Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
College football win totals have been released for the upcoming 2020 NCAA season. Which teams in the SEC are going over and who are going under this fall?
Though it seems very far away, there is increased optimism we will have a college football season in some way, shape or form. As sports slowly, but surely will come back into our lives, college football could be gearing up for its most magical season to date. There are only two teams who feel like locks to make the College Football Playoff and neither of them plays in the SEC.
Even if the playoff ends up with the ACC’s Clemson Tigers and the Big Ten’s Ohio State Buckeyes in the field, the SEC will surely have a team getting in next December. Last year, it was the LSU Tigers, while the Alabama Crimson Tide had made it every other year, plus, the Georgia Bulldogs in 2017. All three have their shot at getting in this year, but there are a few other programs to watch.
The best way to figure out if a team can make it into the playoff or not is to look at its regular-season schedule. Who does it play at home or on the road? Does it face a tough non-conference opponent? And how navigable is the 12-game slate really? The SEC could have upwards of six teams vying for a playoff berth. How many wins are these schools projected to have?
Here are the win totals for the SEC in 2020 from Caesars Sportsbook.
Alabama Crimson Tide: 10.5
Over: The Crimson Tide won’t have back-to-back two-loss regular seasons under Nick Saban. Though they have some tough games on the slate, the only loss that feels certain is at LSU after a bye. They could beat the Tigers in Baton Rouge, but Georgia at home and Auburn at home are tough. Potential road trip-ups are at Ole Miss and at Tennessee. Alabama will lose, but not twice.
Arkansas Razorbacks: 3.5
Over: In a best-case scenario, Arkansas could go bowling at 7-5 in Sam Pittman’s first year on the job. While that won’t happen, the Hogs should be able to double their win total from two to four in 2020. Kent State, Charleston Southern and ULM are winnable in the non-conference. Ole Miss and at Missouri could be late-season wins. Maybe they knock off another mid-tier SEC West foe?
Auburn Tigers: 8.5
Under: Auburn won’t win at Alabama or at Georgia in any capacity. The Tigers won’t beat LSU at home either. That leaves no margin for error to hit the over. North Carolina in Atlanta could be challenging. Kentucky and Texas A&M won’t be easy home games. Playing the Mississippi schools on the road won’t be easy either. Though they’ll win most of those games, they’ll still drop one.
Florida Gators: 10
Push: Florida could be one win better than this, but going 10-2 overall and 6-2 in SEC play feels very likely. The Gators have three tough games: LSU, at Tennessee and vs. Georgia in Jacksonville. Hosting Kentucky in early September is always a sneaky game. If the Gators beat the Vols in Knoxville and the Dawgs down in Jacksonville, that would be remarkable. 10-2 feels about right.
Georgia Bulldogs: 10
Over: This all comes down to what the Dawgs do vs. Florida in Jacksonville. A win there likely means a fourth-straight SEC East title. Georgia won’t beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa in early September, but get a bunch of scheduling breaks along the way. The Dawgs never lose to Auburn at home and they’ll be out for blood to avenge last year’s loss to South Carolina. It’ll be 11-1 again.
Kentucky Wildcats: 7
Push: Kentucky has too much positive momentum under Mark Stoops to not make it to a bowl. However, the Wildcats have a lot of tough games, home and away. They can get to 6-2 before their bye with losses at Florida and at Auburn. They need one win in the final four at Tennessee, Mississippi State, Georgia and at Louisville. They could beat one of their rivals to get to 7-5.
LSU Tigers: 9
Under: LSU feels like an 8-4 team with so many great players going pro after winning it all. At Florida feels like a loss and home vs. Alabama is another. Ending the season with back-to-back road games vs. Auburn and Texas A&M will be very challenging. The Bayou Bengals should be able to beat one of them, but not both. If they drop another game at home, that’s 8-4.
Mississippi State Bulldogs: 6.5
Under: Even though Mike Leach‘s Air Raid system is designed to get the most out of lesser talent, it will be quite the offensive overhaul in Starkville. Playing NC State in Raleigh could be trouble. Mississippi State may not win a game in October with dates vs. Texas A&M, at Alabama, at LSU and vs. Auburn. At Kentucky will be tough. Mississippi State is closer to 5-7 than 7-5 this fall.
Missouri Tigers: 5
Push: Elijah Drinkwitz will realize by October he’s not in the Sun Belt anymore. Mizzou may go 3-1 in September but could go on a terrible six-game losing streak mid-season. A win vs. Louisiana may have the Tigers at 4-6 heading into Battle Line vs. Arkansas. Since Sam Pittman is a first-year head coach and this game is in Columbia, maybe the Tigers finish the season on a positive note?
Ole Miss Rebels: 5.5
Over: This isn’t Lane Kiffin’s first rodeo leading a college program. Wherever he’s been, he’s had his team playing in bowl games early. Though the Rebels struggled for much of Matt Luke’s tenure, the Rebels have a feel of 7-5. If they beat Dave Aranda’s Baylor Bears in Houston, that’ll be a huge boost. A win at home vs. Mississippi State could get the Rebels to bowl eligibility.
South Carolina Gamecocks: 5.5
Under: This will be Will Muschamp’s last year in Columbia. Not only do the Gamecocks play Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas A&M annually, as well as Clemson to end the year, but South Carolina draws LSU out of the SEC West rotation. The Gamecocks aren’t beating Georgia this year, even if the game is at home. South Carolina will barely go under at 5-7 this fall.
Tennessee Volunteers: 7.5
Over: Jeremy Pruitt is doing a great job rebuilding this Tennessee program the right way. Tennessee will obviously achieve bowl eligibility but will need two more wins to get to 8-4 and hit the over. At Oklahoma, at Georgia and Alabama are likely losses. Florida probably is, too. But the rest of their games are totally winnable.
Texas A&M Aggies: 9.5
Under: This is the easiest one of the 14 SEC teams to figure. Though Texas A&M might be better than they were a year ago, the Aggies aren’t winning 10 games next year. Are you kidding me? They have to play at Alabama and at Auburn, plus host LSU at the end of the season. Texas A&M will drop at least two of those games. At Mississippi State and at South Carolina aren’t easy either.
Vanderbilt Commodores: 3
Under: Vanderbilt will be the new Arkansas of the SEC, as they won’t win a conference game next year and maybe go 2-10 in the process. Hosting the Mercer Bears is the only game on their schedule where they’ll be considerable favorites. Kansas State, Colorado State and Louisiana Tech are quality non-conference games, but how sure are we the ‘Dores are going to win any of those?