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Who’s the Dark Horse in the SEC this year?

When the words SEC football are said, they come with historic and consistent baggage that is implicitly implied anytime the SEC is mentioned. Alabama comes to mind instantly and the legacy that future Hall of Famer Nick Saban has built over the past decade at Alabama. In addition to the top recruiting class after top recruiting class, they have shown that they can compete, and defeat with ease, the best of the best. They have been to the playoffs since it began in 2014-2015 and have won two titles. Other teams such as Georgia and LSU have been ranked high but haven’t seemed to find a way to consistently make it to the playoffs. Here’s a list of the teams that can surprise the whole country this year:

Florida Gators +1200

The Florida Gators haven’t been in the playoff picture for a while and this year may be the year that the Gators take the next step to getting more wins and making a push against the top tier teams. Under Dan Mullen as head coach, Florida has been inching up towards winning the SEC. This year they will have more offensive star power than they did when Urban Meyer was the coach. That in itself is a major improvement for this team that ranked 42nd in offense in all of the FBS.

Their QB Feleipe Franks has fully become a capable thrower and willing runner. He has lived up to his expectations and showed what he’s capable off while having a great game against Michigan at the end of the year. He’ll be joined by an experienced backfield in Lamical Perine and sophomore Dameon Pierce.

Keep an eye out on their play and how the fair during the season because they could be much better than people are expecting.

Auburn Tigers +2500

Florid’s O-line is solid and will be a force to reckon with, but their’s one team’s defense that could show them Major Problems is that of the Auburn Tigers. They have arguably the best D-line in college football coming into 2019 and are quite strong on the offensive end of the ball as well. It will bode well for whoever wins the quarterback battle between Bo Nix and Joey Gatewood.

The receivers should take another step forward too, a young unit with some real speedsters like Anthony Schwartz, a promising young player,

But do they have the leadership at the QB position and consistency under the headset with Gus Malzahn to conquer a team like Alabama or LSU? They might get lucky with one of them, but the West would have to be sheer chaos for them to get to Atlanta.

LSU Tigers +1200

After Alabama and Georgia, LSU is the team to keep your eye on in the SEC. They had a solid season last year with big wins against Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M and UCF. Their road this year won’t be any easier as they play Texas in Austin early on the season and that’s going to be their biggest test that I don’t believe they’re prepared for.

Ed Orgeron’s ability to lead a quality program has been doubted for far too long and it’s time to start giving the offense some credit again. Joe Burrow isn’t going to win All-American honors, but he will definitely be among the better-half of SEC starting QBs this season. He’s a strong quarterback who can keep his cool in crunch time and be the difference maker in their close games this year.

LSU’s has produced NFL tanks at the Cornerback and Safety positions and will have as good as ever players at those positions this year as well. Grant Delpit is the next great safety, already having been an All-American as a sophomore, who’s game will transition to the NFL quite easily. Kristian Fulton, Cornerback, can also be an All-American and Derek Stingley Jr. will have to step up and play a huge role as a freshman.

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