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SEC Second-Half Predictions and Midseason Review

Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts

Alabama hits the midpoint of the 2016 college football season as the clear favorite to win the SEC and the national title. The Crimson Tide have scored huge victories over Ole Miss, Arkansas and Tennessee in conference play and easily handled USC in the season opener. Coach Nick Saban’s team is once again among the nation’s best on defense, and the offense is starting to find its rhythm behind true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts and an emerging ground attack. The balance of power in the conference is clearly tilted to the West Division. Texas A&M is the league’s No. 2 team so far, as the addition of coordinator Noel Mazzone and quarterback Trevor Knight have paid big dividends for coach Kevin Sumlin. Ole Miss, LSU, Arkansas and Auburn all have strong arguments to be a top 25 team through Week 7, and a tight battle should unfold to decide how the middle of the West plays out in the second half of the season.

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Tennessee is the frontrunner in the East Division, but the Volunteers need a little help after losing to Texas A&M and Alabama. Florida only has one loss in SEC play and still has tests remaining against Georgia, LSU and Arkansas. If the Gators lose once in conference action and Tennessee wins out, the Volunteers will take the East Division. At the bottom of the division, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and South Carolina are locked into a tight battle for the 4-7 spots and all four need help and an upset (or two) to get bowl eligible.

At the midpoint of the 2016 college football season, here are Athlon’s picks for awards and a projection for the final standings in the SEC:

SEC Midseason Review and Second-Half Predictions

Offensive Player of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

Austin Allen QB, Arkansas

Chad Kelly QB, Ole Miss

Austin Allen QB, Arkansas

Jalen Hurts QB, Alabama

Defensive Player of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

Derek Barnett DL, Tennessee

Derek Barnett DL, Tennessee

Derek Barnett DL, Tennessee

Myles Garrett DL, TAMU

Freshman of the Year (Offense)

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

Jalen Hurts QB, Alabama

Jalen Hurts QB, Alabama

Jalen Hurts QB, Alabama

Jalen Hurts QB, Alabama

Recommended Articles

Freshman of the Year (Defense)

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

Leo Lewis LB, Miss. State

Jabari Zuniga DL, Florida

Leo Lewis LB, Miss. State

Benito Jones DL, Ole Miss

Coach of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

Kevin Sumlin TAMU

Kevin Sumlin TAMU

Nick Saban Alabama

Kevin Sumlin TAMU

Coordinator of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

Lane Kiffin OC, Alabama

Noel Mazzone OC, TAMU

Lane Kiffin OC, Alabama

Lane Kiffin OC, Alabama

Best Coordinator Hire for 2016

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

Noel Mazzone OC, TAMU

Noel Mazzone OC, TAMU

Kevin Steele DC, Auburn

Noel Mazzone OC, TAMU

Newcomer of the Year (JUCO or Transfer)

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

Trevor Knight QB, TAMU

Trevor Knight QB, TAMU

Trevor Knight QB, TAMU

Trevor Knight QB, TAMU

Biggest Surprise Through Seven Weeks

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

Texas A&M

Texas A&M

Georgia

Texas A&M


Must-See Game of Second Half

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

Texas A&M at Alabama (Oct. 22)

Texas A&M at Alabama (Oct. 22)

Texas A&M at Alabama (Oct. 22)

Texas A&M at Alabama (Oct. 22)

Projected Order of Finish

 

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Tyler Waddell

 

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@Tyler_Waddell

East

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 

 

 

 

 

West

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 

 

 

 

 

SEC Title

 

 

 

 

 

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