Well, 2008 is over. For some of us, it is a relief. Florida will be the first team I've seen to literally field the "defending champions," as they really aren't going to lose much this year. So, I'm pretty much handing them the SEC title right now. But otherwise, here are my thoughts.
Mark Richt is losing a few players, but I think they'll be fine. Georgia is down one solid receiver, quarterback, and running back. I think they've got enough depth at running back to survive, and A.J. Green's not leaving quite yet. Plus, they're pulling in a really nice QB and WR.
Defense is where I'd be worried. They've got the talent to scare offenses, but with what I saw, they're going to need a lot more coaching.
I'm not going to say they'll be a Top 10 team this year, but they'll be winning games.
If you watched football last season, that was Florida. They win, and they're back. I really don't think I have to say anything. You probably know as much as I do that Tim Tebow likes those things, what are they called, national championships?
(I know it wasn't funny, but I tried.)
I love Lane Kiffin. I don't understand how you trade in ol' Phil for this kid. I was no fan of Phil's, but do him the decent thing and don't replace him with an idiot. He did give you guys a national championship. Why give his job to Kiffin—it's a slap in the face. But at least everyone else is laughing.
Kiffin, when not making himself look absolutely stupid, has hired some stellar recruiters and his dad. Personally, I think this hire doesn't have the kind of potential Tennessee was looking for. It could very well be an extremely expensive bust.
Regardless, I've seen what happens to very talented teams that lack discipline. Don't expect much, Vols fans, unless Monte Kiffin takes control for the boy.
I'm sorry Steve Spurrier fans, but I just don't see your quarterbacks getting a whole lot better this year. I think it'll be a decent game with Georgia, and you've got Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt. Alabama, Florida, Clemson, and Arkansas are losses for you.
I really don't want to speculate, because I don't watch Kentucky play.
You guys caught a lot of us by surprise last year. Well, now you know you can do it. I could see a few upset wins of course, but I really don't know if you should really be thinking "bowl game" again.
I have a gut feeling about this one. People keep throwing out Ole Miss and Alabama as King and Queen of the West, but I think Bobby Petrino will use this year to really show us what he's got. I think the offense gets more in tune and starts turning "all those yards," into "all those points."
I really like Jevan Snead, since I watched him batter my Auburn boys. He really put a beating on LSU as well. Unfortunately, the head coach is Houston Nutt. The man is literally a "Nut-t." Personally, I think he's only hot when his seat is. After a surprisingly good first year at Ole Miss, I really can't see him doing much more than mimicking that this time around. But that QB is good—really good.
I really like the depth. I don't know if I'm hopping on the Russell Shepard bandwagon. I think Les makes a solid run at the title game; I just don't think his quarterbacks will have the experience to get him there. Maybe next year. They should still be pretty fun to watch.
The Wildcard. As I hoped, Gene Chizik has put together an impressive staff. I really don't know how effective their new spread is going to be, especially with their current QB situation. However, Gus Malzahn likes to run out of the spread, something that really isn't too common. Florida likes to run out of the spread. So, we'll see I guess. Keep your eyes on Mario Fannin to potentially make a breakout this season.
Like LSU, I think there is going to be more to write this time next year. But these coaches want to win. Maybe it will translate to the players?
What is Dan Mullen going to do? I really haven't heard a lot since Sylvester Croom's departure, but I liked him at Florida. Like Kentucky, I really don't know enough to say right now.
Anyways, I've got to go to class. Hope you enjoy the read. I'll do more research this week and maybe throw together a more detailed article.