Not having Neyland Stadium on this list makes the list a complete joke. Neyland holds over 100k and is one of the most intimidating stadiums in college football. A couple down seasons doesn't make it less intimidating. Williams-Brice is not in the top half of SEC stadiums. No way, no how, Mr. Palmetto. I'd rank Tennessee, LSU, Bama, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, and Arkansas as easily being more intimidating. I'd probably put Miss State on that list as well.
I'm not exactly sure how Rolondo McClain ended up in Auburn's star players. McClain was a linebacker for the 2009 Alabama team, not Auburn. Sorry for any confusion.
I'm not a gamecocks fan, but I have family and several friends who are. You've got to be happy for the loyal USC fans who suffered through the lean years. Getting to Atlanta has been a long time coming. They should look forward to another good season in 2011. The East is wide open once again. I'm ready for September!
Agreed, and it's not even close.
The Vols should be improved in literally every phase of the game this year. I really think you will see big things out of the vols special teams units this year. Devrin Young might be able to provide a spark returning kicks, and the improved depth should allow them to have more quality players on return/coverage units. In a couple years Dooley will have team on the field that the General could be proud of.
You're right, William. Teams don't win games on paper. However, for purposes of this "tournament" stats have to be a heavy factor. However, other factors are weighed. Whether a team is undefeated or not is given a lot of weight, as well as intangibles, coaching, and ability in the clutch. Obviously, we have no idea who would actually win on the field. As you said, "that's why they play." However, it gives us something interesting and fun to debate in the offseason! The match-ups have not all been decided yet, so let us know if you have any other factors that you think I should figure in.
Just noticed that on the schedule up top, the score with Arkansas is correct, but it has a W instead of an L. If you read the article it mentions that LSU had two losses numerous times.
You have a good point, Jon. It's going to be interesting to see how all the stats, etc sort themselves out. So many of these teams had NFL laden rosters. The Florida and Tennessee teams of the 90's were absolutely NFL factories. It's difficult to compare those teams to the stacked rosters of 2009 Alabama and 2008 Florida because they were a decade apart. 96 Florida had the most dominant offense I've ever seen. 98 UT, 08 Florida, and 09 Alabama were stacked with depth at every position. Both LSU teams and Auburn were stacked as well. Auburn and the 98 Vols also had a knack for just finding a way to win in a couple of close ballgames. How do you quantify that clutch ability in a formula? Any of the eight teams would be capable of winning this mock tournament. I guess that's why it's so interesting to debate it.
I wouldn't say that Alabama's victory over Virginia Tech in 2009 was any more impressive than Tennessee's victory over Big East champion Syracuse in 1998. Remember that in 98 Virginia Tech, Miami, and Boston College were all members of the Big East. Tennessee went on the road for the first game of the season with a quarterback starting his first game and beat a top 20 Syracuse team that was lead by QB Donovan McNabb. This Syracuse team posted victories over defending NC Michigan, Miami, and Virginia Tech. That's a pretty impressive victory, even with it being a close ballgame. Alabama's victory over Virginia Tech was also impressive. Tech had wins over Nebraska and Miami but also had losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina. They did play on a neutral site, rather than on the road. But all in all I think that the 2009 Va Tech team is very comparable to the 1998 Syracuse team.
Thanks for your input. That's some good info that I'll factor in. In response to #3: The Gators weren't penalized for having three national champions. As I said in the article, the first round match-ups/brackets were set based on a random drawing. It just happened that the '96 and '06 Gator teams got matched up in the first round by chance. A draw was really the only fair way to do the seeds, so it is what it is. Overall, I think the match-ups turned out pretty well.
There are three undefeated SEC National Champions in this bracket: 1998 Tennessee (13-0), 2009 Alabama (14-0), 2010 Auburn (14-0). The fact that these teams went undefeated will certainly be given strong consideration in the match-ups.
Very clever article! I enjoyed it. The combo of Bray to Hunter and Da'Rick should provide lots of fireworks for the Vols over the next two or three seasons. It's amazing how many touchdowns Justin Hunter had in so few catches. Talk about a big play receiver. Dooley deserves a lot of credit for recruiting him to Knoxville in such a short time.
Oldman, that is so true. I wonder if 13 people were on the float?
I really enjoyed the article. General Neyland might be the most underrated coach in SEC history. I'm sure Bama fans will get riled up when they see that the Bear is #2, but I agree with you. Not to nit pick, but Johnny Majors did not win a National Championship at Tennessee. He won the National Title while he was head coach at Pitt in 1976. I would probably rate Phil Fulmer over Majors. Majors was 116–62–8 overall, and 57–40–3 in SEC play. Fulmer was 152–52 overall and 98–34 in the SEC. Fulmer also won a National Championship in 1998. Nevertheless, great article, Jonnny!
