Revisiting my “not your regular SEC preseason predictions”

If I’m gonna make ‘em, I ought to have the guts to go back and see how accurate I was, right?  (Schools listed in the same order as the preseason post, with this year’s regular season won-loss totals.)

SEC WEST

AUBURN (7-5, 4-4)

  • The easy part was predicting the fall off.  The loss of all that senior talent, along with the early departures of Cam and Fairley, made that inevitable.  If there was a surprise, it’s that Gus Malzahn was so ordinary this year.  Accuracy grade:  B+

ARKANSAS (10-2, 6-2)

  • Pretty much nailed the Hogs’ season with this:  “They’ll win 10 again, I think, because Tyler Wilson likely works out well.  But the defense being a notch below Alabama’s and LSU’s may mean that’s the ceiling.”  Accuracy grade:  A

LSU (12-0, 8-0)

  • I thought LSU would lose two games for a number of reasons.  The Tigers didn’t.  Accuracy grade:  C-

ALABAMA (11-1, 7-1)

  • “This team appears to have fewer flaws than any other team in the SEC.  ‘Bama will go as far as its offense will take it.”   Yup.  Accuracy grade:  A

MISSISSIPPI STATE (6-6, 2-6)

  • I foresaw a drop, but I’m not sure I expected as big a one as MSU had.  Accuracy grade:  B-

MISSISSIPPI (2-10, 0-8)

  • They “won’t be worse than last year”?  Au contraireAccuracy grade: D+

SEC EAST

SOUTH CAROLINA (10-2, 6-2)

  • I got the 10 wins right.  Not the winning the East part, though.  But Garcia was the essence of a “Con”, wasn’t he?  Accuracy grade:  B+

FLORIDA (6-6, 3-5)

  • I knew things weren’t going to be better – the scheme change on offense and the October schedule made that a given – but I didn’t expect they’d be so much worseAccuracy grade:  D+

GEORGIA (10-2, 7-1)

  • I took a pass, but honestly, going into the season, I thought you could make a case for anywhere from 6 to 10 wins.  Accuracy grade:  Incomplete

TENNESSEE (5-7, 1-7)

  • “… this team isn’t as talented as the top teams in the East (let alone the West).  Any kind of bad luck with injuries and it’s easy to see UT miss out on playing in a bowl.”  True ‘dat, but there’s still no excuse for that embarrassing loss to Kentucky.  Accuracy grade:  B

KENTUCKY (5-7, 2-6)

  • “This just isn’t that impressive a team on paper.”  Not on the field, either.  Accuracy grade:  A-

VANDERBILT (6-6, 2-6)

  • I didn’t see the magnitude of this season’s improvement coming.  Then again, I didn’t see James Franklin being as big a dick as he was, either.  At least I wasn’t alone in that.  Accuracy grade:  D+

Do you think I’m being fair with my self-assessment?  Did you disagree with any of my preseason calls?  Let me know in the comments.

About these ads

36 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff, SEC Football

36 responses to “Revisiting my “not your regular SEC preseason predictions”

  1. Impressive. Where’s your financial market blog? I’d like to use… I mean, read it.

  2. Senator I agree with your assesments-My only comment on the season is I think Franklin deserves a break-With Vandy being a doormat for ever I think he had to take on that personna in order to change the attitude at Vandy.Sure he came off as a jerk in many instinces-However it seems to have worked-He had them playing tougher and with more fight than we are used to seeing from Vandy.

    • I believe Lane Kiffin said the same thing about his turn at Tennessee and that he wouldn’t need the persona at USC. Then it turned out he really was just a dick.

  3. Puffdawg

    While I wouldn’t call it a prediction, your biggest concern about UGA in the preseason is that they wouldn’t be able to rebound from an 0-2 start due to their fragile psyche. Fail! ;)

    • Judging from what Bobo said about the team in the Boise State game, it sounds like I had a reason for concern. But obviously they found something in themselves during the South Carolina game.

      If I had to be wrong about something this year, I’m glad it was that.

      • Saint Johns Dawg

        In one of Coach K’s books, he told a story about the early 90s team that played Tark’s great UNLV teams in the preseason schedule and lost. Coach K said something to the effect of he got on the bus afterward and looked everyone in the eye and yelled “We’re going to win the national championship!” He repeated it several times … and later that year they beat UNLV in the Final Four and hoisted the trophy.

        Not saying Richt or the players did this, but UGA’s turnaround tells me there was certainly belief and some sort of rallying cry in the locker room. Impressive all around.

