Two Dave's Pick The SEC
Welcome to Two Dave's Pick the SEC! September 3rd isn't too far off, and
that will bring the topic of football back to rsfc. During the
off-season, This Week In The SEC, featuring Mark Mitchell and J.J. Clyde
joined us in what will prove to be the most thorough weekly analysis of
SEC games. I could stop here to brag that *I* had the best record last year
in picking SEC games, but I won't. I'd also like to throw in a special
thanks to our Editor Wade Moricle, who fished out more typos than you
would care to read.
In addition, the Guest Dave tradition continues. This years Guest Dave
3 Tony DeMatio - email@example.com
17 Bill Wagnon - firstname.lastname@example.org
24 Fishin Buddy - email@example.com
1 James Carson - firstname.lastname@example.org
8 Jim Thomas - email@example.com
15 Phil Abashain - pa160578.utkvm1.edu
22 Mike Dahmus - firstname.lastname@example.org
29 Andy Frakes - email@example.com
5 Phil Harbison - firstname.lastname@example.org
12 Jeff Paddock - email@example.com
19 Brent Peacock - firstname.lastname@example.org
26 Jason Whitt - email@example.com
3 SECC - 1 rep from each team in the game.
John Midtgard - firstname.lastname@example.org
That Globe-Trotting Master Of Football Prognostication, David Magee,
recently reminded me that it was time for me to get off my...well, get off
my couch (yeah, that's the ticket) and come up with my preseason SEC
rankings. Look Dave, everybody *knows* that Alabama and Florida are going
to win the West and East, then Florida is going to cream the Tide in the
SEC Championship Game in the Georgia Dome. Who cares about the rest
of the league? You do? Oh, all right, here goes:
Well, when the two slave drivers told me to come up with an entry in
their "Two Daves, a Mark, and a CA$H C0W Pick the SEC" (TDAMAACCPTSEC),
I basically told them to go piss on a transformer and die. Mr. Swanger
then informed me that they were there to help and that he would dispatch
his cousin Giuseppe to my home to help me "clear my schedule." I now
have loads of time on my hands and Giuseppe has been quite an "asset"
around the house -- and it's amazing how little I really did need those
pesky kneecaps. Giuseppe has even offered to sit over my shoulder and
interactively edit my analysis. (Loser)
[ !!WHACK!! ]
OWWEE. Ugh.....Uh.....as I was saying, I'm glad to be on board.
The Two Daves (and kinfolk) rule supremely. !Viva TDAMAACCPTSEC!!!!
[ will join us later in the month ]
SEC Eastern Division
Who else? Tennessee? Get real. Georgia? They might sneak up on the
lizards this year (although, I doubt it), but one loss won't be enough to
knock the Nimrods out of first place in the SEC East. Who else does
Florida play? Auburn and FSU could be trouble. Then there are LSU,
Kentucky, Vandy, New Mexico State - Geez, this schedule is nearly as wussy
as Auburn's (I said NEARLY, John).
Steve "Visor-Boy" Spurrier has more offensive talent on his team than any
team this side of, well, Tallahassee. His problem has traditionally been
forgetting to work on defense until halftime of the 3rd or 4th game. Not
this year, he claims. New defensive coach Bobby Pruett (from Tulane ...
TULANE?) is supposed to take of all that. Maybe, maybe not. We'll have to
Still, when you average 100 points a game, you're going to win most of
your games anyway. Last year the reptiles were 11-2 (with losses the
Auburn and FSU) and demolished "We're Number #1" West Virginia 41-7 in the
Sugar Bowl. This year should be at least as good. Barring injuries,
they'll suffer at most one regular season loss and then cruise by Bama in
the SEC Championship game in Hotlanta. If they manage to draw Notre Dame
or Miami in the Sugar Bowl, they should win in a close game. 12-1,
possibly 13-0 post-bowl record. Since Magee and Clydesdale are forcing
me to make exact predictions (AND IF MY NUMBERS DON'T MATCH UP, *SORRY*),
I will say:
Lizards 12-1, 8-0 SEC, plus a victory over bama in the SEC
If Florida isn't the #1 team in the country at the end of this season,
they should be pretty darn close to #1.
Florida will win it all this year, go ahead and put it in 3-inch headlines.
What else did you expect me to say? SEC Champ Penn State only shows up
for Bowl Games, but then again, so does Florida. Just ask Don Nehlen.
