SEC East Preview 2014

East Division Breakdown

The most sacred time of year has returned, yes it is college football, and more importantly the SEC. I will take a look at the SEC East division and give some superlatives as we did for the Western Division of the SEC.

Georgia-Bulldog-Secondary-Logo

1. Georgia Bulldogs 11-1 (7-1)

The Bulldogs are hungry to avenge last season’s debacle of disappointment and injuries. They are led by 5th year senior Hutson Mason and arguably the best back in the country in Todd Gurley. We believe they will lose week 2 to South Carolina in Colombia and run the table from there. Most analysts will say that whoever wins that matchup is going to win the East, but I would point to the last 3 seasons where UGA won last season and did not represent the East in Atlanta, but the previous two seasons they lost to the Gamecocks and were in the Georgia Dome for the early-December showdowns. This team will go as far as Gurley takes them, and we believe that is at least to the Dome.

South_Carolina_Gamecocks_Block_C_logo.svg

2. South Carolina Gamecocks 10-2 (6-2)

We believe that this is one of the most talented teams in the SEC. The games that we have circled for the Gamecocks are the matchup late in the season at Auburn and when Tennessee comes to town as a possible trap game. They have a solid group of leaders and Mike Davis is a bruiser in the backfield so they should have another successful season. They can manage the schedule but they have some flaws on defense and at receiver, but the offensive line and a backfield with the experience that Davis and Thompson possess, they will be in every game with a shot to win.

Mizzou-Tiger-Logo

3. Missouri Tigers 9-3 (5-3)

The Tigers have a solid team returning and should have success, the main concern this season would be the defensive line. Losing two very productive defensive linemen and having to face several offenses that control the clock, it will be difficult to make it out unscathed. Dorial Green-Beckham was electrifying and he was the key to another SEC east title run, the only problem is that he didn’t have what it takes to stay on the team and has since been kicked off and transferred. The Tigers quarterback Maty Mauk is a game-changer and will compete for a championship before his time in Colombia is over, this just isn’t the year.

Tennessee

4. Tennessee Volunteers 6-6 (4-4)

This is my surprise team in the east, but they will not quite have enough to run the table. They should be better in year 2 under Butch Jones, as they welcome in some great freshman and return the likes of Marquez North at wide receiver and All-SEC linebacker AJ Johnson in the middle of the defense. I did not account for this in my record prediction, but watch out for Tennessee upsetting Alabama in Knoxville for Lane Kiffin’s return as the OC for Bama, this could be the year.

uf logo

5. Florida Gators 6-6 (3-5) 

There are too many people hopping on the Florida bandwagon saying that because Jeff Driskell is back that they will return to form that we saw in 2012, but they fail to realize that the team won those games because of the defense and not Driskell. He has never shown consistency at the most vital position on the field. He will make some plays but ultimately be the reason that they are inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball by stalling drives.

vandy logo

6. Vanderbilt Commodores 5-7 (1-7)

James Franklin is gone and I hate to say it but I just do not think that they have enough to win many games in the SEC this season, but Derek Mason will grow with the program eventually.

UKentucky_logo

7. Kentucky Wildcats 4-8 (0-8)

It is tough sledding for Mark Stoops and the Wildcats, they are simply a better team in a league in which they can not move up. The team will be stronger and they can beat Louisville, but they will be winless in the conference.

 

SEC accolades:

MVP: Georgia RB Todd Gurley

 gurley123

This is the best player in the country as well as the SEC, he always seems to make the difference in his team winning or losing. He is healthy this season and in the best condition since arriving in Athens, thus looking for a huge year. I believe he has the edge to win the Heisman trophy as well.

Offensive Player of the Year: South Carolina RB Mike Davis

Possibly the second best player in all of the nation, he just happens to be second at his position in his own division as well due to the aforementioned Todd Gurley.

Defensive Player of the Year: Florida DE Dante Fowler Jr

This stud will be playing on Sundays soon and what is so impressive about him is his versatility in his ability to stop the run and rush the passer. He has stepped out as his defenses leader, and he brings that traditional Florida intensity that we are accustomed to seeing in Gainsville.

Newcomer of the Year: Tennessee WR Josh Malone

This is my favorite person tho watch this season, I believe that he will be the next Sammy Watkins. He is big and explosive, and he will be second focus for defenses as they watch Marquez North on the opposite side of the field, so he should shine as a compliment receiver.

Coach of the Year: Tennessee HC Butch Jones

NCAA Football: Tennessee-Spring Game

With Tennessee being my surprise team, I believe in Jones and his ability to beat at least two teams that are favored over the Vols this season.

SEC Championship Game: Georgia vs. Alabama

We have a rematch from 2012. This game we believe ends a little differently with the Bulldogs exacting revenge and winning the SEC.

