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2013 SEC football roundtable: How good will the SEC be out-of-conference?

It's time for the first in a four-part discussion about 2013 SEC football. We asked our fantastic network of SEC blogs to respond to various questions about the upcoming 2013 football season.

Streeter Lecka

SEC panelists, predict the SEC's overall record in its 18 games against other BCS conferences, and tell me which is more likely: the SEC winning 13 or more of the games or the SEC winning 10 or fewer.

And The Valley Shook (LSU): 12-6 seems about right. That's not really due to the SEC's inherent awesomeness or anything, but that a lot of the matchups are tilted towards the SEC. SEC programs have tried to schedule down a bit while still getting credit for a win over a BCS team. Even Auburn should be a favorite over Washington State, one of the few BCS teams in more disarray than it is.

This is where I can make my standard rant about why the BCS sucks because it gives teams the incentive to schedule down, as the most important thing is not quality wins but simply not losing. The great cross-regional games of my youth are dead or at least on life support. But you know what? I don’t need to make that rant because the BCS is dying and will be replaced soon by some other system that will give teams incentive to play a crappy schedule, but not too crappy.

Team Speed Kills (SEC): That appears to put me at 14-4 overall. I do think there's more considerable downside risk there, and if Florida is bad enough to lose to Miami, it's probably bad enough to lose to Florida State, while if South Carolina is bad enough to lose to UNC, it's probably bad enough to lose to Clemson. (Though not necessarily vice versa in either case.) I still think winning 13 or more is still likely, but if the SEC doesn't win 13, I think it's likely it wins no more than 10. In other words, I don't see between 10 and 13 wins.

Garnet and Black Attack (South Carolina): I've got the SEC winning 14 games. The swing games look like Georgia at Clemson (as long as Mike Bobo pounds Clemson with his running backs, I think Georgia wins this one); LSU vs. TCU (again, as long as Les Miles plays to his strengths -- a big if -- LSU should win); Arkansas at Rutgers (neither team is very good, so I'll go with the home team in Bret Bielema's building year); Florida State at Florida (both teams with some question marks after losing key contributors; I'll go with the home team); and Clemson at South Carolina (South Carolina has been the better team in recent years and should win at home this year).

Alligator Army (Florida, duh): So I guess I'm projecting 13-5? I think 13's more likely than 10, because I don't think you're going to see South Carolina whiff on its games and think the SEC's likely to sweep or nearly sweep its games against the ACC.

Arkansas Expats: I have the SEC at 13-5. I have a few of those games as tossups (the Clemson games, Florida-FSU, and I'm intrigued to see what Oregon looks like sans Chip Kelly) and gave the SEC credit for splitting those games. So obviously I think the SEC is much more likely to win 13 or more than 10 or fewer. Although I wouldn't be shocked if the SEC won 10 or fewer, and just to be clear, THAT WOULD NOT MEAN THE CONFERENCE IS DOWN.

A Sea of Blue (Kentucky): Based on my projections, I have the SEC winning exactly 13 games, which means that you'd have to consider a 13 over-under at basically 50 percent. Despite my choices, I think the SEC winds up with 11 or 12, not 13.

Good Bull Hunting (Texas A&M): I have the SEC at 10-8, so I'll say it's more likely for the SEC to win 11 or fewer.

Red Cup Rebellion (Ole Miss): I would say though that I feel it's less likely that the SEC wins 13 or more than it is for the SEC to win 10 or fewer. I have some games where I predict SEC wins where it's more than just conceivable that the SEC team could lose -- UGA vs. Clemson or Florida State vs. Florida, for examples. On the other hand, for the SEC to win 10 or fewer of these games would mean a lot of upset SEC teams, something which even non SEC-homers would have a tough time predicting.

College and Magnolia (Auburn): Based on my predictions, I’m a total SEC homer and there’s a good chance I’m illiterate. I picked the conference to go 14-4 in those BCS matchups, and while I could see games like Florida-FSU, Missouri-Indiana, Georgia-Clemson and Auburn-WSU go the other way, I think the SEC winning 13 is more likely than failing to get to double digits.

Roll Bama Roll (two respondents):

Slice of Life: I have 14-4 above, I think 13 or more is much more likely than 10 or fewer. There are a couple of toss-ups in there, which could get it below 13, but I just don’t see enough losses to get below 10.

Bammer: 13-5. As Slice pointed out, there are some toss-up games, but no way the SEC gets below 10 wins.

RockMNation (Missouri): I see 12-6, so I guess that means 13-5 is more likely. Really, this list hinges most on Florida surviving a tricky trip to Miami and Kentucky's ability to surprise an overrated Louisville team so early in the season. If the SEC wins both of those, it's going 13-5.

Rocky Top Talk: So that's a record for the SEC of 11-5, which means I'd back a random upset (MSU?) to bump them over 12.

Of our 11 respondents, 10 felt the SEC will win 13 or more of the 18 games. What does that mean? Either the SEC is very homerish, or perhaps I should have changed the choices to 11 and 14.

Your turn, what do you think will happen?

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