After blowing New Mexico State clean out of the country to open the
season, this somewhat young but talented team will kick every wimp's butt
on their schedule. Tennessee and Georgia may threaten them, but that's
about it. Terry Dean and Danny Woofer return as the best two QB's in the
East, if not the conference. Jack Jackson and Chris Doering will catch
everything thrown their way, including the SECC rings they'll get after
pummeling Alabama in Atlanta.
Ron Geek? Gook? oh yeah, Zook is out as DC. But a load of talent
returns, including CB Larry Kennedy. The D will be improved over last year.
The kicking game will do well also. The Gators will go 12-1 (8-1) this
The nimrods once again have the offense that everyone is aiming for.
The difference this year? Supposedly, the new look and play of the
lizzard defense. UF switches to their own special version of the 4-3
scheme this year and they think it's the missing piece to the puzzle.
After October 8th, there will be no better description of the nimrod
remnant than "puzzled." Weauxf. Players to watch: QB whomever-is-
deemed-worthy-enough-that-week-by-visorboy; P Shayne Edge.
Sizzling Pigskin Prediction >> 8-3 (6-2)
When UGA coach Ray Goff was playing qb for the dogs back in the 70's, he
looked like a big clumsy bubba out there (not unlike now). He couldn't
really pass, he looked like he was just fooling around. Yet, (here comes
the cliche), he knew how to win. If he was in the game, Georgia had a
good chance to win. I watched him fart around against Auburn back in the
70's. He didn't seem to have much talent, but he didn't make mistakes.
When the game was over, Georgia had beaten the snot out of us (man, what a
mess) and Goff had a hand in most of it. The guy was a winner, pure and
So, why hasn't this winning ability carried over to his coaching? Hell if
I know. When I heard that Georgia had hired him, I was worried, I thought
UGA would be hell-on-wheels. Well, it has not happened yet, despite some
decent games along the way. They have lost a lot of key players to pro
ball. Maybe Goff does too good of a job recruiting.
Last year, Georgia didn't have any running backs after losing Andre
Hastings and Garrison Hearst to the NFL and managed to squeak out a 5-6
season, playing WAY below their potential. If they had had one good
running back (and a better attitude) they could have possibly won every
game they lost.
Will this year be any different? Probably. Zeier will be back. He is a
bona-fide great quarterback. Still, the Dogs have bama, Florida,
Tennessee, and Auburn on their schedule. They should win one or two of
these games, but not all. 7-4, *MAYBE* 8-3 and Goff gets to keep his job.
Anything less and he is gone.
I'm going WAY out on a limb:
"You ain't nothing but a hound" Dawgs: 8-3, 5-3 SEC
Eric Zeier. That's about it, but that's about all they need. If he
doesn't get it done, maybe he'll hire Ray Goff as his agent, because Goff
will be canned (or caned, you take the pick). 7-4 (4-4) is about as good as
this team will get.
Zeier this, Zeier that. All it got the Dogs last year was 5-6 and
Christmas with the family. Goff's big play in the offseason was to pull
in Marion Campbell as the new DC. UGA was an atrocious 11th in total
defense last year. If Marion makes any progress, and if a decent RB
steps up, UGA should have a good year, including a win over at least one
of three tough road games (fu, bama, auburn). Players to watch: LB
Randall Godfrey; QB Eric Zeyarlathotep.
Sizzling Pigskin Prediction >> 7-4 (6-2)
I like Bill Curry, I really do, and I can understand him bolting from
Alabama like he did (despite comments to the contrary, he was treated
rather poorly for a coach that had a 10-2 season and a chance at the MNC
in the Sugar Bowl). But to Kentucky? What in the hell was he thinking?
Last year, the Mildcats had a 6-6 record and managed a trip to the Peach
Bowl where they lost 14-13 to Clemson. This was quite frankly better than
I expected. They were a few seconds away from beating Florida. Has Curry
turned the corner at Kentucky? Maybe. More likely, they are stuck on the
corner. Qb Pookie Jones has left the team to play pro baseball. Still,
there a few good players hanging around.
Obstacles: Tennessee, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Miss St, Louisville,
Hell, I don't know, probably 6-5, maybe 5-6. Heck, it could be 4-7.
