Just to keep this interesting, I'm going to preview each team in my projected worst-to-first order in first the East. Look for a similar post featuring the teams in the West tomorrow. I tried to keep this quick.
Use the comment section to tell me why I'm awesome and why I'm awful .
Vanderbilt Commodores (5-7, 1-7 SEC)
Derek Mason made a splash at media days with his metal business cards and his bow tie, but I have a hard time buying what he's selling. Stanford plays the closest thing to SEC football on the west coast, but it takes a lot for me to believe in a head coach whose first season is in the SEC.
Wins: Temple, UMass, Charleston Southern, Old Dominion, Tennessee
Losses: Ole Miss, South Carolina, @Kentucky, @Georgia, @Mizzou, Florida, @Missisippi State
Tennessee Volunteers (4-8, 1-7 SEC)
These guys are still a mess, y'all. I don't know what else to say. Utah State and Vandy were my toughest picks, so naturally I split them.
Wins: Utah State, Arkansas State, Chattanooga, Kentucky
Losses: @Oklahoma, @Georgia, Florida, @Ole Miss, Alabama, @South Carolina, Mizzou, @Vandy
Kentucky Wildcats (4-8, 1-7 SEC)
I think that Mark Stoops is a great thing for this program, but he's still got a lot of catching up to do. This team should show improvement, but they may not win a game away from home.
Wins: UT-Martin, Ohio, Vanderbilt, UL-Monroe
Losses: @Florida, South Carolina, @LSU, vs Mississippi State, @Mizzou, Georgia, @Tennessee, @Louisville
Missouri Tigers (9-3, 5-3 SEC)
This defense has lost a few key parts, but I think they'll be okay. Maty Mauk manages to be one of the more known quantities at QB in the East, and a friendly non conference schedule (bye, Blake Bortles!) helps the Tigers cruise to what I think should be a pretty successful third season in our fine conference.
Wins: South Dakota St, @Toledo, UCF, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, @Texas A&M, @Tennessee, Arkansas
Losses: @South Carolina, Georgia, @Florida
Florida Gators (9-3, 6-2 SEC)
4-8 can't be the new normal for the Florida Gators, can it? I don't think so. This is a bold prediction, and it depends heavily on the Gators staying healthy and Jeff Driskel throwing primarily to guys who play on his team.
Wins: Idaho, E Michigan, Kentucky, @Tennessee, LSU, Mizzou, vs. Georgia, @Vanderbilt, E Kentucky
Losses: @Alabama, South Carolina, @Florida State
South Carolina Gamecocks (10-2, 6-2 SEC)
I'm a believer in Spurrier, y'all. Replacing Jadeveon Clowney isn't going to be easy, but on the other side of the ball the Gamecocks bring back the only QB who beat UCF last year. It helps that
Wins: Texas A&M, East Carolina, @Vanderbilt, Mizzou, @Kentucky, Furman, Tennessee, @Florida, South Alabama, Clemson
Losses: Georgia, @Auburn
Georgia Bulldogs (11-1, 7-1 SEC, SEC East Champs)
I'm drinking the Hutson Mason Kool-aid, and I certainly think that he'll be good enough to be the "game manager" (cringe) that illuminates what should be a Heisman campaign for Todd Gurley. Jeremy Pruitt is a good pick up for a much maligned defense.
Wins: Clemson @South Carolina, Troy, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, @Arkansas, Florida, @Kentucky, Auburn, Charleston Southern, Georgia Tech
Losses: vs. Florida
The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party has been an ugly, ugly game the past few years, and I expect that trend to continue this year, but break in the favor of the Gators. That was a tough pick for me, but the idea of an undefeated Georgia made me a little squirmy.