Jerry Hinnen looks at projected win totals for this season in the SEC East and has this to say about Missouri:
Missouri, 7.5 wins (over -180, under +140)
So: the Tigers weren’t as strong as their record last season. Maty Mauk was erratic even in the best of times. The receiving corps has been decimated by graduation (again). At some point, surely the well of NFL-caliber defensive linemen will dry up. At at -180, that over is pricey. No matter: after picking the Tigers to go under each of the last two seasons and being woefully, woefully wrong both times, I’m not doubting Gary Pinkel again — especially when the outstanding Barry Odom has taken over the defense … Southeast Missouri State, Arkansas State, UConn, Kentucky and Vanderbilt are all on the schedule … and South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi State, BYU and Tennessee all come to Columbia. OVER 7.5 WINS.
I’m not saying the Missouri game in Athens is the biggest game of the season – that’s obviously Alabama – but in terms of winning the East and given Missouri’s track record the past two years, I am thinking that one may be the game Georgia has to have to win the East.
I know, I know… 34-0 last season didn’t wind up meaning squat. But Georgia would have been eliminated from the division race much earlier had it lost both Columbia games. Beating South Carolina (or losing, for that matter) hasn’t been a key to winning the East for Georgia. I’m not sold on Tennessee being back on top in 2015. And Florida appears to have a ton of issues that a Georgia team that doesn’t show up with its head up its ass should be able to take. That leaves Pinkel’s Tigers. Given the relative strength of their schedules, Georgia giving Missouri a two-game margin with the tiebreaker is something I’d prefer not to risk.