Finally, I have written a conference prediction that does not tow the line...maybe.
I decided to go through the entire SEC and make my predictions for the upcoming 2009 season. I know, it is still early and practice has just begun. We do not have every teams lineup, yada yada.
But this is a prediction like you have never seen here, on ESPN, Sporting News, or Sports Illustrated, although I did use those as references.
I spent many, MANY hours researching every team in the league, and not just the team websites either. Using the spring games, which I watched for every team, recruiting reports, media day hypes, and just about every other prediction article I could find I came up with what I hope to be a more realistic prediction list. Of course, we will not know until the end whether my strategy was successful, but I think it will be.
I want this to be a honest, unbiased, down to earth attempt to analyze one of the premier leagues in the nation without blowing smoke up anyone's behind.
From my earlier articles, you know that I believe the SEC is the dominate league in the nation, but that does not mean it is invincible, nor does it mean I will not be fair in this assessment. I may do a few other conferences as well, if I can find the time to do it fair and before the first game.
I will start with Alabama and go alphabetically until I reach Vanderbilt, giving an overall opinion and then predicting which games will be important, and which games I think will be lost.
The SEC is one of the hardest conferences to do any kind of prediction format because many of the games are not only rivals, but can go either way in any year. It does not matter how good you are, what your record is, or how much your coach is paid in this league. Alabama-Auburn, Georgia-Florida, Ole Miss-Mississippi State, Tennessee and any team they play. All of these games will always be a competitive and too close to call game. Even in a blow out, they will still be good games.
I hope to do two or three teams a day until I am finished, and I look forward to all of your input and complaints. Please keep in mind that this is not a "hit" on your team, but an honest assessment for all of the teams in the league. I will even offer a disclaimer when it comes to my team so that you will see that I am being unbiased.
The way I see it, we will have a SEC-Big 12 matchup again for the National Championship. But this is not guaranteed, with Penn State, USC, and Ohio State always being a threat. However, the odds are on for this matchup.
Saying that, it could be any of five SEC teams playing for the national title, with the most obvious being Florida, Alabama, or Ole Miss. However, you cannot just rule out Georgia or LSU because they have a legitimate chance if the cards fall right.
I have 10 of the 12 teams going to bowl games, although two are on the fence. You will have to read the team articles to see which ones I picked, but I will not predict any specific bowls other than the NCS game. This is because it is just too politically driven and complicated as to who goes where outside of the BCS.
One last thing; while I of course have "my" team (Alabama), I am all for the SEC outside of that, and it just makes my day to have someone new, or at least new to me, win it all.
I would be thrilled to see an Ole Miss or Georgia wins a championship. I know they have both won before, but it seems like it was so long ago that I cannot remember.
Of course, I would be thrilled to see Bama bring another title home. However, if LSU or Florida wins, that is fine with me as well (although I REALLY want that Bama win). So there, I can be a little unbiased right? How many independent sports writers can say that?