2008 Southeastern Conference Football Preview
for 24-Hours of Propaganda
The Fear is upon us all. From Little Rock to Gainesville. It's always pretty bleak in Baton Rouge, and Nashville has never really had a reason to stop Fearing. Nick Nitelite Saban knows The Fear, and Spurrier thrives on it. Sometimes, late at night, Houston Nutt touches himself while thinking about it, and even Bobby Petrino knows you can't buy it for all the money in the world.
The Fear is we might suck this year. It is the secret unsaid thing in the hearts and minds of football fans all over the SEC. Really, it would be The World, but it is only here that Football replaces The Virgin Mary almost universally in the Holy Trinity. Godless California, USC, the PAC-10, these people view football season as the off-season for such manly sports as gymnastics and indoor track. Lacrosse is really big in the Northeast, and in the midwest it will always either be Hockey or Basketball season, with baseball left over for the dweebs. This is the time of year when all the sweet illusions of the off-season start to crumble. The new kid's arm ain't that good, he can't even complete a flag pass on command. The running back's knees are shot. That new coordinator is really just a media darling with no idea what to really do. Some people see the L's in their eyes when they close them at night, trying to forget them and get just one more decent night's rest before another grueling and Fearful season. Sylvester Croom only sleeps good this time of year, better than you think he should.
GEORGIA: The biggest story in Athens this off-season is the three-headed single team race for the Heisman Trophy. Everyone in the world, even Thailand, knows that its either going to come down to Tebow, or the player most instrumental in Georgia's defeat of Florida. Tebow could still win in the balloting, but a UGA win wo0uld be a handoff to either Matt Stafford, the undeafeated in four years of starting in high school quarterback and pretty much just as awesome in college quarterback, Knowshon Moreno, who is not going to be sneaking up on anyone this year and is, in fact, not the re-incarnation of Darren McFadden because Darren McFadden is, in fact, alive and playing for the Oakland Raiders this year, which is actually a fate WORSE than death but for that kind of money who cares, and Mark Richt, who is so insulated from the outside world and commonly accepted reality his inner circle's failure to tell him that he cannot in fact with the Heisman Trophy as a coach has caused many a countless hour of wasted off season time. The good thing is that UGA is so stacked that the entire first team on both sides (minus Moreno and Staff) and they would still steamroll almost anyone on their schedule. Unfortunately, this year, UGA is being served up as one of the Sacrificial Bulls for the PAC-10 to cermoniously abuse and slaughter. If Mark Richt can get his head out of his rear, maybe he can figure out a way to outcoach the Out West Vertical Offense. In the mix also is Steve Spurrier, who, as his personal mission of creating and destroying young men's lives, sees it as his duty to trounce either Tebow, Stafford, or both. He doesn't necessarily have anyone on his team, aside from an outside shot by Kenny McKinley, to WIN the Heisman, but Spurrier gets off on nothing more than being able to personally influence the race for the trophy he won back in 1966.If UGA can get through it's brutal schedule undefeated and win the perfunctory SEC Championship, then a National Title should only be one game away.
FLORIDA: The same could be said about Florida. The same could be said for a lot of places, but in Florida, this is the words on the lips of every Gator Coach, Player, and Fan. The problem for Florida's Coach is that he will never outlive the shadows of Steve Spurrier, the close proximity of the unfulfilled dreams the Miami Dolphins had about Nick Nitelite Saban's aborted tenure, Bobby Bowdens undead rotting carcass running amuck in the forests of Seminole Country inseminating bigfoots on a quest to create more Terry's and Tommy's, Larry Coker's disembodied and purgatoried spirit wandering the lonely nightime Florida coasts reliving the moment of blowing The Big Game, over and over, every two minutes until God feels he has paid for his sins. So whoever is coaching in Florida, they must surely feel good about life right now having Tim Tebow, the Greatest Football Player Ever, on their team. Think about a Mike Vick who can throw and not fight pitbulls and smoke weed at practice and on airplanes. Think about a Broadway Joe Namath for the modern generation (the one that won't remember Brett Favre in a couple years). Think about a guy who can win entire football games on his own if only you could make 10 almost as athletically talented clones of him. Archie Griffin has already ceeded his place in history as the only person to win The Heisman twice, because, unless Staff can beat him, Tebow will win it again this year. Not even a miracle season by Jimmy Clausen could stand up to the unbelieveable scary talent of Tim Tebow. Recently, the Pricipality of Dubai surrendered to UF, thinking that their odds of being able to defeat them were little to none. Dubai has yet to understand the complexities of football, unfortunately, and it may take longer than Tebow's college career for them to catch up with Syria's uniquely perceptive National Mind for our National Game. Soccar's reign as the world's most popular sport is in decline, and the NFL's global reach is rising on an average of a yearly veiwership increase of 15%. Tim Tebow was the prototypical quarterback to run the spread offense, and UF will likely rollover almost every team they play like the good ol' Spurrier Days. The secret plan of the Miami Dolphins is to throw a majority of their games until Tebow is available in the draft. They can't afford to lose another franchise player like Darren McFadden ever again, especially one Florida born, raised, and triumphant. The sadder thing is that Tebow might be destined to be the 21st Century Archie MANNING if the Dolphins evil plan comes to fruitation.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Steve Spurrier has been working a lot of overtime this summer. Not because he has to, but because he wants to. Knowing that he could be the Heisman Spoiler on two of the strongest candidates the SEC has had in recent memory, his quest to succeed in demolishing them both has known no bounds. Earlier in the spring Spurrier spread rumors around Dallas, Texas, Stafford's hometown, in the hopes of rifting his relationship with his then girlfriend, a high school sweetheart. Months later, in June, Stafford responded by dating one of Spurrier's neices in a high profile and short lived fling that ended up on the pages of a July issue of People Magazine.Spurrier's personal rivalry with Tebow has cooled, and no off-the-field tactics have been reportedly been used since Tebow won the Heisman this past December.Unfortunately Spurrier's Coup De Grace of recruiting Chris Smelley out from the under the University of Alabama (to make up for not getting a shot at Tebow) has panned out as less than successful, and as is common, Spurrier has been trying different options at Quarterback after being disappointed in the play of both Smelley, Tommy Beecher, and the other couple of no-name quarterbacks on his roster, trying out the punter who had played QB in high school junior varsity and also running several plays in practice each day out of the Wing-T. Look for a 6-WR spread offense again with whichever WR can throw best three yards behind center on opening night versus NC State. Kenny McKinley is poised to finish his career as the statistically best reciever in USC history, edging out Sidney Rice who he shared the field with his first two seasons.
