippi St could pull the upset. I think MSU’s front 7 on defense will be able to slow down Fournette and the LSU ground attack, which should severely limit what they do on Offense. In close games I like to go with the better QB. Miss St has the decided advantage in that category.
  • Mississippi St 24 – LSU 21

Boise St  @ BYU

  • Most when they see those 2 names would think you are going to get a lot of offense. However with Boise St having the #1 Defense (S&P) in the nation and BYU without QB Taysom Hill, and with Boise St’s offense looking pretty inept against Washington, I think this is going to be a low scoring affair.  This is a very even match-up with both teams having equal talent (slight advantage to Boise St). Both lines are matched up very evenly. I’m going with Boise St in a nail-biter, luck goes away from the Cougars this time as they fail to convert another Hail Mary (and luck stays with Boise St as they squeak out another win).
  • Boise St 21 – BYU 20

Week 1 Top Match-ups

Last year I finished the season 46-23 on my predictions, that is 67% correct. I will look to improve on that this year. This week there is only 1 match-up between ranked teams, however there are several others that are good match-ups and could figure into the Playoff picture (and several more that do not make the top 6).

 

  1. Washington at Boise St
    • This figures to be one of Boise States most talented teams ever, on the other side Washington has lost a lot of talent over the last few years. Coach Peterson has his work cut out for him there. Despite being a Group of 5 school Boise State is actually the more talented team. Add that to Boise State being at home and I am going with Boise State in this game.
    • Boise State 32 – Washington 24
  2. Louisville vs Auburn
    • Many expect Auburn to have a very explosive offense this season, despite many of their best on offense being gone. They certainly have the talent to reload and not rebuild. Louisville is rebuilding in Coach Petrino’s image and it will be a project. However they do have some talent (some transferred in) on defense and at least in the first half should be able to slow down Auburn’s attack. Auburn’s defense which has been atrocious in the last few years, has one of the top Defensive Coordinators now, and has recruited very well on that side of the ball.  Louisville does not have many play-makers on offense. Auburn will likely give up a few plays on mistakes and I like this game to be close through the first half. Auburn pulls away in the 4th though.
    • Auburn 34 – Louisville 21
  3. Arizona St at Texas A&M
    • Arizona State is a trendy pick to win the Pac 12 and be a playoff team to some experts. I don’t see it. I have them finishing 4th in the Pac 12 South (behind USC, UCLA, and Arizona). Texas A&M I feel could challenge in the SEC if they continue to improve on defense.  Arizona State was torched at times on defense last year, I see that happening again this year and in this game. Expecting a pretty high scoring game in this one. As both offenses out match the defenses. But with the 12th man behind them I have Texas A&M shocking Arizona State.
    • Texas A&M 45 – Arizona State 35
  4. Texas at Notre Dame
    • This Notre Dame team will surprise a lot of people. They are as talented as the squad that took them to the National Championship game a few years ago. Texas is still in the rebuilding process, but they do have a defense that was pretty good last year and should improve even more this year. The difference in this game however will be Texas’ lack of a QB/offense. After this game Notre Dame fans will be clamoring for Everett Golson at QB as Zaire will likely struggle some against a good Texas defense. However being at home, with more weapons and a better QB and more talent gives Notre Dame the advantage still.
    • Notre Dame 28 – Texas 21
  5. Wisconsin vs Alabama
    • Alabama looks as though they are going to have another juggernaut defense and a power running game, however their QB situation is very unsettled and has lots of question marks. Wisconsin is breaking in a new coach, in previous years it has taken them at least half of the season to start to gel and work together with new coaches, although they adjust pretty quickly. The biggest problem in this game is the match-up for Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s strength (it’s power running game) is exactly what Alabama excels at stopping. I don’t expect Wisconsin to have much room to run in this game and relying on Joel Stave to move the ball against Alabama is not a recipe for success. However Alabama’s offense will keep Wisconsin in the game. Look for a lot of running and a low scoring affair.
    • Alabama 28 – Wisconsin 17
  6. Ohio State at Virginia Tech
    • The game Buckeye fans and players alike have been waiting for all summer. REVENGE. Virginia Tech looked like they had derailed Ohio State’s plans at a National Championship run last year, obviously that proved to not be true as they ran the table and won the National Championship. However i’m sure it still stings in Columbus that Tech upset them at home last year. This year they have to travel to Blacksburg to face what is potentially one of the best defenses in the nation. They have a very solid front 7 that uses a lot of blitz packages to keep offenses on their heels, and perhaps the best Cornerback combo in the nation. Many expect Ohio State to run it all over Virginia Tech. We do not think that will happen, especially with some key WR’s out for Ohio State.  On the other side of the ball is where Virginia Tech has been lacking recently, and this year should be no better. They have not been able to find any consistency on offense in several years. The one thing that will be to their advantage is Ohio State is without perhaps the best defensive player in the nation in Joey Bosa for this game. In the end I expect Ohio State to pull this game out as I just don’t think Virginia Tech will be able to put enough points on the board.
    • Ohio State 24 – Virginia Tech 17

SEC Win Shares

Due to time constraints instead of full previews we will only be posting Win Shares for the Power 5 conferences and the best Group of 5 teams.

