The win totals (aka over/unders) for the 2016 college football season were released earlier this week by the offshore booking house 5dimes, an annual occurrence that caught my attention before a number of off-field stories diverted our attention.
Below are the over/unders 5dimes has set for 12 of the 14 SEC teams this year, and how I figure they’ll finish (for whatever reason, they haven’t yet included win totals for Kentucky and Missouri, not that anyone cares all that much). These win totals include potential conference championship games and bowl games, which makes projecting a little trickier.
I want to stress to you that these are for entertainment purposes only, so don’t send me angry messages if you lose your penny collection wagering. I also felt much more strongly about some than I did about others, but I decided to be a sport and pick them all.
With those disclaimers out of the way, here goes:
Arkansas 7 wins — PUSH … I count three definite losses on the Arkansas schedule (at TCU, Alabama and LSU), and several that could go either way (Texas A&M, Ole Miss, at Auburn, Florida). Figure they split those and lose a bowl game to finish 7-6.
Florida 8 wins — OVER … I’m counting Tennessee, LSU and Florida State as losses for the Gators, but they win every other game to get to 9 regular-season wins. A possible trip to the SEC championship game and a bowl game won’t need to come into play.
Georgia 9 ½ wins — UNDER … The Bulldogs lose to Ole Miss, Tennessee and Florida. They also lose either to North Carolina or in their bowl game and finish the year at 9-4. Given the likelihood Georgia starts a true freshman QB, I can’t go any higher.
LSU 10 ½ wins — OVER … Like everyone else, I believe the Tigers bounce back this year. They still might lose to Alabama and someone else, but take care of the rest to get to 10-2 by the end of the regular season. A bowl victory clinches the over.
Ole Miss 9 ½ wins — OVER … Florida State in the opener is probably a loss, as are likely Alabama in Week 3 and LSU in late October. The Georgia game on Sept. 24 and the bowl game will be key, but I think the Rebels get to 10 wins.
Mississippi State 7 ½ wins — UNDER … I predicted the Bulldogs’ demise a year early, but 2016 might be the season things fall off for MSU. At LSU, at BYU, at Alabama and at Ole Miss are losses, which leaves Arkansas, Auburn and a bowl game as the keys.
South Carolina 6 ½ wins — UNDER … I’m on record in many places saying I have no faith in head coach Will Muschamp. Aside from UMass, Western Carolina and perhaps Missouri, I don’t see an overly likely victory on the Gamecocks’ schedule.
Tennessee 10 ½ wins — OVER … I keep picking Tennessee as the SEC East champion, and I’ve got to stick with it. I think the Vols beat Alabama this year (as you know), but they could lose one East game, the SEC title game and a bowl and still have 11 wins.
Texas A&M 8 wins — UNDER … Losses to UCLA, Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss and LSU means 7-6 at best and the end of the line for Kevin Sumlin in College Station. Four of those games being at home makes me hesitate only slightly.
Vanderbilt 6 wins — PUSH … I picked the Commodores to not finish last in the East, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be any good. Georgia Tech, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Ole Miss and Tennessee are still losses for Vandy this year.
I saved our two favorites for last …
Auburn 7 ½ wins — UNDER … I’ve squinted really hard, but I don’t see eight wins on Auburn’s schedule. Clemson, LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama are losses. Arkansas and Mississippi State will be the key games, but the Tigers would have to win both and a bowl game to get past the number. Gus Malzahn’s future as Auburn head coach likely depends on it.
Alabama 9 ½ wins — OVER … I literally did a double-take on this one. Since when does Alabama not win double-digit games? Even if the Crimson Tide falls to Tennessee and either Ole Miss or LSU, they could still get to 10 wins before the postseason game(s) even come into play. Even if you think Alabama falls off this year, it’s nuts to pick them to fall that far.
So what do you think? Am I way off, or about right?
I’ll take your comments and questions on that or anything else on your mind beginning at 10 a.m.