The SEC in 2009: Every game picked, one or two correctly!

We’re 17 days from kickoff, and already I know how The Only League That Matters will go. I know because I’ve applied the special Bradley brand of forecasting and come up with this detailed look at the SEC in 2009. Read it quickly, lest I run afoul of the league’s new media policy. (Section 3-a-iii: No writer can mention our school’s names without first slipping Verne Lundquist 10 bucks.)

SEC East

1. Florida: I don’t know how Urban Meyer does it. Every other year he takes a bunch of no-names and wins the national championship. This year, however, he’ll fall just short. He’ll win the first 13 games and then lose No. 14. Regular season: 12-0. SEC title game: Beats LSU. BCS title game: Loses to Texas.

2. Georgia: Joe Cox will be better than Joe Tereshinski III but less good than D.J. Shockley. A loss in Stillwater on Sept. 5 will set the tone for a solid season by most standards but a middling one by Mark Richt’s. Regular season: 8-4, losses to Oklahoma State, LSU, Florida and Georgia Tech. Outback Bowl: Beats Michigan.

3. South Carolina: The Gamecocks will start 0-2, which will set off speculation that Steve Spurrier will quit after the season. They’ll get better thereafter, but not so much better that Spurrier decides to stick around in 2010. Regular season: 7-5, losses to N.C. State, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and Florida. Music City Bowl: Beats Miami.

4. Kentucky: Rich Brooks has taken the Wildcats to bowl games the past three seasons, and who said he was a lousy hire? (Actually, me.) This year Kentucky beats Tennessee for the first time since 1984. Regular season: 7-5, losses to Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Auburn and Georgia. Liberty Bowl: Beats Southern Miss.

5. Vanderbilt: Every half-century the Commodores up and win a bowl game. Last year’s victory over Boston College in the Music City Bowl will have to suffice until, say, 2060. But Vandy will get a consolation prize: It’ll upset Georgia Tech. Regular season: 5-7, losses to Mississippi State, LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Kentucky.

6. Tennessee: Lane Kiffin is the new coach. He’s a humble sort of fellow. His humility will be tested. He’ll finish 4-8, one game worse than in the record that season saw Phillip Fulmer shoved out the door. But UT will win on Signing Day, which is all that counts. Regular season: 4-8, losses to UCLA, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

SEC West

1. LSU: The best hire by any SEC school over the offseason — better than Chizik, better even than Kiffin — was the Tigers nabbing defensive coordinator John Chavis, who kept Tennessee afloat the past decade. He’ll put things right posthaste. Regular season: 11-1, loss to Florida. SEC title game: Loses to Florida. Capital One Bowl: Beats Penn State.

2. Alabama: The Tide got a bit ahead of itself last season by rising to No. 1 in the land, but it’ll be in the top five when LSU arrives in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 7. Then it’ll drop out. But there’s a national title coming soon. Regular season: 11-1, loss to LSU. Sugar Bowl: Loses to Oklahoma.

Which of Bradley's predictions is the least inspired?

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3. Arkansas: Hate him all you want, but Bobby Petrino can coach. And here’s where he gets it rolling and becomes the toast of the Ozarks. Then, being Bobby Petrino, he’ll leave to coach the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Regular season: 8-4, losses to Georgia, Alabama, Florida and LSU. Cotton Bowl: Beats Oklahoma State.

4. Ole Miss: The chic pick to win the West, but it won’t happen. The schedule sets up nicely — both LSU and Alabama come to Oxford — but the team isn’t quite that good. A Sept. 24 upset loss in Columbia will grease the chute. Regular season: 8-4, losses to South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas and LSU. Chick-fil-A Bowl: Loses to Virginia Tech.

5. Auburn: Gene Chizik is the new Tiger coach, and I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Gene Chizik?” But give G-Chiz this: Alongside Lane Kiffin, he looks like Lombardi. And he does have that limo thing going for him. Regular season: 6-6, losses to Tennessee, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama. Independence Bowl: Loses to Missouri.

6. Mississippi State: Dan Mullen has a great pedigree, having coached alongside Urban Meyer. Dan Mullen now has a great impediment — he’s coaching the other Bulldogs. He seems a good hire. Then again, so did Sylvester Croom. Regular season: 4-8, losses to Auburn, LSU, Georgia Tech, Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss.

And now a word from Verne Lundquist: Actually, it’s still me. Due to my periodic bout of temporary insanity, I did not, in the first take of this post, have a winner in the Georgia-Arkansas, Tennessee-Florida or Tennessee-Auburn games. Actually, I had them in my mind, but I neglected to make them show up above. They’re here now — Georgia over Arkansas, which finishes 8-4; Florida over Tennessee, which finishes 4-8 and finishes sixth in the East, and Tennessee over Auburn, which finishes 6-6 but is still bowl-eligible.

