Shane: SEC from top to bottom

Shane’s 2009 final record predictions
By Shane from Centerpoint
Every year at this time I take out Shane’s crystal ball and forecast the final records of every Southeastern Conference football team. My rankings start with the worst and end with the best. If I pick two or more teams to finish with the same record, the better team will have the lower number:

#12 Mississippi State / 2-10 New head coach Dan Mullen probably felt sick when he first set eyes on his team. After seeing Gator talent for a few years, there’s no way he could’ve been happy. Mullen faces opponents with much better talent and three times the depth he has available. He needs 2-3 years to get his type of player layered throughout the “Meyer” system. I’m sure Bulldog fans are hoping that Mullen can make them forget the constant losing under former head coach Sylvester Croom. But, it’s not going to happen this year. Besides, transition years at Mississippi State are usually disasters.

#11 Vanderbilt / 5-7 Most people agree that Bobby Johnson is a good football coach. I mean no disrespect to the Commodore Nation, but Johnson plays with a disadvantage only because of the program he runs. Honestly, I think the only reason Vandy is in the SEC is because their academic ranking stands among the nation’s elite. With LSU and Ole Miss in back-to-back games (weeks 2 & 3), Vandy will be beat to a pulp early. The good news: at Vanderbilt, 5-7 is tradition.

#10 Kentucky / 6-6 Rich brooks has developed his Wildcats into a solid, competitive program. However, Kentucky fans who expect the football team to perform on the same level as the basketball side will be facing a rude awakening. Wildcat supporters should be elated if Brooks delivers a winning record and a trip to the Independence Bowl this year.

#9 Tennessee / 6-6 Rookie headman Lane Kiffin talks a good game, but he simply doesn’t have the talent or depth on this year’s squad to back it up. With the probability that his “all–star” freshman running back Bryce Brown is going to ride the pine at home, Kiffin’s plan is already beginning to unravel. It will be interesting to see how Lane, his staff, and the Vol Nation handle being dominated back-to-back by Georgia (10/10) and Alabama (10/24); and that’s after they face the mighty Florida Gators in game three. Tennessee will struggle to find an identity all season long.

#8 Auburn / 6-6 Gene Chizik (5-19 at Iowa State) is the third coach on this list to replace a coach that Alabama’s Nick Saban ran out of the conference last season – the others being MSU’s Dan Mullen and Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin. Conversely, I do think that Coach Chizik will field a hard-nosed team. However, the Tigers face too many teams that are deep and very good. Their season will run out of gas as soon as injuries mount. I’ll also say this, if Chizik can get Auburn to a bowl game he should be considered for a top-coaching award.

#7 Arkansas / 6-6 Bobby Petrino is quietly building a football team that is going to score points and could pull off a few major upsets if opponents don’t take them seriously. Yet, reality sinks in when you consider the powerhouses located in the SEC western division. If the Razorbacks can physically survive back-to back road battles against Florida and Ole Miss, after facing Georgia and Alabama early in the year, they stand a chance of winning every other game on the schedule. Still, I look for an average output from Arkansas this year.

#6 South Carolina / 7-5 Steve Spurrier’s back is against the wall. His reputation as a great coach is starting to suffer at South Carolina. Nobody knows better than Coach Spurrier that it’s time to put some “game” back into the Cock. Anyway, as you can see by my 7-5 prediction, South Carolina will remain a mid-level football program for the 2009 campaign. One asset that will help the Gamecocks this year is that the interior lines are strong on both sides of the ball. South Carolina should play in a decent bowl game, and Spurrier needs to plan his exit strategy.

#5 Ole Miss / 9-3 It doesn’t matter what the Rebels look like on paper, I still always remember who is running the show. Sure, Ole Miss has some very talented players on the squad, but they can’t do anything about their leader’s decision-making that “choke” away a game they have won. The end result of all the preseason hype will only serve to disappoint the “Nutt House” in the end.

#4 Georgia / 9-3 Georgia has one of the toughest schedules in the nation, but I also believe they are being underestimated by the pundits. Head coach Mark Richt has two SEC titles this decade. His teams usually mature quickly and Richt has the Georgia program in the hunt every year. With a little luck in the injury department, the Bulldogs are a long shot to become the 2009 SEC champion.

#3 LSU / 10-2 In spite of Les Miles’ incompetence (perceived or real), he has been able to sustain the recruiting momentum that Alabama coach Nick Saban started. The Bengal Tigers are going to be good enough to handle every opponent except Alabama and Florida. LSU is a team that will play well enough to push Alabama for the western division spot in the SEC championship.

