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SEC East Preview: No Suprise As The Dawgs Reign Supreme



Georgia Bulldogs

2023 Season Record: 13-1

2024 Projected Record: 11-1

Key Returners: Carson Beck, Dominic Lovett, Rara Thomas, Whole Front 7, Malaki Starks, Colbie Young,

Key Newcomers: Trevor Etienne, London Humphreys

Big Time Matchups: Week 1 v. Clemson, Week 5 @ Alabama, Week 8 v. Texas, Week 11 @ Ole Miss, Week 12 v. Tennessee



Nothing is better than the big mean machine that is Georgia football. After historically winning back-to-back National Titles, Georgia had what no one considers a "down year." After losing to Alabama in the SEC title game, the Bulldogs were left out of the 4 team college football. Georgia never rebuilds; they reload. Starting QB and potential top-10 pick Carson Beck is back in action for the Dogs as he looks to return them to championship form. The pass-catching core will be familiar with Beck as all caught passes in meaningful time last year for the Dawgs. Wide receivers Dominic Lovett, Dillon Bell, Rara Thomas, and Oscar Delp, who played in place of the 13th overall pick Brock Bowers during injury last year, totaled 1,635 yards while hauling in 10 TDS as a group. The Defense is probably the best in the Country; they return the whole front seven who played in last year's Orange Bowl matchup, terrorized opponents all year, and will look to build on the previous year's performance. The question is in the secondary heading into the 2024 season, as 3 of the four starters from last year's back end have moved on to the NFL. Their schedule is very tough, with top-10 matchups against Alabama, Ole Miss, and Texas, but they are seasoned and have the best coach in the land leading them. This Georgia team is intriguing; if they can put up points and figure out their secondary, we could again be in for the reign of the Dawgs.

Missouri Tigers

2023 Season Record: 11-2

2024 Projected Record: 10-2

Key Returners: Brady Cook, Theo Wease Jr., Luther Burden III, Mookie Cooper, Johnny Walker Jr,

Key Newcomers: Cayden Green, Toriano Pride Jr., Darris Smith, Marcus Carroll

Big Time Matchups: Week 8 v. Auburn, Week 9 @ Alabama, Week 11 vs. Oklahoma



The Missouri Tigers are coming off their best season in almost ten years. Led by Head Coach Eliah Drinkwitz, the Tigers were a force in the SEC last year, they are back and loaded with star quarterback Brady Cook, who is back under the helm, Cook threw for 3,300 yards last year with 21 TDS, adding eight more on the ground. He has his go-to guy back in Luther Burden III, considered one of the most electrifying players in the Country who can make guys miss and take any play 70 yards for a score; he'll be joined by Theo Wease Jr. and Mookie Cooper, who both played meaningful snaps last year. The Defense was good last year; key player Johnny Walker finished with five sacks last year and looks to take his game to the next level. They added vital transfer Recruits such as Cayden Green from Oklahoma, a tackle who will help hold the line for Cook, and Toriano Pride Jr., a corner transfer from Clemson who also is a former high school teammate of Burden, will help build up the back end that successfully stopped opponents last year. Finally, it's tough to replace Cody Schraeder, a man who went for 300 all-purpose yards in a monster game against Tennessee, but transfer running back Marcus Carroll will be assigned the backfield duties; he had a great year at Georgia State last year, rushing for 1,350 and 13 scores which is an impressive feat. Missouri looks to be contending for an SEC championship and a College Football Playoff spot; they will be tasked with a rough back end of the schedule, playing against high-level SEC opponents in weeks 7 through 9, including a trip down to Tuscaloosa to take on the Crimson tide.

Tennessee Volunteers

2023 Season Record: 9-4

2024 Projected Record: 10-2

Key Returners: Nico Iamaleava, Dylan Sampson, James Pearce Jr., Squirrel White, Bru McCoy

Key Newcomers: Lance Heard, Chris Brazzell II, Jermond McCoy, Jakobe Thomas

Big Time Matchups: Week 4 @ Oklahoma, Week 8 v. Alabama, Week 12 @ Georgia



Rocky Top is ready to get back to its winning ways at the top of the Country. They finished 9-4 last year after struggling to find their footing Following their unbelievable 2022 season. Led by Josh Heupel, who has brought a new kind of energy to the Vols, they will look to go young as many players projected to be starters experienced limited game time last year apart from lead receiver Squirrel White. Taking over as the signal caller for the Vols will be former 5-star recruit Nico Iamaleava, who is a staggering 6'6 and will look to bring an electric energy to the stadium just as he did in the 2024 Citrus Bowl, winning MVP honors against the Iowa Hawkeyes, throwing for 150 yards and a score and adding three more on the ground to cap off his first actual start in College football. However, the big name for this Vols team is potential #1 overall pick James Pearce Jr. Pearce is an absolute stud coming in at 6'5 240. For now, before he's sacking QBs on Sundays, he will line up for the Vols and try and improve upon last year's ten sacks and 28 tackles. He is an animal and looks like a front-runner for the Bednarik Award this Fall. The Vols Schedule is full of strict tests, facing the SEC's two biggest badest teams, the Tide and the Dawgs. If Nico can come into his own quickly for the Vols, they have every opportunity to compete for an SEC and National Championship.