Thanks to all those who pointed out the omissions/errors. I’m in your debt. And I am sorry. There’s no excuse for sloppiness. Except the usual one: That I’m a big fat idiot.

330 comments Add your comment

DawgFan

August 19th, 2009
9:12 am

It’ll be fun to hear the LSU fans ranting and raving that ‘Bama gets into the Sugar Bowl and LSU goes to the Capital One Bowl, even though LSU will play for the SEC Championship.

Brian

August 19th, 2009
9:13 am

Uga and Arkansas can’t both win. I don’t love you anymore

mark

August 19th, 2009
9:14 am

You have 7 loses for Tenn but Florida is not listed as one of them.

Herschel Walker

August 19th, 2009
9:17 am

Georgia will definitely lose its 2nd in a row to Georgia Tech. Definitely. And I still can’t read. Thanks for nothing Jan Kemp.

JC

August 19th, 2009
9:20 am

So Tennessee beats Florida? Or 4-8 ?

Tech Blech

August 19th, 2009
9:26 am

Good point, Brian. I think that maybe MB should step back and give this one another run.

honest_abe

August 19th, 2009
9:26 am

looks like brad did his readin an ritin but skipped out on rithmetic…….

Tebow is a Fraud

August 19th, 2009
9:28 am

Mark,

Its going to be tough for UT to win 5 games when you haven’t accounted for their loss to Florida.

Chamblee Dawg

August 19th, 2009
9:28 am

uh-oh Bradley…. you chastised SI the other day for picking UGA and Ok St to both win their game, and then you go and make the same error w/ UGA and ARK. admit it, you just like Petrino

ashley shaffer

August 19th, 2009
9:29 am

Correction: UGA and Arkansas cannot both win their 9/19 game.

MIke

August 19th, 2009
9:29 am

I would not quit your day job with some of these predictions! Auburn going 7-5? UK beating TN? Ole Miss losing to USCe? I would love to know what stuff you are on when making these predictions. Perhaps you should stick to covering high school sports?

Mark Bradley - get some sleep...

August 19th, 2009
9:29 am

…2 of the first 3 posters ask about glaring errors in your predictions – but thanks for trying.

Andy

August 19th, 2009
9:31 am

Mark, so Fla. has somehow disappeared from Tenn’s schedule?

Joey

August 19th, 2009
9:31 am

Alabama has a national championship coming soon? If they couldn’t get it done last year with that offensive line, defense, and senior quarterback, I sure don’t see a title coming soon…

Phoque Tech

August 19th, 2009
9:33 am

You’re full of ca-ca, as usual, Bradley.

Michael

August 19th, 2009
9:36 am

Come on Mark, two days ago you rip SI for missing obvious errors in their predictions, and then you post this tripe that full of glaring errors and omissions.

Here’s a tip for all of you pundits that like to put out predictions. Try actually getting out everybody’s schedules, looking at them, and then making predictions. And as you go along, make sure you cross reference the opponents schedules and marking them oppositely. Otherwise, you just make yourselves look dumb, and everybody that reads your predictions (rightfully) discounts everything you said.

[...] Mark Bradley of the AJC picks every SEC game, one or two correctly (his words). [...]

gavol

August 19th, 2009
9:41 am

So is Tennessee beating UF and Auburn? You have UF as undefeated and dont show Auburn as losing to Tenn. Might want to scrap this and redo it.

Otto

August 19th, 2009
9:43 am

LSU winning the West? They most of the DL and need to replace some in the secondary. The QB has one good game against an ACC defense. I don’t see it. I think they fight with Arkansas and Auburn for 3rd in the West.

Arknasas will be improved but the schedule is brutal. IMO they drop a game or 2 they shouldn’t due to schedule. Ole Miss and maybe Auburn beat Arkansas. Ark has Auburn and Florida before Ole Miss. Ole Miss has S. Car and Vandy. I hope Ark. has depth, they’ll need it.

Vandy beats Miss. St and goes to a bowl again.

Auburn is due for an upset against UGA and Auburn reminds me of UGA ‘06. If Auburn comes on late the UGA game will be interesting. Keep in mind the visiting team has better chances at the upset in the AU/UGA game.

Paul H

August 19th, 2009
9:44 am

I bet Tech is glad they play Miss State instead of LSU again. Of course, Tech fans don’t seem to be bothered that their last game was a 38-3 loss in their own back yard.

