Welcome to theBRKDWN’s inaugural College Football Cheat Sheet Series! The slowest time of the sports year is winding down with NFL training camp in full swing and college football kicking off in less than three weeks.
Not everyone has the time to research and break down every team in college football before the upcoming season, so we at theBRKDWN wanted to help. These cheat sheets will help every college football fanatic be prepared in knowing the ins and outs of the contenders for each conference.
Today, we will begin with the series with the SEC so sit back, relax, turn on some hype videos and enjoy the cheat sheet series as you prepare for the season.
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide
- Return 12 staters — six on offense, six on defense.
- Another year goes by, Alabama is again replacing both coordinators.
- Rank 85th on Phil Steele’s experience chart. Return 72.1 percent of yards from last season, but only 49 starts combined from returning offensive line.
- Does any of this really matter? They still return Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy, Devonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III, Jaylen Waddle and Najee Harris.
- Schedule highlights: vs. Duke (Atlanta) Aug. 31, @Texas A&M Oct. 12, LSU Nov. 9, @Auburn Nov. 30
- Season Projection: Look, the coaching turnover never seems to matter. The lack of experience on the line never seems to matter. Nothing ever seems to knock this team off course. The Tide are going to Tide and Saban doesn’t rebuild — he reloads. NFL Draft picks are replaced with five-star guys. Having to go to A&M and Auburn is a daunting task, but I’m not picking against the Tide in the West, and the SEC overall, until someone unseats them. 13-0.
#6 LSU Tigers
- Return 16 starters — eight on offense, eight on defense.
- Brought in Joe Brady from the Saints this offseason to be the passing game coordinator and wide receiver coach.
- Rank 19th on the experience chart. Return 83.1 percent of yards and 72.1 percent of tackles from last season. Returning offensive line have 76 starts combined.
- Joe Burrow has given LSU fans a sense of hope and stability at the quarterback position. The defense is loaded with future pros even with the departures of Greedy Williams and Devin White. Secondary is the best in the country.
- Schedule highlights: @Texas Sept. 7, Florida Oct. 12, Auburn Oct. 26, @Alabama Nov. 9, Texas A&M Nov. 30
- Season Projection: We’ve heard the “it’s going to be different with the offense this year” time and time again. Nothing has changed prior, so I’m cautiously optimistic about the Tigers on the offensive side. I’m not picking LSU to beat Bama until it happens, but I think the Texas game sets up just like the Miami game last year and LSU wins convincingly. Florida and A&M will be revenge games in a ROCKING Death Valley and Auburn hasn’t won @LSU this century. 11-1 for the Tigers this year.
#11 Texas A&M Aggies
- Return 11 starters — seven on offense, four on defense.
- Rank 96th on the experience chart. Return 67 percent of offensive yards and 39.9 percent of tackles from last season. Returning offensive linemen combined for 69(nice) starts.
- Kellen Mond is being praised as the top returning quarterback in the SEC behind Tua and Fromm. IF he plays to this level, he will keep the Aggies in a lot of games.
- Schedule highlights: @Clemson Sept. 7, Auburn Sept. 21, Alabama Oct. 12, @Georgia Nov. 23, @LSU Nov. 30
- Season Projection: Mond and Jimbo have expectations sky-high in College Station. The only thing standing in their way is an absolutely brutal schedule. I think Mond and the Aggies will severely miss Trayveon Williams and Jace Sternberger’s 2,800 yards and 29 touchdowns combined from last year a little too much to navigate this schedule. 8-4 year for the Aggies, but still showing signs of improvement.
#16 Auburn Tigers
- Return 14 starters — seven on each side.
- Rank 58th on the experience chart. Return 44 percent of yards and 62.5 percent of tackles from a season ago. Returning offensive linemen have 104 combined starts.
- Defensive linemen from last year had a “Clemson-like” moment and decided to have everyone come back for one more ride.
- Schedule highlights: vs. Oregon (Dallas) Aug. 31, @Texas A&M Sept. 21, @Florida Oct. 5, @LSU Oct. 26, Georgia Nov. 16, Alabama Nov. 30
- Season Projection: Look, defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, defensive lineman Derrick Brown and company will be as strong as any of the top defenses in the country, but this schedule they face is absolutely ridiculous. I think they give Oregon a close game in the opening weekend showdown, but having Florida rotate on, while already having to face four other top-11 teams just doesn’t add up to a lot of wins. 7-5 year on the plains.
#3 Georgia Bulldogs
- Return 12 starters — six on each side.
- Rank 35th on experience chart. Return 61.3 percent of yards and 72.9 percent of tackles from last season. Returning offensive linemen have 83 starts combined.
- Jake Fromm is still the second best quarterback in the SEC, but he will have to show his talent off a bit with all of his top targets taking their talents to the NFL
- Schedule highlights: Notre Dame Sept. 21, Kentucky Oct. 19, vs. Florida (Jacksonville) Nov. 2, @Auburn Nov. 16, Texas A&M Nov. 23
- Season Projection: The Bulldogs have it nearly as bad on this side of the SEC, but with their talent, it really doesn’t matter too much. With Fromm, running back D’Andre Swift, and four offensive linemen back, Georgia will be right back in it in Atlanta come the first weekend of December. 11-2 year for the Dawgs.
#8 Florida Gators
- Return 13 starters — five on offense, eight on defense.
- Rank 52nd on the experience chart. Return 86.3 percent of yards and 70.7 percent of tackles from last season. Returning offensive linemen have 24 combined starts.
- Dan Mullen will have Feleipe Franks playing like a top-five SEC quarterback because Dan Mullen makes quarterbacks better.
- Schedule highlights: vs. Miami (Orlando) Aug. 24, @Kentucky Sept. 14, Auburn Oct. 5, @LSU Oct. 12, vs. Georgia (Jacksonville) Nov. 2, @Missouri Nov. 16, Florida State Nov. 30
- Season Projection: Florida’s defense will be loaded with talent and their offense returns most of their skill players around a third-year starting quarterback. This sounds like a great formula to winning a lot of games, which this team will definitely do. However, to win the SEC, a team needs experience and talent in the trenches, and I believe Florida’s lack of experience upfront will cost them the East. 10-2 on the year, but a state championship for the Gators.
SEC Championship (Atlanta, GA)
Alabama 35 vs. Georgia 31
- Mercedes-Benz Stadium is going to become a house of horrors for Georgia fans if they keep having their season ended by the same team in the same stadium year in and year out. Like I stated before, I cannot pick against Alabama winning the SEC until someone dethrones the Evil Empire. Georgia has the talent to do so — or maybe even an A&M or LSU in the West — but they have to put it together on the field and find a way to win before anyone can pick against the Tide. Tide roll onto the the College Football Playoff.