Even without Tebow, Gators will win the SEC East again

 Spring practice is over. We’ve learned a lot in the past month but there is still a lot that we won’t know until the teams return in August to begin drills for the 2010 season. This week we are going to break down every team in the SEC and ACC. We’ll talk about what we learned and what we still don’t know. What we do know is that every team, even the defending national champion (Alabama), has issues. How they deal with those issues, and what kind of summer the team has in avoiding off the field problems, will determine what happens come September.

Here is the schedule for the week:

Today: SEC East

Tuesday: SEC West

Wednesday: ACC Atlantic

Thursday: ACC Coastal

Friday: Tony’s Spring Top 25

Feel free to add your own comments to what we learned and what we still don’t know about each team. This exercise is meant to be fun and to give you a football fix that will (hopefully) last until two-a-days.

Enjoy.

SEC EAST SPRING REVIEW

PROJECTED FINISH

1. FLORIDA

**–Last season: 13-1, 8-0 SEC; lost to Alabama 32-13 in SEC championship game; defeated Cincinnati 51-24 in Sugar Bowl.

**–Coach: Urban Meyer, 96-18 in nine years, 57-10 in five seasons at Florida.

**–Key losses: QB Tim Tebow, LB Brandon Spikes, DE Carlos Dunlap, C Maurkice Pouncey.

**–Returning starters: Offense 6, defense 5, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: QB John Brantley, OL Mike Pouncey, S Ahmad Black, RB Jeff Demps.

**–What we learned:  Florida’s offense will be very good again. Yes Tim Tebow and four other starters are gone from a unit that was seventh nationally in total offense (457.86 ypg). But don’t expect a significant drop off from the 2010 Gators. New quarterback John Brantley has an NFL arm and four of five starters return from a very good offensive line. The Gators are loaded at receiver as Andre Debose and Carl Moore return from injuries. Chris Rainey, who played running back last season, moved to the hybrid “Percy Harvin” position and should have a big year. Florida has a couple of young players, Trey Burton and tight end Jordan Reed, who can run the ball from the quarterback position.

**–What we still don’t know:  Can the defense overcome the losses?  Five starters from the 2009 defense, which finished fourth nationally (252.57 ypg), were taken in the NFL draft. The other lost starter, linebacker Ryan Stamper, led the team in tackles last season with 78. Also gone is defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, now the head coach at Louisville. That’s a lot of talent to replace, but there is a lot of talent waiting in the wings. Look for safety Ahmad Black to have a huge season.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. Miami of Ohio.

 

2. GEORGIA

**–Last season:  8-5, 4-4 SEC; beat Texas A&M 44-20 in Independence Bowl.

**–Coach: Mark Richt, 90-27 in nine seasons at Georgia.

**–Key losses: LB Rennie Curran, DT Jeff Owens, S Reshad Jones, DT Geno Atkins.

**–Returning starters: Offense 10; defense 5; specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: WR A.J. Green, RB Caleb King, RB Washaun Ealey, OT Clint Boling, C Ben Jones.

**–What we learned:  The offensive line has to be good from day one. After OT Trinton Sturdivant was lost after the first game of 2009, a veteran Georgia offensive line struggled to find the right five guys who could work together.  With players like tackle Josh Davis (6-6, 305) back in the lineup,  the Bulldogs finally found that chemistry in the second half of the season and ran the ball significantly better. Georgia and O-line coach Stacy Searels do not have that luxury in 2010. Georgia has to be able to run the ball and take the pressure off Aaron Murray, the redshirt freshman quarterback. Sturdivant is back at 100 percent. If he can stay healthy, there are a couple of bell cows in this group (Clint Boling, Ben Jones) who give Georgia a chance to be good up front.

