Coming out of spring practice, it’s time to make our first predictions on 2018 W/L records. We are going to use ESPN’s FPI Win Totals as our guide to project SEC East win totals. These totals do not include bowl games – just regular season and the SEC Championship Game.
Missouri – 7.3 FPI wins.
Ryan Monceaux (5’9″, 170 lbs): I’ll take the under. Wild Ass Guess – 7 wins.
I think the Tigers are actually going to be pretty good but they catch all of Florida, USC, Bama, and Tennessee on the road. And while Drew Lock and a pretty-loaded offense could be interesting, Derek Dooley will find a way to botch this. I can’t wait til he returns to Knoxville on November 17th.
Brad Towns: I’ll go over the FPI and say 8 wins. Dooley doesn’t have enough time to derail Drew Lock. Traveling to Purdue in week 3 will be their toughest of the winnable games. After Bama, they have 4 of their remaining 6 at home and should only lose at Florida.
South Carolina – 7.2 FPI wins.
Towns (6’5″, 350ish lbs): Under. Wild Ass Guess – 7 wins. 2 Words: Deebo Samuel. So goes his health, so goes the season. The schedule is favorable with UGA at home and trips to Florida and Clemson on the back-end. But I have serious doubts Samuel can stay healthy the entire season. If he can, then the Gamecocks will be entertaining this year.
Monceaux: Over. Way over! Call me crazy but I have Carolina at 10 wins including beating Georgia in week two. Yes, I have the Cocks in Atlanta. All of this makes me sad because one of the 5 best things in the SEC is angry Will Muschamp.
Tennessee – 5.8 FPI wins.
Monceaux: Wild Ass Guess: 7 wins. WHAT? Yeah, I know. I couldn’t believe it either. There’s a 5-week stretch in the middle of the season that will kill the Vols (@UGA, off, @Auburn, Bama, @USC). But I love the way November sets up: Charlotte, Kentucky, Mizzou and then @Vandy. They should win all 4 of those games to get to 7 wins in Jeremy Pruitt’s first year.
Towns: Over – barely. 6 wins. After that 5 game stretch I think they are going to take a pounding and whittle down their depth and Mizzou takes them in November.
UGA – 10.9 FPI wins.
Towns: Over. Wild Ass Guess – 11 wins. I could see them running the table but I don’t think they will. Losing Chubb and Michel is big. This will put more pressure on the QB – whether it’s Fromm or true-freshman phenom Justin Fields. Luckily we will find out a lot about the Dawgs early when they travel to South Carolina. I think they lose that game figuring out who is going to be next superstar.
Monceaux: UGA loses to South Carolina but gets to 11 wins.
Florida 8.1 FPI wins.
Monceaux: Under. Wild Ass Guess: 7 wins. I like the Gators this year but don’t think they hit that projected number. The FPI expects 5 SEC wins from a group that didn’t win a game in the league after September last year.
The 2018 Gators will build some momentum before losing back-to-back road games at Tennessee and then in Starkville for Mullen’s return. They’ll lose the Cocktail Party, the Gamecocks will trip them up in Gainesville and I think they lose to FSU in Tally. 3 losses in 3 different Florida cities in 5 weeks. I’m really interested to see what Dan Mullen does with the QBs, especially Franks, but this will be incremental improvement – at least this year.
Towns: 8 wins. Florida has been poorly coached on offense especially at the QB position. I think Franks is very talented and he finally has a coach who knows what the hell he is doing. Mullen will put him in a position to win The last 2 new hires have won SEC coach of the year at Florida so let’s make it 3 for 3.
Vanderbilt – 3.9 projected wins.
Towns: I’ll go under. Wild Ass Guess – 3 wins. Vandy travels to South Bend to face Notre Dame but the rest of the non-conference is pretty weak. And that’s where they get their 3 wins. The Dores will go winless in the SEC. Kyle Shurmur returns along with the offensive line but they lose a ton of productivity in the backfield and at WR. Not a good situation when you pair that with losing a bunch of starters on defense that gave up a ton of points.
Monceaux: I also have Vandy at 3 wins. The same 3 wins: MTSU, Nevada, and Tennessee State. And I think Derek Mason is done.
Kentucky – Kentucky 5.4 projected wins
Monceaux: Under. Wild Ass Guess: 4 wins. Kentucky has 0 returning lettermen at quarterback. How in the ever living fuck is that possible? The Cats will be looking for a new coach by November 11th. They’ll lose to Tennessee in Knoxville the day before and will finally push Mark Stoops out. But will anyone notice? UK will by 5 days into basketball season by then.
Towns: Under – 4 wins. I haven’t paid much attention to Kentucky football this off-season ever. Apparently I am a perfect fit for their soon-to-be-fired coaching staff. Circle October 20th when they clash with Vandy to see who goes winless in the SEC.