1.) Alabama – Remember when the best coach ever in college football lost one game last year? ESPN pundits (Big Ten homers) were calling for his resignation, stating an end to a Saban Dynasty, saying he wasn’t interested in Alabama football anymore. Well that was a complete crock. Saban wound up winning yet another SEC Championship, and National Title and then received another top recruiting class.
Of course this team will be stacked again. I could go through key players but I would have to type for days, so what I will do is discuss the scheduling difficulties this year and what games to look out for. This year University of Alabama has three fluff games, yes three! However, they will play these games and they will be tough:
- Vs. USC in Texas
- @ Ole Miss
These are three tough games that we will watch out for. Remember, if Alabama loses one game it IS NOT over for the season. I expect them to take the conference again.
The 2015 Florida Gators had a new head coach in Jim McElwain and expectations were high. They started the season out well with a string of victories. Then came a hiccup against a strong LSU team that squeaked out a “welcome to Les Miles football” victory on the back of a fake field goal. This was the lone blemish for McElwain in the SEC, during regular season play. Though their regular season record was a pretty 10-2, they lost to rival Florida State in embarrassing fashion and then closed out the season with two more losses for a clean hattrick of Ls to punctuate an otherwise decent first year. They lost to Alabama in the SEC title game, and then appeared uninterested in a bowl loss to Michigan in Orlando.
Things look up for the Gators though in 2016 and they look to build off of their 2 loss regular season with emerging talent at the QB position, something they haven’t had since the departure of Tim Tebow. Redshirt Sophmore Luke Del Rio made his debut at the Orange and Blue Spring game and was a sterling 10-11 with 178 yards passing and 2 TDs. Coupled with a top 15 recruit class that infused the defense with pass rushing (Antonneous Clayton, 2) and cover talent (Chauncey Gardner, 4) and the offense grabbing some of the best running backs (Mark Thompson, 1) and wide receivers (Tyrie Cleveland 4, Dre Massey 6, and Josh Hammond 16) in the country, they hope to be able to close out the season much stronger with a second year in McElwain’s system.
3.)Ole Miss – Ole Miss will be a great team this year again. Not only do they have another dominant recruiting class to fill in the losses this year, they also have a star QB. Although Chad Kelly is out right now due to a hernia, he will be back with a vengeance in the fall. Jim Kelly’s nephew surprised the college world with his performances last year. Chad Kelly threw for over 4000 yards and more than 30 TD’s last year (which made him the best SEC QB of last year). The game that put him on the map was the 43-37 victory against Alabama.
Equation to see if Ole Miss will cut it this year:
Recruits minus Graduation losses.
Laquon Treadwell and Denzel Nkemdiche are two of the many talented players leaving the team this year. Will the losses the team has this year make too much of a difference? The answer is Yes and No. Although leadership is leaving the field, a No. 6 recruiting class and past years’ stellar recruiting classes will probably make up for the losses. Expect an even stronger Ole Miss this year.
Team to watch :
South Carolina- The 2015 football season started with much fan fare, including many crazy Spurrier speeches, much time spent golfing and ended with a fizzle. After the retirement of a legend, Spurrier has now been replaced with Will Muschamp. Muschamp has a lot to prove after his last HC job was an offensive nightmare that still haunts him. We all know that while Muschamp has had offensive woes as a HC, however he is a brilliant defensive mastermind. Will he be reenergized to start a whole new head coaching gig, with a team that needs a lot of help? This year it will be interesting to see what he can do with the Gamecocks after their complete dismantling.
Lets review the recruiting class for this year:
Main pickups- The recruiting class that will show up in fall will boast six 4 star recruits, and 18 three star recruits. Not too shabby for another conference, but for the SEC this is not the talent that Muschamp needs for a recovery. However, it contains some real gems. The best players on the list include: 1 really good QB and 5 WR’s, which are important for an offensive turnaround.
Brandon McIlwain- #7 QB- I look forward to seeing this dual threat QB playing this year. And it would be good for him to get acquainted with the young WR’s to start setting up for something big offensively.
Bryan Edwards- #43 WR nationally- ESPN 300 WR is ready to make a name for himself coming from a town 2 hours away from University of South Carolina, this local will turn heads.
For me the must see game this year is against Kentucky. If they put up a win against Kentucky I would say that Muschamp has the team heading in the right direction and that he is on the right path for success.