**–What we still don’t know: Is the new 3-4 defense going to create more turnovers? Last season Georgia played 13 football games and somehow recovered only two fumbles, which was 120th (dead last) nationally. The Bulldogs were 76th nationally with only 10 interceptions. Todd Grantham was hired as defensive coordinator to install the 3-4 and (hopefully) make Georgia a more opportunistic team. Georgia was 118th nationally in turnover margin (minus-16) last season.  By contrast, Alabama was plus-19 in turnovers (31 takeaways, 12 giveaways). That has to change if Georgia wants to compete again for the SEC East championship. We also don’t know, for all the work that was done in the spring, if Georgia can get a handle on its penalty problem. Georgia committed 105 penalties in 13 games. Only five teams in college football (Troy, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas Tech, Arizona State) had more.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette.

 

3. SOUTH CAROLINA

**–Last season: 7-6, 3-5 SEC; lost to Connecticut 20-7 in Papajohns.com Bowl.

**–Coach:  Steve Spurrier, 177-68-2 in 20 years; 35-28 in five seasons at South Carolina.

**–Key losses: LB Eric Norwood, DE Clifton Geathers, WR Moe Brown.

**–Returning starters: Offense 8, defense 7, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: WR Alshon Jeffrey, QB Stephen Garcia, S Chris Culliver, DE Cliff Matthews.

**–What we learned:   Quarterback Stephen Garcia is going to be on a very short leash in 2010. Last season South Carolina “pretty much had to live with what Stephen gave us,” coach Steve Spurrier said. That will not be the case in 2010 as Spurrier spent the spring taking a hard look at early-enrollee Connor Shaw of Flowery Branch. Spurrier threw down the gauntlet to Garcia to work harder and spend more time in the film room this summer. “We’re going to have two quarterbacks ready to go this year,” said Spurrier. Understand that Garcia’s numbers (55.3 percent, 2,862 yards, 17 touchdowns) are not terrible. But there is a certain way that Spurrier wants the position played and Garcia needs to make the reads that Spurrier gives him. Under pressure (and he was under a lot of pressure as South Carolina allowed 37 sacks last season), Garcia starts to free-lance. The Head Ball Coach doesn’t like that.

**–What we still don’t know: What will be the impact of freshman Marcus Lattimore? The incoming freshman from Duncan, S.C., was rated the No. 1 running back in the nation by some recruiting services. Lattimore, 5-11, 215, is a special talent who will be thrown into a mix of running backs that includes sophomores Kenny Miles (626 yards) and Jarvis Giles (5.3 ypg). But Lattimore can’t make a significant contribution if the offensive line doesn’t get better. Spurrier hired his third offensive line coach (Shawn Elliott from Appalachian State) in three years.  South Carolina was dead last in the SEC in rushing (121.23 ypg.) That has to improve.

**–Opening game: Sept. 2 vs. Southern Miss.

 

4. TENNESSEE

**–Last season: 7-6, 4-4 SEC; lost to Virginia Tech 37-14 in Chick-fil-A Bowl.

**–Coach: Derek Dooley, 17-20 in three years, first season at Tennessee.

**–Key losses: S Eric Berry, RB Montario Hardesty, DT Dan Williams. .

**–Returning starters: Offense 4, defense 6, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch:  TE Luke Stocker, WR Gerald Jones, DE Chris Walker, LB Nick Reviez.

**–What we learned:  The offensive line is a mess. The Volunteers had only one starter coming back up front, sophomore tackle Aaron Douglas. But Douglas, a freshman All-America last season, suddenly left the program in March and now the Vols are confronted with starting as many as three freshmen on the offensive line. Not good.  Tackle Ju’Wuan James looks like he can play but there are still a lot of questions at the guard and center sports. Tennessee has to be able to run the ball and shorten the game to have any shot at a winning record. Tauren Poole is finally ready to step up as a running back but he has to have someplace to run.

**–What we still don’t know:  Who will be the starting quarterback? Nick Stephens, the only quarterback in camp who had taken a snap for Tennessee, decided to transfer to Tarleton State, a Division II school, in April. That leaves the Volunteers with Matt Simms, a junior college transfer who started his career at Louisville, and true freshman Tyler Bray, who enrolled in January. Bray performed  a little better in the spring game but Simms gained experience last season in junior college. We also don’t know how this group of players is going to respond when times get tough. And times are going to get tough. In a six-week period Tennessee will play Oregon, Florida, LSU, Georgia, and Alabama. Dooley is the third head coach at Tennessee in three years. The players, who are rightfully a little shell-shocked, have bought into Dooley’s way of doing things. What happens if the losses start to pile up?

