By Shane from Centerpoint
The time is drawing nigh. Soon the doldrums of summer will cease to be a concern. Football fans around the South will begin to focus on the task at hand. None of the mindless blather that floated across the news wires or the airwaves during the off-season will matter any more. Itâ€™s almost time to put up or shut up.
A million questions are flying around in the heads of SEC faithful everywhere. The scenarios and possibilities are endlessâ€¦
Will the Georgia Bulldogs live up to the hype and stay at the top of the polls for the entire season? Can they really escape their tendency to â€œchokeâ€ early in the journey? Is Knowshon Moreno the real deal?
Can Alabamaâ€™s highly touted â€œtrueâ€ freshman, Julio Jones, display the same dominance on game day that he has shown in scrimmages? Will he become the Crimson Tideâ€™s first legitimate Heisman candidate? Can he make an impact like Floridaâ€™s Tim Tebow?
Speaking of Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators â€“ have they been bitten by the injury bug? Will Tebow perform to the same level of excellence that brought him the Heisman Trophy last year? Will Urban Meyer be able to meet expectations and duplicate his 2006 National Championship run?
Is Tommy Tuberville living on borrowed time down on the Plains? He tried to escape last year â€“ taking his â€œinner circleâ€ duck-hunting while his wife picked out land in Louisiana. (Just kidding.) Will the potential quarterback controversy blow up in Tubbyâ€™s face? Is Tony Franklin going to be the next head coach of the Tigers? (Just kidding.) Will the Saban recruiting machine continue to crush Auburn into submission? (Dead serious.)
Could this be the year the Tennessee Vol nation begins to tire of Phil Fulmer? If the Vols perform poorly and have a mediocre season, will the fan base demand his head? Can Fulmer adjust to life without David Cutcliffe?
Are the LSU Tigers going to be a contender or a pretender? Can Les Miles avoid the mindless decisions like he made last year that almost destroyed his teamâ€™s chances for a national title? Do the swamp cats have enough talent left on the defensive side of the ball to cushion the effects of a rookie quarterback and the loss of the defensive coordinator?
Is Sylvester Croom going to continue to improve the Mississippi State football program to the point of being competitive every year?
Can Houston Nutt lift the Ole Miss Rebels out of the cellar and use his motivational magic to help get Mississippi over the five hundred mark?
Does Steve Spurrier have enough fire left in his belly to make South Carolina significant one more time?
Will Bobby Petrino be able to convert his players from a run-oriented attack to a spread-formation system? Is the change too drastic for the Razorback fans to expect a big year?
How will Rich Brooks and his Kentucky Wildcats fare without Andre Woodson? Will Brooks be able to sustain the momentum he has created?
Finally, can Vanderbiltâ€™s fine coach, Bobby Johnson, get the Commodores to a bowl game just once? He is truly a â€œone-armed man in a prizefightâ€.
These and many other questions are about to be answered. It wonâ€™t take long to solve the riddle of who has the team to beat in the SEC because judgment day is just around the corner. Very soon none of what has been said during the off-season will matter, because all the talking will be done on the field. Itâ€™s about time to â€œget-it-onâ€!!!