Athlon Sports has selected the South Carolina Gamecocks to finish second in the SEC East in 2011. I like the fact they respect the ‘Cocks in 2011 but USC should be predicted to win the East given the returning players and weakness of the East again next year.
Here is the full article but we will provide the highlights here…
In talking about the Gamecocks, Athlon Sports writes…
“In 2010, the SEC East was arguably the worst it has been since its creation in 1992. Subsequently, South Carolina broke its drought this fall, but the Gamecocks will face improved teams at almost every stop along the path of its East title defense. Reworking the front seven will be the biggest issue for the Cocks, but Steve Spurrier has lots of shiny toys to play with on offense. South Carolina returns the best offensive skill players in the league.”
Based off that, I agree the lines will need to be re-worked by their is plenty of talent on the roster to step in and get the job done in 2011. Looking below, two of the six players they highlight as key losses did not really have that huge of a impact in 2010. King, Matthews, Culliver and Ladi will be missed but there is some youngsters willing to step in and dominate.
Here is how Athlon sees the SEC East ending up in 2011 –
SEC East 2011 Predictions (key losses):
1. Georgia: WR A.J. Green*, FB Shaun Chapas, OL Clint Boling, OL Josh Davis, LB Justin Houston*, DT Demarcus Dobbs, LB Akeem Dent
2. South Carolina: OL Jarriel King, DE Cliff Matthews, DT Ladi Ajiboye, TE Weslye Saunders, CB Chris Culliver, WR Tori Gurley
3. Florida: OL Mike Pouncey, OL Marcus Gilbert, OL Carl Johnson, DT Lawrence Marsh, DT Jaye Howard*, DT Terron Sanders, S Ahmad Black, S Will Hill*, CB Janoris Jenkins*, P Chas Henry
4. Tennessee: WR Denarius Moore, WR Gerald Jones, TE Luke Stocker, OL Jarrod Shaw, FB Kevin Cooper, DE Chris Walker, DE Ben Martin, LB LaMarcus Thompson, LB Nick Reveiz, LB Savion Frazier
5. Kentucky: QB Mike Hartline, RB Derrick Locke, WR Randall Cobb*, WR Chris Matthews, DE DeQuin Evans, DT Ricky Lumpkin, DT Shane McCord, LB Danny Trevathan*, LB Jacob Dufrene, CB Paul Warford
6. Vanderbilt: OL Joey Bailey, LB John Stokes, DL Theron Kadri, DE Teriall Brannon
(h/t: Leather Helmet Blog)