Alabama will win the wild, wild SEC West

 

 

This has a chance to be one of the wildest SEC West races in a long, long time. Below is how my five research magazines broke it down followed by my own picks. Give me your projected finish and tell me where I’m wrong.

 

 

SEC WEST

 

Athlon: Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State

Lindy’s: LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State

Phil Steele: Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State

Sporting News: Ole Miss, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi State

The Kickoff: LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State

 

What we learned: The three-way battle among Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss is going to be “Must-See” football this season. Two of the magazines picked Ole Miss to win the division and make its first-ever appearance in the SEC championship game. Two others picked LSU to bounce back from an 8-5 season and make a run to Atlanta. Alabama, the defending division champion, was picked by only one magazine to repeat. Mark your calendars: Alabama is at Ole Miss on Oct. 10. LSU is at Alabama on Nov. 7. Ole Miss hosts LSU on Nov. 21.

 

TONY’S PICKS

Alabama: A lot of assumptions are being made about Alabama. Because the Crimson Tide must replace veteran quarterback John Parker Wilson and three starters on the offensive line, it logically follows that they cannot repeat as SEC West champs. I respectfully disagree. Alabama will be a different team, especially on offense, but will still find a way to get to Atlanta on Dec. 5. Let’s start with the offense. Last season Alabama could pretty much wear opponents down by steamrolling them with that huge offensive line. This season, behind new QB Greg McElroy, Alabama will have to show a little more finesse on offense. There is plenty of talent on that side of the ball if the offensive line comes together. The reason I like Alabama in this division is that that Tide is not going to need that many points to win. The defense is that good. Nine starters return and, yes, Alabama will miss the exceptional leadership of safety Rashad Johnson. But the linebackers (Rolando McClain, Dont’a Hightower) are great and NG Terrence Cody is now in shape and ready to play his best football.

 

LSU:  LSU went 8-5 last season for two reasons. No. 1, the Tigers could never settle on a quarterback. It took most of the season for freshman Jordan Jefferson to grow into the job and now it appears LSU is set at the position. No. 2, head coach Les Miles made a major mistake by not hiring a proven defensive coordinator to replace the departed (to Nebraska) Bo Pelini. The Tigers finished ninth in the SEC in total defense (325.5 ypg). Miles has corrected that mistake by hiring veteran DC John Chavis. Over the years Chavis has proven that when he has good athletes, particularly up front, his defense is pretty good. LSU has a bunch of really good athletes in its program. The only thing that kept me from picking the Tigers to win the division was the schedule: They have to go to Georgia, Alabama, and Ole Miss while getting No. 1 Florida at home (on Oct. 10).

 

OLE MISS: The Rebels are getting a lot of love and they should. They have the second best quarterback (Jevan Snead) in the SEC and a bunch of guys who can make plays. They also have the best schedule among the SEC West contenders as Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU all come to Oxford. Florida rotated off the schedule and Tennessee came on. But there are a couple of issues that keep me from jumping on the Ole Miss bandwagon. One is physical. Ole Miss has to replace a first-round draft choice (tackle Michael Oher) on the offensive line and first-round draft choice (tackle Peria Jerry) on the defensive line. Bobbie Massie, a big-time recruit, could wind up at that offensive tackle position.  If Jerrell Powe, who has been waiting in the wings for a long time, can come through at the defensive tackle spot, the Rebels may be okay. The other concern I have for Ole Miss is psychological. Ever since the Rebels upset Florida (31-30) last year in Gainesville they have been billed as the “next big thing” in this league. Ole Miss is pretty much a consensus Top 10 pick in the preseason. This is a different mindset for the Ole Miss football program. How it handles the hype remains to be seen.

ARKANSAS: Despite having the worst defense in the SEC last season (375.2 yards per game),  Arkansas finally started looking like an SEC football team in the second half of 2008. Three of the final four losses in a 5-7 season were by a total of six points to Kentucky (21-20), Ole Miss (23-21) and Mississippi State (31-28). Then the Hogs upset LSU 31-30 to finish the season. There are a couple of reasons I believe Arkansas will make a significant step forward in Bobby Petrino’s second year. The defense will be better because it has to be. Nine starters return and some new talent is coming in to help. The offense will be better because Petrino now has a quarterback (Michigan transfer Ryan Mallett) who knows how to run it. Petrino also went out and got some help for running back Michael Smith, who rushed for 1,072 yards last season but took a considerable pounding to his small frame (5-7, 173 pounds). Arkansas is still waiting to see if Southern Cal transfer Broderick Green (6-1, 242) will be eligible for the fall. The schedule, however, is a bear with trips to Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss, and LSU.

