Five Outlandish Predictions For The SEC: Part 3
In the final chapter of the "Outlandish Predictions" trilogy for the SEC, we have a few more crazy predictions that just might come true. From breakout seasons to breakout players, this season of SEC football is going to be wild. Every year, it seems that the public has a general consensus and it all comes crashing down for a couple teams. Then you have teams that no one is talking about and they rise to greatness. Let's see if we can predict some of those before the season begins.
Kenny Hill Wins The Heisman
Texas A&M named Kenny Hill its starting quarterback as the heir to Johnny Manziel. It seems crazy to think that he could win the Heisman on a team that just lost one of the best college football players to ever play the game, but Hill has the potential to become Johnny 2.0. He is a tough, mobile quarterback that has the ability to escape the pocket and throw the ball on the run as well as pick up yards with his feet. That sound familiar? Hill will also have some dynamic receivers on offense like Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals-Jones. Noil to dump the ball short to and pick up yards after the catch and Seals-Jones as a big body who can get up and snag balls in the red zone or deep downfield. He also has three starting linemen returning including tackle Cedric Ogbuehi to protect the pocket and create space for the run game.
Even though Manziel is now in the NFL, Texas A&M could have another star at quarterback and another Heisman winner to add to its collection.
LSU Loses Six Games
As much as it pains me to say this, LSU does not have a starting quarterback set in stone and that is asking for trouble. Coach Les Miles has said he has not shut down the idea of starting two quarterbacks against Wisconsin in Week 1 which has Tigers fans bringing back thoughts of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson. With Lee and Jefferson, LSU still managed to win a good amount of games, but with such an inexperienced group of players on offense this season LSU can't afford to be undecided at quarterback. Anthony Jennings showed glimpses of stardom against Arkansas, but put in a lackluster performance against Iowa in the Outback Bowl. He could have a bit of trouble with his consistency and struggled during LSU's spring game so who knows which Jennings shows up this season. Brandon Harris is a question mark as well since he is a true freshman with no experience. He is a talented player, but who knows how he reacts to the speed of the collegiate game.
LSU also plays tough games against Wisconsin early, a rising Mississippi State squad at home, Auburn away, Florida away, possibly a great Ole Miss team at home, Alabama at home and Texas A&M in College Station. This could be a rough season for LSU if it does not settle on a quarterback or doesn't get good play from its two starters.
Georgia Wins National Championship
Georgia and Florida are considered the favorites in the SEC East, but Georgia should be considered a favorite for the national championship. It will bring in a new quarterback, Hutson Mason, who finally gets his time to shine. The senior has paid his dues and waited his turn to start for the Bulldogs and definitely knows the playbook even though he has yet to start a game. But there are two reasons Georgia could win the national title — its running game and defense. Todd Gurley is the best running back in the country and now that he is healthy again, expect him to light up defenses. The Bulldogs have all three of their injured running backs fully healthy so they will run teams into the ground. The defense returns 10, count 'em — 10, starters. It will be one of the toughest defenses in the country and will force tired defenses back onto the field to get an even bigger dose of Georgia's power running. The defense will also allow Mason to feel more comfortable when bringing his offense out since he won't be under pressure to put up as many points.
Coach Mark Richt's team is going to be a ferocious bunch that will play some good ol'-fashioned football in order to win the national championship.
Kentucky Wins Eight Games
Yes, the 2013 Wildcats who finished 2-10 will win eight games in 2014. Kentucky returns eight starters on offense and defense, but its biggest addition is someone who will make the defense much better in Matt Elam. He was the No. 3 defensive tackle in the country, stands 6-foot-7 and weighs over 375 pounds. He is the definition of a monster and will clog up the middle against the run. He will make defending the run immensely easier for Kentucky, making the defense as a whole that much better. Coach Mark Stoops brought in the No.22 class in the country in 2014 and some of these freshmen will make an immediate impact on both sides of the ball. However, it is the schedule that will help Kentucky reach eight victories. With two non-conference wins against Tennessee-Martin and Ohio, the Wildcats will lose to Florida in Gainesville, beat Vanderbilt and Louisiana-Monroe at home, lose to South Carolina at home and LSU on the road, beat Mississippi State at home and Missouri on the road, lose to Georgia and beat Tennessee and Louisville on the road.
That will put them in a bowl game and give Kentucky some respect heading into the 2015 season.
Jeff Driskel Injured Again
I hate to put any voodoo on Jeff Driskel, but just when things start looking good for Florida, its starting quarterback gets hurt again. Driskel is one of the few quarterbacks returning in the SEC, but the same fibula in his right leg that he broke last year is going to end up letting him down again. This is going to put Florida in a bind at quarterback by possibly having to put a true freshman out on the field. If that freshman struggles, Will Muschamp may be out of Florida in 2015.