College Football 2021: Conference title probabilities and projected win totals for every SEC team

Alabama head coach Nick Saban
Alabama head coach Nick Saban

The SEC has always been a conference with a reputation for producing exhilarating football. The majority of SEC's success in recent years, though, has come from the University of Alabama.

That said, every Saturday is a gauntlet for SEC teams when it comes to playing a conference opponent.

The Southeastern Conference is split into two divisions - an East and West division. Both divisions are filled with talented teams and are as close to even as they can get. Here is a complete breakdown of the SEC's East and West divisions.

SEC East Division

  • Florida Gators
  • Georgia Bulldogs
  • Missouri Tigers
  • Kentucky Wildcats
  • Tennessee Volunteers
  • South Carolina Gamecocks
  • Vanderbilt Commodores

SEC West Division

  • Alabama Crimson Tide
  • Texas A&M Aggies
  • Auburn Tigers
  • LSU Tigers
  • Ole Miss Rebels
  • Arkansas Razorbacks
  • Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Iron Bowl is the biggest game in the SEC conference every year, with the Alabama Crimson Tide battling the Auburn Tigers. Auburn made one of the biggest plays in the history of the Iron Bowl in the 2013 season. Alabama attempted a field goal that fell short of going through the goalposts, and the ball was duly returned by Auburn's Chris Davis for a game-winning touchdown.

Here's a list of the rivalry showdowns in the SEC.

  • Alabama vs. Auburn, Iron Bowl
  • Florida vs. Georgia, World's largest outdoor cocktail party
  • Auburn vs. Georgia, Deep south's oldest rivalry
  • Tennessee vs. Alabama, two winningest programs in the SEC
  • Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State, Egg Bowl
  • Tennessee vs. Florida
  • Auburn vs. LSU, Tiger Bowl
  • LSU vs. Alabama, Saban Bowl
  • LSU vs. Ole Miss, Southern tradition
  • Alabama vs. Mississippi State, the 90-Mile drive
  • Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt, I-40 Bowl
  • Tennessee vs. Kentucky, Border Bowl
  • Georgia vs. South Carolina, The Border Bash
  • Ole Miss vs. Arkansas, The Nutt Bowl
  • LSU vs. Arkansas, Battle for the Golden Boot
  • Florida vs. Auburn
  • Tennessee vs. Georgia
  • Arkansas vs. Texas A&M

The SEC conference plays the top talent each week once conference play opens up. Heading into the 2021-2022 season, the Alabama Crimson Tide are projected to win the SEC. Here's a quick look at how the Big Ten Conference is projected to pan out in the 2021-2022 season.

2021 SEC Conference probabilities and projections

Former Alabama RB Najee Harris celebrates their 2020 national championship
Former Alabama RB Najee Harris celebrates their 2020 national championship

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 73%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 51%

PFF Projected Win Total: 10.6

Alabama produced one of the best offenses in college football history in 2020. DeVonta Smith and the rest of the stars on the Alabama offense put on a show that will be remembered for ages. Soon after, the Alabama Crimson Tide lost all four of their top talents on offense to the NFL.

Even so, Alabama never rebuilds. It reloads every year with new talent. The 2021 season is no different, with the Crimson Tide bringing back wide receiver John Metchie III, who had a phenomenal 2020. They'll lean on their second-year quarterback, Bryce Young, the second overall recruit from the 2020 recruiting class.

Defensively, Alabama is led by outside cornerback Josh Jobe and slot corner Malachi Moore. Nick Saban's defense will also bring back talented safety Jordan Battle. The defensive line will be glued together by edge rusher Will Anderson Jr., who pressured the quarterback 60 times during his freshman season in 2020.

With the talent that Alabama brings to the table every year, they're in a league of their own.

Georgia Spring Game
Georgia Spring Game

#2 Georgia Bulldogs

PFF SEC Conference Championship Odds: 60%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 24%

PFF Projected Win Total: 9.6

Georgia is the biggest threat to Alabama's crown heading into the 2021-2022 season. The Bulldogs have an intriguing story building at starting quarterback with J.T. Daniels. Georgia will be hoping Daniels has a breakout season in 2021.


