Setting Over/Under Win Totals for Every SEC Football Team for 2016

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterMarch 23, 2016

Setting Over/Under Win Totals for Every SEC Football Team for 2016

0 of 14

    Alabama TE O.J. Howard
    Alabama TE O.J. HowardMatt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

    Spring practice is in full gear, and the landscape of the 2016 football season in the SEC is beginning to be defined.

    Is there a better time to get a little creative and offer 2016 over/under win totals?

    Of course not.

    Our win total projections for the 2016 SEC regular season based on talent, schedule and depth are in this slideshow.

Alabama Crimson Tide

1 of 14

    Alabama WR Calvin Ridley
    Alabama WR Calvin RidleyRon Jenkins/Getty Images

    With two straight SEC titles and the 2015 national championship under its belt in the face of annual massive roster turnover, Alabama has earned the benefit of the doubt. That benefit of the doubt should automatically elevate the Crimson Tide into the national title discussion again in 2016, despite running back, quarterback, center and linebacker questions to answer during the offseason.

    Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris will square off for first-team snaps at running back; Blake Barnett, David Cornwell, Cooper Bateman and Jalen Hurts will vie for the quarterback job; Ross Pierschbacher might move over from guard to center; and highly touted linebackers Reuben Foster and Rashaan Evans should earn more responsibility for the 2016 Tide.

    The good news for head coach Nick Saban is that superstar wide receiver Calvin Ridley, senior tight end and title game offensive MVP O.J. Howard and defensive end Jonathan Allen are back, and the Tide secondary is loaded.

    But (gasp), Alabama isn't perfect. 

    It has lost games in each of its last three national title and SEC title-winning seasons, and has a lot of questions heading into 2016.

    Over/Under: 10.5

Arkansas Razorbacks

2 of 14

    Arkansas LB Brooks Ellis
    Arkansas LB Brooks EllisSamantha Baker/Associated Press

    Arkansas capped off a solid 8-5 season with a 45-23 shellacking of Kansas State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, but has plenty of questions to answer in 2016.

    Quarterback Brandon Allen, running back Alex Collins, tight end Hunter Henry, guard Sebastian Tretola and tackle Denver Kirkland are just a few of the key players head coach Bret Bielema is forced to replace. 

    That's not to say that he can't. 

    The quarterback battle is loaded with talented players including Ricky Town, Austin Allen, Rafe Peavey and Ty Storey. Bielema always seems to find running backs, and has Kody Walker back along with Rawleigh Williams and newcomer Devwah Whaley. Jeremy Sprinkle is the next in line at tight end, and offensive tackle Dan Skipper is back to hold down one side of the offensive line.

    The secondary is a sieve, but the front seven is loaded with experience, including senior linebacker Brooks Ellis and sophomore linebacker Dre Greenlaw.

    Can Arkansas be consistent though? That's the $64,000 question that can't be answered until toe meets leather.

    Over/Under: 7.5

Auburn Tigers

3 of 14

    Auburn RB Jovon Robinson
    Auburn RB Jovon RobinsonJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    Auburn's lackluster 2015 season that saw the Tigers—ranked No. 6 before the season—finish 7-6 has rendered head coach Gus Malzahn's crew an afterthought this offseason.

    Is that permanent, though?

    The Tigers are still loaded with talented players, including defensive linemen Carl Lawson, Montravius Adams, Devaroe Lawrence and Byron Cowart. They have an all-SEC-caliber corner in Carlton Davis and veteran safeties in Rudy Ford and Tray Matthews. The running game is set with senior Jovon Robinson, junior Roc Thomas and sophomore Kerryon Johnson. 

    The one lingering question? Quarterback?

    Junior college dual-threat weapon John Franklin III is squaring off with senior Jeremy Johnson and sophomore Sean White—both of whom started last year—for the top spot on the depth chart. If Malzahn can find a quarterback who can consistently move the chains and make smart decisions, Auburn could jump back into contention for the division title.

    Over/Under: 7.5

Florida Gators

4 of 14

    Florida DT Caleb Brantley
    Florida DT Caleb BrantleySam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Florida shocked the world in head coach Jim McElwain's first year, posting a 10-4 record and winning the SEC East title.

    What will McElwain do for an encore? 

    Another division title is possible, but it shouldn't be the expectation—not with the offensive issues that McElwain has to deal with this offseason.

    The quarterback position is wide open, with former Alabama/Oregon State signal-caller Luke Del Rio and former Purdue starter Austin Appleby being the two likely candidates for the job. There's talent at running back with Mark Thompson, Jordan Cronkrite and Jordan Scarlett, but experience is lacking. Star wide receiver Antonio Callaway is currently suspended and the offensive line is very much a work in progress.

