The Western division has a lot of contenders this year. You have the usual with Alabama and LSU being good teams, but of course this year we worry about last year's Championship game contender in Auburn. We also can't count out the great recruiting class of Texas A&M. I feel that considering each team's schedule and pure strength on returners and recruiting, that you must feel that Alabama may come back into the lead for the SEC West this year.
The Good: The best defensive player in the country plays for the Gamecocks as JadeveonClowney has lived up to the hype and thrown fear into every offense he sees. Having him back this year will make the Gamecocks a contender in the East,the SEC and the nation. However, don't forget Conner Shaw and Dylan Thompson, who will share the QB position. Both players have won big games and are tough to defense.
The Bad: Losing Marcus Lattimore to a knee injury, then an early trip to the NFL, will put a lot of pressure on sophomore Mike Davis. On the other side of the ball, the defense lost all three linebackers.
The Ugly: Despite winning eleven games last year, Carolina ranked last in rushing in the SEC.
Starters Returning: 6 – Offense/ 5 - Defense.
Schedule: The schedule bodes quite well as Mississippi State replaces LSU, and the 'Cocks spend all of November at home. The only stumbling block in the first two months of the season is on the road at Georgia, but they get the Dawgs early, and against a defense that might not be ready.
This team is loaded. Clowney, Shaw, Thompson and WR Bruce Ellington
give Steve Spurrier one of the best teams he has ever had in Columbia.
The key is the schedule. Last year, USC had to play LSU, and that was
the difference between winning the East, and finishing third. This
year, both UGA and Florida play LSU, while the Gamecocks added
Mississippi State, and that is going to be the difference this time as
they will win the SEC East championship.
Prediction: 1st SEC East.
Read more at 2013 SEC Football Preview and Predictions.
Individual 2013 SEC Football Team Previews and Predictions (Listed in Order of Predicted Finish):
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