  4. Go Dawgs!

    I mean, who saw that mess at Tennessee coming? I certainly didn’t. I had a feeling of dread that they would jump up and beat Georgia inexplicably like Kiffin’s crew did. I knew that they didn’t have much, but I liked Bray and I liked Rogers… I didn’t know that they were both big orange energy vampires (though I suspected it about noted chubby chaser Da’Rick).

    • Nate Dawg

      He’s a chubby chaser? So we know he’s an arse…so he’s got two things going for him? Kinda fitting that his high school team was the yellow jackets, a?
      That Justin Hunter is a special player, him going down was critical for them I believe. But you couldn’t see that coming and I had that same feeling of dread going into that game as well.

      • Go Dawgs!

        You didn’t see the pictures of him with one of his “lady friends” that hit the internet the summer before his freshman year up there? She was formidable.

        • Nate Dawg

          Man, wow, I’d just like to say that I’ve been to Gordon County many, many times…they ain’t all that big. The Google machine is a scary thing, ya know. The best part about googling that was seeing some of AARON Roger’s girlfriends. He certainly AIN’T no chubby chaser.

  5. Macallanlover

    Such a complex set of variables with teams involving 100+ personalities/chemistry that forecasting is very difficult for anyone. Looks like you came as close as anyone who follows this sport closely could have.

    The UT situation seems to be a very real catastrophe in the making. In addition to the expected attitude issues with duh ricky, there are several other problems brewing including possible staff departures, team in-fighting, and perhaps most significant, the potential loss/suspension of a very key player. Certainly not close enough personally to have first hand knowledge of this, but friends who are connected have serious concerns that changes are inevitable. With the loss of bowl practice time, at the very least it is hard to see a young team get much better by next fall. Add to this the impact all this could have on recruiting and you have to think the problems last longer than 1-2 seasons. Methinks SC is the primary competition in the East next year as Florida and TN battle their well deserved demons.

    • Cojones

      The Senator served up that info in an article on Thur’s buffet that you had to follow through a lot of fan flak to get to the article at the bottom. It’s worth it to see how Da’Rick Thuh’Dick performed like Rambo choreographed. We should thank Thuh’Nash that the little thug never came here. You will have to wait your turn because the Knocks are busy thanking him right now, in their own inimitable way.

  6. D.N. Nation

    From what I remember in my preseason helmet pickem league, I had UGA going 9-3 with losses to Boise, USC, and Florida. Pretty close. Too bad I had LSU going 8-4 and losing the West to undefeated Alabama, who’d lose to 10-2 South Carolina in the SECCG. (Nailed their 10-2, though.)

  7. The real question about USC is whether you thought we’d finish strongly after losing Lattimore. I’m pretty sure I read a few references to an impending “November slide” on this blog after Lattimore’s injury. And I’m not, BTW, calling anyone out; it would have been fairly reasonable to expect a more striking drop-off after losing one of the nation’s best players.

    • SCDawg

      USC got better at the end of the year, IMO, even without Lattimore. Usually they start strong and finish poorly. I thought they played mediocre towards the middle of the year and the Defense really started to turn it on at the end. I think they’re a better team now than when GA played them. Absence of Garcia or better defense or both maybe?

      • Shaw def. was a step up from Garcia. I know the Senator will call me crazy for this, but at the time I thought Spurrier made the right move to start Shaw against ECU. I never thought Garcia would regress like he did this year, but I’ve also never been very high on him in the first place. Shaw, on the the other hand, seems like a pretty solid QB. Not a physical specimen, but a guy with a nice skill set who makes good decisions and doesn’t put the defense in a bad position. Unfortunately, the rest of the team didn’t perform while Shaw was in the game, so Spurrier went with the “leader.” I def. think the Auburn loss is squarely on Garcia’s shoulders, as well as Spurrier’s for not booting Garcia when he had the chance. As it was, I think Spurrier was forced to play Garcia due to team chemistry issues until we lost and it became clear to the players that Garcia wasn’t getting it done. Once Shaw got in, a lot of the QB problems solved themselves, although he didn’t really come into his own until the Florida and Clemson games.

        The defense did improve over the course of the year, too. That was partly schematic. You probably remember that when we played the Dawgs, we gave up a lot of stuff underneath. After that, our corners began playing more press man and became more aggressive at the LOS when in zone. That made a huge difference. Didn’t help us against Arkansas, but was certainly good enough to whip most teams.

        In hindsight, I think our coaches did well this year, and it’s clear that improved recruiting has benefited our depth, as we didn’t suffer the huge drop-off late in the year that we used to always have problems with. Spurrier’s one huge mistake this year happened in the spring–not canning Garcia and going all-in with Shaw when he had the chance.

        • Go Dawgs!

