2024-25 SEC College Football Betting Guide: Texas & Oklahoma Join The Fray

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
sec odds 2024

In 2024, Southeastern Conference college football will go from the cream of the crop to historically full of good-to-great teams. Commissioner Greg Sankey poached two of college football’s top brands in Oklahoma and Texas – the latter is a favorite near the top of SEC odds boards – bringing conference membership to 16. Of course, we know what implications that 2021 announcement had on the sport. But the SEC is fascinating in a number of ways. Alabama moves into the post-Nick Saban era. LSU turns over a Heisman quarterback. Georgia might field its best team yet. Ole Miss bolstered its Peach Bowl-winning squad with stars in the transfer portal.

Many National Championship odds favorites reside in the SEC, as they do every year. But this year might set a new high-water mark in terms of league strength. So, let’s dive into all 16 members of the kinda-Southeastern conference.

SEC Odds: To Win The Conference

Compare SEC odds from the best sports betting sites below. Click on the odds anywhere in this post to place a bet.

For the first time in decades, Alabama is not considered a frontrunner on SEC futures boards. They sit in a secondary tier alongside Ole Miss and LSU. The Tide and Tigers play markedly more difficult schedules than the Rebels or Volunteers. In a division-less SEC, strength of schedule is incredibly important.

Newcomer Texas brings one of the most loaded rosters in the country. They’re a close second behind Georgia, who reloads its most promising quarterback in years while also still rostering historic talent on defense. As the odds suggest, and as you’ll find in this preview, everyone is chasing Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs. A championship in 2024 officially makes Georgia a dynasty.

Missouri and Texas A&M buffer the top of the league from real longshot territory, although Oklahoma is priced slightly lower than the others.

SEC Odds: Projected Wins, Win Totals

Projected wins below are derived from aggregate power ratings, including SP+, FPI, and more. Win totals are pulled from FanDuel Sportsbook as of June 28.

TeamProj. WinsWin TotalPrice
Georgia Bulldogs10.810.5-122/+100
Texas Longhorns10.410.5+124/-152
Alabama Crimson Tide9.99.5+112/-138
Missouri Tigers9.79.5+146/-180
Ole Miss Rebels9.69.5-120/-102
LSU Tigers9.39.5+130/-160
Tennessee Volunteers9.09.5+130/-160
Texas A&M Aggies8.78.5-114/-106
Oklahoma Sooners8.17.5-105/-115
Auburn Tigers7.07.5+124/-154
Kentucky Wildcats6.66.5-115/-105
South Carolina Gamecocks5.45.5-106/-114
Florida Gators5.34.5-150/+122
Arkansas Razorbacks4.74.5-106/-114
Mississippi State Bulldogs4.63.5-168/+136
Vanderbilt Commodores2.92.5-184/+148

SEC Power Rankings

SEC odds power rankings 2024

Table Key (all ranks except power rankings are national):

  • Rank (Power ranking, conference)
  • Proj. Wins (Projected total wins)
  • Return (Returning production, total)
  • PPD (Points per drive scored)
  • PPDA (Points per drive allowed)
  • L5 (Last five years recruiting average, national)

SEC KFord Ratings

Kelley Ford posts his KFord Ratings for each conference on his website and Twitter. See his projections below:

SEC Odds & Projections KFord 2024

SEC Odds: The Favorites

Georgia Bulldogs
SEC Odds:

In case Georgia wasn’t already enough of a national threat the past three seasons, Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs load up for another championship run. Returning QB Carson Beck leads Heisman Trophy odds boards, and for good reason. Last year, Beck ranked third among PFF’s passing grades (best returning). Georgia added a trio of stud receivers in the transfer portal: Vanderbilt’s Landon Humphreys, USC’s Michael Jackson III, and Miami’s Colbie Young; they also poached running back Trevor Etienne from arch-rival Florida. And, just for show, they landed Stanford star tight end Benjamin Yurosek.

Four starters return on an offensive line that Phil Steele and Athlon rank best in the country (Lindy’s, second). This could be Georgia’s most talented offense in decades.

