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SEC Football Preview: Bold Predictions Sure to be Wrong

(AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

(AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

For the next few weeks leading up to the start of the College Football season, I will be previewing different teams, players, and more from the SEC. This week, I give my five boldest SEC Football predictions for this upcoming season. Are these sure to be wrong? Probably. But fortune favors the bold.

5. Georgia’s Demetris Robertson Will Have a Big Season

The Bulldogs have a bit of a problem on their hands entering the 2019 season. After a great year from quarterback Jake Fromm, Georgia will lose four of their top five receivers (including their top three) from 2018. While junior Jeremiah Hollman returns (418 yards, 4 TD’s), there is a huge need for a receiver to step up and be one of Fromm’s top targets.

Enter Demetris Robertson. Robertson is a transfer from the California Golden Bears of the Pac-12. Out of high school, he was ranked as the No. 2 receiver in the nation. He showcased his talent regularly at California where he tallied 837 receiving yards in 13 starts with Davis Webb at quarterback. He spent most of last season on the bench at Georgia where he failed to catch a single ball. But his big-play ability was showcased as he ran for over 100 yards on just four carries.

Overall, Robertson has the most talent out of all of Georgia’s receivers. There is a huge need for someone to step up big time here. Don’t forget that the leading receiver for Georgia last season compiled only 570 yards.

I think it’s a relatively safe bet that Robertson has a breakout year in 2019. All he would need to do is amass over 700 yards receiving to make a big splash on this team. Considering his talent and experience at the position, the need for a big-time playmaker, and that Fromm is throwing him the football, I think it’s a very safe bet that Robertson makes a lot of noise in the SEC this year.

4. Tennessee Will Have its First Winning Season Since 2016

As this list goes on, the predictions will get bolder and bolder. I’m sure that I’m not winning any fans with this one, but I earnestly believe that the Volunteers will win at least seven games in 2019. It has everything to do with their returning experience. They return a total of 10 starters on offense and six on defense. It doesn’t matter who you are, returning every player back on offense with the exception of one lineman bolds very well for you.

Personally, I really like Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt and the confidence he has instilled in quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, who has real talent as a pocket passer. On a wider level, the talent level in Knoxville is still relatively good. In the end, it all comes down to their schedule. Are there at least six winnable games there to get them to a bowl game?

First, I see definite losses at Florida, at Missouri, Georgia at home, and at Alabama. As far as should-be wins, Tennessee shouldn’t have much trouble with Georgia State, Chattanooga, UAB, and Vanderbilt at home. That just leaves BYU, Mississippi State, and South Carolina all in Knoxville along with a road trip to Kentucky. Personally, I see at least two (maybe three) wins there which puts the Vols win total at six.

Add in a possible bowl game win, and the Volunteers have a winning season. Honestly, Tennessee isn’t going to be all that great, but they have the right coach, the right quarterback, and a path to seven wins. In their second season under Pruitt, I think the Volunteers will make it happen.

3. Matt Corral Will Prove to be the Real Deal

Being a freshman quarterback in the SEC is not exactly ideal, to say the least. However, that is where Corral finds himself after being redshirted by Mississippi in 2018. Fortunately for him, Corral played in the minimum amount of games required by the NCAA before losing a full year of eligibility. In that very short amount of time, he actually had a better QBR than former quarterback Jordan Ta’amu did.

Corral has a big arm, and an even bigger personality. You might remember him for being involved in the infamous brawl Ole Miss had with rival Mississippi State last year. Out of high school, he was rated as the second-best quarterback prospect in the nation (behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence) so the talent is certainly there to match his “passion.”

Let me be clear here. I am not suggesting that Corral will set the SEC on fire this season. The Rebels are still rebuilding and the offense returns just three starters this season. Ole Miss will lose four of their top five receivers from 2018. Gone is AJ Brown and DK Metcalf to the NFL. Several players will need to step up in order to help Corral, and I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

Overall, Corral and the Rebels will struggle early on in 2019. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if the young freshman has a problem with interceptions. Even with the struggles, I do think that Corral will do just enough to showcase that he is the future of this program. I will take my bets with a quarterback that can do something like this:

2. Arkansas Will Make a Bowl Game

Yes, I know. This might certainly sound crazy. After all, I did tell you that these predictions were bold. The Razorbacks are officially at the bottom of the barrel right now. They won four games in 2017 and just two in 2018. So, it would seem rather crazy that I’m suggesting that Arkansas will pull off six wins in 2019.

But that’s exactly what I am suggesting.

I actually don’t think the Razorbacks are even a good team, but I do think that they will have a perfect storm of positive factors that will give them a bowl berth. First, they are due some good luck. They had four close losses in 2018 while playing exceptional defense at times.

