Not-Too-Early Win/Loss Projections for SEC Football Teams

The road will be a little tougher for everybody in the first year of the expanded SEC.
Texas v Alabama
Texas v Alabama / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The football offseason is filled with Way-Too-Early projections that start the day after the final game is played. But now that most teams have completed their spring practices and have had their annual spring game, it is no longer "way-too-early" to project anything about next season.

In fact, this is probably a pretty appropriate time to do so. Although things are subject to change as the spring transfer portal window is still open, most programs have a good understanding of the makeup of their teams, save for a few players here and there.

With no divisions for the first time since 1991, the two teams with the best conference record will meet in Atlanta to vie for the SEC championship, an automatic bid into the 12-team College Football Playoff, eternal glory, and likely a first-round bye.

So, now seems as good a time as ever to project each SEC team's Win-Loss record for the 2024 season.


Record: 9-3
Projected losses: Georgia, at Tennessee, at Oklahoma

The main storyline for Alabama going into the year is replacing Nick Saban. But Alabama (as they always do) also lost a lot of talent to the draft, and lost key defensive starter Caleb Downs to the transfer portal.

There is still a ton of talent on this roster and Kalen DeBoer is a tremendous coach, but they face a difficult schedule this year with several road conference games against teams that should be ranked in the top 25, while also hosting title favorites UGA who will be looking for revenge for all the pain Coach Saban caused.

One game to look out for is the September 14th matchup on the road against Wisconsin. An early-season win in a tough environment against a likely improved Badgers team could provide the Tide some momentum, whereas a loss could set up for a disappointing season.


Record: 5-7
Projected Losses: at Oklahoma State, at Auburn, Tennessee, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas, at Missouri

If Sam Pittman is not on the hot seat already, he probably should be. The Razorbacks have won a combined 4 conference games in the previous two seasons, and the road does not get any easier with a projected 5 pre-season ranked teams on this year's schedule.

Arkansas will be breaking in a new Quarterback this season as three-year starter KJ Jefferson has moved on and joined the Gus Bus (Gus Malzahn) at UCF. I have Arkansas upsetting Texas A&M in the neutral site game that is always weird for some reason, but if the Razorbacks are not able to steal a win from one of these projected losses and reach bowl eligibility, Coach Pittman may be perusing job postings come December.


Record: 8-4
Projected Losses: at Georgia, at Missouri, at Kentucky, at Alabama

The Auburn Tigers and second-year coach Hugh Freeze have a legitimate chance to start next season 5-0 and work their way into the top 25 rankings. A Week 5 visit from Oklahoma caps their streak of five consecutive home games to start the season, and given how tough Jordan Hare can be for opposing teams, do not be surprised if Auburn pulls that upset.

Road games against rivals Georgia and Alabama will be tough as always, as will road games against upstart Missouri and hard-nosed Kentucky. But with conference realignment, Auburn now avoids LSU and Ole Miss on the schedule.

Hugh Freeze has brought in a lot of talent this offseason and if he can improve a passing offense that was borderline atrocious last season, Freeze could be looking at a nice turnaround season after a disappointing first year on the plains.


Record: 4-8
Projected Losses: Miami, at Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia (neutral site), at Texas, LSU, Ole Miss, at Florida State

Billy Napier's coaching seat is feeling the Florida heat this season, and the scheduling personnel in the SEC did him no favors with likely the country's most difficult 5-game stretch to end the season.

After the annual neutral site cocktail party against title favorites Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida will travel to Austin to face Texas, host talented LSU and Ole Miss squads, then play a road game against heated rivals FSU.

With all five likely being losses, Florida will need to load up on wins to begin the season. Home games against talented, albeit dysfunctional, Miami and newly coached Texas A&M teams in weeks 1 and 3 could help decide if Napier is still around to face that daunting end-of-season stretch.

Florida always seems to get one early-season upset in the Swamp (2022 vs Utah, 2023 vs Tennessee), and this year that will come against Texas A&M.


Record: 11-1
Projected Losses: at Ole Miss

Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs have not lost a regular season game since the pandemic- shortened 2020 season. Gone is Brock Bowers and a slew of other notable contributors, but the Dawgs have reloaded with yet another top-notch recruiting class and key additions via the transfer portal.