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. UT-Martin.

 

5. KENTUCKY

**–Last season: 7-6, 3-5 SEC; lost to Clemson 21-13 in Music City Bowl.                                 

**–Coach: Joker Phillips, first season at Kentucky.

**–Key losses:  CB Trevard Lindley, DT Corey Peters, LB Micah Johnson, PK Lones Seiber.

**–Returning starters: Offense 5, defense 7, specialist 1.

**–Players to watch: WR/QB Randall Cobb, TB/RS Derrick Locke, LB Danny Trevathan, QB Mike Hartline, QB Morgan Newton.

**–What we know:  Kentucky has some good options at quarterback. A year ago the Wildcats had to take the redshirt off of Morgan Newton, the 2008 Indiana high school player of the year, when starter Mike Hartline went down with an injury. Newton completed 55.6 percent of his passes in six games. Now Hartline has returned and joining the mix is Ryan Mossakowski, a strong-armed redshirt freshman. Hartline had an edge coming out of spring practice but expect two quarterbacks to play. Kentucky has two great offensive weapons in running back Derrick Locke (907 yards rushing) and wide receiver/quarterback Randall Cobb (447 receiving, 573 rushing). The quarterback has to get the ball to them.

**–What we still don’t know:  Can new coach Joker Phillips keep things rolling at UK? Rich Brooks decided to retire after taking Kentucky to a school-record fourth straight bowl game last season.  Phillips, a former Kentucky player under Jerry Claiborne, takes over. The former OC has to replace the entire offensive line and the defense is missing three big-time players in DT Corey Peters, LB Micah Johnson, and CB Trevard Lindley. Can Phillips rebuild this team and get Kentucky to a fifth straight bowl game?

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 at Louisville.

 

6. VANDERBILT

**–Last season: 2-10, 0-8 SEC.

**–Coach: Bobby Johnson, 89-102 in 16 years, 29-66 in eight years at Vanderbilt.

**–Key losses:  CB Myron Lewis, C Bradley Vierling,  LB Patrick Benoist.

**–Returning starters:  Offense 6, defense 4, specialist 1.

**–Players to watch:  LB Chris Marve, TB Warren Norman, TB Zac Stacy, S Sean Richardson.

**–What we know: It was a costly spring for Vanderbilt. Starting DT Adam Smotherman suffered a torn ACL during a scrimmage and may miss the first half of the 2010 season.  OT Ryan Seymour dislocated a shoulder which required surgery. Seymour should make it back for the first game. A total of six players scheduled to be starters missed all or part of spring with injuries.

**–What we still don’t know: Can the Vanderbilt offense get better? The numbers in SEC play last season were just staggering. In eight conference game the Commodores scored only 71 points (8.875 ppg). In three games Vanderbilt scored in single digits and only once (a 31-16 loss to Tennessee) did Vanderbilt score more than 13 points in a game. Johnson shuffled his offensive staff, moving offensive coordinator Ted Cain to tight ends and replacing him with Jimmy Kiser. Quarterback Larry Smith, who completed only 46.7 percent of his passes last season, held off a challenge by Jared Funk and JUCO transfer Jordan Rogers. Vanderbilt has to get better on offense if it wants to improve on last season’s 2-10 record.

**–Opening game:  Sept. 4 vs. Northwestern.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

 

 

 

 

 

 

765 comments Add your comment

Another Steve

May 3rd, 2010
8:43 am

Morning Tony. I think you mean Florida wr Carl Moore, not Carl Murphy.

Pago Pago Trojan

May 3rd, 2010
8:53 am

It just doesn’t look good for the DAWGS. Maybe next year?

Sitting back and watching

May 3rd, 2010
8:59 am

This is going to be great entertainment to watch and read the following comments. The way the dog fans tell it the bulldogs will never lose a game again somehow because Tim Tebow has graduated.

