2014 SEC Football Predictions

The 2014 football season is quickly approaching and it’s time to release our projected records for every FBS team.  We start with the SEC where for the first time in nearly a decade, they defending national champ isn’t in the conference.

The conference once again is loaded with top tier talent and should easily place a team in the 4 team college football playoff.  Check out our predicted regular season records for the SEC.

2014 SEC East Predictions

1.  South Carolina Gamecocks

Preseason Power Ranking:  5

Predicted 2014 Record:  11-1 (7-1 Conference)

Notes:  The Gamecocks lose Connor Shaw who had a knack for finding a way to win and Jadeveon Clowney as the top pick in the NFL Draft.  Dylan Thompson has experience quarterbacking the Gamecocks but look for them to rely on Mike Davis to carry them.  The Gamecocks have a favorable schedule that should lead to an appearance in the SEC Championship.

2.  Georgia Bulldogs

Preseason Power Ranking:  10

Predicted 2014 Record:  11-1 (7-1 in Conference)

Notes:  The Bulldogs health will be key to the season.  Numerous injuries derailed last season so they’ve got to stay healthy.  If they do, they should be in contention for the SEC Championship riding their workhorse Todd Gurley.  A new defensive coordinator has several returning starters to strengthen a unit that’ll need to make more plays if they want to win the conference.

3.  Florida Gators

Preseason Power Ranking:  17

Predicted 2014 Record:  7-5 (4-4 in Conference)

Notes:  The Gators are tremendously talented.  Injuries and ineptitude made 2013 a miserable season in Gainesville.  They made a move to spur the offense bringing in Kurt Roper from Duke.  I think he’ll get the offense headed in the right direction and the defense should be improved as well.  Look for the Gators to be much improved but a tough schedule won’t show a great record.

4.  Missouri Tigers

Preseason Power Ranking:  27

Predicted 2014 Record:  8-4 (4-4 in Conference)

Notes:  The Tigers lose one of the nation’s best receiving corps from last season.  Maty Mauk has proven he can be a playmaker at QB for the Tigers but he’s gonna have to get players to step up at receiver if the Tigers want to return to Atlanta as SEC East Champs.  The defense line should be a strength but a brutal road schedule should knock the Tigers back to the pack in the SEC East.

5.  Tennessee Volunteers

Preseason Power Ranking:  44

Predicted 2014 Record: 4-8 (1-7 in Conference)

Notes:  Butch Jones has the Vols headed in the right direction but they’re still inexperienced and have a tough schedule.  They should be better on the field but wins will be tough to come by this year.

6.  Kentucky Wildcats

Preseason Power Ranking:  51

Predicted 2014 Record:  4-8 (1-7 in Conference)

Notes:

7.  Vanderbilt Commodores

Preseason Power Ranking:  59

Predicted 2014 Record:  5-7 (1-7 in Conference)

Notes:  Vandy lost James Franklin so they’ve got a new head coach who will try to build on what Franklin did.  They’ve got a lot of holes to fill and while Franklin has built up the roster, it’s still gonna be tough for them to get back to a bowl game this season.

2014 SEC West Predictions

1.  Alabama Crimson Tide

Preseason Power Ranking:  2

Predicted 2014 Record:  12-0 (8-0 in Conference)

Notes:  Nick Saban teams tend to not have losing streaks so the two losses to end last season should still be festering for Bama.  The Tide are loaded at the skill positions except QB.  It looks to be Jacob Coker’s job but there are questions there.  The Tide’s QB just has to be able to get the ball to the array of playmakers they’ve got all over the field and they should win.  The schedule sets up right for them to make a run to the SEC Championship and the playoff.

2.  LSU Tigers

Preseason Power Ranking:  9

Predicted 2014 Record:  10-2 (6-2 in Conference)

Notes:  LSU is young on offense but the defense is experienced.  They had a great recruiting class that’ll need to produce right away.  Les Miles finds a way to win.  He seems to know when to call the trick play and I look for him to take some chances this season that’ll payoff and build momentum for this team.

3.  Mississippi State Bulldogs

Preseason Power Ranking:  23

Predicted 2014 Record:  9-3 (5-3 in Conference)

Notes:  Mississippi State has a ton of returning starters and this could be the make or break year for Dan Mullen’s squad.  Dak Prescott seems poised to lead his team to some upsets and make them a contender.  The Bulldogs will pull an upset or two this year.

4.  Auburn Tigers

Preseason Power Ranking:  3

Predicted 2014 Record:  9-3 (5-3 in Conference)

Notes:  Auburn is talented but as defending SEC Champs will have a target.  Can they rekindle the magic of last season?  That’s unlikely and a tougher schedule is going to show a regression in their record.  I’d never count Gus Malzahn out though.

5.  Ole Miss Rebels

Preseason Power Ranking:  21

Predicted 2014 Record:  8-4 (4-4 in Conference)

Notes:  Ole Miss is a team on the rise.  They’re a talented group and Bo Wallace could be the best QB in the conference.  Is this team ready for prime time?  They’ve got a schedule that’s going to be difficult to manage.  This is going to be a good football team but they might fall short of many peoples’ expectations.

6.  Texas A&M Aggies

Preseason Power Ranking:  33

Predicted 2014 Record: 6-6 (2-6 in Conference)

Notes:  Johnny Manziel is gone and leaves huge shoes to fill.  The Aggies will need the defense to step up.  Expecting an inexperienced QB to win a shootout every week isn’t going to be a winning proposition.  Kevin Sumlin can coach and I expect the Aggies to improve as the season goes on but it’s gonna be a tough season.

7.  Arkansas Razorbacks

Preseason Power Ranking:  39

Predicted 2014 Record:  4-8 (1-7 in Conference)

Notes:  Bret Bielema took over a big rebuilding job after the Bobby Petrino fiasco.  He’s getting players to fit his system and the Razorbacks should be much more competitive this year but wins are gonna be hard to come by.

 

2014 SEC Football Championship Game:

Alabama Crimson Tide over South Carolina Gamecocks

Look for Alabama to be in the first ever college football playoff.