LSU Tigers Ready To Take Over (?): 2017 SEC Preview

The South Eastern Conference (SEC) run as the most dominant conference seems to be over. That doesn’t mean the rest of the country is ahead of the conference. Just know when a SEC powerhouse plays out of conference, there is a chance of them getting beat. Yes, the gap between the SEC and the rest of the “Power 5” and has closed quite a bit.

The Alabama Crimson Tide is still hands down the best team in the conference. Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, LSU Tigers, and possibly Auburn Tigers could compete for a SEC title. Even the Tennessee Volunteers and Texas A&M have a legitimate shot if healthy and a couple things go their way. All in all, the SEC should be competitive. With the number one spot already spoken for, it seems everyone is playing for number two.

Along with the Crimson Tide, expect a good portion of this conference to go “bowling” New Years. Just like every other conference entering this season, anything could happen in the SEC. Honestly, the National Champion might be in this conference.

Always known for strong play on the field, the conference is no stranger to controversy. In case you have been living under a rock, the Ole Miss Rebels are facing a number of infractions from the NCAA. If everything comes to pass, expect the Rebels to be down for a while. It has been a mad house for the Rebels from the Laremy Tunsil fiasco on draft night two years ago to former coach Hugh Freeze misdialing an escort service.

All eyes will be on the Ole Miss program, as they face these infractions. With a bunch of talent, Ole Miss could still mess some things up even though they wouldn’t be eligible for post season play.

Another team, is the Arkansas Razorbacks. Head coach Bret Bielema has the team to disrupt everything in the SEC. Health and consistency will determine their future. The Razorbacks are the dark horse team to contend for a SEC title. If they can put together a solid season they can compete for a nice bowl game.

 

Keep an eye on the South Carolina Gamecocks as well. The Gamecocks have a young explosive offense led by sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley. Bentley will have to have an efficient year to make up for this team’s defensive shortcomings. With head coach Will Muschamp being a great defensive mind, he has to coach this unit up this year if he expects to get this team to another bowl game.

Here are the predictions of the entire SEC 2017 season

 

East Division

Florida Gators: 8-4 (7-2)

Georgia Bulldogs: 9-3 (6-3)

Kentucky Wildcats: 6-6 (4-4)

Missouri Tigers: 5-7 (1-7)

South Carolina Gamecocks: 7-5 (4-4)

Tennesse Volunteers: 8-4 (4-4)

Vanderbilt Commodores: 6-6 (3-5)

 

West Division

Alabama Crimson Tide: 12-0 (8-0)

Arkansas Razorbacks: 8-4 (4-4)

Auburn Tigers: 9-3 (6-2)

LSU Tigers:10-2 (7-1)

Mississippi State Bulldogs: 5-7 (1-8)

Ole Miss Rebels: 7-5 (3-5)

Texas A&M Aggies: 7-5 (3-5)

 

Conference Championship Game

Alabama vs. Georgia

Expect this to be a low scoring battle. Both teams feature a run game that could be very dangerous if they get rolling early. Each team also possess a quarterback that, if in rhythm, could have a big game. The edge will come down to defense where the Crimson Tide holds the advantage. Head coach Nick Saban’s defense is reloaded and will be looking to get back and win their second National Championship in three years. Georgia has a chance but mistake free football has to be played. Also the health of running back Nick Chubb is very important. Georgia won’t make an any noise if he does not have a good year.

Alabama wins 24-14

 

Conference Champion

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Crimson Tide will be looking to destroy anyone that gets in their way of getting back to another title game. After losing to Clemson in a rematch, Saban’s team has something to play for. Not only are they trying to get back, they will be looking to show the college football world that it doesn’t matter who starts for this team. It will always be the same result, winning. Definitely something that this program knows how to do all too well. It wouldn’t be a surprised if they lose a game but they should run the table.

 

Coaches on the Hot Seat

Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M)

The Aggies head coach started his career at College Station on a hot streak with multiple bowl game appearances and wins. He also produced the schools only Heisman Trophy Winner in Johnny Manziel. Not to mention, he has turned Texas A&M into the premiere football program in the Lone Star state. This past spring, Scott Woodward A&M’s athletic director came out and said the Sumlin has to win this year. Woodward’s interview with Paul Finebaum set the tone on what he expects from Sumlin and the football team this year. If Sumlin can’t get double digit wins, he’s gone.