PMC

August 19th, 2009
9:52 am

Wow, you think Michigan is going to make the Outback Bowl…..

CARTERSVILLE DAWG

August 19th, 2009
9:52 am

Mark Bradley… you are a MORON!!!!!!!

Sandy Springs 6 Pack

August 19th, 2009
9:52 am

Forecating? Thanks AJC headline righter, er writer.

JB

August 19th, 2009
9:53 am

Dawgs 9 -3 We beat okie st……They could not stop georgia’s scout team…….we run the ball and eat clock up while their offense get’s sores on butt’s sitting on the bench watching. BOOK IT !

Ken

August 19th, 2009
9:54 am

Dear Mark

In my opinion your a terrible sports writer. Have a nice day.

Ken

Bama Aaron

August 19th, 2009
9:57 am

I think Mark was still half aleep writing this. I see quite a few errors. Chief among them picking LSU to beat Bama..in Tuscsloosa. Not happening as LSU won’t score enough against the Tide defense. This Tide will take another series run at the National title. If they don’t get it this year, they will next year.

PMC

August 19th, 2009
9:57 am

I wouldn’t say Bobby Petrino is a good coach… he barely communicates, he’s a jerk and he’s about as trustworthy as Benidict Arnold…but

He’s an elite playcaller he’s got a great system and he recruits well for some reason… and His Brother is an excellent WR’s coach

Mr. A

August 19th, 2009
9:57 am

Mark…. How can you put this article out with so many mistakes? Wow!

knoxdawg

August 19th, 2009
10:00 am

Georgia will go 10 – 2 w/ losses to Arkansas and Tenn. A win in either one propels them to 11-1. They will play Alabama for the SEC championship. The black jerseys will prevail. Florida does not win the SEC nor the NC. Georgia does not lose to Tech. Florida looses to LSU and Georgia. You may think I am crazy but you heard it here first.

atlantadave

August 19th, 2009
10:01 am

This article makes no sense. It’s clear that you don’t do your homework Bradley. Many of the W/L’s don’t match up. Once again you’ve proven that you are truely lazy when it comes to writing your blog and reserching the information that goes in them.Please leave college football reporting to writers that really follow and know the game…. do us a favor and go start covering NBA womens basketball.

big dawg

August 19th, 2009
10:02 am

bradley, ur a dumbass.. i guess tennessee is beating uf

ugggh!

August 19th, 2009
10:02 am

note to readers… if bradley doesn’t write something that would upset UGA fans no one would read this.. So laugh at his lack of knowledge and move on to see the other great journalism on display in this one paper town.. Rodney Ho’s 411 on the House trash of Atlanta. Journalism is dead!

AJGREENFAN

August 19th, 2009
10:02 am

Mark,

you have UGA at 4 losses: to OK ST, LSU, FLA, and Tech. Yet you have ARK with 3 losses: to BAMA, FLA, and LSU. How do you reconcile that since UGA vs ARK on September in the Ozark Mountains?

GulagCarpaccio

August 19th, 2009
10:03 am

Based on the latest online college rankings for academic achievement, UGA is ranked 12 places below Kennesaw State nationwide. Georgia Tech was the only state school to make it to the top 10 nationally. I guess UGA better make their mark in football!!

JB

August 19th, 2009
10:05 am

5 who the ACC will miss……..uhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
er…..uhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
uh…er….uhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..I’ll get back to you !

gbal

August 19th, 2009
10:05 am

MB

You don’t have anyone loosing the Arkansas UGA game????

SimpleDawg

August 19th, 2009
10:05 am

Someone should proof read the AJC’s articles before they’re put out for public consumption and ridicule…..and I’m even referring to the content, which is also inferior.

haney

August 19th, 2009
10:05 am

As others have said, not sure how Arky and UGA can both win that game in Fayetteville. I think it is stupid to make predictions like this but I guess if you are bored, it gives you something to do. As a UGA alum, I think the key to our season is the first game-if we can somehow when that game, I can see us winning 10 games. If we lose that one, I can see us losing 4-5 games. The first month of the schedule is brutal with decent to good teams and a lot of long travel dates-Okie State and Arky-wow. But, if we can go 3-1 or 4-0 to start the season, WATCH OUT.

jp

August 19th, 2009
10:06 am

mark has to be the worst at predicting outcomes. It’s probably because of his knowledge of sports or his lack of intelligence.

G2Rhett (Colorado Springs)

August 19th, 2009
10:06 am

Is a victory over Florida and a national championship in the cards for the ‘09 Dogs?