Second, they have a rather manageable schedule for an SEC West team. Will they lose to Alabama, LSU, Missouri, Auburn, and Texas A&M? Yes. But their other seven games go like this: Portland State, Ole Miss, Colorado State, San Jose State, Mississippi State, WKU, and Kentucky. Add in the addition of quarterback Ben Hicks (SMU’s all-time leading passer) and I believe that Head Coach Chad Morris will get Arkansas to six wins in his second season.

This is a big bet by me, and I realize that there is a high chance I’m wrong. But even if the Razorbacks fail to make a bowl game, I can guarantee that there will be measurable improvement with this program in 2019.

1. Missouri Will Win 10 Games, Bowl Game or Not

Now things are getting spicy. I’m all in on the Tigers this season. While I think Kentucky will be just fine, there will be regression which means that another SEC East team will move up into their spot in the East. That team will be Missouri, but I think they will be even better than advertised.

Similar to the situation with Arkansas, the Tigers have a very manageable schedule in 2019. In fact, I think it’s a very easy schedule by SEC standards. Sure, I think they will lose to Georgia and Florida. However, their SEC West draw is Arkansas and Ole Miss, and their non-conference schedule is a joke. They play Wyoming, West Virginia, Southeast Missouri (?), and Troy. Folks, that is six wins right there.

That leaves the rest of the SEC East, and the Tigers get South Carolina and Tennessee both at home. They have a 1,000-yard rusher back in Larry Roundtree III, plus four of their top five receivers return from last season. Now, add in the fact that Missouri replaces Drew Lock with the very underrated and underappreciated Kelly Bryant, and you get an offense that is absolutely loaded for 2019.

Missouri’s defense will be just fine as six starters return on that side of the ball, especially considering that unit was very underrated in 2018. We know that the Tigers are currently under a bowl ban for this upcoming season. While many believe that Missouri will win its appeal of the ban, the NCAA doesn’t rule on it until the bye week (Nov. 2).

The toughest game on Missouri’s schedule before that date is…Kentucky on the road. Yupp. Before November, their toughest games will be UK, South Carolina, and…West Virginia maybe? My point is that there is a very good chance the Tigers are 8-0 and in the national conversation for being highly ranked when the NCAA makes their ruling. This will be a big story after Halloween is over, bet on it. Even if they lose their appeal, they still get Arkansas and Tennessee to end the regular season.

The SEC East will have three teams with double-digit wins. This time, however, it will be Missouri joining Georgia and Florida. I realize this won’t be the most favorable opinion on this website, but I can’t ignore a very good bet when I see one.

Article written by John Reecer

5 Comments for SEC Football Preview: Bold Predictions Sure to be Wrong

  1. mashburnfan1
    6:59 pm August 11, 2019 Permalink

    Can only agree with 2 of these. Robertson will have a huge year and Corral is very good. Really was hoping we would have gone after Robertson but I do like our WR group and think we will see a very good season from them. Corral may be a FR but like you said he has that year of being there and playing 4 games so he will be way ahead of a true FR or even a Juco transfer and dude is just good.
    Ark will not be in a bowl and Mizzou does not win 10. And there is just no way I can want Tenn to ever have another winning season no matter who their coach is.

  2. UKGrad79
    8:12 pm August 11, 2019 Permalink

    They will not put their money where their mouths are!

  3. Cats Football First
    10:09 pm August 11, 2019 Permalink

    You’re just picking everyone to beat Kentucky, aren’t ya? This seems like you are just trying to provoke people.

    • W.C.
      12:42 am August 12, 2019 Permalink

      Mr. Reesor: UK was second in the SEC East last year, not 3rd .

  4. JASUN74
    5:32 am August 12, 2019 Permalink

    Yeah, this may be the dumbest take I’ve heard all off season. Wow. #5 Robinson will have a big season! So that’s a big take huh! He was only the number two ranked WR coming out of HS three or four years ago. While it may be true, it shouldn’t be unexpected!! Lol. 2,3,4 who really cares? but whatever.

    #1. They win 10! Really? Bowl or not? Lmao. Man, smoking and writing hear isn’t a good combination. So Kentucky is terrible because they lost a few players? Mark Stoops and our Staff don’t have a clue how to develop players? I’ll bet you right now that if it’s between KY and Mizzo as to who wins Ten games this year, its KY. Mizzo will be lucky to win 8 Games. That’s not being a homer or nothing and more to do with them not being near as good as a lot of media are making them out to be.

    Look, I wish Kelly Bryant all the success in the world, ( except Ky of course), but he isn’t Cam Newton and this isn’t that Auburn team. I know this is all just your guess, but you’re a writer for KSR and should be a little bit better than this. Thanks for the read though!! Pretty funny stuff.

    Just some advice that probably doesn’t mean anything to you but, Don’t be one of these writers who just try to get clicks and don’t care if it’s right or not. Not you you did that here. I know that’s how you guys are ultimately paid and advance in your career, but Ky fans will take you a lot farther with you than against you. Ok. It was well written and I enjoyed it.