Predicting the 2016 SEC championship odds
Even the 2015 college football season still has about a month to go, it’s time to look ahead to next year. We’re already pumped up about the next SEC Championship as well as the season that will lead up to it.
Here at SDS, we don’t profess to be oddsmakers, but we’d like to think that we know what’s going on in the SEC. Here’s what we think the 2016 SEC Championship odds should look like.
Alabama — 4/1: Once again, the Crimson Tide will have plenty of turnover, but with yet another top 5 recruiting class, Nick Saban’s squad should be OK. The biggest question will be at quarterback, where for the third consecutive season Alabama will have a new starter, presumably Cooper Bateman or Alec Morris.
Tennessee — 6/1: The Volunteers will be coming off at least an eight-win season, pending their Outback Bowl matchup against Northwestern. With a Top 20 recruiting class and QB Joshua Dobbs returning for another season, Tennessee should be the SEC East favorite, especially with Georgia starting from scratch with new coach Kirby Smart.
LSU — 8/1: The good news is that Leonard Fournette is coming back. The bad news is that Brandon Harris is returning as well, which means the Tigers have to address their QB situation once again. The No. 2 recruiting class in the country should clear things up at that spot.
Florida — 12/1: Jim McElwain’s second year in Gainesville will be interesting. Treon Harris is obviously not the answer at QB, but Will Grier should be eligible to return by the seventh game of the 2016 season, which will bolster the SEC’s third-ranked recruiting class.
Ole Miss — 14/1: The Landsharks have some big names to replace on defense, most notably Robert Nkemdiche and his brother Robert. The Rebels could also lose QB Chad Kelly to the NFL, but backups Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincaide return. Top wideout Laquon Treadwell and offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil might be playing on Sundays next season as well, but another top 10 recruiting class should soften those blows.
Georgia — 15/1: Change is the theme for the Bulldogs, who have replaced head coach Mark Richt with Smart, Alabama’s defensive coordinator. Running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb are returning, but so are Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey at QB, so that spot will have to be reevaluated. If 5-star QB recruit Jacob Eason enrolls early, we’ll know soon enough, he will be in the mix. It will be interesting to see how well Smart recruits, but at least the 2016 class is a top 10 group.
Auburn — 20/1: Gus Malzahn is definitely on the hot seat, and having Jeremy Johnson and Sean White return at QB won’t cool that off anytime soon. But he will still have Peyton Barber and Roc Thomas in this backfield, so that’s a plus. He still has to replace Will Muschamp at defensive coordinator and might have to replace offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
Texas A&M — 35/1: Kevin Sumlin’s tough decision between Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray at QB went away Thursday night when Allen announced he’ll transfer. It’s on Murray, or whomever Sumlin can find to add to his 15th-ranked recruiting class, to better leverage the team’s receiving talent.. Good thing Christian Kirk is back. The return of Myles Garrett will definitely help his defense.
Kentucky — 40/1: Mark Stoops looks like his man in QB Drew Barker, and Boom Williams should return at running back. If the Wildcats’ top 20 recruiting class boosts their defense, they might actually earn a bowl berth next season.
Arkansas — 45/1: The Razorbacks are losing QB Brandon Allen and could lose running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams to the NFL, but they should get everyone but two seniors back on their defense, so there’s hope — even with only the nation’s 34th recruiting class.
Mississippi State — 50/1: Replacing QB Dak Prescott won’t be easy, but he is one of only two senior first-teamers the Bulldogs are losing from their offense. Even though Mississippi State’s recruiting class is ranked only 49th, Dan Mullen’s squad also has plenty returning on defense.
Vanderbilt — 75/1: The return of RB Ralph Webb is good news, but the QB situation remains muddled with both Kyle Shurmur and Johnny McCrary coming back as well. The offense obviously needs to improve, but the country’s No. 68 recruiting class might not make enough of a difference.
Missouri — 80/1: Losing seniors Evan Boehm, Russell Hansbrough and Kentrell Brothers will be tough for new coach Barry Odom to overcome. Plus, only Kent State scored fewer points per game than the 13.6 the Tigers averaged this year. Odom hopes to find some answers with his 50th-ranked recruiting class.
South Carolina — 200/1: So let’s get this straight. The Gamecocks replaced a legend in Steve Spurrier with a guy who didn’t address his offense with the Florida Gators and couldn’t survive one year with Malzahn at Auburn. Muschamp is going to need all the help he can get.
Note: The full list of recruiting rankings used in this article can be found here.