#SEC Football best vs worst case scenario 2015

I can-and probably will-write an article explaining how to fix the SEC’s hatred of geography by putting Missouri in the Eastern Division. But, that is not why we are here today. It has been 2 years since the SEC last won a National Championship in football. We do football different here in the South, how can this 2 year drought be stopped? Has collegiate football changed so dramatically that the advantages the SEC had in the trenches been rendered obsolete? Time will tell as it always does, maybe there is a national title contender among the ranks. Winning every game in this conference is borderline impossible anymore, especially in the West Division (which might be the best division in football). Disclaimer-this just states the best and worst case scenario, it does not predict which team will be in which bowl.

Alabama

Last season: 12-2 (Defeated by Ohio State in the AllState Sugar Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 9.5

Still searching for answers at QB less than 3 weeks before the season starts, Nick Saban will lead his team into a showdown in Arlington against Wisconsin to open the year. Now Roll Damn Tide is used to this big game to open the season, however questions at QB are going to have to be answered before they take the field. Only 4 true road games the rest of the way will help Alabama’s signal caller be comfortable in Bryant-Denny. Best case scenario: College Football Playoff. Worst case scenario: Tier 2 bowl such as the Outback Bowl.

Arkansas

Last season: 7-6 (Defeated Texas in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 8.5

Back is the starting QB, both 1,000 yard rushers, the O-line, etc. The Hogs seem to have turned a corner under Bret Bielema. Last season was not going very well, they were losing plain and simple. Getting a week off before the two shutout wins was huge. Getting a week off after back to back road games at Tennessee (Oct 3) and at Alabama (Oct 10) will also be huge this year. Look for the Razorbacks to build on last season. Best case scenario: At-large selection New Years 6. Worst case scenario: A tier 2 bowl such as the Music City Bowl.

Auburn

Last season: 8-5 (Defeated by Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 8.5

Losing 4 out of 5 including the bowl loss after winning those close games the year prior prompted Auburn to attempt to fix its defense. Hiring Will Muschamp as the new Defensive Coordinator was the step they took. Auburn always recruits well, this ought to be a better team that 8-9 wins. A 3 out of 4 game stretch on the road might do this team in however, at Kentucky (Oct 15) is a Thursday night game and one to keep an eye on. At Arkansas (Oct 24) will not be an easy game, and at Texas A&M (Nov 7) finishes that stretch. Getting Alabama at home is huge, they should be well rested because the week before Idaho comes to Jordan-Hare. Best case scenario: College Football Playoff. Worst case scenario: Tier 2 bowl such as the Liberty Bowl.

Florida

Last season: 7-5 (Defeated East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 7.5

Out with Muschamp, in McElwain we trust. A former Saban understudy, McElwain took Colorado State to being a ranked program for parts of last season. The defense still should be as stout as ever, but the Gators should score more points. The schedule bookends the conference schedule with nonconference games that Florida should win. Finishing better than 4-4 in the conference would mean stealing a victory on the road in one of the following: at Kentucky (Sep 19), at Missouri (Oct 10), at LSU (Oct 17), or at South Carolina (Nov 14). Best case scenario: A tier 2 bowl such as the Belk Bowl. Worst case scenario: taking a step backward and finishing under .500.

Georgia

Last season: 10-3 (Defeated Louisville in the Belk Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 9

Three losses hurt Georgia last season. Each one to a rival. When is Georgia going to take that next step in National Championship contention? It could legitimately be this season. No back to back road games, Georgia should be undefeated heading into the showdown at Auburn (Nov 14) and if they get passed that unscathed they will be staring down at Georgia Tech (Nov 28) for a shot at the Playoff. Best case scenario: College Football Playoff. Worst case scenario: At-large selection New Years 6.

Kentucky

Last season: 5-7

Vegas over/under win prediction: 6

Kentucky just missed a bowl game last season, losing by 4 to rival Louisville hurts. But so does losing the last 6 games of the season. Kentucky might just get over that hump this season and make a bowl for the first time since 2011. Two winnable road games (when is the last time you read something like that) at South Carolina (Sep 12) and at Vanderbilt (Nov 14) shed some optimism on this season. Best case scenario: Texas Bowl. Worst case scenario: finishing below .500, again.

