The SEC has pretty much been the best conference in football over the past decade, and will be going for its seventh straight BCS national championship in 2012-13.
And to further the conference’s dominance, they have won eight of the 14 games in the history of the BCS, while having more teams appear in the National Championship game than any other conference with nine.
So, the real question isn’t whether the SEC will likely send another contender to the BCS National Championship Game in 2012-13, but who that team will be.
The SEC West Champion has claimed the SEC Championship for the past three seasons, but this year the winner could hail from the East.
So to help you prepare to place your wagers on this season’s conference winner, here is our short list of teams to win the SEC crown in 2012-13.
Alabama 11-5 Odds To Win SEC Championship
One of the two co-favorites for this year’s conference. Although many said, they would not acknowledge the 2011 BCS National Champions. Those people quickly changed their tune when they saw how soundly the Crimson Tide thumped the LSU Tigers. And while Bama lost quite a bit of talent to the NFL Draft, Nick Saban’s recruiting power should help fill those gaps.
But questions remain. How will the Tide bounce back from losing star running back, Trent Richardson? Will does Alabama hold up through a grueling SEC schedule that includes road games against Arkansas, Missouri, and of course, LSU, as well as one non-conference date against a very good Michigan team? Nevertheless, if Eddie Lacy has the talent to become the next 1,000 yard rusher for the Tide, this team could once again be the best team in the nation. (Also see: Over-Under Win Totals – BCS Champion Odds)
LSU 11-5 Odds To Win SEC Championship
The other co-favorite to win the SEC are the Tigers, who after an impressive undefeated 2011 regular season, collapsed in the title game, and will no doubt be looking for revenge on November 3 against Alabama in a backyard rematch. The Tigers could stumble along the way though, playing a tough schedule that includes road games against Florida, Auburn, Texas A&M, and Arkansas.
All that will likely challenge LSU’s NFL draft-depleted defense, while making their shot at redemption, no walk in the park. The Tigers also have to contend with the liability of first year starting quarterback in Zach Mettenberger. (Also see: Over-Under Win Totals – BCS Champion Odds)
Georgia 11-2 Odds To Win SEC Championship
The defending SEC East Champions return 15 starters and should once again be a factor to play in Atlanta for the SEC title in 2012. They do however, have some things going against them this season. First, the Bulldogs had to once again dismiss their leading rusher, and doubts still remain on Heisman candidate Aaron Murray’s ability to put up the kind of numbers that can lead this team.
Looking at the schedule though does lend itself on the side of the Bulldogs. They have two, maybe three real chances to grab wins on the road against Missouri, South Carolina, and Auburn, unless things just go horribly wrong. If they can beat the Gamecocks, Georgia can indeed make a return trip to the SEC Championship game. (Also see: Over-Under Win Totals – BCS Champion Odds)
South Carolina 10-1 Odds To Win SEC Championship
Steve Spurrier turned the Gamecocks into a legitimate contender for the SEC in 2012, and maybe even a national title contender. With the return of 18 starters from a squad that finished 11-2 which included an inspiring Capital One Bowl win over Nebraska. This may likely be the best team the Ol’ Ball Coach has fielded since he took over a South Carolina football program that had settled into mediocrity. All of the Gamecocks offensive power however, hinges on the return of running back Marcus Lattimore who is expected to be 100 percent recovered from his knee injury. If Lattimore is even 75 percent, it could be just enough to ease the pressure on quarterback Connor Shaw, who will is still searching for his breakout season.
While South Carolina does have one most talented defensive fronts in college football. A rough schedule that includes a five game stretch versus Georgia, at LSU, at Florida, Arkansas, and at Clemson, will be no easy task. Nevertheless, if any coach can navigate his way through that slate, Spurrier is the man for the job. (Also see: Over-Under Win Totals – BCS Champion Odds)