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  1. #1
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    Two Daves Pick The SEC - 2010 Preseason Edition

    Two Daves Pick the SEC

    2010 Preseason Edition

    Welcome to Two Daves Pick the SEC! Adding to the typically long and cruel wait from spring practice to fall camp, its been hotter than hell. For we hath endured the heat and the wait for the glorious return of football season, and it is finally here! The Southeastern Conference, home of four straight BCS championships by three different teams, continues as the premier league in the NCAA. One can argue that the BCS title is decided in Atlanta with the SEC Championship Game while the bowl game is a formality.

    Worthy of a personal note here: Lane Kiffin, you are a coward. You cheated at Tennessee then you cheated Tennessee itself. The University if left to deal with your aftermath from your brief one year stay. Hell hath no fury like a scorned SEC fan.

    Completing the other half of the Two Daves is Doug Miller. What? Doug isn’t a Dave? Hey, it starts with a D and has four letters in it, and he writes some funny stuff. He’s a Dave alright.


    Doug sez:


    It’s been an extremely difficult summer. Much of the southeast has been mired in a brutal heat wave. The days have dragged. But the light at the end of the tunnel has always been visible, even if it was a long way back there. Well, the light is upon us as we approach the start of college football!

    Is there any question that the SEC is the best college football conference in the land? A lot of the talking heads are giving some love to Ohio State, but we all know how things are going to turn out for them in January. Texas? Oklahoma? Good luck. The SEC is the only place where random SEC West matchups in October are almost as compelling in quality as any BCS bowl game.


    From a prognostication standpoint, this season may be the toughest to pick yet. Last year’s national champ, Alabama, is the favorite to repeat, but they have questions on the defensive side of the ball. Florida is talent-rich, but this is 2010 A.T. (After Tebow). Can the Brantley era be as fruitful? A lot of folks are keenly interested in South Carolina this year. Auburn is poised to take the next step. You never know about LSU and Georgia. One thing we know for sure: it’s gonna be fun.

    Dave Doug

    SEC West Overall SEC Overall SEC

    Auburn 10-2 7-1 8-4 4-4

    Alabama 10-2 6-2 11-1 7-1

    Arkansas 9-3 5-3 7-5 3-5

    LSU 9-3 5-3 9-3 5-3

    Mississippi State 7-5 4-4 7-5 4-4

    Mississippi 6-6 3-5 6-6 2-6

    Dave Doug

    SEC East Overall SEC Overall SEC

    Florida 10-2 7-1 10-2 7-1

    Georgia 9-3 6-2 8-4 5-3

    South Carolina7-5 4-4 9-3 5-3

    Kentucky 6-6 4-4 5-7 2-6

    Tennessee 5-7 2-6 6-6 3-5

    Vanderbilt 4-8 1-7 3-9 0-8

    SEC West

    Alabama

    Dave:

    The Alabama Crimson Tide completed its undefeated season with a win over Texas in the BCS Championship game. The BCS trophy even made a stop in a Tuscaloosa Wal-Mart. Really. There is a lot of good news in Tuscaloosa: The Tide still has Nick Satan as coach, Heisman Trophy Winner running back Mark Ingram, QB Greg “I haven’t lost a game as a starter since puberty” McElroy and Julio “AJ Who?” Jones. Ol’ Nick has recruited a ton of talent into Tuscaloosa since his arrival. That is where the good news ends.

    Alabama lost practically all of their starters on defense, with the biggest being Rolando McClain (now with Bubb Rubb’s Raiders), one of the best linebackers to play in Tuscaloosa in a long time. As previously noted, there is plenty of talent on the bench, but there isn’t the experience that the 2009 starters had. That will likely cost Alabama a couple of games this year. The Iron Bowl probably decides if Alabama or Auburn goes to Atlanta.

    Doug:

    The Tide returns virtually all of their offense, including the best WR in the conference last year, Julio Jones, and the second-best RB in the conference last year (and ironically enough, the Heisman winner), Mark Ingram. Defensively, the Tide has gaping holes to fill, losing 11 key contributors. Sure, they have talent, but a lot of it is unproven. Don’t expect Alabama to go undefeated this year.

