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Outrageous College Football Predictions for the SEC in 2020

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Outrageous College Football Predictions for the SEC in 2020

Outrageous College Football Predictions for the SEC in 2020

This year has been a long, strange trip to say the least. There was a while when everything was up in the air, including the college football season. Some conferences threw in the towel on a fall football season.

The SEC was not one of those conferences.

Instead, the SEC remained devoted to having a season throughout the summer, and they'll play a ten-game conference-only slate.

That's right, the nation's notoriously toughest conference won't have any cupcakes to get right before big games this year. It's a Southern gauntlet, and it opens up a lot of outrageous possibilities. With that in mind, let's make some OUTRAGEOUS* predictions for the SEC for the 2020 college football season.

Outrageous College Football Predictions for the SEC in 2020

Vanderbilt has a winning record

When the 2020 Athlon Sports college football preview magazine was released, Vanderbilt was projected to finish dead last in the SEC East with a 3-9 record. I'm not buying it. Head coach Derek Mason has gone out of his way to build a traditional SEC-caliber defense. That unit returns 11 players with starting experience. That's going to pair well with a new, up-tempo style on offense that will surprise a lot of teams. Looking at Vanderbilt's 10-game schedule, I see a path to six — and possibly seven — wins.

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Florida loses four games

The Gators are the sexy pick to win the SEC East and — by some — to win the conference. The problem is, they play their toughest competition on the road or at neutral sites. Another hurdle will be a very green defense, which is going to put extra pressure on quarterback Kyle Trask to produce on every series. I believe Florida is the most over-hyped team in the conference heading into the 2020 season, and in the discussion for the same title in the nation.

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College Football Top 25 Rankings: Florida

Alabama loses three games

The tide is turning (pun intended), and the SEC West is catching up to Alabama from both a coaching and recruiting standpoint. Trips to Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, and the annual tilt with Auburn are going to test a team that once again saw a mass exodus of talent to the NFL. All dynasties come to an end, and it feels like the Nick Saban era of dominance in Tuscaloosa is coming to a close.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Alabama

Tennessee has the highest-scoring offense in the SEC

The Volunteers return a lot of firepower and experience on the offensive side of the ball in 2020 — especially on the offensive line. Pair that up with a defense that could struggle, and you have the recipe for a lot of shootouts, which will allow (and demand) Tennessee to score plenty of points in every game.

Tennessee Football Schedule

LSU repeats as SEC Champions

The Tigers lost a ton of talent off of their national championship team from last season, even with the recent departure of Ja'Marr Chase. Ed Orgeron has recruited very well and built a winning, upbeat culture. He also brought in Bo Pelini to run the defense, an under-the-radar move that could pay huge dividends. Pelini owns two national championship rings as a defensive coordinator, and his schemes are historically most effective against the sort of wipe-open, pass-happy football we are seeing in all of college football, including the SEC. LSU is going to be a lot of fun to watch again in 2020.

LSU Football Schedule

*Remember, "outrageous" can be defined as "wildly exaggerated or improbable," and "very bold, unusual, and startling." These are "outrageous" predictions and should be treated as such.

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo!, SBNation, USA Today and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.