Just as there is every May there’s gonna be a lot of barking on here that sure seems to disappear come late October early November. Maybe one day they’ll learn….but I doubt it.

94Bulldawg

May 3rd, 2010
9:04 am

No way the gaytors can overcome their losses and win the east. We will win everygame except at SC and win the East and upset Bama in the SEC Chempianship game.

Tony Barnhart

May 3rd, 2010
9:05 am

Thanks, Steve. It says Carl Moore right here in my notes and my fingers just wrote Murphy. Thanks for the catch.

TB

L. Bo

May 3rd, 2010
9:07 am

whatever Mr. Barnhart. UGA all the way. GO DAWGS!!!

5IML

May 3rd, 2010
9:11 am

Hope springs eternal (in the spring). Reality sets in during October.

Better players. Better coaching. Florida by default.

hsf

May 3rd, 2010
9:11 am

Tennessee will find a way to finish at least second in the east. Look at history: Wins over KY, Vandy, SC, and GA are a virtual given. And they get FL in Knoxville after scaring Tebow & Co. in Gainesville last year.

DP

May 3rd, 2010
9:11 am

I agree Florida should be the heavy favorite in the East, but my biggest question about them is where their running game will come from. I’d think with Brantley at QB they’ll have a more conventional running game and will need a full sized running back to step up. It doesn’t appear that Meyer has much confidence in Moody. Will true freshman Mack Brown win the starting job?

Tennessee could be a real disaster. If Kentucky is ever going to beat them again this is the year to to do it. It wouldn’t shock me if Tennessee and Vandy are both 0-7 in the SEC when they meet at the end of the season.

FalconUGAFan

May 3rd, 2010
9:12 am

Ok all you UGA posers get off of here. Of course, the Gators should be favored to win the East. UGA is down. We have alot of areas to improve upon. We have a new QB, we have a new DC, we need to work on penalties, turnovers and mental mistakes. I foresee improvement but we are clearly far from winning the East.

Otto

May 3rd, 2010
9:17 am

As a UGA fan I agree Tony, the defense will be learning and the OC has to keep the offense from being dead for a qtr at a time with a Freshman QB when he could not do it with a first round draft pick. UGA will improve and should go bowling in Florida but no SEC East Crown. Special teams will be the biggest improvement helping the defense.

UF has a QB just as highly recruited if not more so than Murray, proven playmakers on Offense and no major scheme change on defense.

Charlie Bama

May 3rd, 2010
9:18 am

Oranges Hilbillies will be 4-7 this season. Take it to the bank–any bank that hasn’t been shutdown by the Feds.

One thing I do know

May 3rd, 2010
9:19 am

Tennessee is going to be horrible next season. They return only 1 player from their 2 deep OL. Lost A TON on their defense including 2 first round picks, have a serious void of talent on the roster, have virtually NO experience at running back or QB and have a coach that was 17-20 in three years at Lousiana Tech previously.

Tennessee will be lucky to be 5th in the East.

Charlie Bama

May 3rd, 2010
9:19 am

Or maybe a credit union.

Tron Jackson

May 3rd, 2010
9:21 am

Good read. I believe the Dawg offense will be good because there are so many good players surrounding Murray to help ease him into the job. I agree that Georgia’s success will depend on how quickly the guys grasp the new scheme. I think that 2nd in the East is a fair prediction.

Mike

May 3rd, 2010
9:23 am

I would have to flip flop Kentucky and Tennessee. No way the Vols, learning their third system in as many years, can overcome an inexperienced QB and OL to finish higher than 5th in the East. Not to mention a schedule that includes Oregon, Florida, LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss and USC.

McDawg

May 3rd, 2010
9:23 am

I think a good ball-control type offense has a chance to beat the gators-keep the offense off the field-execute execute execute

Forrest Gump is the most famous Alabama grad

May 3rd, 2010
9:24 am

Yawwwwwwwwn. Florida might win the East but Bama will clean house in the SEC before losing to Utah or Boise State in a bowl game.

Otto

May 3rd, 2010
9:26 am

hsf, I think the Vols make a bowl and fight for 3rd maybe 2nd if UGA makes enough errors in the East. The OL is hard hit in Knoxville and with no experienced QB I do not see them scaring UF again. The Vols have less depth than last yr.

