Week 7 College Football Preview

OVERALL RECORD: 123-94-1 (56.7%)

2021 SEASON RECORD: 45-38-0 (54.2%)

Another average .500 week with us losing three games on the final play. Big week 7 coming though… HERE ARE THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

Week 7 Games of the Week (All Times CST)

Kentucky at Georgia (-21.5)– 11:00am

The one good defense Kentucky played they had a total of 224 yards. Kentucky is going to struggle moving the ball and also has a few key injuries. Expect Georgia to win handedly just like they did against Arkansas and Auburn.

Pick: Georgia 38-10

Top Picks of the Week

Florida (-11.5) at LSU- 11:00am

LSU can’t stop the run and lost their best offensive weapon in Kayshon Boutte. Where does Florida excel? Running the football with Emory Jones. Florida wins big as Coach Orgeron’s days as a LSU head coach are numbered.

Michigan State (-4.5) at Indiana – 11:00am

I’m still riding the Michigan State is underrated train. They definitely can win by a touchdown against a bad Indiana team.

Nebraska (-4) at Minnesota – 11:00am

Ever since the Illinois game Nebraska has not been bad. Meanwhile, Minnesota is a struggling team with a mediocre quarterback. Nebraska gets a much needed win.

Rutgers (-2) at Northwestern- 11:00am

Northwestern may have a few offensive lineman out. That doesn’t go well for an offense who scored 7 points against Nebraska. Rutgers wins.

BYU (+6.5) at Baylor – 2:30pm

I’m not buying the Baylor hype. BYU can play this as a tight game and get the cover.

Western Kentucky (-12.5) at Old Dominion – 2:30pm

Old Dominion gave up 45 points to Liberty… expect the same for this explosive Western Kentucky offense.

Alabama (-17.5) at Mississippi State – 6:30pm

If you listened to Nick Saban all week, this is a monumental game to see how they bounceback. Expect them to put it on the Bulldogs. Bama by 24.

Ole Miss (-2) at Tennessee UNDER 83 – 6:30pm

83 points is too many and Ole Miss is the better football team. Easy call.

NC State (-3) at Boston College- 6:30pm

Boston College is still starting a backup quarterback and struggle to stop the run. Bam Knight will have a field day. NC State wins big.

TCU at Oklahoma UNDER 65 – 6:30pm

TCU is without their starting quarterback and running back for the game. Oklahoma is starting a true freshman quarterback… under hits with ease.

Army (+14) at Wisconsin – 7:00pm

I’m still fading Wisconsin’s offense. Army slow pace of offense keeps this a low scoring close game. Army covers.

Arizona State at Utah OVER 50.5 – 9:00pm

Utah’s offense is a little more explosive with Cameron Rising at quarterback. Expect the over to hit with ease.

Week 6 College Football Preview

OVERALL RECORD: 116-87-1 (57.1%)

2021 SEASON RECORD: 37-31-0 (54.4%)

TGIS was so close to having a good week 5… thanks a lot LSU. Anyway, we will try to improve on our 6-6 record from last week… HERE ARE THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

Week 6 Games of the Week (All Times CST)

Texas at Oklahoma OVER 63.5– 11:00am

It is the Red River Shootout which means the actual game is a coin flip. I expect this to turn into an offensive game with both the Texas and Oklahoma defenses looking suspect. Lincoln Riley vs. Steve Sarkisian. Take the over.

Pick: Oklahoma 38-31

Penn State (+2) at Iowa – 3:00pm

Expect a low scoring ugly game. Iowa’s offense did look much better against Maryland… but I still trust Penn State’s offense way more. Penn State wins a close one.

Pick: Penn State 20-14

Top Picks of the Week

Temple (+29.5) at Cincinnati – FRIDAY 6:00pm

Temple has made some improvements over their last two games, including beating a decent Memphis team. D’Wan Mathis and Temple will keep it within four touchdowns.

Arkansas at Ole Miss (-5.5) – 11:00am

Ole Miss’ offense is still elite and in my opinion by far the second best team in the SEC West. Ole Miss takes care of business.

Michigan State (-5) at Rutgers – 11:00am

Michigan State’s the much better football team with an offense that averages almost 38 points per game. Michigan State covers.

West Virginia (+3) at Baylor – 11:00am

Baylor hasn’t even had over 300 yards of offense in their last two games. They will struggle again against this tough West Virginia defense. West Virginia covers.

Georgia Tech (-2.5) at Duke – 11:30am

Duke is one of the worst teams in the ACC. Georgia Tech can cover.

Virginia (+2.5) at Louisville – 2:00pm

No way Louisville’s defense can hold against Virginia’s offense. The call is easy with Virginia getting points.

Florida State (+17.5) at North Carolina – 2:30pm

I can’t trust this North Carolina team who doesn’t show up week-to-week. Florida State is getting desperate… they can cover.

Georgia (-15) at Auburn – 2:30pm

You saw what Georgia did against Arkansas right? Expect the same.

Wisconsin at Illinois (+11) – 2:30pm

In Wisconsin’s three games against D1 opponents they have averaged a little over 13 points per game. How in the world do they cover an 11 point spread on the road?

Notre Dame at Virginia Tech (+2) – 6:30pm

I really think these are two even teams. Take Virginia Tech getting points at home.

Alabama (-18) at Texas A&M – 7:00pm

Texas A&M is an absolute mess with no quarterback and numerous injuries. Alabama in a blowout.

UCLA (-16) at Arizona – 9:30pm

Arizona is one of the worst teams in the Power 5 and UCLA is a solid football team. The choice is easy… UCLA wins big.

Week 5 College Football Preview

OVERALL RECORD: 110-81-1 (57.6%)

2021 SEASON RECORD: 31-25-0 (55.3%)

TGIS is back hot again with a 8-4 record in Week 4. Let’s keep it rolling into week 5… HERE ARE THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

Week 5 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

Ole Miss at Alabama UNDER 80– Saturday 2:30pm

The line is around 14 which is about right for this game as Ole Miss is a top ten team in the nation. That makes us turn our head towards the point total. Both teams will score…. but 80 points??? Way too high of an over/under. Alabama wins by two scores.

Pick: Alabama 45-31

Top Picks of the Week

Iowa at Maryland (+3.5) – FRIDAY 8:00pm

Expect a close, fun Friday night matchup between two 4-0 teams. I still don’t trust Iowa’s offense and I think a reality check is coming. I like Maryland as a home underdog.

