SEC West: Will Ole Miss challenge Bama, LSU?

 

ALABAMA

Last season: 12-2; lost to Florida 31-21 in SEC championship game; lost to Utah 31-17 in Sugar Bowl.

Starters returning: Offense 4, defense 9, kicker 2.

Coach: Nick Saban, 110-50-1 overall, 19-8 in two seasons at Alabama.

What we still don’t know: Can the defense carry this team until the offense grows up? Three very good starters (including Outland Trophy winner Andre Smith) are gone on the offensive line. The Tide will have a new quarterback in Greg McElroy, who takes over for John Parker Wilson. Alabama still needs a big-time receiver on other side from superstar Julio Jones. There are just a lot of questions on the offensive side of the ball.  Alabama will not be able to dominate teams running the ball as it did a year ago. The good thing is that the defense, which was third nationally (263.5 ypg) last season, returns nine starters. LB Rolando McClain becomes the de facto leader with the departure of FS Rashad Johnson. NT Terrence Cody has now had a year’s worth of conditioning. It will show come the fall. Can the Crimson Tide repeat as SEC West champs? They certainly have the schedule to do it. Georgia goes off the schedule and South Carolina comes on. The toughest road game will be at Ole Miss on Oct. 10. LSU comes to Tuscaloosa on Nov. 7. Alabama will find out early if it has the right stuff as the Crimson Tide plays Virginia Tech, who will be in everybody’s Top 10, at the Georgia Dome in the Chick-fil-A Classic.

First game:   Sept. 5 vs. Virginia Tech (Georgia Dome).

 

 

ARKANSAS

Last season:  5-7, 2-6 SEC.

Starters returning:  Offense 8, defense 9, kicker 1.

Coach: Bobby Petrino, 46-16 overall, 5-7 in one season at Arkansas.

What we still don’t know:  Arkansas had the worst defense in the SEC last season. Does it have a chance to get better? Nine starters return from a unit that gave up 375.2 yards per game and gave up way too many big plays in the passing game. Petrino and his staff went out and signed a bunch of defensive backs, some of whom will compete for playing time in the fall. Transfer Rudell Crimm was an honorable mention JUCO All-America last season. Will Ryan Mallett be able to shake off the rust? Mallett started three games for Michigan in 2007. After sitting out the 2008 season he appears to be starting quarterback for Petrino. “Ryan does a great job of understanding what we want to do,” Petrino said. “As long as he gets his footwork right and sets up right he can be an accurate passer.” Can Arkansas find some help for RB Michael Smith? Smith rushed for 1,072 yards last season but at 5-7, 173 pounds he is simply not big enough to handle that kind of pounding (207 carries) again. Some big backs have arrived to help. Knile Davis (6-1, 209) graduated from high school early. Broderick Green (6-1, 242) is transfer from Southern Cal who must get a waiver to play this fall. His status won’t be resolved until this summer.  De’Anthony Curtis (5-9, 211) had 103 yards in the spring game.

 

First game:   Sept. 5 vs. Missouri State (Little Rock).

 

AUBURN

Last season: 5-7, 2-6 SEC.

Starters returning: Offense 7, defense 7, kicker 2.

Coach: Gene Chizik, 5-19 overall, first season at Auburn.

What we still don’t know: Does Auburn have a quarterback who can run Gus Malzahn’s offense? Malzahn ran up big numbers at Tulsa but nobody was overly impressed this spring with Kodi Burns and Neil Caudle. Malzahn said he wants to name a starter early in August if possible because he wants that guy to get the majority of the snaps. But Chizik has said that true freshmen Tryik Rollison and Clint Moseley will be a strong look when they arrive in August. Does Auburn have enough offensive linemen? Three of five starters return but overall the position looks a little thin. “We need more depth there,” Malzahn said. Is the defense going to play with more of an attitude under Ted Roof? Roof, the former defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech and head coach at Duke, spent the entire spring looking for the best 11 football players he could put on that side of the ball. He found a diamond in JUCO transfer Eltoro Freeman, who has apparently earned a starting spot at weak side linebacker. “We are looking for a certain speed, a certain tempo and a certain attitude on defense,” Roof said. “The guys who can do that are the guys who are going to play.”

First game:   Sept. 5 vs. Louisiana Tech.

 

LSU

Last season: 8-5, 3-5 SEC; beat Georgia Tech 38-3 in Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Starters returning: Offense 7, defense 6, kicker 0.

