In the spirit of SEC Media Days, we here at College and Magnolia felt that it was time for us to predict everything that’ll happen this season in SEC football. Truth be told, we’re aching for a redemption story, because last year’s selections were... well, see for yourself —
SEC East Champion: Georgia
SEC West Champion: Auburn
SEC Champion: Auburn
Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Lock (Missouri)
Defensive Player of the Year: Devin White (LSU)
Newcomer of the Year: Eyabi Anoma (Alabama)
Best Non-Conference Game: LSU vs Miami (33-17 LSU win)
Best Conference Game: Seven-way tie, but none of them were actually good
Worst Conference Game: Tie between Vandy/Kentucky (14-7 UK win) and Ole Miss/Vandy (36-29 Vandy in OT)
So, you can see that we may have been off-base. None of us wanted to give Alabama or Tua any credit, and so the Petty Betties that we all are at heart came out in the voting. No matter. 2019 is a chance to turn it all around. Without further ado, here are the selections for the upcoming season of SEC football.
2019 SEC STANDINGS, PLAYERS OF THE YEAR, AND BEST GAMES
SEC East Standings
- Georgia (7 first-place votes)
- Florida (3 first-place votes)
- South Carolina
Of particular note in the voting was that Georgia was either first or second in every ballot. Missouri finished ahead of Tennessee thanks to AU Chief, James Jones, and C&M Superfan Josh Dub placing the Vols either 5th or 6th. Vanderbilt was last in every ballot.
SEC West Standings
- Alabama (7 first-place votes)
- Auburn (3 first-place votes)
- Texas A&M
- Mississippi State
- Ole Miss
We have to give full hard-barning credit to James Jones, since he placed Alabama third in his poll, behind Auburn and LSU. If that comes true, it’ll be the first time since 2010 that the Tide didn’t finish either first or second in the West. That year they were fourth because of hubris. The middle of the pack was pretty fluid, but neither Ole Miss nor Arkansas earned a vote higher than next-to-last.
Alabama (7 first-place votes)
Auburn (3 first-place votes)
*It’s hilarious to me that while we here at College and Mag may hate Alabama, we have absolutely zero respect for Georgia’s ability to win anything of consequence*
Last year Tua and Josh Allen from Kentucky took home the Offensive and Defensive POTY honors, when nobody in our group gave them any due. Let’s see how this year’s selections fare.
Offensive Player of the Year
WINNER: Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama - 7 votes) - we fudged up last year, everyone. We barned a little much and thought that some stat boy at Missouri would win the honor. Instead, it added subconscious fuel to the flames of the Tua show, and he ran wild. We’re jinxing him this year, so you can rest easy.
Jake Fromm (QB, Georgia - 1 vote)
Boobee Whitlow (RB, Auburn - 1 vote)
Joey Gatewood (QB, Auburn - 1 vote)
Defensive Player of the Year
WINNER: Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn - 7 votes) - He’s big. He’s mean. He’s fast. Derrick Brown ought to be a top ten pick in the 2020 NFL Draft after returning to school for this upcoming season. He’s also going to be in an enviable position with a defensive line stocked with talent around him. Nobody will be able to focus on him alone, so he’ll make play after play in the middle as he disrupts offenses. Last year we decided that Auburn players were off limits for this section, but some of us rebelled this year on the selections.
Grant Delpit (DB, LSU - 3 votes) - Delpit is really good, but Brown is going to eat. Both guys are studs, though.
Newcomer of the Year
WINNER: Kelly Bryant (QB, Missouri - 3 votes) - To be honest, this guy would’ve been really good in the Gus Malzahn offense. We just didn’t get him, because apparently Missouri is a better booty-call texter. Either way, this guy is only somewhere aside from Clemson because of the generational quarterback talent currently starting for Dabo. He ought to be good. He wasn’t the runaway vote-getter, however. He was just the most popular name since he’s actually got some experience.
Bo Nix (QB, Auburn - 2 votes) - If Auburn wins at least 9 games, then I think you can count on whichever quarterback wins the job getting the Newcomer of the Year award. Whether that’s #BoKnows or #JoeyGreatwood still remains to be seen.
