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Old 07-07-2007, 11:42 AM   #1
Dublin Mike
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Default Dublin Mike's 4th annual SEC East preview/predictions

Ah, college football is almost here. So now I get to do what I do best, and completely screw up my predictions, except for last year when I had Florida winning it and competing for the national title. This is going to be tough this year. Not one team really stands out as the true #1. I have been flip flopping on the 1, 2, and 3 teams for the past couple of weeks, but I couldn't wait any longer to get this out, so let's get this started.

1. Tennessee Volunteers - My haterd for the Vols make this a tough pick. But this team has some good veteran leadership, paticularly at the QB spot. Erik Ainge set a school record for completion percentage, throwing for almost 3,000 yards, 19 TDs, and 9 INTs. He had surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus, but he should be back to full strength by the time the season starts. Lamarcus Coker will be a beast at RB, and the WRs are promising. The defense needs to get stronger, especially against the run. They gave up almost 150 YPG last season. They have some guys coming back from injury, which should help. The linebacking corps is one of the best in conference, but they are losing a lot @ DB. A few mistakes, and this team could be sitting in 4th instead of 1st. A trip to Gainesville week 3 is the crucial game. At Kentucky at the end of the year is going to be huge.

2. Georgia Bulldogs - UGA slipped big last year, and Mark Richt finally decided to turn the playcalling duties over to someone other than himself. Mike Bobo will be the OC for a very talented UGA offense. Matt Stafford showed what his potential is the last 3 games of the 2006 season. The soph QB threw 13 interceptions last season, but only 1 in the final three games. Kregg Lumpkin will be the featured back, but as usual the Bulldogs will use the multi-back system with Lumpkin, SR Thomas Brown, RS FR Knowshon Moreno and FR Caleb King. Sean Bailey's return from knee surgery will give the offense a big play threat and allow Mohamed Massoqui to move to the flanker position. Now the rebuilt offensive line has to keep Stafford off his backside. The defense is the big question mark, returning only one starter from the front seven. All American Paul Oliver was cut b/c of academic issues, and the Bulldogs will have to hope CB Asher Allen and Ramarcus Brown can fill the void.

3. Florida Gators - After winning the National Title, what does a team do? Why try to find a way to replace almsot every starter on defense, that's what. The Gators return only two starters from a dominant unit last season, and as good as many people believe Urban Meyer's offense to be, if you can't stop the other team from scoring, you will have a hard time winning ball games. With the Gators offense, expect plenty of shootouts. Every starter except one returns on the offensive line to protect Tim Tebow, the heralded sophomore QB. And Tebow gets to throw to two very good WRs in Percy Harvin and Andre Caldwell. The Gators still need a dominant RB. With projected starter Mon Williams suffering a season long injury during the spring, the position could be wide open.

4. Kentucky Wildcats - Wow. I think every year I have done this, I have predicted Kentucky to finish either last or next-to-last in the conference. But this Kentucky team, with a couple of breaks, could actually compete for the East. They get Florida, LSU, and Tennessee all at home. And after UK's first bowl win in 22 years, the Cats are hungry. They return 17 total starters, key among them QB Andre Woodson, possibly the SEC's best player at the position. His supporting cast includes triple threat RB Rafael Little and WR Keenan Burton. The defense needs to get better in order for UK to make a run, but they have a lot of young talent that came on near the end of last season. Expect big things from this team.

5. South Carolina Gamecocks - Some people may be shocked I have the Gamechickens this low, but tSC looks to be no better than they were last year, when they finished 5th in conference. If nothing else, they took a step back, losing big time WR Sidney Rice. Blake Mitchell returns as the starting QB, sometimes looking like an All-American, while at others making Spurrier do the famous visor toss. Corey Boyb could be poised for a break out year, if Spurrier decides to run the ball. The defense is a plus for the team, returning nine starters and bringing in some talented freshmmen.

6. Vanderbilt Commodores - The offense averaged 22 PPG last season, and are returning most of their starters from that side of the ball. Chris Nickson is a dangerous dual threat QB, leading the team in rushing. He has to reduce his TO's in order for Vandy to crawl out of the cellar. The entire offensive line is made of returning starters, which should definately help Nickson and all-purpose back Casen Jackson-Garrison. The defense, always underrated, features one of the top LBs in the country in Johnathon Goff. The DB's need to learn to keep plays in front of them, they gave up too many big plays last year. Most of the DBs are young and can hopefully learn from the mistakes of the past.

And there it is. Before Mush and Sue go nuts, just take into account that I think any 1 of the top 3 (or 4 if UK can get a couple of breaks) can win the East. A down year for sure. A lot of young defenses mean a lot of high scoring games.
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:18 PM   #2
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You forgot to mention one thing Mike, UGA can't beat UF.

Great analysis though, good work!
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:36 PM   #3
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Nice outlook and I see a lot of work went into that. I totally agree with you on the Gamecock situation. I also feel that Kentucky can sneak past the Cocks in the final East standings. I still think you may be sell your bullgawgs a little short. Stafford ended the season strong as a freshmen and in my opinion finish at the top of the KEY THREE Freshman QB's in the conference. (Stafford, Tebow and Mustain). I think as a sophmore he will be a natural leader, something that Richt has been in search of for a couple of season's now. It's hard to accept though that Vanderbilt is once again a bottom feeder. Guess we'll wait and see.

1. Georgia - 10-2
2. Florida - 10-2
3. Tennessee - 8-4
4. Kentucky - 7-5
5. South Carloina 6-6
6. Vanderbilt - 6-6
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:39 PM   #4
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You forgot to mention one thing Mike, UGA can't beat UF.

Great analysis though, good work!
Do you think I have forgotten? If it were not for that, I'd probably having UGA at the top of the conference. But they have to prove 1st they can get by the damn Gators.
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:45 PM   #5
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1. Georgia - 10-2
2. Florida - 10-2
3. Tennessee - 8-4
4. Kentucky - 7-5
5. South Carloina 6-6
6. Vanderbilt - 6-6
No way! UGA finishing ahead of UF with the same record means UGA beats UF in Jax.

Mike, it'll be here before we know it. I can't freaking wait.
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:50 PM   #6
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It can't get here fast enough. I'm just waiting for NCAA 08 so I can get some kind of fix. I can't handle life w/out football much longer.
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
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It can't get here fast enough. I'm just waiting for NCAA 08 so I can get some kind of fix. I can't handle life w/out football much longer.
Amen, But As for me, I can do without the toys.
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:51 PM   #8
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Old 07-13-2007, 02:05 PM   #9
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Great Job Mike - but I'm with the Mushman on this one, ain't no way the Dawgs are beating the Gators this year!!!
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Old 07-13-2007, 02:06 PM   #10
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Hey Dano: that looks like my grocery cart, too, and I am a woman!!!:thumbup:
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