Assigning SEC championship odds to every team entering Week 2
What are the odds your favorite SEC team wins the league championship this season?
We’re introducing the SEC championship predictor this week, another way of projecting which team will receive a near-automatic berth in this year’s College Football Playoff at season’s end.
Our predictor is simply a rough combination of each team’s remaining schedule, how they’ve looked thus far, coaching edge and future potential considering the personnel.
We’ve used current SEC Championship odds by various online sportsbooks as a base point, but there’s no executable formula used in our predictor — no power index, statistical analysis, etc. — just opinion.
Here’s how we project each team’s chance to win the league title heading into the second weekend:
ALABAMA (20 percent chance)
Still the betting favorite, last week’s win over nationally-ranked Wisconsin strengthens the Crimson Tide’s case that this team remains deadly in the hunt for a return trip to the College Football Playoff. The defending SEC champs host Ole Miss in Week 3.
AUBURN (16 percent)
Jeremy Johnson wasn’t the star-child he was perceived to be against Louisville for the media’s pick to win the SEC, but those three interceptions will be forgotten by the time we reach October and the Tigers are still unbeaten and ranked inside the top 10.
GEORGIA (14 percent)
Week 1 further cemented our belief that Georgia is the East Division front-runner and it’s not really close. The schedule is brutal and the Bulldogs must avoid injury, but as of now, the odds are good that Mark Richt’s team will at least get a shot to win the SEC in December.
TEXAS A&M (8 percent)
An eye-opening win over 15th-ranked Arizona State increases the Aggies’ odds a bit, much like last season when Texas A&M exposed No. 9 South Carolina on the road. This team is super-talented and we’ll know more during the SEC opener against Arkansas in a couple weeks.
OLE MISS (8 percent)
Winning pretty, even against cupcakes, makes a statement in college football. The Rebels scored more points last week than they have in any single game in 80 years, with a new quarterback to boot. And Robert Nkemdiche on offense? Nasty.
LSU (6 percent)
The Tigers should probably be higher and will certainly move up with a win at 25th-ranked Mississippi State Saturday night, but we don’t know about this year’s team. Last week’s canceled opener was disappointing and provided no basis for LSU’s new-look offense under Brandon Harris.
ARKANSAS (6 percent)
The Razorbacks are trending up quickly, even without Jonathan Williams. Not only was Brandon Allen near perfect in last week’s win over UTEP, but the defensive line — which most considered this team’s biggest question coming in — was dominant inside and out.
TENNESSEE (5 percent)
This week’s game against Oklahoma won’t matter in the SEC championship race, but it will determine whether the Vols are ready to take the next step under Butch Jones. It’s hard to believe Tennessee is just 1-27 in its last 28 games against ranked teams.
MIZZOU (5 percent)
The jury’s still out on the two-time East champs who could have a quarterback controversy in a couple weeks by the time they travel to Georgia for one of the season’s most important games.
MISSISSIPPI STATE (5 percent)
We’re not giving up on the SEC’s best quarterback and his 25th-ranked football team, but Saturday night’s home opener against LSU will give us more of a feel of where this team is coming off a 10-win campaign.
SOUTH CAROLINA (2 percent)
Like it or not, this weekend’s game against Kentucky is a must-win for the Gamecocks as far as East Division title hopes are concerned. South Carolina was lucky to win its opener in Charlotte thanks to an opportunistic defense.
FLORIDA (2 percent)
The Gators gave up minus-1 yard in the second half of a 61-13 thumping of New Mexico State in the season opener. Who said Jim McElwain is all offense?
KENTUCKY (2 percent)
A narrow win over Louisiana-Lafayette didn’t exactly spark positive vibes, but the Wildcats could move in that direction Saturday night with a win at South Carolina.
VANDERBILT (1 percent)
Do you need an explanation? The Commodores haven’t played an SEC game, so there’s hope, even if it’s minimal.