 

AUBURN:  New coach Gene Chizik insists that the program will be built methodically with no short cuts. That is an admirable goal, but it means that Auburn is probably going to take its lumps in the short term. No question that Chizik is trying to shake things up with the hiring of Gus Malzhan as his offensive coordinator. Malzhan’s offense put up huge numbers at Tulsa but I’m not convinced that any of the quarterbacks he had in camp this spring can run the offense as it is drawn up. Will Auburn get frustrated and turn to a true freshman like Tyrik Rollison? The offensive line looks a little thin to me and I don’t see a whole of big plays from the wide receiver position. It doesn’t help that WR Tim Hawthorne broke his foot and will be out for at least four weeks. The defense is still a work in progress but there are some hopeful signs for new DC Ted Roof. Auburn is going to need to play good, consistent defense while the offense tries to figure out what it is doing. Auburn gets a break in scheduling because first four games (Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Ball State) are at home.

 

MISSISSIPPI STATE:  Like Auburn, Mississippi State is trying to install and entirely new offensive system without the proven talent to run it. Dan Mullen, the former OC at Florida, takes over as head coach but there are no Tim Tebows to be found in Starkville. Senior Tyson Lee is the guy until true freshman Tyler Russell arrives in August. Russell was Mr. Football in the state of Mississippi last season and looks like the perfect athlete to run Mullen’s system. But will Mullen entrust the team to a true freshman out of the gate? There also seems to be a dearth of guys who can catch the ball. The defense will be run by veteran Carl Torbush, who will take five returning starters and try to make something of it. Four of Mississippi State’s first five games are against Auburn, Vanderbilt, LSU, and Georgia Tech. It looks like a pretty bumpy first year for Mullen.

 

Programming note: Today I am in Florence, Ala., where Terry Bowden is now the new head coach at Northern Alabama. Later today I’ll be sitting down for a roundtable with all of the Bowden coaches: Terry, Bobby, Tommy, and Jeff. I’ll have a report for you on Wednesday.

Please follow me on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/MrCFB

 

257 comments Add your comment

george

July 14th, 2009
1:46 pm

Otto

July 14th, 2009
1:50 pm

George that isn’t a great article. Just a rant by a Bama homer, no backing information sort of like many bloggers here.

Tide Rising

July 14th, 2009
1:51 pm

Charlotte gator,

Good post as usual. You hit it on the head. The question for us will be what amount of drop off will there be from losing 3 O-line starters, 2 of whom were all americans now in the pros. The new center Vlachos replacing all american caldwell is actually bigger and stronger. He’s the strongest player on the team so I feel comfortable with him. But as we all know center is also a leadership and cerebral position so it will remain to be seen as far as drop off goes. Andre Smith is going to be replaced by Juco all american James Carpenter who solidified the LT position in the spring. Carpenter is taller at 6′5 but is only 305 lbs so he doesn’t quite carry the meat Andre had. There will be a drop off here but it will be minimal. We feel really good with him. There are several former 4 and 5 star recruits competing for the one other open position of guard and several have a lot of game experience. Overall, the big drop off will be in terms of experience but not in terms of physicality.

You seem to be the only other person noticing that the new LSU qb is only a 2 game starter with one of those being a loss to Arky which was one of the worst defenses in the nation last year. One game doesn’t define a whole season but a lot of people sure put a lot of stock into his 1 game against Tech.

If Ole Miss can get Powe to live up to his potential then he can be another Peria Jerry who in my opinion last year was the best dt in the country, much better than Terrence Cody at Bama. Greg Hardy also scares the hell out of O-lineman. He just has a motivation problem sometimes. In the game against us 2 years ago he just whipped our tackles including Smith all game long. He had something like 3 or 4 sacks, several tackles for loss, and I think 13 tackles overall. He might as well have just lined up in our backfield he was back there so much. If this guy can get his head screwed on straight he could be one of the alltime great d ends ever.

