Sunday, August 18, 2013

Crystal Football...(part two)

With the national prognostications out of the way, let's look at the SEC predictions.

Coach most likely to get canned
Last season showed to be quite bloody for SEC coaches, and we covered Pinkel yesterday. Beyond an epically catastrophic collapse by LSU, Georgia or Florida (or Les Miles recreating Petrino's Opus), the only other coach with pink slip potential would be Dan Mullen. He's followed up a very respectable 9-4 season in year two of his tenure with 7-6 and 8-5. He's 13-19 overall in the SEC. All that adds up to being best remembered as the guy that didn't counter-offer on Cam Newton.

This season opens up with a neutral site game in Houston against Oklahoma State. The Bulldogs get South Carolina and Kentucky from the East. Split that in half and then muddle through the SEC West slate and it still looks like a 6-6 season to me. So long Mullen.

Heisman contenders
Even though Johnny Shitball has removed himself from the running, there are plenty of legitimate names in the conference that could not only get the invite but also take home the hardware.

First off, let's also remove Jadeveon Clowney from the discussion. That's just not happening unless the OBC puts his star in at quarterback and let's him return punts. So, that leaves us with four names from last year's SECCG: AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray, TJ Yeldon and Todd Gurley. Were it not for the loss to A&M last season McCarron would already have one. Murray will have to have great performances in the first two weeks and then hold serve the rest of the way. In all honesty, Gurley might be the SEC frontrunner except that the two quarterbacks are seniors. We'll know a lot more after South Carolina leaves town.

Biggest fall from grace
Florida. They're over-ranked. There's no way they can live up to the billing. Driskel will wilt like a little daisy and their defense isn't nearly enough to carry them. Tennessee will threate them. Missouri will beat them. And Georgia Southern will lead in the fourth quarter.

Bad season for the weird clappers of Ben Hill Griffin.

Up and comer
Auburn...not! Kentucky...not!

There'll be plenty of eyes on Ole Miss to see if they can surprise some people. There's no doubt they'll play the young kids along side the experienced players that went 7-6. The true test will be if they can beat Texas and then Texas A&M. If they can do that then maybe there's a chance they can compete with the LSUs and Alabamas next season.

And in the East there's always Vanderbilt....

Biggest game
If I were to answer this personally and honestly I would say the UGA-Sakerlina game in the second week. But these things tend to escalate into something big late in the season. The WLOCP could be it except that the gators will suck. So I'm going with the Saban double down - LSU at Alabama on November 9th. Both teams are good enouhg to be either undefeated or just have one loss between them. This game will likely be a play in game for the SECCG.

What'd I miss?