Blog Entry

Picking the SEC

Posted on: June 30, 2009 12:05 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2009 12:34 pm
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You're tired. We're all tired.

Of the SEC.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't believe the hype. Since it expanded in 1992, the SEC has won seven national championships in 17 years, four of the last six and three in a row. It generally sends the most players to the NFL, approximately 36 a year since 1990. How many leagues can narrow the national championship race to one game? Since 2006, the winner of the LSU-Florida game has been the national champion.

Nowhere else does one agent (Jimmy Sexton) represent half the league's coaches. The SEC produces the most draft picks, the most talent, the best stories. Open a browser. You'll find something about Lane Kiffin somewhere.

This season, Florida opens the season as the consensus No. 1 chasing a third national championship in four years. Only two other schools have accomplished that feat in the wire service era: Notre Dame (1946-47, 49), Nebraska (1994-95, 1997).

Let's not forget those lucrative new TV contracts from CBS and ESPN. In the SEC, money flows downhill -- into league coffers.

Tired of the SEC? Too bad. You'll have to pay attention. Once again, the winner of the league will probably be in contention for the BCS title game.

Picking the SEC ...


West Division

1. Alabama -- They've dismissed the Sugar Bowl as a fluke in Tuscaloosa long ago. They'd rather remember how Bama went undefeated in the regular season and was No. 1 for several weeks. Nine returning starters on defense is a good place to start. New quarterback Greg McElroy better find Julio Jones often. A rebuilt offensive line will try to spring Mark Ingram (12 touchdowns as a freshman). The magic of St. Nick gets the nod in this packed division.

2. LSU -- Don't agonize over Jordan Jefferson at quarterback. LSU has won two national championships with, shall we say, less than dynamic quarterbacks. Crazy Les has the SEC's best running back (Charles Scott) and at least one NFL draft pick (Ciron Black) on the offensive line. After the co-coordinator thing failed on defense, Miles went out and got the best player on the board -- John Chavis, formerly of Tennessee.
 
3. Ole Miss
-- Until Ole Miss actually does it, they can't be the pick in the West. I know Jevan Snead might be the league's best pro prospect at quarterback. I know Greg Hardy can beat anyone off the edge. I know that Alabama and LSU come to Oxford. I know that Houston Nutt is underrated as a coach.  I just can't get over the fact that after beating Florida, Ole Miss lost at home to South Carolina. There's a clunker out there somewhere that will keep the Rebels from winning the West.
 
4. Arkansas -- Bobby Petrino has himself a quarterback. That's a good start. Ryan Mallett has the best pure arm in the SEC. The problem is defense and special teams. Petrino has never been known for his defensive prowess. The D surrendered more than 31 per game last season. Until that gets corrected, the Hogs won't compete in the West. Petrino wisely hired old buddy John L. Smith to run the special teams. Mallett punted in the spring. Hopefully, that won't have to be the case in the fall.
 
5. Auburn -- Let's see, Tony Franklin was fired because players had a hard time picking up his offense. His replacement at offensive coordinator is Gus Malzahn, basically runs the same offense. Let's hope Malzahn is a better communicator because his offenses might play faster than anyone in the country. Gene "5-19" Chizik has a lot to prove after coming over from Iowa State. It won't be this year.

6. Mississippi State -- All the buzz is coming from Oxford. For good reason. Dan Mullen tried to install his version of the spread in the spring with fewer than five receivers on the roster. That will change in a hurry as Mullen says he wants at least a dozen receivers to get playing time. But as his old boss found out, the passing game comes second. Mullen better be able to run the ball first and find some defensive linemen who can come off the edge.


East Division

1. Florida -- How's the view from the top? It is Florida's division, conference and national championship to lose. Every starter is back on defense. A guy named Tebow seems to have won the quarterback job. Now the question is, who replaces Percy Harvin? Meyer says he won't do it by committee. Watch for Jeff Demps, Chris Rainey and incoming recruit Andre Debose to take their shots. After two titles in three years, the further motivation is Florida's first undefeated season.

2. Georgia -- Strange, but the Bulldogs seem like they're going to be OK. Joe Cox doesn't have to light it up in replacing Matt Stafford, just manage the game. Receiver A.J. Green is a year older and bigger. There are two stars on defense -- defensive tackle Geno Atkins and linebacker Rennie Curran. The last time the expectations were this low, 2005, Georgia won the SEC East. It's going to take a win over Florida to do it, so a division title isn't likely. But 10 wins out of this group isn't out of the question.