It should be a great race between the 3 with Ole Miss having an edge I think due to momentum and scheduling.

CharlotteGator

July 14th, 2009
1:52 pm

dawgmania,

- Recently moved from ATL to the Queen City. Taking a cue from one of the better Gator posters on this blog. G8RGRAD2 seemed lame. :)
- Could care less about the recruiting rankings.
- It’s interesting to me that you could care less about NC’s (mythical or not)
- I wonder on what basis Richt is so superior to Meyer. Seems like a lot of UGA fans throw that out as if Florida has had more arrests over Meyer’s 4 years than UGA (false), UGA has had more success (false), Richt develops young players better (false), Richt is a better man (no idea how fan’s would know that), or Myer “lies” or “cries” so much more than Richt (yet again false if you look at it….I’m sure plenty of Gator fans could and probably do say the same thing about Richt).

Sorry if I came across intense in the last post as it was not my intent. Just tired of all this “wait til the future/next year, here we come” talk. UGA has a good team and good program but just hasn’t gotten the results as of late. It’ll turn around, but all the recruiting, wait til’ next year talk is what turns these blogs into flame fests.

Let’s talk this year since it’s going to be a great season with battles in East, West, and ultimately Atlanta.

Win P.

July 14th, 2009
1:55 pm

To M: If Tech needs a non conference sec patsie, why not try LSU.

WavyGravy

July 14th, 2009
1:56 pm

I have to agree with Dawgmania, Charlote Gator is wound way to tight.Easy little girl don’t get your panies in a wad! Last time I checked neither Miles or Saban has beaten a Meyer coached team. Richt has, so let’s give him some credit. No question..Florida is the class of the league. Until proven otherwise all others are just pretenders. I predict that Alabama won’t win the West. The winner of the LSU- Ole Miss game will. Florida should win the East provided they don’t get over confident. Texas will win the National Championship.

Tide Rising

July 14th, 2009
1:57 pm

Jeff,

Let it go with the Bama is 1-4 against UGA stuff. Its actually 1-3. We won last year, UGA won 3 in a row before that, then we won 3 in a row before that so we actually have won 4 of the last 7 and of course we lead the alltime head to head series 36-25 and we lead in Athens 12-7.

But you know what? Who really cares? They are all games in the past and we can all go and pick a point in time to suit our argument. Example: We’ve beaten Florida 3 of the last 5 but in my mind all I really see is that they beat us last year when it counted and so they have bragging rights over the past year which is all that really matters.

how2fish

July 14th, 2009
2:02 pm

Bama takes the west…LSU comes close but has to accept another trip to the Chick-filet Bowl were they once again trash the Bugs this time 51-7..

DawginLex

July 14th, 2009
2:04 pm

m is too stupid to realize Tony that his bet is idiotic. He said “if the SEC beats the ACC head to head, he will get off the blog.” When did the ACC beat the SEC head to head? Wasn’t last year einstein. It ended 6-6 after the bowl beatdown.

Things we know about m’s football knowledge:

1.) He thinks a cover 2 is when he and his boyfriend get under the covers together.
2.) He thinks the term “2 deep” also applies to his boy/boy relationship.
3.) He actually thinks that anyone outside of ATL gives 2 hoots about the nerd herd joke by coke.

All you need to know……………..

Tide Rising

July 14th, 2009
2:04 pm

Wavygravy,

I believe you would be mistaken. I’m very sure Miles has beaten Florida under Miles at least once if not twice. Saban has only played Meyer once losing last year in the seccg so that’s not a meaningful stat.

Tide Rising

July 14th, 2009
2:06 pm

Dawginlex,

Ya got me chuckling again. Maybe we should actually lobby to keep m on the blog. Even if he is inane and utterly stupid he does provide comic relief.

Tide4u2c

July 14th, 2009
2:07 pm

Yes Alabama wins the west again this year.

