Previewing The SEC
by James Lindley
For the 1st time in a while, the SEC will not have the defending national champions in their conference. Florida State was able to knock off Auburn last year in the title game, and that means there are a few hungry teams looking to win the first-ever BCS playoff. So who are the championship contenders? Here are the 3 best teams in the SEC with national championship talent.
Many would just assume that Alabama would need time to replace so many talented players from 2013. However, and looks like it will be business as usual in Tuscaloosa. Alabama will have a very strong frontline that will allow TJ Yeldon and Derrick Henry to run the ball with ease. Both will have strong seasons in fantasy football as far as numbers are concerned.
Alabama still need to figure out who will step up at quarterback, but right now Jacob Coker seems like the man for the job. It would be a crazy twist if Coker, a former Florida State quarterback, led his team to the national championship game against the Seminoles at the end of the year.
Dec 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Auburn Tigers cornerback Chris Davis (11) holds up the SEC sign after the 2013 SEC Championship game against the Missouri Tigers at Georgia Dome. The Auburn Tigers defeated the Missouri Tigers 59-42. Photo courtesy by - Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports.Auburn
Offense was able to help Auburn get all the way to the national championship game in 2013, but they will need a better defense to return. They will be counting on linebacker CassanovaMcKinzy to be the leader on that side of the ball, but make no mistake, this is still a team that will be offensive-oriented.
Nick Marshall returns as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback. He has the ability to put up strong numbers in fantasy football at the college level. It is going to be a little bit tougher without talented running back Tre Mason, but fortunately Marshall has quite a few targets to throw the ball to. This team led the nation in ground offense in 2013, but they might be forced to pass the ball a little bit more this year. It's going to be tough to get by Alabama once again, but they know what it takes.South Carolina
In the SEC East, no team looks better on paper. South Carolina has a pretty favorable schedule, and it gets easier as the season goes along. If they can survive early on with no losses, they could legitimately run the table in 2014. It might be hard for them to do that with a new quarterback, but Dylan Thompson looks like a very strong replacement for Connor Shaw.
Thompson has a few weapons to throw to this year, including wide receivers Damiere Byrd and Shaq Roland. Running back Mike Davis should also have a big year as part of the running game and the passing game.
On defense, things are obviously going to be a bit different without JadeveonClowney. The new anchor on the team will be SharrodGolightly, as he is the most talented linebacker on the roster.