1. Alabama Crimson Tide- I mentioned earlier that the Tide lost a ton of talent this offseason, especially on defense. The defensive unit will see several young players launched into starting roles, but as we know with Alabama Football, defense runs in its blood. The defense will still be solid! The Tide must also deal with the loss of Heisman Finalist Trent Richardson who is now playing for the Cleveland Browns. You can look for Eddie Lacy, and young T.J. Yeldon to occupy the backfield this season. The Tide also bring one of the best offensive lines in the country to the table. McCarron will need this line because he does not have have star receivers littering the field. The position is decent however, and I am sure that someone will emerge this season. I have the Tide finishing as the top team in the SEC West. They will go undefeated in conference play, but they will lose in Dallas against Michigan.
2012 Projection- (11-1)
2. Arkansas Razorbacks- Most people will wonder why LSU is not in this position, and I will tell you in just a minute, but for now the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs return the best Quarterback in the SEC with Tyler Wilson, and possibly the best RB in Knile Davis. Davis will return after suffering a bad injury before last season and hoping to regain his elite status from 2 seasons ago. The receiving core is somewhat depleted, but still features Cobi Hamilton and TE Chris Gragg. The Arkansas defense was young last season and I expect a ton of improvement. The loss of Jake Bequette will hurt the pass rush, but I think they will have enough offense to overcome. I believe that Alabama will be the only loss.
2012 Projection- (11-1)
3. LSU Tigers- This was my number 2 team until the dismissal of Tyrann Mathieu last week. The Tigers will have to replace both Mathieu and Mo Claiborne who now plays for the Cowboys. I believe this will be just a big enough weak spot for the Tigers to drop 3 games this season. The Tigers still have the best front four in the country on defense, but that won't be enough to stop top passing attacks like Arkansas has. The Tigers will also be decent on Offense, but decent just does not cut it in the SEC. They have a soft out of conference schedule but they will suffer in SEC play. The Tigers will start off on fire before traveling to Gainesville, Florida. I expect losses to Florida, Alabama, and Arkansas.
2012 Projection- (9-3)
4. Auburn Tigers- The Tigers return a pretty nice defense, but some serious uncertainty on offense. The Tigers boast a god running game, but the uncertainty comes in the passing game. The Tigers main concern will be at QB as the Tigers still have not decided on a starter. South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, and Georgia will topple Auburn in 2012.
2012 Projection (7-5)
5. Mississippi State Bulldogs- The Bulldogs have a very weak non-conference schedule which will account for 4 victories. They lost Ballard in the backfield now playing for the Colts in the NFL, and look for La Darius Perkins take over at that spot. They do boast a nice receiving core if a Quarterback can get them the ball. The defense is pretty decent but they need elevation on the defensive line. Special Teams will also be a big question mark. The Bulldogs will fall against Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, and a road loss at Kentucky.
2012 Projection- (7-5)
6. Texas A&M Aggies- The Aggies will join a very tough SEC West which is a much stronger conference than the Big 12. The Aggies lose a big playmaker in Ryan Tannehill who now plays QB for the Miami Dolphins. The Aggies will also be making a transition in defensive schemes adjusting to a new 4-3 defense. Sophomore QB Jameill Showers will probably be the man in Aggieland, and he will be in for a tough year. I expect losses to Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, and Mississippi State.
2012 Projection (6-6)
7. Ole Miss Rebels- The Rebels have a a new Coach, QB, and a lot of young talent, but they are only on the rise. This will be a tough year for new QB Bo Wallace and the rest of the Rebels. They lack depth at WR and in the backfield. The defense is also very questionable and will likely give up a ton of points. The Rebels will dwell at the bottom following losses to Texas, Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, and rival Mississippi State.
2012 Projection (4-8)
Back Tomorrow With The SEC East!