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2013 College Football Preview: SEC
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 8/19/2013  at  5:35:00 AM
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To get you prepared for the upcoming college football season, we conclude our run of all FBS conference previews that has lasted for several weeks. For complete coverage, download your copy of the 2013 StatFox Edge Football Preview. We finish up with the mighty SEC, which has the same 14 members as last season. The past seven national champions have all played in this conference.

Odds to Win SEC

(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.ag)
91-to-100: Alabama
4-to-1: Georgia
5-to-1: South Carolina
7-to-1: Florida
10-to-1: Texas A&M
10-to-1: LSU
25-to-1: Ole Miss
50-to-1: Missouri
60-to-1: Vanderbilt
60-to-1: Auburn
60-to-1: Tennessee
75-to-1: Mississippi State
100-to-1: Arkansas
500-to-1: Kentucky

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 13-1 (8-1 in SEC)
ATS Record: 7-7 (50%)
Over/Under: 8-5
Points Scored: 38.7 PPG
Points Allowed: 10.9 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 3/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
The Crimson Tide won their third national title in four seasons in 2012, and certainly have the personnel to do it again. QB AJ McCarron (2,933 pass yds, 30 TD, 3 INT) led the nation in passing efficiency and still has WR Amari Cooper (1,000 rec. yds, 11 TD). RB T.J. Yeldon (1,108 rush yds, 12 TD) propels the No. 16 ground game (228 YPG), which lost three O-Line starters. For the second straight season, Alabama led the nation in both total defense (250 YPG) and rushing defense (80 YPG), while ranking second in points (10.9 PPG). DE Ed Stinson (3 sacks, 5 QBH) is the lone D-Line starter back, but LB C.J. Mosley (107 tackles, 4 sacks) will dominate again with OLB Adrian Hubbard (7 sacks, 3 FF). CB Deion Belue (40 tackles, 7 PD) and safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (5 INT) and Vinnie Sunseri (54 tackles) are all top-notch.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 12-2 (7-2 in SEC)
ATS Record: 8-6 (57%)
Over/Under: 7-6
Points Scored: 37.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 19.6 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 12/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 10
Defense: Starters Returning: 4
After coming a few yards shy of an SEC crown, 12-2 Georgia is loaded for another title shot. The excellent offense (37.8 PPG, 19th in FBS; 468 YPG, 22nd in FBS) is orchestrated by QB Aaron Murray (3,893 pass yds, 36 TD, 10 INT), who was second in FBS passing efficiency. WR Malcolm Mitchell (572 rec. yds, 4 TD) should have a breakout junior year. RBs Todd Gurley (1,385 rush yds, 6.2 YPC, 17 TD) and Keith Marshall (759 rush yds, 6.5 YPC, 8 TD) form an impressive duo. The defense lost a ton of talent, namely LBs Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree, and safeties Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams, but the cupboard is not bare. OLB Jordan Jenkins (5 sacks, 4 QBH) and ILB Amario Herrera (70 tackles) are both hard hitters that are keys to the 3-4 scheme. CB Damian Swann (4 INT, 2 FR, 53 tackles) is a true playmaker.

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS


Check out this South Carolina Bar Stool betting preview from BetDSI's Randy Mann:

2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 11-2 (6-2 in SEC)
ATS Record: 8-5 (62%)
Over/Under: 8-4
Points Scored: 31.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 18.2 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 30/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
After an 11-2 season, South Carolina wants more in 2013. QB Connor Shaw (1,956 pass yds, 17 TD, 7 INT; 435 rush yds, 3 TD) is the starter, but Outback Bowl hero QB Dylan Thompson (1,027 pass yds, 10 TD, 2 INT) should also see plenty of snaps. Both will benefit from a veteran O-Line, as will RB Mike Davis (275 rush yds, 5.3 YPC, 2 TD), who takes over for departed RB Marcus Lattimore. WR Bruce Ellington (600 rec. yds, 7 TD) will see more targets with WR Ace Sanders gone. The Gamecocksí 11th-ranked defense (316 YPG) with 43 sacks (6th in FBS) features superstar DE Jadeveon Clowney (13 sacks, 23.5 TFL, 54 tackles, 3 FF) who could get some Heisman votes. No starting linebackers return, but the secondary is in good hands with CBs Victor Hampton (40 tackles, 6 PD) and Jimmy Legree (44 tackles, 3 INT, 6 PD).

