2015 SEC EAST Predicted Standings
1. Tennessee – The Vols bring 17 starters back, including a 9-pack of ponies for new OC, Mike DeBord. The offense is Jones's, but it's in good hands with the best pair of double-Ds (DeBord & Dobbs) between Clemson and the mighty Mississip...the old miss, the old man. Tennessee gets Georgia, S. Carolina, and an improved Arkansas at home. Their toughest road games are @Florida, who sucks, @Mizzou, and @Bama, but they get open date before that one. Expect the Vols to be 2-1 in conference at worst heading into the Bama game, but after that it's smooth sailing with the exception of a potential toss up at Mizzou.
The Vols are a hungry team that's served its 40 years in the desert. In fact Butch Jones is Moses without the neck. Josh Dobbs is a poor man's Deshaun Watson, but a poor man's Deshaun Watson is immensely better than anything else the East has to offer at the position. They boast an experienced O-line group that should create time and running room, with which Dobbs and a dynamic set of skill position players will take advantage and make points.
2. Georgia – Mark Richt's bunch, though embarrassingly talented, has question marks on both sides of the ball. The quarterback position is up for grabs between 3 young bucks, and though Nick Chubb will destroy everyone with his killing power (Todd who?), the top 2 receivers, Conley and Bennett, are gone after 9 seasons of service each, and every other wideout is probably suspended or something for the horrible crime of reefers. The OL should be solid, as should DL and linebackers, but the secondary is still unsettled, as it has been since the departure of Bacardi Sylvester Rambo. Will Richt be able to put past seasons behind him and not have the classic blunderbuss to the face game against someone like SC or Kentucky? The road schedule is managable but they draw Bama and Auburn from the west. At least Richt managed to take advantage of Muschamp's hysterical attempt at coaching and wrest control of the Cocktail party.
3. Missouri – Who cares…maybe they'll win it again and lose to UConn.
4. Florida – Boom somehow didn't leave cupboard bare, so there's lots of talent for Jim McElwain to work with. The offense has been an unmitigated disaster last few years so it should improve based on law of averages. The defense brings back 7 from a salty unit that gave up only one touchdown to Mizzou last year. The bottom line? Florida fans want improvement fast and if Jimmy doesn't deliver he might get a faster hook than Boom. One Mr. Foley better hope things improve too, or he'll be asking Steve Spurrier different kinds of resume questions.
5. Kentucky – Stoops didn't land a banner class this year but he did add some depth. Towles is the best returning QB in the East not named Josh Dobbs. They, along with Missouri and Tennessee, provided us with some of the most hilarious 4th quarter comebacks in 2014. They'll be good enough to upset some teams on the right day, but they're not a serious threat to make a run at the division title.
6. South Carolina – This is the most intriguing team in the division besides Tennessee (and maybe Florida). The Gamecocks are like a hillbilly who wins the lottery but goes bankrupt within 5 years and has nothing to show for except a bunch of Affliction t-shirts and black jeans. They lose 9 starters on offense and 6 on defense, so essentially the best side of the ball is all gone and the worst side of the ball brings back the majority of an historically bad defense. This comes back to recruiting…Spurrier has not done a good job of adding quality and depth on either side of the ball but the effects have manifested more quickly on defense. Clowney ain't walkin through that door unless he grows 4 inches shorter, gains 170 lbs, and changes his last name to English.
They have a beast of a schedule, including road games at Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and A&M, of which they should lose all. They have tough home losses to LSU and Florida as well. I predict 2-6 for the Cocks in the division…4-8 overall with the season bookended by 2 beat downs to ACC opponents, UNC and Clemson. And a word here about Clemson, they are going to be really, really, really great.
7. Vanderbilt – There but for the grace of Spurrier goes Vanderbilt.
For everyone who longs for a throwback to the days before George W. Bush ruined the world, the SEC East in the coming years should help you stomach all the gay marriage and black presidents. If there's one thing we know, it's that college football is cyclical, and nothing would represent a return to normalcy more than Tennessee and Florida jockeying for the title while South Carolina fans crow incessantly about next year. South Carolina sucks.