mizzou-to-sec-map-1024x740We’re at the start of summer and a couple of months away from football coming back. I could not be more excited for the new season and all of the storylines that will unfold, so without further ado, here are my bold predictions for the 2016 season:

The SEC West- ­ LSU Will Win It:

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On the back of Leonard Fournette LSU will win its first SEC West title since 2011. Now this isn’t as bold as I could go with this prediction, but I feel any pick that isn’t Alabama is bold. That all being said, LSU not only returns a lot of starters, but they return a lot of PRODUCTION.

This is something that few teams can boast as much as LSU can. With the strong core returning, and with a reinvigorated and motivated Leonard Fournette, look for the Tigers to make some noise, especially in the November 5th game at Tiger stadium against Alabama.

The SEC East­– Florida will repeat:

"The Florida Gators hold off the Kentucky Wildcats 36-30 in triple overtime in their SEC opener."

No Hargreaves, no Taylor, and no Grier? No problem. I hate to admit it but this Florida team is going to be good again. Sure Tennessee will get all of the hype as the favorite, yet again, but in the end it will be the Gators representing the East in Atlanta.

Just think about it. They are returning 16 starters. This includes 7 starters from a defense that was one of the most stout and toughest defenses in the SEC last year (thanks to Muschamp’s recruiting).

How about the other side of the ball?

Well, they’re returning 4 starters on their offensive line, adding a CLEAN quarterback (insert Will Grier joke here) who actually knows how to throw a ball (insert Treon Harris joke here) in Feleipe Franks, and returning Antonio Callaway who is set for an unbelievable year. This isn’t even noting the 15, ESPN 300, four star recruits they’ve added this year, which includes the nation’s number 1 JUCO running back.

Tennessee will fail to meet expectations, Georgia isn’t ready just yet, and the rest of the East is awful. Add all of that up and Florida will be back in Atlanta in 2016.

Chad Kelly Will Win The Heisman:

Chad Kelly turned some heads in April when he called himself the best QB in the nation, but he will prove it this year. YES, this guy will be the best quarterback and player in college football:

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This is because “Swag Kelly” threw for a school record 4,042 yard with 31 touchdowns last year and averaged 310.9 yards per game, and posted the most total yards ever for an SEC player not named Johnny Manziel. He also threw for 300 yards EIGHT times last year, while the rest of the SEC Quarterbacks had FIVE combined.

And I know what y’all are thinking, “But wait they’re losing Laquan Treadwell;” BUT I’m here to say that won’t make a difference.

The Rebels return Damore’ea Stringfellow and Quincy Adeboyejo, who combined to catch 74 passes for 1,107 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. In addition, they return tight end Evan Engram, who was one of the top receiving tight ends in the SEC last year after catching 38 passes for 464 yards, and they have a plethora of rising talent.

With all this in Chad Kelly’s favor look for him to have another amazing year and to reel in some hardware. It’s gonna be Swag Kelly’s world, with all of us just living in it.

Brice Ramsey Will Be QB 1 at Georgia:

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Everyone is penciling in Jacob Eason as the starter, but… NOT SO FAST (Corso voice).

I love Eason and think he will be a stud, but Kirby Smart will try to let him wait a little to develop before giving him the reigns under center.

That leaves it to Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey. Kirby likes Brice Ramsey, and he met with Brice when he first arrived on campus to discuss the fact that he wanted him to play quarterback. In addition to this, Brice went 16 for 25 and 224 yards on G Day, including some very impressive throws. Lambert on the other hand went 11 for 22 and threw for 140 yards with an atrocious interception, where he seemingly just threw up a jump ball.

Because of this, look for Ramsey to be the signal caller for UGA when they open up against North Carolina in the Georgia Dome, but don’t expect it to last too long. The buzz on Eason is just too good to keep him out.

Kevin Sumlin Will Be Fired:

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I have nothing against Sumlin at all. I think he seems like a great person, and he is an amazing offensive mind, but he will become a victim of his own success.

Sumlin started at Texas A&M the same year that they joined the SEC, and in that year they had a magical season. Johnny Manziel became a household name. They beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa. And they won the Cotton bowl over Oklahoma.
Everything looked amazing for the Aggies, but since that year it has been three seasons of
letdowns.

This is because they have gone 4­9 against Top 25 teams, and they haven’t finished above .500 in conference play since Sumlin’s inaugural season. Also during this time, the Aggies’ athletic department has pumped an insane amount of money into the program. The school just spent north of $450 million to renovate Kyle Field. This has made the stadium one of the largest and nicest stadiums in the SEC. For all of these resources they are pumping in, the Aggie faithful and boosters will want results.

It also doesn’t help that there has been a huge sense of unrest in the clubhouse. Take this offseason for example, Texas A&M went from having two star quarterbacks in Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray, to having neither on their roster; and even after that, an assistant coach had an outburst on twitter that cost the school a couple more recruits.

Expectations, resources, turmoil, and a lack of results are not a healthy mix for a head coach in the SEC; and because of this, Kevin Sumlin will be out as the Texas A&M coach at the end of this year.

Well there you have it. My bold predictions for the SEC this year. Would love to know your feelings and what I got wrong and right, so feel free to comment below!

@WCS_Miller