- Will Kentucky or Tennessee emerge as the second-best team in the SEC East?
- Georgia (-600 to win the division)
- Kentucky Wildcats (+1000 to win the division)
- Tennessee Volunteers (+1200 to win the division)
- Florida Gators (+1400 to win the division)
- South Carolina (+3300 to win the division)
- Missouri Tigers (+6000 to win the division)
- Vanderbilt (+25000 to win the division)
Will Kentucky or Tennessee Emerge as the Second-Best Team in the SEC East?
Georgia (-600 to win the division)
Five defensive players were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft so there will be holes to fill off one truly dominant defense. Nolan Smith will lead the new-look defense and Jalen Carter is being projected as a top-10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Tight end Brock Bowers gives the Bulldogs one of the nation’s top offensive playmakers. He is one of the reasons why Georgia leads the way in the SEC East Division odds.
Jermaine Burton, who was second on the 2021 Bulldogs with 497 receiving yards, transferred to Alabama while fellow receiver Justin Robinson landed at Mississippi State. After stops at USC and Georgia, quarterback J.T. Daniels’ next stop is West Virginia.
Defensive backs Ameer Speed and Jalen Kimber transferred to Michigan State and Florida, and safety Latavious Brini is off to Arkansas. Defensive lineman Tymon Mitchell is now at Texas Christian. Offensive lineman Clay Webb, a former top-50 national recruit, has also left the program.
Georgia trails only Alabama in the NCAA football championship odds, coming in at +375. The expected win total of 10 1/2 is well within the grasp of the Bulldogs.
Kentucky Wildcats (+1000 to win the division)
Great things are being predicted for quarterback Will Levis who did just fine in his first season in the SEC after transferring from Penn State. Somebody will need to step up to replace Wan’Dale Robinson’s 104 receptions. Six of the top seven tacklers were seniors so there are some questions on that side of the ball.
Kentucky’s offense should get a boost with the arrival of Virginia Tech’s second-leading receiver Tayvion Robinson, Cornerback Keidron Smith, who had 64 tackles and two interceptions for Ole Miss in 2021, will bolster Kentucky’s secondary. Defensive lineman Darrion Henry-Young joins the Wildcats from Ohio State while Tashawn Manning comes over from Auburn.
Kentucky had nearly 20 players transfer and that includes offensive lineman RJ Adams and receiver Isaiah Epps. Those departures could be a reason for the low expected win total of 7 1/2.
Tennessee Volunteers (+1200 to win the division)
Former USC receiver Bru McCoy, a top-10 rated player coming out of high school could be the most noteworthy player to transfer to Tennessee. He figures to be on the receiving end of plenty of passes from quarterback Hendon Hooker. Cedric Tillman is back after hauling in 12 touchdown passes in 2021. Jabari Small could make a run at a 1,000-yard season.
McCoy is not the only prominent transfer. Georgia Tech’s sixth-leading tackler Wesley Walker, Florida offensive lineman Gerald Mincey, Nebraska linebacker Jackson Hannah, and Ohio State defensive back Andre Turrentine are among the new additions.
Tennessee had 15 players transfer since the start of January so that could impact the depth, but this is a team to keep an eye on. The SEC East Division odds might be undervaluing the Volunteers a little bit. It would be a surprise if Tennessee doesn’t top its expected win total of 7 1/2.
Florida Gators (+1400 to win the division)
It is hard to know what to make of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. His name is showing up as a potential high first-round draft pick in next year’s NFL Draft but he has thrown less than 70 passes in the last two seasons for the Gators. That could change with new coaching staff in place. The college football betting odds have Richardson tied for second among SEC players in the odds to win the Heisman Trophy.
New Florida coach Billy Napier added running back Montrell Johnson (12 touchdown runs as a freshman) as well as offensive linemen O’Cyrus Torrence and Kamryn Waites from his previous stop. Arizona State’s top receiver Ricky Pearsall and Georgia cornerback Jalen Kimber are among the other incoming transfers.
With so many changes, it is hard to know what to make of Florida’s SEC East Division odds.
Starting quarterback Emory Jones transferred to Arizona State, top receiver Jacob Copeland transferred to Maryland, second-leading tackler Mohamoud Diabate left for Utah, and fourth-leading tackler Ty’Ron Hopper is now at Missouri while tight end Kemore Gamble headed to UCF and those are all key losses.
South Carolina (+3300 to win the division)
South Carolina had one of the worst offenses in the SEC a season ago and head coach Shane Beamer was active on the transfer portal trying to rectify that situation.
Former Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler leads the list of players transferring to South Carolina. He will be throwing to Corey Rucker, Arkansas State’s top receiver in 2021 as well as Antwane Wells (83 catches 1250 yards at James Madison in 2021). Running back Lovasea Carroll comes in from Georgia while Wake Forest’s leading rusher Christian Beal-Smith is also a running back to watch. Tight end Austin Stogner comes in from Oklahoma.
There were also some additions on defense. Safety Devonni Reed, who had nearly 300 tackles over the last four seasons at Central Michigan, will be joined by former North Carolina State defensive end Terrell Dawkins.
Missouri Tigers (+6000 to win the division)
Things will look different when the Tigers have the ball without Tyler Badie, the SEC’s leading rusher. Even with Badie helping the Tigers extend drives, Missouri ranked near the bottom of the conference in both scoring defense and total defense.
Oklahoma State defensive tackle Jayden Jernigan, Stanford’s leading rusher Nathaniel Peat, Florida linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper, Baylor defensive lineman Josh Landry, and former Southern Miss quarterback Jack Abraham, join the Missouri program.
Starting quarterback Connor Bazelak and defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo are among the players who transferred out.
Vanderbilt (+25000 to win the division)
Head coach Clark Lea has his work cut out for him as he starts his second season at the helm of the Vanderbilt program. The Commodores were last in the SEC in both scoring offense and scoring defense so there is nowhere to go but up.
Nine quarterback sacks including six in conference play are simply not going to get the job done.
UConn cornerback Jeremy Lucien, Clemson linebacker Kane Patterson, and Cal Poly defensive linemen lead the list of newcomers.
Vanderbilt had nearly 20 players transfer including leading tackler Anfernee Orji, third-leading receiver Cam Johnson, safety Deshaun Jenkins, and offensive lineman Tyler Steen.Follow us on Twitter