Dead man walking
It’s summertime, and a young man’s thoughts turn to sweeter things. It’s coming. FÃºtbol and Cape Town vuvuzelas are winding down. Football and Starkville cowbells are warming up. One month until fall camp. Less than two until the initial offensive of Operation Win at Yum! Brand Papa John’s Long John Silver’s Cardinals Stadium at Jefferson County. Beginning next week, I will be previewing the 2010 football Cats in a position by position preview. But first, here are a few random thoughts on the SEC landscape for the coming year.
By January, LSU will have one less Miles.
2007 seems long ago in the Bayou. Back then, Les Miles was backing his way into a national title at the helm of a juggernaut program built by Nick Saban. Three years later, the Tigers are coming off of two seasons of .500 play in the conference, while Saban is building a dynasty in Tuscaloosa. This does not sit well with Tiger fans, who are not known to exercise restraint in their fandom. (With the possible exception of choosing which car to burn in the parking lot.) LSU will again be anemic offensively and looks to be no better than the third best team in the west. That won’t be enough for fans spoiled by Saban’s efficient dominance. On the bright side, Miles may get another crack at his “dream job” should the Rich Rod experiment end in Big 10 (12) country.
Good news for fans of savage beatings!
This college football season will feature what may be the greatest mismatch in college football history. On November 18, Nick Saban’s defending national champs take on lowly Georgia State. The Tide may well be the most storied program in college football history and appear on the precipice of yet another Bama dynasty under soul-less overlord Saban. Georgia State, on the other hand, is literally fielding its first college football team. With the exception of a handful of transfers, Georgia State’s entire roster will see their first college action this September against something called “Shorter,” a school that I assume is coached by Terry Bowden. Of course, Bama will certainly take it easy on the Panthers, right? Oh yeah, did I mention that Georgia State is coached by…., drum roll please,… Bill Curry?
Tables turned, but not run either.
2009 saw historic dominance by Alabama and Florida, as both teams ran the table in the regular season. Both have distanced themselves from the SEC pack significantly, and I will be stunned if they aren’t squaring off again in Atlanta this December. In fact, the most likely stumbling block for Alabama appears to be if the state decides to re-secede from the Union. (If you’ve been through there lately, you know this is not entirely outside of the realm of possibility.) With all of that being said, neither Florida nor Alabama will go undefeated. Why? Well, first, assuming they play in Atlanta, they will face off twice during the season. It’s difficult to imagine either team sweeping the other. Alabama’s schedule is brutal, and they must face the difficult challenge of repeating. Florida has to deal with the health-related resignation of Urban Meyer… my apologies… his health-related 15-minute nap. Well, they do have to deal with being around Meyer, who is practically as insufferable as Saban. Also, they have to replace St. Timmy, that jump-passing, circumcising cyborg, who has now been sent to spread the Good Word to the people of Colorado. I hear the thin air can add a good 8 to 10 inches to a quarterback sneak.
The Cats will end a streak!
What’s the plural of albatross? Whatever it is, the Cats have two of them hanging around their necks in the form of the nation’s longest two losing streaks. Twenty-five to Tennessee, twenty-three to Florida. They’ve also dropped an inexplicable 10 in a row to South Carolina and 17 straight to the old ball coach, Steve Spurrier. One of these has to end, right?? It won’t be Florida. The Cats play the Gators in Gainesville, and John Brantley won’t be that much easier to stop than was Tebow. For that matter, the Gators could probably start Jeff Brantley and be pretty safe. But I say the Cats get either Coach Superior and the Gamecocks or the distinguished gentlemen from Knoxville. For the fifth consecutive year, pundits are hailing this as the year that Spurrier finds his magic at USC Jr. He should be more worried about finding a quarterback that is not Steven Garcia. As to the hated Vols, locals are saying that Coach Dooley has inherited the worst overall UT talent in 25 years. Sounds promising. Let’s hurry up and get these guys before Travis Henry’s children reach college age.
Stay tuned for the KSR 2010 position by position Kentucky football preview coming soon. Go Cats!