Throughout the south, the annual SEC media jamboree is considered the unofficial start of football season. Well, in most states. With a month of off-season danger still lurking, today’s predictions can change within a police blotter instant. This week, every talking head known to mankind will be publishing their prognostications. I thought I’d better follow suit. Here are my preseason superlatives and projected divisional races.
SEC Champion: Georgia
2. Ole Miss
5. Texas A&M
6. Mississippi State
5. Florida (West opponents are Ole Miss and at LSU)
6. South Carolina (West opponents LSU and at Texas A&M)
Player of the Year: QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Offensive Player of the Year: QB Jeremy Johnson, Auburn
Defensive Player of the Year: DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Comeback Player of the Year: WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
Rookie of the Year: OT Martez Ivey, Florida
I know better. I’ve seen too many half-hearted efforts. At Media Days, Georgia won’t receive many overall first place votes. Current quarterback issues are worrisome. But when studying league personnel, I rank teams based off position groups. I do this mainly due to the importance of positional depth, not so much off individual talent. This is a major difference between football and basketball. Of seven position group categories, Georgia has three of the conference’s best. Running back is an obvious one, but the Dawgs also have the SEC’s top collection of linebackers as well as offensive line. A game managing quarterback will surface. How hard could it be? Take the snap, turn around, hand the football off to Nick Chubb or any other of its high school All-Americans. After that challenging task, just simply watch them run behind the best frontline in the game.
We’ll revisit this post in December.