Currently, the Southeastern Conference (SEC), in my opinion, is the greatest football conference in the nation. That being said, I know that making it through an entire season with an unblemished record is highly unlikely in the SEC, if not impossible! I’m also well aware that our ‘09 non-conference opponents are very good teams (with the exception of Tennessee Tech). Believe me, I’m a realistic individual and a student of the game. And if I were a betting man, I would put all my money on the Gators to beat Georgia this year. However, the reason that I’m not a betting man is that I might possibly lose all my money if I did something that stupid. Because the truth is (under Coach Richt), Georgia is as well coached and is as talented as the Gators. Prior to last year’s lopsided 49-10 loss to Florida, Coach Richt and his Dogs’ previous five losses were by a combined average of seven points. Georgia lost by 14 in ‘01, by 7 in ‘02, by 3 in ‘03, by 4 in ‘05, and by 7 in ‘06. Granted losses are losses, but my point is that if the Dogs had just one more turnover, one more call go their way, or had one more score in any of those games; we’d be singing the praises of Coach Richt and would have likely already celebrated a national championship in 2002.

Anyway, Georgia very well could beat Florida and if the cards fall just right they could find themselves in the national title game in Pasadena at seasons end. After all, to quote Coach Richt, “When you bang around at the top, you eventually get to the top.”

By the way, if Georgia does beat Florida this year, the series will be tied 3-3 since 2004.

DawginLex

August 19th, 2009
10:06 am

Switch UGA and Arkiesaw and add one or two more “W”’s to UGA and you will have it right.

SC loses its first 2 and finishes 7-5? NOPE 5-7 and the ole obnoxious one goes golfing permanently. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. 2009 is going to be a special year for ole stevie.

1.) Starts out the year being the only coach to not place TT on the 1st team all SEC team. no problem except for the fact that ole stevie went to school there!!!
2.) Gets blitzkrieged at NCSU on national TV.
3.) Gets shutout for the 2nd time in 4 years against UGA in another televised embarrassment.
4.) Struggles to beat Florida Atlantic
5.) Loses to UK for the first time ever.
6.) Gives up 6 TD’s to TT and fires the guy who filled out the all SEC ballot incorrectly.
7.) Resigns after going 4-8 as the SC students hurl insults his way outside as he walks away.

He then realizes that KARMA is something else and vows never to treat people badly ever again. Just so some good can come from it.

Ed

August 19th, 2009
10:07 am

Mark, you really mailed it in with this blog. Pitiful.

GeoffDawg

August 19th, 2009
10:08 am

You don’t have the SEC doing too terribly well during bowl season which is a bit against the trend. Also, what do they toast with in the Ozarks? Corn whiskey? Champagne from a box?

DawginLex

August 19th, 2009
10:08 am

Sorry, SC goes 5-7, not 4-8.

BenDawg88

August 19th, 2009
10:09 am

Does Tennessee not play Florida or something? Because that would be an eigth loss, right? Georgia is definitely going at least 10-2 beating both Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech, and probably LSU too.

G2Rhett (Colorado Springs)

August 19th, 2009
10:10 am

Georgia Beats Oklahoma State!

Zach Robinson, Dez Bryant, and Kendall Hunter are great ball players, but this game will be decided in the trenches and on the defensive side of the ball. In the aforementioned areas, Georgia has the advantage. Prediction: UGA 30 OSU 20

I’m excited about this year’s group of Bulldogs and can’t wait to see how they perform on the field. I truly believe they’re going to surprise a lot of people this season. This team is stacked and no one in the nation knows yet that Coach Richt is sitting on a virtual gold mine of talent. However, after his Dogs destroy Oklahoma State in Stillwater, the cat (or the DAWG) will be out of the bag!

mc

August 19th, 2009
10:10 am

When will you and others realize that Spurrier is not going anywhere after this year nor the next nor the next. It seems it makes you and others feel good about themselves predicting Spurrier will step down after this season….you do this every year!

Are you pissed that Spurrier would NEVER consider going to Kentucky…..really?! Do your research Bradley before you print/predict….or resign yourself!

Fletch

August 19th, 2009
10:11 am

Mark, I’m guessing you didn’t have anyone proof read this for you…so the UGA-AR game will be won by both teams?

RobertNAtl

August 19th, 2009
10:12 am

Tennessee is not going to be swept by SC, Ky., and Vandy, let alone UCLA. You are letting your distaste for Kiffin affect your independent judgment.

WH

August 19th, 2009
10:13 am

Hope you will apologize to Gene Chizik in print after AU surprises and wins 8/9 games