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Not High on the Hogs: Arkansas Among 4 SEC Teams to Go Under W-L Totals

It will be a different look to the Southeastern Conference for the 2024 football season, with a pair of new teams (Texas and Oklahoma) joining the ranks and no more divisional play. All teams in the conference will be fighting each other for the top two spots and places in the conference championship game.

 

Head coach Sam Pittman of the Arkansas Razorbacks/Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP
Head coach Sam Pittman of the Arkansas Razorbacks/Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP

As usual, there are plenty of national title contenders among the conference’s membership, but there are also some teams that aren’t going to be competing for even bowl eligibility. The NCAA football odds for total regular-season wins for some teams in the SEC are too high, so let’s take a look at some of those teams we think are getting too much credit

 

4 SEC Teams Under Win Totals

 

1. Arkansas Razorbacks (4½ wins)

The Razorbacks are hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 4-8 campaign of a year ago, but there are still question marks for that quest. Head coach Sam Pittman brought in former head man Bobby Petrino as the team’s offensive coordinator to try to revive a unit that ranked 10th in the SEC in scoring in 2023.

The quarterback position looks like it will be held by Boise State transfer Taylen Green, who threw for 3,794 yards and ran for 1,022 yards in 26 games with the Broncos. How well Green will be able to settle in a new offense against an SEC schedule will go a long way to the Razorbacks reaching the college football predictions put on them for the season.

Improvement must also be seen on the other side of the ball or Green will be leading the offense from behind a lot in 2024. Arkansas was 12th in the SEC in scoring defense as well, allowing 27.9 points per contest, including giving up 44.0 points over its last four games of the season.

The schedule isn’t going to make things easy for the Razorbacks, with a trip to Oklahoma State part of the non-conference portion. SEC play begins with road games against Auburn and Texas A&M, while November brings back-to-back games against Ole Miss and Texas.

 

2. Auburn Tigers (7½ wins)

While most of the focus in Alabama is on the Crimson Tide and their first post-Nick Saban season, Auburn has some expectations to live up to as well. The Tigers were just 6-7 a season ago and want to finish above .500 in 2024, though it will not be easy.

Senior Payton Thorne will begin his second season under center with the Tigers after transferring from Michigan State, and he must improve his numbers significantly. Thorne threw for 1,755 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2023, but he also threw 10 interceptions. He has a couple of backups that could take his spot if he’s not better.

The defense was solid in 2023, allowing just 22.6 points per game, but there are a lot of changes on that side of the ball. Four of the five starters in the secondary have moved on, and the Tigers have their fifth defensive coordinator in as many seasons in the combination of DJ Durkin and Charles Kelly.

The non-conference portion of the schedule is forgiving, but once SEC play starts, the Tigers aren’t going to have it easy. Auburn faces Oklahoma, Georgia and Missouri in consecutive games in the middle of the slate, then gets Texas A&M at home and Alabama on the road to wrap up the regular season.

 

 

3. Oklahoma Sooners (7½ wins)

One of two newcomers to the SEC in 2024, Oklahoma isn’t exactly at its highest point for the shift to arguably the top conference in all of college football. The Sooners are coming off a 10-3 record in their second season under head coach Brent Venables, but changes in the offseason have some questioning if they can beat the college football odds in their inaugural season in a new league.

The biggest question mark is at quarterback, where Dillon Gabriel has transferred to Oregon, leaving the job likely to Jackson Arnold. The sophomore had some playing time when Gabriel was hurt and started the Alamo Bowl loss to Arizona, throwing for 361 yards and two touchdowns but committing four turnovers, including three interceptions.

The defense has a lot of experience returning, with 11 of the top 13 tacklers from 2023 back on the roster. The Sooners were fourth in the Big 12 in scoring defense a season ago, limiting opponents to 23.5 points per game, but the SEC is going to be a completely different level to face.

It won’t be an easy slate in the first season in the new league, with games against Tennessee and Auburn preceding the annual showdown with Texas in mid-October. The Sooners also travel to face Ole Miss and Missouri and wrap up their regular season with games against Alabama and LSU.

 

4. Vanderbilt Commodores (3 wins)

As good as the SEC is, one of its members, Vanderbilt, has been one of the worst programs in FBS for a while. That won’t change this season as the Commodores will likely finish with fewer than three wins for the fourth time in five seasons.

Coach Clark Lea is still at the helm despite a winless conference record and overall mark of 2-10 in 2023. He’s hoping a new offensive coordinator, Tim Beck from New Mexico State, can help recharge an offense that averaged just 22.8 points last season.

The biggest question mark is who will start at quarterback as both part-time starters and a backup transferred from the program in the offseason. Beck’s starter at NMSU, Diego Pavia, made the move to Vanderbilt with him and will likely step into the starting role after passing for 2,973 yards and rushing for 925 in 2023.

Still, the Commodores are facing another gauntlet of a schedule in the SEC, making it a tall task to pick up many wins. A season-opening game with Virginia Tech highlights the non-conference portion of the slate, followed by back-to-back games with Missouri and Alabama to open SEC play. Dates with Texas, LSU and Tennessee won’t make things very easy, either.

For all of the optimism heading into the upcoming campaign, there are going to be teams that come up short of expectations. The four above are the ones we see as the teams most likely to do that, so do your online betting on the under for each of them.

 

 

Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.

 

Questions of the Day

When did Vanderbilt last have a winning record for a season?


The Vanderbilt Commodores’ last final record above .500 came in 2013, when they went 9-4.

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