Campus Corner

August 23, 2014

SEC blitz: Projections, bowl teams and award winners for 2014

The Star’s Blair Kerkhoff handicaps the 2014 Southeastern Conference football season, with projected order of finish, bowl teams, games to watch and award winners.

Campus Corner

The Star's blog on college sports, featuring Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri

Season projections

SEC EAST

1. South Carolina >> 6-2, 10-2

Depth carries a Gamecocks team that lost its quarterback, top defender and top receiver.

2. Georgia >> 6-2, 10-2

Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are the nation’s top running back tandem.

3. Missouri >> 5-3, 9-3

Tigers are good enough to make it two straight division titles.

4. Florida >> 4-4, 7-5

Heat is on Will Muschamp, who might need to at least reverse last year’s 4-8 finish.

5. Vanderbilt >> 3-5, 7-5

Can Stanford assistant Derek Mason continue what James Franklin started?

6. Tennessee >> 3-5, 6-6

Vols have to rebuild both sides of line before making move in division.

7. Kentucky >> 0-8, 2-10

Wildcats looking to bust out of the 2-10 habit.

SEC WEST

1. Alabama >> 8-0, 12-0

Stop a field-goal return for a touchdown and Alabama would have played for 2013 SEC title.

2. Auburn >> 6-2, 9-3

SEC defenses get a second crack at Gus Malzahn’s uptempo offense.

3. LSU >> 5-3, 9-3

Very talented but young, LSU might be a year away from a serious run at division.

4. Mississippi >> 4-4, 7-5

Rebels have a chance to make a move with Bo Wallace at quarterback

5. Texas A&M >> 3-5, 7-5

Kyle Allen takes over for Johnny Football, but the Aggies also have to find a new defense.

6. Mississippi State >> 2-6, 6-6

There’s optimism with 18 returning starters, but the division is a killer.

7. Arkansas >> 1-7, 4-8

Razorbacks should be able to shorten games with good backs, offensive line.

Bowl teams

College Football Playoff: Alabama

Orange: Auburn

Peach: South Carolina

Capital One: Georgia

Outback: LSU

Music City: Missouri

Gator: Florida

Liberty: Mississippi

Texas: Texas A&M

Belk: Vanderbilt

Birmingham: Tennessee

Independence: Mississippi State

Three can’t-miss games

Sept. 13: Georgia at South Carolina

Bulldogs broke a three game losing streak in the series last year. The winner gets a leg up in division race.

Nov. 8: Alabama at LSU

’Bama-LSU games always seem to come down a final possession in Baton Rouge.

Nov. 29: Auburn at Alabama

How can they top last year’s epic Iron Bowl?

Award winners

Offensive player of the year: Todd Gurley, Georgia running back. Gurley missed three games last season and still accounted for 1,430 total yards (rushing and receiving) and 16 touchdowns.

Defensive player of the year: Landon Collins, Alabama safety. Collins played strong and free safety last season and wound up as the Crimson Tide’s second-leading tackler.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

Related content

Comments

Videos

Sports Videos