The SEC promises to be stacked yet again in 2019. What will the final standings look like?
The South Eastern Conference (SEC) is arguably the best football conference in the nation. Each year the conference is loaded with top 25 teams and sends a long list of players to the NFL. In 2018 the SEC lived up to the height once again as six teams (Alabama, LSU, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky & Texas A&M) finished in the final AP top 25
2019 promises to be another strong year for the conference thanks to plenty of returning superstars. Stars such as Tua Tagovailoa,Jake Fromm, transfers such as Kelly Bryant (Mizzou) and a handful of top recruiting classes. Here’s a way
SEC East Projected Standings:
Despite losing a handful of players to the NFL draft and Justin Fields transferring there’s plenty of reinforcements coming for Georgia. The program finished with top three recruiting classes in the nation the last two seasons. Fromm will be back under center which also can’t hurt Georgia. The SEC East is getting stronger, but it’s still the Dawgs division to lose.
Jake Fromm with the beautiful throw to Jeremiah Holloman pic.twitter.com/Mt5FkU6fj1— WeRunThisState (@garunsthisstate) September 15, 2018
The Gators won 10 games in 2018 in Dan Mullen’s first season which was unexpected. The team is ahead of schedule which is never a bad thing. However, the SEC East is still full of talent, and Florida doesn’t have the separation they tend to have.
The Wildcats won 10 games for the first time in over 40 years in 2018. The team will be losing many of the players who helped turn the program around such as Josh Allen and Benny Snell Jr to the NFL. However, much of their starting offensive will be returning and their defensive front seven is as good as any in the conference, meaning it should be another strong season in Lexington.
Getting Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant to replace Drew Lock was huge but, the Tigers aren’t going to be as far improved as many may think. They are losing running back Damarea Crockett to the NFL and their defense looks to be shaky at best. The Tigers will go bowling but not much more than that.
The Vols rebuild is coming together nicely. Despite winning only five games in 2018, Tennessee showed flashes of great potential especially on the offensive side of the ball. They beat an 11th ranked Kentucky team by 17 and seemed to embrace new head coach Jeremy Pruitt. The Vols two year bowl-less streak ends as the program takes another step forward.
South Carolina 5-7
South Carolina is a team many believe to be a sleeper in the conference. However, they never are anything above average. The Gamecocks finished 6-6 in another disappointing season in 2018. In their bowl game, they were shutout 28-0 by Virginia. Deebo Samuel is NFL bound, and the Cocks have no one to replace him at receiver. It’s going to be a long year in Columbia.
Vanderbilt has gone bowling two of the past three seasons, but 2019 will likely be a year they take a step back. The Commodores are losing many of their key players to graduation including their quarterback of four seasons Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt will need to rebuild again which will lead to more losing.
VANDY!!!! 40 yard TD from Kyle Shurmur to Jared Pinkney! pic.twitter.com/bRCCbsSARJ— #NobodyDied (@ftbeard_17) October 27, 2018
SEC West Projected Standings:
The National Championship game did not look good on Alabama’s part but, with Tagovailoa coming back under center and a roster still filled with a boatload of talent there’s no reason why Alabama can’t make it back to their 5th straight national championship game.
Odds to Win 2019 Heisman Trophy via https://t.co/J5bDp3yMxn:— Dave Heller (@dave_heller) January 15, 2019
Trevor Lawrence 3/1
Tua Tagovailoa 4/1
Jalen Hurts 9/1
Travis Etienne 12/1
Justin Fields 12/1
Jake Fromm 12/1
D’Andre Swift 12/1
Jonathan Taylor 12/1#Badgers
LSU had a solid year in 2018 and are going to be even better with Joe Burrow under center for another year. LSU has talent on both sides of the ball as Ed Oregon has done a solid job recruiting. If anyone can challenge Alabama for the SEC West, it’s LSU.
Texas A&M 9-3
In year two the Aggies are going to look more and more like a Jimbo Fisher team. Fisher managed to lead the Aggies to a nine-win season with most of his players being of the past regime. Now will get to see more of a look of the stacked Texas A&M recruiting classes Fisher has put together in College Station.
The Tigers had a disappointing 2018 as they settled for a Music City Bowl bid in a season that had championship aspirations. Auburn will need to figure out who will be playing quarterback with Jarrett Stidham NFL bound but, there’s still plenty of talent Gus Malzahn’s roster that should help Auburn have another respectable season.
Thankful. pic.twitter.com/FgmTxyFUAh— Jarrett Stidham (@Jarrett_Stidham) December 4, 2018
Mississippi State 7-5
The Bulldogs defense was outstanding in 2018 but, their offense kept them from having a breakout season as they finished the year with an Outback Bowl loss to Iowa. In 2019 there will be a lot of change as much of their defense is NFL bound and long-time quarterback Nick Fitzgerald graduated. The Bulldogs have talent and have done an excellent job recruiting but, 2019 might be a bit of a reboot season in Starksville.
Ole Miss 5-7
Rebels head coach Matt Luke has done a great job keeping Ole Miss relevant in recruiting in development while the team was suspended from bowl eligibility the last two seasons. With the suspension over the Rebels can fight for a bowl bid. Most of their high flying offense will not be returning but, their defense will have a chance to turn the tide as a lot of young talent will get their chance to play.
Top ten college football teams in 2018 for total offense (YPG):— No Huddle College Football (@NoHuddle_CFB) January 13, 2019
1. Oklahoma (570.3)
2. Ohio State (535.6)
3. Clemson (527.2)
4. Memphis (523.1)
5. UCF (522.7)
6. Alabama (522.0)
7. Houston (512.5)
8. West Virginia (512.3)
9. Ole Miss (510.5)
10. Oklahoma State (500.2)
The Razorbacks are rebuilding their program football program. The Hogs won just two games in 2018 but, Chad Morris has still done an excellent job recruiting and saw his young team show flashes of potential including keeping Alabama and Texas A&M close for much of their 2018 match-ups. The Razorbacks again will lose a lot in 2019 but, they will improve from a year ago.