published Sunday, August 25th, 2013

2013 College Blitz - Color coding the SEC

If Johnny Manziel is on the field for Texas A&M, the Aggies’ Sept. 14 showdown with preseason No. 1 Alabama is the game of the year.
If Johnny Manziel is on the field for Texas A&M, the Aggies’ Sept. 14 showdown with preseason No. 1 Alabama is the game of the year.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Color scheme (Best uniforms)

The personal preference is a school that can make two colors work, so that eliminates Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Texas A&M. Of the eight that remain, we’ll go with Auburn topping Ole Miss for the best home uniform and LSU edging Georgia for the best look in white.

Seeing green (Best NFL prospects in the SEC)

There will be a bunch in the next two drafts with South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney leading the way in 2014. Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews, Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson, Tennessee tackle “Tiny” Richardson, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley are popping up on first-round projections. As for the 2015 draft, look for Alabama tailback T.J. Yeldon to go quite high.

Kick the can (Best special teams unit)

Florida has been the class of the league the last several seasons, though the Gators took a hit this month when Andre Debose was lost for the season. Debose had a school-record four kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career, but punter Kyle Christy returns after averaging a school-record 45.8 yards last season. There is no bigger special-teams menace than cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, who forced three fumbles and blocked two punts last season.

Neon lights

(Biggest game of the year)

This has been pegged all year as Alabama’s trip to Texas A&M on Sept. 14, but the intrigue of this game could implode if Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel is suspended for violating NCAA rules dealing with receiving cash for autographs. The safer pick may be the SEC championship game, which could again be thrilling if Alabama faces the Georgia-South Carolina winner.

Preseason all-SEC team

Offense

QB Johnny Manziel Texas A&M

RB T.J. Yeldon Alabama

RB Todd Gurley Georgia

WR Amari Cooper Alabama

WR Jordan Matthews Vanderbilt

TE Arthur Lynch Georgia

OT Cyrus Kouandjio Alabama

OT Jake Matthews Texas A&M

OG Anthony Steen Alabama

OG Gabe Jackson Mississippi State

C Travis Swanson Arkansas

PK Carey Spear Vanderbilt

AP Bruce Ellington South Carolina

Defense

DE Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina

DE Chris Smith Arkansas

DT Dominique Easley Florida

DT Anthony Johnson LSU

LB C.J. Mosley Alabama

LB A.J. Johnson Tennessee

LB Denzel Nkemdiche Ole Miss

CB Louchiez Purifoy Florida

CB Deion Belue Alabama

S HaHa Clinton-Dix Alabama

S Craig Loston LSU

P Kyle Christy Florida

RS Odell Beckham LSU

Predicted order of finish

EASTERN DIVISION

• 1. Georgia

• 2. South Carolina

• 3. Florida

• 4. Vanderbilt

• 5. Tennessee

• 6. Missouri

• 7. Kentucky

WESTERN DIVISION

• 1. Alabama

• 2. Texas A&M

• 3. LSU

• 4. Ole Miss

• 5. Auburn

• 6. Mississippi State

• 7. Arkansas

Camouflaged contender

(Someone picked outside the top four who has a chance to win the league if things go right)

The top four vote receivers at media days were Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M, leaving LSU, Florida, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt next in line. The uncertainty of Florida’s offense is a concern, so the pick will be LSU despite its brutal conference schedule.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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