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T-Dawg81's 2016 SEC East Preview

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Thoughts and projections for the SEC Eastern Division for 2016 including wins and losses.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know about you but I feel like I have been on a long sabbatical from football. The Canadian Football League has started playing and I enjoy watching those games. The NFL, well I no longer watch because it just doesn't seem like football anymore when they can't tackle, wear shorts (except for linemen), downing the quarterback is like flag football and most get paid more money than you can justify them making. So I'm ready for college football to start and of course the best brand of it is in the SEC brother!

Looking at the SEC East there are three new coaches (Missouri, Georgia and South Carolina) and I think one coach that is probably done by the end of the year. That hot seat is not because of the coaching as much as not being able to get talent enough to get over the hump. I think Kentucky will be looking for a new coach by the end of the year. They just haven't been able to break through and get any kind of signature win so a coaching change is in the air I believe. The eastern side is still weaker than the west so it would be natural to think that the easiest schedules are on the eastern side. Vanderbilt has the weakest followed by Tennessee, Missouri, South Carolina, Kentucky and Florida having the sixth weakest schedule in the SEC (taken from Athlon Sports: "Ranking the SEC's Toughest College Football Schedule in 2016").

Going from projected worst to first in the East:

7th -- Kentucky (2-10/ 0-8) They start off with a loss to Southern Miss at home and it goes downhill fast as they go to Florida next before South Carolina comes to town and that is followed by a blood-letting in Tuscaloosa. By the time Miss. St. bags the Cats they are in free-fall ending with road games @ Tennessee and Louisville.

6th -- South Carolina (4-8/ 1-7) Muschamp left Auburn after one year (A lot of coaches and players do!) but loaded the bus before he left with several players after Malzahn basically asked him who did he want. Strange I know but that's Malzahn! Most of those won't play this year and there is very little quality depth so the Gamecocks offense will sputter like a ten year old KIA with water in the gas tank. They should beat Kentucky, East and West Carolina as well as UMass but that is it.

5th -- Missouri (5-7/ 2-6) New coach with solid approach that the players are buying into. They need a SEC quarterback and an offensive line to protect him. Road games at Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and L.S.U. pretty much seal the deal. Kentucky at home along with really weak non conference games helps build for 2017.

4th -- Vanderbilt (7-5/ 3-5) S. Carolina and Missouri come to Nashville and they should win at Kentucky. Those wins along with a weak non conference schedule should help Vandy go bowling this year.

3rd -- Georgia (9-3/ 5-3) If a quarterback at Georgia develops rapidly Georgia could win the East but as it is I see home losses to Tennessee, TSUN and Florida but any of those are winnable so they could have more wins easily.

2nd -- Florida (9-3/ 5-3) I see Florida and Georgia as being dead even actually. Florida has definite talent in place and the coaching staff all hung together after last year. If the offense comes around the East will be a 3-Way fight to the finish. It could be tough going into Knoxville and Athens. If they can win those two then the sky is the limit.

1st -- Tennessee (12-0/ 8-0) Tennessee has been building something. I think this is the year they make a major step towards the playoff. Their schedule is the 2nd weakest in the SEC and their non-conference games are laughable (Appalachain St., @VT, Ohio and Tn. Tech) so they may struggle with those picking playoff teams. The key game to Tennessee challenging for a national title will be when the Crimson Tide comes calling.

So that's my SEC East projections, the West will follow soon.