Ryan

May 3rd, 2010
9:29 am

The SEC East is looking pretty week this year. Florida has taken a big step back on Defense but there is just nobody to challange them. UGA is probably looking at a repeat of last year. South Carolina might be a little better and could maybe make some noise. UT will be bad.

John McEnroe

May 3rd, 2010
9:30 am

hsf – You CAN NOT be serious!

Ron Mexico

May 3rd, 2010
9:33 am

SEC East is looking awfully weak, same as last year. Can anyone join Florida with a winning conference record?

JB

May 3rd, 2010
9:34 am

I ‘m a Dawg fan, but it is Florida’s to lose UNTIL the Dawgs step up and say so. Gators are loaded with athletes, but a lot of new players and Karma going on there. The Defensive coach at Florida may be better than Strong, who knows. The new Defensive coach’s at Georgia will be a big improvement. Really big. Wille always had them trying to shoot while retreating. These new guys look to more dictate the play rather than react to it, and we are a whole lot more athletic and quicker and physical in the secondary. For Georgia to have a chance this year, they must learn to come ready to play every game. Seems like we just come out in a funk 3-4 times a year a just let an Average team run us over( see Tenn. last year). The offense will be productive enough as I think Murray is an upgrade to Cox. Monster line and tight ends and the best receiver in the country and 2 pretty good running backs and the best fullback in the country and the two best kickers in the country. Also, special teams will be vastly improved. GATA….Go Dawgs……

Gen Neyland

May 3rd, 2010
9:37 am

Tennessee Players To Watch : If Nick Reviez can rebound fully from his torn ACL of last season. He participated in some Spring drills. Tough injury for a LB to fully recover from but if guts and determination factor in, a smallish Reviez will find a way…Luke Stocker is a TE’s TE. A healthly Stocker becomes at least a 2nd rounder next NFL draft.

Order of finish sounds about right until the games are played. Can’t argue the Florida pick to win the East. Gators still have the horsepower…Agree with DP regarding Tennessee’s dominance of Kentucky in jeopardy with a million straight over them, alas exceptions are : It’s still Kentucky but without the mind of Rich Brooks to lead them and it’s in Knoxville. If this turns out to be Tennessee’s bowl game of 2010, UT wins for sure. Remember, Randy Sanders ( OC/QB’s) is STILL looking for payback but I don’t know why. His release from UT was justified…

travy

May 3rd, 2010
9:39 am

florida could pick up a couple losses in the west which could keep things interesting.

GeneralNeyland96

May 3rd, 2010
9:41 am

Tennessee does have the deck stacked against them this year….That being said, I think we can hit the 6 win mark (UTM, UAB, UMemphis, Ol’Miss, Vandy, KY) and maybe jump up and bite one we’re not supposed to (likely UGA or USC). I won’t even pretend that we have a shot against the big’uns this year…..

On a side note….say a prayer for flood victims in TN….and watch out if that storm system is heading your way….it was a beast!

JB

May 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

Gen, what’s the REAL word out of Knoxville…..Must be lot’s of whispers going on, as we have our share in Athens also.Georgia fans can’t understand why Richt let that monster 2007 team and attitude just vanish. A lot of Dawg fans feel like somebody has been asleep at the wheel in Athens the last two years.

bo

May 3rd, 2010
9:49 am

you’d be crazy to predict anyone else to win the division.

DP

May 3rd, 2010
9:55 am

If I was a Vol fan the only thing I’d be looking for from Dooley this year is consistent effort from the players. They’re probably going to start 2 or 3 true freshmen on the offensive line. Behind that line they’ll start a QB who has never taken a Division I snap and wasn’t even on campus last fall. Hardesty, their best running back, is gone and his heir apparent is transferring. The defense lost 2 first round NFL draft picks (Eric Berry and Dan Williams) and a linebacker (Rico McCoy) who made a lot of tackles. The players will be in their 3rd different offensive and defensive systems in 3 years. If Dooley goes 6-6 he should be considered for SEC coach of the year.

