Predicting the 2015 SEC championship odds
It’s never too early to start looking ahead. Even though it’s a year out, we’re already excited about next year’s SEC Championship Game, not to mention the season that will precede it.
We’re not oddsmakers here at SDS, but we’d like to think we have our finger on the SEC’s pulse. Here’s what we think the 2015 SEC Championship odds should look like.
Alabama — 4/1: The Crimson Tide will have plenty of turnover, but with yet another No. 1 recruiting class they should be just fine. The biggest question will be at quarterback, where for the second straight season Alabama will have a new starter, presumably Jacob Coker.
Georgia — 6/1: Could 2015 finally be the year the Bulldogs break through? Georgia will be replacing its quarterback as well, but they bring in one of the best recruiting classes in the country to supplement Heisman candidate Nick Chubb.
LSU — 8/1: The Tigers were one of the youngest teams in the country this season, managing to hang around against the SEC’s best despite their inexperience. Les Miles’ group should take a huge leap in 2015 thanks to a maturing and fearsome defense. LSU would be even higher if they had any clarity at quarterback.
Auburn — 12/1: Gus Malzahn’s third year at Auburn will be interesting. Roc Thomas should seamlessly fill in for Cameron Artis-Payne at running back, and Jeremy Johnson looks like a star in the making at quarterback. How quickly can a new defensive coordinator get that side of the ball up to speed?
Mississippi State — 14/1: The Bulldogs’ title odds obviously hinge on Dak Prescott returning for 2015. If he does, Mississippi State won’t surprise anyone when they’re a national title contender. The Bulldogs are losing a lot of experience on defense, but that unit wasn’t very good to begin with, so perhaps an infusion of youth will help.
Missouri — 15/1: It’s time to stop counting out the Tigers. Gary Pinkel has turned this team into a contender the last two years, and they’ll have Maty Mauk back for his junior year. Dave Steckel, one of the best defensive coordinators in the country, will find a way to continue to generate a top-tier unit once again.
Tennessee — 20/1: The Volunteers are going to be everyone’s favorite dark horse next season. Joshua Dobbs impressed in less than half a season of work in 2014, and he should be even better leading a young and improved team. Derek Barnett, who dominated a freshman, will be a contender for SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2015.
Ole Miss — 25/1: The Landsharks have some big holes to replace on defense, but Robert Nkemdiche will contend for some national awards next year to make up for any losses. There will be plenty of intrigue about what Hugh Freeze can do with junior college transfer Chad Kelly at quarterback.
Texas A&M — 35/1: How quickly can a new defensive coordinator turn this team around? The Aggies have plenty of talent on board and more coming in, but they’ve been awful defensively for two years now. The quarterback situation will be a fun-filled controversy, with Kyle Allen battling Kenny Hill and incoming freshman Kyler Murray for the starting job.
Arkansas — 40/1: Bret Bielema’s team broke through at the end of last season, and they return many of their key offensive players for 2015. Replacing the defensive line talent won’t be easy, though, and even with the kind of talent the Razorbacks have they’ll still likely be pegged to finish last in the SEC West.
Florida — 50/1: Jim McElwain has a lot of work to do before the Gators can return to contender status. The new coach is doing a good job in his early recruiting, but it’s unclear if he has a quarterback he can with on the roster.
South Carolina — 75/1: After a three-year run that yielded 33 wins, South Carolina’s talent drain caught up to it. The Gamecocks will be relying on young players at just about every position on defense and don’t have a single proven quarterback on the roster. 2015 could be another rough year for Steve Spurrier’s crew.
Kentucky — 80/1: The Wildcats fell apart after a promising start to the season, especially on defense, where they’re losing All-SEC performer Bud Dupree. Quarterback Patrick Towles showed flashes in his sophomore year, while Boom Williams should be one of the most exciting players in the SEC. There’s just not a lot else to be excited about beyond those two.
Vanderbilt — 200/1: The Commodores have fired what feels like all of their assistants after an 0-8 SEC campaign, and Derek Mason will be on the hot seat early if Vanderbilt looks as incompetent as they did in 2014. Going into the season having decided on a starting quarterback would go a long way.