As a fan, you thrive off of your team's success. If your team goes out on a high note, then you are probably going to be pretty satisfied with your team when next season roles around.
As a player, I think they also thrive off of the last game more than anything else. Lose or win, that last game is a tremendous motivator for the next upcoming season. Like in Alabama's case, we got embarrassed in our own back yard, basically.
Don't get me wrong, Utah beat us fair and square; they played better oe were more prepared than our Bama squad was.
Then there is the case like Florida and LSU have.
Florida ending a great season by beating Alabama in the SEC championship and then going on to defeat Heisman winner Sam Bradford and his Oklahoma Sooners and then LSU coming off of a two game losing streak to Ole Miss and Arkansas and putting up probably their best game against foe Georgia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
They saw some promising play out of Jordan Jefferson in that game as he completed 16-25 passes for 142 yds, with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
So, as you can see, whether a loss provides motivation to play well next season or a going out with a win provides great things for the next season.
With that being said, let's take a look at a few things surrounding the SEC.
Jordan Jefferson and the Tigers have my respect.
The reason I say they have my respect is because their record in '08 does not truly show how well they played. They were in close games with Alabama and Arkansas but they finished with a record of 8-5 which is ah...ok I guess.
LSU had a big losing streak coming into their bowl game. They lost to the up and rising Ole Miss Rebels and to Bobby Petrino and his Pigs. Those two loses looked to cripple LSU but they ended up puttting a spanking on GT beating them by more than 30 points.
In that game they saw solid play form the backfield and the QB role which was not prevalent at all before that game.
LSU '09 grade= B+
Jevan Snead cannot beat Tim Tebow in the race for the Heisman.
Last season, as I watched the Ole Miss Rebels roll into Tuscaloosa and almost beat us, I felt almost sick! I could not believe that this team just came to my team's stadium and put up that good of a fight...
They would then go on to every single team they played from that point on some including: Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, and Texas Tech! They truly did impress me after the Texas Tech beat down.
But their downfall will be all this hype they are going to have to live up to. I can't think of a possible way that Jevan Snead will be able to compete against senior quarterback Tim Tebow and win the Heisman.
Tebow has more skills than Snead in every aspect of the game. They both are great QB's but I can't see any way that Tim Tebow will be denied a trophy if he has another "Superman" quality season.
Ole Miss '09 grade= A-
Will Kodi Burns or Neil Caudle be the QB for the Auburn Tigers?
In the A-game for the Auburn Tigers I don't know if this team got any closer to naming their starting QB or still trying to develop Kodi Burns into a dual-threat QB.
Last season Kodi Burns was very much troubled by his ability to throw the ball through the air. He struggled mightily with the passing game, and finished the season with only two touchdowns via the passing game.
On the other hand, Burns did show some great ability on the ground and was the Tigers' second leading rusher with 411 yds on only 98 carries. He has the ability to scramble out of the pocket but often leaves the pocket before it collapses.
The coaching staff at Auburn really need to be concerned with this young man's ability to become a great player for this team.
As for Neil Caudle, he had a solid spring game and turned many heads, and the coaches say Caudle is not very far behind Burns.
But that have said Burns would more than likely get the starting position in the spring but I look out for Neil Caudel to maybe take over in the fall...
Auburn has room for improvement on the offensive side of the ball, but their is no doubt Gene Chizik will patch up all the holes in the offense.
Auburn's '09 grade= C-
Urban Myer's retired, Florida names Tim Tebow new head coach...
When you watch Tim Tebow play, it's almost like he is amongst a group of small children. He is massive in size and has great down-hill running ability. Last season, he was made to shy away from defenders and learn it's ok to gain 20 yards rather then run out of bounds.
Tebow is a very smart QB, with one of the best, if not the best, football IQs in the game at this day and time. He is very tall, which gives him the ability to read the whole field and is deadly when able to sit in the pocket and pass the ball.
If he feels the pressure, he can also take the ball into his own hands and almost always reach the sticks on the ground.
Tebow is a great quarterback, and if he puts up his usual numbers, I don't see any way possible they could deny him his second Heisman in three years.
Time Tebow shows leadership on and off the field. What makes this guy so great is when he steps on the field all the teams stop to watch Tebow this is what makes this guy so great.
Florida's '09 grade=A+
Julio can not be Alabama's only receiver in '09, so who will contribute some help?
Last season, no matter what team Alabama was scheduled to play, it seemed no one had a answer for wideout Julio Jones. When he was not drawing double teams, he was making terrific catches on some of the best defenses in the SEC.
He proved himself early on in the season. I would not say he proved himself completely in the Clemson game, but he did put on a great show. He, however, did prove himself against conference foe LSU and at the end of the season Florida.
In the overtime game vs LSU, Julio Jones racked up 128 yds on seven catches and averaged 18.3 yards a catch. In the SEC championship he had almost identical numbers. Jones recorded five catches for 124 yards and averaged 24.4 yds a catch.
In '09, Julio will most likely get a lot of help from senior Mike McCoy and the small but lightning fast Marquis Maze. These three guys should be able to catch anything that McElroy can throw at them. Maze is said at this time to have some of the best hands on Alabama's team including Julio, as says T1derollsonU.
Alabama's '09 grade= A-
So that about wraps it up for my take on who gets the best grade in the SEC. I look for Florida to make it far again this year but if they were to repeat that would be something very special for that program as well as the SEC.
Leave some feedback and tell me who your favorites are to win the SEC West and East.