HOOVER, Ala. — It’s still the middle of July, but summer is over and football season is here.
It became official Tuesday with the start of SEC Media Days, which has become a huge event with the national media.
We’ve gathered here to interview coaches and players and preview the upcoming SEC season.
We’re also here to make predictions.
The hundreds of writers and broadcasters who cover the league will vote later this week on who they will predict will win the SEC.
I’m revealing my predictions a few days early:
1. Georgia — Excellent quarterback (Aaron Murray), strong defense and a soft SEC schedule add up to a division championship season for the Bulldogs.
2. South Carolina — This could be the best overall team Steve Spurrier has had at USC. He’s got a QB he loves (Connor Shaw), running back Marcus Lattimore is back and the defense is sound.
3. Florida — The Gators can win with defense and special teams. If the offense is improved (much improved), UF will challenge for the division title.
4. Missouri — Led by dual-threat quarterback James Franklin, the Tigers will be fun to watch — and a very difficult team to defend.
5. Tennessee — Like the Gators, the Vols will be better this season. The offense, led by QB Tyler Bray, should be explosive. If UT can generate a ground game, look out.
6. Vanderbilt — The Commodores showed dramatic improvement in the first year under coach James Franklin. More good stuff will follow this season.
7. Kentucky — The Wildcats seem to have steadily regressed in their two years under Joker Phillips.
1. Alabama — The Tide lost a lot of great defensive talent, but this year’s team will look just like last year’s — dominant.
2. LSU — The Tigers are loaded with all kinds of talent, but it’s going to be tough to overtake the Tide with a first-time starter at QB.
3. Arkansas — QB Tyler Wilson is going to put up huge numbers this season. But Alabama and LSU are still a cut above in the West.
4. Auburn — The way Gene Chizik has recruited, the Tigers figure to be contenders for years to come in the division.
5. Texas A&M — If the Aggies get good quarterback play out of a new starter, Kevin Sumlin’s offense could be the best in the SEC.
6. Mississippi State — Dan Mullen has made the Bulldogs relevant. But they’re pretty much stuck in this spot (sixth) in the powerful West.
7. Ole Miss — Hugh Freeze has brought some excitement with his offense. But the Rebels just don’t have a whole lot of talent.
SEC champion: Alabama.
Gator Prediction: (7-5) Wins: Bowling Green, A&M, Tenn., Kent., Vandy, LSU-Directional, Jax. Losses: LSU (the real one), SCU, Georgia, Missouri and FSU
GATORS will beat the Gamecocks in the Swamp this year!
Guys….Way too much talent on this team!!! We have a complete system in place with QBs with game experience and a whole season to prepare an offense!!!! We were 4-0 before losing our QB in the Bama game and we were in that game before Brantly went down on Bamas 9 yard line!!!!!!! Enter QB’s for the entire season with NO experience and games away at LSU, Auburn last year…NOW we have the Offense and the Defense and the coaches and NO BAMA or Auburn or LUS away….Im thinking at least 9 wins!!..Go gators
IF Pease is half as good as I think he really is, and we start off beating Texas A&M, I believe we will play LSU undefeated in the swamp…LSU has always had a hard time beating us in the swanmp.
I believe we will beat LSU if we are undefeated when we play them and it is only uphill from there.
Here is how I see it:
1) Bowling Green – Florida win 1-0
2) Texas A&M College Station, TX – this is a dicy game for UF – very winnable for TAMU – Im thinking UF loses to go 1-1
3) Tennessee – similare to #2 – UF loses at Tenn in a game the vols need to go 1-2
4) Kentucky – UF wins a “panic mode” game to go 2-2
5) LSU=Gainesville, FL – a few years ago this would be a game – now its classified under “as if” LSU wins – UF drops to 2-3
6)Vanderbilt Nashville, TN – UF rises to 3-3
7) South Carolina Gainesville, FL – i think SC is a player in the east and has more to lose at this point – UF drops to 3-4
8) Sat, Oct 27-Georgia – same as #7 – UF drops to 3-5
9) Sat, Nov 3=Missouri-Gainesville, FL – in a Must win UF pulls off a close one – 4-5
10) Sat, Nov 10 -Louisiana UF wins it 5-5
11) Jacksonville State – UF wins to go 6-5
12) Sat, Nov 24=Florida State-Tallahassee, FL – UF loses to go 6-6
In general – this tema is probably one of the least exciting in the past 20 years. There seems to be no playmakers on offense and unless Pease is the real deal as a coordinator points will be difficult to come by.
Slice ‘n Dice as you will: This team does not, as yet, have the talent and/or experience to go ‘head-head’ with LSU, USC, Georgia, FSU and probably Missouri with its version of the spread-offense. Better days may be ahead. This year (mostly likely) 7-5. Book It!!
Hmm… I guess EMK forgot how close we were last year in some of those same losses he’s prediciting this year. Anyway, we have an offensive coordianator again so I’m thinking we could pull 9 wins…and IF we’re 4-0 coming in against LSU then you can bet this team will be too motivated to lose in the Swamp! Go Gators!
I say 8-4 with a bowl game win to finish at 9-4. We’ll beat one of LSU, S Carolina, Georgia, or the Semis.
Roll Tide! 101-29 last 3 years!
And Bob, that game last year was never close. The score was fairly tight when Brantley got rocked…but any true football fan could see which line(s) were dominating. Once the 3rd/4th qtrs came, the depth would have caused a blowout ….even with brantley.
Until UF gets the horses to go pro-style, you are looking at 7-6. Making the roster transition from spread to pro-style will take a few years. Either system can work, but neither work without the right style of players.
There wasn’t much difference between us and Georgia and USC last year. I don’t think there’s much difference this year, either. I think we win one of those games, lose to either Tenn. or TA&M, beat Missouri, don’t get upset by anyone, and end up 8-4.
Bammer showed a big improvement in year 2 under Satan, I think UF can do the same.
Im so glad Charlie Weiss is not around UF anymore. He is just a BIG advertisement for College Football. Too much said bout him, very little results at ALL. With new OC Pease, I see our chances of winning games have increased!
Roll Tide! 101-29 last 3 years!