The Georgia Bulldogs offense took a massive hit when star wide receiver George Pickens tore his ACL during spring practice. Georgia still has two highly touted wide receivers in Kearis Jackson and Dominick Blaylock. The Bulldogs can also turn to their former five-star tight end, Darnell Washington, a nightmare matchup for SEC defenses.

Defensively, the Georgia Bulldogs took a massive blow with their top four players from the 2020 defense departing for the NFL. Georgia did land the top slot corner in the transfer portal in Tykee Smith to soften that blow. One position that college football analysts will closely watch is Georgia's cornerbacks outside the numbers.

The Georgia Bulldogs' hopes will rest on the shoulders of J.T. Daniels and the inexperienced defense. If Daniels can perform at an elite level, the Bulldogs could threaten Alabama in 2021.

Florida Gators QB Emory Jones
Florida Gators QB Emory Jones

#3 Florida Gators

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 28%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 10%

PFF Projected Win Total: 8.8

Florida is entering the 2021 season the same way they entered 2020. The Gators have the most significant chance of being a boom-or-bust team in the SEC. Last season it turned out to be a boom, but more work needs to be done in 2021.

Offensively, the Florida Gators lost a lot of talent with Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts, Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney taking their skills to the NFL. Florida will now turn to Emory Jones to lead the offense. Jones is a former four-star dual-threat quarterback who will bring a different look to the Gators' QB position in 2021.

Defensively, the Florida Gators should see massive improvements during the 2021-2022 season. Florida will bring back three of their top performers from last year's team in Kaiir Elam, Brenton Cox Jr., and Ventrell Miller. The Gators will hope that their three defensive pillars can set up an excellent field position for their young quarterback.


Unfortunately for Emory Jones, the success of the Florida Gators depends on his play. The Gators are inexperienced at receiver, which could limit their passing game.

#4 LSU Tigers

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 12%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 6%

PFF Projected Win Total: 8.2

LSU has taken a significant step back from their historic 2019-2020 season, where they went undefeated and won the national championship. After their success in 2019, the LSU Tigers fizzled out in 2020. The Tigers are entering the 2021 season a bit underrated and could surprise some teams this season.

Offensively, the LSU Tigers are welcoming back quarterback Myles Brennan. The LSU QB saw his 2020 season cut short due to injury. Before the injury, Myles Brennan posted a Pro Football Focus passing grade of 88.3 in three games.

Myles Brennan has a talented second-year wide receiver in Kayshon Boutte. The LSU Tigers wideout finished his freshman season with 308 receiving yards and three touchdowns against Ole Miss. We could potentially see a Joe Burrow-Ja'Marr Chase connection between Brennan and Boutte.

Defensively, the LSU Tigers are loaded at the cornerback position. LSU currently has the second-best NFL draft prospect in Derek Stingley Jr., whereas Eli Ricks ranked third in the Pro Football Focus preseason positional rankings. The Tigers added former Clemson linebacker, Mike Jones Jr., through the transfer portal, and they're also returning two talented defensive linemen in Ali Gay and B.J. Ojulari.

LSU's success will depend on how much joy they have on the offensive side of the ball. The Tigers' defense will likely do their job by keeping them in the game, but the offense will have to push the Tigers over the line.

#5 Texas A&M Aggies

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 10%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 5%

PFF Projected Win Total: 8.9

Texas A&M is coming off a successful 2020 season where it finished in the top five of the college football rankings for the first time since Johnny Manziel. Unfortunately, the Aggies fell short of the College Football Playoffs and will look to get over the hump in 2021.

Offensively, the Texas A&M Aggies lost the main piece of their offensive puzzle in Kellen Mond, who took his talents to the NFL. Outside of the quarterback position, the Aggies are loaded.

Jalen Wydermyer is the top tight end in college football, and wide receiver Ainias Smith is one of the most dynamic players in the NCAA. The Aggies also have one of the best running backs in the country in Isaiah Spiller.

Texas A&M's hopes and dreams will be pinned on their quarterback. The Aggies will look to either Haynes King or Zach Calzada to lead their offense in 2021. Both quarterbacks have thrown a combined total of 28 pass attempts heading into the 2021 season.

If King or Calzada can master the Jimbo Fisher pro-style offense, the Aggies could be a massive threat in the College Football Playoffs and the SEC Championship.