Nahh, I'll be real optimistic and say 6-5 (3-5 SEC). I wouldn't mind
if they did even better, like I said, I like Bill Curry...but
OH NOOOOOO!!! No more Pookie!! But, I assure you that UK will still pull
some magic this year. I like Bill Curry more than any other coach in the
East, and most of the West. I wish his Cats were ready for the SECC so
he could humiliate Alabama, but they aren't quite there yet. Moe
Williamson will run wild, but that's about it. 5-6 or 6-5, that is the
question. I'll try 5-6 (3-5).
The mildcats could show themselves to be real after last year's bowl
season. Nahhh. Forget it. Although Mike Archer is making some very
real strides as defensive coordinator (which is where he should have
stayed all along at LSU I mean face it the guy is a looooser when it
comes to *head* coaching ability I mean he has *no* personality, *no*
recruiting ability, *no* knowledge of offense, and absolutely *no*
leadership qualities I mean the guy is an A-1 gimp but I digress...)
... expect Curry to continue screwing around with the offense just
enough to salvage a sub .500 year. Players to watch: RB Moe Williams;
DL Howard hi-C Carter; Pookie Jones (in the farm leagues).
Sizzling Pigskin Prediction >> 5-6 (3-5)
Head Coach Sparky Woods has been replaced by Brad Scott. The Hippie
(Steve Tanneyhill) will be back and he has a haircut. He won't be enough.
Tennessee, Florida, Miss St, Georgia, Arkansas, Heck, maybe even lowly LSU
will be too much for the cocks.
5-6, maybe 4-7.
4-7, 2-6 SEC
The Hippi meets a QB oriented Head Coach. Brandon Bennett meets a lot of
would-be tacklers. The run sets up the pass, and the pass sets up the
run. If these two work out USC could be bowl bound. After an up and
down season, I expect USC to pull ahead and fast. Look for the Gamecocks
to go 6-5 or maybe even 7-4. Best bet 6-5 (3-5).
Brad Scott, FSU's offensive coordinator, finds himself being the big cheese
in Columbia this year. What that means, I haven't a clue. Look for the
offense to be slightly less predictable this year. Also look for Steve
hippie-turned-buzzcut Taneyhill to continue his erratic week to week
performance swings. Da Cocks could easily win 7 or 8 games, but I think
they're more likely to lose 4 or 5 close ones. Players to watch: QB
Taneyhippie; DB Tony Watkins.
Sizzling Pigskin Prediction >> 5-6 (3-5)
Beat Vandy, beat Kentucky, beat South Carolina. Yawn. Play Florida.
Lose. Ditto to Alabama (ok, MAYBE they have a chance against the
Tide...nah) Choke in bowl game. Finish with 9-3, 8-4 season. Fans still
claim they're the best team in the country. Repeat next year.
8-3, 6-2 SEC
Yep, you expected to see them as #1. But Heath left without beating
Alabama, and Peyton is just not quite ready for SEC action. Now that you
are let down, I'll tell you that Tennessee will go 8-3 and lose to Penn
State in the IYB. 8-3 (7-1) [1 to you know who].
The Vols have loads of talent flooding into Knoxville but there is no
place to put them. Look for the UT running game to kick back into high
gear this year behind a behemoth offensive line. My sources tell me
Jerry Colquitt is the man to beat out at QB. Believe it. He's not a
Schuler but he'll carry enough of the load (read: hand off left, hand
off right) to allow the defense to shine. THIS IS THE YEAR. UT will beat
Bama in Knoxville. However, even I won't predict it twice in one year.
If they can stave off those lovable Bayou Bengals, Bama will be back in
New Orleans. Players to watch: WR Billy Williams; OL Bubba Miller; any
other Bubbas on the team.
Sizzling Pigskin Prediction >> 9-2 (7-1)
Oh come on. They'll win a few games, they'll lose most of them. DiNardo
will rant and rave that they are almost there, Tennessee will cream them.
Another 4-7 season (1-7 SEC). I am possibly being far too generous.
Bwahhhahahahaahaha. The I-bone, sheesh, time for DiNardo to move on.
The Commodedoors will go 3-8 (0-8).
Highlight of '93: Defense set a school record with 29 sacks. That's
it. Thank you for your time. Players to watch: LB Gerald Collins.
