Georgia Football- How They’ll Finish: A Game-By-Game Breakdown of the SEC
DudeYouPodcast 5-Star Contest: Want free tickets to an upcoming Georgia home game? Leave a 5-star Review of the DudeYouPodcast right here on iTunes. Then shoot us an email at DudeYouPodcast@gmail.com telling us who you are and what your review said. We’ll select one winner every day for five days starting next week. But your review must be 5-stars!
There’s one day left until college football. It’s time to put my proverbial (not actual!) neck on the line.
This is never a fun project. With the picks below, I will inevitably piss off every single fanbase in the SEC, including my own. Going game-by-game, one has to go back and figure out why there are somehow more SEC wins than losses, determine what the heck happened in projecting Missouri to win 9 games (this happened to me last year), and try to be somewhat vague while providing some meaningful analysis.
In case you were wondering what the process was for this (for you do-it-yourselfers):
1) Print the SEC helmet schedule (yes, its part of my real estate mailer. Shameless self-promotion alert, tell your friends and family.)
2) Grab two highlighters. One for wins, one for losses.
3) Go through and highlight the nonconference games. For what it’s worth, I have the SEC going 50-6 in nonconference games. Nice scheduling, as there are maybe 13-15 games that are remotely in question. A grand total of 11 power conference opponents among 14 teams. So, yeah.
4) Start going game-by-game, week-by-week. That way you can pick out trends like, “lucky for Tennessee they get Chattanooga after Oklahoma/Georgia/Florida.”
5) Hedge. I don’t think South Carolina is going to go 12-0 this year, but I have them as a favorite in every game. I like the fact that they go to Auburn, so I’ll give the Warm Beagles the slight edge.
SEC East: Cocks, Dawgs, then chaos
1) South Carolina 11-1 (7-1)– like I said, I can’t pick them to go unbeaten, but I can pick them to win the East by way of beating a young Georgia secondary at home in 17 days. My hedge loss for them is a late-season stumble at Florida, because HEY WHY NOT. Auburn, Georgia, and Clemson (who’s losing by 17 per in the past 5 to SC) rank as 1-3 on what I’d call the ‘most likely loss’ scale.
2) Georgia 10-2 (6-2)– Outright loss to South Cack, hedge loss to Auburn. I reserve the right to reverse the 2 and 0 in the overall record if the secondary and o-line show out on Saturday.
3) Florida 7-5 (4-4)– The beneficiary of the hedge win against SC, they are one of Vanderbilt’s 3 SEC victims on the other side of the ledger. Do seven wins over Idaho, EMU, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mizzou, SC, and Eastern Kentucky save Will Muschamp’s job?
4) Vanderbilt 7-5 (3-5)– For me, they were the toughest team to peg. They have upperclassman talent left from the James Franklin era, and could keep right on (anchoring?) but I think a slight step back is in order. They did schedule 4 nonconference wins, so I expect them to go bowling either way.
5) Missouri 6-6 (3-5)– Either UCF or Indiana knocks them off nonconference. Then they open SEC play with SC, Georgia and Florida in consecutive games. After establishing momentum with home wins over Vandy and UK, they get a bye, after which I’d pick them to beat Texas A&M if they were at home. But hey, they get Arkansas to make for probably the easiest cross-conference schedule in the East.
6) Tennessee 5-7 (2-6)– BUTCH JONES GON (almost) GET DEM DERE VAWLS BOWLING Y’ALL! The team is talented enough to go bowling, just not with this schedule. Week 1 is a tricky game against Utah State. Over a 7-game stretch, they play Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, and South Carolina (all losses!). I think they beat Kentucky and Missouri, but fall just short yet again.
7) Kentucky 4-8 (1-7)– UT Martin, Ohio, a hedge win over Vandy, and Funroe. And a bunch of pain outside of that.
SEC West: It’s really hard to distinguish between Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, and A&M
1) Alabama 11-1 (7-1)– Should be favored in every game they play, with a hedge loss at Ole Miss. Of which I’m like, 25% confident. Oh well.
2) LSU 10-2 (6-2)– Apparently Les Miles is in my head, as the experience on this team calls for 6 or 7 wins. Losses at Auburn and at home against Bama seem about right, although Wisconsin, Florida and A&M could all give them trouble away from Baton Rouge.
3) Ole Miss 9-3 (5-3)– So with the extreme hedge win over Bama, they got the EXTREME hedge loss to Arkansas. I think they’re a 5-win SEC team either way, although the second stretch of their schedule (Alabama, at A&M, Tennessee, at LSU, Auburn) borders on brutal. Thank god for Tennessee.
4) Auburn 8-4 (5-3)– The shame of it is, I have Auburn losing 3 SEC games and beating Georgia. PROVE ME WRONG, DAWGS (and perhaps unreasonably tempered expectations). Weird things happen on Thursday nights, especially in desolate places such as Manhattan, KS, so I have K-State beating them. South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Bama make it 4, because these guys are not as good as they showed last year. I think. I hope.
5) Texas A&M 8-4 (4-4)– Tough to nail down sans Johnny Football, I’m taking a slight leap of faith on their talent. Three road losses to South Carolina, Bama, and Auburn seem obvious, and LSU was the toss-up I have going not-their-way.
6) Mississippi St. 6-6 (2-6)– I refuse to believe that this is better than a 7-8 win program, and Dan Mullen’s hilarious record against the SEC West (7-21) scares me from getting to excited about their easy East slate of Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
7) Arkansas 4-8 (1-7)– I firmly believe that this is too good a team to not win at LEAST 1 game, although they’re still quite bad. Unfortunately, most of their winnable games are on the road. Hence the late-season ‘nothing to lose’ Ole Miss hedge. They almost did it at LSU last year.
SEC Championship Game/Postseason Picture
Obviously, I have Alabama/South Carolina playing for a playoff bid. Alabama wins it, but its a fairly close game. Call it 27-19 Tide. Since the rest of the league so sufficiently beat up on each other, AND since the selection committee is likely to lean towards conference champions in the first year of the CFP, the SEC will not get two teams in. Repeat, accept, repeat. The. SEC. Will. Not. Get. Two. Teams. Into. The. Playoff.*
* Frankly, they totally could in a scenario where the B1G beats up on a depleted Ohio State and still not-that-talented Michigan State, the big boys in the Pac-12 (UCLA/Stanford/Oregon) hand each other multiple losses, and the Big XII well, Big XII’s.
CFP Semifinal- Alabama (12-1)
Orange Bowl (or maybe Peach, depending on how the B1G and Notre Dame shake out)- Georgia (10-2)
Capitol One– South Carolina (11-2)
Outback– Ole Miss (9-3) by virtue of LSU having gone the past two years.
Gator– NOT GEORGIA V. NEBRASKA! LSU (10-2)
Music City- Auburn (8-4)
Liberty- Texas A&M (8-4)
Belk- Florida (7-5)
Texas- Vanderbilt (7-5)
Obviously, any bowl-eligible SEC team will find a spot somewhere, so beyond the SEC tie-ins Missouri and Mississippi State will be playing somewhere.
Posted on August 27, 2014, in Alabama, Auburn, Blog, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.