Alabama was our pick to win SEC Western Division in 2015

It is very difficult to make pre-season predictions in college football, but we did get it right on far

Back in the summer at Southeastern Conference Media Days, one of the tasks of sports reporters attending the event is to rank the league teams with a pre-season prediction. It is a job that the media has not done too well with in most seasons.


Our choice, no surprise here, was Alabama to win the SEC Western Division, and that was also the overall selection of voters. In a curious development, though, the media had Auburn – its second place choice in the West – to win the overall championship.


Our choice in the East, as with every pre-season poll we saw, was for Georgia to win the West.


That doesn’t mean we didn’t have other serious errors. We thought that Alabama would defeat Ole Miss and that the Rebels would falter. We picked Mississippi dead last in the West, and the Rebs came within a miracle comeback by Arkansas to being the West representative in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game.


Instead, it will be Alabama – our pre-season choice to take the overall championship -- vs. Florida at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Saturday for the league crown. Kickoff will be at 3 p.m. CST (4 p.m. Eastern time) with CBS televising the event.


Although almost everyone picked Auburn too high in the pre-season, we saw the Tigers as only slightly better than their final resting place at the bottom of the SEC West. We picked Auburn to lose four conference games, not six.


While we did not foresee Florida’s top spot in the East, we did pick the Gators to be better than most did. Our prediction was that the Gators would be 4-4, behind Georgia and Tennessee and tied with Missouri, which also had a worse year than expected. (We didn’t want to be completely fooled again by Coach Gary Pinkel’s Tigers, who had won the East the two previous seasons.)


In our pre-season prediction, we agreed that Alabama might have one loss since the Tide had by far the most difficult schedule based on pre-season predictions. We did not, however, think that loss would be at the hands of the Rebels. The trip to Georgia seemed the most likely spot for a loss, or perhaps Bama wouldn’t be able to stop LSU and Leonard Fournette.


Here is how we predicted it:




Alabama 8-0, 12-0


LSU 7-1, 11-1


Texas A&M  5-3, 9-3


Arkansas 5-3, 9-3


Auburn 4-4, 8-4


Mississippi State 3-5, 7-5


Ole Miss 1-7, 5-7




Georgia 7-1, 11-1


Tennessee 5-3, 9-3


Florida 4-4, 7-5


Missouri 4-4, 7-5


Kentucky 2-6, 5-7


South Carolina 1-7, 3-9


Vanderbilt 0-8, 4-8


And here is how it turned out:




Alabama 7-1, 11-1


Ole Miss 6-2, 9-3


Arkansas 5-3, 7-5


LSU 5-3, 8-3


Texas A&M 4-4, 8-4


Mississippi State 4-4, 8-4


Auburn 2-6, 6-6




Florida 7-1, 10-2


Tennessee 5-3, 8-4


Georgia 5-3, 9-3


Vanderbilt 2-6, 4-8


Kentucky 2-6, 5-7


Missouri 1-7, 5-7


South Carolina 1-7, 3-9

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