A difficult schedule starts with a neutral site game against Clemson and includes monumental road games against Alabama and Texas.

The motivated Dawgs will finally get revenge on the Tide for all the pain that Saban caused, but they will slip up against Lane Kiffin and the Ole Miss Rebels in a tricky road environment. Even still, this 7-1 conference record will grant them in a spot in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.


Record: 8-4
Projected Losses: Georgia, at Ole Miss, at Tennessee, at Texas

Mark Stoops, the longest tenured active coach in the SEC, has built a solid and consistent program in his time at Kentucky. After a letdown 6-7 season last year, Kentucky added some nice additions via the transfer portal this offseason, none more important than presumed starting QB Brock Vandagriff from UGA.

Vandagriff was highly recruited out of high school, but this will be the first time the signal caller will get significant playing time. Under Stoops, the Wildcats have typically been a tough and disciplined team that beats who they are supposed to beat but does not really upset more talented squads.

Expect more of the same this year as with losses to some conference favorites and one notable upset over Auburn at home.


Record: 10-2
Projected Losses: at Texas A&M, Alabama

The electrifying Jayden Daniels era has officially come to a close as the Tigers will have to replace last season's Heisman Trophy winner. This is an interesting schedule for LSU as they will not play previous schedule staple Auburn but will play two California BIG10 schools in USC and UCLA.

Even after losing three potential first-rounders from the offense, there is still a lot of talent out on the bayou. With a relatively favorable schedule and a built-in home field advantage that always helps, this is a team that should be looking to compete in the 12-team playoffs.

The Tigers will be chomping at the bit to get revenge on Alabama in the post-Saban world, but that will have to wait another year as the Crimson Tide will tame an electric Death Valley atmosphere. The final regular season game against Oklahoma could decide which of those two teams makes the playoffs.

Ole Miss

Record: 10-2
Projected Losses: at LSU, Oklahoma

Lane Kiffin has the Ole Miss program in a good position to make some noise in the 12-team playoff era. The Rebels have been aggressive in the transfer portal this offseason and return their starting QB from last season's 11-2 squad.

With an easy start to the season, this team could/should be 6-0 going into their showdown against LSU in Death Valley.

I have Ole Miss losing that game before being upended at home by Oklahoma, but the Rebels will rebound nicely from the back-to-back losses in the middle of the season and upset undefeated Georgia at home to secure an at-large bid to the 12-team playoff.

Mississippi State

Record: 4-8
Projected Losses: at Arizona State, Florida, at Texas, at Georgia, Texas A&M, at Tennessee, Missouri, at Ole Miss

The Mississippi State Bulldogs will be breaking in first year head coach Jeff Lebby this year after the short reign of Zach Arnett lasted just one season. Gone also is record-setting quarterback Will Rogers, who has since transferred to play for the Washington Huskies.

Lebby will be tasked with turning around the program, but a tough schedule in year 1 will do him no favors. The Bulldogs will be at a talent deficit in the majority of conference games and may need the magic of some home field cowbells to bring them some upsets and a chance at bowl eligibility.


Record: 8-4
Projected Losses: at Texas A&M, at Alabama, Oklahoma, at South Carolina

Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz and the Missouri Tigers will look to build upon the momentum gained from a magical 2023 season that saw the Tigers victorious in 11 games, including their bowl game against Ohio State. Returning are notable offensive players like QB Brady Cook and WR Luther Burden III, and the schedule could set up nicely for the Tigers to make a run.

Unfortunately for them, I have them slipping up against South Carolina in what will hopefully be dubbed "The Battle of the Columbias", but if they can avoid that letdown and grab an important road win against Texas A&M or Alabama, this team could be in playoff contention come November,


Record: 9-3
Projected Losses: at Auburn, Texas (neutral site), at LSU

The Oklahoma Sooners will look to build off of a successful first year under Brent Vanables in which they won 10 games. New starting QB Jackson Arnold will take over and will have three weeks of non-conference games to get into a groove before the Sooners' first SEC game when they host Tennessee, which is ironically lead by former Sooner great Josh Heupel.