    Luckily for McElwain, a solid defense led by tackle Caleb Brantley, linebacker Jarrad Davis, corner Jalen Tabor and safety Marcus Maye returns to give the offense a little wiggle room.

    Over/Under: 8.5

Georgia Bulldogs

5 of 14

    Georgia RB Sony Michel
    Georgia RB Sony MichelRob Foldy/Getty Images

    Georgia has notched 10-win seasons in each of the last two seasons, and it earned former head coach Mark Richt a trip to the unemployment line for a brief moment before he landed the Miami gig.

    In new head coach Kirby Smart's first year in Athens, a repeat performance should be the expectation.

    The Bulldogs are loaded at running back with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel returning; have incredible upside at quarterback with 5-star freshman Jacob Eason (who should start from Day 1); versatility at linebacker with Lorenzo Carter, Davin Bellamy and Reggie Carter; a secondary that's littered with experience; and a schedule that sets up well.

    Does that mean Georgia will win the East? 

    That likely hinges on the progress of the quarterback position.

    But it should dance around that 10-win mark again, which should not be met with the same consternation Dawg Nation felt when Richt did it.

    Over/Under: 9.5

Kentucky Wildcats

6 of 14

    Kentucky RB Stanley "Boom" Williams
    Kentucky RB Stanley "Boom" WilliamsFrederick Breedon/Getty Images

    Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin, LSU's Les Miles and Auburn's Gus Malzahn draw the hot-seat headlines in the SEC this spring, but Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops should probably be added to that group.

    His Wildcats have faded down the stretch and missed bowls that were in their sights in each of the last two seasons, and need to make the postseason this year in order to cool that seat down.

    He has a talented backfield to help him get to that point, including electric junior "Boom" Williams and senior Jojo Kemp. Quarterback Drew Barker likely will win the job he occupied down the stretch last year, and needs help from his wide receivers. 

    Defensively, Stoops needs help. Six of his seven leading tacklers from a year ago are gone off a defense that finished 12th in the SEC in yards per play in 2015 at 5.55, according to

    Over/Under: 5.5

LSU Tigers

7 of 14

    LSU DL Lewis Neal
    LSU DL Lewis NealChris Graythen/Getty Images

    LSU is somewhat of an enigma headed into the 2016 season. 

    It returns 18 starters, including veterans like corner Tre'Davious White, linebacker Kendell Beckwith, defensive lineman Lewis Neal and wide receiver Travin Dural. All of those players passed on the NFL—a departure from the norm for LSU—to come back to 2016 and join Heisman Trophy-contending running back Leonard Fournette for a run at the SEC title.

    But LSU re-signed offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and is dead set on dual-threat quarterback Brandon Harris. Head coach Les Miles has shown an alarming reluctance to mold his philosophy to his quarterback's skills over the last decade.

    Simply put (and stop me if you have heard this before): LSU's season hinges on the passing game transforming from a liability to a strength. At least, enough of a strength to take pressure off Fournette and the defense.

    Until the Tigers prove they can do that, it's hard to consider them true contenders in the title race.

    Over/Under: 9.5

Mississippi State Bulldogs

8 of 14

    Mississippi State WR Fred Ross
    Mississippi State WR Fred RossButch Dill/Getty Images

    What will Mississippi State be in the post-Dak Prescott era?

    That's the mystery that head coach Dan Mullen needs to solve this offseason. Luckily, he has experience at the quarterback position in part-time 2013 starter Damian Williams and potential in Nick Fitzgerald and Elijah Staley.

    He also has a stud at wide receiver in Fred Ross and a proven track record of making his offense click in spite of significant roster turnover to fall back on.

    But will that defense still be stout in key situations with an entirely new staff on that side of the ball? That likely will be what determines whether Mississippi State dances around the SEC West title race in November or suffers a setback.

    Either way, though, the floor of the program has been raised and a bowl game should be the expectation as long as Mullen is there.

    Over/Under: 6.5

Missouri Tigers

9 of 14

    Missouri DL Charles Harris
    Missouri DL Charles HarrisL.G. Patterson/Associated Press

    Remember the glory days for Missouri, when it was winning back-to-back SEC East titles and hanging out on the periphery of the national title race?

    That didn't happen last year, and likely won't happen this year.

    While Missouri is loaded along the defensive line led by Charles Harris, replacing linebacker Kentrell Brothers—the most important piece of the defensive puzzle last year—won't be easy.

    On the offensive side of the ball, nothing will come easy.