Great article! I support your ban of crying in football!
Nice article. However, no one could ever compare to the great Al Gore Jr.! LOL
The SEC has several promising young QB's. Aaron Murray at Georgia, Bray, Tyler Wilson at Arkansas. Mettenberger at LSU, McCarron at Alabama and Connor Shaw at USCe have a chance to be good as well. Bray is one of the bright young stars in this league. It's not just Tennessee fans who recognize this. The stats he put up the last four games were impressive no matter who the competition was. Beating three SEC teams in a row is never an easy feat either. As for ACC QB's, Bray would start for every team in that conference. Russell Wilson at NC State might be the only pro prospect QB in that league.
Not a bad idea, Johnny. However, I doubt the perpetrator will be able to afford the restitution costs that would be involved with replacing the trees. Sadly, the judicial system in this country doesn't use "outside the box" methods of punishment anymore either. I really believe that this guy thought it would be funny to do what he did. He clearly did not understand the magnitude of his actions.
Obviously, the idiot who did this either has no common sense, respect for tradition, or is simply too immature to realize the consequences of his actions. This is taking a rivalry too far. Yes, Alabama and Auburn hate each other. However, that is no excuse to destroy an SEC landmark. I’m sure even most Crimson Tide fans are horrified by this. If you’re not, you should probably take a step back and think about it a second. Nevertheless, the University of Alabama’s administration might want to think about putting some security guards around Bear Bryant and Nick Saban’s statues for the foreseeable future. I’m sure somewhere an Auburn fan is plotting revenge right now. There is a lesson to be learned here. Don’t cross the line between pulling a funny prank and destroying a great SEC football tradition. As I spoke with my Dad about this incident he made a good point about crossing the line. He said, “West Point always tries to steal the Naval Academy’s goat mascot before the Army-Navy game, but they never kill it!” I hope SEC fans take note of this in the future.
I appreciate your comments. I look forward to watching the gamecocks quest for a repeat trip to Atlanta this fall. The SEC East should be an exciting race once again.
I know and agree. Perhaps you misunderstood what I said. To clarify, the win in the Outback Bowl under Holtz was the first New Year's day bowl victory and 2nd all time.
If you would look at my responses, I did not question that "fire ants" was a term for the USC defense. My point is simply that "black death" was also a name for the defense. Perhaps I should have used the term fire ants in the article. Nevertheless, it does not change the content of the article in any way. I tried to do an objective analysis of South Carolina's quest to join the SEC Elite. Obviously you are a die hard South Carolina fan and have an astute knowledge of the program. For you, most of this probably wasn't news. However, it does break down the positives and negatives currently affecting the Gamecocks program as I see them. Feel free to disagree. Quite frankly, I just don't understand the anger in your post.
Thanks for the input. I'm not saying they weren't called the fire ants in the 80's. I am saying that the defense was called "black death" particularly in 1987. Google it.
See link: http://articles.latimes.com/1988-01-01/sports/sp-8209_1_south-carolina
Actually, "Black Death" is correct. South Carolina's defense in 1987 was referred to as "black death." They allowed only 141 points in 12 games. "Black Magic" was the nickname for the 1984 team that won 9 straight before losing to Navy.
However, it was South Carolina's first New Year's Day Bowl victory and 2nd bowl win all time.
Bryan, I appreciate your input. I did do significant research on South Carolina's plans to improve their facilities. Master plans can be found online at the Gamecocks official athletic website. And I made sure to make the statement that I knew renovation plans were in place, but the time is now. Even with the planned improvements, the stadium and practice facility will still be middle to lower tier in the SEC. I believe that they could do much more/need to do more to improve the facilities. Just look at the "top six" SEC programs and you will see the discrepancy.
I apologize for the mistake, USC did defeat WVU in the Carquest Bowl. I will make sure to double check next time. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the article overall.
Good point. Miami has top ten recruiting classes almost every year (until this year). Yet they haven't done anything since 2002. It's all about developing the talent once it gets on campus. That's why teams like Virginia Tech, Iowa, TCU, Boise St, etc can compete at the highest levels without ever having top ten classes. They not only do a great job of evaluating talent, but they get the most out of them once they get on campus.
I doubt there is another team in the country who signed 7 db's. Wilcox likes to run a 4-2-5 defense in a lot of situations, so I guess he is loading up. With the young guys they have coming back, the secondary should be a strength for the vols soon.