          I definitely agree that South Carolina got things figured out after that Arkansas game. And, who knows, if they’d had the Citadel tune-up before Fayetteville to get used to playing without Lattimore and with Shaw as the starter, you never know what might have happened.

          There was a reason that Spurrier, who is no fool, let Garcia come back though. If South Carolina had started the year with Shaw, they might have finished stronger, but I also don’t know that the start would have been what it was. Georgia held the Gamecock offense relatively in check with the experienced quarterback out there. Putting a new player out there in his first road start, that’s a tough proposition. Who knows, though, maybe he would have kicked Georgia’s ass. I’m just grateful for the two games where y’all stumbled.

          • Those are all great points, but…

            “Georgia held the Gamecock offense relatively in check with the experienced quarterback out there.”

            The “experienced QB” was overthrowing his receivers even when he had good pass protection. I’m not so sure that Shaw wouldn’t have played better, although you’re right that there’s no substitute for experience in a tough road environment like Athens. And Garcia did, despite an overall bad game, make a couple of nice passes as the end.

        • Dog in Fla

          And I still think the SEC officials screwed South Carolina out of the last few seconds of the Auburn game thereby eliminating any chance for an attempt at a game-tying field goal

    • stoopnagle

      What SC has done with 3d/4th string RBs is pretty impressive. I thought the Clemson game was a statement and would hate to be on the opposite sideline for the bowl game.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      What is more striking to me is that Lattimore was there for the Awbarn game. Gotta give USC credit they cobbled it together in spite of the loss production from key players….. not unlike what UGa had to do.

  8. SCDawg

    I thought the over under was 8-4 for Georgia, and I was willing to take the over and 9 wins based on the favorable schedule. Very happy with ten wins, but still wondering how we let USC beat us. We had that game. I Had no idea Florida and Tenn would be as bad as they were, and I thought MSU would be better than they were.
    What I was thinking was that, pre-season, GA was counting on Jenkins having the same impact as Mt. Cody did at Alabama a few years ago, Murray would not have a sophomore slump or otherwise regress without AJ, and Crowell would have the same impact as a freshman that Lattimore had. Murray lived up to his potential, and I think he’s learning how to win in the clutch based on what happended in the Florida game. Crowell was nowhere near as good as Lattimore, but he was definitely good enough. And Jenkins did his part, even if he did not have the same impact Cody did.

    And I guessed right on Jarvis. I really thought he’d be a monster.

    • Cojones

      Really thought Lattimore would pound us again this year, but the D was effective and actually won the game. Yes, their D progressed along with us, but with less terrorists than we have. Thought from the git-go that we would beat Tenn,FU and Aub, but was afeerd of Miss St.. As the year progressed so did those teams and others. Thought Tech was a slam dunk at season’s start, but grudgingly became cautious as the game approached.

      Overall, the Senator was impressive. It is fun going back to read statements about the SEC east and what all the cluckheads were predicting. Are you trying to get a late-year leg up for the Cojones Award, Senator?

  9. Will Trane

    Win number 11 Dawgs. They do not respect you guys.

    Speaking of respect. Has anyone notice where Vandy’s 2012 football recruiting class ranks. Well, it is ahead of the Dawgs at present.

    Recruits look at teams and programs alot different than bloggers, sportswriters, and fans. Maybe that is why Florida sits in the top 5. We saw what CMR did last season.

    Explain how Vandy is tops in baseball and has two very good basketball programs. I’d say the UGA AD has some work to do in a few departments.

    • Puffdawg

      “Has anyone notice where Vandy’s 2012 football recruiting class ranks. Well, it is ahead of the Dawgs at present.”

      Their average recruit is a half star less than ours. The only reason they’re higher is because they have 20 commits to our 13.

      Honestly, I’m not even sure what to make of your comment, but I thought I’d point that out.

      • Cojones

        Puffdawg, it’s people like you who come on here with knee-jerk remarks that ruins it for those of us who analyze facts to enlighten the rest of you Richtophiles. You don’t have to come on here with facts to substantiate your point. We don’t need no stinkin’ facts when we be analiezing. You, Dog in Fla and Red Blackman are beginning to unnerve us critics. It was being pointed out that Richt and his whole staff can’t recruit any better than their ability to win games, but noooohh, you want to……what?….we’ve won 10 games using a bunch of kids recruited in the last 2 yrs?…..and we still have a 5-star redshirted?,,,,well, nobody told me! Ok , go on with what you were saying.