Sizzling Pigskin Prediction >> 3-8 (0-8)
SYNOPSIS OF THE SEC EASTERN DIVISION PREDICTIONS
Swanger Magee Clyde Mitchell
Florida | 12-1(9-0) 12-1(8-1) 8-3(6-2)
Georgia | 8-3(5-3) 7-4(4-4) 7-4(6-2)
Kentucky | 6-5(3-5) 5-6(3-5) 5-6(3-5)
South Carolina | 4-7(2-6) 6-5(3-5) 5-6(3-5)
Tennessee | 8-3(6-2) 8-3(7-1) 9-2(7-1)
Vanderbilt | 4-7(1-7) 3-8(0-8) 3-8(0-8)
SEC Western Division
No anti-woof, just fact. They've got talent, they've got depth and
they've got Homer. They do have a decent schedule for a change and there
will be several chances for the Tide to slip up. The team with the best
chance at beating the Tide will be Tennessee (don't bet the farm); Auburn
and Miss St. should have decent chances against bama, but had better score
some points early before the Tide's superior depth wears them down.
Finally, if Georgia has a running game this fall, Zeier and the Dogs could
sneak up on bama. Bama's biggest obstacle could be "Mean" Gene Stallings'
refusal to allow Homer Smith to completely run the Crimson offense. HEY
GENE, BACK OFF AND GIVE THE MAN ROOM TO WORK! (what am I saying? I mean,
hey Gene, don't let some outsider come in and take over the offense, make
him pay his dues for a few years...)
Still, from here, the Tide looks like the team to beat in the West. Their
regular season record should be 11-0 or 10-1, 9-2 at the very worst,
almost certainly sending them to the SEC Tourney for the 3rd year in a
row, and a major bowl after that.
Red Sauce Elephants: 10-1, 7-1 SEC (Loser in the SEC Championship Game
Ironic that number 2 shows up here, because he won't show up at
WR,QB,HB,DE, or whatever else Stallings wanted him to play. The rest of
the conference is glad to see him gone. So too are the Birmingham
Police, The Alabama State Police, and the Alabama Department of Health.
Jay Barker is back at QB, coming off of an injury plagued season. Often
Barker proves to be a winner, but this year, things will change. Homer
is bringing change, and even though it is expected to be bring more
passing to Bama, who's left to throw it to? Not only did most of the
offensive line graduate, but most of the defense did too (or signed pro
agent contracts in New Orleans). Michael Proctor is an All-SEC
placekicker. Look for the Tide to go 8-3, thanks mostly to poor SEC
officiating. 8-3 (6-2).
Bama, Schmama, heave yourself [around> a yellow hamma. The Tide will
be high this year! Look for the [the> Big 0 to be back in the Crims0n
with the return of H0mer! D0H! [bowl] Homer will have loads of talent,
yea, too much talent to handle! [and] The first "problem" will be how
to juggle the threesome of studly [down] QBs: Jay "faster than Bob"
Barker, Brian Burgdork, and Freddie [the] Kitchens (a favorite of Tiger
fans). Testicle Tuesdays! This [hole] team is loaded! And they don't
even have The Deuce anymore -- the [roll] epitome of "loaded." Players
to watch: RB Sherman Williams; SS Sam [tide] Shade; PK Michael Proctor.
SPP >> 9-2 (6-2) [roll!]
Danny Ford's Hogmen should be ready to improve on last year's 5-5-1
record. They have two things working against them - their talent and
their schedule. The Razorbacks haven't had a winning season since 1989 and
the trend could continue this year.
Still, Danny is a good coach (despite rumors to the contrary on the
internet) and should have his players ready. Despite a lack of depth,
Arkansas has some decent starters returning from last year's team, a team
that was more aggressive than it had any business being. They came close
to beating Auburn last year, for example, and managed to bump LSU out of
the Carquest Bowl with a late-season victory. They do have several
defensive starters to replace though.
Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Miss St and LSU are on the Hog schedule. That
spells trouble (for the Hogs). 7-4 at the very best, realistically 6-5 or
Pork Chops: 5-6, 3-5 SEC
Whoooo Pig, sooooooie. Whoops, Nolan and his thugs don't participate in
football. Danny Ford and his thugs do. Barry Lunney at QB will be more
impressive this year, along with J.J. Meadors. The OL is questionable
for the Hogs, but give Oscar Malone a chance and he can do some things at RB.
