This is it. The big one. The Southeastern Conference- the greatest conference in college football. No conference in the country dominates quite like the SEC and no fan base in the country takes itself quite so seriously. I mean, this is a conference that actually chants “SEC! SEC!” when their conference teams beat teams from other (lesser) conferences.
I realize that many of the SEC fans might not take too kindly to a Daly Dose type preview just as they wouldn’t take too kindly to someone bringing up the fact that they haven’t won the National Championship for two years in a row now.
But I am not even going to bring that up.
And neither should you.
You might say I’m crazy picking Missouri to win the SEC East but I notice you didn’t say anything when I picked them to win the East for the past two years, did you? Can I prove that I picked them? Can you prove that I didn’t?
Georgia has the most talent in the division but they will most likely lose a game or two to a team that no one saw coming. Well…except for Bulldog fans who are pretty much convinced that they are going to lose every week no matter the opponent.
The Volunteers return a significant amount of talent and expectations are high in Knoxville. But high expectations are not always met in Knoxville, are they Mr. Manning?
The Gators pulled the plug on the Will Muschamp experiment and have hired former Colorado State head coach Jim McIlwain. Florida should be in good hands eventually. As long as they don’t schedule Air Force.
South Carolina Gamecocks
Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks started off hot last year at 3-1 before losing five of their final eight. It could signal the beginning of the end for the legendary coach as they will most likely struggle again this season. Or maybe he just wants to remind the local fans of how things used to be before he got there.
Under head coach Mark Stoops the Wildcats have really started to bring in some big time recruits and the tide in football is slowly turning. Of course they aren’t the elite players that the basketball program gets but the fact is that John Calipari still pays better.
Vanderbilt has a quiet reputation of having some of the most attractive coeds in the stands on game day. And it’s a good thing because you aren’t going to want to watch what their team is doing out on the playing field.
The Tigers allowed 27 points per game in 2014 so head coach Gus Malzahn went and got former Florida head coach Will Muschamp to revive the defense. Muschamp has a history of building aggressive, dominant defenses. But I’m telling you- do not let Muschamp near that offense. I saw what he did at Florida and he will screw it up. I don’t care if you bring back Cam Newton and Bo Jackson, it will be broken. You hear me Gus-Gus? I’m not joking.
Alabama Crimson Tide
With all of their losses to the NFL the Crimson Tide might actually struggle a little this season. But I know how crazy their fan base is, so I am a little afraid to say that they might lose a couple of games here. Wait, what am I worried about? There are no pictures in this article. They won’t know what I’m even talking about.
Ole Miss Rebels
The Rebels still have a ton of talent returning and if things break right they could contend for the SEC West. Of course they did lose three year starting quarterback Bo Wallace. So they won’t have as many costly interceptions. And that should help.
For head coach Les Miles this season will come down to what his quarterback does. The Tigers always seem to have better players than anyone else they just can’t seem to find quarterbacks. I mean this is a program that actually won with JaMarcus Russell. Or despite him. Whatever.
The Razorbacks are going to be a very tough team. The problem for them is that they just have such a difficult schedule. Head coach Bret Beliema has done a great job of assembling a physical and efficient team down in Fayetteville. So ignore for a second that he looks like an adult version of Butthead and just enjoy the ride.
Texas A&M Aggies
Tired of his defensive struggles head coach Kevin Sumlin went and got LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis. And it wasn’t cheap. Chavis will cost the Aggies $1.7 million dollars per season. Big deal. Johnny Manziel’s parents can pay for him.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Sure the Bulldogs return super stud QB Dak Prescott but with the loss of so many starters and playing in such a tough division it looks like Mississippi State could be back at the bottom again. Sometimes it’s nice to have things get back to normal.
Oh sure, it isn’t the SEC but the Pac 12 might be the second best conference in college football and that’s pretty impressive. The Pac 12 has it all. Beautiful weather, beautiful coeds, and games that are played way past everyone’s bedtime. Ducks, Trojans, and Beavers…OH MY!
Gone is Marcus Mariota, the Heisman winning quarterback, but that doesn’t mean the Ducks aren’t still the team to beat in conference. Under head coach Mark Helfrich Oregon has another chance to make it all the way to the big game again. And probably lose it.
Stanford ended last season as one of the hottest teams in the country. Quarterback Kevin Hogan and the Cardinal beat Cal, UCLA, and Maryland by a combined score of 114-38. Oh sure, after all of the pressure was gone…
California Golden Bears
After going 1-11 in their first season under head coach Sonny Dykes Cal surprised everyone last year by somehow managing to go 5-7 and being one of the most improved teams in the country. Good news for the Golden Bears! Since they liked last year so much they are going to go 5-7 again this year! Enjoy!
Head coach Chris Petersen left Boise State for Washington and led the Huskies to an 8-6 record and a bowl game in his first season. But now the real work begins for Petersen because UW lost a good amount of talent on both sides of the ball. Or maybe he could just dye the field at Husky Stadium purple and call it a day.