tennessee: Fat Phil Fulmer's decade's old "relationship" with a pool boy of foreign descent ended this spring, apparenty on "amicable terms" according to the San Francisco Star, and many in Rocky Top are holding their breathe in concern on what ol' Fat Phil's mental state may be by season's start. TENN's inability to recruit a decent qb prospect since Peyton Manning will be obviously apparent this year, as even half-metally challenged Erik Ainge is now playing with blocks with a college degree and out of college, finally. Think of this season as Fat Phil's last time around the block. Many people are.
Vanderbilt: Snooze button.
ALABAMA: Unlike Auburn, everyone in Tuscaloosa knows who the starter is. John Parker Wilson is back for his senior campaign, and watch for a competant season from him, and if any of Nick NITELITE Saban's miracle dust can rub off on any of his skill players, Alabama stands poised to take The West. QB controversies kill teams before the season begins, and that is the one thing that there is no question about in Tuscaloosa. There are a lot of other questions, such as, "Is Nick NITELITE Saban worth $32 million dollars? Can he beat Auburn? Will he stop being so mean to his players?" But those questions are all stupid.If you are anything like you, you spend a significant part of the off-season watching CSS Football Replays, and I am reminded of a sequence from a game I saw about a month ago. Alabama had just got intercepted a decisive pass and the offense was transitioning onto the field. The play was almost started before the defense called timeout, and as the players ran off the field Nitelite grabbed one of the linemen and started sceaming at him, ripping his chinstrap off of his helmet completely and kicking him not only off the field, but sending him to the showers. Because my experience with deaf people I could read his lips, which were saying something along the lines of "get the h*** off the field, I'm pulling your scholarship, don't even be IN the lockerroom when I get in there", and John Parker Wilson was trying to convince Nitelite that it had in fact been the other team that called timeout. Too bad for that kid. But that's the kind of "on-the-edge" coaching style that got Nitelite bestowed with the hatred and mire of almost every single person he has ever coached at any school or team he has ever worked at. You gotta love him. The Alabama Fans are still enthralled, but when his records start to reflect his totalitarian personality negatively, watch for him to dart Bobby Petrino-style to the best offer his agent Jimmy Sexton (who is also Bobby Petrino's agent) can scrounge up on a moments notice. Alabama wins the west because no one else in the west knows who their qb is gonna be, and by the time they figure it out, it will be too late.A star defensive tackle, remarking about Nitelite on CSS "Under The Lights", "He used to make grown me cry in the Pro's. What do you think he does to us kids?"
AUBURN: Tommy "The Riverboat Gambler" Tuberville's inability to man up and call his two quarterbacks in his office and walk out with one the clearcut starter and other the reserve/back-up is going to cost Auburn games this year. Maybe a few of them. Maybe all of the big 6. It will cost Auburn games in the future when it is difficult to recruit players to come to Auburn, especially Quarterbacks. It may cost Tommy Tuberville his job, faster than you can imagine. Kodi "Blunt" Burns does not have the arm that football-launching Chris Todd brings to the table. Either way, Tuberville would be better to pick one or the other and go with it rather than try the time-tested and always-failed technique of rotating quarterbacks(other than for specialty running plays). This will spell disaster for Auburn, and the season will be an embarrassment that will take years to recover from. Combined with a better than expected season by Alabama and we will be spelling TRAGETY in the headlines, this year, and for a long time to come.
LSU: Ryan Perriloux was poised to be a complete disaster at quarterback for LSU, a highly unstable and irradically behaved off-field imbriglio on track to be an embarassment to his Team, his School, his Family and his hometown Community. Having achieved that, LSU wisely decided to move on at quarterback, and Perilloux will be Jack State's mess to deal with. The QB situation is uncertain, and if they can solve it quicker (my guess, HATCH) and with more certainty than Auburn, look for a decent championship defense.
OLE MISS: Following what passes for "The Best and Most Reliable Information" coming out of Oxford, Mississippi, Houston Nutt has sequestered himself in the isolated outpost, possibly completely alone and strung out, using techniques that are beyond the pale of acceptable human behavior. With dictatorial control now over the entire football program, Nutt, in the words of one of his inner-cabal of yes-men and neophytes, "has access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we are all going insane."
Mississippi State: Sylvester Croom suicide watch, as usual, 24/7.
Arkansas: Bobby Petrino, who has the same agent, ironically, as Nick NITELITE Saban, is entertaining offers, as always. No offer is too ludicrious, especially the deeper into a losing season he plummets.