Sports 56 WHBlog Q

September 2, 2009

In which I preview the SEC with Hot Women

Filed under: Uncategorized — Will Askew @ 5:32 pm

SEC East

6.  Kentucky

On offense:  Reportedly, QB Mike Hartline has come along well in camp.  At running back, Alfonso Smith and Derrick Locke should be a solid duo, but if they are banged up, as is the case at the moment, expect freshmen Jonathan George and Donald Russell to try and pick up the slack.  At wideout, they have the best player on their offense, Randall Cobb, who will line up everywhere.  The line is extremely athletic, which will mean it will pass block pretty well…opening up holes for the running game should be a problem.

On defense:  The defensive line was a major strength last season, but the suspension of Jeremy Jarmon really hurts.  At linebacker, senior Micah Johnson returns after a very solid year last year.  Watch out for Danny Trevathan at outside linebacker to make a lot of plays.  In the secondary, Trevard Lindley is the best corner in the SEC.  He’ll be an extremely high draft pick.  He’ll erase half the field, but other than that, it’s a question mark.

Prediction:  5-7, 1-7 SEC

Key Player:  D-line.  The team must deal with the loss of Jeremy Jarmon.

Comparison:  Any Kardashian sister other than Kourtney or Kim.  Pretty good looking, but they’ll never be close to as hot as their sisters (UK basketball).

5.  Vanderbilt

On offense:  This is the area of major concern for the Dores, especially at QB.  Larry Smith will start, but much like last year, expect McKenzie Adams to come in if the offense gets bogged down.  There is a lot of excitement around the running game’s three incoming freshmen–Zac Stacy, Warren Norman, and Wesley Tate.  The three should be very solid players in the future.  At wideout, it’s a disaster.  Two players the Dores were looking to, Justin Wheeler and Terrence Jeffers-Harris, will not play–Jeffers-Harris is ineligible and Wheeler is out for the season with a knee injury.  John Cole and Alex Washington will have to pick up the slack.  On the offensive line, all five starters return, led by tackle Thomas Welch.

On defense:  This is a pretty solid defense, and very opportunistic.  Horrible news came earlier this week though, when lineman Stephen Stone broke his foot and will be out four games.  Broderick Stewart, Greg Billinger, and Adam Smotherman will have to pick up the slack.  The strength of the defense may be in the linebacking unit–Memphis natives Chris Marve and John Stokes and junior Patrick Benoist are this unit, although Stokes is coming off a shoulder injury.  Brent Trice has had a really good camp as well.  In the secondary, it’s all about Myron Lewis.  Ryan Hamilton is a very solid safety, though.

Prediction:  5-7, 2-6 SEC

Key Player:  It’s all about the QB.

Comparison:  Tina Fey.  Never going to be on anyone’s Hottest lists, but cute in a nerdy way.

4.  South Carolina

On offense:  They’d better hope Stephen Garcia stays healthy.  Garcia has a ton of talent.  He has to avoid mistakes, though, after throwing 8 picks last year in only three starts.  After him, there’s nothing.  At running back, there’s a huge hole.  True freshman Jarvis Giles is probably the best back they have…they have no proven talent at the position.  After losing Kenny McKinley, there’s also a big question at wide receiver.  What they do have, though, are a lot of big, physical receivers.  On the line, the team brings back a lot of experience…unfortunately, it’s a lot of experience giving up sacks.

On defense:  Up front, Clifton Geathers was ready to break out and be a star–until he was suspended for getting in a nightclub fight.  Radi Ajiboye is the team’s best defensive tackle, but he is suspended for the first three games after an arrest in the spring.  Eric Norwood is one of the best linebackers in the country, and though he’s fighting a sprained wrist at the moment, should be fine.  Stephon Gilmore and Akeem Auguste are young corners who are unproven.  At safety, though, the team is strong.  It will be because of the defense if this team wins.

Prediction:  4-8, 2-6 SEC

Key Player:  QB.  If Spurrier messes with the QB situation or Garcia gets hurt, they’re done.

Comparison:  Alicia Silverstone.  Was once everybody’s it girl and among the sexiest women alive, but lost it in a big way.

