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SEC Preview thread 2021 (AKA: No Iowa's in here!)

Dolgevillefootballfan

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So I go for Iowa to win the Big 10 West, and now the Big 10 fans come out of the woodwork to mock me... Huh? Oh, right! It's time for my last preview thread of the season to begin.

And I guarantee you people that there will be no Iowa's in this thread. Nope, here we're gonna discuss REAL good teams. And it'll start very shortly...
 

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Vanderbilt

The first preview segment for the Southeastern Conference: The Vanderbilt Commodores

Last season: Wait, really? Vanderbilt had NEVER had a winless season until 2020? I could have swore that during all of those miserable seasons, Vandy already had a winless campaign. No? You're sure about that?
Well sadly for Derek Mason, he was the commander of that pitiful winless season, and now he's gone (replaced by Clark Lea).

Good news: If anybody was paying attention, Vanderbilt's passing game showed flashes of greatness last year. With QB Ken Seals and some dependable WR's, expect the passing game to be good again. Plus, Vandy's O-line WILL be better this year (it can't be any worst)!

Bad news: The defense lacks strength and speed all over the place. And I'm sure that the new coaching staff is optimistic, but don't forget: You have a 1st-time head coach and new schemes to learn. And how in the hell do you hire an offensive coordinator that's NEVER called plays before?

Key games:
9/11 @ Colorado State (Think about this, folks. If Vanderbilt cannot win against a scrub like Colorado State...)
9/18 vs. Stanford (...then how in the hell can they stand toe-to-toe against a fellow academic school like Stanford?)
10/16 @ South Carolina (This SEC game looks winnable.)
11/27 @ Tennessee (These two rivals will be meeting for the 116th time.)

Bottom line: That female kicker Sarah Fuller has left, the defense is slow, and we have a new coaching staff with a green-as-hell offensive coordinator. Maybe Clark Lea can get the defense to do better, but otherwise you can leave Vanderbilt alone in 2021.
 

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Tennessee

Preview segment: The Tennessee Volunteers

Last season: After the 2019 season, Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee was looking good. After winning the first two games of the 2020 season, Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee was doing good. When the season ended, Tennessee was 3-7.
And then things got SO much worse. First, Jeremy Pruitt and his staff got fired due to allegations of widespread rule breaking. Then, longtime AD Phillip Fulmer was let go as well. And finally, a quarter of the remaining football players transferred out of the program!
Now that the dust has settled, Josh Heupel (formally from UCF) is in as the new coach. And he now has to guide the team through a complete reset.

Good news: The offense should do better based on Heupel's acumen alone. Oh, and the skill positions (RB and WR) are rock-solid. The secondary has some talent...

Bad news: ...but it didn't play too well last year. Transfers may have to fill in the defensive gaps Tennessee has. And that offense? It's got a shaky O-line and a fierce battle between it's QB for the starting job.

Key games:
9/11 vs. Pittsburgh (For Pittsburgh, they're calling this game the "Johnny Majors bowl" and a chance to get some cred for the ACC. For Tennessee, this is a HUGE test of their manhood.)
9/25 @ Florida (Hope springs eternal! I mean, Florida is replacing a LOT of people, and they DO have to face the Vols right after a game against Alabama.)
10/16 vs. Ole Miss (These two teams haven't played each other since 2014.)
11/6 @ Kentucky (Tennessee fans knew that something was wrong last year when Kentucky defeated them... in Knoxville!)
11/27 vs. Vanderbilt (At least the Vols smacked the Commodores last year. They should easily be able to do it again.)

Bottom line: Sorry if I didn't mention your games against long-time rivals Georgia and Alabama, Vols fans. But honestly, I don't think you stand a chance against those guys in 2021. What the team should be focused on this year is rebuilding the culture... and maybe getting enough wins to reach the postseason. If Tennessee is able to settle on a quarterback, they'll have a chance to do that.
 

