In advance of the SEC’s Media Days, I offer a refresher. Faithful readers will have seen this already, but you latecomers (or vacation-goers who happened to miss it) should be aware: This is how I envision the conference in 2011.
A couple of caveats: I think Georgia and South Carolina will both finish 10-2, but the Bulldogs will win the division on the basis of beating the Gamecocks in Athens on Sept. 10. I also think the rest of the assembled media in Hoover, Ala., will see it somewhat differently. Here’s my guess — it’s a prediction of a prediction, a first even for me — of how the official SEC preseason poll will look:
A couple more notes: I struggled — not mightily, but slightly — with my estimation of how the media will see Georgia and Florida. The temptation was to surmise that the folks who cover the league will have realized that Florida owns Georgia and slot the Gators a notch above the Bulldogs. But then I thought, “There’s a pretty good buzz around UGA, and I don’t detect one for the Reptiles.”
(For the record, I did pick Florida to beat Georgia in Jacksonville. I try to keep abreast of trends.)
Also: LSU finishing ahead of Alabama is going to be a minority opinion. The two play in Tuscaloosa, which could be the tipping point, and a lot of learned observers have greater faith in the Alabama coach than in LSU’s. (Me, I’ve again learned to like Les Miles, but that’s just me.)
And that’s it for this time. We’ll know a bit more — about how the winds are blowing, if not what’s actually going to transpire — later in the week. Stay tuned, won’t you?
By Mark Bradley