Coach: Les Miles, 70-32 overall, 42-11 in four seasons at LSU.

What we still don’t know: How much better will the defense be under John Chavis? Despite a defense that included DE Tyson Jackson, the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft, DE Kirsten Pittman and LB Darry Beckwith, the LSU defense wasn’t very good last season, finishing ninth in the league (325.5 ypg). That will change this season under Chavis, who was Tennessee’s defensive coordinator for 14 seasons. When Chavis has good athletes, and LSU still has a lot of good athletes, his defenses have usually been near the top of the SEC. Is LSU going to keep Russell Shepard exclusively at quarterback? Shepard, a true freshman from Houston, was considered by many to be the nation’s top high school quarterback in 2008. He was used exclusively at that position in the spring game and could see some action in the shotgun formation this fall. But he will probably also be used at wide receiver because he is such a great athlete. How good is sophomore CB Patrick Peterson? Safety Chad Jones, who also plays for the LSU baseball team, is the best athlete in the secondary. But Peterson is the school’s next great defensive back. He started his last four games as a true freshman and ended the spring game with a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown. This guy is big time.

First game:   Sept. 5 at Washington.

 

OLE MISS

Last season: 9-4, 5-3 SEC; beat Texas Tech 47-34 in Cotton Bowl.

Starters returning: Offense 6, defense 8, kicker 1.

Coach: Houston Nutt, 120-74 overall, 9-4 in his second season at Ole Miss.

What we still don’t know:  What about the left side of the offensive line? LT Michael Oher, a first-round draft choice, is gone as is left guard Darryl Harris. Coming out spring ball the LT position belongs to sophomore Bradley Sowell (6-7, 310). But the Ole Miss coaches are awaiting the arrival of highly-recruited freshman Bobbie Massie (6-7, 345) from Lynchburg, Va. Reid Neely (6-6, 310), a three-year letterman, looks like he’ll win the left guard spot. This is important because the Rebels have the league’s second best quarterback in Jevan Snead. They want to keep him healthy. Ole Miss also wants to be able to run the ball and if the line comes through the Rebels will be very good at running the ball. Brandon Bolden was the team’s third-leading rusher last season but he shot to the top of the depth chart in the spring. With Bolden (542 yards), Dexter McCluster (655), Codera Eason (647), and Enrique Davis (244) the Rebels are very deep at running back. Will Ole Miss be able to handle the hype? The Rebels were the only team to beat national champion Florida in 2008. They capped off a 9-4 season by beating favored Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. Now Ole Miss is a sexy pick for the Top 10. It’s a totally different mindset. Ole Miss has a manageable schedule with Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU at home.

First game:   Sept. 6 at Memphis.

 

 

MISS. STATE

Last season: 4-8, 2-6 SEC.

Starters returning: Offense 8, defense 5, kicker 0.

Coach: Dan Mullen, first season at Miss. State

What we still don’t know: Will freshman Tyler Russell challenge Tyson Lee for the starting quarterback job? Mississippi State spent the spring installing the new offense of Mullen, the former offensive coordinator at Florida. But it is possible that Mullen’s starting quarterback is not on campus yet. Lee, a rising senior, completed 59 percent of his passes last season for 1,519 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. But he is expected to get a challenge for his job from Russell, a 6-4 incoming freshman. Russell was Mr. Football in the state of Mississippi last season. He threw for 3,284 yards with 40 touchdowns and only five interceptions in leading Meridan (Miss.) High School to a state championship. Who’s going to play wide receiver? Regardless of the quarterback, the Bulldogs appear thin when it comes to guys who can catch it. Only two receivers in spring camp, Brandon McRae (51 catches) and Delmon Robinson (12 catches) have had any significant playing time. O’Neal Wilder, a track star, caught four passes for 122 yards in the spring game.  Leon Berry, one of five JUCO transfers to earn starting jobs this spring, caught 14 passes for 200 yards in three full-speed scrimmages. Will the special teams improve? They have to because the head coach is in charge of them. Mississippi State was near the bottom of the league in every major special teams category last season. Placekicker Sean Brauchlea and punter Heath Hutchins are JUCO transfers who won their respective jobs in the spring.

First game:   Sept. 5 vs. Jackson State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

121 comments Add your comment

kylebuff

May 14th, 2009
1:07 pm

Man, I’m ready for some college football, ya’ll are going to have to quit writing these articles so I can get some work done. Go Rebs!!2010 National Champs!!

