End Of The Season Accountability
Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead
Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead
Posted Dec 31, 2008

As the 2008 season comes to a close, it's now time to step up to the plate and take the heat. So, for those of you that e-mailed me or discussed my musings on a message board demanding accountability when some of my prognostications didn't come to fruition, this article is for you.

By: Barrett Sallee

After a year of highs and lows in the SEC and throughout the college football universe, several of my long-shot predictions came through with flying colors; while others could be categorized as nothing short of epic failures. During the season, many of you demanded acknowledgment. Ask, and ye shall receive.

The Good

Thanks to this article written in mid-July, Ohio State e-mailers brought me and my inbox to a whole new level of profanity. And, for that, I thank them. However, the results of the USC/Ohio State game only gave further credence to what the majority of college football fans already knew – Ohio State is overrated. Thanks to lousy in-conference competition, Ohio State still found themselves in a BCS game. But, mercifully, their absence in the BCS Championship Game will be a New Year's treat to college football fans yearning for a compelling title game for the first time since Texas vs. USC in 2005.

In mid-August, I opined that Houston Nutt, one of the most underrated coaches in the SEC, would lead Ole Miss to a 7-win season and a bowl game for the first time since 2003. Well, I was wrong – they won eight. QB Jevan Snead came-of-age during the 2008 campaign, and a stout defense led by Peria Jerry, have the Rebels facing off against Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl, in one of the most intriguing games of the bowl season.

In the same article, I "boldly" stated that Vanderbilt would not go 0-8 in the SEC this season. Sure, that wasn't exactly a long-shot since the Commodores typically fall into a victory or two within the SEC. But, behind QB's Chris Nickson and Mackenzi Adams, the ‘Dores rocketed out of the gates, winning five straight games to start the season en route to top 15 national ranking. Vandy then lost six of their next seven games, barely slipping into a bowl game for the first time since 1982. Not bad for a team that is typically at or near the bottom of the SEC standings.

The Bad

In September 2005, a Sports Illustrated cover declared that "Bama Is Back." That statement proved to be a bit premature, as 2006 and 2007 saw the Crimson Tide manage just 13 wins in two years. In early August, I reiterated what I thought was a foregone conclusion, "Bama Is Not Back." Well, should the Tide beat the Utah Utes in the Sugar Bowl, they will have matched their win total from the previous two seasons combined, and further cement themselves as not only one of the top teams in the SEC, but a major player in the national picture. As Lloyd Christmas would say, "It's right here on the briefcase. Samsonite. I was WAY off."

As I stated before the season, everyone has to have pre-season predictions. After picking Auburn and Tennessee to square off in the 2008 SEC Championship Game, perhaps I'll let my wife or dog make my SEC predictions in 2009. Both teams lost their coaches, failed to make bowl games, and have programs that can only be described as in complete disarray. Yikes!

At the end of September, I stated that LSU was in a good position to repeat as SEC Champions, but had to avoid land-mines like Florida, Georgia and Alabama to get there. They didn't. LSU's defense faltered down the stretch and QB question marks still linger for the Bengal Tigers. They dropped five of their final eight games, including a collapse in Little Rock to the lowly Arkansas Razorbacks, to finish the season 7-5 and under .500 in conference play for the first time since 1999.

The Ugly

In the season's biggest "airball," in this article, titled "New Coordinators, No Problem For Auburn," I wrote that Auburn's two new coordinators, Paul Rhoads on defense and Tony Franklin on offense, wouldn't derail Auburn's SEC Championship hopes in 2008. Little did we know that Franklin's offense would be so grossly inept, that he wouldn't even make it to Halloween. Auburn's offense under Franklin's watch couldn't get out of neutral for the first month plus of the season, and Franklin was shown the door shortly after a loss at Vanderbilt in early October. Well, at least Paul Rhoads' one season was a moderate success.

Comments? Visit the CFN message board
Care to yell at me and call me an idiot?
E-mail me

Story Archive:
End Of The Season Accountability – December 31, 2008
3 Non-BCS Games You Should Watch – December 10, 2008
Who Will Be The Next Auburn Coach? – December 3, 2008
Big XII Blunder – December 1, 2008
Arkansas' Loss Has Been Ole Miss' Gain – November 23, 2008
SEC Championship Hype A Bit Premature – November 20, 2008
Auburn vs. Georgia Still Has Meaning – November 12, 2008
Auburn In Must-Win Situation vs. Ole Miss – October 28, 2008
Georgia vs. LSU – SEC Elimination Game – October 21, 2008
Franklin's Firing Isn't All Bad – October 8, 2008
SEC West September Synopsis – September 28, 2008
Fixing Auburn's Offense – September 15, 2008
Wells or Not, USC's Defense Will Dominate – September 10, 2008
No Need To Panic, Auburn Fans – September 2, 2008
SEC and ESPN Reach Mega Deal – August 25, 2008
What Will Happen In The SEC – August 18, 2008
Bama Is Not Back – August 5, 2008
SEC Under-The-Radar Games – July 26, 2008
Enough With The Buckeyes – July 16, 2008
SEC Coaches: How Many Is Too Many? - July 8, 2008
New Coordinators No Problem For Auburn - July 1, 2008

Related Stories
Former Tiger Coach Discusses New Job and AU
 -by autigers.com  Jan 2, 2009
Open Letter
 -by BamaMag.com  Dec 31, 2008
Daverin Geralds -
 -by OMSpirit.com  Jan 1, 2009