#6 Auburn Tigers

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 3%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 1%

PFF Projected Win Total: 7.3

Auburn is hoping that quarterback Bo Nix has a breakout season in 2021..

The Tigers appear to have one of the weaker passing offenses in college football this season.

Offensively, the Auburn Tigers are bringing back running back Tank Bigsby, which is a massive boost. Auburn lost a lot of talent from their 2020 team, with all three wide receivers heading for the NFL. The inexperience at wide receiver could hurt Bo Nix's ability to have a successful season.

The strength of the Auburn Tigers is their defense. Auburn has one of the best group of cornerbacks in the country.

The Tigers return Roger McCreary and Nehemiah Pritchett. They also added former West Virginia cornerback Dreshun Miller through the transfer portal, while safety Smoke Monday and linebacker Owen Pappoe will also have another run in the defensive line.

Auburn is in the same position as the LSU Tigers. Defensively, they're great and will need their defensive talent to keep them in games. Bo Nix, though, will need to overcome the roadblocks in his way at wide receiver to lead the Tigers to a successful season.

#7 Kentucky Wildcats

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 4%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 1%

PFF Projected Win Total: 7.1

Kentucky will have a dominant run-blocking offensive line that will be led by tackle Darrian Kinnard, returning running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. and transfer dual-threat quarterback Will Levis. The Wildcats are primed to have one of the top rushing attacks in the SEC in 2021.

Offensively, the Kentucky Wildcats appear to be a little one-dimensional with their rushing attack posing a threat. Kentucky had one of the worst passing attacks during the 2020 season. During Will Levis' career at Penn State, he only dropped back to throw the football 64 times.

Kentucky's success will depend on their offensive line. If the Wildcats cannot block up front, they are unlikely to have a shot at success.

#8 Missouri Tigers

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 4%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 1%

PFF Projected Win Total: 6.9

Missouri's offense is led by their quarterback, Connor Bazelak, who surprised many with his play in 2020. A number of fans and scouts predicted that Bazelak would lead the Tigers' passing game to failure. Instead, he made Missouri's offense one of the most efficient passing offenses in the SEC.

Offensively, the Missouri Tigers have a receiving threat in running back Tyler Badie. Missouri doesn't have a wide receiver that registered a PFF season grade above 70 in 2020. The Tigers are hoping that former Ohio State wide receiver Mookie Cooper and one-time D-II transfer Keke Chism can open up the passing game in 2021.

Defensively, the Missouri Tigers are inexperienced at cornerback. Missouri's top two corners from last season are no longer with the team. The Tigers will have a challenging time trying to overcome their problems at the cornerback position.

Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee Volunteers

#9 Tennessee Volunteers

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 3%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 1%

PFF Projected Win Total: 6.7

Tennessee is heading into the 2021-2022 season with a new head coach, Jeff Heupel. They'll also welcome former Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker, who signed with Tennessee through the transfer portal.

Jeff Huepel will look to bring the success that he had at UCF over to Tennessee. The Volunteers have two quick wide receivers in Jalin Hyatt and Velus Jones Jr., which will play well in play-action deep routes. Tennessee's offense is set up to surpass expectations and last year's success.

Defensively, the Tennessee Volunteers sit around the middle of the SEC in 2021. Tennessee had five talented athletes on the defensive side of the ball but lost all five to either the NFL or the transfer portal over the last couple of seasons. The Volunteers will need their defense to pick up the slack and help their offense if they wish to compete in the SEC.

Newly hired head coach Jeff Huepel has one eye on taking the Tennessee Volunteers back to the mid-2000s when the Volunteers dominated. It may take some time to accomplish his goals, but the Volunteers should have a winning record and a bowl game appearance in 2021.

#10 Ole Miss Rebels

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 1%

PFF Conference Championship Win Probability: 0%

PFF Projected Win Total: 6.5

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin is entering his second season with the Rebels. Kiffin put together a great offense in his first season as head coach. The Rebels passed the football with a remarkable efficiency last year.

Offensively, the Ole Miss Rebels will be led by quarterback Matt Corral, who scored at an elite level with PFF. The Rebels lost their top wide receiver, Elijah Moore, who took his talents to the NFL. Ole Miss received a replacement for Moore in former Western Kentucky wide receiver Jahcour Pearson.

