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Monday Morning News and Notes

Football on the SEC East. Scout has our worst-case scenario at 5-7, our best-case at 8-4, and our likely finish at 7-5. Now, I don't disagree with the worst case and, while I'm inclined to think that we will likely do better, I can't blame them for saying we'll probably go 7-5. It's not like we've done anything during the Spurrier era to make anyone believe that we can do any better than that. However, I'd like to know where they think these four sure-fire losses are. I'm assuming that they are at UGA, at Alabama, at Tennessee, and vs. Florida; the home games with Ole Miss and Clemson are possible candidates, as well. I can see where they're coming from with the 'Bama and Florida. I don't think the Tide will compete for a national title again until 2010, but they'll still be pretty good next year and should be able to handle us in Tuscaloosa. Florida, of course, is a favorite to repeat as national champion with their stout defense and an offense that may be one of the best in college football history. I believe that UGA and Tennessee, though, are beatable. UGA will certainly be tough in Athens, but we get them early and, after hearing how Joe Cox played in the G-Day game yesterday, I have little doubt that the Dawgs will still be searching for themselves in the second week of the season. The opportunity for the upset will be there in that one, although it obviously won't be easy. As for Tennessee, Scout seems to think a bit more highly of them than I would call reasonable for a team that went 5-7 last year and that's breaking in a new coach of questionable skills. Scout doesn't seem to think that we'll pose much of a problem for the Vols, claiming that

the second half of the year isn't all that bad with South Carolina, Memphis, Vanderbilt and Kentucky part of the mix.

Hmm. I'll grant that Tennessee will likely be better this year, but I think we will be too, and we beat the Vols 27-6 last year. Frankly, I think Ole Miss will be a tougher draw than the Vols. Clemson is Clemson; the Tigers likely won't be a great team next year, but they own us and I'll probably never call for a victory over them again until after we've proven we can play halfway competently against them on a somewhat regular basis. All in all, though, I would say that this team is absolutely capable of winning ten games if the ball bounces in the right direction. Yes, seven or eight is more likely and five is possible if things really fall apart, but the idea that there are at least four games that we absolutely can't win seems unlikely to me.


Rebels Win Final Game; Gamecocks Take Series. We may not have gotten the sweep, but the series victory over 14th-ranked Ole Miss will do. It couldn't have come soon enough for a team that was beginning to look like it was letting the season run away from it. Next up College of Charleston and The Citadel midweek in Columbia, followed by Auburn in Columbia over the weekend. Another series win over the Tigers would be great.