Texas (-4.5) at TCU OVER 65 – 11:00am

Texas showed against Texas Tech that they can score by putting 70 points on the Red Raiders. Now they play a TCU team that can’t stop the run and give up huge gains in the pass game. Texas by over a touchdown.

Ohio State (-14.5) at Rutgers – 2:30pm

Rutgers has been a tough opponent this year for teams… but no way do I trust them as only a two touchdown underdog against Ohio State. The Buckeyes will get back on track.

Mississippi State (+7.5) at Texas A&M UNDER 46 – 6:00pm

You can’t trust the Texas A&M offense after only scoring 10 points against Colorado and Arkansas. Seven points and the under are easy takes.

Boston College (+15) at Clemson – 6:30pm

Clemson offense is bad right now. Add in defensive lineman Bryan Breese is out for the year… this is not a good Clemson team. Boston College can cover.

UCONN (+16) at Vanderbilt -6:30pm

I know. I know. I’ve been fading UConn all season. But Vanderbilt shouldn’t be a 16 point favorite over anyone.

Western Kentucky (+11) at Michigan State – 6:30pm

Western Kentucky has been 3-0 against the spread. Why would I stop relying on their offense now? They have a tough one in East Lansing, but Michigan State showed vulnerability against Nebraska and they can cover a double digit spread.

Auburn at LSU (-3) – 8:00pm

Auburn has a QB controversy between Bo Nix and TJ Finley… neither are very good. LSU’s offense is starting to figure it out and should win Saturday night in Baton Rouge.

Washington (+2.5) at Oregon State – 8:00pm

WRONG TEAM FAVORED. Washington has started to turn it around and will be a much tougher opponent than Oregon State’s last opponent USC. Washington pulls out a close one.

Week 4 College Football Preview

OVERALL RECORD: 102-77-1 (57%)

2021 SEASON RECORD: 24-21-0 (53.3%)

4-10…. YIKES. Week 3 was terrible. awful. bad. But we are on to week 4 where we will go 13-0… HERE ARE THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

Week 4 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

Texas A&M (-4) vs Arkansas– Saturday 2:30pm

Arkansas has two offensive linemen that are questionable for this game which isn’t good facing this Texas A&M’s front seven. Arkansas will not be able to run it like they did against Texas. This line has gotten too low given A&M’s talent… Texas A&M wins by a touchdown.

Pick: Texas A&M 24-17

Top Picks of the Week

Missouri (-1.5) at Boston College – 11:00am

Boston College defense is bad and is now on their backup quarterback… this line doesn’t make any sense. Mizzou wins.

Notre Dame (+6.5) vs Wisconsin – 11:00am

It is the Jack Coan revenge game. With both teams led by their defense with struggling offenses, take the points.

Texas Tech (+9) at Texas OVER 61 – 11:00am

Expect A TON of points. Texas gave up 41 points against Arkansas… can you imagine what they will do against an offense that can actually pass? I like Texas Tech to keep it close and the over.

Clemson at NC State (+10) – 2:30pm

Clemson has zero offense this season as they lack explosive playmakers. NC State can keep this game close at home (I actually predicted pre-season for Clemson to lose this game). Take the points.

Illinois (+11) at Purdue – 2:30pm

Illinois can keep it close against an average Big Ten team. 11 points is way too much… take the Fighting Illini.

Iowa State (-6.5) at Baylor – 2:30pm

Baylor has played Texas State, Texas Southern and Kansas… they are not ready for an actual test. Iowa State by double digits.

Louisville (-1.5) at Florida State – 2:30pm

Florida State is a bad football team with support fading from the fan base. Louisville off a big win against UCF takes care of business.

UCLA (-4.5) at Stanford – 5:00pm

It is an overreaction to make this line so small after UCLA lost to Fresno State. UCLA is still a really good football team and wins by over a touchdown against Stanford.

West Virginia (+17) at Oklahoma – 6:30pm

Oklahoma has won by a combined 12 points against Tulane and Nebraska… no way I trust them with a 17 points spread.

Indiana at Western Kentucky (+9) – 7:00pm

I don’t trust Indiana’s pass defense against this Western Kentucky offense. You know who else I don’t trust? Indiana QB Michael Penix who was just 17/40 for 224 yards against Cincinnati. Easy cover from Western Kentucky.

Week 3 College Football Preview

OVERALL RECORD: 98-67-1 (59.4%)

2021 SEASON RECORD: 19-11-0 (63.3%)

We came back down to earth last week finishing with an average record of 6-6. But three straight weeks of .500 or better isn’t bad! TGIS hits the road to Gainesville this weekend…but before we do…. HERE ARE THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

Week 3 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

Alabama (-14.5) at Florida– Saturday 2:30pm

Here is what you need to do: 1) travel to Gainesville, 2) buy a ticket to the game, 3) put the cost of the trip and ticket on Alabama -14.5, and then 4) smile because you just enjoyed a free trip to Gainesville. Listen… Florida has not looked good against Florida Atlantic or South Florida. The Gators are going through a major quarterback controversy because their named starter, Emory Jones, is not the guy. Meanwhile, this is the best Alabama defense in the last three years. Alabama will dominate Florida.

Pick: Alabama 41-17

Top Picks of the Week

UConn at Army (-34) – 11:00am

UConn fired their coach and lost to Purdue 49-0. You think these kids want to learn how to stop the option? Bet on the Troops.

Michigan State +6.5 at Miami – 11:00am

Too many points. Michigan State should be able to have success running the ball against the Miami defense. Like a little moneyline sprinkle as well.

Nebraska at Oklahoma OVER 61.5 – 11:00am

Oklahoma will get out to a big lead and score at least 40 points. Nebraska will be able to score some garbage points to hit the over with ease. Oklahoma 45-27.

Virginia Tech +3 at West Virginia – 11:00am

I feel like the wrong team is favored and I’m walking into a trap. Don’t care. I was impressed with Virginia Tech against North Carolina and think they win this game.

Northwestern (-3) at Duke – 2:30pm

Northwestern is bad… but they aren’t Duke bad. Northwestern wins comfortably.

Arkansas State +16.5 at Washington – 3:15pm

Why would I take Washington (0-2) as a 16.5 point spread over anyone right now? Their offense is atrocious. Shoot, Washington has scored 17 points the entire season… Arkansas State covers.

