2019 SEC Football Boilerplate on the Hourglass - records, projections and more
S - E – C; those three letters either give you joy or heartburn and for most of the country it is normally the latter. From dollars earned, to NFL draft picks and everywhere in between, the SEC has been for over a decade the premiere conference in college football.
Sure, Clemson dump trucked Alabama in the National Championship game, but top to bottom, the SEC is still the best conference in all of America.
2019 looks to be no different for the SEC as again the league boasts teams that will make a run for the College Football Playoff and teams that could surprise on any given Saturday.
So, let’s jump into it and see what the league should look like this fall from our vantage point.
First, we always start with talent and as you well know the league is stacked with talent galore.
The interesting thing about the SEC and talent is several teams in the mid tier recruiting range would fair well in other conferences, but when you have half a dozen elite recruiters in the same conference, it doesn’t always bode well for the others.
Georgia and Alabama are the king of the talent pool in this league and the country, but LSU is keeping pace with the other two and Ed Orgeron continues to stock pile talent in 2019. Auburn still has great talent, but the question on the Plains isn’t talent.
Texas A&M is for sure the one to watch in the coming years as the Aggies continue to burn the recruiting trails of Texas and beyond. Also look for Florida and Tennessee to continue to close gaps moving forward.
But - as you can see, the talent for the most part reflects power rankings, final rankings and more.
Here are our 2019 power rankings for the conference.
Alabama slightly edges out Georgia, which may make people scratch their heads at our National Championship pick, but the numbers are actually closer than they appear. If they played today, Alabama would be about a 5 point favorite; basically a one possession game; which is what these two have played the last two times out.
Florida continues to make massive strides under Dan Mullen and doing so with a very marginal guy at quarterback like Feleipe Franks.
Speaking of quarterbacks, here are our 2019 quarterback rankings.
Tua Tagovailoa and Jake Fromm are heads and shoulders the class of the SEC at quarterback in 2019, but look for guys like Joe Burrow or Kellen Mond to have great years. Even though Missouri is on probation, look for Kelly Bryant to impress in his final year of college football.
It will be a year of new quarterbacks in the state of Mississippi with Key Thompson and Matt Coral and what will that position really look like for Chad Morris and Arkansas?
Speaking of Morris, he needs a bounce back year after a two win campaign a year ago, which thrust him to the bottom of our coaching rankings.
2019 coaching rankings:
Morris sits at the bottom of the SEC and needs to prove his worth in 2019. Jeremy Pruitt, Matt Luke and Will Muschamp have the chance to see movement up this list come next year, but look for Pruitt to be the one to do so. To no surprise should come the top four coaches in the SEC on our list and again the metric is simply a unit of measure we use, based on coaching data to rank the coaches.
Mark Stoops made big strides last year, but could sink back down in 2019 and don’t be surprised to see Ed Orgeron move up a spot or two on the list.
Our final attribute we look at on putting together our formulas to rank teams and determine records is schedule.
Individual team previews to come.
Here are our 2019 SEC strength of schedule numbers.
South Carolina has a brutal schedule in 2019 taking on the likes of North Carolina, Alabama, Texas A&M, Clemson and others. Texas A&M has to travel to Clemson, host Alabama and travel to Georgia and LSU.
Also Auburn could have possibly scheduled Gus Malzahn out of the Plains with a season opening game against Oregon on a neutral field. Florida opens with Miami in late August and Matt Luke could have a six win bowl eligible team, but having to take on Memphis on the road and host California could keep the Rebels from bowling in 2019.
Overall it should be a great year in the SEC again, with lots of drama, high stakes moments and at the end, Georgia and Alabama meeting for the SEC Championship.
We have Georgia knocking off Alabama and advancing to the College Football Playoff. Below are our full final projected standings with records.
As always fill free to reach out on Twitter @jakewim or @cfbhourglass
Editors note: all photos courtesy of 247sports.com