Their first road SEC game will come against Auburn and the infamous Jordan Hare voodoo, which will be too much to overcome. The Sooners will have plenty of opportunities to make some noise with tough road trips to Ole Miss and Missouri before hosting Alabama in November, but the loss at LSU in the final week of the season will ultimately keep them out of this year's playoffs.

South Carolina

Record: 5-7
Projected Losses: at Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, at Alabama, at Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Clemson

2024 seems to be an important season for South Carolina and young coach Shane Beamer. Coming off a disappointing 5-win campaign in 2023 when expectations were high, another season without reaching bowl eligibility will put some heat on Coach Beamer's seat.

That might be tough to do after losing QB Spencer Rattler and WR Xavier Leggette to the draft and other notable contributors to the transfer portal. The Gamecocks do avoid long-time East opponent Georgia but were not given an easy conference schedule with the additions of Alabama, LSU, and Oklahoma. A late-season home upset of Missouri might be a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy season.


Record: 10-2
Projected Losses: at Oklahoma, at Georgia

The Nico Iamaleava era is officially underway as the talented sophomore quarterback will look to reignite the Tennessee offense back to the levels of the 2022 season in which the Volunteers briefly held the number 1 ranking.

Tennessee has had a quiet offseason thus far and outside expectations are hard to gauge, but this is a very favorable schedule by SEC terms. If Tennessee is able to upend heated rival Alabama in Knoxville for the second consecutive time, they could have a realistic shot at being undefeated going into their November matchup at Georgia.

Head Coach Josh Heupel's return to Norman, Oklahoma, in the first SEC game of the season is winnable, but ultimately I see the Sooners getting the last Boomer.


Record: 10-2
Projected Losses: Georgia, at Texas A&M

Welcome back the age-old question "Is Texas back?" Last season, the answer was a resounding yes, as the Longhorns beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa on their way to their first (and last) berth in the 4-team playoff. Expectations are sky high this year in their first season in the SEC as signal caller Quinn Ewers and a handful of impact transfers highlight another talented roster.

A Week 2 game against defending champion Michigan in Ann Arbor could set the tone, and given the turnover the Wolverines have gone through this offseason, you have to like Texas' chances. The Longhorns will host Georgia in a massive game featuring two of the best QBs and overall rosters in the country, but the most important game of the season may be in the final week when the in-state rivalry against Texas A&M finally renews.

That may be the most hostile environment of any game in the country this season, which will be enough for the Aggies to pull the upset. Even still, the Longhorns' 6-2 conference record and tie-breakers will put them in the SEC Championship game for a rematch against Georgia.

Texas A&M

Record: 9-3
Project Losses: at Florida, Arkansas (neutral site), at Auburn

Mile Elko was brought in to save the day after high-earning and low-winning Jimbo Fisher was let go, triggering a massive buyout. Coach Fisher did not win at the level he was expected to, but he did recruit as well as anybody during his time in College Station.

The Aggies have offset their portal departures by recruiting the portal aggressively themselves so there is a lot of talent on this roster, and Coach Elko was known for doing more with less during his time as Duke's coach.

The Aggies will have an opportunity to make a statement when they open the season against Notre Dame in College Station.

The schedule sets up nicely as they avoid Alabama and host LSU and Texas, the latter which will be the biggest Aggie win in some time. A Week 3 letdown in the humid Swamp against the Gators and an upset loss to Arkansas in Arlington will put a damper on an otherwise successful first season for Mike Elko.


Record: 3-9
Projected Losses: Virginia Tech, at Missouri, Alabama, at Kentucky, Texas, at Auburn, South Carolina, at LSU, Tennessee

Vanderbilt Head Coach Clark Lea has his work cut out for him in the new transfer portal era. Nowadays, any Commodore player who shows promise is free to transfer to a program they believe is better suited to prepare them for the NFL.

We have seen that this offseason as Vanderbilt has lost transfer players to schools like Georgia, LSU, and Southern Cal. Coach Lea will ultimately need to re-recruit most of his notable players to convince them to stick around in Nashville.

The Commodores will most likely be at a talent deficit in each of their conference games this season, making it difficult to predict any wins outside of Alcorn State, Georgia State, and Ball State. One big matchup may be the November 9th game at home against South Carolina and the aforementioned Shane Beamer who may be fighting for his job.