It looks like Las Vegas and the Sportsbook all think that Georgia fans should be ready to book their tickets for the SEC Championship. Last week, Las Vegas and the sportsbooks provided the projected SEC East Win Totals for the 2023 season. Georgia has won the SEC in five out of Kirby Smart’s seven seasons. Florida has the other two appearances during that time frame. Missouri is the last team outside of Georgia or Florida to represent the East. The Tigers made it in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014. South Carolina last represented the SEC East in 2010 and it’s been since 2007 that Tennessee has played in Atlanta for an SEC Championship.
Kentucky and Vanderbilt have never won or represented the East in the SEC Championship game. Here is a look at the projected win totals for the 2023 season. We’ve included each team’s projected win total, nonconference opponents, and SEC West opponents, before offering our prediction for the 2023 season.
Breaking Down SEC East Win Totals
Nonconference Opponents: UT Martin, Ball State, UAB, and Georgia Tech
SEC West Opponents: Auburn and Ole Miss
Over. Georgia will likely start the season as a double-digit favorite in most, if not all, of its games in 2023. That’s even with everyone left to speculate on who will be the starting quarterback in 2023. The non-conference is less than thrilling with Oklahoma’s upcoming move to the SEC in 2024. Two games that may pose a challenge to Georgia’s undefeated regular season happen in November. The Bulldogs host Ole Miss on the 11th and then head to Neyland Stadium on the 18th to take on the Volunteers.
Nonconference Opponents: Virginia, Austin Peay, UTSA, and UConn
SEC West Opponents: Texas A&M and Alabama
Over. Josh Heupel had one of the most exciting teams in the country in 2022. Tenneesse got things started by “smoking out” LSU on the road in Baton Rought. The Vol Navy followed that up by throwing the goalposts into the Cumberland following its upset win over Alabama on the third Saturday in October. Tennesse’s only two losses came to conference opponents, Georgia and South Carolina. If the Vols are going to continue to ascend, they will rely upon a new quarterback in 2023. Can Joe Milton and his big arm hold off Nico Iamaleava, the No. 1 recruit in the 2023 class?
South Carolina Gamecocks
Nonconference Opponents: North Carolina, Furman, Jacksonville State, and Clemson
SEC West Opponents: Mississippi State and Texas A&M
Over. Shane Beamer is building a strong foundation in Columbia. Beamer has led the Gamecocks to winning seasons in each of the first two years. Beamer knocked off Tennessee and Clemson in back-to-back weeks in 2022. Spencer Rattler is one of the few returning quarterbacks this year in the East. He will need to improve upon the 12 interceptions he threw last year if the Gamecocks are going to continue moving forward. The “Carolina” game is a fun rivalry game against North Carolina to open the season. The Gamecocks knocked off the Tar Heels in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in 2021.
Nonconference Opponents: Ball State, Eastern Kentucky, Akron, and Louisville
SEC West Opponents: Mississippi State and Alabama
Over. Mark Stoops and Kentucky have always done a good job making sure that the nonconference games can net the Wildcats at least three or four wins before they play an SEC game. The Louisville game poses the most interesting challenge this year with the Cardinals welcoming back Jeff Brohm. Liam Coen is returning as offensive coordinator and gained NC State transfer quarterback Devin Leary with the hopes of reviving an anemic offense in 2022.
Nonconference Opponents: South Dakota, Middle Tennessee, Kansas State, and Memphis
SEC West Opponents: LSU and Arkansas
Under. What do we make of Eli Drinkwitz’s tenure at Missouri? He came in with high hopes and looking to lock down the St. Louis talent with the Tigers. Instead, there have been mixed results and St. Louis’s Dominic Lovett transferred to Georgia for the 2023 season. The Tigers gave Georgia its biggest scare outside of the semifinal win against Ohio State. Blowout losses to Kansas State and Tennessee blunted the positive outlook for 2023.
Nonconference Opponents: Utah, McNeese, Charlotte, and Florida State
SEC West Opponents: Arkansas and LSU
Under. Maybe the Gators should play “Free Falling” instead of “I Won’t Back Down” at the Swamp this season. The Florida Gators were expecting more from Billy Napier in Year One when they hired him away from Louisiana Lafayette. A 3-5 record in the SEC and a 6-7 overall record is far from meeting expectations, especially with a Top 5 NFL Draft pick as their quarterback. Things don’t look much better in 2023. The Gators NIL collective allegedly fumbled away Jayden Rashada and its offense struggled to score double digits in the Spring game. Opening up in Salt Lake City and closing the season in Tallahassee might turn Napier’s seat up a little hotter in Gainesville.
Nonconference Opponents: Hawaii, Alabama A&M, Wake Forest, and UNLV
SEC West Opponents: Ole Miss and Auburn
Over. Clark Lee has his own process in Nashville. He knew when he took the job it was not going to be overhauled in a single season. The 2022 season showed promise. Vanderbilt finished the season 5-7 with wins over Kentucky and Flordia in the conference. Look for Lee and company to find at least three wins in the nonconference and possibly a few more to get Vanderbilt back to a bowl game for the first time since the 2018 Texas Bowl.
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