FIU (+20.5) at Texas Tech – 6:00pm

I like Texas Tech this year, but for a team that only beat Stephen F. Austin by 6 points… three touchdowns is way too big of a spread. FIU covers.

Auburn at Penn State UNDER 53 – 6:30pm

I think the actual game is a coin flip. But between Sean Clifford and Bo Nix, I can’t trust either of these quarterbacks. Under hits.

Virginia (+9) at North Carolina – 6:30pm

North Carolina could not stop Virginia Tech…. meanwhile Virginia ranks 10th in the nation in offensive yards per play. Virginia keeps it close and covers.

Tulane at Ole Miss (-14) UNDER 76.5 – 7:00pm

I think Ole Miss is criminally underrated as one of the top 15 teams in the nation. The defense has improved and will keep Tulane from scoring too much. Meanwhile, no way Tulane keeps Lane Kiffin’s offense from scoring . 45-21 Ole Miss wins and the under.

Arizona State (-3.5) at BYU – 9:15pm

I’m not overly impressed by BYU beating Arizona and Utah. Meanwhile, the public has not caught on to Jayden Daniels and Arizona State being a really good football team. The Sun Devils win by over a touchdown.

Fresno State (+11.5) at BYU – 9:15pm

Fresno State played Oregon to a one score ball game. They can keep the spread against UCLA to single digits as well… Fresno State covers.

Week 2 College Football Preview

OVERALL RECORD: 92-61-1 (60.1%)

2021 SEASON RECORD: 13-5-0 (72.2%)

TGIS continues to be HOT! Last weekend brought TGIS over the 60% threshold on the overall record. We are going to continue the hot streak going into a tough Week 2. … HERE ARE THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

Week 2 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

Iowa (+4.5) at Iowa State– Saturday 3:30pm

In week 1 Iowa suffocated Indiana’s offense and blew them out by 28 points. Iowa State? Won 16-10 against Northern Iowa. This will be a lower scoring game and I don’t trust Brock Purdy to move the ball on Iowa. Iowa covers and might even mess around and win. (moneyline sprinkle).

Pick: Iowa 24-20

Top Picks of the Week

Illinois (+10) at Virginia – 10:00am

What has Virginia done to be a double digit favorite over Illinois? Illinois could have quarterback Brandon Peters back this week, but Art Sitkowski hasn’t played bad. Illinois will keep this close enough to cover.

Western Kentucky at Army OVER 52– 10:30am

Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe threw for 7 touchdowns last week and put up 59 points. Army scored 43 points against Georgia State. The over will hit.

Pittsburgh (-2) at Tennessee – 11:00am

Tennessee’s QB Joe Milton couldn’t play well against Bowling Green… he will not play well against Pittsburgh. Hopping on the Vols are bad train early.

South Carolina (-1.5) at East Carolina – 11:00am

If Luke Doty ends up starting at quarterback I love the play. If Zeb Noland starts I still like the play. South Carolina has too much talent on defense to lose. South Carolina by a touchdown.

Air Force at Navy UNDER 41.5 – 2:30pm

A CBS Sports Tom Fornelli special. Service Academy unders are 38-9-1. Principal under play.

Cal at TCU UNDER 48.5 – 2:30pm

Both teams have a very good running game and good defenses. Expect a low scoring game.

NC State (-1) at Mississippi State – 6:00pm

I didn’t like Mississippi State going into the year and I definitely do not like them now after barely slipping by Louisiana Tech. NC State wins by more than a touchdown.

Appalachian State at Miami (-7.5) – 6:00pm

I trust Miami to bounce back and show they are still a top 20 team. Appalachian State is just an OK football team with a quarterback I do not trust… D’Eriq King covers with ease.

Missouri (+6) at Kentucky – 6:30pm

In my mind these teams are even. Kentucky’s defense looked a little shaky against Louisiana-Monroe (one of the worst D1 teams). Six points is way too big of a spread. (Moneyline sprinkle also).

Washington (+7) at Michigan UNDER 48.5 – 7:00pm

A huge week 1 overreaction. Washington was without their four leading receivers last week when they lost to FCS powerhouse Montana. I also really like this Washington defense against Michigan’s offense. Both teams play at a very slow pace… the under hits and Washington covers.

Week 1 College Football Preview

OVERALL RECORD: 82-56-1 (59.4%)

2021 SEASON RECORD: 3-0-0 (100%)

We have started the 2021 season hot at 3-0! Now the real test starts with an absolutely loaded slate for Week 1. … HERE ARE THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

Week 1 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

Georgia (+3.5) vs Clemson – Saturday 6:30pm

The biggest game of the year happens in Week 1. Both Georgia and Clemson’s defensive lines are loaded and ready to attack. Therefore, this game comes down to which offensive line is better able to protect. I’m giving that edge to Georgia. I also believe Georgia is the more talented team. Add in the fact they are getting points? Georgia not only covers… they win the football game.

Pick: Georgia 27-24

Top Picks of the Week

THURSDAY

Western Kentucky (-13.5) at UT Martin OVER 38.5 – 6:00pm ESPN+

Western Kentucky inherited their new offensive coordinator, quarterback, and three wide receivers from Houston Baptist. While the regular college football fan might skim over this fact, Houston Baptist’s offense was electric last year averaging 34 points per game against North Texas, Texas Tech and Louisiana Tech. The electricity will come to the Hilltoppers as the 13.5 point line and over 38.5 points should hit easily. Shoot… Western Kentucky might put over 38.5 points themselves.

Ohio State (-13.5) at Minnesota – 7:00pm FOX

The line is too low. Ohio State is by far the most talented team in the Big Ten. Take the Buckeyes in any Big Ten game where the line is under two touchdowns.

FRIDAY

North Carolina (-5.5) at Virginia Tech – 5:00pm ESPN

If the Tar Heels think they’re a top ten team, then this line should be way higher than 5.5. Especially considering the starters Virginia Tech lost off of last year’s squad. I’m riding with North Carolina and Sam Howell as the much better team.

Michigan State (+3.5) at Northwestern – 8:00pm ESPN

In early season Big Ten matchups take the points. I think this Michigan State team is a sleeper as they brought in some talented transfers and are solid at the skill positions. Meanwhile, Northwestern returns only seven starters in a year where everyone has talent returning. Take the Spartans.

