Category Archives: Spring Previews
College football season is not long enough, because yadda yadda amateur athletes, and something something concussions. This means that while the sport, in season, is the best sport on the planet, there is a TON of dead air surrounding it. A player arrested for failure to yield while on a bicycle qualifies as news in college football in June.
If the NFL gets one thing right, its staying in the news cycle. They somehow make minicamps and a SECOND round of free agency news, and draft hype carries them four months. Unfortunately, the NFL Draft makes May more compelling for college football. That is the level of dead space we have to conquer.
SPOILER ALERT: This is being written in March, a month in which there is nothing to write about, further explaining our conspicuous absence on the DudeYouPodcast and this website.
- October. If you think November is better, I won’t fight you about it. October, though, gives me all of the football feels. Great weather, perfect tailgating, awesome rivalry games, and every team still has some semblance of something to play for.
- November. Like October, but with slightly better rivalry games, slightly worse weather, and a lot more dead weight in games that have no significance on conference or playoff standings. College football writer/savant Bill Connelly disagrees with me, and you probably will too after reading this.
- September. Hope. Sundresses. Tailgating. Pretty sweet neutral-site matchups on Labor Day Weekend. And the novelty of college football. If I were to rank the 52 weeks of the sport, opening week would probably be #1.
- January*. Important bowl games. The caveat here is the playoff returning to January 1 as opposed to New Year’s Eve. January’s intrigue doesn’t last very long on the field, but you get weird recruiting stuff leading up to Signing Day, if you’re into that, after.
- December. Conference championships and a personal favorite, getting sneaky whiskey buzzed and watching meaningless bowl games with friends and family. Cheers to you and rest in peace, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
- April. Hey, spring football games are ABSOLUTELY meaningless. But they’re still worthwhile so people like me can pretend to know who’s going to break through in the subsequent season. The little taste of football is just enough to not drive one mad.
- February. Signing Day. If you’re into that. Gives us something to talk about for a couple of weeks, at least.
- June. Phil Steele’s magazine comes back, and if you can’t bridge July to training camp with Phil Steele, you’re doing it wrong.
- August. Training camp. This is actually the worst month because the only thing that ever really happens is your key receiver goes down and you stress over how the offense will cope.
- May. NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS IN MAY. Best case, your school only ends up with 1-2 academic casualties, and if you’re living right none are on the two-deep.
- July. NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS IN JULY. Someone will be arrested on Independence Day, and that will suck. July has the most helium of all of the months, because if God graced us with a return of the NCAA Football video game series, it would drop in this month. July’s ranking, up through 2013? Probably #6.
- March. Sweet God, there is nothing to talk about. Bye.
Every year, around Tech game, we do the good work on this site to remind you that UGA/GT is NOT a rivalry. At all. A rivalry requires both parties to be equally invested in the outcome of a contest, and this hasn’t been the case for years. Every year, we are inundated by Tech fans who disagree with our assessment, and disregard the number of times we mention Tech outside of Tech week (it’s always zero). Today, their argument was rendered moot, and their status as little brother forever enshrined in…whatever material this is.
— CBS Sports CFB (@CBSSportsCFB) April 17, 2015
This is the Techiest thing that ever Teched.
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I’ve got no real new information to present to you in the Spring. The SEC Network and ESPNU are showing too much basketball, preview magazines aren’t out yet, and recruiting rankings will have zero effect on the 2015 season. This is my attempt to keep you in the loop with some of Georgia’s potential obstacles for next season.
If you’ve been following the postseason podcasts, blogs, and Signing Day chatter, there are a LOT of people picking Tennessee as the darkhorse in the SEC East for 2015. Why the unbridled optimism for a team that yet again failed to finish .500 in league play? For a team who will have about 2/3 of its players in their first or second years in the program?
There’s a lot that could go right for the Vawls in 2015, but a lot that could go wrong too.
Josh Dobbs, and the emergence of an actual QB:
Dobbs was not a world-beater once he replaced the injured Justin Worley, but 63.3% of his passes found Vols receivers. He also brought an element to the UT run game not seen since Brent Schaffer: a real threat to run the ball. Dobbs finished with 469 yards on 104 (SPOILER ALERT: that is not good) carries. Not many college running backs get 200 carries, as Dobbs would have in a full season of action. An injury, and they’re right back to square one (remember Nathan Peterman in the third quarter or the Georgia/Tennessee game?)
Dobbs has weapons:
I spent all preseason last year shouting from rooftops that Marquez North was the second best wideout in the SEC. He rewarded me with…30 catches for just over 300 yards in an injury-plagued sophomore campaign. Joining him in and out of the lineup were Josh Malone, Von Pearson, and Pig Howard, all highly-rated guys in their own right. As their WR’s grow up, this passing offense becomes prolific.
The 2014 Vols replaced all 5 starters on their offensive line from the previous year. This year? Just one. That paves the way for massive human being Jalen Hurd (899 yards, 5 TD as a freshman) to continue to do his thing.
So yes, Tennessee’s offense is highly, highly skilled.
A strong finish and a beastly Signing Day
I said it in the intro, I’ll say it again. Signing Day 2015 will have almost no effect on this year’s results. Having said that, Tennessee pulling in it’s third straight top-10 class is
admirable confusing things that make you go ‘hmm’. This year, the focus was more on reloading the defense, as they brought in two consensus five star tackles in Kahlil McKenzie and Shy Tuttle.
On the field, the Vols won 4 of their last 5. A convincing win against Iowa to close out the season is another cause of this ‘contender’ optimism, but say it with me one more time: BOWL GAMES ARE OVERRATED!
Did I dig into the defense?
Nah, not yet. They lose A.J. Nicholson though, and he was a monster.
But the schedule, though…
With a permanent crossover rival in Alabama, the Vols’ schedule always appears among the most daunting in the league. With a series against Oklahoma finally ending this year, it daunts all the more. The Vols play six straight games (all but a trip to Florida are at home) to open the season, concluding with a home date against Georgia on October 10. Coming off the bye, they go to Alabama and then play November against the fairly pedestrian SEC East.
There is the OUTSIDE chance that Butch Jones’ third Tennessee team plays to a similar trajectory of Hugh Freeze’s at Ole Miss. Early opportunities to pick up high-profile wins against Oklahoma and Florida, and a home tilt with Arkansas, could theoretically boost the Vols into the top 10 before Georgia comes knocking.
Or, s**t hits the fan as it has done for the past decade, and we have another 5-7 win Tennessee team, with a fanbase angling for someone to come in and coach up all the talent Jones has inexplicably assembled in Knoxville.
NEXT: IDK, whoever I feel like. Probably South Carolina though.