2013 CFN SEC Preview - Bold Statements
Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews
2013 CFN SEC Preview - Bold Statements. Thoughts and musings on every SEC team.
SEC - Bold Statements
The last time Texas A&M lost fewer than four games in a season before 2012? 1998, when it shocked the world and won the Big 12 title going 11-3. The last time it lost two games or fewer in a season before last year? 1994.
- Four words: regression to the mean.
- Don't dismiss the possibility that it's the system and coaching as much as the player when it comes to the Texas A&M quarterback position.
- Don't dismiss the possibility that Kliff Kingsbury was a huge reason Johnny Manziel became Johnny Heisman.
- Remember, Texas A&M did just fine after losing a quarterback who was drafted in the first round.
- Johnny Manziel won't be drafted in the first round.
- Or the second.
- Or third.
- Jadeveon Clowney will be drafted in the first round. He would've been drafted in the first round right out of high school.
- Don't get caught up in stats when it comes to Clowney. Instead, pay attention to what the rest of the Gamecock defense does when the entire opposing offensive line worries about blocking No. 7.
- This might be the best offensive line yet in the Steve Spurrier South Carolina era, but anything will look like an improvement from last year's front five.
- The world will be focusing on other SEC teams in Week One, but, South Carolina, be very, very, VERY careful of that opener against North Carolina.
- However, the last time South Carolina lost an opener was a 10-0 drubbing at North Carolina State to kick off an 0-11 1999 campaign.
- Everyone likes to rag on Mark Richt and Georgia for not being able to get over that one big hump, but it's time to start putting that spotlight on the Ol' Ball Coach pretty soon. South Carolina isn't the South Carolina of ten years ago.
- Georgia, yeah, it's time.
- Remember, it's not like the Bulldog defense actually crushed it last season with all that talent. It was painfully inconsistent and was helped by playing a slew of offensively challenged teams.
- Georgia is way overdue for an overachieving year from its offensive line.
- If Georgia starts the year 4-0 (at Clemson, South Carolina, North Texas, LSU), it'll be a one game season against Florida to go 12-0 and play in the national – whoops – SEC championship.
- Yes, Alabama's schedule is easier, and yes, the place is a talent factory, and yes, Nick Saban has patched up bigger holes and still won big. However, if the threepeat doesn't happen it'll be because 1) the 2012 offensive line really was that special when it had to be, 2) AJ McCarron got hurt and/or 3) the loss of corner Dee Milliner really was a big deal.
- This four year run – and go ahead and throw in a fifth year since 2008 Alabama would've beaten Oklahoma for the national title – really is the greatest in the history of college football. If Saban, in this era, has a fifth national title on the résumé, you can't keep him off the Mount Rushmore of college football coaches.
- With a week off to prepare, Alabama will show up in College Station on September 14th with a really, really bad day in store for the Aggies, with or without Johnny Autograph.
- Saban would rather spend an hour being interviewed by Honey Boo Boo than ever admit he's looking past an opponent as good as Virginia Tech, but the bear has been poked. The Crimson Tide coaching staff is about turn on the A&M fastball.
- Shhhhhhh. LSU might be really, really good. Like, national title good. All that's missing is a sure-thing playmaker or two in the receiving corps and a solid kicking game.
- Expect more Alabama Zach Mettenberger and less Texas A&M Zach Mettenberger.
- Again, shhhhhh. Mettenberger will be the highest-drafted quarterback of all the projected SEC starters.
- Don't get too into a twist over the horrific first half of the Ole Miss schedule. If the Rebels really are top 25 good, they beat Vanderbilt in the opener, get by Auburn on the road and split at home against Texas A&M and LSU to start off the year around 4-3 – 3-4 at worst – before tearing through the back half of Idaho, Arkansas, Troy, Missouri and at Mississippi State.
- There will be at least one moment when all the young Ole Miss talent puts it all together and makes the rest of the SEC plotz.
- Several SEC people I trust and respect are shooting up screaming warning flares that Florida will be more 2011 than 2012.
- Just throwing it out there so we can all laugh it off and move on to bigger, more important things. With Texas A&M and South Carolina at home, and with the game at Florida interesting since it'll be an ugly slugfest … Arkansas at 7-0 going into the Alabama game? Remember, Bret Bielema went 12-1 in his first season in Madison.
- No, of course not, but watch out for the Hogs to be really nasty really fast.
- Keep an eye on the October 19th Arkansas trip to Alabama. No, the Hogs aren't anywhere near as talented or as good as the Crimson Tide, but by this point in the season, Nick Saban's soon-to-be No. 1 defense won't know what it's like to be slugged in the mouth.
- You'd better bring it if you wear the No. 15 at Florida. Unlike another guy who donned the number, corner/receiver Loucheiz Purifoy will be a true NFL-caliber player at the next level.
- Mr. Purifoy will make his millions in the defensive backfield, but he's needed to take the top off a defense once in a while as a receiver. Florida can't and won't win double-digit games again if it's last in the SEC in passing again.
- Florida's style under Will Muschamp is more effective than you think, but it leaves zero margin for error. If this team gets behind at LSU or at South Carolina, it won't be able to come back.
- I'd make some sort of a comment about Vanderbilt, at the end of the SEC day, being Vanderbilt, but I don't want to incur the screamy wrath of head coach James Franklin.
- Vanderbilt, if you're not just Vanderbilt anymore, you beat Ole Miss in the home opener. No, a 17-13 moral victory-loss like last year's opener against South Carolina doesn't cut it, and no one knows that more than Franklin.
- Fun stat: Vanderbilt's four losses came to a South Carolina team that won 11 games, a Northwestern team that won ten games, a Georgia team that won 12 games, and a Florida team that won 11 games. The four losses came to teams that combined to win 44 games, while the eight FBS teams the Commodores beat combined to win 35 games.
- There's really no excuse for Tennessee to not be really good again in a big hurry under Butch Jones.
- It shouldn't be such a wild and crazy call, but people get mad at the suggestion that Dorial Green-Beckham – the nation's No. 1 overall recruit last year – might be the best wide receiver in America if the Missouri quarterback play is more consistent.
- If James Franklin can put together a full season and stay in one piece, Mizzou goes from 5-7 to 8-4. Remember, nothing went right and the Tigers still probably should've beaten Vanderbilt, Florida and Syracuse. With a better, healthier and more experienced team, there's your three-win swing.
- The best part about Year One under new Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops is that he can play the Nobody Believes In Us card, and he'll be right.
- If the Wildcats can pull off one SEC upset, the potential for five wins isn't a crazy goal.
- Considering the recruiting classes Gene Chizik brought in, this shouldn't be considered a "rebuilding" season for Auburn. It's up to Gus Malzahn to have this thing close to built by the end of the year.
- Yup, Cam Newton really was that good.
- That whole three-in-four-year thing from that other school sort of harshed the Auburn 2010 buzz in a real hurry.
- It stinks that Mississippi State is stuck in the SEC West, and Dan Mullen has a wonderful job of making the program relevant over the last four years, but he could really, really, really use a brand-name win over a great team. The 45-3 victory over Middle Tennessee was the only victory in 2012 over an FBS team that finished with a winning record.
- Out of the 29 career wins for Mullen at MSU, how many have come against FBS teams that finished with a winning record? Seven, and two of them came against Middle Tennessee.
- The college football world outside of the SEC desperately – DESPERATELY – wants anyone else to win a national title. Voters will jump at the chance to take two unbeaten teams from BCS conferences over a one-loss SEC champion. And I'll spend all of December receiving hate mail after explaining why there can't be a legitimate BCS championship without the SEC champion.