FanPost

SEC Predictions for 2012

OK I have tried to ostracize my optimism and park my pessimism and look at this year's SEC schedule from a clear, analytical point of view. Below you see my prediction for the SEC following the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.

LSU

13

0

8

0

Georgia

11

2

7

1

Alabama

11

1

7

1

South Carolina

10

2

6

2

Arkansas

9

3

5

3

Missouri

9

3

5

3

Auburn

7

5

4

4

Florida

7

5

4

4

Texas A&M

7

5

3

5

Tennessee

6

6

2

6

Mississippi St

7

5

3

5

Vanderbilt

6

6

2

6

Ole Miss

3

9

0

8

Kentucky

3

9

0

8

Yes, much like last season, the power remains in the West, but the gap is closing. I will deny that I had any brownies while writing this and I avoided the brown cough syrup...so read, laugh, cuss or just shake your head in disgust/agreement. After you have digested this little novel, blast away. Looking forward to seeing how we all look at the end of this season.

Starting in the West

LSU still has all the swag in the SEC this season. I see them repeating a similar season as the 2011. Just winning. If it were not homecoming in Athens, I would love to have a seat in Tiger Stadium on November 3rd. That is going to be a night Baton Rouge does not forget (anyone wanna chip in on a GS5 charter from Athens to Baton Rouge?). The main reason I selected LSU to repeat is they have a tighter core returning and this season they will be led on offense by a competent QB. I think Zach will have a great year for the Tigers and lead them to another great season, culminating with the 7th straight SEC National Championship trophy.

ALABAMA, like last season, is just one win away from Atlanta and it comes at the hands of LSU in Death Valley. Scary part is Alabama does not have to reload, they just recruit. As long as Nick Saban is at the helm of the Tuscaloosa Tusks, Alabama will always be in the discussion for the SEC Championship and the National Championship hunt. I do not think Alabama will be as dominating as last season, they will have a few closer games, but they will still be a clear favorite up until Nov 3rd. I do not think we will see a repeat of last year’s National Championship Game, but I see Alabama sliding in at the Sugar Bowl’s as the replacement pick.

ARKANSAS, despite all the turmoil, is still a talented team. But for all the greatness of Wilson, I think that his performance will suffer with the graduation of the top 2 receivers. The running game will have to step up against some of the best defenses in the nation. Two of their losses come at the hands of LSU and Alabama, but who gives the third? South Carolina gets it done this year in Columbia and ends the annual barnyard fight between the Cocks and Hogs with a win.

AUBURN is getting things together and I think that the defense will improve, but with two new coordinators they will improve in 2012, scare a few teams but not enough to break into the top 3 in the West. Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Georgia and LSU will hand them losses.

TEXAS A&M provides a decent debut for the new canine mascot in the SEC but anything greater than a 7-5 inaugural season in the SEC West would be magic. They play probably one of the most difficult schedules that any team in the nation will see. They play the last 6 National Champions in a single season (OK it only counts for 4 games), but I see 3 losses in those 4 games (I think they beat Florida in their SEC debut) as well as Arkansas and Missouri to bring them to 5 losses.

MISSISSIPPI STATE has a good program in the building, but still not ready to break into the elite of the West. 5 losses for the river state Bulldogs at the hands of LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn and Texas A&M.

OLE MISS seems to be missing more than a mascot loved by the fans. 9 losses for the Rebels, Ackbars, Black Bears. Eight at the hands of the SEC and Texas gets a little revenge on the SEC for taking Missouri and Texas A&M from the Big Texas and others Conference.