LSU’s schedule is just too tough to get through LSU fans forget Jordon Jefferson has only started 2 games yet act like at Alabama Greg McElroy who is a junior and has been learning the offense for 2 years and is ready to lead the team to victory is a weakness.

Well I disagree Jefferson does not have enough experiance for LSU fans to be acting like he does.LSU is going to have to prove they are as strong as they should be.They have all the talent and depth you could want but just seem to be slipping while Alabama gains momentum.

Alot of people seem to imply it was a fluke year for Alabama last season to win 12 games in a row but it was’nt people are just not paying attention enough to see what is happening at Alabama, it is easier to under-estimate Alabama.

As for Ole Miss I am not fully sold on them however just on their schedule I could see them giving LSU problems for the 2nd place position in the west.

Don’t forget Alabama has almost never had top-notch QB and yet has won many NC’s and Alabama has not ever been about heisman trophies because it takes a team to win. In 92 when Alabama won the NC it was because one of the best defenses ever in college football not so much of a great QB. Roll Tide!

CharlotteGator

July 14th, 2009
2:07 pm

WavyGravy,

Sorry I’m wound too tight. How’s this?

“excuse me sir, if I may say, i believe if prior information is correct, Les Miles coached a team from Baton Rouge in 2007 that won a Saturday night game against a team that typically wears orange and blue. i understand this fact to be true and accurate to the best of my ability. let’s not saint mr. richt yet. he still needs to figure out how to let go of ineffective assitant coaches.”

Let me now take that nap you recommended…

Gridiron Gator

July 14th, 2009
2:08 pm

LSU, Bama and Ole Miss will beat each other up to see who can climb to the top in the West and then get to Atlanta where they will get beat down. LSU vs Florida at night is gonna be an instant classic though…

Paul Finebaum

July 14th, 2009
2:09 pm

I’d like to rub my fine balm all over Sexie Sabie!

ldavis

July 14th, 2009
2:12 pm

The SEC West is far superior in every aspect to the East.

Lord of The Lizards

July 14th, 2009
2:13 pm

CharlotteGator…Don’t sweat it, keep showing that passion! Jealousy has gotten them nowhere!!!

Comin' Down The Track

July 14th, 2009
2:14 pm

m,

What a mAROON.

Thy beatdown cometh, bugs.

ldavis

July 14th, 2009
2:15 pm

so do you guys think it will be this year or next year when Arkansas wins the national title?

m

July 14th, 2009
2:16 pm

oh tony, please come join our tickle pile with that hunky tim tebow.

i’m hoping that we go to the almond bowl again this year….i’ve got to admit that we just love those bowl trips to san francisco…..much more my style than some of these other places…’frisco is such a wonderful cosmopolitan city for a metro man such as myself…..

m

July 14th, 2009
2:17 pm

please note that the m at 2.16 is an imposter.

m

July 14th, 2009
2:17 pm

please note that the m at 2.17 is an imposter….must be another mutt.

Matt

July 14th, 2009
2:18 pm

How is LSU slipping and Bama gaining momentum? LSU had one bad year while Bama had one good year. That’s it. LSU is now one full season removed from winning a national title, while Bama is currently on a 2 game losing streak.

jack smitherman

July 14th, 2009
2:19 pm

to my gator friend is he thought bama has to replace guys on defense buty we only have one to replace and robbie green can do that and maybe better then who we had ? but i truily believe that bama will have the best defense in the sec and the country saying that bama has back to back # one recruiting classes in the nation and with the very best defense coach in the land .lets not forget bama was leading going the 4 quarter against fla. and a big time question call that went against bama after holding fla. with a very little face mask if it was one fla. punts to bama in great field area and the clock was running down in favor of bama !

Matt

July 14th, 2009
2:20 pm

Les Miles is 2-2 against Meyer and 1-1 against Saban.

Tide Rising

July 14th, 2009
2:23 pm

Charlotte gator,

Lord of lizards is right, I wouldn’t sweat it either if I were you. I’ve always found your posts to be good because its obvious you know your football. I also thought your posts towards dawgmania were very reasonable. And then dawgmania and wavy train decided to embark on namecalling, insults, and just trashtalking rather than just talking about todays blog.

Eric

July 14th, 2009
2:23 pm

I’m glad all you George W Bushes already know how the season will end. I’m VERY impressed.

