Off-topic: SEC Football predictions
1. Florida 11-1 (7-1)
Florida's most difficult game should be at Auburn. No game at Tennessee is ever easy, either, but it's not the same after last year. Florida gets to have tough conference games in the Swamp against Alabama, LSU, and South Carolina, and the World's Largest Cocktail Party in Jacksonville against Georgia. Chris Leak is probably one of the best QB's in the country, but can he thrive in coach Urban Meyer's system?
Bowl Projection: Citrus
2. South Carolina 9-3 (6-2)
South Carolina ended last year with a 5 game SEC winning streak, the longest in school history. They have an early game at home in a good environment against Georgia, who they've played very close recently. The toughest games for them should be Auburn at home, and at Florida. If they can pull off wins at home against Georgia and Tennessee, look for a 2nd place finish for the 2nd consecutive year. South Carolina's biggest concern is a retooling of the offensive line, which was the biggest weakness last year. Never doubt Steve Spurrier.
Bowl Projection: Outback
3. Georgia 9-3 (5-3)
Georgia comes into the season with no idea who their quarterback is. The defense should be as tough as ever, so it will be a ball-control football team. Tough games include at South Carolina, vs. Florida, and at Auburn. With some breaks, they might finish higher than this.
Bowl Projection: Peach
4. Tennessee 7-5 (3-5)
They sure weren't expecting that kind of a season. How will they rebound? They brought back offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe. The offense has to improve to get back to the top of the conference. Tough conference games for the Volunteers include at home against Florida, at Georgia, home against Alabama, at South Carolina, home against LSU, and at Arkansas. It's a tough schedule, but at the very least they should get back to a bowl game. The question is will that be enough for Phil Fulmer.
Bowl Projection: Music City
5. Kentucky 6-6 (3-5)
Kentucky has a chance to have their best season in years. They should pick up some wins against non-conference teams, and they have in-conference games against doormats Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt. They may be going to a bowl game this December.
Bowl Projection: At-Large
6. Vanderbilt 3-9 (0-8)
Poor team. After their best season in many years ended up only at 5-6, they lose top QB Jay Cutler, and probably won't win a conference game.
1. Auburn 11-1 (7-1)
Auburn figures to have another good year and to contend for the conference title. They have a favorable schedule, getting LSU, Florida, and Georgia all at home. They do have 2 tough away games in South Carolina and the rivalry game at Alabama.
Bowl Projection: Sugar
2. LSU 10-2 (6-2)
It could be another 10 win season for LSU. They have to go to Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, and Arkansas, so it will be a tougher schedule than Auburn, but they should contend for the division title and possibly the conference.
Bowl Projection: Cotton
3. Arkansas 9-3 (6-2)
Arkansas has basically everyone returning. They also have a favorable schedule, so with experience some of the close losses they had last year could turn into some wins, and with the help of the best running game in the conference. The toughest games in-conference are Alabama, Tennessee, and LSU at home, and one tough away game at South Carolina.
Bowl Projection: Independence
4. Alabama 8-4 (4-4)
Alabama has had some key players graduate, but they should still be a very tough team. The schedule isn't easy, with away games at Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, and LSU. They also have a tough home game against rival Auburn. They should go to a bowl game, and maybe with some breaks could contend for the division.
Bowl Projection: At-Large
5/6. Ole Miss/Mississippi State
Neither of these teams should pose much of a threat in the conference, barring any surprises. The rivalry game should determine which one finishes 5th and which one finishes last. Both teams should win 3-4 games between them overall. Ole Miss has a better chance of finishing higher since they also have Vanderbilt on the schedule.
Football season is just around the corner. Nobody's giving up on the Braves season yet, but what football fans aren't excited? I want to break out my NCAA Football '06.