SATURDAY

Tulane at Oklahoma (-31.5) – 11:00am ABC

Sure technically Tulane is the home team… but the game is played in Norman due to the hurricane. Plus, Tulane has been practicing at Alabama all week. Oklahoma usually covers at home as Lincoln Riley likes to show off his offense for the home crowd. Oklahoma covers.

Penn State at Wisconsin UNDER 50 – 11:00am FOX

Penn State returns almost all their linebackers and secondary from last year. Wisconsin returns eight starters to their defense which finished 5th in the country. Expect a low scoring game.

Alabama (-18.5) vs. Miami UNDER 61.5 – 2:30pm ABC

Always take Alabama in season openers. Further, the 2021 Alabama defense is the most talented defense Saban has had in years. Miami won’t score much, Alabama will score a lot. 38-17 is your final.

Louisiana (+9) at Texas – 3:30pm FOX

I liked this line way more when it was in the double digits. But Louisiana is a talented football team that brings back everyone. There is a reason head coach Billy Napier turned down other jobs. The Cajuns know how to run the ball and they’re facing a Texas team where I question the front seven. Louisiana covers… maybe even a little money line sprinkle.

Texas Tech (-1) at Houston – 6:00pm ESPN

Texas Tech is not a bad team this year with new QB Tyler Shough, an experienced offensive line and playmakers WR Erik Ezukanma and RB Sarodorick Thompson. Texas Tech outscores Houston.

LSU (-3) at UCLA – 7:30pm FOX

There has been way too much of an overreaction after UCLA’s blowout win against Hawaii. It will not be nearly as easy to run on LSU. Add in the fact UCLA’s QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was not very impressive against Hawaii, and I find it severely doubtful UCLA is able to pull the upset. Especially with the talented LSU cornerbacks. This line is way too small… LSU by double digits as the much more talented team.

SUNDAY

Notre Dame (-7.5) at Florida State – 6:30pm ESPN

Notre Dame still has a good team despite losing quite a few starters from last year. This game is pretty simple to me: Florida State’s defense won’t be able to stop RB Kyren Williams. Notre Dame by double digits. Notre Dame covers.

MONDAY

Louisville vs. Ole Miss (-10) – 7:00pm ESPN

Ole Miss will try to score 60 points on Labor Day and I don’t think Louisville has a chance of stopping them with their leaky secondary. Ole Miss wins big.

Week 0 College Football Preview

2020 SEASON RECORD: 79-56-1 (58.1%)

2021 SEASON RECORD: 0-0-0

Recap of the 2020 season: TGIS was HOTTT finishing with a nice 58% record. This year? We are going to be better. We will not miss a pick. We will not lose. We will not quit. Discipline! Discipline Discipline!

Discipline is especially important in Week 0 with only a five game slate. Good value exists on the board, but it is important to not get suckered into playing every game. Now I’ve made y’all wait long enough… after a whole offseason of studying up… HERE ARE THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

Week 0 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

Nebraska at Illinois (+7.5) – Saturday 1:00pm

Here are the facts: Illinois beat Nebraska last year in Lincoln 41-23. Illinois returns 22 super seniors. Illinois returns their starting quarterback, Brandon Peters. Nebraska’s best player transferred to Kentucky. Therefore, Illinois as a seven point home underdog is way too many points. This may even be a nice money line sprinkle because this game will be close

Pick: Nebraska 24-21

Top Pick(s) of the Week

Hawaii at UCLA (-17.5) UNDER 68.5 – Saturday 2:30pm

This game is kicking off at 9:30am local Hawaii time. Which means Hawaii will be sleepy and UCLA is going to come out fast. UCLA is excellent at running the ball and are poised to have a very good year. Hawaii’s run defense? Struggles.

This will be a short game and a UCLA blowout win. I also would expect UCLA to take the foot off the pedal with their game against LSU next week. So BOOK IT. UCLA and the under.

2021 College Football Pre-Season Rankings

Top 25

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Projected Record: 13-0

Alabama logo

The 2020 National Champions return with quite a few pieces to replace on offense including Devonta Smith, Najee Harris, and Mac Jones. However, don’t expect too much of a drop off with QB Bryce Young taking over and young talent at the skill positions . This year the defense should be much improved with a loaded defensive line, great linebackers and edge rushers, and a secondary that returns everyone except Patrick Surtain II. Alabama is loaded again and should be National Champion favorites.

2. Georgia Bulldogs

Projected Record: 12-1

Georgia Logo

The offense is absolutely loaded with QB JT Daniels, RBs Zamir White and James Cook, and receivers Jermaine Burton, Kearis Jackson. When you also add in one of the best Tight End combinations in the country with Darnell Washington and Arik Gilbert this offense has a chance to be special. This doesn’t even include if George Pickens returns near the end of the year from a torn ACL. As for the offensive line, don’t worry. It will also be strong after returning three starters and high rated recruits waiting to take over.

The defense is also loaded. The defensive line has Jordan Davis and Travon Walker clogging the middle with Adam Anderson and Nolan Smith rushing on the edge. Quay Walker and Nakobe Dean are really solid linebackers as well. Secondary is the one area of concern as they replace a few key starters. Transfers Derrion Kendrick (Clemson) and Tykee Smith (West Virginia) should calm down the concern. Overall, this is one of the most talented teams in the country and a lock to win the SEC East.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

Projected Record: 13-0

The Buckeyes are ridiculously loaded on offense with a great offensive line, two talented running backs, and an embarrassing amount of receiving talent featuring two of the best receivers in the nation (Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson). Freshman QB C.J. Stroud is the most likely to take over the starting role. Defense is a different issue. The top four linebackers are all gone and the secondary finished last in the Big Ten in passing yards given up last year. Their defensive line is solid, but they will need an improvement in the back end if they want to be true National Championship contenders.

4. Oklahoma Sooners

Projected Record: 13-0

The offense is going to be one of the top offenses in the nation as it checks nearly all the boxes: countless playmaker receivers (Marvin Mims, Theo Wease, Jaden Haselwood, Mike Woods), great 1-2 punch at running back (Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray), do-it-all FB/TE (Jeremiah Hall), big body TE (Austin Stogner), and a gunslinging QB (Spencer Rattler). The only real question is the offensive line has to replace two starters.