Joey Gatewood (QB, Auburn - 2 votes)
John Emery, JR (RB, LSU - 1 vote)
Jerrion Ealy (RB, Ole Miss - 1 vote)
Zamir White (RB, Georgia - 1 vote)
Best Non-Conference Game of the Year
WINNER: LSU @ Texas (3 votes) - Whoo boy, we’ll get to see if one of these teams is for real awful early. Both should be ranked in the top ten after big bowl victories last year, and they’ve both got tough quarterbacks returning to lead the charge. If Texas beats LSU, watch for the hype train to blow through the station, but if LSU wins, that’s just one less bullet in the chamber for the “Coach O Can’t Coach” camp.
Texas A&M @ Clemson (2 votes) - This was nearly the early derailment for the Tigers while Dabo was figuring out what to do with his quarterback situation. Trevor Lawrence came in and took over in this game and never looked back, while A&M had a chance to win late but couldn’t get over the hump at home. This year it’s at Death Valley, where Jimbo has had some major success.
Notre Dame @ Georgia (2 votes) - Here’s another rematch from the first part of the home-and-home. Bulldog fans went up to South Bend in droves in 2017, and Georgia escaped with a 20-19 victory over the Irish. Now they’ll be between the hedges (please come play us next, Irish), looking for a little revenge.
Miami (FL) @ Florida (2 votes) - If this turns out to be the best game, then the season may not live up to the hype. This game comes in Week ZERO. Yes, it’s played the Saturday before Labor Day, when there’s barely any other football on. Florida’s supposed to be an upper tier squad this season, and Mark Richt lost control of Miami on his way out the door.
Auburn vs Oregon (1 vote) - I think I speak for all Auburn fans when I say that I would hate for this to end up as the best non-conference game of the year. We can’t really stand the drama to start the season. Ease us into it, please. New quarterback for the Tigers against what could be a first-rounder in Justin Herbert... strength on strength in Arlington, it’s going to be a solid matchup.
Best Conference Game of the Year - FOUR-WAY TIE!
WINNERS — TAKE YOUR PICK
*Alabama @ Auburn (2 votes) - Why not, if Auburn is actually good, then this could decide the West.
*Georgia @ Auburn (2 votes) - After what happened in 2017, I think it’s safe to say that the atmosphere in Jordan-Hare Stadium will be rocking like it was two Novembers ago.
*Auburn @ Florida (2 votes) - Wild things happen when Auburn visits Gainesville (Wes Byrum, Damon Duval, Frank Sanders), and you can bet that this mid-October humidity fest will be wet and wild in the Swamp.
*Georgia vs Florida (2 votes) - Both teams should be pretty good? This should be as well.
Auburn @ Texas A&M (1 vote) - Auburn broke the streak of away teams always winning last year, so now it’s time to reestablish that trend in College Station.
Texas A&M @ Georgia (1 vote) - Jimbo between the hedges. Ought to be fun.
Worst Conference Game of the Year
WINNERS: Vanderbilt @ Ole Miss/Arkansas @ Kentucky (2 votes each) - Speaks for itself. These four teams should be near the bottom of their respective divisions and so the games will A) mean nothing and B) be horrible.
Kentucky @ Mississippi State (1 vote) - Snooze. Give me a wedding. September 21st, send out the invitations, please.
Vanderbilt @ South Carolina (1 vote) - Can I get a another wedding? Bar mitzvah? Bris? Anything?
Arkansas @ Ole Miss (1 vote) - Bore.
Tennessee @ Alabama (1 vote) - The only way this game gets entertaining is if we somehow get a proclamation by exhaltation and Jeremy Pruitt succeeds Nick Saban as head coach in the event of an upset.
Alabama’s Schedule Until November (1 vote) - It’s true, they don’t play anyone. Tough non-con game? Duke. The only real test comes when they have to visit College Station in October. It’s bleak.
Any Game Involving a Bam or a Dawg (1 vote) - Since this extends to maybe even games that include MSU in addition to Alabama or Georgia, it might need to actually be higher, but the barning hard is appreciated nonetheless. Maybe allowing write-in votes was a bad idea.
Alright, there you have it. Our super-informed picks for best teams, players, and games for this upcoming season. Let’s please be less wrong than we were a year ago. War Eagle.