Saturday, August 8, 2009

SEC East 2009 Best Worst

Best Case - Worst Case Scenarios

Predicting in August how a season will finish in December ... well, futile is the word.

Still, with preseason camps for the 2009 season getting underway, let's examine best case-worst case scenarios for the various conferences. We'll start with the SEC ... the SEC West was posted earlier; here is the SEC East.

SEC East

1. Florida

Prediction: 12-0 (8-0)
Best Case: 12-0
Worst Case: 10-2
Comment: Gators are an overwhelming choice to win the division and compete for a third national title in four years. The division should not be a problem, but meeting those national expectations will be a challenge. Potential stumbling blocks are at LSU, Arkansas the next week, Georgia, and FSU.

2. Tennessee

Prediction: 9-3 (5-3)
Best Case: 10-2
Worst Case: 6-6
Comment: Should Lane Kiffin's first squad get much offensive production, the Vols could jump out to a nice start (although Florida will probably beat them up pretty good). If the Vols handle UCLA, Auburn, and Georgia at home (possible), they could go to Alabama at 5-1. Probable losses at Florida, Alabama, and Ole Miss.

3. Georgia

Prediction 8-4 (5-3)
Best Case: 10-2
Worst Case: 6-6
Comment: The Bulldogs are one of the more intriguing teams in the conference, and almost earn a 9-win prediction. However, as a Dog of the Vince Dooley era, I'll err on the side of pessimism. New QB Joe Cox will be thrown into the cauldron early with a game at Oklahoma State. The Dogs get past the Pokes and follow up with a home win over South Carolina, but fall at Arkansas in week 3. Other losses are to Florida, and two from among LSU, at Tennessee, and at Georgia Tech.

4-6 (Tie). Kentucky

Prediction: 6-6 (2-6)
Best Case: 8-4
Worst Case: 4-8
Comment: Most preseason prognosticators send the Wildcats to the East cellar, but I think they'll be sharing that space with South Carolina and Vandy. To get to six wins, the Cats must beat Miami-Ohio, Louisville, LA-Monroe, Miss State, Eastern Kentucky, and one team from a group of at South Carolina, at Auburn, at Vandy, at Georgia, and Tennessee.

4-6 (Tie). South Carolina

Prediction: 5-7 (2-6)
Best Case: 8-4
Worst Case: 2-10
Comment: Could this be Steve Spurrier's swan song? I hope not because the visored one brings so much to college football ... but, in reviewing the Gamecock schedule I have trouble getting them to five wins (my initial picks had them at only four). Let's give them a road win at NC State (iffy), and home triumphs against Florida Atlantic, SC State, Vandy, and Kentucky. Tough to find any more ... maybe beating Tennessee on the road or Clemson at home gets them to six wins.

4-6 (Tie). Vanderbilt

Prediction: 5-7 (2-6)
Best Case: 6-6
Worst Case: 2-8
Comment: Perhaps I'm being overly harsh at the bottom of the SEC East, but Vanderbilt will have a challenge in duplicating last year's bowl season. The Commodores have three probable wins against Western Carolina, Miss State, and Army. Rice (road) and Georgia Tech (home) are tough non-conferences opponents and I believe Vandy splits ... getting the Dores to four wins. That leaves LSU (road), Ole Miss (road), Georgia (home), South Carolina (road), Florida (road), Kentucky (home), and Tennessee (road) ... tough to see more than one win from that group.