3.  Tennessee

On offense:  This team needs some production from either Jonathan Crompton or Nick Stephens.  They have tools, but haven’t done anything on the field when given a chance.  At running back, the Vols are loaded.  Monterrio Hardesty, David Oku, and (if he can avoid being ineligible) Bryce Brown are a very talented trio.  The best player on the offense, at least right now, is Gerald Jones at WR.  Brandon Warren is a former stud recruit that was severely under-utilized last year.  A good group, but not going to blow anyone away, and it won’t be helped by the loss of Austin Rogers.  Josh McNeil anchors a big, physical o-line that should be pretty good at what it’s asked to do–run block.

On defense:  The team finished third in the country in defense last year, so that wasn’t the problem.  Chris Walker and Ben Martin will be speedy coming off the ends for the Vol defense…one of the big strengths of the defensive line should be Ed Orgeron, who’s one of the best d-line coaches in America.  At linebacker, Rico McCoy is looking to parlay this year into being a high draft pick a la Jerrod Mayo.  Other than him, there’s not a ton to like at LB.  The secondary is awesome.  Eric Berry may be one of the top three players in the country, and they have some talent around him, too.

Prediction:  8-4, 4-4 SEC

Key Player:  QB.  It’s obvious.

Comparison:  Britney Spears.  Used to be the hottest girl on Earth, but stuck with Federline too long and became a hot mess.  On the road to recovery with a nice new workout regimen.

2.  Georgia

On offense:  It’s not easy replacing the #1 pick in the NFL draft, and Georgia will find that out this year.  However, Joe Cox is a winner, and a solid game manager.  Behind Cox, there’s a ton of young talent.  At running back, Caleb King is ready to take over for Knowshon Moreno, though he’s banged up at the moment.  Behind him, Richard Samuel is a capable backup.  AJ Green is one of the SEC’s best wideouts, and should have another great season.  Outside of Green though, there’s not a lot.  The o-line should be vastly improved from last year.  Trinton Sturdivant is back after missing last season, Clint Boling is ready to be a star.  Every person on the line but Sturdivant can play multiple positions, too.  One of the best in the SEC.

On defense:  The defensive line has the best pair of tackles in the SEC with Jeff Owens and Geno Atkins.  Justin Houston had a hgue spring at end, but the other side is a question.  At linebacker, undersized Rennie Curran will once again be a tackling machine.  Also, watch for Marcus Washington.  An extremely good group of LBs.  The defensive backfield is bolstered by the return of Reshad Jones.  Bryan Evans will play the other safety spot.  Brandon Boykin will be asked to replace Asher Allen, who’s off to the NFL.

Prediction:  9-3, 6-2 SEC

Key Player:  WR.  They have to have someone to throw the ball to other than AJ Green.

Comparison:  Anna Kournikova…One of the hotter women around, but they always leave you wanting a bit more.

1.  Florida

On offense:  I don’t think I need to mention how strong the QB situation is with the world’s greatest human Tim Tebow and Jeff’s favorite human John Brantley.  At running back, they’ve got more speed than anyone in the country with Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey, with Emmanuel Moody providing a more punishing option.  If there is a question on this team, it’s at receiver, where the team lost Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy.  They do return one of the best tight ends in the country in Aaron Hernandez along with wideout Deonte Thompson.  Riley Cooper is an extremely solid option also.  On the o-line, the Pouncey twins are back, and while the team will be hurt by the loss of Phil Trautwein, it should be solid.

On defense:  Jermaine Cunningham and Carlos Dunlap are awesome defensive ends.  The team may have the best group of linebackers in the country led by Brandon Spikes, and maybe the best secondary in the country as well.  Really, defending national champion defenses shouldn’t return this many players.

Prediction:  12-0, 8-0 SEC

Key Player:  Receiver.

Comparison:  Brooklyn Decker.  Great to look at, great to talk to, and really, when you come up with a flaw, you’re just nitpicking.

SEC West

6.  Mississippi State

On offense:  Yeesh.  They’ve got the coaching there for what may eventually be a pretty good system, but it may be rough this year.  Tyson Lee, at least for now, is the starter, but Chris Relf and Tyler Russell are making a strong run at it, especially Relf.  Russell eventually will be the starter…though maybe not this year.  At running back, the team’s best player, Anthony Dixon, returns.  Dixon, though, has had some off the field problems this offseason with a DUI and reportedly showing up out of shape.  He should be fine.  Meaning, he’d better be fine.  At receiver, Brandon McRae is the leading returner, but watch out for true freshman Chad Bumphis to make an impact eventually.  Derrek Sherrod is the best returning blocker on the o-line, which returns three starters.  How good they are is up in the air.

