Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Speaking of 2011 ...

Given that Xmas music begins in the malls the instant the clock strikes 12 on Halloween night, maybe we shouldn't be surprised that the first poll of 2011 is upon us -- weeks before the National Championship game is played.

It's from a group called NationalChamps.net and, like all preseason polls, has little credibility beyond its stacking of SEC teams.
In this case, the poll has Alabama (2), LSU (3) and Auburn (5) at the top. Oklahoma, for the very little any of this is worth, is the No. 1 pick. Click here for the site, then click on the names of the schools for more details.

Early-bird EXPATS advice: Have your carton of Morton Salt ready.

In theory, Alabama will have close to 20 starters back from a team that was a handful of plays from a return to the BCS Championship game. But if there are any of you out there who believe the Tide's junior class -- which includes All-Americans Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, Marcel Dareus and Mark Barron -- returns intact, we have an important message: Tinkerbell needs you. Clap your hands really loud and repeat after me. "I do believe in faeries." Besides, the site makes the transition from qb Greg McElroy sound like Alabama is changing air filters. Wake me up after the new guy gets the team through Happy Valley and The Swamp next year.

Auburn at 5? Given the shadow a certain quarterback has spread across the program, it's easy to miss the talent Auburn has amassed. As with Alabama, though, the departure of top juniors -- in this case Cam Newton and Nick Fairley -- will leave massive holes. Suffice to say, the Tigers won't be getting anywhere near the same results from their next signal-caller. They also lose almost all of their offensive line. (And there is the little matter of the continued investigations surrounding the program.)

Which brings us to LSU. Since the normal rules of nature don't apply in the Les Miles Universe, any prediction of the Tigers' performance is beyond the limits of mere probabilities. Suffice to say LSU has talent. How the coach's bayou hoodoo affects it is anybody's guess.



J said...

I think these guys should wait until signing day to start predicting stuff. Think who gets who might make a little difference?

As for Auburn 2011 - we have 6 true freshmen that have played significant roles on the 2010 defense. Getting those guys to grow into bigger roles with their year of experience should be a big help. And yes, Barrett Trotter is no Cam, in any way, shape or form. But in the couple games he played he showed (to me at least) that he can be at least decent, which makes him a far better QB than Chris Todd, Kodi Burns or Brandon Cox were. (Cox was David Hasselhoff before Greg McElroy was. I'm still flabbergasted that he went 3-0 in the Iron Bowls he started.) The schedule will be interesting as well, with road games at LSU, Ar-Kansas, SC and UGA.

But like I said, I'll wait until after signing day to make any bold predictions.

pstonge said...

I'm with J - there's some real potential here - but I'm also with Mike when he cautions about the loss of the offensive line. As far as the QB situation, there's just no way to know if you're getting a Greg McElroy or a Michael Brantley until they're out there seeing things at full SEC speed.

As far as the "investigations" surrounding the program, I suppose if you repeat it often enough, it might come true. But the NCAA president has made a couple of pretty clear statements that Auburn has done nothing wrong regarding Newton. So as of now, we have no investigation of Auburn, no dreaded Letter of Inquiry and no sign at all that either are in the works.

You think Gus Malzahn would've stayed if he thought the NCAA was poised to drill Auburn?


top cd rates said...

Oh yeah, speaking of 2011, I wish more positive outcome in life and in all of its aspects. I just hope so! 2010 wasn't a bad year for me, I don't know about the others but for me it was magnificent! And that is why I am hoping so much that 2011 will be as the same or maybe even more than what I have achieved during 2010.