Bulldogfan11

May 3rd, 2010
10:00 am

Tony,

How can put Florida down with an SEC record of 8-0 for last year? Since Alabama is an SEC team, shouldn’t Florida’s SEC record be 8-1?

Hiram Dawg

May 3rd, 2010
10:01 am

Dawgs aren’t getting much respect. Seems that people think since we had high penalties, poor D coaching and poor kick-off coverage, that it’s always going to be that way. Dawgs have made changes and have a lot of experienced players returning. They will be much tougher than prognosticators think!

Alphare

May 3rd, 2010
10:03 am

Yes, the East looks weak to me too.

FL, UGA and TN are all in a rebuilding year. It won’t surprise me if KY or USC makes some noise.

BTW, FL is only a QB-injury away from a mediocre team (at least on paper).

BAMA is a totally different story in the West.

Mikey

May 3rd, 2010
10:06 am

Ditto JB’s post.

Bryant

May 3rd, 2010
10:07 am

First in the east = second in the SEC. RTR

Mike Honcho

May 3rd, 2010
10:11 am

Florida has to be poised for a little bit of a letdown. It seems to be feast or famine with Urban Meyer. He’s either winning national titles or winning 9 games. There is never anything in between. Florida will probably drop a couple that nobody expects and lose to Bama. The schedule is more difficult than last year and they just have too many holes. Plus, nobody is talking about all the coaching instability. Tony mentioned the new D-coordinator, but what about the head guy? One day he’s the head coach and the next he’s not. I just think things like that take their toll on a team, especially a young team. They may win the East but it won’t be as easy as everyone thinks.

Gen Neyland

May 3rd, 2010
10:14 am

DP–JB : Tennessee has been the model for inconsistency over the past 3 years. Of that, there is no arguement. But I really think you are being blindsided on Tennessee’s RB situation. Poole, Oku and Williams will do fine and if incoming freshman Neal shows up near ready to play at the college level, the RB depth will be good. OL is a big ??? Center position is a critical one to fill this year. I remember a young group of O-Linemen down in Athens that survived due to a mobile QB and a fairly good defense. Speaking of defense, the name Marlon Walls will be heard over many a loud speaker this season and the secondary will miss Eric Berry but not for long. A good group of young’uns back there. I think even with the opposition throwing away from Berry in 2009, UT gave up only 5 passing TDs all year. ‘Course Rogan opted for the Big Bhow and should have stayed one more year. All in all, we’ll have to wait and see…BTW, any of you Tennessee fans get a chance to watch Oregon’s Spring Game..? It’s a show that’ll be coming our way soon enough.

RAMBLE ON!!!

May 3rd, 2010
10:20 am

Who does UGAg open with again?

a Div II basketball school?

lol

Dawgboy

May 3rd, 2010
10:22 am

UGA will not finish 1st or 2nd. Maybe 3rd or 4th. Got a lot to prove. Likely loss in Columbia to start things off badly.

SEC powerhouse not

May 3rd, 2010
10:23 am

omg, how did dogpoops avoid not having to play LSU or Alabama for the next two seasons, your strength of schedule must be ranked somewhere around 250…if you can’t win then God help you. Still do not know how you fans walk around like your conference is so high and mighty and look at the teams in it(the ones you do play)..there is some pitiful won/loss records, of course better prepare all year for that KY game

Phil_will1

May 3rd, 2010
10:28 am

For Carolina, it all turns on improvement by Garcia and the O line. Improvement in kick coverage would be very helpful, also. The defense has been solid under Ellis Johnson and will continue to be. Garcia is one of a very few returning SEC QBs with experience and Spurrier wants him to play like it. We also have some upperclass O linemen who should be able to help improve on what has been a dismal area the last couple of years. We have excellent overall talent and depth at TE, WR and RB. If Garcia and the O line come through for us, it could be a special year.

I would have to give us the edge over UGA for second place at this point in time. I think that we win in Columbia in early September.

F-105 Thunderchief

May 3rd, 2010
10:35 am

Wasn’t Joe Haden a key loss?

