2009 SEC Football Preview
SEC football preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official southeastern conference football preview as well as individual team previews for all 12 sec football teams and our sec predictions. We also offer a free odds comparison service of lines and totals on the NCAA football odds page.
SEC EAST OVERVIEW
The SEC East is a tough division in which to gain a foothold. A major problem is the Florida Gators; they are simply loaded. The Georgia Bulldogs and South Carolina Gamecocks aren’t as strong as they were last season, but both are still good. The Vols of Tennessee look to be back on track in 2009 after a bad 2008, while the Vanderbilt Commodores and Kentucky Wildcats are wild cards in the mix.
The Gators of Florida have a host of extremely talented starters coming back including QB Tim Tebow and LB Brandon Spikes. A total of 20 starters return to the 2008 National Champions! Additionally, Florida plays an easy schedule that just about assures their dominance. If ever there was a team that should be complacent, it’s these guys but don’t expect the Gators to let the 2009 season or National Championship slip out of their hands.
The Georgia Bulldogs have health issues but they also sport an extremely tough defense with a solid linebacking unit. Top QB Stafford and premium RB Moreno are gone, which will tax the offense. This team looks to be the fourth or fifth best in the entire SEC but second in the East.
The Oakland Raiders’ loss is the Tennessee Volunteers’ gain as former Al Davis punching bag Lane Kiffin assumes the helmsman spot for the Vols. Coach Kiffin managed to capture some top recruits and his vast knowledge of offense in general and the QB spot specifically should add points to the offensive side of the ledger. The O-line is a concern and will need to be bolstered. On “D,” the Vols are stacked.
QB Stephen Garcia looks ready put up break through numbers for the South Carolina Gamecocks. If he can do that and the club can make up for losses at wideout and at the defensive back spots, the Gamecocks could post eight wins. The best news on defense is the return of OLB Eric Norwood who is a tackling machine.
The Commodores see 18 starters come back to a team that last year went to it’s first bowl game since 1982 and won it’s first post-season contest since 1955. The team’s best and most versatile player, D.J. Moore, turned pro and that will hurt. The wideout and quarterback spots are questionable.
For the Kentucky Wildcats, there is good new on defense as three premium players decided to forego early entry in the NFL Draft and return for their senior seasons. Still, five starters are gone from last year’s Cat defense, which was ranked 11th nationally. Kentucky has a tough schedule, especially in the early going. Can they get back to their fourth straight bowl game? That will be difficult.
The Florida Gators are everyone’s pick as National Champions. They stand to be a truly dominant team. Anything short of that will be an extreme disappointment. As was the case in 2008, this season five of six of these clubs could be bowl bound. Last year, SEC East teams were four-and-one in the post-season. Once again, the same could be true this year.
SEC WEST OVERVIEW
This season, the SEC West looks pretty crowded at the top and at the bottom with very little in between. The Old Miss Rebels, LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide will all battle for the top of the division. On the other end, the Arkansas Razorbacks, Auburn Tigers and Mississippi State Bulldogs will struggle to find their way out of last year’s cellar.
The Rebels of Old Miss don’t have to play the Florida Gators. That is a big plus. Additionally, the QB spot is manned by topnotch player Jevan Snead. The multitalented Dexter McCluster excels at running back and wide receiver. He is the team’s ultimate go-to guy. The offensive and defensive lines are not as strong as they could be and that means that a few players will need to step up. Nine wins look certain for this team but they could post 10 or 11.
For the LSU Tigers, last season’s 3-5 SEC mark was not just a disappointment but an embarrassment. The Tigers should come back this season despite the fact that they have lost some important members from the defensive and offensive lines. The team has talent and skill and a new defensive coordinator should put things in order on that side of the ball. The running attack looks to be the best part of this team’s defense.
Although the Alabama Crimson Tide are projected to finish third, they certainly have the talent to take the division. There are a few problems though. The offensive line has lost three top performers and the running back spot is minus the explosive Glen Coffee. The wideout spot and defense are both in good stead.
The Razorbacks of Arkansas certainly need a lot help on defense, which was last in the conference. QB Ryan Mallet, a transfer, should be a big help and running back Michael Smith is a fine force. Coach Bobby Petrino has folks optimistic and excited about the future.
For the Auburn Tigers, the immediate future does not look good. Last season the offense was terrible. The team welcomes a new spread look but the quarterback and wide receiver positions are uncertain. Loses on the defensive side of the ball won’t help either. This Auburn team is better than last year’s, but they are not good enough to be competitive.
Don Mullen takes over the Mississippi State Bulldogs. This is Mullen’s first stint as a head coach. He knows offense inside out, which means this weak-scoring team should put more points up. It helps to have star running back Anthony Dixon on the roster for one last season. But State’s defense is just okay and the team is lacking a viable quarterback. 2009 is definitely a rebuilding year for the Dogs.
This is a very tight division to predict. It’s true that LSU and Alabama could end the season in first place, but Ole Miss looks to be the favorite to win the West.
1) Florida Gators
2) Georgia Bulldogs
3) Tennessee Volunteers
4) South Carolina Gamecocks
5) Vanderbilt Commodores
6) Kentucky Wildcats
1) Old Miss Rebels
2) LSU Tigers
3) Alabama Crimson Tide
4) Arkansas Razorbacks
5) Auburn Tigers
6) Mississippi State Bulldogs
For more info on the 2009 South Eastern Conference, view their official website or read up on all the SEC football team previews below.