On defense:  If State is to win anything this year, they’ll have to do it with defense.  It starts up front with tackle Pernell McPhee.  the Dogs are quick up front, but haven’t been all that productive.  The linebackers are the strength of the entire football team, with Jamar Chaney coming back.  KJ Wright led the team in sacks last year, and JUCO Chris White should be an instant contributor.  The secondary has to replace Derek Pegues, with Zac Smith trying to fill the spot.  Keith Fitzhugh, who led the team in tackles, is gone as well.  Charles Mitchell, one of the team’s top recruits from last year, needs to step up.

Prediction:  1-11, 0-8 SEC

Key Player:  O-line.

Comparison:  Renee Zellwegger.  Was considered hot for a minute there, but now you see her, and you don’t know why.

5.  Auburn

On offense:  At QB, Gus Malzahn will go with Chris Todd, which can’t get too many fans excited.  However, if anyone can make Todd good, it’s Malzahn, whose Tulsa teams lit it up over the last few years.  At running back, Ben Tate returns, and true freshman Ontarrio McCaleb should get a lot of carries.  Mario Fannin is the best player on the offense, and he’ll be asked to do a bit of everything.  Tim Hawthorne could be really good for Auburn in the new system as well.  Up front, Lee Ziemba anchors a very versatile line.  Overall, though, it’s a wait and see approach.

On defense:  The team will most definitely miss Senderrick Marks up front, but they do return DE Antonio Coleman, who’s going to be an extremely disruptive force.  Michael Goggans is another one of the strengths of the line on the other end.  At linebacker, you haven’t heard of a bunch of guys, but they should be a great tackling unit.  Watch for Adam Herring.  In the secondary, there are a lot of questions as to whether or not guys can come back from injury–Aarion Savage is coming back from a knee injury, Mike McNeil for a broken leg, and Zach Etheridge a bit banged up.

Prediction:  5-7, 2-6 SEC

Key Player:  QB.

Comparison:  Jessica Simpson.  Went through a rough breakup and got kind of plump there for a minute, but you get the sense that she’s not that far off.

4.  Arkansas

On offense:  On paper, the hogs should have one of the best offenses in the SEC.  Ryan Mallett should be one of the best QBs in the SEC (remember I predicted he’d go to NY for the Heisman before he’s done), and the team is set at RB with Michael Smith, D’Anthony Curtis, and Broderick Green.  The team returns a great tight end in DJ Williams, Joe Adams, who could eventually be a really good player, and Jarius Wright, a rising soph.  On the o-line, the team will most definitely miss center Jonathan Luigs, but they do return a massive line led by Wade Greyson.  If there is a weakness, though, the line is it.

On defense:  Malcolm Sheppard is a beast on the defensive front.  Jake Bequette and Zach Stadther are two young linemen on the rise, but the team did struggle to stop the run last season.  The linebackers should be much improved from last season.  Jerry Franklin, Wendel Davis and Freddy Burton make up a very talented group of linebackers, but they did struggle to tackle running backs last year.  In the secondary, the team will really miss the presence of Isaac Madison, who tore up his knee earlier this week in practice.  Ramon Broadway is a tremendously talented corner who should get better as the season goes along.  The d-backfield isn’t great, but it’s okay because they won’t have to face all that many great passing teams.

Prediction:  8-4, 4-4 SEC

Key Player:  Replacement for Madison at corner.

Comparison:  Keira Knightley.  Gorgeous, but maybe just a bit thin.

3.  LSU

On offense:  The key is Jordan Jefferson.  While it’s believed that he’s improved a lot in the offseason, he remains somewhat of a question mark for a team whose QB play was awful last year, not that it’s all their fault.  At running back, the team has one of the top returning rushers in the league in Charles Scott and a very capable backup in Keiland Williams.  The receiving corps may be one of the best in the entire nation.  Brandon LaFell is going to be a first round pick, Reuben Randle is the latest in the Julio Jones/AJ Green mold, and freshman Russell Shepard will get time as well.  Terrance Tolliver was one of the top recrutis in the country a couple of years ago but hasn’t panned out as of yet.  Loaded at wideout.  On the o-line, it all starts with Ciron Black.  He’s a stud at LT, and the team is strong on the other side as well with Joseph Barksdale.  The team won’t be quite as good at run-blocking without Herman Johnson, though.

