Re: Predict the Season (After Game 1)
I kind of wonder.
We might rebound. But a point I have made in other threads here is that we usually don't beat SEC teams soundly. Sometimes we do like Kentucky a few times (though Stoops has increased the talent level the past few years), but generally we play close games and if we win by more than a touchdown the box score doesn't show how close the game actually was.
So what if the bounces go against us this year?
Looking at that schedule, we clearly outclass South Alabama and Furman.
Of the other games:
Game 2) East Carolina. They play a spread, throw the ball a lot, and it is awful difficult to sack their qb. In short we play a team very similar to the one that just beat us. I don't expect them to have the same athletes on defense as A&M, but no matter how A&M did against us, that isn't a world beater defense.
It is often said teams make their biggest improvements between week 1 and 2, but that goes both ways. Whatever we see in East Carolina's first game, they should be better in week 2.
Game 3) Georgia.
Game 4) @Vanderbilt. We ought to win this one. Losing to Temple soundly in the first game is a lot worse than what we did in our first game. I kind of suspect that trying to do things like Stanford is a mistake at Vandy. At least the kind of offense they run.
If you can't recruit the caliber of offensive linemen and qb's you get at Stanford just by being Stanford, it is probably a mistake.
Even if it works, it is going to take years and a lot of losses to pay off, as opposed to what Franklin was doing.
Game 5) Missouri. I really don't get why people are penciling this in as a win. They won 12 last year. I saw a lot of good things from Mauk, and he is mobile, which historically has been more our defense's kryptonite than passing teams.
Game 6) @Kentucky. Stoops has been upgrading the talent. No idea who starts at qb for them, but if he is mobile they have a chance to beat us.
Game 7) Furman
Game 8) @Auburn. They will run over us. An interesting sub game is how Spurrier and Johnson coach against one another. They obviously know each other well
My guess is that Johnson wins this particular battle. We are the kind of team his defenses always did best against, He never did very well against mobile qb's, but that isn't going to be a problem for him.
Game 9) Tennessee. At home, but somewhere between Kentucky and Missouri as regards quality of team. Davis has been recruiting well, they have a super receiver who is tall and athletic, just like those A&M receivers. Guess we should win this, since they have a lot of holes to fill, but I don't think we outclass them athletically. We will see a lot of new faces for them, so we have more experience, but I wouldn't pencil this in as an auto win.
Game 10) @Florida. They have the defense to shut us down cold. If they don't screw around trying to fit square pegs into round holes, and implement a run oriented offense that uses Driskel's best traits we lose.
Game 11) South Alabama.
Game 12) @Clemson. Depends on Stoudt really. I think Boyd basically handed us the games the past three years. If Stoudt doesn't implode when he plays us, they will be a lot tougher to beat.
I expect Stoudt to do at least as well passing as Boyd did the past few years. If he does better, which is entirely possible, they have a very good chance of winning this game. Very good.
I expect the defense to improve over the course of the season. If the offense doesn't find a way to run the ball they are not going to be very good this year.
There aren't many teams on that schedule we couldn't potentially beat. But there are a lot of teams that could beat us.
I'll say 7-5, with an outside chance at 3-9, or 10-2, or 11-1. Seriously the closeness of most of the SEC games we have played, makes me think the gap between 3-9 and 11-1 isn't as big as it appears. Florida really could have won the game at our place last year, even with their awful record.
If you have a few losses, things can snowball in this conference easily.
Shaw's mobility covered up a lot of offensive deficiencies the past few years. Without that, things are going to be a lot more interesting I think.