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Georgia

Preview segment: The Georgia Bulldogs

Last season: How about this one, @belcherboy? Georgia had some more fun times during the 2020 season. It's just that we got more of this dreadful habit that the Georgia Bulldogs has done for the last 20 years; they're great (in 2020 they won the Peach Bowl) but they struggle to be an elite club (they lost to Alabama and Florida in 2020). Will we get more of the same this year?

Good news: The offense looks to be downright scary with QB J.T. Daniels still here, a proud O-line, and an array of talented skill players. The front 7 of Georgia's defense looks to be VERY nasty once again.

Bad news: The secondary got gutted by graduation, the NFL, etc.. So Georgia dealing with opponents' passing attacks may be something to worry about. And the WR's may be good, but they're not too experienced.

Key games:
9/4 vs. Clemson [from Charlotte] (No setup is needed for this epic collision.)
10/9 @ Auburn (Going to Jordon-Hare is always tough, but hey! At least Georgia has won 7 of their last 8 games against hated Auburn.)
10/30 vs. Florida [from Jacksonville] (Blah blah blah, the SEC East will depend on this game, blah blah blah, hated rivals...)
11/27 @ Georgia Tech (Aww! After a year away, Georgia gets to beat up on their cute Atlanta rivals again!)

Bottom line: The schedule's actually pretty easy for Georgia, so all the Bulldogs have to do is fix some rudimentary problems with their secondary and find some new star WR's. If they do that, they'll easily bypass Florida and get to the SEC title game again. But will they win the SEC and/or make the CFP in 2021? Ehh... I don't know? :heh:
 

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Arkansas

Preview segment: The Arkansas Razorbacks

Last season: Well, after a couple of years of Arkansas football being a roaring disaster, it looks like things are getting better. I mean, Arkansas still had a losing season, but there were some signs of life in Fayetteville.

Good news: The O-line should be bigger, badder, and better this season. So should the Razorback secondary.

Bad news: A better pass-rush is needed on defense, and the running game also needs some major work.

2021 X-factor: QB KJ Jefferson- With Arkansas now needing a new starting QB, the coaches are looking KJ to lead them. He did look good when he played against Missouri last year, and if that is his true form then the Hogs will be fine. Otherwise, they may have a BIG problem in the passing game.

Key games:
9/11 vs. Texas (Here's a dandy for all of you old-school CFB fans! These teams used to be bitter rivals in the days of the Southwest Conference, and they'll be meeting for the first time since the 2014 Texas Bowl.)
9/25 vs. Texas A&M [in Arlington] (Ever since Texas A&M joined Arkansas in the SEC, the Razorbacks have never beaten the Aggies. Maybe with an improving team, Arkansas will have a chance this time.)
10/16 vs. Auburn (Yes, Arkansas did win 3 games in the SEC last year. And it would have been 4 had the referees not totally screwed them over in Jordan-Hare.)
11/13 @ LSU (The "Battle for the Golden Boot" will be contested for the 67th time here.)
11/26 vs. Missouri (...Nope. This still isn't a rivalry. But Arkansas DID have a defensive meltdown at the end of the 2020 season, and they'll be aiming for payback against the Tigers of Missouri.)

Bottom line: Nobody in Fayetteville, Arkansas should plan for a bowl trip just yet. But it looks like the program is in good hands with Sam Pittman in charge. If Arkansas manages to win at least 3 games in the SEC again, that'll bode REALLY well for the future.
 

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Mississippi

Preview segment: The Ole Miss Rebels

Last season: The Rebels defense last year was bad. No, I mean VERY bad. But they still got a bowl win over Indiana and a 5-5 record, so it wasn't all bad for Lane Kiffin in his 1st year in Oxford.

Good news: QB Matt Corral is still here, and he has a deep group of RB's to help him out. And if Corral can have better chemistry with his WR's, they should be able to help him out, too.

Bad news: Depth behind Corral at QB is not good, and neither is the depth on the O-line. And Kiffin will be relying on QUITE a few newcomers to try and fix that god-awful defense.