Washington State Cougars
Mike Leach led the Cougars to a bowl game in 2013 but WSU struggled in 2014, going 3-9. They still have too many holes to fill this season but Leach feels like they can compete in a very tough conference. And if you disagree with him, he just might lock you up in an equipment shed.
Oregon State Beavers
The Beavers lost long time head coach Mike Riley to Nebraska in the offseason but Gary Anderson comes over from Wisconsin and should keep them moving in a positive direction. Will they be one of the elite teams in college football? Of course not, but they will maintain one of the silliest mascots in all of collegiate sports. And that’s something.
UCLA returns 17 starters from a team that went 10-3. Yes, they will have to replace QB Brett Hundley and LB Eric Kendricks, but if top ranked QB recruit Josh Rosen can adapt, the Bruins could contend for a title. It would also help if none of their coaches got blasted by a stray kettlebell.
The Trojans might have the most talented top 22 players of anyone in the country. The issue for them is still their depth due to the scholarship restrictions that were placed on them in 2011. But that’s what happens when you get caught cheating. You pay for it. Well, unless your name is Tom Brady.
Arizona State Sun Devils
The Sun Devils return some talented players but their schedule is really tough. They will face Texas A&M, USC, UCLA, and Oregon all before Halloween. That’s a devil of a schedule! See what I did there? “Devil?” Sun Devils? Is this thing on?
In his first three seasons at Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez has already won 26 games which is a school record. Or maybe the people in Tucson just think it was a record because it was 124° degrees there and they were suffering from heatstroke. Either way.
Utah just keeps getting better. The Utes went 9-4 in 2014 but lost some key players to graduation and the NFL. Head coach Kyle Whittingham has done a great job of getting this program to compete in the Pac12 one of the toughest conferences in the country. It is pretty amazing really. I mean if you had told us that a team from Utah could actually compete in the Pac we all would have said BYU, right? No? Just me?
Colorado returns 15 starters from last season which has Buffs fans thinking they could be poised for some major improvement. But these were the same starters that went 2-10 last year and failed to win a single conference game. So good luck with all of that.
After announcing last December that they would be terminating their football program the University of Alabama at Birmingham was overwhelmed with support.
The program was going to be dropped primarily for lack of funds but since the announcement money has poured in and an estimated $27 million dollars has been raised to get the program reinstated and back on it’s feet.
While the return of football is surely positive, UAB has announced that not all of the news is good.
UAB president Ray Watts announced on Monday that now the university is in danger of dropping basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, soccer, and volleyball.
“When we announced that we were dropping football we were surprised at the support to the budget that we received.” Watts said. “We just would like everyone to know that these other program are in danger too. I know this might seem like a money grab but that’s not the case. Checks may be made out to “cash” or directly to myself Ray Watts. We do also accept most major credit cards.”
The Duke Blue Devils basketball team was the little engine that could. Always a heavy underdog, and despite a roster full of kids that no one else wanted, Duke found a way to an unlikely championship on Monday night.
Duke topped the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA National Championship game 68-63 coming from behind to shock the world and win one for the little guys.
Located in Durham North Carolina, Duke University is a private university that has less than 15,000 students, yet somehow they found a way to field a highly competitive basketball team and even win a title.
It was a magical win for the long shot Blue Devils, who had to overcome both a Wisconsin team intent on crushing Cinderella’s slipper, as well as the officiating crews who never seem to give Duke their just due.
But behind overachievers like Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, Duke showed a fearless resolve and somehow used good old fashioned ingenuity to overcome the odds and win the big one.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari made a fatal error this week; forgetting to RSVP his 34-0 Kentucky Wildcats to the Big Dance.
“The RSVP was sitting on the table. I had filled it out and everything I just forgot to drop it in the mailbox.” Calipari lamented.
As a result Kentucky’s season comes to an end without a National Championship and millions of March Madness brackets have been ruined.
“We are obviously disappointed.” stated NCAA president Mark Emmert “Kentucky looked to be one of the best teams in the country, but rules are rules. And if we let them get away with not RSVP’ing then where does it all end? We begin to see the beginning of a lack of institutional control, And we at the NCAA will not stand for that.”
“It’s definitely a dark day in Lexington.” Calipari told reporters “But wait until they see the recruiting class that I’m bringing in next year.”
It has been a rough season for the New York Knickerbockers. Having won just 13 games all year when the invitations were sent out for the NCAA tournament, needless to say, the Knicks did not receive one.
But they had hoped to at least qualify for the NIT which plays it’s semifinal round and championship game at Madison Square Garden…the Knicks home court.
“Our players are devastated, and they should be, because we feel like we are certainly deserving of an NIT berth.” Knicks President Phil Jackson told reporters.
Knicks head coach Derek Fisher felt so strongly that they would be an at large berth that he has sat forward Carmelo Anthony for the past month. “We felt like we had a good RPI and that our strength of schedule would carry us” said Fisher “but the NIT committee is clearly changing the rules.”
“We beat the Nuggets once and the Celtics too.” tweeted Knicks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr “what did we do wrong?”