Disclaimer: These are abridged outlooks for the common fan. If you don’t like what I have to say because I panned or didn’t mention your team, that’s fine. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
College Football has usually seen a few new teams jump into the top 10 each year. This is the first year I can remember where nearly every big name player from every big name team chose to remain in school. With that in mind, it shouldn’t really surprise anyone that I expect there to be far less parity in College Football this season…
Case in point: The Gators.
Last year, Florida wasn’t supposed to be as good because their defense was too young and inexperienced. As it turned out, their high powered offense actually took a backseat to Urban Meyer’s show-stealing defense. I can’t recall a defense with this much speed in my lifetime, and Tim Tebow anchors an offense that still has a ton of firepower.
While I am not thrilled about Urban Meyer’s god-complex, he is without question the best coach in the game right now, and his well experienced roster makes it very hard to not pick the Gators here.
While Florida does have a pretty rough schedule, it is not nearly as difficult as we have seen in past years, especially when you consider Georgia’s key losses in the backfield.
The Gators do match up with LSU this year, and a Death Valley match-up is always scary. But if Florida can get through it with one loss, I would have to consider them a lock to make it to the national championship game (unless of course, USC and Texas can just go undefeated and cut the one-loss garbage).
My best friend and former TOTG writer, Brandon Schwartz is moving to Knoxville Tennessee, which means I should probably say something nice about Tennessee’s program. Here it is:
Rocky Top is an awesome fight song.
I think Lane Kiffin is the most unlikable coach in any level of football. Every time he speaks, I die a little on the inside. But he happens to be very lucky, because his father is one of the greatest defensive football minds ever.
And if Tennessee can actually pull off a pro-form defensive look, the Vols will be the most improved team in the SEC. I can’t help but think this team will be football’s version of the Bush administration. The son has no idea what is happening around him, and the father’s volition pulls the strings.
The bad news is that no matter how successful Tennessee is this season, it will forever be shadowed by the fact that Florida is going to beat them by 85 points in the third week of the season.
In The SEC west, I expect Alabama to make it to a BCS bowl, but not the big one, because I still don’t think they can beat Florida. The Tide also runs into a very dangerous patch of games in the middle of the season where the facing South Carolina, Tennessee and LSU in three straight weeks.
Even though all three games are at home, I would be absolutely stunned to see them escape that rough patch without a loss. Also don’t forget that they end the season facing off against Auburn, who especially on the defensive end, should be much improved.
Bottom Line: Florida beats Alabama to get the bid (barring catastrophe, they are in the BCS Championship game). Alabama gets into the Sugar bowl. Tennessee, LSU and Georgia have good but not great years.