Key games:
9/6 vs. Louisville [in Atlanta] (This could be a big way for Ole Miss to get some credit from it's SEC teammates. The over/under on this game is already at 74.5.)
10/2 @ Alabama (Ole Miss scored 48 points against Alabama last year, which would be the most points the Tide would give up in a single game all last season.)
10/23 vs. LSU (The Rebels had a chance to beat LSU for the first time since 2015, but OH did their defense ruin everything!)
11/13 vs. Texas A&M (Ole Miss didn't get to play the Aggies last year. The Rebels have only beaten A&M once all-time.)
11/27 @ Mississippi State (In terms of head-to-head matchups, it's now Lane Kiffin 1, Mike Leach 0.)

Bottom line: Kiffin got a great year out of Matt Corral last year, and he should be able to do so again. The question is, will Ole Miss be a serious contender for the SEC West? Absolutely not, unless that defense begins to stop some people. If they're somehow able to make a Top-50 defense, then maybe.
 

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Mississippi State

Preview segment: The Mississippi State Bulldogs

Last season: If you take away that Armed Forces Bowl that Mississippi State got invited to (and won), what did their 2020 season look like? A tough campaign where their offense misfired on a few occasions. Oh, and that opening win they got against LSU? I think Mike Leach sold his soul to the Devil to get that one.

Good news: Fortunately for Mike Leach, he won't have to sell his soul this time to get the offense to work; his Air Raid offense always works better in Year 2. The defense did pretty well last year, and this year it'll be headlined by a tough, blitz-happy D-line. And don't worry about the QB competition going on; I think Leach knows what he's doing over there.

Bad news: It's all about the O-line; Miss. State gave up 34 sacks last season, and the rushing game was crap. And those two things might happen again if the line struggles again.

Key games:
9/11 vs. NC State (The Wolfpack are a team that's hopeful in causing some damage in the South this season. Let's see how Miss. State's O-line handles this challenge.)
9/25 vs. LSU (Mike Leach and the Bulldogs exposed to us how bad LSU's championship hangover would be in 2020 when they stunned them in Baton Rouge 44-34. And this year, they're starting conference play against each other again...)
10/16 vs. Alabama (Trust me. This will NOT end in a 41-0 rout like last year.)
11/6 @ Arkansas (A swing game for Miss. State's bowl chances.)
11/27 vs. Ole Miss (This rivalry series has been a hoot recently! The Rebels and Bulldogs have spilt the last 6 meetings.)

Bottom line: Yet again, the SEC West is LOADED to the brim this year. But if Mississippi State's offense makes the leap we're all expecting them to make, don't be surprised if they knock off a powerhouse and make another bowl this season.
 

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Louisiana State

Preview segment: The LSU Tigers

Last season: I was just gonna tell a joke about a "Championship hangover" for LSU, but it was actually pretty easy to find out why LSU went from a 15-0 national champion to a 5-5 mess. See, Ed Orgeron had a lot of new assistant coaches... who all sucked, so he had to get rid of them this winter. And the defense... Oh, my god, that defense. Easily the worst defense that LSU has ever had.
So now that everyone in the program is now stone-cold sober, let's see how Coach O is gonna fix this.

Good news: There's a lot of maturity and experience across the board. The O-line looks to be better than it was last year, and the cornerback spot looks to be rock-solid. And QB Max Johnson did well late last year, leading the Tigers to wins over Florida and Ole Miss.

Bad news: Myles Brennan got hurt in a freak accident recently, so depth at QB could be a worry. And of course, people are gonna worry about LSU's defense (especially at the safety position).

2021 X-factor: The new coordinators- As I mentioned earlier, Orgeron cleaned house with his coaching staff after the 2020 season. And that includes getting 2 new coordinators. Both of them have experience working in the NFL, but neither of them have been coordinators before, so we'll see how it goes.

