The good folks over at RollBamaRoll are taking the mic this week. Below are my answers to their questions. You can check there for a round-up on Friday.
1. We have a poll up at RBR about what was the biggest SEC upset from last season. What is your pick and why? I’m gonna have to go with the Kentucky-LSU game. As great a year as Kentucky had, they still finished 3-5 in the conference. Top beat the eventual national champion is a big, big deal. I believe that it was a case of LSU beating themselves more than Kentucky whipping them but never-the-less the Wildcats kept themselves in position to win the game and thus deserve the credit. You could also view Tennessee’s dumb-luck landing in Atlanta as a major upset. Their team did not deserve, except in the completely technical sense, to be there.
2. Looking ahead to this season’s schedule, what games do you see as being the deciding factors in who will win the SEC? Not to give a non-answer, but you just really can’t know, and that is the thing I love about college football. The textbook, regular media answer is: LSU/Auburn in the West and Florida/Georgia in the east. You can go one level deeper and say the West contender’s games against Alabama and the East contender’s games against Tennessee. You also have to consider the intriguing intra-division interdivision match-ups this season like LSU/Florida, Tennessee/Auburn, and Georgia/Alabama. Ole Miss and South Carolina will also, in my opinion, have a loud voice in deciding things this year. Just about every week something is on the line – you gotta love that.
3. Phil Steele and Athlon have Florida ranked #1 in the country with UGA coming in at #9 and #5, respectively, while Lindy’s likes the Dawgs at #1 and Florida at #6. Obviously both teams can’t represent the East in Atlanta, so which team do you think will wind up playing for the title and a berth in the Sugar Bowl (or National Championship Game), or do you think it’s possible neither team will be there at the end of the season? The more I think about it the more I am convinced that while loaded, Georgia’s schedule is just going to be too tough. Therefore I think that Florida, with comparable talent and a more favorable schedule will represent the East in Atlanta. Between the two I think the Gators have a better chance but I wouldn’t go as far as placing money, or even emphatically saying they will be there.
4. It’s a little early for a “traitor’s draft” since we don’t know who the starters are going to be until the fall, but since football is a year long affair let’s go ahead and have one. If you could trade two Alabama spring starters, one offensive and one defensive, for their counterpart on any other SEC team, who would you trade and why? As much as I like Terry Grant, trading him for Knowshon Moreno would just be too much of a no-brainer. A back like Moreno just makes it so hard for teams to defense you if there is any threat of a passing attack to complement him; he just always falls forward.
On the defense, and I hope I regret saying this, but I’d like to trade Brandon Deadrick for Ole Miss’ Greg Hardy. Alabama could really use a disruptive force on the D-line.
5. Finally, and just for fun, give me one non-Alabama game you’d love to attend this season (there’s a list of the “Top 40” non-con games of the season here if you need a little help). I would love to attend the Cocktail Party. It would be hard not to enjoy that game.