Gatorzone

May 14th, 2009
1:08 pm

opiner, you might want to check your facts:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/yellowcake.asp

Got 12?

May 14th, 2009
1:30 pm

Ole Miss will have the same problems BAMA had last year–lack of talent at a couple of positions and lack of depth at every position.

Due to excellent coaching, we were able to mask our deficiencies until the postseason. I don’t think Nutt and company will be able to accomplish the same feat.

Tidefan2

May 14th, 2009
1:33 pm

1. Alabama – Will start a little slow but get better every game.
2. Ole Miss – Not quite there but will challenge.
3. LSU – Schedule too tough.
4. Auburn – Will struggle at QB.
5. Arkansas – No defense.
6. Miss. St. – What can I say?

The top 3 will be very good but the bottom 3 will struggle mightily.

KD

May 14th, 2009
1:39 pm

Totally agree with Got 12 and huh. No matter how Ole Miss is hyped, they can’t ever pull it together all the way. When it comes down to it, Houston is really a “nut.” LSU has another nut at captain. If McElroy can hold it together, and Trent Richardson is all he’s cracked up to be, it’s Bama and Florida again.

Colonel Reb

May 14th, 2009
1:50 pm

Got 12? You don’t!! That is unless you’re a subscriber of the Tuscaloosa News. Where Ole Miss is different from Bama, is that we will have the best QB in every game we play as long as he is healthy. That is also something Nutt never had at Arkansas. He did what he did at Arkansas without ever having a QB this good. We aren’t as deep as LSU, Florida, or Georgia, but we never will be. If Ole Miss is going to make it to Atlanta, this may be our best shot. I can’t wait until Bammer comes to Oxford. We are due to beat that team, and every Bama fan knows it. See you in October pal! HOTTY TODDY!!

Gator Growl

May 14th, 2009
2:03 pm

Could it possibly more exciting and competitive than the SEC West this season?! You got three teams who could be in the SECCG! I think LSU will edge out Bama (or Ole Miss) to be the Best of the West. They found themselves a QB and they will be very solid on D. Bama, it’s hard to bet against Saban, but I think they have lost a little too much on offense. But that defense will once again be stout! Ole Miss…it will be interesting now that they can’t sneek up on anyone, everybody knows they’re good now. I’ll tell you, that Houston Nutt is a hell of a coach! He came into Gainesville and beat my Gators fair and square so they got my respect! Arky could also be improved but when you got LSU, Bama and Ole Miss to contend with, wow. And you got Miles, Saban and Nutt…Shamwow! Will be fun to watch…

Dann

May 14th, 2009
2:04 pm

1) LSU – by default. Tough schedule but the other teams make too many mistakes. Jefferson develops into a legitimate run-pass threat by year’s end.
2) Alabama – O Line lost too much and struggled against Tulane without Andre Smith in the game. JPW is gone and this QB won’t play error-free football. Defense keeps the games close.
3) Ole Miss – Summer distractions under a “player’s coach” wastes precious time needed for leaders to emerge. Nutt typically averages a few arrests each summer and already has a D-Lineman making news by claiming he can’t read a citation.
4) Arkansas – Will upset one of the top 3 in the league, but won’t be enough to move into the top half of the division. Defense improves as they spend less time on the field with Mallet at the helm, unless Casey Dick can still throw interceptions after graduating last year.
5) Auburn – Guz Malzahn pulls out all the stops against Nutt and keeps it close. He would like nothing more than to shove it in the face of his old boss. Needs another year to get their players in the system. Defense remains solid.
6) Miss. St. – Moves in the right direction but needs one more year. Players start to really buy into the system by mid-year.

Got 12?

May 14th, 2009
2:04 pm

Colonel Reb,

Having the best quarterback only matters if you can protect that quarterback, and that quarterback has receivers who can get open.

Let’s review shall we: The entire leftside of Ole Miss’ 2008 offensive line is gone, and your receivers are mediocre at best.