WavyGravy

July 14th, 2009
2:25 pm

Tide Rising ..just so we set the record straight..Over the last ten games Georgia and Bama have played the series is tied 5-5. Over the last four games Georgia leads 3-1. Over the last eight games the series is tied 4-4. Don’t know why you just posted the last seven games record..is it because you wanted to make yourself look good to Jeff?You Bama fans kill me. You think the world revolves around your team. Let me pick a point in time that I like to remember…SEC Championship game. Florida completely outclassed your team. You weren’t even in their league. What a pompous idiot!

Got 12?

July 14th, 2009
2:28 pm

Wavy,

If Florida outclassed Bama by overcoming a fourth quarter deficit to win by 11, what did Bama do to Georgia in September?

m

July 14th, 2009
2:29 pm

m @ 2:17 is an imposter too. Wait, maybe I’M the imposter?!

This is like one of those bad movies where I’ve been cloned. Why, anyone could be m!

Got 12?

July 14th, 2009
2:29 pm

Tide Rising

July 14th, 2009
2:30 pm

ldavis,

I’m not sure about when Ark competes again for a national title. I do think though that they will be the most interesting team to watch this year in the west. Ark was really young last year, their D can only get better, mallett is the real deal at qb, and Petrino has a full year under his belt so they should be much improved over all. I’m looking for them to make some noise and probably win a couple games that nobody is expecting them to win this year. They will be the darkhorse to watch.

Got 12?

July 14th, 2009
2:31 pm

Don’t brag when your big brother bests someone who beat you down. It makes you look really pathetic.

CharlotteGator

July 14th, 2009
2:33 pm

jack smitherman,

“big time questionable call” might be a little much. There’s a difference between a questionable call and a heartbreaking or game changing/saving (depending on your rooting interest) call. Miami’s pass interference against OSU in the title game is a questionable call. That was a face mask penalty.

The SECCG was back and forth with a lot of game-changing plays. Saying Bama was leading going into the 4th as if they dominated the entire game is a little disingenuous. Either team could have won for sure. I think what tipped the game to Florida was a combination of Tebow’s 3rd down passing, Arenas stepping out on the 4 yd. line on a punt/kick return, the Florida defense finally doing something in the 4th quarter, the Bama fake FG attempt, gutsy option shovel pass call on 3rd and 6, huge plays by the relatively unknown and unproven David Nelson, timely plays by A. Hernandez.

I was there. Playing Bama in the SECCG game is an uphill battle because anytime they’re in that game, its going to be a pro-Tide crowd, given all the legacy tickets they Bama faithful have carried over from the original SECCG game ticket allotments in the Iron Bowl. Don’t try to deny it Bama fans, my Bama friends are the ones I call for tickets when UF is in the Dome and Bama is not. :)

WavyGravy

July 14th, 2009
2:36 pm

Got 12?…They way I saw it was Bama hung on to win by 11. Bama won the first half and Georgia the second half….kind of like the year before when Georgia won the OT game with a one and done and silenced the stadium. You remember that don’t you? If Bama was so great last year they should have beat Georgia down in the second half. Great teams do that you know (see Fla-Ga game)

Otto

July 14th, 2009
2:42 pm

Charlotte, I’ll agree with TideRising on his comments.

WavyGravy, Tide made it clear you could pick the dates to make the point you want for both teams. Bama won last year. As a UGA fan I want to win the next game, and hopefully that will be in the Dome.

Tide Rising

July 14th, 2009
2:43 pm

Wavygravy,

You made my point for me as well as Charlotte gator’s point. My entire point was that anybody can go back and pick a point in time to suit their argument so that’s the point I was making to Jeff who wants to keep bringing up 4-1 which is inaccurate to begin with. And it doesn’t have any relevancy to 2009 football season as Charlotte gator pointed out. I know the 2 teams are actually 5-5 over the last ten games. I used the “we won 4 of the last 7″ to illustrate to Jeff the absurdity of picking out points in time to suit your argument. If we are all going to go bragging about the past of which nobody really cares then just talk about the alltime head to head record and then just leave it at that.