With weapons on offense and a new attitude on defense, I could see Georgia having a pretty special year.

KGator79

May 3rd, 2010
10:37 am

You would think Florida lost its entire starting lineup. They return 3/4 of secondary players who have started (CB Jenkins, S Black, S Hill) They return 2/3 LBs who have played in NC and SEC champ. games (Hicks, Jones) And on the Dline return almost all their interior depth at DT (Marsh, Hunter, Howard ect..) On offense 4 of 5 Oline starters return, all 3 RBs (Demps, Rainey, Moody) and 2 veteran WRs (Thompson and Moore). Not exactly a bunch of guys who have never played, even the backups who will start this year played significant time in key games inlcuding championship games.

JB

May 3rd, 2010
10:37 am

UGA/Carolina will be close and hard fought as always…..It would be a toss up in my book now,
But Spurrier also wants this one bad…..

CharlotteGator

May 3rd, 2010
10:38 am

Much stranger things have happened. The build up to this season is very similar to 2007 for the Gators. Tebow was heralded, but unproven at the time (ie Brantley) and the defense was talented but young and inexperienced. The Percy/Debose parallels are striking as well. Percy was more proven after his freshman season but out/hurt much of the sophomore campaign. If Debose can get and stay healthy this year, they’d be comparable in my opinion, at least at sophomore point of their careers.

I envision a similar season to 07 which was a campaign of frustration. Were not coming off a championship obviously so that might help the young guys have a better mentality than the 07 crew had. We could still take losses from the west and have a more motivated UGA team have something to say in Jax. I hope the coaching staff handles what appear to be similar issues better and the team comes with a better mentality. They have the talent to win the SEC east, but toughness, mentality, and mindset will have more to do with it and we won’t know about any of those until the season is underway.

JB

May 3rd, 2010
10:44 am

Charlotte Gator……I think Brantley will give the Dawgs more Trouble than Tebow, especially with 9-10 games under his belt. I honestly feel Murray is in Athens because Brantley is in Gainesville. Don’t get me wrong, we’re glad to have Murray. i think we will play you guys better this year. Win? Who knows. I feel our D will be better coached, but we are pretty thin and young up front. DB’s will be very good and LB’s good enough.

KGator79

May 3rd, 2010
10:45 am

Mike Honcho….winning 9 games playing in the SEC isnt exactly “famine”. Additionally, every top program in the country if they dont win their conference or a national title (Which they cant do every year) end up with a 9-10 win season. So what exactly is your point?

DawgBoi

May 3rd, 2010
10:45 am

I agree UF should be favored, but lets not overlook that fact that no one really knows where Urban Meyer’s head or heart is at with regards to football now that he lost his golden boy superhuman best college player ever..

Vandyman

May 3rd, 2010
10:47 am

Watch out for the HBC. This may finally be his year. Also, look for my Dores to spank UT finally. The Vols are in for a horrific season. They have got a good backfield but nothing else.

Reptillicide

May 3rd, 2010
10:47 am

I would love to know what job in the state of Florida you are trying to get by being a Gator nut-hugger Tony. Is there a sweet gig in Boca Raton you want? I just can’t see any other reason why lately your columns have sounded like something a Gator fanboy ignoring the blatant weaknesses would write. Florida lost more talent and experience and COACHES than anyone else in the whole conference, and you are handing them the division in May. You have crossed from the land of lunacy into the realm of the absurd. Fare thee well traveler, I can’t wait to see you have to backpedal on your crap and start kissing ass to whoever ends up winning it. Hack.

KGator79

May 3rd, 2010
10:49 am

Charlotte Gator…..Totally different Gator team this year than the ‘07 one. In 2007 Florida was basically forced to play all freshman and sophmores on defense. Haden was a starter as a true freshman at CB without ever even playing the position. This years Gator defense is far more experienced than that one ever was. In 2007 the big issue was the secondary. Look at 2010’s secondary. CB Jenoris Jenkins ( 3rd year starter, potential all american) S Ahmad Black (3rd year starter, former all amercian winner) S Will Hill (potential all american).