Razorbacker

May 14th, 2009
2:20 pm

The hogs defense was unspeakably bad last year, if that doesn’t improve, we won’t finish above .500..Petrino’s offense should be rolling this year and so should Gus’s down at Auburn

Gen Neyland

May 14th, 2009
2:21 pm

SEC fan : The point you miss is that all 11 were not asked to leave. Why do you skim over that and persist that they were all forced out..? Those leaving willingly saw play time dwindling. A strong batch of recruits at the RB spot put Creer in motion. A new OL blocking scheme may not have been readily adaptable to the OLmen that split. Shootfire, if CLK asked them all to leave he was probably doing them a favor by letting them go and find a place where they could play…We’ll do WMD’s tomorrow…

Gatorzone

May 14th, 2009
2:28 pm

Nutt, you gotta sign better humans than this trash:
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3964979

Gator Growl

May 14th, 2009
2:34 pm

Please let’s just stop talking about that idiot Kiffin just for one Blog or article. We ALL know he’s an idiot, We ALL know he’s a liar, We ALL know he sux…We ALL know he’s gonna get his azz handed to him this season and beyond…So what else needs to be said???…All discussions about Layla, however, will be welcomed along with any unpublished pictures!!! LOL

Columbus Rebel

May 14th, 2009
2:47 pm

Got 12? Are you kidding. You need to get your facts straight. The left side of the O line is not gone. Neely is a veteran and while Oher is gone, we have 6-7 315 left tackle that saw action as a blocking tight end last year. Also, 6-8-340 Bobby Massie comes in later this spring. Our center is a veteran as well. Our recievers are not good? Shay Hodge and Mike Wallace were the most underrated tandem last year. While Wallace leaves Hodge, Lionel Breaux, Markeith Summers, who bothed played considerably last year move to take his spot. Also 5 star, 6-3, 210 Pat Patterson will play as a freshman. Another Julio Jones, yes, could be. Oh year, our TE can catch and block as well. He caught two TD against Texas Tech. Don’t let your hatred of the rebels cloud the truth. Hotty Toddy.

Gen Neyland

May 14th, 2009
2:48 pm

Gator Growl : Never heard a gator growl, but I hear they sure know how to ’snort’…

G8R GRAD

May 14th, 2009
2:49 pm

1. Alabama;
2. LSU;
3. Ole Miss;
4. Arkansas;
5. Auburn; and
6. Miss. St.

LSU’s schedule is just too tough, hence, it’s the Tide by default.

Ole Miss is SEC West’s David, capable and hungry.

Gatorzone

May 14th, 2009
2:50 pm

Objective commentator

May 14th, 2009
2:54 pm

Opiner:

Not to burst your bubble, but the joke inside the Beltway was, “Of couse we know he has weapons of mass destruction – we still have the receipts!”

Georgia Gator

May 14th, 2009
2:56 pm

Gen Neyland:

They do, in fact, growl.

It sounds sorta like the biggest bullfrog you ever heard.

You need to get off Ol’ Rocky Top more often!

MakersMarkRebel

May 14th, 2009
2:59 pm

Dean, I’ll give it a shot.

Ole Miss has been mired in mediocrity or worse for the last 40 years for a host of reasons.

1. A-holes in the AD office: First and foremost, there was no commitment from the administration for our athletics programs at all from the early 70’s through the mid 90’s. No vision. No ambition. They allowed us to fall behind the rest of the conference in facilities. The wrong people were running the AD’s office. And, the suits in the Lyceum were not holding the AD accountable.

2. Old South: Take that lack of commitment and place it in the context of the old South culture, confederate flag and general perception of the town and university in the wake of the Merideth riots of ‘62 and it becomes almost impossible to recruit black football players.

3. “The curse”: Many Rebel fans have long believed our beloved university has been under a curse. We’ve had horrible, horrible luck – from Archie breaking his arm against Houston his senior year of 1970 to hiring a hot, up and coming coach (Steve Sloan) who had an all-star staff of assistants at Texas Tech only for his short career in Oxford to be a total bust.

4. Lack of Resources: Ole Miss has an enrollment of only 16,000, is in a state with a population of around 3 million and we have to compete against two other DI schools with one of those being in conference. We have to compete with them for fans, money, recruits, everything. All you have to do is look at LSU to see the advantages of not dividing resources in a state.

Consider the combination of those four factors and you get your answer.

The good news is that under the leadership of Chancellor Robert Khayat (who is retiring next month), our athletic programs have decided to join the rest of the conference in the 21st Century. We may not have a 90,000 seat stadium. But, our football facilities, overall, are as good as anyone’s. We’ve hired a real head coach, paid him well and are paying his assistants well. The capacity of the stadium has gone from 40,000 to a little more than 60k in the last decade with another expansion on the horizon.