Last year’s weakness – if you could call any phase of a 13-1 season whose only loss was by three points in the SEC Championship a “weakness” – was a lack of experience in the front six on defense. That weakness doesn’t exist in 2024. Four starters return, highlighted by All-America candidates Nazir Stackhouse, Smael Mondon Jr., and Mykel Williams. Williams has a new role this season as a standup outside linebacker as opposed to a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end.

If there’s one position to nitpick, that’s the secondary. Three new starters rise this year – two high four-stars and a five-star in APEX Joenel Aguero. Although it’s the team’s least experienced unit, it’s packed with top talent.

The one aspect of this year that could slow Georgia down is the schedule. The Dawgs play Alabama, Ole Miss, and Texas, all on the road. They open the year with Clemson in Atlanta and close it with a rivalry against Georgia Tech. Games against Kentucky, Tennessee, and even Florida feel like afterthoughts on this slate.

Texas Longhorns
SEC Odds:

If there was ever an ideal time for Texas to join the big boys of the SEC, this season is it. The Longhorns return Heisman hopeful Quinn Ewers, backed up, of course, by Arch Manning, and 67% of their total roster production (39th). Four starters return on an offensive line that’ll make a case for the Joe Moore Award. There are a couple of potential early NFL draft picks on that unit, including Kelvin Banks and Hayden Conner.

While this year’s skill corps needs turning over, Texas wasted no opportunity doing so with portal talent. WR Isaiah Bond comes in from Alabama after pulling in the second-most receiving yards for the Tide. Oregon State transfer Silas Bolden and Houston SLOT Matthew Golden also head to Austin. 2023’s No. 1 RB prospect CJ Baxter returns after rushing for over 650 yards as a freshman.

But defensively is where Texas really upgraded. They add UTSA star pass rusher Trey Moore (22 sacks, 35.5 TFLs the last two years), Clemson safety Andrew Mukuba, and San Jose State corner Jay’Vion Cole – three starters or regular contributors. Those additions join a defense that returns six of its starting front seven, led by LB Anthony Hill Jr. (eight TFLs as a true freshman).

There are a few pillars on the schedule, namely a Week 2 showdown at Michigan, a back-to-back with Oklahoma and Georgia, and a finale at Texas A&M (rekindling an age-old rivalry). But outside of those games, Texas’ schedule is exceedingly winnable. They play four true road games, two of which come at Vanderbilt and Arkansas.

SEC Odds: The Contenders

Ole Miss Rebels
SEC Odds:

During Ole Miss’ best seasons, defense was what held the Rebels back. Last year, they allowed 35 points three times and 49 points twice. So, “Portal King” Lane Kiffin did what he does best and recruited some of the top transfers to Oxford. Ole Miss landed DL Walter Nolen (Texas A&M), EDGE Princely Umanmielen (Florida), LB Chris Paul Jr. (Arkansas), and CB Trey Amos (Alabama) – all likely Day 1 starters. Umanmielen was named second team All-SEC after collecting a Florida-best seven sacks. He lines up opposite stud Jared Ivey, who recorded eight sacks of his own in 2023.

Ole Miss’ transfer haul ranks No. 1, per 247Sports, and is made up of five top-50 players.

The passing quartet of QB Jaxson Dart, WRs Tre Harris and Jordan Watkins, and TE Caden Preiskorn is among the SEC’s best, if not the country’s. That unit is bolstered by All-SEC WR Antwane “Juice” Wells from South Carolina. While the running back room gets thinner with the departure of Quinshon Judkins, the three transfer backs in the room (Ulysses Bentley, Rashad Amos, Logan Diggs) are all former leading rushers for other teams.

Kiffin boasts just a 7-8 record against Top 25 opponents at Ole Miss. But this year, the Rebels add serious size and talent up front – something Kiffin promised to do following a 52-17 decimation to Georgia.

The schedule certainly could be tougher. Games against Oklahoma and Georgia, plus a road date at LSU, boost Ole Miss’ strength of schedule to 28th toughest nationally. However, it likely plays easier than that. The Rebels play five of the bottom-six SEC teams, according to futures odds, missing only Vanderbilt. In non-league play, Ole Miss handles FCS Furman, Middle Tennessee, Wake Forest, and Georgia Southern – all teams outside the preseason top 70 in ratings.