Every year the biggest question is Oklahoma’s defense… this year the defense should be solid. Edge rusher Nik Bonitto is one of the best players in the nation. Combine that with experience at defensive line and linebacker and they look set to run through the Big 12. A main question worth monitoring are the cornerbacks with two new starters. Overall, Big 12 championship should be the minimum expectation. Playing in the national championship should be the goal.

5. Clemson Tigers

Projected Record: 11-2

DJ Uiagalelei takes over for Trevor Lawrence with a very talented Clemson team. However, a few key questions surround this Tiger team, particularly on the offensive line and secondary after last year’s blowout loss to Ohio State. On offense WR Justyn Ross returns from injury and there is a boatload of young receivers surrounding him. The question will be who steps up (EJ Williams? Joseph Ngata? Ajou Ajou?). The defensive front seven is stacked with almost everyone returning. The issues are in the secondary as it is yet to be seen if a corner opposite of Andrew Booth Jr. can emerge. Overall, Clemson has a huge home opener against Georgia… and then it is smooth sailing for the rest of the regular season. If the issues aren’t fixed on the offensive line and secondary, then this team will again not be able to compete with the elites.

6. Texas A&M Aggies

Projected Record: 10-2

Texas A&M Logo

The Aggies are absolutely loaded with impact players. On offense RB Isaiah Spiller, TE Jalen Wydermyer, WR Ainias Smith, and OT Kenyon Green are all future NFL players. The main concern will be who takes over for QB Kellen Mond (Haynes King or Zach Calzada) and replacing four offensive line starters. The quarterback and offensive line are keys to a good offense and shouldn’t be ignored.

Defensively, this is a top ten defense that returns nine starters. So, expect the Aggies to be  one of the best defenses in the nation. The defense is led by Demarvin Leal who should be a first round pick. Overall, the Aggies are talented… but the unknown at quarterback and offensive line makes me hesitant.

7. North Carolina Tar Heels

Projected Record: 10-2

Mack Brown keeps on building up North Carolina. After an 8-4 season, expectations are high. Offensively they lose some really talented guys including RB Michael Carter, RB, Javonte Williams, WR Dyami Brown, and WR Dazz Newsome. Everyone else on the offense returns though and they added Tennessee transfer RB Ty Chandler. The bowl game against Texas A&M gave a little sneak peek that quarterback Sam Howell has some players to work with including WR Josh Downs. On defense there are plenty of young playmakers looking to step up. They are extremely deep at defensive line and the trio of corners Storm Duck, Tony Grimes, and Kyler McMichael should take a step forward. Overall, this is a really talented team that will be the favorite in the ACC Coastal.

8. Oregon Ducks

Projected Record: 11-2

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Oregon had a rocky season, but still won the Pac-12 Championship despite not winning the Pac-12 North. The offense was decent last year and brings almost everyone back. A key will be who wins the QB competition between Anthony Brown and freshman Jay Butterfield. The defense is led by DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, a definite top ten 2021 NFL Draft pick. Mario Cristobal has done an excellent job recruiting and there is a serious talent on the roster… they just aren’t there yet as an elite team. But expect them to be Pac-12 champions when the season is over.

9. Wisconsin Badgers

Projected Record: 10-2

By far my favorite to win the Big Ten West… this is your classic Wisconsin team. They are fantastic along the offensive line and will only get better with back-to-back five star recruits in the last two years. The question is can QB Graham Mertz perform like he did in the season opener last year against Illinois where he threw five touchdowns. TE Jake Ferguson will also be a key contributor. Defensively, they are going to be fantastic with eight returning starters to a defense that finished fifth in the country. Look for the Badgers to have double digit wins and face Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.

10. Iowa State Cyclones

Projected Record: 9-3

19 RETURNING STARTERS!!! Iowa State made the Big 12 championship game and returns all of their major pieces. But what is their ceiling? Brock Purdy will need to take another step if they want to knock of Oklahoma as Big 12 champions. Regardless, the offense will continue to rely on 1500 yard rusher Breece Hall.

Defensively, expect the Cyclones defense to be solid again. The defense will be led by LB Mike Rose and there aren’t really any glaring holes. Expect a very good Cyclones team to be at the top of the Big 12 along with Oklahoma, but a playoff spot doesn’t seem realistic.

11. Miami Hurricanes

Projected Record: 10-2

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Quarterback D’Eriq King led Miami to a great 8-3 comeback season. Now King will have to make his own comeback returning from a torn ACL prior to the 2021 season (reports from Miami have him ahead of schedule). The offense was explosive with King and this offense returns almost everyone and added WR Charleston Rambo (Oklahoma transfer). The offensive line is strong and the running back room has two outstanding players with Cam’Ron Harris and Don Chaney Jr. Defensively, the Hurricanes will have to replace DE Jaelen Phillips and have a linebacker issue after allowing 175 rushing yards per game last year. The secondary may be the strength with S Bubba Bolden and corners DJ Ivey, Al Blades Jr., and Tyrique Stevenson (Georgia transfer). Overall, this could be a top ten team… but don’t expect them to beat Alabama.

12. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Projected Record: 9-3

The offense lost four offensive linemen, their quarterback, and two starting wide receivers. Luckily they have 1100 yard rusher Kyren Williams returning and one of the best tight ends in football with Michael Myer. Look for Wisconsin transfer Jack Coan to most likely take over at quarterback who will provide similar production to Ian Book. Expect the Irish to be led by their defense in 2021, particularly no doubt first round pick safety Kyle Hamilton. I wouldn’t expect the 2021 team to be as good as 2020, but still think they put together a really nice season.

13. LSU Tigers

Projected Record: 9-3

After Myles Brennan’s injury, Max Johnson will be the starter for LSU at quarterback. As for the rest of the offense, look for WR Kayshon Boutte to follow up a breakout freshman season. One area that needs to improve is the running game after LSU finished 109thin rushing yards behind Tyrion Davis-Prince and John Emery Jr. 

Defensively, this is a talented bunch. It starts on the defensive line where Ali Gaye and Andre Anthony lead at edge rusher. Mike Jones Jr. was a big transfer pickup from Clemson who will play a roaming linebacker role. The strength is at corner where Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks  make up a fantastic duo. Expect a major improvement after finishing 124th in total defense last year.

