2011 College Football Predictions: 2011 SEC College Football Preview
[hana-code-insert name=’video’ /] As fans start taking a look at their 2011 college football predictions, there’s no better place to start than the SEC. The SEC has been college football’s dominant conference for quite some time, and it seems like every other conference has been playing catch up. This year, the conference will yet again be fielding a number of BCS caliber squads, and whoever survives the regular season gauntlet will have an excellent chance to emerge as national champions.
The SEC is routinely touted as the best conference in college football. It’s a deep conference, with a number of high quality teams, and the top of the top is extremely competitive as well. In the past two or three years, some people have tried to claim that the SEC actually isn’t the best conference in football, and that other conferences are more competitive or field more quality teams.
But the facts don’t lie and can’t be distorted, and the most important thing to take away is that the last five BCS national champions have all been SEC teams. In 2006 it was Florida, followed by LSU, followed by Florida again, then Alabama and finally Auburn last season. Five straight college football champions from the same conference, and since the BCS format was introduced, the conference has won more than half of the title games, 7 of 13. You can’t distort that, and that’s why SEC teams are favorites for many people completing college football picks week to week and for the season.
Any talk about the SEC for 2011 has to begin with the defending national champions, the Auburn Tigers. What a rollercoaster ride they went on last year, on the way to an undefeated season, a Heisman Trophy for their quarterback Cam Newton, and more. They survived scandals along the way and just kept on winning, and they won in a thrilling title game over Oregon. This year of course the team will be much different without Newton and all of his talent, but coach Gene Chizik certainly isn’t going to lower his expectations. He plans on winning and keeping the success going, and nothing else will be acceptable.
Meanwhile, Auburn played South Carolina in the SEC title game last season. The Gamecocks, led by Steve Spurrier, surprised many people by playing as well as they did in 2010. The problem with them was that they’d have one huge win, then a letdown the next week, and that’s why they finished at 9-5 instead of 12-2 or something along those lines. Spurrier and co will be looking to get consistency this year, and a young team should only be better with the experience they have from last year.
The Florida Gators have a brand new head coach in Will Muschamp. The team finished just 8-5 last year, which for them and their recent success, is very poor. Muschamp’s primary job will be to fix up the defense right away, and he won’t have much leeway with the fans to get that done. The Gators want to win every year, and even with their brutal SEC schedule, a win every week is simply the calling card for football fans in the SEC.
Alabama is coming off a down season too, if you can call 10-3 a year after winning the national championship a down season. As has been the case with all of these teams, expectations can be killers in the SEC, and nobody has higher expectations for his team and for himself than head coach Nick Saban. Alabama keeps on losing first round draft picks to the NFL in seemingly staggering numbers, but the team reloads every season to field a fresh crop of young playmakers.
With all of these teams, the real favorites in the SEC with your 2011 college football predictions may not have even been mentioned yet. The favorites could very well be the LSU Tigers, led by sometimes maligned and sometimes beloved Les Miles. Miles and the Tigers had some real landmark wins in 2010 and finished 10-2, but that was only good enough for third in their own division within the SEC!
That was thanks to one of the surprising teams from last year, the Arkansas Razorbacks. They held tough with the usual powers of the conference and also finished 10-2 on the year. With all of these teams, you still have to consider that Mississippi State is on the rise, Tennessee is looking to build back their program, and the Georgia Bulldogs are in a do or die situation for head coach Mark Richt. It’s a lot to try to sort through for the upcoming season and a single conference, and that’s why SEC football is so great each and every year.
There are a few teams stuck in the bottom of the conference, and when you see all of the teams above them, you can begin to understand why it’s so hard to make continued forward progress. The down teams right now include Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, but even the Wildcats finished at .500 last year. Between them, the Volunteers and the Bulldogs, those are the bubble teams that will be competing for bowl spots and respectability, and looking to avoid cellar dwelling. Every week in the SEC is a challenge, and there’s no such thing as a “gimme” opponent when it comes to the regular season conference schedule.
The SEC is always going to be one of the focal points of the college football season, and that’s certainly going to be true again in 2011. Will Auburn be able to continue their magic from last season without Cam Newton at the helm? Will Alabama reemerge as a title threat, or will it be LSU, Florida, or somebody else entirely? Either way, the competition and talent isn’t better anywhere else, and your national title favorites with betting college football predictions will likely be the SEC champs.
Check out the experts 2011 College Football Predictions which will be released for every NCAA Football game this season.
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