On Defense, there's just not much to get excited about. They'll lose
more games for the Hogs than the lack of "O" will. Special teams will be
just that: special. The Hogs will go 5-6 this year, but don't worry,
Danny's already started stocking up talent and next year the hogs will
make some noise. 5-6 (3-5)
The hogs are all poised to go ripsnortin' wild. Coach Danny "son, if you
were to wake up tomorrow and find a new truck in your driveway, would
you expect it to be a Dodge, Chevy, or a" Ford made steady progress with
last year's marginal talent, and he looks to be going nowhere but up
this year. But don't expect him to reach the moon. Arkansas should
finish over the .500 mark by year's end, but thanks mostly to a putrid
non-conference schedule (SMU,Memphis,Northern Ill). Players to watch:
FB Oscar Gray; WR J.J.Meadors.
SPP >> 6-5 (3-5)
Last year Auburn, led by first-year Head Coach Terry Bowden, was
undefeated and untied and was clearly the top team in the SEC (unless you
count Penn State). However, NCAA probation kept them out of the SEC
championship game for a rematch against Florida (which may have been a
blessing considering the injuries Auburn sustained in the Alabama game).
For the past several months, Auburn fans have been floating on Cloud 9
because of last year's fantasy season, a season where *everything* went
Auburn's way. Well gang, last year's 11-0 season is in Mark Mitchell's
record books. It's nearly time to start over.
Stan White is gone as quarterback and no one is sure who will take over at
qb this fall (except maybe head coach Terry Bowden). Pat Nix is a fan
favorite because of his famous 4th and long TD pass he threw against bama
last year. However, he looked somewhat ineffective (to put it kindly) in
last Spring's A-Day game. Redshirt Freshman Dameyune Craig has tremendous
talent but has little experience, plus he had a case of fumble-itis in the
Spring game. He did make several beautiful plays. Bringing up the rear
is Patrick Sullivan, who always looks good to me when they play him, but
he hasn't played all that much.
Also gone is all-universe place kicker Scott Etheridge. Matt Hawkins
kicked in the spring game; he was supposed to be perfect in practice. He
missed a few chip shots in the game. Several players are gone due to
grades and the police blotter. Calvin Jackson flunked out of school, but
defensive back Fred Smith will return to take his place.
Working in Auburn's favor is their stunningly wussy schedule. Teams like
NE Louisiana, East Tenn St, East Carolina and LSU are scheduled (just
kidding JJ). Still, the Tigers have several obstacles. Florida is
clearly the toughest team on Auburn's schedule. They are still smarting
from last year's 38-35 loss to the Tigers. Other teams that could give
Auburn trouble are Georgia, Alabama, Miss State. Heck, even Arkansas and
Ole Miss could be dark-horse trouble. However, Wayne Hall is still in
charge of the AU defense, which counts for a hell of a lot.
Can Auburn go 11-0 again this year? Maybe, but probably not. My guess is
8-3, give or take a few wins. Florida and bama will be hard to beat.
Because of NCAA probation, Auburn will not go to a bowl this year.
8-3, 5-3 SEC
Probation or not, I say the Tigers will roll over almost everyone,
including the Tide this year. No, they won't go undefeated, but they
will indeed have another strong year. The offense will start slowly,
but will progress quickly early in the season. Frank Sanders will be
almost unstoppable, but the Tigers don't have a returning QB with any
significant playing time. Pat Nix, Dameyune Craig, and Pat Sullivan
Jr., will all see playing time this year, with Craig likely getting
the final few starts. Losing Calvin Jackson to grades hurts bad, but 9
other starters returning on defense will help. Placekicking may be a
problem with the loss of Scott Etheridge, but Terry "Helium" Daniel will
lead the nation in punting this year. Look for the Tigers to go 9-2.
Look for everyone else to "want to" be the first team to beat Bowden in
Div 1A. 9-2 (6-2).
P is for the Problems that ensnare us,
R is for us Ramsey-paying crooks;
O is for them Overeager
A is for the asterisks in our books;
T is for that putz-eyed slant who leads us,
Into battle for the Orange and Blue;
O is for ovations that receive us, ...for pounding
Nimrods into Brunswick Stew!
SPP >> 9-2 (6-2) (don't forget the asterisk)
I could be dead wrong about JJ Clyde's Alma Mater. They might catch fire
and decimate the entire SEC West and cream Florida 58-3 in the SEC
Championship game. I don't think so. Jamie Howard and Eddie Kennison
aren't enough. No talent, no depth, no coaching (mighty tasty food at
the LSU stadium, though)
Let's face it. LSU reeked last year (except in a few lucky wins, notably
against Alabama). I don't see how this year should be any better. Texas
A&M, Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Arkansas...plus Miss St is going to be
pissed after last year's fluke loss to the Red Stick Tiggerz.