Kentucky Wildcats

2023 Season Record: 7-6

2024 Season Prediction: 8-4

Key Returners: Deone Walker, Barion Brown, Zione Childress, J.J. Weaver, Harriston Maxwell

Key Newcomers: Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Brock Vandagriff, Ja'Mori Maclin, Chip Trayanum

Big Game Matchups: Week 3 v. Georgia, Week 5 @ Ole Miss, Week 10 @ Tennessee, Week 13 @ Texas



After recent success under head coach Mark Stoops, Big Blue Nation is eager to see their wildcats; in previous years, the Wildcats have been a run-centric offense, using it to set up play-action passing designed by Liam Coen to break down defenses. This year may differ slightly as the Cats have a new signal-caller in former Georgia Bulldogs Brock Vandergriff; the former 4-star prospect was with the Bulldogs for three years before transferring after starter Carson Beck passed him up. He will look to lead a talented skill group with players such as Dane Key, Anthony Brown-Stephens, and Ja'Mori Maclin, headlined by the uber-explosive and one-play TD machine Barion Brown. Brown, a junior, is in his third season with the Wildcats and is looking for a breakout campaign. Brown can do it all: Return Kicks, Take the top off, and make defenders miss in space. The offense is not to be outdone by the Defense, which returns most of its starting lineup, including superstar top-10 pick Deon Walker and potential early-round pick Maxwell Hariston. Walker has been a staple in the Kentucky "Big Blue Wall" since he was a freshman, breaking out last season with 55 total tackles and 7.5 sacks. The Wildcats will be in for a huge challenge this year as they have some colossal road tests early and late in their season, traveling to 4 of the highest-ranked SEC teams: Georgia, Ole Miss, Tennesse, and Texas. If the Wildcats can get similar production as they did with Will Levis in 2021, they could give the SEC a run for their money, but with the schedule and new signal-caller, only time will tell for the Wildcats.

Oklahoma Sooners

2023 Season Record: 10-3

2024 Projected Record: 6-6

Key Returners: Danny Stutsman, Nic Anderson, Jackson Arnold, Ethan Downs

Key Newcomers: Deion Burks, Damonic Williams, Jake Roberts

Big Game Matchups: Week 4 v. Tennessee, Week 7 v. Texas, Week 9 @ Ole Miss, Week 11 @ Mizzou, Week 13 v. Bama, Week 14 @ LSU



Boomer Sooner is in its inaugural year in the SEC as it looks to continue its success in the Big 12. Venables is known for his defense-building championship-level units; he returns most of his Defense from last year, including stud linebacker Danny Stustman, who totaled 104 tackles last year and three sacks. He looks to be the staple of this Defense alongside edge Ethan Downs, who finished in the top 15 in the Country for tackles by defensive ends. With an experienced secondary and adding defensive tackle Damonic Williams, they will look to slow down the best offenses in the Nation and keep Oklahoma alive in the SEC. On the other side of the ball, it is somewhat unclear what the Sooners will look like this fall, but that means Jackson Arnold will take the reigns this year. Arnold had an up-and-down bowl game highlighted by his throwing for 361 yards, but unfortunately, he struggled to hold onto the football in that game; luckily, he will have NFL talent on the outside, such as receivers Nic Anderson and Deion Burks, both stars who can go up and make big plays in the passing game if Arnold can limit the turnovers and extend the ball down the field to his big-play guys, he will have an excellent chance to put up a real fight in the SEC. Unfortunately for Oklahoma, their schedule is loaded, and they will have to scratch and claw for wins in the SEC, facing the best in Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and LSU. They are in for a gauntlet and could be overlooked this year, but if Arnold can shine and the Defense comes to play with the big dawgs, they can shock people.


