Here’s a preview of the 2010 college football season for each of the 12 teams in the Southeastern Conference.
Below you will find my general thoughts, as SEC Examiner, on each SEC team in the order of predicted finish in each division.
Each team summary will have a link to a more extensive, detailed preview from the respective team Examiners. Please support those Examiners who have worked hard to cover their team and share their knowledge and opinions on the teams.
The Gators are being undervalued this year. I’m not saying they’ll be better without Superman, like some overly excited UF fans believe. It’s funny, suddenly John Brantley’s passing skills trump Tebow’s intangibles. Not yet folks. Florida, like Alabama, is deep with young and talented players who will now get a chance. Look for redshirt freshman WR-Andre DuBose to have a breakout season. The secondary is very skilled again. Click here for Florida’s season preview.
Steve Spurrier said at SEC Football Media Days that SC needs to “win and win big.” I don’t know about the big part but I do think the Gamecocks have a chance to have its best season under “The Ole Ball Coach.” I think true freshman RB-Marcus Lattimore will have a huge impact on what’s been a poor running attack in recent years. Expect to see CB-Stephon Gilmore making plays out of the “wildcat” formation. The defense will be salty as always. Click here for South Carolina’s season preview.
I don’t think this is a football program in disarray like many believe. They’ve had issues and they may not win enough to prevent a change in leadership in the near future but this will still be a pretty good 2010 team. The Bulldogs still have a lot of talent. They have a young but talented new QB in Aaron Murray who will be a playmaker. The defense should be smarter and more fundamentally sound in new DC Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme. Click here for Georgia’s season preview.
I like Derek Dooley. Anything he does similar to Nick Saban is a good thing. He’s rebuilding this program block-by-block in the proper manner, through fundamentals and reprogramming the players between the ears. It will take a while, but if he’s given enough time to see this through, he’ll be successful. Injuries in camp have been an issue, especially on defense. If the offensive line is decent they should be in bowl contention. Click here for Tennessee’s season preview.
First-year coach Joker Phillips doesn’t inherit a bare cupboard but he has his work cut-out for him. The defense didn’t tackle well at all in 2009. It’s best tacklers are gone, so they will need to discover some new solid defenders that can make plays. WR-Randall Cobb and RB-Derrick Locke are excellent but the offensive line is a huge question. The quarterback position is unstable once again. UK has too many questions. Click here for Kentucky’s season preview.
New head coach Robbie Caldwell was able to get the interim title removed based on a turkey farm talk-heavy press conference at Media Days. He’ll need to find humor in a bad season because this Vandy team will bring up the rear in the SEC. I love the RBs (Norman & Stacy) and MLB (Marve) but there’s not much else to be excited about. The losing streak may get to 12 before having a chance to snap that vs. E. Michigan (Oct. 9.). Click here for Vanderbilt’s season preview.
This is the best team in the SEC and in college football. No one has a better combination of talent, coaching and physicality in the entire country than Alabama. Pointing to the number of starters they lost on defense as the reason why they won’t win it all is inaccurate. That unit may make some mistakes early but might be even better than last year by season’s end. People will be impressed by how good the offense is. They can lose, they just won’t. Click here for Alabama’s season preview.
Second place in the SEC is a three-team dead-heat that may end up in identical 9-3 or 8-4 records for LSU, Auburn and Arkansas. LSU has a lot of young talent. I know who the head coach is but they’ve still won a lot of games with him before, just not enough with his own players for some fans’ liking. The running game should be a force again. There’s some terrific young talent on defense especially with edge speed pass rushers. LSU is also undervalued. Click here for LSU’s season preview.
I like this Auburn team. QB-Cam Newton should improve the passing game. True freshman RB-Michael Dyer will be a difference-making type of player running behind an experienced offensive line. The defense has some young talent but needs to improve. If the coaching staff slows down the offense to help the defense, especially in 4th quarters and late in the season, then Auburn can be a legit New Year’s Day Bowl team. Click here for Auburn’s season preview.
I realize that the ‘Hogs are the vogue pick as the surprise team in the SEC or perhaps in the country thanks to the Petrino/Mallett/High-Powered Offense combo. However, I have three concerns. Will the defense improve enough to help them win games? Will they run the ball enough (or well enough) to be balanced on offense and not expose the defense? Can Arkansas win on the road in the SEC (0-4 in 2009) and beat the best teams? Click here for Arkansas’ season preview.
I think QB-Jeremiah Masoli adds a couple of wins to Ole Miss’ record. I think he’s that good and they like him that much. There’s no one else like him in the SEC. The Rebels could surprise some folks this season for no other reason than, no-one expects much from them. That’s when the Fighting Nutts play best, under the radar. There’s excitement about the improved team speed and young WRs. The defensive line is outstanding again. Click here for Ole Miss’ season preview.
The Bulldogs will be feisty and a tough-out once again this year all season long. The league (especially the SEC West) is so good and so deep that I don’t think MSU can withstand the talent and pounding week after week. The defense will keep them in some games. The offense is a concern. Who will rise up and produce at RB? Most importantly, can Dan Mullen get the QB play he needs to succeed in this offense? Not yet. Click here for Mississippi State’s season preview.
SEC Championship (Alabama vs. Florida)
I’m sure many don’t want to see it for the third year in a row but I don’t see the title game going any other way. Life in the SEC is always a gauntlet but even if one or both teams trip up once, they’ll be great in every other game and still meet in Atlanta.
Can you imagine what an accomplishment it would be if Alabama goes through a third straight regular season undefeated in the SEC and overall? The law of averages tells you it won’t happen. The ridiculous amount of freak athletes assembled in Tuscaloosa paired with phenomenal coaching and a team with the right mindset tells you it will happen. They’ve flushed last year out and they’re starting brand new.
All those parts put together is a recipe to take confidently into the kitchen, because Nick Saban is cooking up another Alabama Crimson Tide BCS National Championship in 2010 and a fifth straight national title for the planet’s best football conference, the SEC.
2010 SEC Champion = Alabama Crimson Tide
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Click here for dampfang.com’s 2010 College Football Kickoff with previews of major conferences and our preseason top 25.