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2020 SEC Preview: NCAAF Picks and Predictions

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2020 SEC Preview: NCAAF Picks and Predictions
Bo Nix #10 of the Auburn Tigers. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

The college football season will kick in a few months – we hope – and below we break down one of the toughest conferences in the nation – the SEC!

Wait Until Next Year

Let’s dispense with any pie-in-the-sky notions that any of the teams below have even a whiff of a chance to compete for the SEC title. It’s not happening now, nor any time soon. The best the dregs of the SEC can hope for is that they improve their records from last season and give their head coaches at least one more year in the big chair. Without further ado, and with the help of the college football odds over at BetOnline, those teams are (2020 projections regular season only, without bowl games):

Vanderbilt: 2019 record: 3-9 – 2020 Projection: 2-10 (+25000 to win SEC)

Arkansas: 2019 record: 2-10 – 2020 Projection: 2-10 (+25000 to win SEC)

Missouri: 2019 record: 6-6 – 2020 Projection: 4-8 (+5000 to win SEC)

South Carolina: 2019 record: 4-8 – 2020 Projection: 5-7 (+4000 to win SEC)

Mississippi State: 2019 record: 6-7 – 2020 Projection: 5-7 (+2500 to win SEC)

Ole Miss: 2019 record: 4-8 – 2020 Projection: 6-6 (+5000 to win SEC)

Tennessee: 2019 record: 8-5 – 2020 Projection: 7-5 (+2000 to win SEC)

Kentucky: 2019 record: 8-5 – 2020 Projection: 8-4 (+2500 to win SEC)

The Pretenders

Auburn

  • 2019 record: 9-4 – 2020 Projection: 8-4 (+1200 to win SEC at BetOnline)

Auburn’s Bo Nix did a solid job under center for the Tigers but he could have protection issues after four of his starting linemen left, with the exception of rising junior Nick Brahms. Prince Tega Wanogho will be big shoes to fill for whoever takes his spot at tackle while Auburn’s defense, which was serviceable last year, will likely regress this season which will spell trouble for the Tigers.

Myles Brennan #15 of the LSU Tigers. Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images/AFP

LSU

  • 2019 record: 15-0 – 2020 Projection: 9-3 (+800 to win SEC)

Well, it’s hard to follow last season’s act after Joe Burrow lit up the college football landscape with a barrage of darts, laser beams, and rockets torching every secondary they played. Burrow was selected first overall in the draft and now the mantle has been passed to rising junior Myles Brennan. It will be hard to replace all the bodies that left last year’s team and to expect Brennan to pick up where Burrow left off is asking too much. The Tigers look ripe for a championship hangover.

The Contenders

Texas A&M

  • 2019 record: 8-5 – 2020 Projection: 10-2 (+700 to win SEC)

The Aggies are the dark horse in this conference but they could surprise and it’s interesting to note that the oddsmakers are dealing them as one of the favorites, above Auburn and LSU, to win the SEC title in 2020. Their schedule this season is far easier than last as they lost five games to teams ranked within the top eight in 2019 but this year they won’t see the likes of Clemson or Georgia and their battle at home against this year’s iteration of LSU won’t be nearly as daunting as the team that destroyed them in Baton Rouge last year. At odds of +700 at BetOnline, they could be worth a few bucks in your college football picks.

Florida Gators during warms up. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

Florida

  • 2019 record: 11-2 – 2020 Projection: 11-1 (+500 to win SEC)

The SEC East will be a two-horse race between Florida and Georgia as it was last season. Assuming LSU is not the juggernaut it was last year I can see the Gators barreling through a relatively easy regular-season slate with a neutral site showdown at the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars against Georgia as the defining game for both team’s conference title hopes.

Georgia

  • 2019 record: 12-2 – 2020 Projection: 11-1 (+300 to win SEC)

The biggest difference between Florida and Georgia’s regular-season slate is one team will be at Tuscaloosa while the other won’t. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they will meet a hungry Crimson Tide squad eager to redeem themselves after a disappointing 2019, and that could tell the tale of the SEC East.

Alabama

  • 2019 record: 11-2 – 2020 Projection: 12-0 (+175 to win SEC)

Guess who’s back? Back again…Nicky’s back…tell a friend. The Tide should roll this season with Mac Jones under center after having been battle-tested upon taking over for the injured Tua down the stretch. Jones tossed 14 TD’s against just three picks and posted a 186.8 passer rating. Jones is a star in the making and Bama, barring catastrophic injuries, should not only claim the SEC but the national championship as well.

SEC Title Game Prediction: Alabama 41 – Florida 17