FLORIDA GATORS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 11-2 (7-1 in SEC)
ATS Record: 7-6 (54%)
Over/Under: 5-7
Points Scored: 26.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 14.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 25/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
Floridaís 11-win season concluded with a thud, a 33-23 Sugar Bowl loss to 14-point underdog Louisville. For the Gators to improve, the 105th-ranked offense (334 YPG) must take a leap forward. That starts with QB Jeff Driskel (1,646 pass yds, 12 TD, 5 INT; 413 rush yds, 4 TD) finding reliable receivers in a lackluster group now coached by Joker Phillips. Once RB Matt Jones (275 rush yds, 5.3 YPC, 3 TD) recovers from his viral infection he suffered in August, he will resume his role as the featured back and enjoy plenty of holes created by a burly O-Line. The stacked defense ranked fifth in the nation in both yards (287 YPG) and points (14.5 PPG), and will be fierce again. DL Dominique Easley (4 sacks) and LB Antonio Morrison (34 tackles) hold down the front seven, while CBs Loucheiz Purifoy (3 FF) and Marcus Roberson (12 PD), and S Jaylen Watkins (3 INT) lead a tough secondary. Morrison was suspended for the first two games of the season after his two arrests over the summer, including one for barking at a police dog.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES


Check out this Texas A&M Stool betting preview from BetDSI's Randy Mann:

2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 11-2 (6-2 in SEC)
ATS Record: 8-5 (62%)
Over/Under: 4-7
Points Scored: 44.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 21.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 20/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 4
The Aggies had no trouble transitioning to the SEC with coach Kevin Sumlin guiding them to 11 wins. Heisman Trophy winner QB Johnny Manziel (3,706 pass yds, 26 TD, 9 INT; 1,410 rush yds, 21 TD) led his offense to 559 YPG (3rd in FBS) and 44.5 PPG (4th in nation). But Manziel's future is in doubt after being accused of taking money for signing autographs during the offseason. If he is ruled ineligible, Texas A&M will turn to either junior Matt Joeckel (5-for-11, 42 yds in career) or redshirt freshman Matt Davis under center. Whoever the signal caller will be, heíll frequently target athletic 6-foot-5 WR Mike Evans (1,105 rec. yds, 5 TD). The ground game is loaded with RBs Ben Malena (808 rush yds, 8 TD) and Trey Williams (376 rush yds, 5 TD) rumbling behind a powerful O-Line. The defense (21.8 PPG, 26th in FBS) lost a lot up front, but DE Julian Obioha (6 PD, 4 QBH) has bust-out potential, and LB Steven Jenkins (79 tackles) is productive. Texas A&M surrendered 251 pass YPG (88th in FBS), but CB Deshazor Everett (56 tackles, 7 PD) and S Howard Matthews (58 tackles, 6 PD) have the ability to change that. Everett was arrested in the offseason for misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief, but it's unclear if he will be suspended.

LSU TIGERS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 10-3 (6-2 in SEC)
ATS Record: 5-8 (39%)
Over/Under: 5-7
Points Scored: 29.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 17.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 30/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
LSU was 10-3 despite ranking 87th in the nation in total offense (374 YPG). QB Zach Mettenberger (2,609 pass yds, 12 TD, 7 INT) is back to change that and is excited that Cam Cameron is his new OC, which should mean more pass attempts. WRs Odell Beckham Jr. (713 rec. yds, 2 TD) and Jarvis Landry (573 rec. yds, 5 TD) both need to be more consistent for Mettenberger to grow. Top RB Jeremy Hill (755 rush yds, 12 TD) was arrested for sucker punching a man outside a bar, but he was somehow reinstated to the team just in time for fall practice. Back-up RB Kenny Hilliard (464 rush yds, 6 TD) has a strong offensive line to work with. The fierce defense (308 YPG, 8th in FBS) lost all D-Line starters, but is still loaded. DT Anthony Johnson (3 sacks), LB Lamin Barrow (104 tackles, 5 QBH), CB Jalen Mills (57 tackles, 2 INT) and SS Craig Loston (55 tackles, 3 INT) are all productive returnees.