Key games:
9/4 @ UCLA (It's the first-ever meeting between UCLA and LSU! And wasn't Ed Orgeron's last head coaching gig over in Los Angeles?)
10/2 vs. Auburn (LSU lost 48-11 to Auburn last year. 48-11! Man, LSU's defense last year really WAS crap.)
10/16 vs. Florida (A Florida Gator threw a LSU player's shoe, and LSU eliminates Florida from the national title race a few minutes later. Who'da thunk it?)
11/6 @ Alabama (Last year it was back to the same old crap in this rivalry, as Alabama handled LSU and then went on to win it all. Hopefully by this time, LSU's defense will be halfway decent.)
11/27 vs. Texas A&M (This MIGHT decide a "New Year's Six" bowl berth this season.)

Bottom line: Man. LSU's prospects are REALLY hard to forecast this season. Well, that's what happens when your defense stinks and you go from 15-0 to 5-5 in just 12 months. And that's why LSU is my "ultimate wild-card" of the 2021 season; they still have boatloads of talent, but can the new coordinators put it all together? And can Orgeron flex his coaching muscles again? Lindy's has these guys going for 9 or 10 wins; if they reach that mark I'll call LSU's 2021 a success.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Auburn

Preview segment: The Auburn Tigers

Last season: Gus Malzahn really bungled the 2020 season, didn't he? His defense couldn't get off the damn field. They lost a bowl game to Northwestern. The only rival they defeated was a LSU team whose defense sucked. And most important of all, the coaching staff completely bungled Bo Nix's development, as Bo had a down year. Now, Gus is gone and Bryan Harsin is in, and Bryan wants to use an old-school approach to fix Auburn.

Good news: Helping out Bo Nix will be RB Tank Bigsby, who had a great campaign last year. Auburn's defense should be great this year, with active linebackers and a powerful secondary.

Bad news: The D-line needs to produce a better pass-rush, and depth behind Bo and Tank are not great at QB and RB. Oh, and the WR group Auburn has now are unproven.

Key games:
9/18 @ Penn State (Cool! A marquee game for us CFB fans to enjoy. But for Auburn, this will be serious business; they don't wanna embarrass the SEC here.)
10/2 @ LSU (Last year, Auburn smacked LSU by 37 points, which is the largest margin of victory ever in this rivalry's history. But remember, LSU is SO gonna remember that here.)
10/9 vs. Georgia (And Auburn must deal with another very bitter rival right afterwards? Oof.)
11/6 @ Texas A&M (Just another SEC West collision between these two.)
11/27 vs. Alabama (Hey, Bryan! Gus Malzahn was able to defeat Alabama in his very first year at Auburn. What can YOU do in your very first "Iron Bowl"?)

Bottom line: Well anyway, that is the story; Auburn is starting over with a new coach and a new philosophy. If Auburn's line play gets better and Bo Nix bounces back from his up-and-down campaign last year, the Tigers might challenge Alabama for the SEC West title. That's a BIG might, though; A&M and LSU will be after the same exact thing.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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South Carolina

Preview segment: The South Carolina Gamecocks

Last season: There was no doubt that South Carolina needed to make a change after a tough 2-8 campaign in 2020. So now Will Muschamp is out at Columbia.

2021 X-factor: New head coach Shane Beamer- To fill in the head coaching vacancy, South Carolina made a puzzling choice as they hired Shane Beamer. Look. I'm sure that Shane is a nice guy, but he has never even been a coordinator. At all. And now you give him his very first head coaching job at an SEC school?
But then again, I need to see how Shane works BEFORE I deem South Carolina's hiring staff to be as high as a kite.

Good news: Expect the Gamecocks to be a run-first team this year, as Kevin Harris is a top tailback and QB Luke Doty can make plays with his legs. The defensive linemen also looks good.

Bad news: At the moment, nobody on the Gamecocks' WR group has more than 11 catches. But the biggest worry is the back-7 on defense; it got DECIMATED by the transfer portal, especially on the secondary.