Overall, it’s this is an experienced, talented team with a lot of upside. But, questions remain whether Coach Orgeron can get that talent to translate onto the field.

14. Cincinnati Bearcats

Projected Record: 12-1

The schedule sets up well for the Bearcats to potentially make a run as the first Group of Five team in the Playoff with non-conference matchups against Indiana and Notre Dame. This Cincinnati team has the talent to compete as well with QB Desmond Ridder coming back for a final season. However, the offensive line still remains a question mark. A unit that absolutely is not a question mark is the Bearcat defense, led by DE Myjai Sanders and corners Ahmad Gardner and Coby Bryant. Overall, expect the Bearcats to win the American and make a New Years six bowl.

15. Washington Huskies

Projected Record: 10-2

The Huskies finished 3-1 in 2020 despite average QB play. This year, QB Dylan Morris will have a five star freshman right behind him with Sam Huard. This team is built to run the ball after returning their entire offensive line, including potential first round pick Jaxson Kirkland, and two good running backs (Sean McGrew and Richard Newton). At receiver, there is a bunch of questions on who will step up. Maybe it will be Texas Tech transfer Ja’Lynn Polk? Washington does have one of the best tight ends in America with Cade Otton though. Defensively, expect this team to be one of the best in the Pac-12 under Jimmy Lake as they added to the group with nickel back Brendan Radley-Hiles (Oklahoma transfer) and DE Jeremiah Martin (Texas A&M transfer). This team has the talent to compete with Oregon for the Pac-12 North.

16. Ole Miss Rebels

Projected Record: 9-3

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Lane Kiffin had an explosive offense in his first year in Oxford. Year two’s offense will be even better and could be special. Losing wide receiver Elijah Moore hurts, but the offense has many other weapons including RB Jerrion Ealy. Also, the offense is led by one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC, Matt Corral.   

Decent defense is going to be the key to a successful season. The linebackers are experienced with Lakia Henry, JacQuez Jones, and MoMo Sanogo. Sam Williams also provides the Rebels with a solid edge rusher. However, the question remains whether they are good enough on the defensive line and in the secondary. The Rebels need some improvement after finishing 126th in total defense last year. The Rebels top ten offense can only take them so far… for the Rebels to make the next step in the SEC West there has to be defensive improvement. Expect a solid team and a solid year for Ole Miss.

17. USC Trojans

Projected Record: 10-3

There is some serious talent on this USC team coming off a 5-1 season. QB Kedon Slovis is one of the best in the Pac-12 and the receivers are crazy talented (Drake London, KD Nixon, Jake Smith and Bru McCoy). A key for the offense will be to improve the offensive line play. The defense also brings back six starters to a top 40 defense. One of those starters is LB Drake Jackson who is highly disruptive. The secondary is experienced and the defensive line includes five-star freshman Korey Foreman… this will be a very good football team in 2021. Overall, expect USC to finish at the top of the Pac-12 South.

18. Florida Gators

Projected Record: 9-3

Dan Mullen finally has what he wants for the offense… a mobile quarterback. Expect Mullen to utilize Emery Jones in the RPO game now that Kyle Trask graduated. An issue also arises when you consider the Florida offense lost their top weapons (Kadarius Toney, Kyle Pitts, and Trevon Grimes). Add in an inconsistent offensive line and this offense will take a step back.

There are also questions on the defensive side of the ball. The best players on the defense are CB Kaiir Elam and edge rushers Zachary Carter and Brenton Cox. Outside of those players there are concerns. Expect the defense to still be OK and finish in the top half of the conference. The team as a whole will take a small step back after a fantastic 2020 season.

19. Texas Longhorns

Projected Record: 9-3

Steve Sarkisian takes over a pretty talented Texas team. Honestly, although Sam Ehlinger was a solid college quarterback, Casey Thompson or Hudson Card may give this team more upside. Combine that with a solid offensive line, one of the best running backs in the nation (Bijan Robinson), and a deep wide receiving group… this offense has potential.

Defensively, Texas is led by DT Alfred Collins and LB DeMarvion Overshown. There is a hole at linebacker next to Overshown and there isn’t a clear viable option. The secondary will also need an improvement after finishing 108th in passing defense. Overall, the Longhorns have the talent for Coach Sarkisian to compete for a Big 12 championship spot right away.

20. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

Projected Record: 12-1

There is a reason head coach Billy Napier wanted to comeback to this team. The Ragin Cajuns are extremely experienced evidenced by their 20 returning starters off a 10-1 season. They will be tested right away with a season opener at Texas. Overall, this is a talented team who should win the Sun Belt and compete for a spot in a New Years six bowl.

21. Penn State Nittany Lions

Projected Record: 9-3

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The Nittany Lions 2020 season can be thrown to the side after starting 0-5 and finishing with four straight wins. The offense was decent last year, but lacked explosive plays. It isn’t like they don’t have weapons with wide receivers Jahan Dotson and Parker Washington returning, but can QB Sean Clifford take the next step? Penn State also returns RB Noah Cain after he missed last year with an injury. Defensively, Penn State was solid last year, but return only one starting defensive lineman. Instead the strength of this team will be in the secondary and at linebacker as they return just about everyone. Look for a bounce back year for Penn State.

22. Arizona State Sun Devils

Projected Record: 9-3

It is unknown if the Sun Devils will even be eligible for post season play following the school’s disregard to recruiting rules during COVID. However, this is a talented team that should be the favorite to win the Pac-12 South. It starts with talented QB Jayden Daniels entering his third season. Combine that with RB Rachaad White who averaged 10 yards per carry and an experienced offensive line… they are going to be good. The development of the wide receivers will be critical on their potential. On defense last year they gave up the least amount of points, but a whole lot of yards. Expect an improvement especially with corners Jack Jones and Chase Lucas.

23. NC State Wolfpack

Projected Record: 8-4

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This is an intriguing Wolfpack team coming off a 8-4 season. They have weapons with RB Bam Knight, WR Emeka Emezie, and WR Thayer Thomas. Add in a very good offensive line and QB Devin Leary coming back from injury… the offense should be pretty good. Defensively, LB Payton Wilson is one of the best players in the country and LB Isaiah Moore is a pretty dang good player himself. With the defense returning most of their starters from last year, expect an improved defense. Overall, this should be the favorite to finish second to Clemson in the Atlantic.

