Hindsight is considerably better than foresight. Now that the 2005 regular season is over let's look back to last August and July and take look at what we expected for this football season and what actually happened.
That's why I hate those preseason football magazine. They know little and pretend they know a lot.
In the SEC East Georgia, Florida and Tennessee were favored with the Vols expected to be a contender for the national championship. South Carolina was supposed to be in a rebuilding year. Kentucky and Vanderbilt were the also-rans.
The SEC West would be dominated by LSU, the experts said, with Auburn and Alabama also strong. Ole Miss would be a contender. Arkansas would be dangerous. Mississippi State would be an also ran.
Need I tell you that's not the way it happened.
The surprise team was South Carolina. How the Gamecocks won seven games is a tribute to their players and to their coaching staff. Steve Spurrier did a magnificent job of bringing them together. He deserves Coach of the Year honors and will probably get it. The future looks bright for that program.
Tennessee was the bust of the year. They, like Ole Miss, played quarterback by committee. They shuttled their QBs in and so did the Rebels. It didn't work for the Rebels last year and it didn't work this year either-for either one of them. The Vols' 5-6 mark was well deserved.
Florida came in with a new coach and high hopes. Urban Meyer was supposed to be a offensive whiz but he discovered the SEC is a different ball game than Utah where he went undefeated last year.
Nevertheless his 9-3 mark is good and his big win over Florida State saved his year.
Georgia was highly touted at the start of the season and they deserved it. A really fine team with outstanding quarterbacking. They may be the SEC champion.
Kentucky has little or no talent and Vanderbilt started fast and then crashed. Only their win over Tennessee was notable.
In the SEC West LSU was a powerhouse. One loss and that in overtime. Their game with Georgia could be a classic. Les Miles ran them well and could have had them in the national championship game except for that loss to Tennessee.
Auburn was far better than I expected. Losing their quarterback, and two ace running backs made me doubt that they could bounce back from last year's 13-0 season. But they did and the future looks bright for them.
Alabama was the mystery team. They went 9-2 and never looked good doing it. The Tide got every break in the world. They couldn't score but their defense carried them. They won in the last minute with field goals time and again but a win is a win is a win. That may be the poorest 9-2 team I have ever seen. Their record does not reflect their talent.
As for Arkansas, Houston Nutt brought them along until by the end of the season they were better than both Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
On the other hand, who wasn't better than the Rebels and the Bulldogs?
I attended the Alumni meeting last summer when new coach Ed Orgeron spoke. I bought into his enthusiasm, his words about what he expected from his team this year. I left the meeting expecting 6-5 this season at the least and perhaps 7-4 if the bounces went our way. Then I watched them on television. I attended the LSU game. I listened last Saturday.
Friends, they were a very bad ball club. They have no offense and the defense is not as good as advertised. Their game against Mississippi State was pitiful.
It appears Orgeron will have to go the junior college route. That only works some times. He is desperate for a quarterback and needs immediate help in many areas - OL, DE, WR. We can only hope the JC ranks have someone who can fill several spots.
As for Mississippi State, Sylvester Croom seems to be on the right track. Yes, he loses Jerious Norwood and he is some kind of player. But he has talent returning and his reputation is that he is a good recruiter. Of course, Orgeron has a similar reputation.
May the best man win.
Preseason mags not real accurate
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