Conference Preview Analysis: SEC East

Marcus Lattimore

The SEC has won 5 straight BCS National Championships,but besides Florida, no other east team has had a realistic shot in a long time. This could change this year. South Carolina, could be that team that takes that step forward. However, most of the division lacks quarterback experience, but the Gamecocks have that in Stephen Garicia. Here is my predicted order of finish and projected records for the SEC East division:

  1. South Carolina- The Gamecocks won the division last year, and have plenty of talent returning. On offense, running back Marcus Lattimore will carry the load when needed. Stephen Garicia should start at quarterback, although he has had some off the field issues. If Garcia plays, he better perform early, otherwise Connor Shaw will take over. Wide receiver Ashlon Jeffrey is a game changer. Jeffrey was an All-American last year, and led the SEC with 88 receptions for 1517 yards. The defense has plenty of talent returning, and the Gamecocks front seven all return. With a favorable schedule, expect South Carolina to win the east again but fall in the title game to LSU. Projected record  10-3
  2. Florida- The Gators have new head Coach Will Muschamp, and Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis, and the Gators could be back at the top of the SEC again. Offensively, the Gators will be strong if quaterback John Brantley can play up to his potential. The Gators have speedsters Chris Rainey, and Jeff Demps at running back, and star receiver Deonte Thompson. The Gators have enough weapons offensivley to compete with everyone this year. The defense has alot of talent returnig, especially at the line backer position. Muschamp, who was the defensive Coordinator at Texas, will play a major role in the Gator defense. Overall, if the weapons on offense click, the Gators could surprise everyone and win the SEC. Projected record  9-3
  3. Georgia- The Bulldogs had a disaster season last year, and Coach Mark Richt better have a better game plan soon, or he could be out in Athens. The Dawgs have had mediocre and awful seasons the last two years. Georgia fans are growing impatient, and want Georgia to be back to beign an SEC power. Quarterback Aaron Murray could be that guy. Murray is just a sophomore, and is arguably the best quarterback in the SEC. Murray put up strong stats last year throwing for 3,049 yards and 24 touchdowns. The main problem will be at the runnign back position, due to Washaun Ealy transferring. The defense will also have to improve if the Bulldogs want to seriously compete for the SEC East title. Expect Georgia to be competitive, but if Murray doesn’t have enough playmakers on offense, the dawgs will likely falter at their division title hopes. Projected record  8-4.
  4. Tennessee- Rocky flop? Tennessee is having the same problems as Georgia, but the Vols have not been relavent since 2007. Coach Derek Dooley is hoping to change that soon. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray, stepped in last season when the Vols were 2-6, and led them to four straight victories, and bowl game. Running back Tauren Poole rushed for 1034 yards, and should compliment Bray’s passing game. The Volunteers offense is good enough to keep them in every game they will play. Tennessee’s defense will likely struggle, and it could cost them in some games. However, I expect Tennessee to have a better season and take a step forward. Projected record  7-5
  5. Kentucky- The Cats have made five straight bowl games, but that streak could come to an end this year. Kentucky lost all  of its key offensive playmakers in running back Derrick Locke, and receiver Randall Cobb. Quarterback Mike Hartline is gone, and Morgan Newton will have to carry the offense for the most part. The offense does not have any key playmakers, and the Cat offense will probably struggle against good defenses. However, the defense does have alot of experience. The Cats have 11 of their top tacklers back, but they will have to slow down other offenses, because Kentucky’s offense just wont be that strong this year. Overall, Coach Joker Phillips has good intentions for this team, but being competitive in the SEC east will  be a challenge this year. If the Wildcats can beat in state rival Louisville, then they should have a good enough record to make a bowl, but until the offense can show they are for real, the Cats will probably miss a bowl game this year. Projected record- 5-7
  6. Vanderbilt- Honestly, I am not sure why the Commodores are even in the SEC. They have won four games the past  two seasons, and have had one winning season since 1982. The Commodores will likely struggle greatly again, and they may go winless in conference play this year. Head Coach James Franklin is at his first season with Vandy, but he believes that the Commodres have improved from last season. Maybe they have, but they will still struggle. It’s the SEC, and no matter how much you improve in practice, you have to perfom on the field. Vandy will sturggle again, and will remain in the cellar of the SEC east yet again. Projected record   2-10

3 Responses to Conference Preview Analysis: SEC East

  1. Steve Spurrier says:

    YEAH!!! Go Gamecocks!!!!

  2. Wildcat20 says:

    SC will have a good year but they are overratted. Sure they have a good RB in Lattimore but their QB is unreliable and Spurrier is going to have his hands full with new players. They wont win the SEC East

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