Here are the SEC Win Shares:

WEST Total (SEC)

Alabama 8.8 (5.02)

TAMU 8.33 (4.56)

Ole Miss 8.51 (4.53)

Auburn 8.21 (4.46)

LSU 8.16 (4.36)

Arkansas 7.56 (3.86)

Miss State 6.86 (3.27)

EAST

Georgia 8.46 (4.88)

Tennessee 8.29 (4.6)

Florida 7.29 (4.01)

Missouri 6.82 (3.71)

South Carolina 5.99 (3.27)

Kentucky 6.35 (2.93)

Vanderbilt 5.24 (2.42)

 

That puts Georgia and Alabama in the SEC Championship game. With Alabama having a Win Share in that game of .61.

So Alabama is the pick for the SEC.

Notes: This is probably the strongest year for the SEC with several teams that are VERY good and possibly ELITE. We see a lot of the top teams knocking each other off and despite it being the strongest SEC, but possibly having no teams in the Playoffs as no one is better than 10-2 and possibly 9-3. Also potentially having 11 teams 7-5 and better and 8 teams 8-4 or better.  That is VERY strong. As the Win Shares suggest perhaps 13 Bowl Eligible teams!

2014 SEC Preview

The SEC had an unprecedented run of 7 straight National Championship runs come to an end last year as Auburn fell to Florida State 34-31.  Last year was also an uncharacteristic year for the SEC as they were more of an offensive loaded conference.  This year you will see the SEC go back to what it is known for (Good defense), as the offenses once again (outside of a couple of teams) will take a back seat to the SEC defenses. Last year you saw a few of the middle of the pack SEC teams step it up a notch and added more balance, as the SEC top tier teams were knocked back a little bit.  We think you will see more of the same this year, as there will be a larger “middle of the pack” group, however we do see Auburn and Alabama as pulling away from the pack SLIGHTLY, and being a bit better than the rest. However there will be little difference between 3-10. We also feel there will be improved at the bottom as Arkansas, and Kentucky look to improve this year. There should be a lot of good football games (like normal) in the SEC.

 

Without any more delay here is the SEC Preview:

West

ALABAMA:

Overall Rating – 4.94

SEC Win Share – 5.99 (Total of 9.89)

AUBURN:

Overall Rating – 4.91

SEC Win Share – 5.56 (Total of 9.26)

OLE MISS:

Overall Rating – 4.37

SEC Win Share – 4.52 (Total of 8.07)

LSU:

Overall Rating – 4.34

SEC Win Share – 4.06 (Total of 7.46)

TEXAS A&M:

Overall Rating – 4.27

SEC Win Share – 3.78 (Total of 7.43)

MISSISSIPPI ST:

Overall Rating – 4.06

SEC Win Share – 3.52 (Total of 7.3)

ARKANSAS:

Overall Rating – 3.86

SEC Win Share – 2.44 (Total of 5.54)

East

FLORIDA:

Overall Rating – 4.36

SEC Win Share – 5.20 (Total of 8.30)

GEORGIA:

Overall Rating – 4.28

SEC Win Share – 4.69 (Total of 8.02)

SOUTH CAROLINA:

Overall Rating – 4.25

ACC Win Share – 4.49 (Total of 7.92)

MISSOURI:

Overall Rating – 4.08

SEC Win Share – 4.25 (Total of 7.39)

TENNESSEE:

Overall Rating – 3.75

SEC Win Share – 2.94 (Total of 5.69)

VANDERBILT:

Overall Rating – 3.53

SEC Win Share – 2.43 (Total of 5.93)

KENTUCKY:

Overall Rating – 3.46

SEC Win Share – 2.13(Total of 5.00)

 

We have Alabama playing Florida in Atlanta for the SEC championship, with Alabama winning that game.

 

Top 5 Offenses:

Auburn

South Carolina

Alabama

Texas A&M

Georgia

Top 5 Defenses:

Alabama

Ole Miss

Mississippi St

Florida

Auburn

Storylines to watch for:

  1. How much will Auburn’s defense improve, and will it be enough to put them in the Title game again?
  2. Which of the new Quarterbacks in the conference will step up and lead their team?
  3. Who will survive the East, as 4 teams look to compete for the East division crown.
  4. Will Alabama’s defense get back to their suffocating ways of old?
  5. How will Vanderbilt fare with Head Coach Franklin leaving for B1G country?
  6. Will the Mississippi schools finally live up to the hype?
  7. Will LSU finally take a real fall after losing so many underclassmen the last few years to the draft?

SEC – 2013 SF Power Ratings

Here are the 2013 Simplified Football Power Ratings for the SEC:

West
Alabama – 4.57
LSU – 4.40
Ole Miss – 4.11
Auburn – 4.10
Texas A&M – 4.01
Mississippi St – 3.85
Arkansas – 3.85

East
Georgia – 4.8
Florida – 4.8
Tennessee – 4.36
Missouri – 4.10
South Carolina – 4.10
Vanderbilt – 3.70
Kentucky – 3.64

As you can see there are more Elite and 2nd tier teams in the SEC than there are in the ACC. Overall a much stronger conference. The ACC does have more experience than the SEC does, SEC just has a LOT more talent.