The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Predictions for the 2017 SEC slate

SEC football is back this Saturday, and it looks to be another eventful and dramatic season. Here are my predictions for each division and the overall conference champion.  

2017 SEC Predictions


  1. Alabama: 11-1
  2. Auburn: 9-3
  3. Arkansas: 8-4
  4. LSU: 8-4
  5. Mississippi State: 7-5
  6. Ole Miss: 6-6
  7. Texas A&M: 5-7

The teams in the SEC West can be divided into three tiers.

The lone team in the top tier is Alabama, and I expect them to easily win the West again. They should have no trouble running the table in the SEC. I predict their only loss will come on opening weekend to a very talented Florida State team.

The real intrigue in the SEC West is who finishes second. Auburn, LSU and Arkansas all makeup tier two, and Auburn looks to be the team that will edge out the other two. They have the best running back duo in the conference in Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson. They also bring a lot of talent up front on defense.

LSU is a bit overrated thanks, in large part, to a 6-2 finish under Ed Orgeron last year. I do not trust their offense to keep up with the other teams in the division. I expect them to lose to Florida, Auburn and Alabama again this season—plus an extra loss to a much improved Arkansas team. I expect the Razorbacks not only to beat them head to head but also to finish ahead of them in the conference, thanks to what could end up being the SEC’s highest scoring offense led by quarterback Austin Allen.

Tier three is comprised of Mississippi State University, Texas A&M and Ole Miss.

These three teams are all fairly close in terms of overall ability, but the Bulldogs have the edge with quarterback Nick Fitzgerald emerging as one of the best dual-threat players in college football. MSU also should be improved on defense with the addition of multiple junior college players transferring in. 

Ole Miss has some talent on offense, but due to all the controversy surrounding the program and a poor defense, I think they are in for a .500 season.

The Aggies have question marks at quarterback, two new tackles and a suspect defense, all of which will contribute to them finishing last in the division.


  1. Georgia: 10-2
  2. Florida: 9-3
  3. Kentucky: 8-4
  4. Tennessee: 8-4
  5. South Carolina: 6-6
  6. Vanderbilt: 5-7
  7. Missouri: 5-7

In the SEC East, Georgia is the favorite, and they should be. They have some question marks on offense but the defense is loaded and might be the second best unit in the entire conference after Alabama. 

Florida will be in the mix thanks to a plethora of explosive weapons on offense, but they also lost eight starters on defense. Even though they have some young talent coming up to replace them, I assume they will take a small step back after these major losses. 

Kentucky is the sleeper team in the SEC East this season. They have 17 starters returning, which is tied for the most in the conference with Georgia.

Tennessee failed to live up to expectations last season and will come into this season having lost a lot of key players. They will also likely take a step back.

South Carolina has a lot of returning starters, primarily on offense, but their offense was one of the least productive ones in the conference last year. Experience can only go so far when talent is not there.

Vanderbilt is not terrible, they have a decent defense and one of the best running backs in the conference. However, they have a brutal schedule combined with mediocre quarterback play, and the Commodores will regress—they most likely not “going bowling” this season.

Missouri should be intriguing on offense with 10 returning offensive starters, featuring a potential superstar in running back Damarea Crockett. Crockett rushed for over 1,000 yards on a 6.9 yards per carry average as a true freshman. However, the defense figures look abysmal, and thus I expect them to be near the bottom of the SEC again.

SEC Championship

Alabama and Georgia will meet in the SEC title game, and once again it will be a game where only Alabama will play for a chance to get into the College Football Playoff.

Alabama lost key players, but Nick Saban loads his roster every year with top recruiting class after top recruiting class every year. Quarterback Jalen Hurts could be primed for a breakout sophomore season with another elite defense and running game to compliment him. Alabama will win the SEC title game with ease and return to the playoffs to compete for another national title. 

Contact Taylor Rayburn at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Predictions for the 2017 SEC slate