Aug 14, 2008
(Pre)Ranking the SEC, Part 2
*Preemptive edit: I suck at math, so I'm taking the final records off of these predictions. If someone good at math would like to help me, feel free*
NCAA Football kicks off before the NFL officially starts, so I've decided to do a preview of SEC football, since I care the most about it, and I irrationally hate all other conferences. That said, here's a look at how I think the best conference in the nation shakes out:
Yeah. Well, I mean. They got a team, kinda. They are what we thought they were, okay? Seriously, I think this is a squad that builds on the successes of last year, and the dynamic coaching, and really makes some national noise. Oh, no wait. That is the basketball team.
High-powered offense minus capable quarterback = no where near the Cinderella season of last year. Rich Brooks' boys are lucky to be avoiding the teeth of the SEC West in the crossover games, enabling them to squeak out a SEC win or 2. But nothing else.
Still in that awful color orange, the Vols face an uphill battle this season. Their coach is on the hotseat after winning the East last year, and this season won't be any kinder to him. An early date at UCLA, coupled with trips to Auburn, Athens, and Columbia also bode quite unkind for the Volunteers, but maybe things break their way again, and they can back into the SEC Title game one more time. Maybe not.
3. South Carolina
The 'Ol Ball Coach has pulled some sort of schedueling magic this year. It seems every game that you think will be a challenge for his squad seems to happen in their house. The games will still be tough, but it is always nice to get to play at home. I still think that Spurrier's style of coaching doesn't quite fit the personnel there, and if he decides on 1 quarterback for the season, it'll be the first time.
Preseason number 1? Check. Sports Illustrated cover? Check. Now, all we need is for the whole team to get put on the Madden cover, and complete the jinx trifecta. The injury bug has been especially prevalent, as has the Clarke County courthouse. Mix in all these factors, add the toughest schedule in the nation, and you've got some broken hearted Bulldogs.
Has a team with a returning Heisman winner ever been under the radar going into a season? Well, mark this down as the first time. Throw in the vengeance factor of a very talented team, add in the fact that they've added actual running backs besides Tebow, a defense that is mad at being embarrassed by a rudderless Michigan team in the bowl game, and an easy non-conference schedule that includes Citadel very late in the season, and you have one National Championship bound team.