Chris Brown’s comment about Auburn’s spring game in the post just below got me to thinking – dangerous, I know – about where I see things at in the conference right now. None of this is backed up mounds of data; it’s simply what pops into my head at the moment when I turn in a particular school’s direction.
So here’s my list of shallow observations for the day.
- Florida. Everything’s coming up roses – defensive depth, Tebow, the schedule. Two concerns: can they effectively replace Harvin and how likely is it that the Gators will go +22 in turnover margin again.
- Georgia. It’s all about the line play. On both sides of the ball.
- Kentucky. When this is one of the biggest stories of your offseason, that doesn’t bode well. Jeremy Jarmon’s unexpected departure doesn’t help, either.
- South Carolina. This team looks to be a mess offensively. Defensively, the ‘Cocks should be good enough to insure another mediocre season. That’s just how they drew it up when Spurrier was hired, right?
- Tennessee. Bad QB situation, thin offensive line and receiving corps. The Vols look to be relying on the running game and Eric Berry’s defense to survive. As untraditional as the offseason has been for UT, the regular season looks like it’s shaping up as the same old stuff.
- Vanderbilt. Most people think the talent base has improved, and so should Vandy’s chances this season. Me, I look at a 4-4 conference record built on a net -76.1 yards per game in SEC play last year (a number that’s worsened in each of the last three seasons, mind you) and wonder how the ‘Dores can match the ’08 win total again.
- Alabama. On paper, you have to like what you see, for the most part. It’s just weird that a Nick Saban-coached school has never enjoyed back-to-back seasons with double digit wins.
- Arkansas. Arky seems to be everybody’s darkhorse candidate for most improved in the conference, but I wonder how far the Hogs can go with that conference schedule and that defense.
- Auburn. And how far can these guys go without a decent quarterback? Well, Chizik should double his win total as a head coach, at least.
- LSU. If you’re a big believer in addition by subtraction, replacing Jarrett Lee with Jordan Jefferson may be the most significant move in the conference this season.
- Mississippi. Yeah, yeah, the stars are aligned for these guys. That’s what they said about the Nuttster’s 2007 Arkansas team, too. Look where that got him.
- Mississippi State. If you think that Tennessee will be better this year because the Vol offense is bound to improve, how is the logic for this team any different?
Overall, on paper the East looks weaker than it has in a long time. The West looks like it’s gonna be a lot of fun, though.
Your equally off-the-cuff thoughts?