The monster conference of college football has claimed the last six BCS national championships and is line to make it lucky seven iin 2012.
The SEC adds a couple of pretty good football programs in Missouri and Texas A&M to the fold, making it a formidable 14-team conference.
Last year, a team that didn't even play in the SEC championship game won the national title when Alabama won a rematch with LSU in the BCS title game. And both those outfits should be right in the running for the big prize this year.
The Crimson Tide was a 7/5 favorite at most shops tracked by OddsShark.com to win the SEC's West Division this year and a 2/1 fave to win the SEC championship.
But 'Bama only returns 11 starters from the team that went 7-1 in conference last year before pounding Louisiana State in the Big One. Quarterback AJ McCarron returns, along with four starters along the O line, but only five are back on defense.
And the Tide has to play at Arkansas and at LSU in games that could decide the West.
Louisiana State is lined at 8/5 to win the West and 5/2 to win the SEC. The Tigers return 12 starters from a team that went 9-0 in SEC play last year before losing that BCS title game to Alabama, including four along the O line and three on the D line.
They did take a hit recently, though, with the dismissal from the team of Heisman candidate cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. But the schedule helps out a bit, as LSU gets South Carolina and 'Bama in Baton Rouge and doesn't have to play Georgia.
Those defending East Division champion Bulldogs are 5/4 favorites to win the East again this year, and they're the third choice to win the conference at 5/1. Georgia returns 15 starters from a team that went 7-2 in SEC play last year, led by QB Aaron Murray (35 TD passes last year) and nine on defense.
And Georgia draws a very fortunate schedule, with Alabama, Arkansas and LSU nowhere to be found, at least not until the SEC title game.
Arkansas, after a tumultuous off-season, is getting 5/1 to win the West and 8/1 to win the SEC. The Hogs get 13 starters back, including QB Tyler Wilson, after going 6-2 in conference last year, but they had to make a hurried change at the top over the off-season, replacing Bobby Petrino with John Smith.
However, while the schedule calls for a visit to South Carolina, they get 'Bama and LSU both at home.
The Gamecocks are the second pick to win the East this year at 11/4 and are getting 11/1 to win the conference title. South Carolina only return 11 starters, although one of them is RB Marcus Lattimore, after going 6-2 in conference last year.
And while they have to play at LSU and at Florida, they get Georgia and Arkansas at home and don't have to play Alabama.
Finally, the Gators are getting 7/2 to win the East and 12/1 to win the SEC. Florida returns 17 starters for its second season under Coach Muschamp, including four along the O line and 10 on defense. The Gators also only play three true SEC road games, get LSU and South Carolina at home and don't have to play Alabama.
Rounding out the SEC championship betting boards is Auburn, with 15 starters back after going 4-4 in conference last year, is lined at 12/1 to win the West and 25/1 to win the conference.
Tennessee, with 19 returning starters, is getting 12/1 to win the East and 35/1 to win the SEC.
Mississippi State is listed at 16/1 to win the West and 35/1 to win the SEC.
Mizzou, with six starters back on both sides of the ball, is getting 14/1 to win the East and 40/1 to win the conference.
Texas A&M is being offered at 25/1 to win the West and 50/1 to win the SEC.
Vanderbilt, with 15 returning starters from a team that played in a bowl last year, is getting 20/1 to win the East and 100/1 to win the conference.
Kentucky is getting 50/1 to win the East and 200/1 to win the SEC.
Ole Miss, with 16 starters back for its first season under new head coach Freeze, is being offered at 75/1 to win the West Division and 200/1 to win the SEC championship.