We're getting our first taste of the college football season with training camps starting up now, so I thought I'd put something up to get a little discussion going. Real quickly, below the fold I'll post my predictions for the final SEC standings with a note about the different teams. I look forward to seeing what you all think, because there are several aspects about our conference's up coming season that can inspire plenty of debate. Go Gators!
- Florida Gators: I truly believe they'll run the table and possible win most of the significant postseason awards this year.
- Georgia Bulldogs: They've lost a lot of star power, but they're probably the most consistently talented team behind our beloved Gators and there just doesn't seem to be anyone else ready to step up and take their place at this point.
- Tennessee Volunteers: They're still a ways away from being the sort of program that can back up Lane Kiffin's antics, but they've assembled a great coaching staff and recruited a nice infusion of talent.
- South Carolina: This may well be the final season of the Steve Spurrier experiment in Columbia. They absolutely must make a move this year or, as I project, change will be compelled.
- Kentucky: every so often, they creep up on the rest of the league and put a scare into the tradition powers. This is not one of those years.
- Vanderbilt: Their Cinderella season last year was perhaps one of the more overrated storylines of the season and there will not be a sequel.
- LSU: This is almost certainly the biggest surprise I have lined up for these projections. I just think that their track record both on the field and in recruiting sets them up for yet another big season.
- Alabama: While they're certainly on track to take back their rightful place as the West division's resident powerhouse, I think it'll be another year or two before they truly live up to last season's surprise run at perfection.
- Mississippi: Despite big wins to cover up some bad losses in 2008, I just don't think they're as ready for prime time as some people seem to believe.
- Arkansas: The Razorbacks are a trending sleeper pick in the conference, but I just don't see how they make that much noise in a loaded West.
- Auburn: Oh, how he mighty have fallen! I was just as underwhelmed by their head coaching hire as everyone else and they don't seem talented enough to overcome him.
- Mississippi State: I wish Dan Mullen all the luck in the world, but to succeed with these Bulldogs, he'll actually need more than that.
Just to clarify, I have our Gators beating the LSU Tigers rather handily in Atlanta after a tight affair at Baton Rouge in the regular season and then beating Oklahoma, Texas or USC in the National Championship Game. Go Gators!