Alabama fan living in PAC12/Mountain West Country....Yikes!
This would have been more devastating had the season not be altered by Covid-19. As it stands, I think LSU will be ok, maybe looking at 9-1, 8-2, which isn't bad when you consider the talent lost. I will say that I have been reluctant to give credit to Coach O, mostly because of his record prior to 2019. Currently I view the 2019 season as a flash in the pan for Coach O (Even Burrow was pedestrian in 2018), however, if he manages to go 9-1 this season, having lost all that talent and the QB Coaching Guru, then I'll give him credit.
Look, I agree BamaRulesSEC's comment was unecessary banter on what-had-been a quality thread of genuine football critique, but the "betting that you didn’t graduate from UA" line is a dumb insult and here's why: do you not think every school in the SEC has fans who did not attend their beloved university? Finebaum radio caller, "Charles, from Reeltown", is a devout Auburn fan and I guarantee he couldn't count to twenty, if not for possessing all of his fingers and toes, so I'm certain he didn't attend Auburn. I don't know why Auburn fans elect to use that insult, when A) enrollment at Alabama has always outpaced Auburn (2019: 32,798 to 25,866, as an example) and B) all SEC schools have fans who did not attend their university. Remark on how you have more Heisman trophies than Alabama or mention the Kick Six, but c'mon, the "bet you didn't go to school" line needs to be retired. And that applies to any fanbase, especially in the SEC.
C21 - Yeah, it's in Knoxville, but this season I don't think will be the one that ends the streak. I could be wrong, of course, but I'm just not seeing it. There's a lot of hype coming out of Knoxville, and they finished strong last season, but they didn't exactly end the season with a muderer's row of competition. I won't deny that the Vol program is improving, but even with the game in Knoxville, I'm still thinking Alabama wins, extending the streak for yet another season.
Yeah, I know, but Terry Wilson, Jr. was injured for most of UK's 2019 season, so we haven't really seen how well he can or cannot do without having a relaible back like Snell.
wde0012 - Yeah, I'm not trying to step on any toes. If I knew more, maybe I'd put up more of an argument, but it sounds like you'll have the skill players you need, just a question mark at O-Line, and honestly who doesn't usually have a question mark or two along the line.
Auburn's depth. Like I said, I could be wrong, as I'm not as well-versed in Auburn info, but they lost some great defenders to the pros, no? And I can't recall a standout player from the offensive side. Sure, Nix got a lot of attention, and performed well for a freshman, but a quick glance at the stats and I'm a bit surprised: Auburn's leading rusher last season was 12th in the SEC. That's not where we're accustomed to seeing Auburn backs. Auburn's leading receiver was 8th in the SEC, which isn't bad, but the 1 and 2 slots were LSU players, the 3 and 4 slots were Alabama players (with one of them electing to return) and a total of 3 Alabama receivers in the Top 10 in the league alone. In fact, Alabama's 4th leading receiver checks in at 18th in the league, while Auburn's second leading receiver doesn't appear until the 29th slot. Now, prior season stats and positioning means very little, especially since some of those players for LSU and Alabama are now on to the pros, but I only mention it to highlight the lack of production. The plus for Auburn is their two leading receivers return as Juniors, and with Nix having a little more experience, could pose some threats. But that still leaves a hole in the rushing attack, and from what I hear, Whitlow is in the transfer portal (granted, he may remain), so Auburn needs to find some additional weapons. Thus lack of depth being what may trip them up this season. And when I say "trip them up", I'm not implying Auburn will go 3-5 in the league and barely scoot to the Liberty Bowl. I'm simply saying their lack of depth may be what causes a loss or two during the season.
@ C21 - I thought Big Kat was on to the pros? And 24 fumbles? Ouch. That would put a damper on a rushing attack.
If UT is who they say they are, then they need to win two out of those four. Not necessarily to make or break their season, but there's a lot of chatter coming out of Knoxville, so the Vols need to back it up on the field. The Vols have lost the last 3 straight to both Florida and Georgia, with Tennessee's last win against Florida, prior to 2016, being when Coach Fulmer still walked the sideline back in 2004. Tennessee, prior to the 3 straight losses to UGA, did win two back-to-back in the series, but had lost 5 straight to UGA prior to that. And Tennessee is well aware of their streak against Alabama. It's imparative for the Vols to end one of those streaks. I, of course, hope it's not against Alabama, but I also know that nothing lasts forever.
No offense, but all those named were exceptions to the rule. Most freshman QBs are not phenoms. To his credit, Nix, as a freshman, played well, but in my humble opinion he did not play up to the hype that was displayed. Nix should be better, and I actually think in a head-to-head matchup, he'd outperform Kellen Mond, who is a senior about to start for the third year straight. Nix may even outperform Bama's Mac Jones in this year's Iron Bowl, and it would not surprise me in the least, but I think the advantage, if there's one to be had, would be that Alabama's running back situaiton will still be ungodly stout, allowing Jones not to have to carry the load. I'm not as informed as I should be on Auburn's depth, but I think that may be the thing that trips up Auburn this season. Feel free to correct me, if I'm wrong.