    Arkansas


    Dave:

    The Pigs made news this Summer when reporter Renee Gork showed up to an Arkansas press conference sporting a Florida Gator hat and was promptly fired. Gork, a Florida graduate, admitted it was “a stupid mistake”. Arkansas said they had nothing to do with her termination. Sure, and there are lots of WMD’s in Iraq.

    Bobby Petrino knows offense, and he’s got a potent one, lead by QB Ryan Mallet. Mallett threw for an eye-popping 3,600 yards and 30 touchdowns last season. It helps when you have great receivers like Greg Childs and Jerious Wright. In fact, Arkansas returns nine starters on offense and they will put on a show this year. So why isn’t Arkansas picked to win the West? Defense wins championships, and Arkansas finished dead last in the SEC in 2009 in that category. The Hogs will have a good year, but the lack of a strong defense keeps them out of Atlanta.


    Doug:


    The Hogs are the sexy pick to be the darkhorse this year, but I don’t see it. Sure, Ryan Mallet is special, and Bobby Petrino is an offensive genius. But the fact of the matter is that they’re going to have to score 40 a game to win, and that’s a good recipe if you’re a C-USA team, but it doesn’t bode well in the defensive SEC. More food for thought: Mallet is returning from a significant injury, and he’ll need to stay healthy this year if the Hogs want to see any success.

    Auburn


    Dave:


    Gene Chizik turned a lot of heads with his impressive recruiting classes. The influx of talent in two strong recruiting cla$$es will put Auburn in contention for the SEC West title. The biggest pickup for Auburn is QB Cameron Newton, a former Florida player that transferred to Blinn Texas CC then signed with Auburn. Newton is a big, strong quarterback, similar to Tim Tebow. He has Tebow’s physical talents, but does he have the intangibles that Tebow had? The answer to that question, in itself, probably determines how far Auburn goes in its title pursuit. Auburn returns seven starters on a strong Malzahn offense and eight starters on defense. Strong QB play is paramount to Auburn’s season, I think they will have it with Newton. If Auburn is upset early in the season in Starkville, that could have a dramatic impact on their season.


    Doug:


    The Tigers made a tremendous turnaround last year, and you know they are going to continue to improve thanks to the genius of Gus Malzahn. Auburn pulled in a huge QB signing in juco Cam Newton, who is perfect for their system. Defensively, there are questions, but they should score enough to win their share of games. Can they challenge the big boys? Time will tell.

    LSU


    Dave:

    Les Miles is on the hot seat. Amazing that you can be the most successful coach over a five year span in LSU history, win a BCS Championship game in that span and be concerned for your job. The concern may be legitimate. While Miles has recruited a lot of talent to Baton Rouge every year in his tenure, there are times that the team is far from being a well coached team. See the Ole Miss game last year. Add in losing seven starters on defense, 2010 doesn’t look like LSU will be headed back to Atlanta anytime soon.


    The good news for the Tigers is that they have one of the best cornerbacks in the country in Patrick Peterson. This guy is amazing. Jordan Jefferson is capable of being a solid quarterback, but it seems he gets injured and misses some key points in the season. Jefferson also makes some really bad decisions at times. Jarrett Lee is an interception machine, so if anything happens to Jefferson, LSU is really in trouble.


    Doug:


    I struggle to put LSU finishing second in the West. They have been inconsistent at best under Les Miles, but 90% of the programs in the nation would kill to be inconsistent like the Tigers are. Their roster is rich with talent. They have a challenging non-conference slate with North Carolina and West Virginia, but they do have Alabama coming into the swamp, which may decide the west.

    Mississippi


    Dave:

    Jevan Snead is an idiot, but you already knew that. Snead jumped to the NFL bus right after it had turned the corner and he landed face first in the street. Adding to Houston Nutt’s agony is losing Dexter McCluster and Shay Hodge, two of the most productive players on the offense. In fact the Rebels lost eight starters from its offense. On defense, some key starters are gone as well, such as Greg Hardy, who could take over a game. Throw in QB Raymond Cotton transferring out, and the picture looks pretty bleak in Oxford. Despite all of this, Mississippi could end up in a bowl game this year because of a schedule loaded with cupcakes. There is one other thing. Jeremiah Masoli.


