College football begins again in 88 days, which means the optimism generated in spring practice burns strong.
You know—at least until midway through the first quarter of the season opener.
Everyone’s undefeated, and if the predictions of “realistic” SEC fans came true, every team would win at least five league games.
Of course, the math doesn’t quite add up in this case. And expectations of significant steps forward will be dashed—likely within the first month.
Anyone can technically win their divisions at this point. One only needs to look back just a year to realize surprises can happen even in the mighty SEC.
It’s hard to believe anyone had Auburn and Missouri in the SEC Championship Game a year ago.
Still, there are programs that simply won’t be in Atlanta on Dec. 6—to play in a football game anyway.
Looking at you, Kentucky.
While last year’s Auburn-Missouri final came as a surprise, the matchup doesn’t always come as a total surprise.
Picking Alabama to come out of the West, for instance, would have yielded positive results in four out of the past seven seasons.
Vanderbilt, conversely, hasn’t represented its division since—well—ever.
So while picking the most likely teams to win the SEC shortly after the calendar flipped to June might seem ambitious, handicapping the league isn’t impossible.
Here goes our best shot.