Alabama Crimson Tide
SEC Odds:

Once the dust settled on the bombshell Nick Saban retirement, the market seriously overcorrected on Alabama, leading to some buyback. New head coach Kalen DeBoer comes off taking Washington to the National Championship and boasts a ridiculous 104-12 record as a head coach (37-9 in the FBS). QB Jalen Milroe returns as a potential Heisman finalist to learn under the offensive system that got Michael Penix Jr. drafted inside the top 10.

RBs Justice Haynes and Jam Miller could be one of the top duos in the SEC come midseason. There is turnover in the receiving corps after losing all three of its top producers from a season ago. Three starters along the offensive line return, highlighted by will-he, won’t-he Kadyn Protcor, and future NFL draft pick Tyler Booker.

But all eyes will be on the marriage between DeBoer’s offensive system and Milroe, who finished sixth in Heisman voting last year.

For the first time since 2008, defense is the big question mark for Alabama. Saban revolutionized that side of the ball with his Cover 7 package and consistently turned in top-10 national marks thanks to both impenetrable scheme and top-end talent. That scheme is gone, and so are eight starters. Malachi Moore returns after battling a midseason injury with hopes of finding his way onto an All-America ballot.

Finding level water with Alabama is going to be fascinating. The reality may mirror the Tide’s offseason futures roller coaster. Bama likely won’t continue on its exact Saban-dynasty path, but they likely won’t regress all that much, either. Get ready for a very different look in Tuscaloosa this season.

Schedule note: Alabama plays Oklahoma and Vanderbilt with a rest disadvantage. Games against Georgia and LSU come off a bye, but equal rest for their opponent.

LSU Tigers
SEC Odds:

Thanks to the efforts from Heisman-winning QB Jayden Daniels, LSU was able to finish 10-3 despite ranking 119th in defensive points per drive (PPD). The Tigers surrendered 30 points in eight games, including the bowl last season. That culminated in a wild loss to Ole Miss despite LSU scoring 49 points. To remedy this, Brian Kelly went and hired Missouri defensive coordinator Blake Baker. However, OC Mike Denbrock walked, heading to Notre Dame after leading LSU to all-time offensive marks.

Despite the absence of Denbrock, an opposing assistant coach said, “this is the best assistant coach roster Kelly’s had at LSU, and maybe the best of his entire career.”

The shoes left by a departing Heisman winner are big shoes to fill. Rising starter Garrett Nussmeier showed moments of true brilliance, including throwing for nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-31 come-from-behind win against Wisconsin in a bowl. Two first-round NFL draft picks have to be replaced at receiver. The Tigers bring in top Liberty WR C.J. Daniels (1,067 yards, 10 TDs) and Mississippi State’s Zavion Thomas (502 yards).

The offensive line stays mostly intact, returning four starters. Overall, the offense likely doesn’t hit last year’s ceiling, but is still jam packed with talent.

The focus will be on defense. Blake has some serious firepower to work with, namely LB Harold Perkins and CB Zy Alexander. Gaps need to be filled throughout the lineup.

Come December, nobody can say LSU wasn’t tested. The Tigers’ schedule ranks eighth toughest in the country. They play USC, UCLA, and a pesky South Alabama team outside of SEC play. In conference play, they catch Ole Miss, Alabama, and Oklahoma at home while taking road trips to rival Texas A&M, South Carolina, and Florida – all notoriously difficult places to play.

SEC Odds: The Middle Class

It’s probably worth defining “middle class” when it comes to the SEC. The following teams will almost certainly sit ranked for large portions of the season. Some or all of these teams will be in the College Football Playoff conversation come November and one or more may make the field.

Tennessee Volunteers
SEC Odds:

Everyone break out your pronunciation guides for the rise of QB Nico Iamaleava. Famous for his rumored $8M-NIL deal, Iamaleava has high expectations on his shoulders for 2024. He has the luxury of playing in Josh Huepel’s offensive system – one of the best and most efficient in the nation – and with a cast of talented receivers. Bru McCoy returns after suffering a gruesome knee injury last year, as does Squirrel White. White posted yards/route run numbers of 4.09 (2022) and 2.19 (2023), signaling a dominator on the field.