LSU

Last season: 8-5 (Defeated by Notre Dame in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 8

LSU replaces John Chavis (Who took his talents to College Station, TX) with Kevin Steele. The last time Steele was a defensive coordinator Clemson gave up 70 POINTS to West Virginia in the 2012 Orange Bowl. Lets hope for the sake of Les Miles and the entire Bayou nation that performance does not manifest itself again. LSU is one of the schools not afraid to go anywhere and play, however a trip to Syracuse (Sep 26) isn’t really eye opening. This years edition of the “Game of the Century” will be in Tuscaloosa on Nov 7. Best case scenario: Citrus Bowl. Worst case scenario: Kevin Steele’s defense is as bad as that ’12 Orange Bowl and LSU plays 12 shootouts only winning 5.

Ole Miss

Last season: 9-4 (Defeated by TCU in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 8.5

Ole Miss has a lot of talent, that is obvious after last year saw them start 7-0. The Rebels have a question at QB (which seems to be every team)…enter Chad Kelly (Jim Kelly’s nephew) who threw for 3,906 yards and ran for another 446 while leading East Mississippi Community College to their 3rd National Championship since 2011. I feel like this is the Oregon article, if he is anywhere close to how effective he was at EMCC then Ole Miss may be on to something. They have some tough road games: at Alabama (Sep 19) at Florida (Oct 3) at Memphis (Oct 17), at Auburn (Oct 31) and at Mississippi State (Nov 28). Best case scenario: At-large selection New Years 6. Worst case scenario: Independence Bowl.

Mississippi State

Last season: 10-3 (Defeated by Georgia Tech in the Capital One Orange Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 7

The darlings of last season, Mississippi State started 9-0 then the wheels fell off. Dak Prescott is back to lead this team. However, losing a lot of senior leadership from the defensive side of the ball will be what hurts this team the most. They may only win 1 road game and that is the first game of the season at Southern Miss (Sep 5). It could be a long season in Starkville as opposed to the dream season it just had. Best case scenario: Birmingham Bowl. Worst case scenario: finishing at 5-7 or worse.

Missouri

Last season: 11-3 (Defeated Minnesota in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 7.5

After two consecutive SEC Championship game appearances I think it is safe to never underestimate a Gary Pinkel coached team. A real possibility of starting 2-2 however as the schedule starts with road games at Arkansas State (Sep 12) and at Kentucky (Sep 26). Another tough game will be a neutral site game against BYU (Nov 14). Best case scenario: A tier 2 bowl such as the Liberty Bowl. Worst case scenario: Independence Bowl.

South Carolina

Last season: 7-6 (Defeated Miami in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 7

After getting blasted at home by Texas A&M in the first game of the season, South Carolina had an up and down season. Finishing with a bowl win is always a good thing, however Steve Spurrier won’t be the coach forever and the erosion of the program back into obscurity is taking place. The Gamecocks could start the season 0-6 and be staring down the stretch run with only games against Vanderbilt and the Citadel as sure wins. Best case scenario: returning to the Independence Bowl. Worst case scenario: finishing 3-9.

Tennessee

Last season: 7-6 (Defeated Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 7.5

It won’t be long until Tennessee is back in SEC championship game contention. This isn’t that year however. Winning 4 out of the last 5 games last season is a good springboard into this years campaign. Tennessee has a legit chance to start 5-0 heading into the Georgia game (Oct 10). From there two tough road games at Alabama (Oct 24) and at Kentucky (Oct 31) will make or break this teams chance at a major bowl. Best case scenario: Citrus Bowl. Worst case scenario: Tier 2 bowl such as the Music City Bowl.

Texas A&M

Last season: 8-5 (Defeated West Virginia in the Autozone Liberty Bowl)

Vegas over/under win prediction: 7.5

New Defensive Coordinator John Chavis is looking to improve the Aggie D that finished 102nd in total defense last year. Will that happen this season? Kicking off against Arizona State will be a good test to see how far this defense has came with only part of the offseason to turn things around. The good news is Texas A&M doesn’t play a true road game until at Ole Miss (Oct 24). In fact they only play 3 road games all year (scheduling win). One of those is at Vanderbilt (Nov 21) and they finish the season at LSU (Nov 28). That is a good schedule for anyone. Best case scenario: At-large selection New Years 6. Worst case scenario: returning to the Liberty Bowl.

Vanderbilt

Last season: 3-9

Vegas over/under win prediction: 3

It was a long season for the Commodores. After losing James Franklin the wheels have fell off of what he built in Nashville. So far off that Vanderbilt now plays 6 road games this season including at Middle Tennessee (Oct 3) and at Houston (Oct 31). It is safe to assume that Vanderbilt is hoping to not get blown out in each conference game and hoping to steal those two on the road. Best case scenario: matching Vegas’ win prediction. Worst case scenario: not winning a single game 0-12.

Conclusion: This is still the best conference in the world of collegiate football, but the teams to watch are as usual Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia.

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