OLE MISS REBELS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 7-6 (3-5 in SEC)
ATS Record: 10-3 (77%)
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 31.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 27.6 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 75/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 10
Hugh Freezeís fast-paced spread offense improved from 281 YPG in 2011 (116th in FBS) to 424 YPG last year (46th in FBS), and turned his 2-10 team into a 7-6 club. QB Bo Wallace (2,994 pass yds, 22 TD 17 INT; 390 rush yds, 8 TD) missed the spring due to shoulder surgery, but should be ready for the fall. His three top pass catchers all return with WRs Donte Moncrief (979 rec. yds, TD), Vince Sanders (504 rec. yds, 4 TD) and Ja-Mes Logan (490 rec. yds). Sanders broke his collarbone in practice in early August and will miss at least the first game of the season. Star RB Jeff Scott (846 rush yds, 6 TD) also comes back to pace the ground game. The Rebelsí tremendous D-Line (103 TFL, T-4th in FBS; 38 sacks, T-11th in FBS) will remain disruptive with the nationís top recruit in DE Robert Nkemdiche. His brother, LB Denzel (82 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 INT, 4 FF), was the star of last yearís 4-2-5 set, along with LB Mike Marry (78 tackles) and CB Charles Sawyer (63 tackles, 8 PD).

MISSOURI TIGERS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (2-6 in SEC)
ATS Record: 5-6-1 (46%)
Over/Under: 5-6
Points Scored: 25.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 28.4 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 400/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
Missouriís 5-7 inaugural SEC season was riddled with injuries. QB James Franklin (1,562 pass yds, 10 TD, 7 INT) was less than 100 percent all year, and the O-line was also hit hard by injuries. But the return of RB Henry Josey (1,168 rush yds, 9 TD in 2011), who missed all of 2012 (knee), will be a huge boost to the 98th-ranked offense (356 YPG). Top WRs Marcus Lucas (509 rec. yds, 3 TD) and LíDamian Washington (443 rec. yds, 2 TD) are both capable of more. The average defense (391 YPG, 60th in FBS) will miss DT Sheldon Richardson, but DE Kony Ealy (3.5 sacks, 7 PD) is due for a breakout year. MLB Andrew Wilson (80 tackles, 4 FF) is the engine of the defense, while CB E.J. Gaines (74 tackles, 11 PD) anchors a subpar secondary.

VANDERBILT COMMODORES


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 9-4 (5-3 in SEC)
ATS Record: 9-4 (69%)
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 30.0 PPG
Points Allowed: 18.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 500/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
Vandy finished 2012 with seven straight wins. New QB Austyn Carta-Samuels (14-of-25, 208 yds, 1 TD) amassed 4,413 total yards and 25 TD in two years at Wyoming. The Commodores shine at receiver with WRs Jordan Matthews (1,323 rec. yds, 8 TD) and Chris Boyd (774 rec. yds, 5 TD). RB Zac Stacy is gone, but RBs Wesley Tate (376 rush yds, 8 TD) and Brian Kimbrow (413 rush yds, 3 TD) have a quality O-Line to run behind. The excellent defense (18.7 PPG, 15th in FBS) is propelled by DEs Kyle Woestmann (5 sacks, 2 FF), Caleb Azubike (4 sacks) and Walker May (3 sacks, 7 QBH), but the most valuable player is LB Chase Garnham (84 tackles, 6.5 sacks). CB Andre Hal (48 tackles, 14 PD, 2 INT) stabilizes the stingy pass defense.

AUBURN TIGERS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 3-9 (0-8 in SEC)
ATS Record: 4-8 (33%)
Over/Under: 5-6
Points Scored: 18.7 PPG
Points Allowed: 28.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 200/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 9
New Head Coach: Gus Malzahn
After an 0-8 season in the SEC, new head man Gus Malzahn has plenty to fix. Heíll start by speeding up the nationís seventh-worst offense (305 YPG), which will be run by a newcomer, either QB Nick Marshall or Jeremy Johnson. Last year's QB Kiehl Frazier (753 pass yds, 2 TD, 8 INT) will move to safety. Whoever is under center will not have any 15-catch receivers and will be protected by a weak O-Line (37 sacks allowed). The Tigers might be able to run the football with RB Tre Mason (1,002 rush yds, 5.9 YPC, 8 TD). New DC Ellis Johnson inherits a subpar defense (421 YPG, 81st in FBS; 20 pass TD, 2 INT). His 4-2-5 set is thin up front, but LB/S Justin Garrett is a perfect fit. Johnson will try to rebuild with DE Dee Ford (6 sacks), S Demetruce McNeal (90 tackles) and CB Chris Davis (46 tackles).

