2013 SEC Conference Football Season Preview & Predictions
To say that the SEC has been the dominant conference in college football for the last few years is a major understatement. The SEC has collected seven straight national titles, and it doesn’t look ready to stop that streak anytime soon. This conference is constantly loaded with top notch talent, and this year appears to be no different.
No conference has better coaches either, and that has helped the SEC stay atop the football world. Alabama has won three of the last four national titles overall. Can they make it four out of five this year?
BangtheBook is going to be looking at several of the major college football conferences in the next couple weeks. We’ll look at teams that have a chance to be in contention for the conference crown and make a selection at the end of each preview. All odds listed are from WagerWeb. Let’s take a look at the top contenders for the SEC title.
Who else would it be? The SEC is a terrific league from top to bottom, but a team that has won three of the last four BCS Championships is clearly a big favorite in any conference. Nick Saban’s team appears stacked and ready for another title run. Quarterback A.J. McCarron and T.J. Yeldon are back to lead the offense. The Crimson Tide have had a dominating offensive line for several years, and that won’t change this season. Alabama’s speed and physicality on defense is always a huge advantage in conference play. The Crimson Tide drew a favorable schedule by avoiding Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Knocking this team off won’t be easy at all.
Mark Richt’s team was just a few yards away from playing in the BCS Championship Game last year, but they fell just short against Alabama. They got a huge boost when quarterback Aaron Murray decided to return for his senior season. Murray improved a great deal last year, and if he can play the way he did down the stretch last year, Georgia will be a team to be reckoned with nationally. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are one of the best tailback tandems (if not the best) in football. This offensive line is second best in the conference to only Alabama. Georgia lost some key leaders on defense. Can the defense play well enough to help them win this very tough conference?
South Carolina (+500)
Jadaveon Clowney’s hit in the New Year’s Day Bowl win over Michigan was the play of the year, and it is etched in the minds of everyone. Clowney will certainly be the first one drafted next year in the NFL Draft unless he is injured. Steve Spurrier’s team had a brutal schedule last year, and the 2013 schedule is certainly a bit more favorable. Connor Shaw is solid at the quarterback spot. The offensive line needs to be better. The defensive front is probably the best in the nation, and it isn’t just Clowney. Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton are stars as well. How will the running game fare without Lattimore?
Texas A&M (+850)
You might have heard a guy named Johnny Manziel is the main man at Texas A&M? Manziel was in the news for his play on the field during the season last year, but this offseason he has been in the news for the wrong reasons. There’s little doubt that this Aggies team just wants the season to get started. The Aggies picked up a huge road win at Alabama last year, but they’ll have to avoid missteps that led to their two losses last year. More consistency will be needed in the rugged SEC. Don’t overlook how good this team’s running backs are. The defense needs to be a little better this year.
Florida is a tough team to figure out this year. They return only 10 starters total from last year’s team, so there are going to be a lot of new guys on the field. Jeff Driskel should improve at quarterback, but the Gators defense isn’t going to be as amazing as it has been the last couple seasons. Florida lost five of its top six tacklers from last season. Will Muschamp’s team will likely take a small step back this year.
LSU has been great the last few years, but they enter this season with several more question marks than most teams. Zach Mettenberger will be the key to this season for the Tigers. He has to step up and play the way he has been expected to play. LSU plays Alabama on the road, and they must play both Florida and Georgia from the East. This team doesn’t have enough talent to get past this very tough schedule.
SEC Conference Pick: Alabama (+145)
As much as I wanted to find some value on someone else, I just think the Crimson Tide are too good. Alabama has tons of depth and experience in key positions on the field. Nick Saban’s team is very unlikely to lose more than one game. Look for them to finish on top of the SEC again.
2013 SEC Conference Odds
South Carolina +500
Texas A&M +1000
Ole Miss +2500
Mississippi St +7500
is full-timesports writer and sports handicapper. You simply won’t find someone who loves sports more than Kyle. Kyle considers college football and college basketball his two favorite sports. Kyle has earned many accolades for his highly successful handicapping, and he writes full-time for many top sports websites. Keep an eye out for high quality free sports analysis from Kyle!