24. TCU Horned Frogs

Projected Record: 8-4

The main question for this offense is whether QB Max Duggan can take the next step. The offense finished in the middle of the conference last year, but the talent across the board is intriguing. WR Quentin Johnson is ready for a breakout year and there are plenty of complementary pieces including Taye Barber, Derius Davis, JD Spielman, and Shadrach Banks (Texas A&M transfer). Also, look for former five star recruit RB Zach Evans to have a majority of the carries and be an instrumental part of the offense. The offensive line is also solid including OT Obinna Eze (Memphis transfer).

The defense finished top 30 last year and will be one of the best in the Big 12 this year. Sure they lose some key pieces including LB Garret Wallow and safeties Trevon Moehrig and Ar’Darius Washington, but this defense still has solid pieces. At cornerback, Noah Daniels and Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson are both studs. The defensive line is also experienced and led by DE Ochaun Mathis (9 sacks in 2020).

Overall, this team is intriguing and a trip to the Big 12 championship game isn’t out of the question. How Max Duggan develops will have a major impact on the team’s success.

25. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Projected Record: 11-2

The Chanticleers bring 19 starters back after finishing 11-1 last year and they should finish in the top 25 again. Especially with QB Grayson McCall coming off an impressive freshman season. The defense is also impressive after finishing top 30 nationally last year. Overall, expect this solid Coastal Carolina team to face of with Louisiana to see who will be the Sun Belt champions.

2021 SEC Football Preview

SEC Championship: Alabama over Georgia

SEC East

1. Georgia Bulldogs

Projected Record: 12-1

Wins: Clemson, UAB, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Charleston Southern, Georgia Tech Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt

Losses: Alabama (SEC Championship)

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The offense is absolutely loaded with QB JT Daniels, RBs Zamir White and James Cook, and receivers Jermaine Burton, Kearis Jackson. When you also add in one of the best Tight End combinations in the country with Darnell Washington and Arik Gilbert this offense has a chance to be special. This doesn’t even include if George Pickens returns near the end of the year from a torn ACL. As for the offensive line, don’t worry. It will also be strong after returning three starters and high rated recruits waiting to take over.

The defense is also loaded. The defensive line has Jordan Davis and Travon Walker clogging the middle with Adam Anderson and Nolan Smith rushing on the edge. Quay Walker and Nakobe Dean are really solid linebackers as well. Secondary is the one area of concern as they replace a few key starters. Transfers Derrion Kendrick (Clemson) and Tykee Smith (West Virginia) should calm down the concern. Overall, this is one of the most talented teams in the country and a lock to win the SEC East.

2. Florida Gators

Projected Record: 9-3

Wins: Florida Atlantic, USF, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Samford, Missouri, Florida State

Losses: Alabama, LSU, Georgia

Dan Mullen finally has what he wants for the offense… a mobile quarterback. Expect Mullen to utilize Emery Jones in the RPO game now that Kyle Trask graduated. Florida’s main issue is at the skill positions after they lost their top weapons (Kadarius Toney, Kyle Pitts, and Trevon Grimes). Add in an inconsistent offensive line and this offense will take a step back.

There are also questions on the defensive side of the ball. The best players on the defense are CB Kaiir Elam and edge rushers Zachary Carter and Brenton Cox. Outside of those players there are concerns. Expect the defense to still be OK and finish in the top half of the conference. The team as a whole will take a small step back after a fantastic 2020 season.

3. Kentucky Wildcats

Projected Record: 7-5

Wins: Louisiana Monroe, Missouri, UT-Chattanooga, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, New Mexico State, Louisville

Losses: South Carolina, Florida, LSU, Georgia, Mississippi State

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Kentucky’s biggest question going into the season is who will start at quarterback? New QB Will Levis is intriguing, but he will have to win the job from Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen. Wan’Dale Robinson, a transfer from Nebraska, is a key addition who along with WR Josh Ali will give Kentucky at least a few weapons. This will be a classic Kentucky offense where it is led by the running game which features a strong offensive line and RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. (Averaged 6.6 YPC and 785 rushing yards).

The defense returns just four starters and are replacing two early round picks in Jamin Davis and Kelvin Joseph. Expect, the defense to not be as strong. Overall, Kentucky will be an average, tough SEC team.

4. Missouri Tigers

Projected Record: 7-5

Wins: Central Michigan, SE Missouri State, Boston College, Tennessee, North Texas, Vanderbilt, South Carolina

Losses: Kentucky, Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas

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QB Connor Bazelak showed some promise in his freshman year, the offense will evolve if he takes another step forward. As for the rest of the offense, it will be led by their line who returns four starters. However, Mizzou will need some skill players to step up as they lacked playmakers from last year. Returning WR Keke Chism and Ohio State transfer WR Mookie Cooper might be the guys to do it.

Defensively, Mizzou struggled in the last three games. Now, after having to replace some key players, I can’t see the Tigers defense making a huge jump in play. Edge rusher Trajan Jeffcoat and secondary players Ennis Rakestraw, Akayleb Evans (Tulsa transfer), and Martez Manuel are solid players and will keep the defense adequate. Expect Missouri to be a decent SEC team.

5. Tennessee Volunteers

Projected Record: 6-6

Wins: Bowling Green, Pittsburgh, Tennessee Tech, South Carolina, South Alabama, Vanderbilt

Losses: Florida, Missouri, Ole Miss, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia

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New coach Josh Heupel brings his up-tempo offense to the SEC. The problem? The offense returns only two starters and they lost their two most explosive weapons in Eric Gray (transfer to Oklahoma) and Josh Palmer. QB Hedon Hooker (Virginia Tech transfer) looks like a lone bright spot in this offense.

Defensively, the Vols were hit equally as hard by exiting players. This defense is full of unproven talent. Texas transfer LB Juwan Mitchell will help a little, but expect this defense to look ugly at the start of the rebuild. Overall, it won’t look pretty in Knoxville this upcoming year.

6. South Carolina Gamecocks

Projected Record: 5-7

Wins: Eastern Illinois, East Carolina, Kentucky, Troy, Vanderbilt

Losses: Georgia, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Florida, Missouri, Auburn, Clemson

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The Gamecocks will rely on the run game with 1,000 yard rusher Kevin Harris and redshirt freshman Marshawn Lloyd (top rated recruit who missed last year due to injury). The offensive line also returns four starters. The problem is this roster does not have an established QB or any standout receivers. At least TE Nick Muse decided to return after a solid season

Defensively, South Carolina is loaded up front, but is heavily inexperienced in the secondary. The strength are edge rushers Aaron Sterling and Kingsley Enagbare. It will be interesting to see how Shane Beamer does in the first season with this team. Overall, a bowl game will be a solid finish for them.

