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August 10, 2023

The best news when the calendar ????️ flips to August? That there will be live college football games on our screens later this month. After going through win totals and Heisman picks for each Power 5 conference, it’s now time to give out picks for conference futures.

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf shares his best bet for conference winner, while senior editor Max Meyer provides a sleeper ???? (+1000 odds or longer) that can make some noise. Today they dive into the SEC.

LEAF’S PICK TO WIN: Georgia (-110)

There is a bit of skepticism with a new offensive coordinator and quarterback combo, but the Bulldogs’ schedule sets them up for a return to the SEC Championship Game. They’re projected to be double-digit favorites in every game this regular season except for on the road at Tennessee. If they find their quarterback along the way, a three-peat ???? is easily in reach.

MEYER’S SLEEPER: Kentucky (+10000)

This is the trickiest conference for potential sleepers with Georgia, Alabama and LSU at the top. The SEC West is the toughest division in the nation, so let’s look at the SEC East.

Even with an NFL prospect like Will Levis under center last season, Kentucky averaged an SEC-worst 20.4 points per game ????. But there are several reasons for more optimism this time around. The Wildcats landed former NC State signal-caller Devin Leary, who threw for 35 touchdowns versus just 5 interceptions back in 2021. Liam Coen is back as Kentucky offensive coordinator after a 1-year stint at the same position in the NFL with the Rams. The offensive line was a disaster last season (allowed 3.62 sacks per game, fifth-worst in CFB), however I’m expecting improvement there with some key transfer adds and more experience up front.

The defense has been fundamentally sound under defensive coordinator Brad White, and the Wildcats have the pieces to be very solid on that side of the ball once again. If an inconsistent Joe Milton doesn’t take a step forward as Tennessee’s starting quarterback, I can envision Kentucky as the second-best team in the SEC East.