So... I'm finally going to do it. I have had roughly... 30 people ask me "so, what does Juco All-American think this season is going to be like?" Until now, I have been able to say, "I guess you'll just have to wait for the article." Now I can say, "I guess you'll just have to read the article."
You know, it's difficult for an Ole Miss fan to handle the emotions I have felt for the past eight months. We're good at football. We don't just think that. We know it. It's real. We beat LSU 31-13 last season. LSU.
But here's the question. "How good are we, really?"
I think that this team is more talented than the rebels of 2003, who went 10-3. I think they're probably more talented than any team in the history of Ole Miss. The 50s and 60s were totally different in college football. This Ole Miss team would obliterate those teams.
But still, is even a team this talented capable of winning at Ole Miss, a program once known for the hints of racism; a program that has never had to deal with exp- just kidding.
So here's my game-by-game analysis. I'm only doing a quick entry for each. Remember, I'm the pre-game prediction fella here, so you'll get a more detailed prediction every Friday.
@ Memphis: W - We're going to beat them. Tommy West is a bad coach, and Memphis is full of players who couldn't make it at their first stop, thus being forced to transfer to middle-of-the-C-USA school. We will run well against them. We will throw well against them. Our defense will stop their stupid bubble screens and draws.
SELA: W - We're going to beat them a lot worse than we beat Memphis. Nathan Stanley and Billy Tapp will split reps late in the third and all through the fourth.
@ South Carolina: W - When the schedule came out, I was immediately scared about this game. The thing is that we lost to them last year, and Steve Spurrier is scary. Still, Spurrier has struggled a lot at South Carolina, and I don't see that changing too much this year. Maybe we, as pessimistic Ole Miss fans, didn't get the memo. South Carolina lost their leading passer, rusher, and two leading receivers. We will beat them, but it will be close.
@ Vanderbilt: W - We killed them every where but the scoreboard last year, and we weren't playing our best football yet. This season, we will put it together and beat them for only the second time in five years.
Alabama: L - This prediction hasn't made me popular with even some of my fellow-bloggeurs. But you know what? Saban can stop the wild rebel, and Alabama can run the football. Also, we played an excellent second half last season and still couldn't beat them. There's so much talent on that team, I just don't think we will be able to maintain a lead against them.
UAB: W - Southern Miss scored 70 points against them last year. I'm predicting two Billy Tapp juke moves.
Arkansas: L - It's difficult for me to write that L. I know that's also not a popular prediction. I just think that Arkansas stacks up well against us. Their biggest strength (throwing the football) is our biggest weakness (defending the pass). I think we lose a close one here.
@ Auburn: W - Auburn is in for a world of hurt this season. When they couldn't decide whether to start Neil Caudle or Kodi Burns, only to end up moving Burns to wide receiver and starting Chris Todd, I knew it was over for them. Don't forget, Chris Todd was the quarterback in this game.
Northern Arizona: W - I'm not even going to discuss this.
Tennessee: W - Ha. Tennessee. They have some talent on roster, but I just don't see how they could be very good. I'm predicting they'll win seven this year. Crompton and Stephens both suck pretty badly, and there are no other quarterbacks on roster.
LSU: W - Oh how good it feels to write that W. As some of the Friends of the Cup (FoTCs) have recently enumerated, I went to the LSU - Ole Miss game last season on my bachelor party weekend. Oh what a weekend. It couldn't have been better. Here's the funny thing. We were in bed by eleven on Saturday, and I didn't regret anything.
@MSU: W - It was a good idea for Mississippi State to bring in a spread coach, since that's the only way they can actually compete with legitimate programs. We should have considered it as well, since I don't really think we will ever be able to sustain elite success in a traditional offense. Anyway, it doesn't matter this year. Mississippi State is full of terrible players. Those with other offers made huge mistakes.
So that's 10-2 in the regular season, and honestly, that probably means another trip to the Cotton Bowl. That's great though. If we could consistently get there, our program would be in great shape. Unfortunately, 2010 is going to be rough.