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SEC football predictions 2013

SEC East & West Predictions:

Now that you’ve seen our SEC East and West predictions, let’s jump into some individual predictions.

Coach of the Year: Nick Saban, Alabama
Skinny: Nick Saban is searching for three straight championships. If anyone can do it, it’s Saban. Regardless if Alabama loses a regular season game, if he accomplishes that, he’s your coach of the year.

Offensive Player of the Year: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Skinny: Johnny’s game isn’t going anywhere unless he does. We’re still not sure about the investigation outcome, but one thing is for sure: if Johnny plays, he’s going to be electric. Maybe he won’t put up over 5,100 total yards again, but he’ll be the offensive player of the year.

If Manziel’s suspended, then who? AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama
Skinny: AJ McCarron jumps to the top of my list. He has weapons all over the place, and he’s a seasoned veteran who threw 30 touchdowns with only three picks last season. Those are fabulous numbers. He’ll become Alabama’s first 3,000-yard passer in 2013.

Defensive Player of the Year: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Skinny: Surprised? Don’t be. Clowney is going to terrorize the SEC one week at a time.

Most Improved Player: Jeff Driskel, QB, Florida
Skinny: All the parts around Driskel are set to improve. The offensive line and receivers should improve, and the running backs should at least remain status quo. Driskel will benefit from the talent around him improving, and he’ll take a big step forward. He has all the tools necessary to become an All-SEC caliber quarterback – size, speed, arm strength, etc.

Top Newcomer: Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn
Skinny: All the Gus Bus needs is a quarterback to architect a big turnaround at Auburn, and he has his guy in JUCO transfer Nick Marshall.

Breakout Player of the Year: Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Georgia
Skinny: Jenkins made five sacks with limited playing time behind Jarvis Jones in 2012, but look out this year, because he should become one of the SEC’s best linebackers. I’m all in on Jenkins.

Comeback Player of the Year: Ronald Powell, DE/LB, Florida
Skinny: Powell missed the 2012 season recovering from an ACL injury suffered last spring. The former No. 1 overall prospect in 2010’s recruiting class is a hell of an athlete, and he’ll have a big season for the Gators’ defense.

Dark horse team: Ole Miss Rebels
Skinny: Don’t sleep on Ole Miss in the West. With 18 returning starters, we’ve seen some magical things happen with second-year head coaches. Depending on how the Manziel saga plays out and how good LSU will be, Ole Miss could slide into that No. 2 slot in the West. Call me crazy!

Photo Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

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