#2 Florida / 12-0 The Gators will ride atop the polls all season. The “Flying Tebows” will appear to be unstoppable as their offense rips up and down the field scoring points, while their defense gives up very little, if anything. The talent and speed that Meyer puts on the gridiron can only be matched by a few teams. Florida’s (not so) secret weapon, Tim Tebow, remains the most potent weapon in America. To beat Florida, or to win the SEC, you’ve got to go through Tebow.

#1 Alabama / 12-0 Look for the Alabama Crimson Tide to repeat their undefeated run through the regular season. This year’s performance looks to be just as impressive as last year’s. The 2008 version of the Tide’s defense was impressive, but the 2009 Bama defense will be better. The overall depth and talent in the front seven is incredible. In fact, this team has as good or better talent than any team in the nation – at every position on the field. By the way, the Tide is ranked ahead of the Gators in this pole because I believe that Nick Saban, Bob Stoops, and Pete Carroll have devised a defensive scheme that will allow Alabama to beat Florida in Atlanta this December to win its record 22nd SEC crown.
—Shane writes a weekly column for the Call News and the Capstone Report.

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40 Comments

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  1. 3
    Auburn is a Joke the fan formerly known as Ballplay Indian

    Why would we expect anything less than a #1 ranking for Bama from you Shane. Youve only done this same B.S. every year of your life. You are dreaming if you or anyone else puts Bama over Florida. Tebow is the difference maker. A senior QB with 2 Nat Championships under his belt , just like the rest of those seniors, will not be intimidated by anything thrown at them. But hey, yall have McElroy, right? Who does Tim think he is.

    Dude , you wonder why the real world laughs at your journalistic integrity. That is why. You dont have an non objective bone in your body. Bama is #1 every year to you. Even when Shula coached. Thats right people , Shula…..Tim Brando should have just laughed you off for the Bama good ol boy homer you are. You, threatening him, with the power of this blog is flat out nuts. You dont even realize that the whole blog thinks you are nuts as well … Even Bama fans. And that is a mouthfull. If you want to be taken seriously as a journalist , cut this mess out. Or dont, it only proves my point about your fanbase.

  2. 4
    VanDSIRROM

    Shane, my friend, when it comes to SEC football and Vanderbilt football in particular, you are an idiot.

    Don’t believe me now? Check the SEC team records on Sept. 4th.

    BTW, Vanderbilt finished 3rd in the SEC East in ’08…3rd…they’ll do it again this year. Only FL, GA, AL, & Ole Miss won more SEC games than Vandy last season…and Vandy not only beat Ole Miss in ’08, they have beaten they the last 3 years…and they’ve beaten Spurrier the last two…

    If anybody is “beaten to a pulp” by Sept.3rd, it’ll be Jevan Snead and Ole Miss.

    Now, tell me which SEC team lost to Florida by the lowest point margin? It’s the same team that scored the most points against Florida.

    Do your homework before you ‘run at the mouth’.

  3. 12
    warbird

    Shane, how can anyone take you seriously. Do you even have a clue why the Bammer D looked so good last year? It was the offense you goob! Spot any defense 21 points and you make them look like world beaters. Didn’t work out so well against Utah when the offense went in the tank, did it?

    Of course you always look at things on the outside and extrapolate…which leads to exageration. Kind of like your claim on Finebomb’s show one day that Coach Bryant recruited you to come to Bama. Here’s how the conversation went…

    Shane: Hey Coach, how you doing (pant, pant, sniff, sniff).

    Bear: (grumble, grumble) Hey boy, how about picking up my brief case and take it in the coach’s office, I need to fire up a Chesterfield.

    Shane: Does this mean you’re recruiting me, Coach?

    Bear: (grumble, grumble) who is this dumb azz kid…he’s about as smart as a ice salesman at the North Pole…

    Who knew the Bear was clairvoyant!!!

  4. 13
    mojoradio

    Hey warchicken and the rest of your scumbag “fagily” oh excuse me “fartily”, Keep it down home, CUZ!!!!

  5. 14
    mojoradio

    # Auburn is a joke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian Says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    The biggest problem I see is the roster. Like it or not people 76 scolarship players on an 85 man roster (and thats giving nearly every walkon a scholly), is not good. That is a travesty in recruiting evaluation. Tubbs should have bee run out of town for that alone. I , nor anyone else that pulls for Auburn short of the BOT had any idea the attritian would be this bad. Then across the state Bama is haveing to fire players. What does this mean ? They will have about three times the depth we do.

    NOT GOOD……

    Really, Keep it down home, CUZ!!!!

