Fearless SEC forecast

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It’s never too early to make football predictions in the SEC. Now that all the preseason magazines are out with theirs, it’s time to go ahead and get started.

So, here you go, my predictions for 2015:

East

  1. Georgia — I know, I know, Mark Richt can be counted on to lose at least one game that he shouldn’t each year. But this team is loaded with talent and has one of the best offensive players in the nation in tailback Nick Chubb. ’Dogs will make it to Atlanta.

  2. Missouri — Someone needs to find Gary Pinkel’s secret for taking a bunch of two and three-star recruits and turning them into four and five-star players. No one develops talent better than Pinkel and his staff. With a proven quarterback, the Tigers are serious contenders to win their third consecutive division title.

  3. Tennessee — The Vols are getting all kinds of love in the preseason after finishing strong last season. UT is definitely on the way back up under Butch Jones, but the Vols aren’t there yet.

  4. Florida — If the Gators weren’t in such bad shape on the offensive line, I’d pick them second. But the way it is now, Jim McElwain’s first UF offense is going to struggle to score enough points. The defense will keep the Gators in every game, but we’ve seen this before.

  5. South Carolina — The Head Ball Coach is optimistic, but, then again, when isn’t he. The reality is, the Gamecocks are going to struggle this season with a new quarterback and a suspect defense.

  6. Kentucky — The ’Cats are becoming potent on offense, but defense is always the question mark in Lexington.

  7. Vanderbilt — Did James Franklin actually do all that good stuff at Vandy or did I dream it? Seems like a dream now. Vandy is Vandy again.

West

  1. Alabama — The Tide still has a question mark at QB, but also had one a year ago and still made it to the four-team college football playoff. This team is overflowing with talent. Whoever ends up being the QB will be just fine.

  2. Auburn — The Tigers are getting all kinds of love in the preseason. Many are predicting they’ll challenge for the national championship. But after recently watching a replay of last season’s butt kicking put on the Tigers by Georgia, I’m saying AU is overrated.

  3. Arkansas — You have to admire the strong foundation Bret Bielema has laid in Fayetteville. Nobody wanted a piece of the Hogs by the middle of last season. This will be a tough team to beat.

  4. LSU — The Tigers are loaded with talent (when aren’t they?), but still have an issue at quarterback. The Hat will talk up this team, calling it a championship-type one, but it’s not.

  5. Mississippi State — The Bulldogs have a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate in Dak Prescott, but it’s going to be hard for MSU to match what it did a year ago.

  6. Ole Miss — Let’s start off by setting the record straight on something: Hugh Freeze was never offered the Florida job last December. Now that that’s settled, the Rebels have a lot of talent, but have some holes to fill on offense.

  7. Texas A&M — This certainly doesn’t have the look of a potential last-place team. There’s all kinds of talent, but most of it is on the offensive side. The defense will struggle again, and that’s a huge problem in this deep and talented division.