As for the florida game it was a closely fought, competitive game in which Florida pulled away midway through the 4th qtr. Even most of the gator fans will tell you that but we’re not making excuses. We flat out lost. But if we weren’t even in their league and were completely and totally outclassed then how did we manage to lead the game in the 4th qtr? How did that happen? You completely lack proportion and good judgement. The better team won that day but its not as if it was a blowout like 49-10.

I figured you would end your tirade with something like “pompous idiot’ in the same fashion that you tried to ridicule and name call charlotte gator. Good job.

Tide4u2c

July 14th, 2009
2:43 pm

Matt,

I knew LSU would beat Georgia Tech just on talent alone.That one bowl game does not define this coming season eventhough it was an impressive win by LSU.But Bama’s loss to Utah is not going to define this season either.

If anything it was a learning experiance for the team that they will take into this season.Next time they will be more comfortable in champ games,bowl games,etc just like Florida.

Denver Dog

July 14th, 2009
2:55 pm

West

Alabama looses 3 in the conference; Miss State, Auburn, LSU. LSU looses 1

Tide Rising

July 14th, 2009
3:03 pm

Charlotte Gator,

I think the facemask penalty kind of eats at our craw a little bit. It was obvious from the replay that Donta never grasped the facemask. His hand touched it but he never grabbed it. We had stopped Florida on 3rd down and would have forced a punt at a critical juncture in the 4th qtr. Instead its a 15 yarder, UF gets the ball at the 20 something yard line and then takes the lead for good.

It doesn’t really matter though. I still think Florida was better that day no matter what. Tebow made unbelievably clutch plays. On 3 or 4 of those key 3rd down completions Saban said that we had the receiver blanketed but that Tebow put the ball in the exact place that only the receiver could get it. That’s just great play by a great player.

Arenas killed us with that kickoff catch out of bounds. In a game like that starting off at your 4 instead of the 35 is just another big momentum and field position changer. The botched field goal turned fake field goal was a horrible call as Saban admitted and was made because the regular kicker had gotten a concussion earlier. What I hate about that is that it was so pressure packed and such a momentous botch that the freshman backup kicker ended up transferring after the season. That one play had incredibly shaken his confidence.

Every big game has 3 or 4 momentous gamechanging plays like turnovers, penalties, bounces of the ball, etc. and I think what bothers Bama fans is that it seemed like all of those went against us. I guess we’ll for ever be wondering “What IF?” That’s probably what our players were wondering when they lined up to play Utah. It was said in Bama circles that the worst thing that happened to Bama players was the Monday game tape review. After watching the tape and all the mistakes the team was convinced it should have won the game. I think we were still thinking about that lost opportunity as Utah was kicking our butts.

Anonymous

July 14th, 2009
3:03 pm

Now, I’ve officially seen it all. A Dawg fan beating up a Tide fan by comparing the Tide to the Gators, suggesting that Florida is a championship team and Alabama is not. The irony is so rich I don’t now where to start.

Wow. This ain’t your grandpa’s SEC is it? Hello, Nick Saban. Bear Bryant is on the phone for you . . . he’s calling from 1964, and he’s pissed.

Got 12?

July 14th, 2009
3:06 pm

Sure, Wavy, sure.

Bama hung on to beat Georgia by 11 just like Utah barely escaped the Sugar Bowl by the skin of their utters with a last-second, 14-point win. That’s called revisionist history. I think you’re better than that.

You are right about one thing: Great teams play four quarters. I will go back through my blog posts, find where I said Bama ‘08 was a “great” team then issue a public apology.

CharlotteGator

July 14th, 2009
3:08 pm

Otto, Rising, and Lizard – thanks for the vote of confidence. Rival fans wanting to just talk football while we wait for the season to start is what makes this a blog I want to still follow even though I’ve left ATL. It’s a shame all the other nonsense gets in the way of that sometimes.

Got 12?, definitely agree w/ the big brother comment. I totally get passion for the game and love/support for your team, but not being able to admit/acknowledge you were beat without making excuses or giving backhanded compliments is fairly petty.

