SEC

2010 NCAA Football Preview: SEC East

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It is baseball season, but there are plenty of ways to get your fill of football too. Our own Danny Hobrock is on the beat making his way across the College Football landscape exhaustively covering team after team. These previews will get you up to snuff with everything you need to know about the transition to each 2010 team.

Each team preview covers the team's outlook and projection for the 2010 season. We've got in depth coverage of each team's offense, defense and special teams. We'll cover who's in and who's out, and players from true freshmen to four year starters and pro prospects. Finally, we'll look at strategy and style of play on both sides of the ball, as well detailed information about coaches and players.

Today Danny is previewing the SEC East Conference teams - Florida Gators, Georgia BulldogsKentucky Wildcats, South Carolina Gamecocks,Tennessee Volunteers, and Vanderbilt Commodores. Clicking on each team's logo will take you right to the team's preview.

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Check back often between now and the September 2nd season kick-off as new team previews are going up almost every day. Clicking here or on the NCAA Football in the right sidebar will take you to the page containing all the previews published to date.

SEC (East) Conference

SEC (West) Conference

  1. Florida Gators
  2. Georgia Bulldogs
  3. Kentucky Wildcats
  4. South Carolina Gamecocks
  5. Tennessee Volunteers
  6. Vanderbilt Commodores

Florida Gators

1st SEC East

Look at the statistical leaders from last season. It's a who's who of former Gators. Of course, it's not unusual for a team to lose so much production from the previous year's squad, but they're typically not ranked third or fourth in the nation. The Gators lose arguably their top player at just about every position on both sides of the ball with the lone exception being running back Jeff Demps. That said, the players taking over for the departed Gators have seen a good deal of playing time as reserves or part-time starters, and the incoming freshman class is outstanding and could see the time early and often in 2010. So, yeah, this should be another powerful squad. Still, before they're a top five team, it'd be nice to see them show on the field that they're capable of living up to the Gators squads of the past few seasons.

Georgia Bulldogs

2nd SEC East

While many are skeptical of Georgia in the coming season because of a disappointing 2009 campaign, they actually hold the best chance, and a decent one at that, of unseating the Gators atop the East throne. The schedule sure helps with no Alabama and no LSU from the West, Florida at a neutral site and Tennessee and Arkansas coming to Athens. If they can get by Florida on October 30 and then Auburn in their conference finale, they should be in a great position to dethrone Florida in the East. Don't discount the importance of the SEC opener against South Carolina in Columbia, though.

This is a team with plenty of talent, a relatively soft schedule and the opportunity to surprise a few people in the SEC with Alabama and Florida 'rebuilding', if you want to call it that. The opportunity is there. Now all the Bulldogs have to do is pull it all together, avoid injuries and play like they're capable of playing in the big games.

Kentucky Wildcats

3rd SEC East

If it weren't for a little luck in the schedule, as in who they play from the West, Kentucky would likely fall behind South Carolina in the SEC East. However, with Ole Miss, Auburn and Mississippi State on the schedule instead of Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas, three teams ranked in the Coaches' preseason top 25, the Wildcats will have an easier time accumulating conference victories than the Gamecocks.

The offense has no shortage of playmakers, although the loss of Gene McCaskill doesn't help, but the quarterback play needs to be solid and consistent no matter who gets the start, and the offensive line needs to mesh with four new starters. The defense should be solid, but the loss of several playmakers won't be easy to overcome right away. Finding a way to get into the backfield and stiffening up in run defense need to be focuses of the front seven.

South Carolina Gamecocks

4th SEC East

If not for a killer of a schedule, this team would likely finish in the top three of the East Division, but with Florida away, and Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas from the West Division, finding a way to finish ahead of Kentucky and Georgia will be difficult. I mentioned that the Gamecocks have had some good recruiting classes over the past five years, but that has yet to translate into more than a decent season on the field. But let's try not to hark on the negative. There's enough talent for this team to compete in the East with Georgia or, if you want to reach a bit, a Florida team that lost a great deal of experienced talent, but until the Gamecocks can put all of their talent together enough to make a run at a division title it's hard to expect greatness. And then there's that schedule…

Tennessee Volunteers

5th SEC East

Tennessee loses a lot this season and not just their head coach. Their starting quarterback and their two leading rushers are gone, as are their starting offensive linemen. On defense, they lost several key players to graduation, and have been hit hard by injuries on the defensive line and even saw a projected starting safety dismissed. If there's one thing we know for sure it's that it's time to rebuild in Knoxville, and the fans know it. They won't expect an SEC East title or even to be in contention, which takes a lot of pressure off of Dooley and Co. as they take over one of this game's most productive programs.

It's Tennessee were talking about, though, and programs like this bounce back. They're not a one hit wonder like the 2008 Ball State Cardinals, remember. They've appeared in the third most bowl games, tied with USC, of all-time, and have the fifth most victories, tied with Oklahoma and Texas. Getting back to their familiar level is a question of when, not if. As far as this season goes, with question marks and unproven talent taking over this season, and with a tough schedule, the Volunteers could find themselves in the East basement with the likes of Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt Commodores

6th SEC East

The offense ranked 113th in scoring offense and 110th in total offense. Things may get a little better in the coming season with two talented young backs, but they're still likely to finish towards the bottom of the conference unless the passing game can come together. The Commodores have talent on defense, with the secondary likely the best unit, a few good linebackers and a promising pass rusher in Walker May. Nonetheless, it's hard to think that Vandy won't finish in the basement of the SEC East again. - Danny Hobrock

Danny Hobrock is a sports journalist primarily covering college football and professional baseball. His work for Xtra Point Football has garnered national attention and is critically acclaimed. Danny is the former editor of a political and current events website and the editor of our college football content.

 

Be sure to check the right sidebar daily for new NCAA Football 2010 Season Previews and NFL 2010 Season Previews as we'll be adding them almost every day until the September kick-off's.

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