Posts Tagged ‘Bulldogs’

SEC East Football Preview 2011 by Gaurav Shastri

Contrary to the SEC West, the SEC East doesn’t have as many national title contenders, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some strong teams. Some of these teams may be very tough this season.

Georgia Bulldogs
2010 Record: 6-7 (3-5 SEC)
2010 Bowl Game: Liberty Bowl vs. UCF Knights, L 6-10
2011 Projection: 11-1 (8-0)

The Bulldogs have one of the easiest schedules in the league this season, and they’re a good team, which

aaron murray
Aaron Murray Senior QB for Georgia

means Georgia will probably have a great season. The QB, Aaron Murray, is considered one of the best in the SEC, and, despite losing AJ Green to the NFL, Isiah Crowell will carry the team in what is the most RB centered conference in the NCAA. Defense is where the problems could lie. The first two games could make or break their season, and the only team that can stop them is themselves. I’m predicting their only loss will be Week 1 at Boise State.

South Carolina Gamecocks
2010 Record: 9-5 (5-3)
2010 Bowl Game: Chick-fil-A Bowl vs. Florida St. Seminoles, L 17-26
2011 Projection: 10-2 (6-2)

The defending SEC East champions will not repeat this year. With Georgia’s easy schedule, and the troubling QB situation, the Gamecocks will only end up in second place. Senior Stephen Garcia, despite being the starter last year, will have to battle against Connor Shaw, the QB who replaced him in South Carolina’s spring game. Their defense has minimal problems, with DE Devin Taylor probably going to have his best season yet. Only Georgia and Arkansas will get the better of the Gamecocks this year.

Florida Gators
2010 Record: 8-5 (4-4)
2010 Bowl Game: Outback Bowl vs. Penn State Nittany Lions, W 37-24
2011 Projection: 8-4 (4-4)

New head coach Will Muschamp will definitely have his work cut out for him at the Swamp this season. With Urban Meyer gone, the entire team must try to learn Muschamp’s new system. And even though last year’s “Tebow hangover” may now be over, that doesn’t mean they’ve figured out their QB situation. Senior John Brantley is not the definite starter, despite having more experience than freshman Jeff Driskel. Their defense is what will win them games, especially with Muschamp at the helm, but I don’t think their offense will be enough to have them improve from last year. I’m predicting that their only losses will be at Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Tennessee Volunteers
2010 Record: 6-7 (3-5)
2010 Bowl Game: Music City Bowl vs. UNC Tarheels, L 27-30
2011 Projection: 6-6 (2-6)

The Volunteers are going to have some trouble within the SEC this year. Along with having to face the three best teams in the SEC west, they to face a strong Georgia team and Florida in the Swamp. And while they try to rebuild their program, the rest of the SEC isn’t waiting, which is why for the next few years, the Volunteers will consistently be mediocre. There is one bright spot on the team in sophomore Tyler Bray, who is one of the better QBs in the SEC. At best, the Volunteers are a .500 team this year.

Kentucky Wildcats
2010 Record: 6-7 (2-6)
2010 Bowl Game: BBVA Compass Bowl vs. Pittsburgh Panthers, L 10-27
2011 Projection: 6-6 (2-6)

Kentucky is another team that will be, at best, a .500 team. Morgan Newton, despite being a good

morgan newton
Morgan Newton Junior QB for Kentucky

QB, isn’t one that can make some progress for this team. They would be good team in any other division, but the SEC is too strong for them, which is why they’ll have trouble once the SEC schedule starts. Both offense and defense will need to step it up a lot if they want to be better than a .500 team.

Vanderbilt Commodores
2010 Record: 2-10 (1-7)
2010 Bowl Game: NONE
2011 Projection: 2-10 (0-8)

Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, the 2011 season will not treat them well. They face South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia in a row, and it doesn’t help that they didn’t have that great of a recruiting class and have a new coach’s system to get used to. Fortunately for them they have 18 starters returning, so there is a lot of experience on the team. And they have some bright spots in the LB Chris Marve and RB Warren Norman. In a couple of years, this team could be making some noise in the SEC.


If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m ready for college football to begin.  So I decided to preview the best division in the best conference in CFB, the SEC West.  And there is no more debating the fact that the SEC is the best confrence.  The SEC is head and shoulders above every other conference, considering they’ve won the last five National Championships.


Trent Richardson

Alabama Junior RB Trent Richardson




2010 Record: 10-3

2010 Bowl Game: Capitol One Bowl vs. Michigan St. W 49-7

2011 Projected Record: 12-0 (SEC West Champions)

Alabama has a very favorable schedule this year.  They play both Arkansas and LSU at home.  This definitely helps considering they will be breaking in a brand new quarterback to replace Greg McElroy.  The QB battle between A.J. McCarron and Phil Simms will continue throughout August and possibly into the first game against San Jose State.  Luckily, Heisman candidate Trent Richardson will be able to take the load off of the new quarterback’s shoulders by running the ball.


2010 Record: 10-3

2010 Bowl Game: Sugar Bowl vs. Ohio St. L 31-26

2011 Projected Record: 10-2

Like Alabama, Arkansas is losing a great starting quarterback in Ryan Mallet.  However, I expect Head Coach Bobby Petrino will have Junior Tyler Wilson ready to go against tough SEC secondaries.  Also, look for half back Knile Davis to run the ball well as an upperclassman this season.  As a sophomore, he had 13 rushing touchdowns and averaged over 100 rushing yards per game.


2010 Record: 14-0

2010 Bowl Game: BCS National Championship vs. Oregon W 22-19 (OT)

2012 Projected Record: 5-7

Unlike Florida, LSU, and Alabama, I don’t think Auburn will make it to a bowl game after winning the BCS National Title.  To start, the loss of Cam Newton is very hard to deal with, especially with a third year coach in Gene Chizik.  However, like Alabama and Arkansas, they do have a fantastic tail back in Michael Dyer.  But he will be carrying the entire load for the Tigers, something that a sophomore will, in all likelihood, not be able to do.


2010 Record: 11-2

2010 Bowl Game: Cotton Bowl vs. Texas A&M W 41-24

2011 Projected Record: 11-1

The Tigers are definitely poised to make a National Title run in 2011.  With Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson returning, the Tigers are one of the few teams in the West with returning starting QB(s).  And Les Miles always has his team ready to take on the best in the nation.  One thing that could hinder LSU is their lack of experience at running back with no juniors or seniors on roster.

Ole Miss

2010 Record: 4-8

2010 Bowl Game: NONE

2011 Projected Record: 5-7

Although I believe the Rebels will improve in 2011, I still don’t think they will make a bowl game.  Ole Miss is coming off a season in which they only won one SEC game (vs. Kentucky) and lost to FCS opponent Jacksonville State.  Luckily for Rebel fans, Coach Houston Nutt signed a top-25 recruiting class this past season.  Despite this, I doubt the Rebs will be able to replace QB Jeremiah Masoli, who was a major player in three of Ole Miss’s four wins.

Mississippi State

2010 Record: 9-4


Chirs Relf

Mississippi State Senior QB Chris Relf


2010 Bowl Game: Gator Bowl vs. Michigan W 52-14
2011 Projected Record: 8-4

The Bulldogs are coming off one of their best seasons in the past decade, finishing in the top 20 for the first time since 1999.  They are returning senior QB Chris Relf, who has the best passer efficiency in school history.  The Bulldogs have 17 other seniors on roster, including running backs Vick Ballard and Robert Elliot.  Look for Mississippi State to be playing in January again.  And don’t be surprised if the Bulldogs get to an SEC Championship game within the next five seasons.