“We gave Ole Miss the game, we were definitely the better team that day…”
“Bama only beat us by 11, we won the second half…”
“We only last because Tebow was hurt…”
“Tech got lucky, they suck, we own them, who cares about last year…”

All are equally lame and trifling…

JaxDawg

July 14th, 2009
3:08 pm

Is anyone considering the schedules?

LSU is very talented, but it’s going to be a tall order to play @UGA, and then host Florida the next week. They will also have to play @ Ole Miss.

Even with the players Ole Miss has lost, and the unfortunate car accident, they have a very favorable schedule:
Sep 6 @Memphis
Sep 19 Southeastern Louisiana
Sep 24 @South Carolina
Oct 3 @Vanderbilt
Oct 10 Alabama
Oct 17 UAB
Oct 24 Arkansas
Oct 31 @Auburn
Nov 7 Northern Arizona
Nov 14 Tennessee
Nov 21 LSU
Nov 28 @Mississippi St.
Some of the easiest opponents are on the road, while the 4 toughest on the schedule are at home.

I think both LSU and Bama overall are more talented, but Miss’ schedule lines up nicely for them. Bama’s schedule is a good one for them as well, but give the edge to Ole Miss as they host the Tide.

Tide Rising

July 14th, 2009
3:11 pm

Denver dog,

I can see us maybe losing to Ole Miss, Lsu, or maybe even Ark. or South Carolina. But Miss State and Auburn? Those are easily the 2 worst teams in the conference. What gives?

Jeff

July 14th, 2009
3:18 pm

Tide Rising….I agree totally- was just responding to another post. yes, Tide does lead the series…just like we lead the series with Fla. And of couse, the last shutout of the series was 21-0 in Athens- in fact, from what I am told, one of only two the bear suffered at alabama- but you could confirm the accuracy of that- I am not versed on total Bama history but would be interesting to know

CharlotteGator

July 14th, 2009
3:21 pm

Rising,

Good points. I’d forgotten how close that facemask was, I think in my mind I pictured a play where Oklahoma grabbed Demps’ facemask and thought it was the SECCG. The maroon shades got me. I know college doesn’t have incidental like the pro’s do, but is hand on the facemask technically a penalty? I’d have to look it up. If it isn’t, then yeah, that sucks and was a bad game changing call.

Your Monday morning film session comment is a great point as well. Gator fans can definitely relate as it’s been argued that the “almost” win at LSU in 2007 is what ruined that team. The defense was definitely suspect all season but held up well that game. All the missed opportunities to win gave that defense a false sense of confidence that was totally exposed later against UGA and Michigan. UGA wanted the game so much more than UF did at the beginning and even after the stomp the Gators couldn’t match their intensity no matter how hard they tried. The defense wasn’t out of position that day or against Michigan, and they certainly weren’t athletically inferior. As is typical in CFB, the team that wanted it more went and got it.

Got 12?

July 14th, 2009
3:25 pm

JaxDawg,

Some people who pick Bama or LSU are considering Ole Miss’ favorable schedule but counting on Nutt to lose a couple of games he shouldn’t. I know they gelled at the end but last season they sandwiched the Florida win between losses to Vandy and South Carolina.

Others who pick Bama or LSU probably have a historical bias towards Ole Miss.

Denver Dog

July 14th, 2009
3:50 pm

Tide Rising,

Just doing like everyone else throwing out stuff that could happen. I think the Tide may lose to LSU, and Maybe to Auburn, Just becuase it is Auburn. Miss State would be an upset. I’ve seen stranger things for sure. I think Ole Miss is way overrated, and I think Arkansas will be real close but the Tide will win.

Tide Rising

July 14th, 2009
3:57 pm

Jeff,

Not sure about the series history between Bama and UGA. The last shutouts were 31-0 Bama in Athens in 95 and Bama 10-0 in 1991 but I think that was in Bham. UGA shut us out 21-0 in that famous whipping of the Bear in 76 in Athena and I think you may have shut us out one other time but I’m just not sure. There’s been several great, dramatic games between the 2 (2007 comes to mind) and Vince Dooleys upset win in his 2nd year at UGA and his 21-0 win also stand out for the dawg fans. For us of course the blackout game stands out, the 29-28 game in which Zeier and Barker both had field days, and probably the 31-0 win at Athens in 95.