7) Kentucky (3-9, 0-8) – Unfortunately, for first year Wildcat coach Mark Stoops, there just aren’t a lot of potential wins on this schedule. In fact, it could get worse than I predict fast if Stoops loses the opener to Bobby Petrino’s Western Kentucky team.
6) Vanderbilt (5-7, 1-7) – Year three means a step back for James Franklin’s Vandy program. Key games include Ole Miss in the opener, Missouri and Tennessee. Win two of those three and go bowling again. I don’t think they will.
5) Tennessee (6-6, 3-5) – The Vols have Petrino in week two and Oregon in week three. Lose to the Hilltoppers and get stomped by the Ducks and things get ugly fast on Rocky Top. Key games include Missouri, Auburn and Vandy. I predict they win two of those three and go bowling.
4) Missouri (7-5, 3-5) – The seat gets a little warmer for Gary Pinknel this year. October looks rough for the Tigers with Vandy, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina up in successive weeks. Key games include the Dores, Tennessee and Ole Miss. They win two of those three.
3) Florida (9-3, 6-2) – Overall, this is a tough schedule for the Gators with Miami, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida State on board. Will Muschamp’s bunch will handle the Hurricanes and Noles, but lose three SEC games.
2) South Carolina (10-2, 7-1) – On paper, it’s hard to pick against the Gamecocks this year, but I think they lose to Georgia and Clemson. They open with North Carolina, but should handle the Tar Heels with ease.
1) Georgia (11-1, 8-0) – By the end of September, we’ll know what we need to know about the Dawgs. Games against Clemson, South Carolina and LSU – I can’t imagine another team having a tougher schedule before the end of September. Aaron Murray hasn’t shown well record-wise in big games and Dabo Swinney has all off-season to get his Tigers ready. That’ll be the only mark against the Dawgs in a 11-1 regular season.