2009 Preseason Conference Analysis- SEC

The much beloved by ESPN broadcasters Southeastern Conference is up next in our preseason analysis. The SEC is a powerhouse conference to be sure. But why does everyone at ESPN love this conference so much? It’s like they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Just a reminder- Tennessee did lose at home last year to Wyoming. ‘Nuff said.

Don’t get me wrong, the SEC is a great conference. And I’m sure once Tim Tebow gets drafted in the 4th round next year the announcers won’t care as much. But between USC, Ohio State and the SEC conference, you always know who Kirk Herbstreit is rooting for.

But let’s look ahead at 2009. Auburn should be much better, but they did make a risky move at an unproven coach. Alabama should come back to earth and LSU should at least pull .500 in conference play. The big surprise is going to be Ole Miss. They were rolling last year, and I see them picking up right where they left off, no question. Unfortunately for the West Division, they seem to have all the talent this year. Florida will cruise in the East with no problem at all. Georgia is replacing too many key players and Florida is returning a bunch of theirs.

Should Florida be the preseason No. 1? Maybe, I think they will be, but they did the same thing Texas did last year, and that is beat Oklahoma by 10 points on a neutral field. (If you can call the Orange Bowl neutral in this case.) So all things considered, I like Texas as a better all around team. That and I have a sneaky suspicion that Florida will not play as well as everyone thinks they will. Here’s why.

Tim Tebow elected not to enter the draft. Why? Because he has already won the Heisman and two national championships. Oh wait, that’s a good reason to go to the draft, when you’ve already done everything at college. Oh yeah, he was a projected 4th to 5th round pick, that’s why. The guy has to up his stock in the draft. Tebow’s style of play is hardly going to get far in the NFL when he gets his first concussion. So rather than have the man among boys play like he is a man among boys, I see Urban Meyer giving this season to Tebow.

I mean that Meyer is going to recreate the offense to showcase what Tebow can do in the NFL. Not that he can just run over little 180 pound freshmen. So I honestly don’t see them being the team they were last year because Meyer and Tebow both know that for him to be an NFL quarterback he has to change his game. That’s why he stayed and that is what this season is for, nothing more than a showcase for Tebow to prove he can play an NFL style game and succeed, but we’ll see.

Here is how I see the SEC panning out:

East:
1. Florida
2. Georgia
3. Tennessee (Go Kiffin!)
4. South Carolina
5. Kentucky
6. Vanderbilt

West:
1. LSU
2. Ole Miss
3. Alabama
4. Auburn
5. Arkansas
6. Mississippi State

Although it is likely there won’t be an undefeated SEC team this year. If you think the SEC is going to win another national championship this year, I wouldn’t hold your breath. If OSU beats USC early in the season and goes on a tear and if Texas goes undefeated as expected, then look for Texas-OSU in the title game. You know the voters love the Big Ten more than the SEC, just the way it goes. Still, the SEC should send 7 or 8 teams to bowl games, so I expect another great year from them.

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