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The alligatorSports Way-Too-Early SEC Poll

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by gatorjjh, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    The alligatorSports Way-Too-Early SEC Poll
    Alligator Staff Report
    Assuming that the college football season begins as scheduled (which feels like a big assumption right now), we’re down to three months until the beginning of SEC play on Sept. 12. We decided to celebrate by surveying our staff on how it would rank all of the teams in the SEC heading into next season.

    1. Alabama - Average Rank: 1, High: 1, Low: 1
    River Wells:
    To be the man, you gotta beat the man.
    Since 2008, the Alabama Crimson Tide have been “the man.” Their hallowed reign as dark lord of the SEC may have hit a speed bump last season, but do not be fooled: Alabama is the best team in the SEC, and it has all the tools to prove it for the 2020 season.

    The Tide find themselves in a quarterback competition after the departure of Tua Tagovailoa to the Miami Dolphins, but they have two good options. Redshirt Junior Mac Jones played well in relief for Tagovailoa after his injury last year, throwing for 1,503 yards and 14 touchdowns with just three interceptions in just five games. He’ll likely be competing with true freshman Bryce Young, a five-star out of Santa Ana, California. Young is a bit small, but his pocket presence and arm are likely to make the Tide a threat once he stands behind center.

    Alabama managed to keep offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to keep its offense firing, and it’ll also see the return of running back Najee Harris, who averaged 5.9 yards per carry and rushed for 1,224 yards and found the endzone 13 times.

    With a strong linebacking corps and a young secondary on the other side of the ball, don’t expect the Crimson Tide to relinquish their throne as the SEC’s overlords any time soon.

    2. Georgia - Average Rank: 2.43, High: 2, Low: 3
    Zachary Huber:
    The Bulldogs have made the SEC Championship game three years in a row, and my colleagues at The Alligator think they’ll make it for a fourth consecutive year.. Yes, UGA has to replace four starters from its offensive line, the Great Wall of Athens, Jake Fromm, and a host of starters from their defense. However, Kirby Smart replaced all those starters with recruits who are just as talented, if not more. Personally, I went back and forth with ranking Florida ahead of UGA but ultimately went with Georgia, despite having one of the toughest schedules in the SEC. It has to face Alabama in Tuscaloosa, along with its traditional rivalry games against Florida and at home versus Auburn. But, the Bulldogs still have plenty of talent from their stellar recruiting classes where we believe the talent gap between UF and UGA is too much for the Gators to overcome.

    3. Florida - Average Rank: 2.86, High: 2, Low: 4
    Brendan Farrell:
    Consider us unconvinced that the Gators are the prohibitive favorites in the SEC East. Only two of our writers had Florida ahead of Georgia. Coming into Year 3, coach Dan Mullen now has his guys in place, and he excels at getting the most out of his guys. However, the talent gap between Georgia and Florida is still pretty sizable, and it’s going to take a win in Jacksonville to convince me that UF has a ceiling above double-digit wins and a win in a New Year’s Six bowl.

    Florida’s biggest advantage is that it is the only team in our top four to return its starting quarterback from last season — Kyle Trask. In a year where the offseason is going to be a giant wild card, continuity at the most valuable position could be what puts the Gators over the edge in the East.

    4. LSU - Average Rank: 4, High: 2, Low: 5
    Wells:
    Reports of LSU’s demise have been greatly exaggerated


    The alligatorSports Way-Too-Early SEC Poll
     
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  2. red4512

    red4512 Premium Member

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    Dont know why most people consider that Uga vs Auburn so tough. Auburn almost always chokes, esp in the hedges.
     
  3. garettk

    garettk GC Legend

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    Fake news
     
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  4. ETGator1

    ETGator1 GC Hall of Fame

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    UGALY is replacing 4 OL, Gator killer QB Jake Fromm, top RB DeAndre Swift, their top graduate transfer 2019 WR, and a number of players off the defense yet they are going to beat UF this season. What did those guys smoke before they made their predictions?
     
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  5. defensewinschampionships

    defensewinschampionships GC Hall of Fame

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    They might. But it isn’t a lock like these guys say
     
  6. gatrfanzz

    gatrfanzz GC Legend

    I don't want to wear this out, but I can't help it. If not for one bad offensive turnover and one lapse on one play by a def back the Gators win last year. The old ball coach used to step all over the dawgs when they had much better recruiting. Steve used to let the media know that fact too. This should be the year the Gators take back the WLOCP trophy.
     
