Every year as I discuss the upcoming season with friends from other SEC schools, we eventually get around to some version of an SEC Deal or No Deal - 'If you could have a season of ___ wins for your school right now, would you take it, or would you want to play out the games and take your chances?' Kyle's prediction that "South Carolina will lose in the Georgia Dome during the month of December" reminded me once again of the the true Carolina fan's annual exercise in irrational exuberance.
I think any reasonable South Carolina fan would take that result and run with it. Not only would it be the program's first SEC East title, but it could set up a preseason top ten ranking in 2011 for a team returning a lot of starters. Most importantly, it should allow the program to carry recruiting to another level long-term, and lock up the number one player in the nation short term.
Since an SEC East title for Carolina seems like a no-brainer, I decided to throw out a more challenging Deal or No Deal for South Carolina, and the rest of the SEC. Assume the outcome of the bowl game is TBD. It should be fun to look back at the end of the year and see who sold their team short, and who would give their right arm to have another shot at the offer.
South Carolina: 9-3, win over Clemson,
Citrus Bowl Capital One Bowl appearance
South Carolina: 8-4, 2nd in the East, loss to Clemson, Peach Bowl appearance
Florida: 11-2, SEC championship, Sugar Bowl appearance
Georgia: 8-4 with wins over Georgia Tech and Auburn, Aaron Murray is SEC Freshman of the Year
Tennessee: 7-5 (4-4) with zero additional curb stompings of Knoxville police officers (Snitches get Stitches)
Kentucky: 6-6 but a win over Tennessee and bowl game somewhere other than Nashville
Vanderbilt: 4-8 (Vandy's only sure win OOC is Eastern Michigan)
Alabama: 12-1, SEC title, BCS title game appearance, but the loss is to Auburn
Auburn: 9-3, win over Alabama but Alabama wins the SEC
Arkansas: 9-3, 2nd in the West
LSU: 9-3, no head scratching decisions by Les Miles, bowl game in Orlando
Ole Miss: 7-5 with a convincing win over Mississippi State, Music City Bowl appearance
Mississippi State: 6-6 with a narrow loss to Ole Miss, bowl game appearance