Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Final Countdown: 16

16 days. Just 16 days until the start of a four-month long odyssey guaranteed to emotionally and physically drain everyone involved. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily for me, since I am an Ole Miss fan (which is also a lucky or unlucky toss-up), I have 19 days without the mountain of stress that is sure to come, which affords me three extra days to keep the engines shut down. Of course, those three days will be filled with worry and angst, but I tend to deal better with those than the stress of the actual season.

Anyway, in order to fill some time, I’ll be starting a countdown of sorts until September 6th arrives. Starting with the number 16, each day there will be a new post on here with a list of items corresponding to the number of days until kickoff, and that are related to college football, particularly the SEC. I can promise that this will not be something like “12 SEC Coaches From Worst to First” that you’ve been reading since July, but a little more unconventional (allegedly).

So we’ll see how this goes. I’m already predicting a huge gap between numbers 15 and 10 (strictly due to my laziness) and probably from eight to three (again, laziness). But check back here each day, even weekends, for a new list. Starting off in no particular order of importance, I give you 16 random thoughts/musings about the upcoming SEC season.

1. I’m not sure whether Dan Mullen will cry tears of joy or sadness when he eventually pulls Tyson Lee/Chris Relf and sends in Tyler Russell, but he will cry.

2. Ole Miss’ entire season rests on the offensive line. If they can develop eight competent linemen, they have a chance to be really good. Right now they’re at 5.5. DO YOU HEAR ME BRADY SOWELL AND BOBBY MASSIE?!?!? 5.5!!!!!

3. With the recent announcement that Chris Todd will most likely be Auburn’s starting quarterback, former Tiger offensive coordinator Tony Franklin leapt off the coach and starting calling all his coaching friends in excitement to say, “I told you so.” Unfortunately, he has no coaching friends.

4. I’m not buying Alabama to pull another 10 or 11 win season this year. Way too many questions on the offensive line and as we found out last year in the SEC, if you don’t have an experienced or very talented quarterback, you’re going to lose games. Only Tebow, Stafford, Wilson and Snead (and even as talented as Snead was, he still cost Ole Miss games early) met one of these two requirements and all four led their teams to good seasons. You could make an argument that Casey Dick was at least experienced, but he also sucked and was asked to throw much more than he should have. John Parker Wilson was not a good quarterback, but he understood it was his role not to screw things up, plus Alabama’s offense was designed not to put him in situations where he had to throw.

5. I’m also not buying LSU. Big question mark at quarterback and some big losses on the defensive line. However, if Jordan Jefferson turns out to be the Jesus Christ of the LSU offense as LSU fans claim he will be, they’ll be much tougher later in the year.

6. If Arkansas enters November with either two or eight wins, will Bobby Petrino be there to see the end of the season?

7. If Florida goes undefeated and wins the national championship, is it possible for Urban Meyer to be more pleased with himself? Maybe if he does the same at Notre Dame. I think then he might spontaneously combust due to an overload of internal awesomeness.

8. This looks like a good solid number for Vanderbilt's losses this year.

9. November 14th. Write it down. Kentucky at Vanderbilt. I argue that you can’t find a more unappealing game in the SEC.

10. And just one week later, Vanderbilt travels to Tennessee where I cannot put into words the joy I would experience if the Vols, facing a fourth and one late in the game and up two touchdowns, elect to go for it at the insistence of Ed Orgeron. If you remember, Orgeron still claims that if he had to do it all over again, he would still go for the first down against Mississippi State in the 2007 Egg Bowl. Give him that chance, Lane Kiffin, give him that chance.

11. Speaking of Ed Orgeron, has he done any commercials for a Knoxville area Hummer dealership? If not, the world is being deprived of comedic gold. “I DRIVE A HUMMER, YOU DRIVE A HUMMER ‘CAUSE THEY’RE TOUGH LIKE THE TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS!!! HGRHGHEHEHHGHEHDGRRERRRR!!!”

12. We should get a pool going as to what date Steve Spurrier announces Stephen Garcia will be suspended for at least one game. And a bonus point will be awarded if you correctly guess the number of games or quarters he is suspended. I’ll take October 5th and a first half suspension. I may be wrong on the time and length, but a suspension will happen.

13. Lou Holtz and Ed Orgeron, two of the world’s worst enunciators, are set to make their big screen debut this fall when The Blind Side comes out in November. I enjoyed the book, but this is really the only part of the movie I care about seeing.

14. This number is the over/under on interceptions thrown by the combination of Tyson Lee, Chris Relf and Tyler Russell. Could you even consider the under?

15. By SEC and national media decree, I am forced to mention something about Tim Tebow anytime the number 15 comes up. So, I will say that I hope the SEC doesn’t make every school retire the number 15 when Tebow’s career is over because that’s where we’re headed.

16. If you had to pick the first coach in the SEC to be fired (or forced to resign) after this season (or perhaps next if everyone survives this year), who would it be? Put me on the board for Les Miles, followed by Lane Kiffin next year.

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