    The Tigers have running back, wide receiver and quarterback questions to navigate in head coach Barry Odom's first season at the helm. While sophomore Drew Lock has talent, it's far from a certainty that he will become a star with so many questions surrounding him in a transition year.

    If Missouri can make a bowl game in 2016, that should be considered progress.

    Over/Under: 5.5

Ole Miss Rebels

10 of 14

    Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly
    Ole Miss QB Chad KellyStacy Revere/Getty Images

    Ole Miss lost juniors Laquon Treadwell, Laremy Tunsil and Robert Nkemdiche to the NFL draft, but that doesn't mean the Rebels step back to anonymity.

    They won't.

    Senior quarterback Chad Kelly—he of 4,542 total yards and 41 total touchdowns in 2015—returns, along with tight end Evan Engram, wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, safety Tony Conner, linebacker DeMarquis Gates and pass-rusher Marquis Haynes.

    Head coach Hugh Freeze has established himself as Alabama's kryptonite after toppling the Tide in each of the last two seasons, and draws an Alabama team with plenty of roster holes in Oxford in Week 3 in 2016. 

    Despite a few stars walking out, Ole Miss should contend for the West title.

    Over/Under: 9.5

South Carolina Gamecocks

11 of 14

    South Carolina RB David Williams
    South Carolina RB David WilliamsStephen B. Morton/Associated Press

    New South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp has his work cut out for him in year one with the Gamecocks, after former head coach Steve Spurrier left the program midseason in 2015 with roster questions essentially everywhere.

    He helped bridge that roster gap on the fly this recruiting season, signing stud wide receiver Bryan Edwards and convincing dual-threat quarterback Brandon McIlwain to pass on Major League Baseball to play both football and baseball in Columbia.

    David Williams has potential at running back, Marquavius Lewis does as well at defensive end, and linebacker Skai Moore is one of the best players in the conference.

    But depth issues that have plagued the program over the last two seasons. Those will linger this year, and render South Carolina a fringe bowl team.

    Over/Under: 5.5

Tennessee Volunteers

12 of 14

    Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara
    Tennessee RB Alvin KamaraMike Carlson/Getty Images

    Everything is set up for Tennessee to make a run not only at the SEC East title, but the College Football Playoff.

    Quarterback Joshua Dobbs returns, along with running backs Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara. The trio, along with other contributors who are back on Rocky Top, constitutes 99.8 percent of the Vols' ground game from 2015. Four offensive linemen are back, the defensive front seven is loaded and they upgraded with head coach Butch Jones luring defensive coordinator Bob Shoop to Knoxville from Penn State.

    What's more, the Vols draw Alabama and Florida at home, and play in a division that is littered with uncertainty.

    Anything less than an SEC East title is, and should be, a disappointment for Tennessee in 2016.

    Over/Under: 10.5

Texas A&M Aggies

13 of 14

    Texas A&M S Armani Watts
    Texas A&M S Armani WattsTroy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    The departures of former stud quarterbacks Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray in December had the college football world predicting the impending doom of the Texas A&M football program under head coach Kevin Sumlin.

    Let's pump the brakes on that a little bit.

    The Aggies still have stud defensive linemen Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall and safety Armani Watts. They'll get linebacker Otaro Alaka back and UCLA transfer corner Priest Willis and Oklahoma running back transfer Keith Ford will be eligible. And they upgraded at offensive coordinator with Noel Mazzone and at offensive line coach with Jim Turner.

    Yes, things could go south for Texas A&M in a hurry with games against UCLA, Auburn, Arkansas and Tennessee in the first month and a half of the year. But there's talent and potential in College Station, which makes the Aggies one of the most interesting teams in the country in 2016.

    Over/Under: 7.5

Vanderbilt Commodores

14 of 14

    Vanderbilt RB Ralph Webb
    Vanderbilt RB Ralph WebbStacy Revere/Getty Images

    Get reacquainted with the idea of Vanderbilt playing in a bowl game, because it's a legitimate possibility in 2016.

    The defense was impressive last year, finishing sixth in the nation in third-down defense (28.16 percent) and fourth in red-zone touchdown percentage (38.78 percent), according to Zach Cunningham is back at linebacker to lead that unit, as is head coach/defensive coordinator Derek Mason.

    Running back Ralph Webb is back as well, after ripping off 1,152 yards and five touchdowns in a painfully one-dimensional offense a year ago.

    If Mason can get some help at quarterback and wide receiver, the 'Dores will surprise a lot of people. Even if he doesn't, the defense and Webb's reliability is enough to get them near bowl eligibility.

    Over/Under: 5.5

    Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Statistics are courtesy of, and recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports.

    Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.