SEC Football Predictions: Ranking 5 Most Likely Teams to Win SEC East
Currently, the SEC and national college football picture looks it will be decided on November 5, in Tuscaloosa, when No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama collide in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
However, in the eastern division of the conference, the picture isn't so clear. Five different teams in the East all currently have one conference loss.
Here I rank, from five to one, who has the best chance of representing the East in Atlanta in the conference championship game.
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Vanderbilt is 3-1 with a conference win over Ole Miss and a loss at South Carolina. The Commodores appear to be on the right track in James Franklin's first year. However, Vanderbilt is at Alabama this weekend, and they will most likely come crashing back down to reality.
Franklin appears to be the man for the job at Vandy, but he is at least a couple of years away from seriously competing for the SEC East.
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
This time last week, Florida would of been a lot higher on this list. However, Florida is now without its only veteran quarterback, Jeff Brantley, and now travels to Baton Rouge to take on No.1 LSU. Following the LSU game, Florida travels to the Plains of Alabama to play at Auburn. Then, a neutral sight game against Georgia. Florida ends its conference schedule with a game at South Carolina.
Unless true freshmen quarterback, Jeff Driskell, improves as the season goes on, it is very possible Florida will be underdogs in all of these games.
Five potential conference losses wont get anybody to Atlanta.
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
The Tennessee Vols have a brutal schedule coming up, or else they too could be higher on this list. Tennessee has already lost to Florida, so they will need the Gators to lose at least one more conference game than they do to have a chance of getting to Atlanta.
Tennessee plays Georgia, LSU, at Alabama, South Carolina and at Arkansas in it's next five conference games. The best Tennessee fans can realistically hope for is to go 3-2 over this stretch. Combine that with the loss to Florida, Tennessee can at best hope to have a 5-3 conference record.
Last year, South Carolina won the East with a 5-3 record. Thus it is possible, but Tennessee is going to need a lot of help.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Georgia Bulldogs are back from the dead after an 0-2 start.They also have the easiest schedule of all the East teams. Georgia doesn't have to play LSU, Alabama, or Arkansas.
If Georgia can get past Tennessee this weekend, things shape up nicely for the Bulldogs. Their toughest tests the rest of the season will be against a depleted Florida team and home game against rival Auburn.
However, Georgia has already lost to South Carolina and would lose any potential tie-breakers against the Gamecocks.
1. South Carolina
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Even though South Carolina's offense has looked inept almost all season, this team still possesses way to much talent to be counted as anything but the favorites. If new starting quarterback, Connor Shaw, is any sort of improvement over Stephen Garcia, this team could take off.
South Carolina still has one of the best running back and wideout tandems in the country, Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery, to go with their extremely talented defense led by defensive linemen Melvin Ingram, Jadaveon Clowney and Devin Taylor.
South Carolina also does not have to play LSU or Alabama. Their remaining tests after playing Kentucky this weekend are at Mississippi State, at Tennessee, at Arkansas and Florida. Steve Spurrier's team should expect to be favored in all those games except, potentially, the road trip to Arkansas.