We all have our opinions about what will happen once the college football season kicks off this week. Some of them are straight up crazy.
Today our SEC writers will make one bold prediction each about the upcoming season in the conference. We’ll have to remember to check back in at the end of the season to see whose prediction was the craziest. My vote for now goes to Sam Khan (you’ll see why in a few paragraphs).
Here’s what we came up with:
Edward Aschoff: My bold prediction for the 2016 season is that Florida's Jalen Tabor will lead the SEC with eight interceptions and Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick will lead all defenders with four defensive touchdowns.
David Ching: Thanks to an unbelievable collection of pass rushers in the league and far too many inexperienced quarterbacks, the number of SEC players with at least 10 sacks will nearly double. Five players -- Alabama's Jonathan Allen (12 sacks) and Tim Williams (11), Texas A&M's Myles Garrett (13), Tennessee's Derek Barnett (10) and Ole Miss' Marquis Haynes (10) -- got there last season, and those guys are all back in 2016. Among the leading contenders to join them in the double-digit sack club: Auburn's Carl Lawson, Missouri's Charles Harris, Arkansas' Deatrich Wise Jr., LSU's Arden Key and Lewis Neal, Georgia's Lorenzo Carter and Texas A&M's Daeshon Hall.
Sam Khan Jr.: Call me crazy, but I'll go out on a limb and say Texas A&M wins 10 games this season (nine in the regular season, plus a bowl win) and secures Kevin Sumlin's future. The marriage of Trevor Knight's skills to Noel Mazzone's offense gets the Aggies back to the high-scoring ways they enjoyed when they first arrived in the SEC and the defense proves to be a top-25 unit nationally.
Greg Ostendorf: Chad Kelly will set the SEC's single-season mark for passing yards. In his first season in the SEC, he led the conference with 4,042 yards passing. The league's single-season record was set by Tim Couch (4,275) in 1998. Based on how Kelly played down the stretch last year, there's no reason he can't throw for 300 more yards this season. And if Ole Miss can come away with a couple key wins early, Kelly might earn himself an invite to New York City.
Alex Scarborough: This will be Lane Kiffin's last season at Alabama. After producing yet another 3,000-yard passer and helping the Crimson Tide to yet another SEC championship, the head coaching offers will come rolling in and he'll emerge as a candidate at -- wait for it -- Auburn.