  6. 15
    Auburn is a joke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian

    Dooshbag…..I didnt say that Auburn was in the wrong spot. I said Alabama was.

  7. 16
    Auburn Man

    What?!?
    My War Eagles didnt make the #1 spot.
    Shane you are an IDIOT!
    Everyone knows Auburn will win the SECCG. based on character alone.
    AND:
    Eric Smith did not hit that guy in the back of the head intentionally.
    The guy turned all the way around at the last possible moment. Thus besmirching a another fine (albeit dark skinned) Auburn Man’s name!!!!
    I think I will drive through a skidrow section of B’ham today with my girl freind standing topless in the sunroof, just to demonstrate that I am better than everyone else.

  8. 17
    Auburn is a joke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian

    AuburnMan aka alexfhamilton. Shut up….You are not funny nor witty. Your just plain annoying and frankly, really really stupid.

    Those words would be what the UAT bandwagon is spouting about your linebacker. We , on the other hand WANT our coaches to do the right thing.

  9. 18
    zionhippy2

    you couldn’t pick a football game if your life depending on it.
    fla is by far the best in the sec.lsu is second,south c third,auburn comes in at fourth,the vols 5th and ole miss 6th.now on to the lower 6 teams.uat
    7th,ga 8th. the hoggs 9th ky 10th,miss st
    11th and vandy 12th.

  10. 20
    CrimsonBrother

    “Auburn is a JOKE” (aka, Ballplay Indian) never let’s us down.

    Always talking about ALABAMA even though the COW COLLEGE was in the column also. It’s crazy what that COW MANURE does to those COW COLLEGE people.

    Did you notice “Auburn is a Joke” agrees with Shane’s prediction of the COW COLLEGE going 6 & 6 and finishing 8th in the SEC. I don’t blame “Auburn is a Joke” for not writing anything about that. He doesn’t want to look like a fool more than he already is.

    36 to 0 AZZ WHOPPING in T-TOWN!!!

    Get ready for another in “TOILET PAPER STADIUM”!!!!!!

    ROLL TIDE BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    21 SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

  11. 21
    Bengal Tiger

    Looking strictly at the preseason ESPN, AP, USA TODAY polls the consensus top 5 SEC schools are:
    Fla
    Bama
    Ole Miss
    LSU
    Georgia

    So Shane’s predictions are not so far afield of reality according to the pollster’s best guess. I would disagree with him however that ANY SEC team would go undefeated this year. There are just too many emotional peaks and valleys and too many good teams. I wish the season started today!

    College Football cannot come soon enough!

  12. 22
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO! SHANE, ONCE AGAIN YOU HAVE PROVEN that when it comes to RESEARCH, you are definately THE SLACKER! If you’ll take the time to review Vanderbilt’s ROSTER, you will see that there are 8 starters returning on offense and 9 starters returning on defense. They’re breaking in a new QB, but their O-Line is INTACT. The only question mark as far as ability on defense is the secondary. This is a better and more experienced squad than what you’re giving them credit for. BTW, they play LSU & Miss. State in weeks 2 & 3. Dude, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

  13. 23
    Indiana Vol

    Shane,

    YOU ARE A MORON!

    Tennessee had a Top 10 D last year and asputtering offense. If you think the Vols have no talent, I will remind you of your idiotic comments after the Vols kick the Crimson Turd in the arse!

    GET A LIFE, YOU PATHETIC BOOB!

  14. 25
    Auburn is a Joke the fan formerly known as Ballplay Indian

    CB ….Where do I start with you boy ? You are cetainly not the sharpest tool in the shed. But you are a tool..

    Auburn will go 7-5 or possibly 8-4. Not 6-6. Bama will lose to Florida if they make to the SEC champ game. They may or may not beat Ole Miss or LSU. They may or may not beat VTech. Its the SEC and anything can happen. Heck man TULANE had your butt whipped at home last year. Then gave your the game. Kentucky gave you all you wanted.. Your not the world beater you think you are. Your team is good, but no Florida.

    ROLL TIDE BABBBBYYYY!!!!!
    2 GAME LOSING STREAK BABBBYY!!!!!
    6-1 VS AUBURN BAABBBYYY!!!!
    1 WIN VS AUBURN ALL TIME AT THE MECCA OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL BABYYYY!!!!!

    See how stupid that sounds ?

  15. 26
    mojoradio

    To the vanderbilt booger eater, you know that you are talking about vandersloop don’t you? What a clown!!! Quit sniffing the gym shorts and hire an AD, DumbA$$!!!!

    No bowl for you!!!!!!

