Thursday Night's Random Thoughts: SEC Football Talk, Teams, and Players

Heath McGuffCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2009

This will be my first-ever post on Virtual Sports Network. Most of my work is posted on Bleacher Report, another great site of devoted sport fans.

I would like to start by saying that I love college football more than I do anything else! I also have a wide range of knowledge about a ton of college football teams.

I currently play high school football and basketball; football is my true love though.

So now I just want to touch on a few thoughts that came to mind today when I was thinking about the highly anticipated arrival of college football.

Being an Alabama fan, I can't wait for Sept. 5, when the Tide play their first game against VT in the Georgia Dome.

So since we are talking about Alabama, that is where I will start.

Alabama: Fill the holes in the O—line please.

With the biggest loss in Antonie Caldwell, the Tide has a major gap to replace. Caldwell, who played center, guard and tackle in his three years as a starter, leaves a major hole in the Alabama O-line.

Mike Johnson pretty much has a position locked in somewhere on the O-line most likely at Left guard.

Senior Drew Davis is another; he will almost for sure be the starter at right tackle on Sept. 5 against Virginia Tech.

Last season, the O-line was a great focus point for the Tide, they would pound the rock right down the opponent's throat and almost always scored points their first possession.

In '09, the Tide will need to grow at this position and mature to be able to sustain long drives and run the ball successfully.

Ole Miss: Jevan Snead?

Ole Miss, I can't think of a team in the SEC besides Florida that has got more hype in the offseason. Don't get me wrong, I think they SHOULD be a good team.

Jevan Snead, without second-guessing, is a awesome quarterback. He proved to be a reliable and efficient QB for Ole Miss, just look at the Texas Tech game, he was awesome. He completed 18-of-29 attempts for 292 yards and three touchdowns...

But ask yourself one question: Does this guy have the raw athletic ability like Tim Tebow or the great precision that Bradford has to be a Heisman candidate next season?

I compare this guy to Graham Harrell and look what he did last season, but somehow he came up a little short of even being at the ceremony?

I think overall this team will settle with a 9-3 or a 9-2 record losing to these teams: LSU, Alabama and maybe even Tennessee.

So with all this hype, I look for Ole Miss to be a bust in '09. Jevan Snead needs to have a great great year to land a prestige Heisman trophy as well.

South Carolina: Play as a team!

Need I say more? No, I'm just kidding.

In '08, I think they had free admission for the fans just so they would come.

But on a more serious note, they did have a ton of trouble at the QB position before Spurrier found his man at the end of the season, Stephen Garcia.

Garcia, still not named the starting QB, showed some promising ability last season with limited play.

He also has not lived up to expectations once he arrived at SC. He has been in trouble a few times and was part of the leading team in interceptions last season (27).

This position is not the only concern for SC fans, the big O-line was not a tremendous help last season either.

This is a great group of very good SEC talent but they must learn not one player can carry this team. Garcia can't do it without the line and the line can't do anything with out a good QB.

If the big uglies don't improve it will not matter who is running this team, Garcia or not.

So overall I think the Gamecocks will settle for another down season and look to rebuild, at least we will get to see Steve throw his hat a few more times.

Auburn: QB battle

With the arrival of their new head coach, Gene Chizik, the Tigers will be on the hunt this year for some of the spotlight in the SEC.

The Tigers have some great talent in Kodi Burns, although he did have a major struggle throwing the ball last season, only completing two touchdowns through the air.

Burns did show his great ability to run the ball; he will be a threat, if he has improved his passing game this offseason.

Burns might have a good challenge for the starting spot in the fall with Neil Caudle not to far behind. Neil had a very solid spring game and turned some heads in during that practice.

Look for Chizik to instill some great values in this team, and if they buy into what he is motivating them with, then this team could be on the verge of exploding in '09.

Arkansas: Where to now?

Last season was an...ah...okay year for Razorback fans, I guess you could say; not a rebuilding season but not a great one either.

With Bobby Petrino in charge came a lot of change for this team. When you think Petrino you might think offense and that's what he brought to this team in '08. But unlike Nutt, Petrino brought the whole 90 yards from run game to pass game.

Nutt, being a run-first type coach, he based the Arkansas offense off of their ability to run the ball. When Petrino arrived this all changed and Casey Dick and the Razorbacks finished second in the SEC behind Georgia in passing.

They also found a great speedy back who was not afraid to take a lick in Michael Smith. Smith will be hang around for '09 and probably carry the rock more than he did in '08.

The Pigs also have Michigan State transfer Ryan Mallet, who is said to have all the great tools of a well-rounded quarterback in the SEC. Ryan also has the potential to be one of the best signal callers in the SEC.

The only question I have for this guy is, are you ready for the aggressive, physical style of defense the SEC has to offer?

Vanderbilt: Should they even be in the NCAA?

I have pondered this question my entire life as a college sports fan...I often find my self asking other people what do you think about that team Vanderbilt? Most of the time the time they reply with "Well, they are a okay team."

This tells me one of two things. They either don't know they are even a college football team or either they amount to nothing in the college football world.

I myself think Vanderbilt is a great team, because when Alabama plays them I go ahead and put down a big W beside that game.

But for real, do they even recruit the kind of talent you HAVE to have in order to make a serious run for a SEC title, or do they just have a team for looks?

I know, I know they did beat Auburn last season but what does that tell you? I personally think that if you are not in the game to win it all, then you might as well sit back down.

I mean come on Vanderbilt get with the program, either play the game or hang it up. This is a topic I would like to hear some feedback on, does this team even amount to JSU or Tulane?

Well that will wrap it up for the all of a sudden random thoughts for Thursday.

Keep checking out my page I have a few more topics I look to include in my next article on a few more interesting subjects and teams next week some time.


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