Now for the East

GEORGIA looks a mess in the off season. Disciplinary problems, depth issues, self-imposed probation with very strict scholarship limits, players leaving in flocks. Good Gracious are the Classic City Canines going to be able to even field a team? I say yes, and it is a special team this season. I know that I said I ostracized my optimism and I believe that based on the talent level of the team I succeeded. There is not a team on our schedule that has better talent, better coaching or more desire than UGA will have this season. Having said that my gut tells me that we are probably a 2 loss team this year, but I cannot see that based on talent. If there are 2 losses, we will forever hate anything that has Columbia in it, and we will watch the Gamecocks get destroyed in Atlanta. I believe that you will see a very united team, the Defense is going to be lights out, the seniors want to make a statement, and this is the year Aaron Murray puts together a complete year. The anticipated suspensions may be too much for the Dawgs to overcome in Missouri and if that is the case then UGA suffers its one and only loss of the regular season at the hands of the CoMo Tigers. I see Georgia going into Colombia, SC as a 4-1 team., where we will face the only team that I see as on par with UGA. South Carolina and Spurrier get a full Georgia team for the first time in 3 years when all wheels are rolling and UGA stops the 2 game series winning streak. Rolling into Atlanta as a one loss team on a ten game winning streak, UGA finds out that it is still not deep enough to handle LSU and while not a complete blow-out like last season's 2nd half, the result is still an “L”. The SECCG loss hurts UGA in the polls and public view and no Sugar Bowl, so hello CapOne Bowl.

SOUTH CAROLINA has a great team and could possibly win the East this season with a victory over UGA in Columbia, but you know that is not going to happen now. The other loss comes at the hands of the Bayou Bengals. They take care of the rest of the slate and end an amazing season with a victory over Clemson. So after a bowl win, Spurrier achieves his dream of becoming South Carolina’s top winning head coach with 66 wins in another 11 win season; and we all know that 11 is his favorite number and 66 holds a dear place in his heart…so he retires fearing that if he continues to coach another win would push him past the magic 66 and karma will walk away, as does Marcus Lattimore as he jumps to the NFL draft as a Junior.

MISSOURI makes a statement in the rebuilding East with an impressive win over the eventual Division Champions and only suffers 3 losses at the other Columbia, to Alabama and in the Swamp. I was hesitant about the loss to the Gators, but the game is late in the season and the combination of the first SEC season and the environment in the swamp was just too much to overlook.

FLORIDA is still in rebuilding mode but you will definitely see improvement in the Gators this season, they bring in a high caliber OC to replace ole Charley, but they are going to miss Demps, Rainy and yes, Brantley. They are still a little dysfunctional on offense, but the defense is top 5 in the SEC (which is still in the top 20 in the nation). I see Texas A&M handing the Gators the first loss of the year, followed by losses to LSU, South Carolina and Georgia in the SEC and just to add insult to Muschamp the Seminoles end Florida’s regular season with a loss.

TENNESSEE is talented, Bray is a quality QB and he has one of the best receiving corps in the SEC, but it is still not enough to break through the mid-level of the East. Not with the defenses they face or the defense they put on the field. Is a 6-6 season with wins over Vanderbilt and Kentucky enough to save his job? I think we will see. Tennessee will stumble with Florida, Georgia, Mississippi St, Alabama, South Carolina and Missouri. Mrs. Vince Dooley may need to look at purging the Orange from her closet come January 2013.

VANDERBILT and James Franklin start to realize that the honeymoon is over. Vandy shocked some people with the Franklin cockiness last year, but one-act plays do not survive long in the SEC (unless your name is Bobo). Vandy ends the regular season at 6-6 with losses to South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Florida, Auburn and Tennessee.

KENTUCKY started talking about basketball on September 23rd after Florida hands them the second loss of the season (sorry Big Blue but Louisville gets you in the opener). Florida starts a 7 game losing streak that includes South Carolina, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri and Vandy. After a win at Samford, the Wildcats end the season with a loss to Tennessee. Basketball can never arrive soon enough in Kentucky.

Well there you have it, the completely baseless predictions for the SEC Football Season for 2012. The conference adds another crystal football to the collection, Lane Kiffin goes away empty. We start to see the cyclic nature of parity coming back around as the East takes steps in coming back online. Slive realizes that 10 bowl tie-ins are not sufficient and he is losing money. And 7000 fans of Texas A&M and 7000 fans of Missouri all file for disability because of the permanent hearing loss and PTSD from the first year of traveling around the circus we all love to call SEC Football.

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