    Masoli, kicked out of Oregon because he is a repeat criminal, transferred to Ole Miss last month. Because of an NCAA loophole that allows players that have graduated to transfer elsewhere, Masoli will be instantly eligible. Houston Nutt, more desperate than a Vietnamese Hooker, signed Masoli right up. Nutt has done a disservice to Masoli and Mississippi with this move. I’m sure that there will be a movie out next year, The Blind Eye: The Nutt-Masoli story.


    Doug:


    The Rebels will come back to earth this year. They will certainly find themselves in a bowl, primarily due to their ridiculously easy schedule. It’s going to be a long conference slate for the Rebs, though, with the deep losses to graduation on both sides of the ball. Incoming QB Jeremiah Masoli certainly helps matters, and is a perfect fit for Houston Nutt’s offense, provided he gains eligibility.

    Mississippi State


    Dave:


    Dan Mullen is the most energetic coach in the nation. You would never know that he has a losing record as a head coach. His Dawgs were one foot away from being in a bowl game, just ask LSU. Its tough to say what this team will be like this year. Mullen doesn’t allow reporters to observe practice, nor did State publish statistics from its one scrimmage. Either Mullen is hiding deficiencies or he’s a genius. If State can upset Auburn, that puts the Dawgs on track for a winning season and bowl game. It doesn’t help Gene Chizik to know little about the 2010 Bulldogs. Chizik will know this: Anthony Dixon, the SEC’s leading rusher in 2009, is gone. Tyson Lee, the smallest QB in the SEC that threw interceptions like crazy is gone too. State’s dominant rushing game won’t have the horsepower of 2009, but it does have Chris Relf at QB. Relf showed flashes of great play in the 2009 season, and occasional problems that left him suspended for a couple of games. Mullen is one of the best coaches in the SEC and he’s going to prove that this season against one of the five toughest schedules in the nation.


    Doug:


    No, that’s not a misprint. The Bulldogs improved rapidly last year in Dan Mullen’s first as head coach, and they have significantly more talent on the roster this year. They might have the best defensive line in the conference, and are strong on the offensive line as well. SEC fans know that if you’re strong in the trenches, you’re in good shape. Their problem is at QB, so they’ll go as far as their skill guys can carry them. A difficult schedule will keep them from seeing a New Year’s bowl, but expect the Dawgs to upset a couple of teams and go bowling this year.


    SEC EAST


    Florida


    Dave:

    Urban Meyer retired, the Gator nation had heart palpitations, then Meyer reneged and returned after a brief leave of absence. I applaud Meyer for recognizing that his family and his heath were both at risk and doing something about it. How does this affect Florida Football? Very little. What will hurt the Gators this year is the loss of Tim Tebow, the heart and soul of Florida football the last four years. John Brantley does have great running backs Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps and Emmanuel Moody returning, and that will certainly help. There are problems on the other side of the ball – Florida lost defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, a very good coach. Much like Alabama, Urban Legend has recruited relentlessly and has a roster stacked with top shelf talent. These talented players must replace six starters on each side of the ball. Experience, or the lack thereof, will cost Florida a game or two this year. I wonder if Gator fans still prefer football over sex? Maybe the 2010 census will enlighten us.


    Doug:


    The Gators spent a hefty amount of time ranked number one last year, but their offense was never quite as stout as the 2008 version. Dan Mullen’s departure had something to do with that, I’m sure. Because the defense took a step back, and now they’ve lost Tim Tebow, I foresee some issues on the offensive side of the ball. The Gators are loaded with talent, however, so I expect them to be in Atlanta this December.

    Georgia


    Dave:

    In the eyes of the confessor, there’s no place you can hide. Mark Richt is one of the longest tenured head coaches in the SEC, which typically means its time for the regime to change. Richt has no place to hide this year, he need to step up and show significant progress. Otherwise, he’s likely looking for a job. The problem in Athens? Defense, or the lack thereof. While Richt is able to field a good offense every year, his Achillies heel has been defense. When he has had a good defense, he’s been able to win the SEC East and the SEC title, the last being in 2005. Five years is a long time at a school with high expectations. Georgia does still have AJ Green, a fantastic receiver. Green will need to be patient and help his young QB’s to try and be successful. With RB Washaun ”Hit and Run” Ealey being suspended for at least one game, Georgia will be searching for playmakers. I wonder what the odds are of a ninth Georgia player being arrested are? The Fulmer cup may become the Richt cup at this rate.