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  7. GatorSean

    GatorSean GC Hall of Fame

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    'Since 2008, the Alabama Crimson Tide have been “the man.”'

    Uh, we were the National Champs in 2008. No reason to give Bama an extra year of dominance.

    How does the Alligator of all outlets get that wrong??
     
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  8. The_Graygator

    The_Graygator GC Hall of Fame

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    Anpther article basically saying we have no chance against Bama and UGA. What else is new?
     
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  9. manigordo

    manigordo GC Hall of Fame

    I've got no problem with their opinions. I disagree, principally based on coaching, but I don't know why folks should dismiss them. We have a few things to prove ourselves. Funny that too many folks (not calling anyone out here in particular) here constantly complain about recruiting yet our fans also bristle when we are picked to come behind both Bama and Georgia.
     
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  10. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Amen & I think this is the season it happens, we will look back in 5 or so years and say that 2020 Team was the start of the Mullen era of dominance
     
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  11. Distant Gator

    Distant Gator GC Hall of Fame

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    Our key game is at UGA of course, assuming we don't stumble vs UK and UT. (And UK has given us fits the last 4 years.)

    Unless something has changed, UGA will lose 9 of their 11 starters from last year. Their recruiting is great, but still, that's a big loss.
    But that D brings back a lot, and they shut us down last year.
     
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  12. TrueGator

    TrueGator GC Hall of Fame

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    Let's not forget that we lost by a whopping seven points last year, and that was due to them going for two late in the game to make a lead a multiple of seven points. So, they essentially beat us by two field goals. Not saying they didn't deserve to win, they did, but, as Mullen said when asked what the gap was between us and Georgia after that game, it was "seven points" despite all of their 5* recruiting. With the exception of safety play against their tight ends on third down (which must be fixed) our D did fine, too. Georgia also had a couple of very questionable catches that were miscalled at key points in the game that didn't help.

    But, building on last year, this, my friend, is the Year of the Gator... you heard it here first. ;)
     
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  13. Distant Gator

    Distant Gator GC Hall of Fame

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    So I very rarely start topics here on SG, but I did last summer about our 2018 game vs UGA.
    The score indicated a blowout, but as I re-watched it last summer I realized that the game came down to a few plays.
    One was inserting EJ as QB late in the first half- a poor decision which would have been harmless but for Vosean Joseph's mentally checking out.
    Also Scarlett fumbling- which he had not all year.

    Mullen actually outcoached Smart in 18- despite the score.
    So there's hope.

    HOWEVER, I felt the 19 game was Mullen's worst game as a coach all season.
    IMO we panicked after failing to convert the 4th and 1. He built the game up too much in his mind, perhaps.
    And then our 3rd down D was bewildering. And then there was catch which was not overturned/

    But yes, we actually could have won both games. The breaks went against us in both games, no doubt.
    That's the good news.

    The bad news is that Mullen must break through in this game in 20- otherwise it will be a monkey on his back like we were to Fulmer or Donnan.
    So there will be more pressure in 20. We must be able to hold up this year, and not let our nerves get the best of us.
     
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  14. TrueGator

    TrueGator GC Hall of Fame

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    Can't say I disagree with any of that. We also lost an important timeout with an assistant coaching mistake late in the game. I re-watched this game yesterday to see if my perceptions and people's year-long descriptions of the game were actually accurate. Overall, I think people have made it seem like we were dominated, and, that is definitely not the case if you watch the whole game, especially taking note of Greenard getting hobbled during the game (don't recall seeing Zuniga either). We certainly couldn't get our offense going in the first half, but, that was no slouch of a defense they were working against. Yes, the FL-GA game this year will have huge implications, as it did last year (8 more points and we would have been in Atlanta with an 11-1 record and probably a top 3 ranking.) Good analysis, Distant. I am optimistic that the Gators will break through this year if the bug let's 'em play through a complete season. After all, if @Nostradamus likes a prediction, than who can be against it! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
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  15. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Chip Kelly 2018 3-6 2019 4-8
    Scott Frost 2018 4-8 2019 5-7
     
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