3. South Carolina -- Steve Spurrier's greatest trait is his honesty. When asked at the SEC spring meetings if quarterback Stephen Garcia was ready to take over he didn't hesitate. Still needs some work, Spur Dog said. If Spurrier can't get the quarterback thing right, what hope is there for the rest of the Gamecocks? They have faded late in each of the last two seasons. Spurrier has averaged seven wins in his four seasons and has produced just one bowl win. At 64, Spurrier is committed. Is his quarterback, who has had legal problems?

4. Kentucky -- UK's run of three consecutive bowl wins might be in danger. Mike Hartline must show he can become a solid SEC quarterback. Randall Cobb remains a wild card, in a good way, as a quarterback, punt returner and receiver. Rich Brooks has his best defensive line since coming to Kentucky. He wants to get the Cats into the top 25 on a regular basis before turning things over to coach-in-waiting Joker Phillips.

5. Tennessee -- Behind the bluster, is this: Tennessee isn't particularly good. The offense is going to be painful to watch -- again. Lane Kiffin has yet to sign the quarterback who will define his success in Knoxville. His best hope at the position might be All-American safety Eric Berry who should get some snaps behind center. If the offensive line holds up, maybe super freshman Bryce Brown can keep the Vols in the hunt. Guru Monte Kiffin gets a head start with athletes on his side of the ball. Defense wasn't the problem last season.

6. Vanderbilt -- After going 26 years between bowls, Vandy just might be getting started. Coach Bobby Johnson gets all five offensive line starters back. The defense that allowed less than 20 points per game is stout as well. It will be typical Commodores in that they will struggle to score but hang in with defense. The Nov. 21 regular-season finale at Tennessee could have a lot on the line.

 

 

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Comments

Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2010 5:30 am
 

Picking the SEC

Wrong background on your avatar, BITCH! 



Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2010 4:58 am
 

Picking the SEC

I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!!!!!



Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: September 6, 2009 11:52 pm
 

Picking the SEC

I guess that the Tennessee offense was painful to watch if you were a WKU fan or any other team that has to play them in the NCAA!! Go Vols!!!



Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: July 25, 2009 4:17 pm
 

Picking the SEC

2 of the last 3?

no, it was 3 in a row....



Unless he changed it he said 3 in a row........look at the first paragraph



Since: Apr 6, 2009
Posted on: July 22, 2009 2:34 pm
 

10 Questions for Florida Gators Football 2009

Written by James Brown,  Co-Founder

There has never been, and probably will never be, a more anticipated season of Florida Gators Football than 2009.

I've been wading through all this information about the national college football scene for my college fantasy football season previews (beginning later this week), but what I really need to do is get to my favorite team- the team anticipated to be the best in the land.

I came up with ten questions for the Florida Gators coming into this season, and avoided the obvious 'Can they keep their focus?' question that every other preseason preview uncreatively addresses.

Before I get to the questions, let me call a big 'no jinxies'. I'm not saying in this piece we will win it all, merely pointing out some of the potential roadblocks, and storylines I'll be sure to address again during the season.

<strong style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">1. Will an outside receiving threat develop to complement TE Aaron Hernandez?

<em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">I fully expect Hernandez to be the leading receiver for this team. Several players could end up with more total yards, but he is easily the most proven threat, and he should only improve for his junior season. My problem: it is too easy to double a TE over the middle. We lost the top two receivers from last year. This isn't the same as 'who will replace Percy', as others will ask you, as I don't think any one person will. It will be more action for the Chris Rainey / Jeff Demps / Brandon James crew (with a dash of Andre Debose) for the RB-ish plays, and more balls for Riley Cooper and David Nelson. But the big deep threat will come from Deonte Thompson (CBS college fantasy's pick), Frankie Hammond, Jr. or Omarius Hines.

<strong style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">2. Can Urban Meyer win a game in the state of Louisiana?

<em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">He's 0 for 2 at LSU. Ron Zook won there in 2003. I think Urban and this team are certainly capable, but looking at it today it's easily the game of the year.

<strong style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">3. What will change with the offensive coaching changes?

<em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">Last year's coordinator Dan Mullen is in Starkville. No one really knows how things will go differently under Steve Addazio. It's noteworthy that Urban Meyer has replaced an OC at other times, including promoting Dan Mullen to the position when he came down from Utah. Ultimately, it's &his& system, but it's hard to expect everything to be exactly the same. Addazio definitely got the keys to a Ferrari, however. The other noteworthy change is the new blood- QB Coach Scot Loeffler.

