Must-bet 2012 SEC games with projected spreads
The 2012 schedule for the new-look SEC is out, and Missouri and Texas A&M have to be thinking, “What have we done?”
Missouri likely will be an underdog in six of its eight conference games. The Tigers were dogs in only four of nine Big 12 games this season.
Missouri will open SEC play at home Sept. 8 against a Georgia team that returns a boatload of talent and could start the year ranked in the top 5. The Tigers also must go to South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and A&M in addition to hosting Alabama, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
Depending on how they fill out their non-conference slate—only a Sept. 15 home game against Arizona State is finalized—Gary Pinkel’s Tigers may be looking at a season-win total as low as six, when projections are released at the Las Vegas Hilton in late July.
A&M could be an underdog in five of its eight SEC games. The Aggies face a daunting four-week stretch starting with a home game against likely preseason No. 1 LSU on Oct 20, followed by road games at Auburn, Mississippi State and Alabama. The Aggies also play Arkansas at a site yet to be determined (expect Jerry World) and have non-conference games slated against McNeese State and SMU with two open dates still yet to be finalized.
Much like Missouri, A&M is looking at a season-win total as low as six.
Welcome to the SEC.
Must-bet 2012 SEC Games with Projected Spreads
(Projected spreads from Covers.com staff)
Georgia (-2.5) at Missouri: The Bulldogs, who avoid Alabama, LSU and Arkansas, have a schedule tailored to repeat as East champs. UGA will be highly ranked and favored for its trip to Columbia.
Florida (-1.5) at Texas A&M: The Aggies should have its entire offensive line back, but will be breaking in a new QB in first-year coach Kevin Sumlin’s system. The Gators, who finished ninth in total defense this season, could have as many as 10 defensive starters back.
Florida at Tennessee (PK): Which program takes a step up and which one continues its slide down the SEC totem pole? The Vols will have the better quarterback with Tyler Bray expected to be back under center, but the nod for overall talent still goes to the Gators.
Alabama at LSU (-4.5): Needless to say, the third meeting in 12 months between the Tigers and Tide will have national-title implications.
Georgia (-1) at Auburn: Among all the unbelievable stories in college football this season, Gus Malzahn’s decision to take head coaching job at Arkansas State remains a shocker. How it impacts Auburn’s offense going forward will define the Tigers’ 2012 season.
Auburn at Alabama (-9): Cam Newton isn’t walking through the door, so coach Gene Chizik’s program is at a crossroads, just two years after winning the national title.