 

 

Bret Bielema (Arkansas)

Bielema has had some success with the Razorbacks, he has just been inconsistent. Bielema always talks about his team being one of the better programs in the country but maybe he should just take a step back, breath and look in the mirror and face the Facts. Since taking over the program in 2013, his best year was 8-5. He has won two bowl games in three appearances. That won’t cut it in the SEC. Arkansas’ faithful are tired of hearing about the upside Bielema thinks this program has. Razorback fans want to see wins and a bid in a big time bowl game. The Texas and Liberty Bowl is nice but the people of Arkansas want more especially playing in the SEC.

 

 

Butch Jones (Tennessee)

Jones needs to win his division this year to keep his job. The volunteer head coach has gone 9-4 in consecutive years. He has also sent a number of players to the next level. Albeit, it hasn’t come with out headaches and blown expectations. The year before, Jones and company was looking like a team that could become a power again in the SEC but that hasn’t been the case. Jones has the talent to succeed. Player development has been a cornerstone for the Volunteers program. Jones has taken this program to three bowl games winning two in his five-year tenure. The Volunteers were ranked as high as ninth in the AP last season before finishing 22nd. Time is ticking for coach Jones.

 

 

Gus Malzhan (Auburn)

The 2013 National Championship appearance seem so long ago when coach Malzhan made his debut at Auburn. Since then, Malzhan and the Tigers have had many stop and starts. The Tigers are like the girl you always wanted. She’s very beautiful on the outside but once you guys are together you’re scratching your head at how bad she is. The Tigers can’t seem to get out their own way. Malzhan’s high powered offense has yet to take off like expected when they brought him in 2013. Mediocre quarterback play has been an issue over the years and the lack of explosive playmakers at the skills position doesn’t help either. With Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, this couldn’t have came a a better time. If Auburn does not come out competing for at least a major bowl game and doesn’t win, Malzhan could be doing pre-games at a major sports network next year.

 

 

Offensive Player of the Year

Derrius Guice (Runningback, LSU, Junior)

The LSU Tiger’s running back Derrius Guice did a great job stepping up for his team last year. He split carries with former teammate and Jacksonville Jaguars first round pick Leonard Fournett. Guice managed to lead the SEC in rushing with 1,387 yardsand And he wasn’t even the go-to guy. Now with new coordinator Matt Canada, I expect Guice’s role in this offense to expand. Not only is he a threat at running the ball, he can catch as well. Hopefully, he will be able to showcase that more this year in this new offense. If Guice can build off the momentum of his sophomore season, he has a chance at the Heisman Trophy.

 

 

Defensive Player of the Year

Arden Key (Pass Rusher, LSU, Junior)

Arden was a beast last year rushing the quarterback finishing with 10 sacks in 12 games. It’s evident why NFL scouts can’t wait to draft this guy. LSU’s history of defensive lineman is one of the best in college football history. Known for sending top notch defensive players to the NFL, Key could be next up. In order to secure this award in a conference known for having some of the best defensive players in college football, Key has to sack the quarterback more than once a game. At times, he depends too much on his athleticism instead relying upon quality technique. If Key can improve on these things he could be a top 10 pick in next year NFL Draft.

 

 

NFL Draft prospects

Nick Fitzgerald*, QB, Mississippi State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

Jeremy Johnson, QB, Auburn
Height: 6-5. Weight: 234.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2018): 7-FA.

Derrius Guice*, RB, LSU
Height: 5-11. Weight: 212.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

Bo Scarborough*, RB, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 228.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3. 

Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Height: 5-10. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

Rawleigh Williams III*, RB, Arkansas
Height: 5-10. Weight: 223.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 

Kamryn Pettway*, RB, Auburn
Height: 6-0. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2018): 3-4. 

Damien Harris*, RB, Alabama
Height: 5-11. Weight: 214.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Height: 5-11. Weight: 212.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Jordan Scarlett*, RB, Florida
Height: 5-10. Weight: 213.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5. 

Ralph Webb, RB, Vanderbilt
Height: 5-10. Weight: 202.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 

J.D. Moore, FB, LSU
Height: 6-4. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

Christian Kirk*, WR, Texas A&M
Height: 5-11. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.43.
Projected Round (2018): 1.

Calvin Ridley*, WR, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 188.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2018): 1. 

Antonio Callaway*, WR, Florida
Height: 5-11. Weight: 197.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

Deebo Samuel*, WR, South Carolina
Height: 6-0. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4. 

D.J. Chark, WR, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 187.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2018): 3-4. 

Jauan Jennings*, WR, Tennessee
Height: 6-3. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5. 

Brandon Powell, WR, Florida
Height: 5-9. Weight: 184.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 

DeAndre Goolsby, TE, Florida
Height: 6-4. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4. 

