The Eastern division is a bit more interesting than the West since there are no overwhelming favorites. Big questions surround all the contenders.
Georgia/South Carolina: 2/1
The Gators are the early favorite but John Brantley is the story of the year as far as this blog is concerned. He looked good in the spring game but it is hard to tell how an untested quarterback will fare going through a halfway decent schedule. Games at Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida State are not how I would want to begin my career, especially with the pressure of championships and the legend of Tebow hanging over my head. I say that if you want even odds, put your money on a hand of blackjack, not the Gators in the SEC east.
September 11th at Brice Williams stadium will go a long way to deciding which of the 2/1 teams will be in contention. Georgia goes on the road for that game but has its usual talent and coaching advantage. (Yes I said it Spurrier, but you won’t get off the golf course long enough to fight back.) For my opinion of South Carolina, read my comments on Arkansas and substitute Stephen Garcia in anywhere you see Ryan Mallet. (And BJ McKie for Scotty Thurman while we are at it.) I think Georgia wins this game and has the best value for the SEC East title. Escpecially if AJ Green did not take his talents to South Beach and manages to stay on the team.
Tennessee is giving 3-1 odds for no real apparent reason. That program is in turmoil. Quite frankly I’m still in shock that they hired Derek Dooley. What happened UT? Steve Spurrier Jr and Cub Bryant turn you down? Although their odds should improve since Dooley is reinstating all his allegedly criminal players, don’t expect big things out of the program this year.
Kentucky and Vanderbilt are the long shots in the division. Kentucky does have Calipari in the building so if any SEC football team was going to have a surprise year and have it later discovered in a big scandal, its them. (Note: Pouncey being paid 100 grand, UT guys getting into bar brawls and leaving the city without telling anyone, and Green and the USC tight end partying in Miami only count as minor scandals in the SEC.) And Vandy at 25-1 is nice but their football coach just quit in July because he couldn’t stand watching those guys play anymore.
To recap for people who have had a few too many bourbon meyer’s tonight, Georgia is the value bet for this conference, although I personally think the Gators win it all.