Yeah, I can't recall a coach who can steer a team to double-digit wins, but then turn them to 3-conference-losses the next season, so seamlessly. Sure, it happens, but Malzahn goes back and forth like a yo-yo.
Yeah, I think if UT is competitive in all games, even in their losses (assuming they have losses), then that will definitely indicate they're turning the corner.
Ouch....well, ya gotta know where you stand in the world.
At the very least, Tennessee has to have a good showing against Oklahoma. If they pull out a win in Norman, then they're 3-0 and riding high into the Florida game. If they lose, and lose in embarrassing fashion, I fear the wheels may come off the bus before the season is even a fourth of the way completed. I only say that because I sense the UT is really going all in, has a lot of hope about the success of this coming season, and could easily see a bad loss tank the season, to some degree. If that makes sense.
Ok, I just saw the Aggies' schedule for 2020....sheesh, they're practically gifted a 4-0 start.
Yeah, even with my Crimson-colored glasses off, I'm just not seeing that happen this season.
Honestly, I would like to see South Carolina upset Clemson. For one, they have a terrible series record against Clemson, and if you're going to be a SEC team, you gotta start dominating those out-of-conference rivals. If Missouri is renewing their Border War game with Kansas, then the Tigers need to represent the SEC well and start putting some distance between themselves and Kansas in the series record book. We'll all be waiting a half century for the Gamecocks to catch Clemson, though. But maybe this year will be the start.
Wilson, Jr. has to step up as a passer, but I think the opportunity is there. Three and one going into the Auburn game would be a good start for Kentucky. They should easily win the next 3 games after, so at worst being 6-2, at best 7-1 before their first bye week, with the rival Tennessee the following week. It's a tougher road to hoe from there, but sniffing at 10 wins for a season, while competiting in the SEC, is pretty dang good.
Two notable defensive line players, but outside that...? And until Kellen Mond starts displaying the compusure he had in his first season (starting) with the Aggies, I'll rank Nix ahead of him. Mond's been playing scared way too much lately. That shouldn't be the case for a three-year starter, but we'll see how he handles the pressure in 2020.
Yeah, I noticed that after the post. Technically, Oklahoma may offer a greater test than Kentucky. Still, not ready to call for a Volunteer victory in that game....just yet.
Please let it be Clemson. No, wait, I take that back. If Alabama manages to make the CFP, then I WANT to meet Clemson in one of those games. The Tide have some tiger a$$ to beat.
I will state that the team with the next-best chance of winning the West, behind Alabama, is...::heavy sigh::....Auburn. LSU lost way too much talent from last year and won't hit 10 wins, unless it's their bowl win, and who else in the West can compete? The Aggies? Meh, I'm not seeing it.
Also, though the 2019 Bama/Vol game was close for about 3.25 Quarters, the final ended up being 35-13.
Tennessee kept it close in 2015, with a 19-14 loss. Alabama won the following season, at Knoxville, 49-10. I agree, a competitive game last season really means very little for the upcoming season. I'd imagine there's greater weight in the 13-game losing streak Tennessee has against Alabama than that of last year's result, but that's just me.
Tennessee catching Florida in Knoxville helps, but I'm not seeing that upset just yet. I need to see these teams in a couple games before I can peg it down, and Tennessee, unfortunately, only has one real opponent, Oklahoma, prior to the Florida game, with the other two opponents being Charlotte and Furman. ::shrugs:: We'll see.
I'm not sold on Nix as Auburn's next great QB. His completion percentage lingers around 50%, and while his mobility helps him pick up tough yards, I just can't see a team, any team, "going on a tear through the conference" without a serious threat in the passing game. Maybe Nix proves me wrong this season, but I'm thinking 2-3 conferences losses, if Nix doesn't improve. That North Carolina game may also be interesting, though I'm not yet ready to call it a 'W' for the Tar Heels.
That would be surprising. I'm not buying it just yet, but we'll see how the season plays out.
And I'm not trying to pick on any of the teams that I claim could not upset their opponents, as noted in the article. Outside of South Carolina and Vandy, I suspect all SEC teams will be improved versions of their 2019 selves.
I was actually a big supporter of Snell's, and thought he was an outstanding back for UK. I also was a big beliver in Wilson, Jr., though I question his ability to succeed in a Snell-less offense. As you noted, defense may be what wins the day for UK, and this is possible, though I'm not seeing it in the game against Auburn (as of today). And I agree, the line is too high.