<strong style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">4. Will Florida really be able to put up 50 points on the Vols?

<em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">Urban and his boys have the bulletin board material up. The Tennessee offense could be terrible, but the defense is led by all-world DB Eric Berry. I am one of the few Gator fans who think this score could be lower than you expect, although I wouldn't be surprised by a 30-point blowout. I am just not sure we'll have the opportunity to get the 70+ some of the crazier fans are calling for.

<strong style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">5. How will the re-shuffled offensive line perform?

<em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">We now have a Pouncey twin at each guard. Sam Robey moves to center, and OT Phil Trautwein and Jason Watkins are gone from last season. I don't think this will cause a major issue, but this is one of the few areas in which anything has changed from last year's juggernaut. I'll also make a quick note to point out Sam Robey as proof of how Urban Meyer and staff are actually good recruiters, getting one of the few three star recruits (out of the many star-studded classes) to become a starter as a (redshirt) freshman. <em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"> and his recruiting-service oriented staff should take note.

<strong style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">6. Will Heisman voters tire of the hype surrounding Tim Tebow?

<em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">He is the greatest player in the game. The most outstanding. The most valuable. Every sort of superlative you could take your Heisman vote to mean. We missed out on the opportunity to be talking about a three-time winner, don't discount the voters getting bored of the same storylines and playing up Jahvid Best or some other candidate. The pick here is for the finalists to remain the same trio as last year, but stranger things have happened- and a season's worth of peculiar events and statistical anomalies await.

<strong style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">7. How many snaps will Johnny Brantley get?

<em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">This could also be 'how many second halves does Tebow play in' or 'how many competitive snaps does Brantley take?' I hope they get Tebow out of there, and jump to the early leads like they did down the stretch last season. I also am eager to see if they bring in Brantley while games are close, and with his own package of plays, as they did for Tebow in 2006. There have been reports of that being the plan.

<strong style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">8. Would you take the under or the over on 1.5 shutouts this year for the D?

<em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">When the entire two-deep is back, and we are bringing in some stud recruits and working in some extremely talented redshirts, to expect one shutout (Charleston Southern, anyone?) is not a stretch. But I am wondering how many more we'd actually get- will they work in a lot of the young studs with a 30 point lead? Or keep some of the starters around and try to preserve some shutouts? Will Jon Bostic and Co. hold some shutouts?

<strong style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">9. Can Urban Meyer work his magic in an odd-numbered year?

<em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">Utah 2004. Florida 2006. Florida 2008. I sense a pattern, and it involves modulo division. I don't think there's a lot to the even-numbered thing, but I'm probably the most superstitious fan I know. Let's see how 2009 plays out before discussing 2010.

<strong style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">10. Will USC finally get the SEC ass-beating they so richly deserve?

<em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">I certainly hope so. Though, living in Texas, I would be satisfied with another Big XII team going down to the Gators. Bottom line is, I'll be happy if we win the title, period. But putting some of the heathens in their place would also be nice.

Take your own stab at answering these questions, and let me know some of your own! We'll compare notes in January.

You can view the original article here: 




Since: Oct 11, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2009 8:35 pm
 

Picking the SEC

Typical Dodd mashup




Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: July 21, 2009 1:58 am
 

Picking the SEC

God, for you to even think we would let Eric Berry take snaps just shows how little you really know Dodd. I mean, sure he played a superhuman role in High School, but lets be real, if we were going to let someone take snaps besides a QB, it would be Gerald Jones. We wouldn't risk Berry by having him run it as opposed to one of our FOUR, yes FOUR capable running backs. I know Tennessee won't be close in contention for the East, but let's be serious who will? I dont see Tennessee going anywhere BELOW 4. I think we could even end up at #2 providing that Crompton or Stephens picks up and runs with the offensive effectively. Just some miniscule things for you to try to drill into your head before you even think about posting something else.



Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: July 20, 2009 4:12 pm
 

Why do we even read this crap

Houston Nutt underrated. He couldn't win with the best player to ever wear a Razorback uniform – Darren McFadden – and never did much with his own recuits. His best seasons were with Danny Ford's recruits.



Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: July 15, 2009 8:28 am
 

Picking the SEC

Yes. It does say that now. But look again. You will notice Dodd edited his blog six days after it was posted. He missed it first time around and said two of the last three NC's belong to SEC teams. Amazing actually.



Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: July 15, 2009 8:27 am
 

Picking the SEC

Yes. It does say that now. But look again. You will notice Dodd edited his blog six days after it was posted. He missed it first time around. Amazing actually.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com