2012 SEC East Football Projections

By: Maize_in_Spartyland

 

Now just 8 days from the beginning of college football, its time to unveil the 2012 SEC-East Conference projections! On Thursday, August 30 at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN the South Carolina Gamecocks and Vanderbilt Commodores meet in a rare conference battle in week one, with the game taking place in Nashville. On Friday, the Tennessee Volunteers look to improve upon a disappointing 2011 season, playing the North Carolina State Wolfpack in Atlanta, Georgia, on ESPNU at 7:30 PM EST.

 

On Saturday, three more SEC teams are in action, starting with the Georgia Bulldogs hosting the Buffalo Bulls at 12:21 PM EST. At 3:30 PM EST, the Florida Gators, under second year coach Will Muschamp, will host the Bowling Green Falcons on ESPN. SEC newcomer Missouri Tigers host the FCS SE Louisiana Lions at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN3. On Sunday, rivals Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals meet at 3:30 PM EST on ESPN. Of their last ten meetings, the winner has gone on to be bowl eligible in nine of those years.

Projected

Team

Overall

Conference

1t

South Carolina

(10-2)

(6-2)

1t

Florida

(9-3)

(6-2)

1t

Georgia

(10-2)

(6-2)

4

Tennessee

(7-5)

(4-4)

5

Missouri

(7-5)

(3-5)

6

Vanderbilt

(5-7)

(2-6)

7

Kentucky

(3-9)

(0-8)

 

Meet the favorites . . .

 

(1) South Carolina Gamecocks

This all hinges on the health of RB Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore sat out the final six games of last season after suffering a knee injury in the 14-12 win over Mississippi State last season. Prior to the injury, the Gamecocks were averaging 35.5 points per game. In the last seven, including the game Lattimore was injured, they averaged 25.4 points per game. WR Alshon Jeffrey departs for the NFL, but QB Connor Shaw returns, now having the experience of being a starting quarterback in 2011. The Gamecocks do draw both LSU (at Baton Rouge, LA) and Arkansas (Columbia, SC) out of the West, but they get Georgia at home.

 

(2) Florida Gators

Last year was all about the transition from a spread offense to a pro style offense. Because of that, the Gators struggled offensively, ranking in the bottom half of points scored on average. The Gators do lose some offensive weapons, like Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey, but expect better production from the quarterback position. Brent Pease will be coaching the quarterbacks this year. Outside of the Florida State game, the Gators have a favorable non-conference schedule. While they do face LSU from the West, they play a rebuilding Texas A&M team, early. Getting South Carolina at home is a perk, but they do travel to Tennessee.

 

(3) Georgia Bulldogs

Of the top three contenders in the SEC East, Georgia arguably has the easiest crossover games. The Bulldogs draw Ole Miss (Athens, GA) and Auburn (Auburn, AL). Still, they draw South Carolina on the road, and Florida in Jacksonville, FL. The Bulldogs have struggled with the Gators lately, despite beating them last year. I tend to think Georgia overachieved a bit last year, and Florida should be much better than their 2011 edition.

 

What are your thoughts on the SEC East Division projections? Tweet to us @BVTSB.

One response

  1. Pingback: New Content Added: Week of August 19th « Before Visiting The Sportsbook

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