Campus Corner

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

Georgia running back Todd Gurley (right)
Georgia running back Todd Gurley (right) The Associated Press

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.

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