    Now Auburt boy, get some common sense junior!!! Aubie should be happy with a .500 season because that is the best he will get.

    You Dip$hits will lose to one if not two of your early season ‘patsies’. Which one will it be La. Tech or Ball State? Probably both!!!

    Just Remember “Keep it down home, CUZ!!!!”

  16. 30
    P.A.

    this is the same Shane that predicted the undefeated season in Mike Shula’s last year, confidently predicting “the TIDE is BACK”…..after that fiasco, how can you expect anyone to take your predictions seriously ?

  17. 31
    Auburn is a joke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian

    mojo…Your a turdfly. your not in this conversation so buzz of. I really dont know why I even responded to you.

    And enough of th keep it down home cus crap.

    Thats just idiotic.

  18. 32
    hard to take you seriously

    Its really hard to take any preview of Vanderbilt serious when you aren’t even looking at the correct schedule. Vandy doesn’t play Ole Miss until week 5 Oct 3. heading into that game Vandy should be 3-1 and no matter what the hype about Ole Miss is Vandy plays them tight every year. In fact I think the Commodores 3-1 in the last 4 years against the rebels.

  19. 33
    mojoradio

    First:

    Aubretard, blogging is akin to speaking so SHUT UP PUNK!!!!!!

    Respond to this Butt Monkey!!!

    Your team is TOAST!!!!! Untalented, thin, stupid (See Kodi Run)!!!!

    Yeah, I said it, Keep it down home Cuzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!

    Now for you Delusional Vanderpunk DumbA$$, your team sucks!! They have always sucked and will always suck!!!!! Good luck making it to six wins, you might even beat out Aubert in the fight to avoid the basement!!!

    BOOBS!!!!!!!!

    And yeah, Keep it down home
    Cuz!!!!

  20. 34
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO! “MOJORADIO” or Shane or WHATEVER, you need to check out the FACTS. I’m NOT a Vandy fan but ANYBODY who pays any ATTENTION to SEC Football cannot overlook what Bobby Johnson & his staff have accomplished during their stay in Nashville. Last season Vandy became BOWL ELIGIBLE, went to a BOWL GAME and WON. That speaks VOLUMES for a program that has traditionally been a “bottom feeder” in the SEC. The talent they have RETURNING could very well translate into a 6 or 7-win season this year. I’m NOT predicting an Eastern Division Championship run by ANY MEANS, just trying to be REALISTIC. They’re well-coached and other coaches in the league generally AGREE that Coach Johnson has recruited higher-caliber athletes into the program. ALL I’M SAYING is that Vanderbilt deserves some RESPECT. 8 starters returning on offense, 9 starters returning on defense. THEY WON THE MUSIC CITY BOWL and now that they have SAVORED the SWEET TASTE of VICTORY they’re hungry for MORE. What a lot of people DON’T UNDERSTAND about football is that CONFIDENCE is a key ingredient in the recipe of a team. When you have SUCCESS it makes you want another “slice of the pie.”

  21. 35
    mojoradio

    Actually I would love to see Vandy actually play real football. Unfortunately, they just can’t seem to get over the hump. I will agree that the bowl win was impressive, but they lost, what, five of their last six regular season games to get there.

    Maybe they can be a South Carolina or a Nutt coached Arkansas. I am fairly sure that they can be a Cheese Wiz Auburn, but that and a quarter won’t even buy a phone call. I wish them well, especially against UT!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. 37
    CrimsonBrother

    36 to 0 AZZ WHOPPING IN T-TOWN!!!

    Get ready for another in (TPS) “TOILET BOWL STADIUM”

    ROLL TIDE BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    21 SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

  23. 38
    AubieinNash

    CBrother,

    Hey man, lay off the Meister Brau and Sterling wide mouths at 5:30 on a Tuesday. Being drunk, fat and stupid is no way to go through life son. Especially when your Waffle House shift starts here soon. Wouldn’t want you to be unemployed in this economy.

  24. 39
    AubieinNash

    CBrother,

    Oh sorry! I thought that you had just posted that drunken comment but I see that you really posted it on Friday at 1:56 in the afternoon. My bad! Guess you worked the graveyard shift at the WH and got the suds on the way home. Did you drink the MBs or the SWMs on the drive home?

  25. 40
    bamafan

    Someone suggested I look back at your predictions from the first of the year to see how close they were to reality. You were spot on every aspect of how Bama would preform and at every position. Even saying Marquis Maze would come on and Ingram would have a breakout year. I didn’t see where you predicted the Heisman but I didn’t read all your articles. Good work!

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