        • Dog in Fla

          Hey, I love the Marks and Todd and am clearly on the bus even though it’s not a Rosa Parks seat up front because I got on too late. I do kind of miss the Global War on Marks, though. But seriously, I expect no hot seat talk for Mark unless he loses to Das Hat. Then Mark’s got to answer to Michael Adams. I think Todd pulls off the Mother of All Upsets and beats Les by 14. Then there will be tickertape, confetti and contract extensions for all!

          • Macallanlover

            I wouldn’t throw away your Global War on Mark material, the UGA fanbase will turn on a coach quicker than any other in CFB. As good as I think we will be the next two years (depending on NFL attrition), you can bet the wolves will howl loudly at anything short of perfection.

            • Dog in Fla

              Good point. I’m getting it out of the shredder now. After all, I hear that the next problem on deck is that next year we will have no offensive line. I blame Searels.

              • Macallanlover

                Other than some who maay leave early, OL is my biggest concern about 2012. We may need to go the JC route to bridge the gap, plus bring in 4-5 good OL recruits. We have a good start there with Theus.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Dang it Will. You are starting to remind me of my college roommate. Upon departure from the Warehouse one early morning- after last call he struck up a conversation with a pretty coed that culminated at our place. When he arrived back at the house after taking her home he complained about the breakfast she cooked him. Just roll with it. We are in the SECC game. OK? We are gonna get a decent bowl and Dream Team II is on the way. We are going to GATA in 2012. Enjoy the ride!!
      We good?

      • Cojones

        Hadn’t read your’s before posting above it. Sorry.

        But you did bring up a favorite joke. About the Postman retiring and letting everyone know that a stranger would take his place. He especially had become interested in one beautiful blonde Ms on his route, but was intimidated from conversation by her husband rumored to be in the mob.

        On his last day, the people who knew him well left farewell presents in the mailbox, but when he got to the blonde’s house, he was startled that she wearing a thin negligee and crooking her finger toward him. As he got to the door, she asked him inside and motioned to the sumptious breakfast she had made for him. After finishing, she invited him upstairs to her bedroom where she surprised him with a dropped gown and an invitation for sex. He gleefully obliged and as he told her he had to dress and continue his postal route, she pointed to the top of her dressing table where a dollar lay. She said,” That’s for you.” He replied,” Thank you, and please don’t misunderstand me, but I’ve been on this route for years and you haven’t even said “Hello”, What gives?”

        She replied, “When my husband was leaving this morning, I told him you were retiring and asked him what to give you.” He said,”Fuck him! Give him a buck”…., but breakfast was MY idea”.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Yeah, Will, I’m sure that recruits are scared off by the fact that Georgia is in the championship game. I swear, dude, we’re not letting you back on the bandwagon when (if?) things get really special next season. You’re banned if you’re going to be the guy at the Vegas strip club that complains about the quality of the champagne.

      Incidentally, how did the last few Top 5 recruiting classes at Florida pan out on the field this year? Think Rivals and Scout boost the numbers for players once teams like Florida show interest? A lot of recruits were waiting to see what happened at Georgia with the coaching situation, since a lot of other down-in-the-mouth Georgia fans like yourself managed to fan the flames of the hot seat rumors.

      How does Vanderbilt have top flight basketball and baseball? Baseball is a much easier sport to recruit for at a “smart” school than football is. Same story often goes with basketball. You have fewer slots to fill. Plus, Nashville is a metropolitan city, and a lot of basketball stars prefer playing in big places. Meanwhile, Georgia was a tournament team last year in basketball and they rebounded in baseball (just a couple of years removed from the kind of success in Omaha that Vanderbilt can only dream of, being one game away from the national championship). Incidentally, Vanderbilt’s not “tops” in baseball, South Carolina is. Vandy has managed to recruit several major league pitchers. That’s all it really takes.

    • Dog in Fla

      Vanderbilt is good in baseball because their coach gets top talent out of the Northeast including but not limited to, – and I never thought I would say this – New England. And the Vandy coach just like the Florida coach were assistants to Leggett at Clemson, so they both have a pretty good idea of what they are doing.

  10. Too early to predict much for next year. How many underclassmen will the Dawgs lose?? Still i think USCe will be the team to beat next year if you want to win the East. Playing in Columbia, I give USCe the nod. Still we saw what happened this year. GATA in 2012 works for me.

  11. Alcohalic Genius

    Hell yeah! “They found something in themselves in the South Carolina game.” It were a foot up they A. Ever body need it now and then, and we gone give them LUS fool something they gone need a wench to extract come Saturday. Can you hear it, baby? I can hear Larry calling the play (“Look at the crawfish fallen from the sky!”) and the Godfather sanging “Grantham, junyard dog! Grantham, jundyard dog. They’ll rock ya, and nock ya. Hall right off and sock ya. Hey hey hey hey!” We back!