4-7, possibly 5-6. Anything better than this means God has left Notre
Dame and has resettled in Baton Rouge.
kitty cats: 4-7, 2-6 SEC
Have I lost my mind? Nope. I've often said give Curley time and he'll
produce. Well, he better, or he'll be hit by a screen door other than
Josh Booty's. Jamie Howard is a good QB, and he has the premier return
man/WR Eddie Kennison waiting to catch. The OL positions are suspicious ,
but if they can perform at all, Robert Toomer will run wild.
The Tigers defense is questionable again this year. 6 starters return,
but who knows how they'll do. I think they'll step up and perform. The
kicking game is getting better all the time for the Tigers. Walk On
Andre LaFluer kicked LSU past Mississippi State last year, but I suspect
he'll be back on the bench behind All-American Wade Richey. Look for LSU
to go 6-5 (4-4).
The Fighting Tigers. PURE GL0REE!(tm) The little man in my head who
sounds like Charlie Mac keeps telling me that LSU will undoubtedly win
every possible MNC trophy this year and crush the repturds into
smithereens. He tells me this every August. I have no reason to doubt
him. That said, I'll give some unbiased observations. DEFENSE: LSU
got the better end of the swap with Baylor. Baylor's Def Coord, Pete
Fredenburg, is now the Tigers' defensive tackles coach and mastermind of
the 4-3. Phil Bennett moves to defensive coordinator. Baylor's new DC?
Joe Bugar. BUUHHHHHWWAAAAAWHAWHAWHAWHA! SUCKERS!! LSU's defense may not
be in the upper third of the conference, but don't expect it to suck quite
as bad as it has. If they can just stop Arkansas' dreaded wishbone every
third series, I'll be a happy man. OFFENSE: After Jamie Howard, the QB
position gets as thin as Nyarlapdogtoady's hair. (just kidding big fella!)
Loads of speed at WR and RB. If a solid group of young OLs emerge from
the masses (big if), OC Lynn Amedee could have something decent. Players
to watch: DEs Gabe Northern and James Gillyard; RBs Jermaine Sharp and
Robert Toomer; PK Wade Richey; WRs Eddie Kennison and Eric Smith.
Sizzling Pigskin Prediction >> 7-4 Record (4-4 in SEC)
Ex-head Billy Brewer is gone due to NCAA problems (out with the trash, his
wife said). The Rebels are in turmoil, coming off a lackluster 5-6
season. They have to play Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Miss St and Florida.
It doesn't look good for Ole Miss.
However, the Ole Miss strength last year was defense, they had one of the
best in the nation. Their problem was offense. They didn't have one.
Defensive coach Joe Lee Dunn will be the interim coach this fall until an
AD is hired.
I don't know, I always thought if a team paid players, they should at
least win some games out of the deal. Maybe with their backs against the
wall, the rebels will bounce back this fall. I'll have to see it to
Ole Miss will be 6-5 at the best, probably 5-6 or 4-7.
Confederates: 5-6, 2-6 SEC
Kaboom. If you were listening this past year, that's what you heard
coming from Oxford. The Rebels have had too much go wrong this off
season to even think straight. Billy Brewer was fired, AD Warner Alford
resigned. 3 of the best linebackers in the nation graduated: Gary Abide,
Cassius Ware, and Dewayne Dotson. No-show QB last year Lawrence Adams
was tossed to the defense and JUCO Josh Nelson given the reigns. Roell
Preston at WR will be about the only exciting thing in the Rebel arsenal
this year. True freshman RB Moine Nicholson may turn some heads too.
Last year's #1 defense is gone. Only LB Abdul Jackson, an all SEC LB,
will be back in the front 7. Special teams are in the same boat. The
Rebels will go 4-7 (2-6) at best.
Ole Miss has had a rough offseason. They lost the Peyton Manning derby,
their coach of 11 years, and, thanks to the NCAA, they're about to join
the likes of ta+m, Auburn, and Washington. Dubious company, indeed. All
that remains is an interim coach named, I believe, Joe Don Baker. Ole
Joe better start walking tall. Ole Miss shows every indication of
holding on to their offensive offense. True, they have a new OC and new
JC transfer at QB, but this is still the same piece of offensive refuse.
