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Jul 26 2016
by Jordan Ellis

Summer of Hope: 2016 SEC Football Preview

By Jordan Ellis - Jul 26 2016
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I’m doing it, and I know you are too. Counting down. College football is just over a month away. We feel like kids during those last few weeks before Christmas! That excitement and a new season brings new hope for teams everywhere.

SEC teams are ready. SEC football kicks off on September 1st in bright orange as Tennessee takes on Appalachian State. Opening week fun continues on the 3rd with Texas A&M welcoming UCLA.

ESPN the Magazine released their predictions for the season, surprisingly not giving Bama the repeat Championship appearance. Here’s their rankings:

East Division:

1. Tennessee

2. Georgia

3. Florida

4. South Carolina

5. Missouri

6. Kentucky

7. Vanderbilt

West Division:

1. LSU

2. Alabama

3. Ole Miss

4. Texas A&M

5. Mississippi State

6. Auburn

7. Arkansas

Championship:

LSU over Tennessee

The East is looking for an interesting season as Coach Jim McElwain (SEC Coach of the year) carries his young squad of Gators onto the field as defending East Division Champs. Florida continues a tradition over the last several seasons of a strong athletic defense and with that defense, Florida was named by CBS Sports as the SEC’s biggest dark horse. We’ve heard Tennessee has been catching recruits’ attention with their Pokémon GO skills, but can their football skills live up the hype? South Carolina welcomes Coach Will Muschamp onboard after saying goodbye to the legend that is Steve Spurrier last season, while Georgia and new Coach Kirby Smart prepares to watch and see if star running back Nick Chubb is the same guy they knew prior to his knee injury last season. Meanwhile, Missouri makes recent headlines as they lose their AD, Mack Rhoades, to Baylor, Kentucky is just are trying to leave last year’s 5-7 season behind and Coach Derek Mason hopes his 3rd season at Vandy can bring something big.

Will the West continue its run over the East? Everyone wonders if Coach Nick Saban’s powerhouse can make their way to another championship game. LSU lives among the headlines that they have the next Heisman winner on their hands and Ole Miss has arguably the SEC’s best passer in the league with Chad Kelley at the helm leading a very young team. Auburn will do anything to top their 7-6 record in 2015 and Texas A&M is waiting to see what Oklahoma transfer, Trevor Knight, can do for them. Mississippi State just hopes their season can be as tight as Coach Dan Mullen’s shoe game and Arkansas gears up to welcome big SEC names Alabama, LSU, Florida and Ole Miss to their home stadium this year.

But let’s be real folks, despite any predictions or breaking news, this is the SEC! Anything can happen. Buckle your seat belts football fans, 2016 looks exciting. We will find out if this summer was a summer of hope… or a summer of hype!

Lead Image Credit: SEC Network Facebook

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Jordan Ellis - University of Florida

University of Florida | Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't lose. | Journalism | Christ Follower | Puppy Lover | Sports Fanatic

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