C.J. Conrad*, TE, Kentucky
Height: 6-5. Weight: 245.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5

Ethan Wolfe, TE, Tennessee
Height: 6-6. Weight: 245.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

Jeb Blazevich, TE, Georgia
Height: 6-5. Weight: 248.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6

Martez Ivey*, OT/G, Florida
Height: 6-5. Weight: 305.
Projected 40 Time: 5.15.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 307.
Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2. 

Toby Weathersby*, OT, LSU
Height: 6-7. Weight: 302.
Projected 40 Time: 5.32.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

Maea Teuhema*, G, LSU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 315.
Projected 40 Time: 5.29.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

Frank Ragnow, G/C, Arkansas
Height: 6-5. Weight: 317.
Projected 40 Time: 5.24.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

Will Clapp*, G/C, LSU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 309.
Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 

Ross Pierschbacher*, G/C, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 303.
Projected 40 Time: 5.24.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

Braden Smith, G, Auburn
Height: 6-6. Weight: 303.
Projected 40 Time: 5.31.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Wilson Bell, G, Auburn
Height: 6-6. Weight: 334.
Projected 40 Time: 5.19.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5

Lester Cotton*, G, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 319.
Projected 40 Time: 5.27.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 

Bradley Bozeman*, C, Alabama
Height: 6-5. Weight: 319.
Projected 40 Time: 5.24.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

Austin Golson, C, Auburn
Height: 6-5. Weight: 304.
Projected 40 Time: 5.22.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Arden Key*, DE, LSU
Height: 6-6. Weight: 231.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2018): 1 

Marcell Frazier, DE, Missouri
Height: 6-5. Weight: 260.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

CeCe Jefferson*, DE, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 261.
Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 273.
Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 

Byron Cowart*, DE, Auburn
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA. 

Da’Ron Payne*, DT, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 319.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2. 

Trenton Thompson*, DT, Georgia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 295.
Projected 40 Time: 5.00.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2. 

Dontavius Russell*, DT, Auburn
Height: 6-3. Weight: 310.
Projected 40 Time: 5.00.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3

Daylon Mack*, DT, Texas A&M
Height: 6-1. Weight: 335.
Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 

Kahlil McKenzie Jr.*, DT, Tennessee
Height: 6-3. Weight: 325.
Projected 40 Time: 5.17.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA. 

Matt Elam, DT, Kentucky
Height: 6-7. Weight: 360.
Projected 40 Time: 5.54.
Projected Round (2018): 7-FA 

Marquis Haynes*, 3-4OLB, Ole Miss
Height: 6-3. Weight: 222.
Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

Lorenzo Carter, 3-4OLB, Georgia
Height: 6-6. Weight: 242.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

Davin Bellamy, 3-4OLB, Georgia 
Height: 6-5. Weight: 240. 
Projected 40 Time: 4.78. 
Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 

Byron Cowart*, 3-4OLB, Auburn
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.73.

Skai Moore, OLB, South Carolina
Height: 6-2. Weight: 218.
Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4. 

Tre’ Williams, OLB, Auburn
Height: 6-2. Weight: 238.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 

Christian Miller*, OLB, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
Projected Round (2018): 5-7.

Reggie Carter, OLB/ILB, Georgia
Height: 6-1. Weight: 229.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2018): 7-FA.

Shaun Dion Hamilton, ILB, Alabama
Height: 6-0. Weight: 232.
Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 231.
Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

Kevin Toliver II*, CB, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 193.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

Carlton Davis*, CB, Auburn
Height: 6-1. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama
Height: 6-0. Weight: 183.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4. 

Tony Brown, CB, Alabama
Height: 6-0. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4. 

Donovan Wilson, CB, Texas A&M
Height: 6-1. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

Duke Dawson, CB, Florida
Height: 5-10. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Minkah Fitzpatrick*, S, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 203.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M
Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

Dominick Sanders, S, Georgia
Height: 6-0. Weight: 189.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

Nick Washington, S, Florida
Height: 6-0. Weight: 197.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 

Evan Berry, S, Tennessee
Height: 5-11. Weight: 207.
Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA

Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn
Height: 6-4. Weight: 218.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

Austin MacGinnis, K, Kentucky
Height: 5-10. Weight: 180.
Projected Round (2018): 7-FA

J. K. Scott, P, Alabama
Height: 6-5. Weight: 195.
Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 

Will Gleeson, P, Ole Miss
Height: 6-3. Weight: 190.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA. 

Trevor Daniel, P, Tennessee
Height: 6-1. Weight: 248.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA

 

All draft prospects information were used from walterfootball.com

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