By the time November rolled around, Tennessee was down two of its top targets in McCoy and Dont’e Thornton. This year, Iamaleava hopes to keep all three healthy. Center Cooper Mays is in early talks to be a first-round NFL draft pick and will likely earn preseason All-America honors.

With the focus squarely on the offense for the past two seasons, the Vols’ defense quietly overperformed last year. They return just three starters, one being a potential top-10 NFL draft pick, EDGE James Pearce. As a sophomore, Pearce logged 10 sacks (most in the SEC) and 14.5 of his 28 tackles came behind the line of scrimmage. Leading tackler Elijah Herring left post-spring for Memphis.

There’s likely defensive regression inbound this year. The secondary loses all its starters and 11 contributors from last year. Without an influx of replacement talent, this is a thin unit that could be a liability. While Tennessee is spared most weeks, they face QBs Grayson McCall (NC State), Jackson Arnold (Oklahoma), Carson Beck (Georgia), and Jalen Milroe (Alabama).

Other games cut the Vols a break with the likes of FCS Chattanooga, Arkansas, Mississippi State, UTEP, and Vanderbilt. If Tennessee wins games they’re favored in, they’re looking at a square 8-4 year.

Missouri Tigers
SEC Odds:

Following an 11-2 record and Cotton Bowl win sets lofty expectations for Missouri this season. Just two losses by a combined 21 points is difficult to improve upon. While the offense returns QB Brady Cook and star WR Luther Burden, there’s a lot of other gaps Missouri needs to fill.

Those gaps largely come on defense. Mizzou loses a first-round NFL draft pick at EDGE, another second-rounder at corner, and their ace play caller Blake Baker. Eliah Drinkwitz went and poached South Alabama DC Corey Batoon, who led the Jaguars to a pair of top-25 finishes in PPD. The Tigers hit the portal hard to replace what they lost on defense, bringing in Clemson CB Toriano Pride Jr. and Georgia EDGE Darris Smith. But even with the additions, it’s unlikely that Mizzou repeats its defensive performance from a year ago.

A huge gap was left offensively by 1,600-yard rusher Cody Schrader. App State leading rusher Nate Noel and Georgia State 1,300-yard rusher Marcus Carroll both transfer in to fill that spot in the backfield. While expecting a 1,600-yard rushing season out of either would be unrealistic, the combination of Noel and Carroll is more than capable of making that up combined. Carroll’s breakaway speed will be useful as Missouri stretches the field through the air; he picked up 21 15+ yard rushes last year, tied for seventh-most in the nation.

Along the offensive line, Mizzou landed a commitment from Oklahoma transfer sophomore Cayden Green. The plug-and-play starter completes a line that returns four players who started, be it at Mizzou or elsewhere. A shored-up line, as well as top-of-the-line weapons out wide and in the backfield could help Cook post truly ridiculous numbers in 2024.

The schedule is manageable. The Tigers should be favored in eight games and none on the slate classify as “unwinnable.”

Note: Missouri participates in the strangest game of the year. The Tigers travel to Amherst, Mass., to play a true road game at UMass in Week 7.

Texas A&M Aggies
SEC Odds:

Out goes maligned Jimbo Fisher (along with $75M), and in comes Mike Elko. Elko’s no stranger to College Station – he served as defensive coordinator for Texas A&M from 2018-21 before taking the head job at Duke. In 2021, he led A&M to the fourth-best defensive PPD, and at Duke, he went 16-9 overall.

QB Conner Weigman returns after missing most of the year with an injury. The now-RS sophomore has lots of potential, highlighted by a 338-yard outing against Ole Miss in 2022 and a 336-yard outing against Miami last year. But, for now, that’s all Weigman is: potential.

Perhaps under new OC Colin Klein (Kansas State), Weigman takes a step forward.