We’ve abandoned the confederate flag. And, while we do still maintain some traditions such as “Dixie”, the culture has completely changed.

The curse was broken day before we beat the Gators last fall when we hosted the soon-to-be first black POTUS for the first debate.

We’ll always be at a disadvantage with resources. All we can do to compete for money, fans and recruits is to WIN.

Georgia Gator

May 14th, 2009
2:59 pm

And, yes, I got the drug reference.

Decided to take the high road (no pun intended) instead.

TampaDave

May 14th, 2009
3:10 pm

Thanks Gatorzone…great link…Urban does it again!

rebeldawg

May 14th, 2009
3:21 pm

Well Dean, the last great team we had in the 60’s was overlooked by many media outlets due to another significant historical event that occured on our campus that very year. James Meridith ring a bell? After that, it was pretty hard to get great recruits to come to Ole Miss. Only recently have we been able to recruit the kind of talent required to compete in this league thanks in large part to Ed Orgeron’s skills as well as having one of the finest indoor practice facilities in the land completed in the fall of 2004. Now that we are getting national exposure again, I think recruits this time around will see that Ole Miss IS a place to make a name for yourself. So much positive light has been shed on the school these past few years (ie the presidential debate), I believe people will not focus on the schools past and see Ole Miss for what it is today.

High on the Hogs

May 14th, 2009
3:24 pm

here’s my take on the West:
1. Ole Miss – OM has a very good team this yr. and the schedule is on their side.
2. Bama – 2 many losses on the offense.
3. LSU – tough schedule and no QB —yet. If Shepard takes over 3 games into the season, then lsu could move up…he is on heck of a player.
4. Hogs – Offense looks sooo much better. Finally got a QB. Hasn’t played in the sec yet though. time will tell. Defense is a big question. very young in the secondary.
5. Auburn – Still need a QB and a yr under Gus’s offense. Defense will hold its own i think, but will wear down mid season.
Miss ST – well, it looks back for the dawgs.

High on the Hogs

May 14th, 2009
3:25 pm

i mean bad for the dawgs

Got 12?

May 14th, 2009
3:37 pm

Col. Reb,

Just as I said in the previous post, the left side of your offensive line is gone, and your receivers are mediocre. If backups and incoming freshman can replace All-Americans and proven starters that easy, BAMA will win the NC this year. Snead is the best passing quarterback in the league. With that said, noone outside of Oxford knows who his receivers are. That means they’re mediocre.

“…hatred of the Rebs…” Are you serious? I hate the Vols. I hate Auburn. I harbor absolutely no feelings of ill will toward Ole Miss, Miss St, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and S. Carolina because you guys have historically been irrelevant. As a matter of fact, I can’t believe I’m engaging in this discussion with you.

BAMA STAN

May 14th, 2009
3:48 pm

12 NATIONAL TITLES – 21 SEC TITLES!!!

Guys – got to give my respect to LSU – I think their defense is going to be lights out.

Bama defenses will also be lights out.

I think LSU is in position to be a very good team – but I look at each others SEC EAST schedule to determine the differnce:
BAMA has:
At Kentucky
So. Carolina (home)
Tennessee (home)

LSU:
Vandy (home)
at UGA
Florida (home)

LSU has the tougher shedule and has to play at T-Town!

As for Ole Miss – will be a dangerous team – but I think that Ole Miss will be about as good as they are going to be. similar to Jim Donnan teams at UGA. He pulled them up – and UGA was dangerous – but did not get to the Elite level.

Look for Bama to win the SEC WEST!!!!

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

murfdawg

May 14th, 2009
4:03 pm

Opiner,
Sorry to ruffle your feathers. My comment was directed more toward Bama Stan and Got 12.Personally, I have always had a lot of respect for Bama, especially in the 60s and 70s. Your nuveau fans and our nuveau fans really like to beat their chest when they win a game, and bash everyone else when they lose. I guess it is part of the internet generation. I’ll try to be more careful with my comments in the future.

tiger mania

May 14th, 2009
4:06 pm

are yall all crazy? do you think it is imposible to go on the road and beat a rebuilding bama scuad. ole miss will be better than bama but they still need some help. LSU is finally coming together after a disappointing season last year that really didn’t have a leading qb. this year the qb has more experience and don’t worry about receivers. they will be ready. florida probably the toughest game but will be played at death valey and everyone knows that’s a tough place to play. they are not unstoppable. lsu 1, ole miss 2, arkansas 3, bama 4

Otto

May 14th, 2009
4:27 pm

Arkansas 3? They’ll be fighting for 5th with Miss St. As for LSU yes they had a better QB late last season but he is still not as good as the previous QB at LSU. Chavis has not been very impressive as of the past few years at UT. Auburn may challenge LSU for 3rd.