Key games:
9/11 @ East Carolina (Think about this, folks. If the Gamecocks can't contain the ECU passing attack...)
9/18 @ Georgia (...then they'll have absolutely no chance against J.T Daniels and Georgia.)
9/25 vs. Kentucky (This SEC game looks winnable.)
11/20 vs. Auburn (Hey! South Carolina was able to defeat Auburn last year. And guess what? South Carolina gets to host Auburn again this year!)
11/27 vs. Clemson (Uh... This installment of this rivalry is in Columbia, so maybe.)

Bottom line: My apologies to my mother (since she likes South Carolina), but it really doesn't look good for the Gamecocks this year; there are quite a few problems that Shane Beamer has to fix. Not to mention that he'll be facing coaches like Kirby Smart, Mark Stoops, Jimbo Fisher, Dan Mullen, and Dabo Swinney. Coaches, by the way, that probably wants to show Shane what being a head coach is really all about.
They won't finish last in the SEC East (Vanderbilt will make sure of that), but 4 wins may be all the Gamecocks will get.
 

Wamu

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So I go for Iowa to win the Big 10 West, and now the Big 10 fans come out of the woodwork to mock me... Huh? Oh, right! It's time for my last preview thread of the season to begin.

And I guarantee you people that there will be no Iowa's in this thread. Nope, here we're gonna discuss REAL good teams. And it'll start very shortly...

Vanderbilt is a "real good team"?

:rockford:
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Florida

Preview segment: The Florida Gators

Last season: For the most part, 2020 was a riveting season for the Gators. They had the #1-ranked passing attack in the country, started 8-1, and was ranked as high as #3 at one point. But then something happened, and Florida lost their last 3 games. Let me take a look at those losses real quick:
LSU: That shoe. That damn Marco Wilson shoe throw.
Alabama: Eh, it's okay. Florida gave Alabama a grand fight and more.
Oklahoma: I'm not blaming Florida for this one either; COVID really f--ked them over beforehand.

Bad news: That collapse can be mostly attributed to a defense that was terrible last year. And with a young secondary, Florida's defense will be hard-pressed to make a strong improvement. Oh, and remember Kyle Trask, Kadarius Toney, and Kyle Pitts? All 3 of those offensive studs are gone.

Good news: Luckily for Florida, they have a collection of running backs and duel-threat QB's to try to keep the offense moving. The front-seven should help Florida's defense out somewhat.

2021 X-factor: The offensive line- The 2021 season for Florida really could come down to their O-line. If it does better at run-blocking, Florida should run the football with little problem. If it doesn't improve, their offensive numbers could fall into the toilet.

Key games:
9/18 vs. Alabama (Yes, Alabama is still terrifying, but at least this game will be in "The Swamp". This will be the ultimate test for Florida's new offensive personnel.)
10/16 @ LSU (Okay, let's forget about that shoe now. In reality, this is a game between 2 hard-to-forecast teams that should be a hoot again.)
10/30 vs. Georgia [in Jacksonville] (If Florida can't defeat Georgia again, they'll have absolutely no chance to repeat as SEC East champions.)
11/27 vs. Florida State (Time for another reunion of in-state rivals, people!)

Bottom line: The good news for Florida is, most of the teams in the SEC East aren't championship worthy. So Florida should be able to grab another 8-to-9 win season in 2021.
The bad news is, they'll still have to deal with Georgia, and I think Georgia will run over the Gators to win the SEC East. Unless, of course, the defense can make some big improvements.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Texas A&M

Preview segment: The Texas A&M Aggies

Last season: NOW we're getting cooking in College Station, Texas! In Jimbo Fisher's 3rd year at A&M they went 8-1 and had a proud defense, which would catapult them to an Orange Bowl win and a Top 5 ranking in the final AP Poll. Now fans in College Station are thinking, "This is the year we FINALLY shoot down Alabama! Yay!" Well...

Bad news: You see, Kellen Mond has left the Aggies program. And the QB's that A&M have now aren't too experienced. But the biggest worry may actually be on the O-line; A&M will be replacing all but 1 starter from last year's unit.