Despite some of its best skill talent ever departing for the NFL in the last two years, A&M returns plenty of playmakers. WRs Moose Muhammad and Noah Thomas combine with TE Donovan Greene (coming off a season-ending injury) for a solid receiving corps around Weigman. Former No. 2 RB prospect Rueben Owens is likely the best rusher in the room. Three starters up front return, but the offensive line was a liability and cause of multiple QB injuries.

The Aggies shouldn’t miss a beat defensively. The defensive front is loaded despite losing Nolan in the portal. Shemar Turner and Shemar Stewart pair with Purdue transfer Nic Scourton (15 TFLs, 10 sacks) for a menacing front. The weakness of this defense comes at corner, where A&M lacks surefire answers. Watch for safety Bryce Anderson to be an All-SEC contender come year’s end.

Texas A&M avoids Georgia, Ole Miss, and Alabama and handles Missouri, LSU, and Texas at home.

A SEC Longshot To Consider: Oklahoma Sooners

Much of the conference realignment discourse surrounding Oklahoma is negative. Texas is declared the more SEC-ready team (likely not far from the truth), and a brutal schedule is causing the Sooners to get written off. In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!”

Oklahoma gave coach Brent Venables a new six-year contract this summer that included a notable raise. As Oklahoma moves to a tougher league, support for the coach is there. And for good reason – after a disastrous 6-7 start, Oklahoma turned around and finished 10-2 before dropping its bowl game.

Rising QB Jackson Arnold prompted a transfer from Dillon Gabriel, and Arnold got a deep cast of weapons to work with. Purdue transfer Deion Burks dominated spring headlines as a potential superstar. Sophomore Nic Anderson leads returning Sooners with almost 800 yards and 10 TDs a season ago. The one-two punch of Gavin Sawchuck and Jovantae Barnes in the backfield could be one of the SEC’s very best.

Most encouragingly, the defense improved under Venables last season. The stop unit finished 29th in PPD, a 46-spot turnaround from 2022. That unit returns All-America LB candidate Danny Stutsman, EDGE Ethan Downs, star safety Billy Bowman, and both solid starting corners. They added TCU disruptor Damonic Williams to improve the interior defensive line.

Two things really stand in the way of Oklahoma being a great team: an unproven offensive line and a gauntlet of a schedule. The Sooners have an eight-week run that includes Texas, at Ole Miss and Missouri, Alabama, and at LSU.

But this isn’t a six-win team. Oklahoma returns a more talented defense than what’s being credited. And if the Sooners have a decent offensive line, they could be a top-10 team nationally.

A SEC Team To Fade: Florida Gators

2024 likely marks the end of the Billy Napier era in Gainesville. What started with botched recruiting battles quickly devolved into two losing seasons and calls for Napier to be replaced. Although a proven program builder, the SEC is a different animal, and Napier has yet to show he belongs. His 11-14 record at Florida is the worst two-year start to a career since 1979-80, and the Gators haven’t seen three consecutive losing seasons since 1940.

Florida also lost several key contributors this offseason. RB Trevor Etienne transferred to arch-rival Georgia (ouch), and WR Caleb Douglas left for Texas Tech. Top WR Ricky Pearsall left for the NFL, and All-SEC EDGE Princely Umanmielen left for Ole Miss. There’s plenty of talent left on the roster, namely WR Eugene “Tre” Wilson and QB Graham Mertz. Montrell Johnson is an NFL-level RB, as well.

While the roster is primed to win games, the schedule isn’t.

According to our preseason aggregate power ratings, Florida’s schedule ranks the toughest in the country. Two of their non-league games come against ranked Florida teams in Miami and Florida State; a third comes against in-state UCF. The Gators open SEC play with Texas A&M and lose it with a truly cruel run of teams. Following its final non-conference game in Week 6, Florida rips off: at Tennessee, Kentucky, BYE, vs. Georgia, at Texas, LSU, Ole Miss, at Florida State. There’s a chance – an outside one, but a chance – that six of those seven opponents are inside the CFP field at the time of playing.

This season, Florida’s likely in for a losing season. Napier will almost certainly be a free agent, should that happen. And any mid-level program looking to improve at head coach should be giving him a call come November.