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (1-7 in SEC)
ATS Record: 4-8 (33%)
Over/Under: 9-2
Points Scored: 36.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 35.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 500/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 5
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
New Head Coach: Butch Jones
After a 1-7 SEC record last year, Butch Jones was brought in to turn the program around. Although the Vols were 18th in FBS total offense (476 YPG), all starting skill players left. Junior QB Justin Worley (738 pass yds, 1 TD, 5 INT career) will likely replace Tyler Bray and orchestrate the fast-paced offense, but itís unclear which receivers will emerge. A pair of do-it-all backs return though in RBs Rajion Neal (708 rush yds, 9 total TD) and Marlin Lane (658 rush yds, 5.5 YPC, 228 rec. yds). The SECís worst defense (35.7 PPG, 471 YPG) will run a 4-3 under new DC John Jancek. The D-Line is unproven, but LB A.J. Johnson (138 tackles, 8 QBH) and safeties Brian Randolph (22 tackles in 3 games) and Byron Moore (86 tackles, 5 INT) are heady players.

MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (4-4 in SEC)
ATS Record: 6-7 (46%)
Over/Under: 5-7
Points Scored: 29.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 23.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 750/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
After starting 7-0, the Bulldogs lost five of their final six contests, all by 14+ points. Senior QB Tyler Russell (2,897 pass yds, 24 TD, 10 INT) ignites the 80th-ranked offense (382 YPG), but wonít have any of his top four targets. WR Robert Johnson (164 rec. yds, 2 TD) is the de-facto No. 1, with TE Malcolm Johnson (171 rec. yds, 17.1 YPC, 2 TD) also playing a huge role. A veteran O-Line should allow RB LaDarius Perkins (1,024 rush yds, 8 TD) to thrive again. New DC Geoff Collins (co-DC last year) will blitz frequently with his defense that tallied just 18 sacks (T-100th in FBS). DEs Denico Autry (4 sacks, 42 tackles) and Preston Smith (4.5 sacks, 35 tackles) are solid, and LB Benardrick McKinney (102 tackles) knows how to make stops. But FS Jay Hughes (32 tackles) is the only starter left in the questionable secondary.

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 4-8 (2-6 in SEC)
ATS Record: 3-9 (25%)
Over/Under: 7-4
Points Scored: 23.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 30.4 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 500/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 5
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
New Head Coach: Bret Bielema
Bret Bielema takes over a 4-8 Arkansas team and will install his run-heavy offense with RB Jonathan Williams (231 rush yds, 5.1 YPC). New OC Jim Chaney needs to trim an FBS-worst-tying turnover margin (minus-19), and expects to name QB Brandon Allen (21-of-49, 186 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT) the starter. With WR Cobi Hamilton gone, the top wideout is WR Mekale McKay (317 rec. yds). The defense was strong up front (124 rush YPG, 19th in FBS; 2.6 sacks per game, 25th in FBS), and should remain that way with DEs Chris Smith (9.5 sacks, 12 QBH) and Trey Flowers (6 sacks) and LB A.J. Turner (53 tackles). The awful pass defense (286 YPG, 8th-worst in FBS) still has talent returning with CB Tevin Mitchel (4 PD) and S Rohan Gaines (75 tackles).

KENTUCKY WILDCATS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 2-10 (0-8 in SEC)
ATS Record: 3-9 (25%)
Over/Under: 5-6
Points Scored: 17.9 PPG
Points Allowed: 31.0 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
New Head Coach: Mark Stoops
After an 0-8 record in SEC play, six losses came by 20+ points, the Wildcats hope to start fresh with Mark Stoops. New OC Neal Brown will run the Air Raid attack like he did at Texas Tech. Itís unclear who will operate the sixth-worst offense in FBS (17.9 PPG) between QBs Jalen Whitlow (5.0 YPA, 3 TD, 2 INT), Maxwell Smith (6.5 YPA, 8 TD, 4 INT) and Patrick Towles (5.8 YPA, 1 TD, 1 INT). WR Demarco Robinson (297 rec. yds) and RB Raymond Sanders (669 rush yds, 5 TD) are both decent. The defense was average (391 YPG, 61st in FBS), but should improve under Stoops, a defensive guru who was Florida Stateís DC. Heíll run a 4-3 set with DE Alvin Dupree (6.5 sacks, 91 tackles) and LB Avery Williamson (135 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 FF) the team leaders.

All 2013 College Football Previews:

MAC
Conference USA
Mountain West
Sun Belt
American Athletic
Independents
ACC
Big 12
Big Ten
Pac-12
SEC
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