SEC Champion: Georgia

I believe that Georgia has the tools available, especially with Todd Gurley in the backfield, to win the SEC. I think they will then get their shot in the College Football Playoff and defend the SEC’s name for the 2014 season.

 

So there it is, our SC East Preview. Check out the West Preview to see how that side may shake out, and thank you for reading!

Spring Practice-Florida

Will Muschamp

Will Muschamp finally started to make his mark on the Florida Gators.

This spring the gators will be reloading the defense, as they lost several players, including DT Sharriff Floyd, SS Matt Elam, and MLB Johnathan Bostic. The best player returning on defense is Dominique Easley, the Senior defensive end, because the best returning defensive back, Loucheiz Purifoy, is moving to offense to bolster the talent at wide receiver, as they have lacked a playmaker ther since Percy Harvin. This week The Gators have moved him back to defense due to injuries, but I would still look for him to play offense this upcoming season. He needs to find out where he’s playing, but help the team as well as he can. This could end up like the Malcolm Mitchell saga from UGA where he is so talented that neither coordinator wants to give him up. The one thing making it easier during the season for the defense, to give Purifoy, up will be the arrival of  Under Armour All-American Vernon Hargreaves III to campus. This is a homerun at cornerback that will be a stud for the next few years in the SEC and help replenish the Florida secondary with NFL talent.

This will be almost the opposite of last season, where they had questions on offense, but the defense was stout. With returning quarterback Jeff Driskell at the helm and a stable of able-bodied playmakers, including Purifoy now, this unit looks like it will garner the attention of the conference. They will stall, due to Driskell’s streaky accuracy, but with his legs they will be running with the horses in the East division of the SEC.

muschamp stare

     The team seems to really be responding to Muschamp’s fiery personality and its paying off as these gators are getting back to this smash-mouth game that it has always been known for. This will help the gators maintain success so that they will not drop below the likes of UGA and South Carolina in the eastern race. They will conclude their spring with their annual scrimmage, Orange and Blue Debut game, on April 6th 2013 at 1pm.

Round of 32 Madness Recap

The Round of 32 is now complete and the trend of ‘madness’ has continued to highlight the tournament.  Top seeds continue to fall victim to the lower seeds and the pressure of being a top seed, while the lower seeds continue to make their names known across the country.  Let’s take a look at what transpired this past weekend.

 

fgcu-georgetown-blog-articleLarge

The most impressive team continues its dominance in this tournament and I’m not talking about the traditional basketball powers in Duke, Indiana and Kansas, I’m talking about the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles.  That’s right, FGCU has knocked off the two highest seeds they can face so far, in Georgetown and San Diego State, and they utterly beat down both of them which put them in the Sweet 16 against the 3 seed Florida Gators.  This is the first time a 15 seed has made it to the Sweet 16 ever in the tournament history.

 

image

Other lower seeds had their day as well in the Round of 32 in Wichita State Shockers and the La Salle Explorers.  The Shockers knocked off the 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs, a much thought overrated 1 seed but nonetheless it is a very accomplishing feat for Wichita State.  The 13 seed La Salle Explorers beat the 12 seed SEC Champion Ole Miss Rebels in an exciting finish where La Salle’s Tyrone Garland made a lay-up with 2 seconds left to lift his team to the Sweet 16 to face the 9 seed Shockers.  Another lower seed that progressed to the Sweet 16 was those fashion clad 12 seed PAC 12 Champion Oregon Ducks who disposed of 4 seed bracket dark horse St. Louis Billikens.

Top seed teams that easily took care of their opponents include Michigan, Michigan State, Florida, Louisville, Arizona, Kansas, and Duke.  All these teams easily advanced on to the Sweet 16 and looked impressive in each of their games.  The teams that had to work a little harder were Miami, Marquette, a team that has become used to these nail-biting, exciting finishes, Ohio State, Indiana, and Syracuse all faced scares in the Round of 32 that certainly threatened their current existence in this tournament.  Nevertheless, they passed the tests and are still alive and that’s all that matters, winning so they can advance.  Maybe these tough tests prove to be more help for later in the tournament, but that of course remains to be seen.

After the Round of 32, there are 3 no. 1 seeds, 3 no. 2 seeds (too bad one of these aren’t Georgetown, oh well), 3 no. 3 seeds, 2 no. 4 seeds and 1 each of a no. 6, 9, 12, 13, 15 seed.  So even though there has been a lot of madness, the Sweet 16 is still loaded with top traditional powers.  An exciting Sweet 16 is sure to ensue this weekend we’ll get a clearer picture of who is most deserving of the title.  A Sweet 16 preview will be posted later this week and take a look at each of the games that are going to take place.  With my bracket busted, along with most of the nation’s brackets, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy these games unfold without a care in the world.  Let the madness continue.