Well, here we are in early August, and the tension is building as the opening weekend of the 2015 College Football Seasons approaches. Ohio State is poised to defend its throne as 2014 National Champion against the likes of Oregon, TCU, Baylor and Ole Miss. No, that’s not a typo and I didn’t misspell Alabama. I’m convinced that this is going to be the Rebel’s magic year.
The Red & Blue will have seventeen returning starters — nine on offense and eight on defense — and there are at least four superstars included. Laquan Treadwell and Laremy Tunsil will be returning from season ending injuries, and they will be joined by Evan Engram at tight end. All of this offensive firepower will be led by highly touted Clemson transfer, Chad Kelly at quarterback. The veteran defensive unit is anchored by All World lineman, Robert Nkemdiche. (Spell check is going wild, it keeps shouting re-calculate, re-calculate.)
2015 will be the culmination of four top ten recruiting years for Coach Hugh, who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to attract 5 Star talents to the little school in the Grove. In addition to having a full larder of proven talent, Ole Miss is blessed with a favorable schedule. They open with UT Martin and Fresno State at home, before traveling to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama. Ole Miss beat the Tide last year in Oxford, and this year Alabama is trying to find its footing. Playing Bama early, before they figure it all out, is a real advantage.
The lackluster Vanderbilt Commodores will visit Vaught Hemingway the last Saturday in September, and Ole Miss should finish the first third of their schedule undefeated and moving up in the National Rankings. Ole Miss will be a heavy favorite in the next four games. They will easily beat the battered and bruised Florida Gators, and hammer New Mexico, Memphis and a struggling Texas A&M. By the final four games, the Rebels should be 8–0 and in the Top Five.
Again, the final four games should be easily winnable. By this point Auburn will have been revealed as the disappointment of the season, LSU and Arkansas will be struggling for a sixth bowl win, and the cellar dwelling MSU Bulldogs will pose no problem to the Big Red & Blue juggernaut and its land shark defense.
A win against the SEC East Champion will propel the Reb’s into the playoffs for the National Championship, and if there is any justice in College Football, they will get a chance to take another shot at TCU. Hotty Toddy!
Now that I’ve settled the SEC Championship, let’s move on to some of the also ran’s in the SEC West, starting with the highly touted Auburn Tigers. Since I live in the shadow of Jordan Hare, I’m bombarded by the Auburn hype. If the local papers are to be believed, then this is truly the year of the Tiger. There is a wizard on campus that will fix all of Ellis Johnson’s mistakes, and in the process turn an 8–5 performance into 15–0. If this pans out, then Gus made a historic hire when he caught Will Muschamp on the rebound from Florida.
The Crimson Tide has to deal with a scenario unfamiliar to the Bama faithful. Nick Saban lost his cloak of invincibility when he forgot that a field goal could be returned for a TD, and now everybody thinks Bama can be beaten. This, coupled with new faces at quarterback, makes it unlikely that the Tide will win ‘em all. They’ll be good, probably very good, but not good enough to beat Ole Miss.
The Arkansas Razorbacks are a solid, well coached football team with a host of returning talent, and a great incoming recruiting class. They will win a bunch of games, but will fall short against Bama and Ole Miss.
LSU and Texas A&M have problems at key positions, and while both will finish with winning records, they will have trouble winning the big games. Everyone’s pick as the disaster of the SEC West, Mississippi State, has no way to go but up. Here is my prediction for the SEC West in 2015.
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M
There’ll be joy in the Grove and wailing and gnashing of teeth on the Plains, and I can’t wait for it to start.