The Rebel O hovered around the bottom of the SEC last year while the defense
led the nation in yards allowed. Ah-ha! A bright spot! Wee-wee! Oh...
wait...the NFL took the two leaders off of that squad, LBs Dewayne Dotson
and Cassius Ware. Players to watch: CB Alundis Brice; RB Artie Moore.
Sizzling Pigskin Prediction >> 3-8 (1-7)
King Jackie's Mississippi minions slipped a bit last year after a few
decent seasons. A 3-6-2 record by the Dawgs included a tie to lowly
Arkansas State and a loss to LSU (oh, the humanity). There is no way in
hell Jackie S. is satisfied with a 3-6-2 season and the rest of the
league had better be ready.
The good news (or is it bad news) is that MSU returns 10 starters on
offense. Derrick Taite appears to be the heir-apparent at qb for the
dawgs. Running back Michael Davis will be back (he was 2nd in the SEC in
rushing last year). Still, depth is a problem for King Jackie. Depth and
the dawg schedule, that is. Florida is off the MSU schedule this fall,
but Tennessee is in their place (I don't really see how Coach Sherrill can
complain, though). Also, Auburn and bama come to town and should be
trouble. Ole Miss, LSU and Arkansas could also be trouble, but probably
Still, this team won't be a pushover and should win several games and
possibly go to a bowl. My guess is 8-3, maybe 7-4. Bama and Tennessee
will be hard to beat and someone else should sneak up on the dawgs.
Okay, the Swang prediction is: 7-4, 4-4 SEC
Who can return 10 starters on offense and not win the West? That's
right, Mississippi State. Although the Dawgs have the 2nd leading
returning rusher in the conference, RB Michael Davis, a whole truckload
of great wide receivers, and a huge offensive line (only 2 < 300 lbs),
the 11th man who is not returning is QB Todd Jordan. Sophomore Derrick
Taite will take over the QB position and leave a big question mark. In
the few times he played last year, he showed spark, including leading a
strong comeback against Kentucky that just fell short, and tying the game
with Arkansas. WR Eric Moulds will play at a level not seen by a
Bulldog WR in years. Another plus for the Dawgs is the fact that the entire
coaching staff returns after learning the new offensive scheme from OC Bruce
Arians last year. If Taite can step up and play well, the Dawgs will be
the team to beat in the West, but don't expect it.
On Defense, MSU returns some fine talent. CB's Walt Harris and Charlie
Davidson will both play at All-SEC levels. LB's Dewayne Curry and Reggie
Wilson will join them. The question mark here comes in two places: 1)
how will the team adjust to the 4-3 scheme, an 2) with one DL starter
returning, can anyone step up? I think so. Jackie recruited two DL's
from the JUCO national champs (NW MS).
Special teams were terrible for MSU last year. Ask Jack Jackson from
Florida how bad they were. PK Tom Burke was solid, but graduated.
Punter Todd Jordan is gone too. That leaves Andy Russ for both.
I don't expect them to improve too much this year. Looks like a 7-4 year
for the Dawgs. 7-4 (4-4).
King Jackie may be trying to pick up where Ole Miss left off. No, not
with the NCAA, although that is a looming possibility. Ole Miss has had
the reputation of alternating good and bad years -- *really* good years
and *really* bad. Miss State will be attempting to fine tune this
approach come September. Coming off a 3-6-2 year, they're already
halfway there! The problem may be with the offense, although the Dawgs
are returning 10 starters there. (Why is it always a positive for a team
to return 10 starters even if they went 3-6-2 last year?) Anyhoo... the
lone vacancy is the QB position where two completely inexperienced
sophomores will be battling it out. Don't expect a smooth running machine
for the first few weeks. Man, I hate to see that. Players to watch:
C Brian Anderson; RB Michael Davis.
SPP >> 5-6 (3-5)
SYNOPSIS OF THE SEC WESTERN DIVISION PREDICTIONS
Swanger Magee Clyde Mitchell
Alabama | 10-1(7-2) 8-3(6-2) 9-2(6-2)
Arkansas | 5-6(3-5) 5-6(3-5) 6-5(3-5)
Auburn | 8-3(5-3) 9-2(6-2) 9-2(6-2)
Louisiana State | 4-7(2-6) 6-5(4-4) 7-4(4-4)
Mississippi | 5-6(2-6) 4-7(2-6) 3-8(1-7)
Mississippi State | 7-4(4-4) 7-4(4-4) 5-6(3-5)