The 2019 SEC Preview with the Game of the Year, Players of the Year, top pro prospects, big-time players who deserve a bigger spotlight, and more.
SEC Team Previews, 5 Things To Know
East Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | Missouri
South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt
West Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU
Mississippi State | Ole Miss | Texas A&M
Yes, the world is sick of the idea that the SEC is the best conference in college football.
Yes, it’s WAY too easy to bait Clemson fans with the notion that their Tigers are catching a massive break by getting to play in the ACC instead of the grind of the SEC.
Yes, every other conference’s fan base has a stat or a specific game they can pull out about how overrated the SEC is, and in the past, they’d be dead on.
Not this year. The SEC is the best conference in college football, and it’s not even remotely close.
That wasn’t necessarily the case a few seasons ago, and it’s not the given you’d think it is.
The Big Ten was a whole lot stronger a few seasons ago, and the ACC had a ton of success when Lamar Jackson was rocking and rolling and Florida State wasn’t so lousy. But this season? Forget about it.
That doesn’t mean Clemson isn’t amazing. That doesn’t mean that the Big Ten East is any less difficult, or that Oklahoma and the Big 12 won’t be a blast. It’s just that the SEC is from top to bottom – or, at least until Arkansas figures it out – far, far superior.
That also doesn’t mean that the top teams from other leagues couldn’t do more than just compete in the SEC, if not win it. It means there are more landmines to sidestep than in any other conference.
Of course the No. 1 team in any Power Five league – or UCF or Boise State – could beat any great SEC team. Sure, for example, Florida is beatable, but then win at Mississippi State, and then win against Auburn, and then at Alabama, and then at Ole Miss and against Arkansas late in the season before closing out against Texas A&M. That’s what LSU has to do.
So what makes the league so good? Talent, talent, and talent.
Recruiting rankings hardly mean everything or anything, but since the dawn of services, the SEC has destroyed all the other Power Five conferences – most of the time, combined – when it comes to bringing in the top prospects, and the NFL has proven that to be true.
In the 2019 NFL Draft, over a quarter of the players taken came from the SEC, doubling up everyone – all the Group of Five conferences included – but the Big Ten and Pac-12 …
And it’s not going to slow down.
What does this all mean and why does it matter? The SEC needs to be graded on a curve by the College Football Playoff committee. The league needs to be watched even harder and scrutinized even more for the week-in-and-week-out grind.
And for the fans of college football, you might not like it, but your conference isn’t as good as the SEC.
SEC Team That Will Surprise
The lines, the lines, the lines. The Tigers still have to settle the quarterback situation, and they still have to prove the offensive issues from last year are in the past, but start with one of the best defensive lines in college football, continue with a fantastic offensive front, and everything else should fall into place.
The call throughout the offseason stays – Auburn beats Oregon in Dallas to open the season. There might be problems with Texas A&M, Florida and LSU on the road, and overall this won’t be a repeat of the run to the 2018 SEC Championship, but it’ll be a solid team that should push hard for at least nine wins.
– Auburn Preview
SEC Team That Will Disappoint
South Carolina Gamecocks
And why? To beat this into the ground from earlier articles this offseason … Alabama, at Missouri, at Georgia, Florida, at Tennessee, at Texas A&M, Clemson. Oh yeah, and the Gamecocks host Kentucky. And Appalachian State. And Vanderbilt. And they have to go deal with North Carolina in Charlotte.
It’s a solid team with a whole lot of nice parts to work around, but who can handle this schedule and stay alive? Start with four losses as a base and work from there. Will Muschamp’s team will be strong enough to pull off an upset or two, but when the bar is set at bowl eligibility, there’s a problem.
– South Carolina Preview