SEC fan

May 14th, 2009
4:30 pm

Murfdawg, athletic scholarships given to incoming Freshmen are for 4 years (with redshirting, can be more than 4). The deal is stay out of trouble, don’t break team rules, and be satisfactory academically. You are way off thinking they are for only 1 year. Even if a player gets hurt and can play no more, decent Universities honor the deal. With 11 players being told to quit, UT didn’t honor their part of the deal. Remember, the reasons given by Kiffy were that they didn’t want to play for UT (not acedemic or discipline issues). UT is a good school, so why would 11 kids who signed up to come to UT want to quit what they have loved doing for years? I submit that all of them didn’t want to quit. Kiffy did what he said he would do, he told some to leave and thus broke the UT promise. Coaches and Universities with class just don’t do that or at least not 11 times in 6 months..

Bayou Bengal

May 14th, 2009
4:38 pm

LSU wins the West, Loses one game (Florida at Home), Goes to Atlanta & beats Florida for the SEC Title…credit goes to Chavis for figuring out a scheme to take out Tebow…LSU Tigers 13-1

Got 12?

May 14th, 2009
4:41 pm

Murfdawg,

Please review my previous posts. I offered my opinion on the upcoming season just as the article urged us to. Col. Reb attacked me for some reason. I responded in kind to Col. Reb.

BTW, I’m not a nouveau Bama fan. I am a Bama grad, supporter of the university, and fan of it’s sports teams.

jumbotiger

May 14th, 2009
4:58 pm

LSU 6-2
Bama 6-2
Ole Miss 5-3
Ark 3-5
Aub 2-6
State 1-7

LSU beats Bama. Tide is a year away from beign dominant. Ole Miss loses to LSU, Bama and Ark. FL wins SECCG.

Geaux Tigers!
Go SEC

Otto

May 14th, 2009
5:05 pm

Chavis stops Tebow? He has done such a great job the past 2 years.

Saint Nick

May 14th, 2009
5:20 pm

The 4 returning starters on Offense is a little deceiving. The only receiver that started every game last year was Julio. Maze, Jones, Alexander will probably be the starters(All had significant playing time last year). The o-line will be fine Carpenter and Fluker are the bookends(doesn’t matter which side they line up, you won’t get by them), one new starter at guard and center. Mike Johnson will be at left guard(Bama will run left all year AGAIN with an upgrade at RB). Ingram saw just as much time last year as Coffee, so he should be counted as a returning starter, QB is new but he has 3 yrs at Bama and will be an upgrade at QB over JPW. Bama played more freshman than anyone last year, Saban built QUALITY depth last year, so the pieces will fall right into place. By my count Bama REALLY has 7 returning on Offense not 4.ROLLS TIDES!!!!!

johnny reb

May 14th, 2009
5:51 pm

Its between AL & Ole Miss. Miles has had major trouble with Nutt. Rebs always have trouble with the Tide & Vandy. We win these two games and we are ATL bound.

BCS CHAMPS AGAIN

May 14th, 2009
5:55 pm

LSU will win the west….Russell Shepard…..(heard it here 1st).

Pay Roll Tide

May 14th, 2009
5:55 pm

LSU vs UF in the Dome

johnny reb

May 14th, 2009
5:59 pm

LSU? The Hat + inexperienced qb? No chance Corndogs.

Atlanta Gator

May 14th, 2009
6:01 pm

Gen Neyland & Georgia Gator—-If you have ever seen a 14-foot bull gator during mating season, you would know what a gator “growl” is really like! Yeah, it’s like a bullfrog’s call alright, if you can imagine a 1,200-pound bullfrog whose call literally makes the water shake.

The little gators scram, and the eligible lady gators seek out the Big Gator who can growl.

I grew up west of the Everglades, and I’ve witnessed it in person. It’s impressive.

jumbotiger

May 14th, 2009
6:09 pm

I don’t see anywhere in my predictions Otto that says LSU will beat FL during the regular season.