7. Vanderbilt Commodores

Projected Record: 3-9

Wins: East Tennessee State, Colorado State, UConn

Losses: Stanford, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Missouri, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee

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It is the start of another rebuild at Vanderbilt. Offensively, the team returns eight starters including QB Ken Seals after a decent freshman season. The best offensive weapon will be WR Cam Johnson. On defense there is a clear lack of talent. Overall, don’t expect too much from this team.

SEC West

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Projected Record: 13-0

Wins: Miami, Mercer, Florida, Southern Miss, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Tennessee, LSU, New Mexico State, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia (SEC Championship)

Losses: None

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The 2020 National Champions return with quite a few pieces to replace on offense including Devonta Smith, Najee Harris, and Mac Jones. However, don’t expect too much of a drop off with QB Bryce Young taking over and young talent at the skill positions . This year the defense should be much improved with a loaded defensive line, great linebackers and edge rushers, and a secondary that returns everyone except Patrick Surtain II. Alabama is loaded again and should be National Champion favorites.

2. Texas A&M Aggies

Projected Record: 10-2

Wins: Kent State, Colorado, New Mexico, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Auburn, Ole Miss, Prairie View A&M, LSU

Losses: Arkansas, Alabama

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The Aggies are absolutely loaded with impact players. On offense RB Isaiah Spiller, TE Jalen Wydermyer, WR Ainias Smith, and OT Kenyon Green are all future NFL players. The main concern will be who takes over for QB Kellen Mond (Haynes King or Zach Calzada) and replacing four offensive line starters. The quarterback and offensive line are keys to a good offense and shouldn’t be ignored.

Defensively, this is a top ten defense that returns nine starters. So, expect the Aggies to be  one of the best defenses in the nation. The defense is led by Demarvin Leal who should be a first round pick. Overall, the Aggies are talented… but the unknown at quarterback and offensive line makes me hesitant.

3. Ole Miss Rebels

Projected Record: 9-3

Wins: Louisville, Austin Peay, Tulane, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, Liberty, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State

Losses: Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M

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Lane Kiffin had an explosive offense in his first year in Oxford. Year two’s offense will be even better and could be special. Losing wide receiver Elijah Moore hurts, but the offense has many other weapons including RB Jerrion Ealy. Also, the offense is led by one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC, Matt Corral.   

Decent defense is going to be the key to a successful season. The linebackers are experienced with Lakia Henry, JacQuez Jones, and MoMo Sanogo. Sam Williams also provides the Rebels with a solid edge rusher. However, the question remains whether they are good enough on the defensive line and in the secondary. The Rebels need some improvement after finishing 126th in total defense last year. The Rebels top ten offense can only take them so far… for the Rebels to make the next step in the SEC West there has to be defensive improvement. Expect a solid team and a solid year for Ole Miss.

4. LSU Tigers

Projected Record: 9-3

Wins: UCLA, McNeese State, Central Michigan, Mississippi State, Auburn, Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana Monroe

Losses: Ole Miss, Alabama, Texas A&M

After Myles Brennan’s injury, Max Johnson will be the starter for LSU at quarterback. As for the rest of the offense, look for WR Kayshon Boutte to follow up a breakout freshman season. One area that needs to improve is the running game after LSU finished 109thin rushing yards behind Tyrion Davis-Prince and John Emery Jr. 

Defensively, this is a talented bunch. It starts on the defensive line where Ali Gaye and Andre Anthony lead at edge rusher. Mike Jones Jr. was a big transfer pickup from Clemson who will play a roaming linebacker role. The strength is at corner where Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks  make up a fantastic duo. Expect a major improvement after finishing 124th in total defense last year.

Overall, it’s this is an experienced, talented team with a lot of upside. But, questions remain whether Coach Orgeron can get that talent to translate onto the field.

5. Arkansas Razorbacks

Projected Record: 7-5

Wins: Rice, Georgia Southern, Texas A&M, Auburn, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Mississippi State, Missouri

Losses: Texas, Georgia, Ole Miss, LSU, Alabama

Coach Sam Pittman brings an Arkansas team that returns a ton on both sides of the ball. Offensively the question is KJ Jefferson ready to take over? He will have an established offense with WR Treylon Burks, RB Trelon Smith, and the entire offensive line returning. 

The defense will also see improvement after finishing 106th in total defense. An area Arkansas will focus on improving is pressuring the quarterback. The defense features a few key pieces including linebackers Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool, and safety Jalen Catalon. This will be a tough football team to play in 2021.

6. Auburn Tigers

Projected Record: 7-5

Wins: Akron, Alabama State, Penn State, Georgia State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina

Losses: LSU, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Alabama

Coach Bryan Harsin enters his first season with a decent football team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. However, the question remains can you trust Bo Nix? Further, this offense lost a lot of weapons, including their top three receivers. With unproven receivers and inconsistent offensive line, don’t expect a high powered offense. Instead, the offense will revolve around sophomore RB Tank Bigsby.

On defense, inside linebackers Zacoby McClain and Owen Pappoe make a great duo and play behind a good defensive line. The secondary should be a strength this year with Smoke Monday at safety and corners Roger McCreary, Nehemiah Pritchett and Ladarius Tennison. As mentioned, this team will be led by their defense. Expect Auburn to finish in the middle of the pack in the SEC West. 

7. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Projected Record: 6-6

Wins: Louisiana Tech, NC State, Memphis, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee State

Losses: LSU, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss

Other than their game against LSU, the offense was awful last year finishing 104th in total yardage. While the offense does return mostly everyone, the SEC defensive coordinators may have figured out Mike Leach’s scheme. The offense does have QB Will Rogers coming off an OK freshman season and a very good left tackle in Charles Cross. 

The 2020 team was actually led by their defense. However, this year the defensive front seven has depth concerns. What remains a strength is at cornerback with both Emmanuel Forbes and Martin Emerson returning. Look for Mississippi State to be solid defensively, but I’m not sure if there will be much of an offensive improvement. Expect a tough year for Mississippi State.