    Doug:


    Dawgs are going to move the ball on offense. There’s not much doubt about that. Their problem is on the defensive side of the ball, where they were bad last year. Now with a new defensive coordinator, and a new outlook, hope springs eternal.

    Kentucky


    Dave:


    Rich Brooks decided to retire as Kentucky’s head coach. Brooks did a very good job at Kentucky, taking the Cats bowling several years. Offensive Coordinator Joker Phillips takes over as the head coach and he’s got some good players to work with. Derrick Locke should have a solid senior year, he’s a good back. Which QB will step u and take control for the Cats, Morgan Newton or Mike Hartline? If one of them does and gets the ball to playmaker Randall Cobb, Kentucky may have another good season.


    Doug:


    Rich Brooks decided he’d rather be fishin’, so as a result, we see the beginning of the Joker Phillips era. The good thing is that Phillips has been around as offensive coordinator, and there shouldn’t be much in the way of changes under the new regime. What does this mean for the Wildcats? Well, this pretty much means that they’ll be good good enough to flirt with bowl eligibility, but they won’t be much of a threat to the big boys.

    South Carolina


    Dave:


    Steve Spurrier enters the 2010 season poor mouthing Stephen Garcia. These guys seem to have a weird love-hate relationship. Spurrier just cannot seem to find the QB he needs to run his offense these days. The AKC does have defensive mastermind Ellis Johnson, which is always a plus. Johnson will be searching to find a replacement for monster LB Eric Norwood. If South Carolina doesn’t step up and win the east this year, I don’t know that Spurrier can get it done. Maybe he’s lost his touch.

    Doug:


    Is this the year that the Gamecocks take the next step? We’ve all been wondering about Steve Spurrier, and whether he’s lost his magic, the game has passed him by, or if he’s just tired. This year will probably give us the ultimate answer. The Cocks look strong on both sides of the ball, and will probably go as far as their enigmatic, inconsistent, but talented QB, Stephen Garcia, can take them. If he struggles, you know Spurrier will have a quick hook.

    Tennessee:


    Dave:


    I wonder if some entrepreneur has started selling Lane Kiffin dolls to burn in effigy? Lane Kiffin toilet paper, urinal mints, pinata’s, the possibilities are endless. There is no love loss for Kiffin in Knoxville, that is for sure.
    Derek Dooley picks up a program that has the NCAA snorting around it, a new QB, and two more players tossed from the team after trouble with the law. Maybe Janzen Jackson and Nu’Keese Richardson will be picked up by Houston Nutt. Tennessee will struggle this year as Dooley tries to rebuild the program.


    Doug:


    Things are looking rough on Rocky Top. I have a few UT friends who are in denial and expecting big things, but let’s face facts: this is going to be a struggle. This isn’t Derek Dooley’s fault; he’s just been dealt a tough hand, with departing talent, a new system installed, and the NCAA sniffing around the program. The Vols didn’t see a dropoff in offseason criminal activity, however.

    Vanderbilt:


    Dave:


    Vanderbilt took a big blow with the loss of Bobby Johnson, who abruptly retired, citing personal reasons. Inheriting the mess in Nashville is Robbie Caldwell. I don’t think Vanderbilt will have a good season, they have a tough schedule and little talent to work with.


    Doug:


    Bobby Johnson surveyed what he had coming in this year, and said, “Screw it, I’m out.” Enter Robbie Caldwell, who was the darling of media days. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much to work with this year. Expect the Commodores to bring up the rear in the SEC East, a spot they are accustomed to.


  2. #2
    The Godfather dawgstudent's Avatar
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    Two Daves Pick The SEC - 2010 Preseason Edition

    Welcome back.

  3. #3
    Videographer slickdawg's Avatar
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    Two Daves Pick The SEC - 2010 Preseason Edition

    Thanks, its good to be back and its been a long freakin' wait for football season!

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