You can listen to the podcast for details and to hear my partners' thoughts and picks but here are mine for the SEC East.
Also on ITunes--->http://tinyurl.com/25p6r4y
As if it's not already hard enough for Vandy to play football in the SEC, Head Coach Bobby Johnson bails on them in the middle of the summer. This was a bad team last year and this year even with familiar coaches still in place chaos will reign for the black and gold. The one winnable game on the schedule is a home game with Eastern Michigan - a team just bad enough to lose to Vanderbilt. It'll be a long year for the Commodores. But hey, at least they don't have to put up with Jay Cutler?
Folks, Rocky Top is a mess. As if it weren't bad enough that Phil Fulmer left the cupboard bare, Lane Kiffin spends a year running the pride of the orange in the dirt. Now don't get me wrong - UT won't be down forever and there are a few interesting players on the roster but inexperienced front lines and no real leaders on offense combined with a tough schedule make for a total rebuilding year in Knoxville. Trust me though Vols fans, you'll be happy with what Dooley does there but you have to be patient while he gets it all in line.
Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Joker Phillips is going to have his work cut out for him in year one replacing the offensive front but with playmakers like Cobb and Derek Locke, the Wildcats should be able to move the ball enough to be in front of the other two teams I ranked below them. They've also played very opportunitist on defense in recent years and I expect the same. There's not a lot of pressure at Kentucky for football but four straight bowl appearances is something to live up to and while not ready for the big spotlight, I do think Kentucky has a shot at a bowl game.
I am nervous to rank the Gamecocks this high because Spurrier's team has been known for a late season fade due to bad line play and inconsistent offenses. In the end, I give Garcia credit for having been there a lot and hope the old ball coach has enough in the tank to at least make a respectible run this season. You could say I rank S.C. here by default as I think there's a big difference between this team and the top two.
Now before you lose your mind hear me out on this. I think Urban Meyer - in spite of his shakiness at the end of 2009 - is one of the best coaches in the country. Florida is loaded with talent. However, Meyer has shown at Florida that when he is in "reload" his teams do lose games and the last time his team had to replace offensive and defensive leaders, they gave way to...
...Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs. UGA has to replace a QB but touted RFr. Murray won't have to carry the load with a veteran line and good RBs and the conference's best WR in A.J. Green. Richt wisely changed defensive staffs in the off season and the move to the 3-4 should benefit the Bulldogs. Do I think Georgia will run the table? No, not at all, they'll lose a couple games. However, I predict they will beat Florida and be far enough ahead of the rest of the division to secure a trip to the SEC Championship Game in December.
Those are my picks for the SEC East. Be sure to check out the West predictions and listen to the podcasts!
No. I don't think they can beat the team I picked from the West.
Read about that here--->http://tinyurl.com/33ho72e
But make no mistake, Mark Richt is about to turn a corner in Athens.