Defensively, the Ole Miss Rebels will be led by former Maryland linebacker Chance Campbell, who came over through the transfer portal this year. Still, Ole Miss ranks towards the bottom of the SEC in defense. The Rebels offense will be in a lot of high-scoring games in 2021.

#11 Mississippi State Bulldogs

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 1%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 0%

PFF Projected Win Total: 5.5

Mississippi State's head coach, Mike Leach, implemented his Air Raid offense in 2020. The Bulldogs saw some early success in 2020 with Leach's offense, the massive win over the LSU Tigers being a case in point. But when teams started dropping more players into coverage, the Bulldogs offense ran out of gas.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs struggled in offense last year and failed to protect their quarterback after Week 1. Mississippi State landed former Southern Miss quarterback Jack Abraham through the transfer portal. The Bulldogs also added former Cal wide receiver Makai Polk. Since the offensive line was a liability for Mississippi State, a turnaround season is unlikely for the Bulldogs in 2021.

Defensively, Mississippi State will return their talented cornerback Martin Emerson, a top-15 cornerback in the NCAA. The Bulldogs will have some success on defense against the lower half of the SEC.

#12 Arkansas Razorbacks

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 0%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 0%

PFF Projected Win Total: 5.2

Arkansas has gone through a rough patch in its football program over the past four years. The Razorbacks have only won four SEC Conference games in the last four seasons. Turning things around in 2021 doesn't appear to be on the table for the Razorbacks, with questions plaguing both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the Arkansas Razorbacks will need quarterback K.J. Jefferson to have a big season. Jefferson is a former four-star recruit from the Razorbacks' 2020 recruiting class. The Razorbacks' first-year starter will have one of the top wide receivers in college football in 2021. Treylon Burks is coming off a 2020 season that saw him ranked fifth in receiving in the Power Five conference rankings.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Arkansas Razorbacks are returning two of their top defenders. Jalen Catalon and Grant Morgan are the featured players on the Arkansas defense heading into the 2021 season. The problem for Arkansas is that the other nine players are questionable on defense.

South Carolina Gamecocks are ready for the 2021 season
South Carolina Gamecocks are ready for the 2021 season

#13 South Carolina Gamecocks

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 1%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 0%

PFF Projected Win Total: 4.7

South Carolina has entered a complete rebuild. The Gamecocks are coming off a 2-8 season, which is the worst record the program has posted this century. With South Carolina rebuilding, it's unlikely the Gamecocks will have a rebound season in 2021.

On offense, South Carolina is still unsure who will be the starting quarterback. Last year's four-star recruit, Luke Doty, appears to be the favorite in that race. Doty is explosive and poses a threat on the ground for opposing defenses. The Alabamas and Georgias of the SEC will limit Luke Doty's ability to run the football and force him to pass, which is an area he needs to work on.

Defensively, the Gamecocks have a silver lining. South Carolina's defensive front is talented, and their edge rusher Kingsley Enagbare is one of the best in the country at his position. The Gamecocks, unfortunately, have too many holes in their secondary for their defense to make an impact in 2021.

#14 Vanderbilt Commodores

PFF SEC Conference Championship Appearance Odds: 0%

PFF SEC Conference Championship Win Probability: 0%

PFF Projected Win Total: 4.6

Vanderbilt is slowly starting to move in the right direction under head coach Clark Lea. The Commodore's head coach plans to bring the program back to a winning season and a bowl game. Clark Lea has his work cut out for him when it comes to bringing the winning culture back to Vanderbilt, considering the team hasn't finished over .500 since 2013.

Offensively, the Vanderbilt Commodores are entering the 2021 season with a lot of questions. Starting quarterback Ken Seals needs to improve his ball security in 2021. The wide receiver position holds a little more promise.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Vanderbilt Commodores lost their top pass-rushing duo in Dayo Odeyingbo and Andre Mintze. The Commodores are returning safety Brendon Harris and slot corner Jaylen Mahoney for the 2021 season.

(All probabilities and projections are based on Pro Football Focus.)

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Edited by Colin D'Cunha
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