Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A little bit of everything

Fox Sports has 20 burning questions about the 2008 college football season, including a few involving the SEC.

#5- Which teams will be the most disappointing?
Alabama- not quite there yet, but the fans are getting impatient. It takes time to build a great team.
I can’t imagine this will be the case anywhere outside of Tuscaloosa. I know the Tide won the recruiting national championship (and have the shirts to prove it), but few outside the Tide Nation really expect a whole lot out of that team this year. They’re certainly headed in the right direction under Saban, but they finished 7-6 and won the Indy Bowl last year. What expectations do they have that they’ll be so disappointed this year?

#6- Which BCS teams will be the sleepers this year?
SEC- Mississippi State
I think the Bulldogs will be closer to disappointing than the Tide will be. MSU is coming off an 8-win season and a bowl win. Seeing as how they were (quite possibly) the worst 8-win SEC team in history last season, their luck will most likely run out this season. Their abysmal offense was just that in their 6-0 (in OT) spring game. They get Vandy and Kentucky at home in conference, but no way they approach last year’s success.
8- Which BCS conference will prove to be the strongest?
yada...yada...yada...But this year looks like it will be the year of the Big 12.
The SEC will drop off a little bit this year. Kentucky doesn't have 'Dre, Tenn. doesn't have Ainge, Vandy is Vandy, Mississippi State is very mediocre, Mississippi and Arkansas have new coaches, Alabama has had strong recruiting classes, but still isn't there yet and South Carolina has so many question marks, you pretty much have to peg them as a .500 team. Auburn, Florida, Georgia and LSU are the big dawgs. The rest are puppies.
She’s right and wrong here. I’ll give her that Kentucky will be worse this year, MSU is mediocre and that Vandy is Vandy. I think the Hogs will struggle this year rebuilding under Petrino. But that’s where our agreement stops. Why is Tennessee disqualified because Ainge is gone? No way they win the East again this year, but the Vols are hardly a “puppy” as she claims.

Alabama will most likely improve over last season and they suffered a few painfully close losses. Ole Miss has a chance to be one of the most improved teams in the country under Houston Nutt. South Carolina was one of the top teams in the country before they suffered a collapse for the record books.

Sure, the SEC will be weaker than last year. Kentucky and Mississippi State won’t make bowl games this year after notching bowl wins last year, but Ole Miss and South Carolina could replace them if the cards fall right. I don’t think the SEC is ready to pass that torch off just yet..
12- Which new first year coach will have the most success?
You have to go with Bobby Petrino. …if the Hogs come out of this season with a winning record, then that will have been a huge success.
I guess that depends on your definition of the word success. If Petrino guides Arkansas to a 7-5 record and Houston Nutt does the same thing for Ole Miss, who’s had more success? My guess is that – at season’s end - Rebel fans are happier with Nutt than Hog fans are with Petrino.

20- Who will win the Heisman?
Tim Tebow of Florida is the obvious front-runner. But there are some others who will make a strong case; RB Noel Devine of West Virginia, QB Pat White of West Virginia, QB Chase Daniel of Mizzou, RB Beanie Wells of OSU, QB Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, RB Knowshon Moreno of Georgia, WR Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech, U Jeremy Maclin of Mizzou, QB Max Hall of BYU, and RB Joe McKnight of USC. Sleepers: PJ Hill of Wisconsin, WR/RB Percy Harvin of Florida and QB Colt McCoy of Texas.
My three way-too-early early picks are Knowshon Moreno (Georgia), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) and Chase Daniel (Mizzou)
Of course Tebow is the frontrunner. How could he not be with a collection of YouTube videos like he has?

As usual it’s a wide open race. Look for tOSU’s Chris Wells to get a lot of pub down the stretch as the Buckeyes roll through the directional school equivalents in the Big10+1. You can count on Homer Herbie to begin the season long fawning in July or August, whenever he and Corso start getting their worthless mugs on TV on a daily basis.

19- Can LSU repeat?
Heck yeah! A few things have to happen, but the odds are good they can repeat. If Miles can get his QB situation under control, then this could be a special year for the Tigers. Their schedule is what dreams are made of. They play eight games at home, and four on the road, including at Auburn, at Florida and at Arkansas to close out their campaign. If they don't slip up at South Carolina and beat Georgia in Death Valley, they have a solid shot at being undefeated. The Georgia game is the big question mark in terms of them being undefeated, but they can still win the division crown since Georgia is in the SEC East, and LSU is in the West. Playing in any BCS bowl is not an unrealistic expectation for the defending champs, and neither is getting to the Big Dance.
The Tigers certainly have as good a shot as anyone. Their non-conference schedule is a joke, so no worries there. No way they survive undefeated, but if they have just 1 loss and win the SEC Championship Game, no way they don’t deserve a hot to defend their title. Of course, that’ll all depend on QB play and whether or not Perilloux is even on the team this August...

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