Dedicated to my favorite SEC Fan…. For you Terre
SEC Media Days are completed. Four days of 14 coaches speaking and answering questions, but not saying much at all.
I thought it might be fun to give a quick general impression on each team. I will begin examining personnel and looking carefully at schedules this week. I plan to have a number of weekly features here on the blog and broadcast programs posted here and on I-Tunes throughout the season.
Alabama- Tide fans are in denial over QB vacuum.as great as recruiting always is, bare signal caller cupboard is puzzling. Backs and Receives are a dazzling group. Defensive breakdowns in last two games and departures if Moseley and Dix raises questions. Schedule softer than 2-ply Charmin.
Auburn- Queen once sang, Is this the real life, or just a fantasy? I’m still wondering about Auburn 2013. One thing is clearly real, Gus Malzaun was like a Grand Wizard, set ticking all the right chords on a miraculous run. Over achieving defense finally came home to roost in title game. Loss of key players and handling hunted status this year will be interesting.
LSU- you can’t argue with success, but I still am firmly in the camp that believes Les Miles has screws loose under that oversized cap. The Bayou Bengals never have a shortage of athletes but there always seem to be questions. Quarterback and scheme comes to mind this year.
Texas A & M- the year in a College Station is 1AJF (After Johnny Football) in 2013 it was the defense that played like tissue paper. Sum lim is a very capable young coach but it’s going to be a long year if they can’t stop anyone again.
Ole Miss- okay, I’ll say it, with all the hype last year. Ole Miss, for the most part, looked and played like, well, Ole Miss. Offensively inconsistent all year and young defensively, the anticipated progress was sporadic. Talent is there but it’s time to shine. Things could get chilly with Hugh Freeze in Oxford if nine or ten wins don’t happen.
Mississippi State- in 2012, Coach Dan Mullen saw his team start fast and fall apart. In 2013, the Bullies were woeful at times early but finished with promising efforts in winning three straight. Quarterback issues here as well. Some suggest, a sleeper team in Starkville, I’m not do sure.
Arkansas- Brent Bielema found out last year that the grass in the Qzarks wasn’t necessarily greener than the pastures in America’s Dairyland. The Hogs he inherited were a mess, in 2013 there was not enough success to change the situation. The fallout from Petrinogate resonates still. The Pigs have some pieces but more slaughter will ensue. Real progress is at least a tear away.
South Carolina- Coach Superior has things lined up for an east division run. Plenty of talent returns and schedule tilts to favorable. Cocks must avoid seemingly annual inexplicable loss. Last year it was at horrid Tennessee. Neither side of the ball is tremendously talented but this will be a very solid team.
Georgia- Preseason last year, several people tried to tell mr the Dawg defense would be solid. By seasons end, they were proven 7/11 correct. The front seven, most who return, blossomed. The secondary played all year like bound, blindfolded hostages. When Tech coach Paul Johnson, the games anti passing icon and ground game guru, fills the air with footballs, it is the ultimate indictment. Georgia’s early season array of offensive talent with a senior QB, was the best unit in the nation and greatest they had ever assembled. Injuries came in drives to almost every skill player. Plenty in the stable for this season but how it plays out for this soap opera program is anybody’s guess.
Missouri- who were those guys? Tigers 2013 run was impossible to forecast. It all just fell in place for Coach Gary Pinkel. A ferocious pass rush concealed a shaky secondary. Veteran offensive players executed brilliantly. Giant, skilled receivers caused matchup nightmares for puny conference corners. The black and gold will find things tour this year. Their lackluster debut in the SEC in 2012 led to them being overlooked last year. Not anymore,
Florida- the only chomping last year in Gainesville was Gator fans swallowing antacids. The 2013 edition of Florida football was a sad display that dunk steadily into the swamp. A team puzzlingly short of impact offensive skill players worsened that void by seemingly having no scheme or identity. When QB Driscoll went down it was game, set and match. A gritty defense should have sued for non support. Coach Muschamp is in a nuclear hot seat with the conferences most mysterious team heading into the season.
Tennessee- in a conference with tick star coaches, Butch Jones is like a character actor who took a role that couldn’t be cast. Here us the startling facts. Last year, the Vols were loaded with seniors and they were just lousy. This proud program is a long way from being back. Sorry Big Orange more of the same in 2014. Rocky Top will once again be home of Mediocrity.
Vanderbilt- farewell best coach the school ever had. Goodbye progress, hello downfall. Scrappy Dores will be hard pressed to improve on last seasons. Franklin succeeded in making his team play with attitude. They just don’t have the horses or depth. Sour notes in the music city this fall.
Kentucky- if John Calipari loans Coach Stoops the Harrison twins, the Cats might be better. The problem is the same as always, not enough players and no depth. The defense showed some flashes of promise but this team always struggles to move the football and scorer. The Cats are forever toothless. Hoops and Horses rule in Bluegrass country. The forecast for this year is slight improvement but usual results.
Next week….. SCHEDULE Analysis