They’re Coming…Previewing the 2009 SEC

2009 SEC Football Previews | Gate 21

Are YOU Ready?

With the conclusion of SEC Media Days today with our very own Lane Kiffin, Montario and Hardesty and Eric Berry (all the coverage you want from the SEC website and a look from Joel at Rocky Top Talk, representing all of us here in the blogosphere), the opening of fall camps around the South are just a couple of weeks away. So I’ve taken it upon myself to take a late July look at the 2009 SEC team-by-team to get you ready for the season.

Starting Sunday and continuing through next Friday, I’ll be giving my thoughts, observations, concerns, etc. on the 11 SEC teams not named Tennessee and the prospects for each for this upcoming season. I probably won’t be breaking any new ground or giving any earth-shattering information, but it’s certainly going to be a different look.

I’ve structured these previews a little differently than last year, when I took it upon myself to preview every SEC team and every Division I conference on my own site before joining the Gate. I’ve done this for a couple of reasons: first, to make these previews ever-so-slightly different from the others thousands you’ll find on the internet. Secondly, I had to structure them, otherwise I would babble on – likely incoherently – for about 2,000 words and thus defeating the purpose.

Anyways, here’s the five areas I’ll be highlighting in these previews:

  • Schedule Breakdown: I’ll be taking a look at each team’s schedule – one of the most important factors in my opinion in being able to assess a team’s odds of success a month before a season starts. What games can said team expect to win? To lose? Which games are the key to the season? I’ll take a look at that.
  • STUDS: Who’s each team’s best players? I’ll take a look at three players or pairs or groups of players from whom you can expect big things in 2009.
  • X-Factors: Every team in the SEC outside of maybe Florida has some questions marks, areas of concern. I’ll make my picks for those keys in determining the difference for a team’s season being good or being great.
  • What’s New, and What’s (Not Necessarily) Improved: For it’s been a offseason of serious change for three schools (Auburn, Mississippi State and our own Vols), each team in the SEC will be featuring some new things from last season. And just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s going to be better. I’ll be focusing on these things in this section.
  • On-the-Record Prediction: Yes, believe it. I’ll be putting my credibility and reputation on the line and to stay in the Gate 21 archives with a basic prediction for each team. I won’t be picking individual games – I’m leaving myself some wiggle room with these – but I’ll forecasting a number of wins that you can expect. If you disagree with my assessments, by all means feel free to tell me how silly I am.

I’ve been working rather feverishly on these profiles the past couple of days to get them done. To prove how dedicated of a writer I am, I’ll be posting these from Gulf Shores, Alabama, where I’ll be vacationing next week. Hence why I’m working on them now as opposed to next week…

Here’s the schedule – one East school, one West school each day (sans Auburn):

  • SUNDAY: Kentucky and Mississippi State
  • MONDAY: Vanderbilt and Arkansas
  • TUESDAY: Georgia and Alabama
  • WEDNESDAY: South Carolina and LSU
  • THURSDAY: Florida and Ole Miss
  • FRIDAY: Auburn

About Home Sweet Home... … to me.

About the Author: I'm from Memphis but I'm now entering my third year at the University of Tennessee here in Knoxville. I am majoring in Journalism/Electronic Media and hope to go into sports broadcasting/writing/something like that. I'm a huge Vol fan and have been going to games for as long as I can remember. I started my on blog called "The View From The Hill" but moved here to Gate 21 for bigger and better things. In addition to my passion for Tennessee football and basketball, I enjoy watching the NFL and the NBA as well. Basically, sports are a big part of my life. >> Read more from this author

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