Tide rising

May 14th, 2009
6:35 pm

Gator fans,

I like watching this nature stuff from time to time on TV and from what I’ve seen gators hiss. It doesn’t sound anything like a growl. Atlanta gator, I’ve seen what they do in mating season where they kinda gurgle and all that but it just doesn’t sound like a growl at all. I’ve lived in Miami and been to the glades several times, alligator alley, etc. never seen one growl though so I can’t imagine what you guys are talking about.

Tide rising

May 14th, 2009
6:49 pm

Saint Nick,

You are correct. We rotated so many players on offense last year that the 4 returning starters # is really deceiving. The 2nd team fullbacks, tight ends, and receivers played just about as much as the starters so I see no dropoff. We lost Coffee as a tailback but with Ingram, Upchurch and now super recruit Trent Richardson we will upgrade there as well. qb will be fine with McElroy.

James Carpenter is settled in as the new left tackle and hopefully when the mammoth DJ Fluker comes in August. Is Carpenter a monster or what. He’s huge but looking at him you don’t see any body fat or stomach for a guy 6′5 305. I’m hoping Saban will move Carpenter to guard if Fluker comes in and is everything they say he is.

The only position on the whole team I can see being downgraded is possibly center where Vlachos takes over for all sec Antoine Caldwell. But even then Vlachos has been waiting in the wings for a couple years and is the 2nd or 3rd strongest player on the team so I feel pretty good about him also. The O-line will be dominant in the second half of the season. Its just the first half as they need more experience that I’m a little worried about. We will know right after the VA TECH game as they will present a helluva challenge coming right out of the gate.

tampatide

May 14th, 2009
7:04 pm

Arkansas has to go to Bama, Uga, Lsu, UF and Ole Miss. Plus their defense is awful. Should definitely be a better race than the east. Hopefully the Tide pulls it out

Saint Nick

May 14th, 2009
7:19 pm

Tide Rising,

Vlachos is a hold over from Shula isn’t he? I believe he had a season ending injury 2 years ago in spring and thats when Caldwell(All-American) took over and never got beat out by Vlachos. Caldwell bounced all over the line until he found a home at center. And also the tight ends with the new guy(can’t remember how to spell it) coming in and Smelley getting plaenty of field exp. last year the tigh ends will be more involved this year I believe.

Saint Nick

May 14th, 2009
7:20 pm

And also where is Tyler Love going to fit in at? Maybe right tackle?

tyler

May 14th, 2009
8:00 pm

Seroiusly, this is funny. Here’s the finish from both divisions:
SEC West
1. Bama- may lose one but that’s about it, schedule very favorable
2. LSU- Les Miles still runs the show- will always underachieve- that includes their MNC- lost to UK and ARK that year- lucked into BSC championship- NOT a good coach
3. Ole Miss- better coach than Miles but just not enough talent- next year’s a possibility.
4. Arkansas- Petrino knows what he’s doin- did beat LSU at Lsu last year (that sure how impressive that is but still sounds good)
5. Auburn- 5-19 as a head coach- may improve to 10-26 this year.
6. Miss State- wow- inherited an absolute mess- will be lucky to win 4 games this year

SEC East
1. Florida- of course
2. UGA- Richt is a great coach- they will win a couple they shouldn’t.
3. South Carolina- due for an 8 win year- gonna get one here
4. Kentucky- solid year- may get bowl eligible once again
5. Vandy- Bobby Johnson is a great coach in a bad situation- this team will win at least 2 if not 3 SEC games.
6. Tenn- Worst coach in the SEC- that’s really all that needs to be said- Vol fans- you will be lucky to win a game in the SEC- seriously. I gotcha goin 3-9. gonna be a blast to watch. Your coach is almost as annoying as your fanbase. Great hire douchebags.

3. Ole Miss
4. Ark
5. Aub
6. Miss St

m=saintsimonslover

May 14th, 2009
9:14 pm

You know, seeing Tech Nerds on here is like taking a 14 year old boy to a Strip Club-they got NO business here!! This blog is for people who are fans of REAL football!!

TampaDave

May 14th, 2009
9:14 pm

Believe me, Gators do growl. And if you ever hear it, it will make the hairs on the back of your HAIRS stand up. When you see the power and shear mass and might of a 12-15 Bull then you will understand how they have survived on this planet for millions and millions of years!