On defense:  The team had waaaay too much talent to be as bad as they were in ’08…John Chavis and his Mustang package come in to try and remedy the situation.  The team is replacing Tyson Jackson and Kirston Pittman on the line, but bring back Charles Alexander and a budding star in Drake Nevis.  At linebacker, they have to replace a great player on Darry Beckwith, but think they have their man in Jacob Cutrera.  The team’s top 3 returning tacklers from last year are all linebackers, so this should still be an excellent unit.  The d-backfield has no shortage of speed, especially Chad Jones and Ron Brooks.

Prediction:  9-3, 5-3 SEC

Key player:  QB and middle of o-line.

Comparison:  Scarlett Johansson.  My goodness, she’s got a lot of physical gifts.

2.  Alabama

On offense:  The biggest question marks on this team are at QB and O-line.  Greg McElroy replaces John Parker Wilson, but people seem to think he’s going to be pretty good.  He’s a good game manager, and was an excellent high school QB.  There’s nothing proven at all behind him though.  At running back, the team is loaded, despite the loss of Glen Coffee to the NFL.  Mark Ingram, Terry Grant, Trent Richardson, and Roy Upchurch are all capable running backs, and Greg McElwain will make sure the RBs get carries.  At receiver, the team has Julio Jones and Mike McCoy, who was supposed to be the team’s #1 target last year.  McCoy had a disappointing year last year.  The biggest question on the offense is on the o-line, where the team lost three starters, including all-league performers Antoine Caldwell and especially Andre Smith.  James Carpenter will start off at LT.  While the team has a stable of quality o-linemen, they might not hit their stride until next year.

On defense:  The Tide will be scary good defensively, and it all starts up front with Terrence Cody.  Cody’s numbers aren’t there, but there can be no doubt that he was dominant last year, occupying 2 blockers every play.  They’ll stuff the run.  Getting to the passer may be an issue, though, and the Tide will count on Brandon Deaderick to do it.  At linebacker, Rolando McClain and Donta’ Hightower lead an excellent group.  Watch out for Jerrell Harris as well.  The team has good corners in Javier Arenas, Kareem Jackson, and Dre Kirkpatrick, and Justin Woodall is a nice player, but they will really miss Rashad Johnson defensively.

Prediction:  11-1, 7-1 SEC

Key player:  O-line

Comparison:  Angelina Jolie…She went through a phase there where she made some shockingly crazy decisions–making out with her weird brother, wearing a vial of Billy Bob Thornton’s blood around her neck, Billy Bob Thornton–but is now rocking it.

1.  Ole Miss

On offense:  There can be no doubt that Jevan Snead will be one of the top 2 QBs in the SEC.  Behind him, there’s not much.  At running back, the team is extremely deep.  Brandon Bolden, Cordera Eason, Enrique Davis are all of the teams backs, while Dexter McCluster is the team’s leaning returning rusher.  McCluster leads the receiving corps, as he’s kind of a David Palmer-ish kind of guy.  Shay Hodge is the team’s leading returning receiver, and while he’s not the most flashy guy in the world, but he’s steady.  On the o-line, the team will miss Michael Oher dearly, but John Jerry is back on the other side.  Bradley Sowell will be the guy trying to step in to replace Oher.  Keep your eyes on Bobbie Massie…maybe not so much this year, but he’s going to be a stud.

On defense:  One of the top defensive lines in the country.  Greg Hardy is one of the nation’s best pass rushers…if he can stay on the field.  Ted Laurent clogs up the middle, and while the team will definitely miss Peria Jerry, they have a ton of talent on the line, and reportedly, Jerrell Powe is looking better.  At linebacker, Patrick Trahan and Jonathan Cornell lead a solid starting three, but there’s not too much depth behind them.  The secondary is fast, and cobbled together with a lot of guys who started at different positions…this is the weakness of the defense, though.

Prediction:  11-1, 7-1 SEC

Key Player: Secondary and left side of the o-line.

Comparison:   Megan Fox.  She’s probably the hottest thing going right now, but you wonder about her staying power…and every once in a while, she slips up and says something ridiculous.

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