Athlon Sports predicts the order of finish for SEC East, West divisions
Can anyone unseat Alabama in the SEC in 2017?
The writers at Athlon Sports don’t think so, as they have laid out their SEC predictions. The Crimson Tide are again predicted to finish No. 1 in a brutal SEC West, while Georgia is predicted to win the SEC East ahead of the back-to-back division champion, Florida Gators.
Here are the predictions for both divisions in 2017:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1, 7-1)
2. Auburn Tigers (9-3, 6-2)
3. LSU Tigers (9-3, 5-3)
4. Arkansas Razorbacks (7-5, 3-5)
5. Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-5, 3-5)
6. Texas A&M Aggies (7-5, 3-5)
7. Ole Miss Rebels (5-7, 1-7)
1. Georgia Bulldogs (9-4, 6-2)
2. Florida Gators (8-4, 6-2)
3. Tennessee Volunteers (8-4, 4-4)
4. South Carolina Gamecocks (6-6, 4-4)
5. Kentucky Wildcats (7-5, 4-4)
6. Vanderbilt Commodores (6-6, 3-5)
7. Mizzou Tigers (5-7, 1-7)
The big riser from last season is Georgia.
Georgia’s success is all about development and progress, as last year’s squad won only 7 games in the regular season due to their youth and inexperience at QB and head coach. With a year under their belts, Jacob Eason and Kirby Smart are predicted to lead be the class of the SEC East and earn a shot to play Alabama in Atlanta. While the offense is crucial, Georgia should have a dynamic defense, too, as it returns 10 starters.
Auburn also looks to challenge Alabama thanks to the addition of a new quarterback.
Last season the Tigers finished at 8-5, with their season culminating in a disappointing loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. The addition of a playmaking QB in Jarrett Stidham appears to be the difference for the Tigers, and after watching his freshman film at Baylor and the Tigers’ spring game, it’s easy to see why. Stidham should have an immediate impact on what could be a dynamic offense in 2017.
In addition, Athlon predicts that Missouri will once again sit bowl season out.