College Football has been going for a couple of weeks now with a handful of ACC and Big 12 games. But this coming weekend, the SEC returns to play a ten-game conference-only schedule, and news broke late last week that the Big Ten will return to the field in October. Will the Pac-12 make it 5-for-5 in the Power 5 department? Only time will tell, but nothing will surprise us in 2020.
The SEC has had at least one team in the NCAA Championship Game in 13 of the last 14 years, winning ten titles in that span. Alabama (5), Florida (2), LSU (2), and Auburn have won titles since 2006, while Georgia has also made the title game.
The current AP poll is a little skewed as it doesn’t include Big Ten teams or any teams whose conferences have not played yet. But of the 25 ranked teams in the AP Poll, eight are from the SEC. Alabama (2), Georgia (4), Florida (5), LSU (6), Auburn (8), and Texas A&M (10) are all ranked in the top 10 as they hit the field this week.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are the oddsmakers’ favorites to win the SEC at -130. They are also +350 to win the title and RB Najee Harris, back for his senior season, is +2200 to win the Heisman. Nick Saban looks to have his Tide bouncing back after losing to LSU and Auburn last year for a rare two-loss season.
Alabama lost QB Tua Tagovailoa to the draft and will replace him with Mac Jones, who got plenty of experience over the last two seasons. Wide Receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs are now in the NFL as well, and Devonta Smith will need to step up. The defense struggled in 2019, but the second-ranked recruiting class in the nation should help fix that. The Tide open Saturday, favored by 27 at Missouri with a 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN.
The East still goes through Georgia despite some questions at quarterback. The Bulldogs are +300 to win the SEC and +1600 to win it all. Quarterback D’wan Mathis appears to have beat out transfers Jamie Newman (Wake Forest) and J.T. Daniels (USC) for the starting job. Head coach Kirby Smith, a Saban disciple, has a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken and likely the best secondary in the conference. Georgia opens their SEC East title defense favored by 24.5 points Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in Arkansas on the SEC Network.
Those with High Hopes
Is this finally the year Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators dethrone their hated rivals from Georgia? QB Kyle Trask is the starter from day one, and at +1800, he is the top Heisman favorite in the SEC with plenty of weapons around him. The Gators are picked second in the East at +400 to win the SEC but have the same national title odds as the Bulldogs at +1600. Florida opens on the road, 12.5 favorites at Ole Miss on Saturday at Noon ET on ESPN.
Texas A&M has yet to put it all together under Jimbo Fisher, going 9-4 and 8-5 in his first two years after arriving from Florida State. The Aggies are +1400 to win the SEC and +2500 to win the National Championship. QB Kellen Mond is back for his senior season and looks to get A&M over the hump as they start the season favored by 29.5 against Vanderbilt Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network
The defending champion LSU Tigers are a very intriguing team this year with a roster in transition. Coach Ed Orgeron has to replace QB Joe Burrow and a handful of big-name players, plus coaching assistants. The Tigers are +2000 to repeat as SEC Champions and +5000 to repeat as National Champs. They open at home favored by 19 against Mike Leach and Mississippi State at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
Best of the Rest
Bo Nix and the No. 8 Auburn Tigers are +4000 to win the SEC. They open this Saturday favored by eight-and-a-half points against No. 23 Kentucky (+10000) with a Noon kickoff on SEC Network.
Tennessee is also +4000 to win the SEC in 2020 and begin the season ranked No. 16 after winning their final six games of 2019 to finish 8-5. They open at South Carolina, favored by three points in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on SEC Network