Everyone Else

Auburn Tigers
SEC Odds:

Jarquez Hunter returns as one of the better rushers in the SEC. The new WR duo of Penn State transfer Keandre Lambert-Smith and true freshman Cam Coleman is exciting and presents a big-play threat to any defense. The issue is the QB getting them the ball – Payton Thorne returns after posting an SEC-worst QBR and second-worst completion (60.1%) and TD passes (16). The defense returns majorly intact after finishing 41st in PPD. Offensively, the Tigers have to improve; they were held at or under 21 points six times.

Arkansas Razorbacks
SEC Odds:

Sam Pittman is likely on his last legs, barring a serious turnaround. The Razorbacks trade KJ Jefferson and Rocket Sanders for exciting Boise transfer Taylen Green and Utah’s leading rusher, Ja’Quinden Jackson. Arkansas is just 2-9 in one-score games the last two years, partly thanks to finishing 93rd in giveaways per game (1.6). Despite Pittman having an offensive-line background, they lost starters along the front in the spring – never a good sign for a program. Both sides of the ball need dramatic improvement this year, or Arkansas will be cleaning house.

Kentucky Wildcats
SEC Odds:

Devin Leary didn’t work out so well for Kentucky last year, completing just 56.1% of his passes (worst in the SEC). This year, Mark Stoops brings in Georgia transfer Brock Vandagriff and Boise State OC Bush Hamdan to, hopefully, improve on that production. Ohio State RB Chip Traynum takes over in the backfield, and North Texas 1,000-yard WR Ja’Mori Maclin joins the receiving room. The Wildcats have to improve along the line of scrimmage (both sides). Four starters return, but that unit struggled to get much of a push last year. Against defensive fronts like Georgia, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Texas, Kentucky will struggle.

Mississippi State Bulldogs
SEC Odds:

Under new head coach Jeff Lebby, Mississippi State returns to its Air Raid roots. Baylor transfer Blake Shapen takes over as QB1, and UTEP deep threat Kelly Akharaiyi comes in as, likely, the top target. Under Kevin Barbay and Zach Arnett, the offense finished a paltry 110th in PPD – a number that should rise dramatically this year. The question is whether the defense keeps up. The unit turns just about everybody and everything over after finishing 84th in PPD. With an up-tempo offense, the stop unit may struggle to be on the field quite a bit. State pulls Texas and Georgia – both on the road but sandwiched with a bye week – before getting Texas A&M off a bye in concurrent games. They close up against Tennessee, Missouri, and Ole Miss.

South Carolina Gamecocks
SEC Odds:

A name to know this year: LaNorris Sellers. The RS Freshman is one of the more exciting QBs in the conference, even if South Carolina isn’t all that good this year. Sellers is a dynamic dual-threat athlete who rushed for 86 yards and two TDs (on two carries) against Furman last year. In spring ball, he flashed lots of playmaking ability. Sellers joins Arkansas transfer Rocket Sanders in the backfield. The Gamecocks have two playmakers out wide despite losing Juice Wells: Miami (OH) WR Gage Larvadain (3.16 Y/RR, top-10 nationally) and Nyck Harbor (6-5, 242 pounds, runs a 4.3 40-yard dash).

Like many SEC teams fighting for bowl eligibility, South Carolina has lots of interesting transfers but ultimately is reliant on line play and defense. Against a schedule that includes a stretch of Ole Miss, Alabama, and Oklahoma with no bye weeks – plus an annual non-league rivalry game against Clemson – making a bowl game would be a success for South Carolina. At the very least, they should be the most fun team in this section to watch in 2024.

Vanderbilt Commodores
SEC Odds:

Another year at the bottom of the SEC. Vanderbilt was gutted for all it was worth in the portal. However, it did punch back, importing the New Mexico State Aggies, sans the offensive line; even head coach Jerry Kill joined Clark Lea’s staff. Diego Pavia will be an exciting watch, but there are certainly more fruitful rebuild efforts than copying/pasting a Conference USA roster to the SEC. This could be a two- or three-win campaign for Vanderbilt. It’s also likely another zero-win SEC season, barring the Commodores springing an upset on a team like Kentucky or South Carolina.