Good news: If the O-line somehow stays pat, the RB tandem of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane will wreck even more havoc on SEC defenses. And lost in all of this hand-wringing about the offense is the awesome defense A&M still has; it's returning 9 starters [including a stout run defense].

Key games:
9/11 @ Colorado (The Buffaloes should be able to put up some points here. Can A&M's offense do the same?)
10/2 vs. Mississippi State (Pay attention to how the Aggies offense operates here. If it can outgun Miss. State...)
10/9 vs. Alabama (...it'll bode REALLY well for this epic showdown. Can the Aggies get over the hump and finally silence Nick Saban?)
11/27 @ LSU (See my LSU preview.)

Bottom line: The defense is championship-caliber, but the offense might just ruin everything for this very hopeful Aggies team. Then again, Jimbo is one of the best QB developers in the country, so maybe he'll find someone to replace Kellen Mond. If he does that and gets the O-line to stay together, A&M might really be a national title contender in 2021. Otherwise, they'll be stuck just fighting for a "New Year's Six" bowl.
 

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Missouri

Preview segment: The Missouri Tigers

Last season: A kinda-blah 5-5. But for some reason, that result has created some optimism in Columbia, Missouri for 2021.

Good news: The D-line should do better than it did last year. QB Connor Bazelak had a good debut season last year, and his O-line is very deep. Harrison Mevis is a trusted kicker, and Tyler Badle and Elijah Young should carry the run game.

Bad news: However, neither Badle nor Young can replace Larry Rountree [the school's all-time leading rusher], who's no longer here. Also not here is defensive leader Nick Bolton, and Bolton's absence won't help a defense that unraveled late last year.

Key games:
9/11 @ Kentucky (To the casual CFB fan, this game means nothing. But to these SEC teams, it's a very important conference opener.)
9/25 @ Boston College (This should be a good test for this Missouri defense, taking on a Boston College team that'll most likely be 3-0 entering this game.)
10/16 vs. Texas A&M (Hmm, the Aggies have to go to Missouri right after A&M deals with Alabama. Can the Tigers get the upset? Hmm...)
11/20 vs. Florida (This series is now tied at 5 wins apiece.)

Bottom line: Eli Drinkwitz is hoping that his team can get over some personnel losses so that they can challenge for the SEC East. They're not there yet, but if Connor Bazelak and his teammates continue to get better, 3rd place in the East division is very doable.
 

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Kentucky

Preview segment: The Kentucky Wildcats

Last season: :noidea: I mean, Kentucky's offense sucked and they had 6 losses on the year. But they WERE able to swipe a Gator Bowl trophy.

Good news: RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. is back, and he'll get a big boost from an O-line that has some surprising returnees. The secondary should be deep enough to help out a proud defense.

Bad news: Depth at linebacker is not good, so Kentucky must avoid the injury bug. But the biggest worry for them is easily the passing game; QB Terry Wilson transferred to New Mexico, and the wide-receivers are quite unproven.

Key games:
9/11 vs. Missouri (Kentucky's new offense will be sorely tested in this SEC opener.)
10/2 vs. Florida (And what about the Kentucky defense? If it does well here, they can upset the Gators.)
11/6 vs. Tennessee (The Wildcats were able to beat Tennessee last year! Now let's see if Kentucky can get back-to-back wins in this rivalry for the first time since the mid-70's.)
11/27 @ Louisville (This rivalry returns to us after a year's absence! The Wildcats have 3 of their last 4 meetings against the Cardinals.)

Bottom line: The defense, the running game, and the coaching of Mark Stoops should keep Kentucky football relevant in 2021. But unless the passing game somehow wakes up, the Wildcats will be stuck just fighting for a bowl berth.
 