South Carolina Gamecocks

2023 Season Record: 5-7

2024 Projected Record: 4-8

Key Returners: Nick Emmanwori, O'Donnell Fortune, Debo Williams, LaNorris Sellers

Key Newcomers: Raheim Sanders, Demetrius Knight Jr., Jared Brown, Kyle Kennard

Big TIme Matchups: Week 3 v. LSU, Week 7 v. Ole Miss, Week 9 @ Alabama, Week 12 v. Missouri, Week 14 v. Clemson.



This season, Shane Beamer is under pressure to build a winning program down in Columbia; they will look to build a team of new faces, as most of the offense did not play for the Gamecocks last year. The one man used to the pressure is Rahiem "Rocket" Sanders, a superstar running back for Arkansas where, in 2022, he led the SEC in yards from scrimmage with 1,700. He will join the highly anticipated LaNorris Sellers in the backfield; Sellers is a 6'3 duel-threat prospect with all the traits to be one of the best QBs in the Country. If Sellers is all Gamecocks fans are hoping he is, then there will be a lot of great Saturdays in Columbia. If he can jell with his receiving core, this offense could be explosive even with the inconsistencies and question marks remaining on the line. On the defensive side, they are headlined by transfer Kyle Kennard, an edge threat. He did not have gaudy sack numbers at Georgia Tech, but he had consistent pressure numbers and will have much more help rushing the passer with the talent around him. This roster is not up there with the best in the SEC, but Shane Beamer has proven he can win big games as an underdog. The Gamecocks look to upset some national championship contenders this fall and get back on track.


Florida Gators



2023 Season Record: 5-7

2024 Projected Record: 3-9

Key Returners: Graham Mertz, Montrell Johnson Jr., Eugene "Trey" Wilson III, Jordan Castell

Key Newcomers: Cormani McClain, Jason Zandamela, Jameer Grimsley, Elijah Badger

Big Time Matchups: Week 1 v. Miami, Week 6 @ Tennessee, Week 8 @ Georgia, Week 9 @ Texas, Week 10 v. LSU, Week 11 v. Ole Miss, Week 12 @ Florida State


When you look at the Florida Gators' outlook for 2024, you have to look at their schedule. They will be run through the gauntlet this year, having to play most of the top half of the SEC and potentially top 25 teams in Flordia State and Miami. They will struggle not based on their roster but because each week will be a dog fight, and they may go into understaffed. Luckily, QB Graham Mertz is back this fall under center for the Gators. Mertz, who transferred from Wisconsin last year, looks to build upon last year's season, where he threw for 2,900 yards and 20 scores while only throwing an impressive three interceptions. Mertz will look to pair up with running back Montrell Johnson Jr., who led the backfield last year eve, with now Georgia running back Trevor Etienne splitting touches. He was able to lead the team in rush yards. On the outside, Eugene Wilson III will look to leap as an all-star receiver as he returns and already has chemistry with Mertz. There are a few question marks on Defense, especially in the secondary, but fortunately, Colorado transfer Kormani McClain will be plugged in immediately to help defend against the pass. Billy Napier and the Gators are in for a stressful season. With very few "easy" weeks on the schedule, they will look to steal wins to become bowl-eligible. The Gators are still a year away from competing in the SEC again.


Vanderbilt Commodores

2023 Season Record: 2-10

2024 Projected record: 3-9

Key Returners: Sedrick Alexander, Junior Sherrill, Langston Patterson, CJ Taylor

Key Newcomers: Diego Pavia, Randon Fontenette, Eli Stowers, Khordae Sydnor

Big Game Matchups: Week 4 @ Missouri, Week 6 v. Alabama, Week 9 v. Texas, Week 13 @ LSU, Week 14 v. Tennessee


The Commodores will look to make an impact in the SEC this year after going 0-8 in conference play; Clark Lea is in his 4th season with the Commodores and will try to lead his team somewhere he hasn't taken them in participating in a bowl game. He will have a new QB taking over in former New Mexico State Aggie Diego Pavia, who led them to a 10-5 record throwing for almost 3,000 yards and 26 TDs. Pavia, who will be in unfamiliar territory playing in the SEC, has to prove he can replicate last season's success. He will have Sedric Alexander at his hip. Vandy ran for only 1,144 yards on the ground and should hope to improve his run if they can stay in ball games. The Defense is led by rising star CJ Taylor, who plays a mix of linebacker/safety roles in the Defense, covering and policing the middle of the field. He was highly versatile last year, recording 55 total tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and two ints. He was all over the field, one of the bright spots on an inferior unit for Vandy. Another returning bright spot is linebacker Langston Patterson, the team's leading tackler just a year ago. If Vandy can slow down opponents, Pavia looks to be a capable thrower and could be able to spring some upsets in the SEC. The roster has vast room for improvement, but it is better than some teams in recent years.

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