SEC All-Transfer Team

QB: Taylen Green (Boise State to Arkansas); Brock Vandagriff (Georgia to Kentucky)
RB: Rocket Sanders (Arkansas to South Carolina); Trevor Etienne (Florida to Georgia)
WR: Colbie Young (Miami to Georgia); C.J. Daniels (Liberty to LSU); Deion Burks (Purdue to Oklahoma)
TE: Benjamin Yurosek (Stanford to Georgia)
OT: Marcus Bryant (SMU to Missouri); Spencer Brown (Michigan State to Oklahoma)
IOL: Cayden Green (Oklahoma to Missouri); Parker Brailsford (Washington to Alabama); Ethan Miner (North Texas to Mississippi State)

DL: Princely Umanmielen (Florida to Ole Miss); Walter Nolan (Texas A&M to Ole Miss); Damonic Williams (TCU to Texas); Nic Scourton (Purdue to Texas A&M)
LB: Solomon DeShields (Pitt to Texas A&M); Jamon Dumas-Johnson (Georgia to Kentucky); Darris Smith (Georgia to Missouri)
CB: Domani Jackson (USC to Alabama); Toriano Pride Jr. (Clemson to Missouri)
SAF: Andrew Mukuba (Clemson to Texas); Marcus Ratcliffe (San Diego State to Texas A&M)

Top Difference Makers To Know

Looking at some of the lesser-known impact players for this coming season.

Deion Burks, WR, Oklahoma: In a league packed with star receivers, Burks might go unnoticed. That is until you have Oklahoma on TV. Burks dominated the Sooners’ spring game, hauling in five receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson Arnold is going to find Burks deep quite a bit this year.

Cam Coleman, WR, Auburn: Coleman is the highest-rated offensive recruit ever for Auburn. A 247Sports evaluation compared him to George Pickens alongside a high-five star rating. As a senior, Coleman hauled in 61 receptions for 1,372 yards (22.5/reception) and a ridiculous 18 touchdowns.

Jalon Walker, LB, Georgia: After years sitting behind All-America LBs like Dumas-Johnson, Walker has his time to start. At 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds, the rising junior is an incredibly physical and aggressive LB – a perfect anchor to another nasty Georgia defense.

Yam Banks, APEX, Ole Miss: Buried under the guise of Mobile, Banks has been one of the most productive safeties in the nation for years. In 2022, he logged six interceptions and 11 PBUs before teams stopped throwing at him. That year, Banks was targeted 79 times; the next, just 48. In his South Alabama career, he recorded 119 tackles and 10 QB hits. Also, who doesn’t love the name Yam Banks?

Coaching & Coordinator Changes In The SEC

Kalen DeBoer, Alabama: The man to follow Nick Saban is an impossible spot to be in. But DeBoer isn’t shy from the massive weight of expectation in Tuscaloosa. He’s won and won big at every level. DeBoer has an all-time coaching record of 104-12 – unfathomable success. At the FBS level, he’s 37-9 and took Washington to the National Championship in just two seasons.

Mike Elko, Texas A&M: According to an opposing SEC coach, Elko will bring a “night and day culture change at the head-coaching position.” The only thing holding A&M back from its true heights was coaching incompetence from Fisher, who led the Aggies to one season with fewer than four losses, and it came during a season without fans. Elko was DC in College Station from 2018-21 and, most importantly, was a hire praised by the 12th Man.

Jeff Lebby, Mississippi State: Last year was an impossible task for Zach Arnett. But moving away from the Air Raid was a disaster. Lebby re-installs it this season and likely makes Mississippi State watchable again. While they may not be great, games will again be exciting. He had brief stints as offensive coordinator at Ole Miss and Oklahoma, leading the latter to the eighth-best PPD offense in the country.

Blake Baker, DC, LSU: LSU could legitimately improve its defensive efficiency by 50+ spots this season. The Tigers bottomed out on defense, so Kelly ponied up and hired Baker away from Missouri after a couple of successful campaigns. The question is, will the scheme change be enough to salvage that atrocious defense in one year?

Check out every SEC coaching and coordinator change this offseason!


Photo by Associated Press

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