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South Carolina

Good news: Expect the Gamecocks to be a run-first team this year, as Kevin Harris is a top tailback and QB Luke Doty can make plays with his legs. The defensive linemen also looks good.
Doty got his foot injured Friday, looks questionable for the beginning of the season. Jason Brown, a transfer from St. Francis, looks to be the favorite to start.
Bad news: At the moment, nobody on the Gamecocks' WR group has more than 11 catches. But the biggest worry is the back-7 on defense; it got DECIMATED by the transfer portal, especially on the secondary.
Yes, this is the big question on O. Who is going to get open? Last year, it was just Shi Smith (drafted by Panthers) and the TE Nick Muse (who is back). There are a couple of transfers, including a speedster from GaTech (Ahmarean Brown). There are some 4-*'s on the roster, though, like Josh Vann and Or'Tre Coleman. Big question is if any of these will break out.

The DB's weren't just about the transfers, Horn and Mukuamu left early for the NFL. But yes, there were some notable ones that hit the portal. And one just last week, a guy from Kansas (Prunty) who had transferred here, and was going to start. Left for personal reasons. It looks bad. The good news on D is we have some 5-* linemen (Pickens and Burch), and Engabarre is preseason all-SEC. Need pass rush to be able to compete.

Overall, I'm expecting very little, and it will be hard to be disappointed.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Alabama

The last, final, and most anticipated preview segment of the 2021 season: The Alabama Crimson Tide

Last season: How appropriate. We're ending the previews for 2021 with the team that was the LEAST affected by the pandemic, as Alabama just shrugged if off and won yet another national title. It turns out that the toughest opponent Nick Saban faced last year was COVID, and even THAT had no chance to beat him.
But now, it's 2021, and we're left to try to poke holes into a Nick Saban-led Alabama team... again.

Bad news: It's the usual; so many great players have either graduated or left for the NFL. The departures include QB Mac Jones [41 TD's, only 4 picks, and 4,500 yards passing], WR DeVonta Smith [the Heisman winner last year], RB Najee Harris, and a few others on defense.

Good news: But you know the drill by now; Saban and his staff will go and dig up some 5-star guys to fill in the holes on offense. And besides, the Tide could have one of it's best defenses EVER this year; the D-line looks monstrous and they have some ballhawks in the secondary.

2021 X-factor: QB Bryce Young- Reportedly, Bryce Young has almost a million dollars in endorsements already in the start of Alabama. Guess which QB Alabama is gonna hitch their trailer to now? And imagine the level of chaos that'll ensue if Bryce somehow messes the offense up?

Key games:
9/4 vs. Miami [in Atlanta] (Alabama's defense should be able to carry the day here. But if Miami's QB [D'Eriq King] gets going, can Alabama's new offense keep up?)
10/9 @ Texas A&M (A tough part of Alabama's slate will come when they visit Texas A&M in maybe the biggest SEC game of the year in 2021...)
10/16 @ Mississippi State (...and then the Tide must avoid a letdown against a Miss. State that I KNOW will be better than they were last year.)
11/6 vs. LSU (And of course, you cannot forget Alabama's annual battle with LSU.)
11/27 @ Auburn (And you also can't forget about the "Iron Bowl", silly.)

Bottom line: Never, EVER, count out the Crimson Tide; thanks to their defense, I see these guys making the playoff yet again this year. But they DO have to make some replacements on offense. And the competition in the SEC West will once again be top-notch. But that's nothing that great coaching by Mr. Saban can't fix.
 

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SEC Predictions

And now, I will go and try to find a home for my playoff predictions on Wednesday. But until then, here's how the SEC will look like in 2021:

SEC East:
1. Georgia ("New Year's Six" bowl, maybe playoff)
2. Florida (Maybe "New Year's Six)
3. Missouri
4. Kentucky
5. Tennessee
6. South Carolina
7. Vanderbilt

SEC West:
1. Alabama (Conference champs, maybe playoff)
2. Texas A&M ("New Year's Six" bowl)
3. LSU
4. Ole Miss
5. Auburn
6. Mississippi State
7. Arkansas
 
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