The 2007 schedule looks like this (I'll go ahead and put out my predictions).
Sept. 1st - Western Carolina (win, 1-0) Sept. 8th - @ Vandy (win, 2-0) Sept. 15th - Arkansas (toss up) Sept. 22nd - Georgia (toss up) Sept. 29th - vs. Florida St (in Jacksonville, FL) (toss up) Oct. 6th - Houston (win, 3-0) Oct. 13th - @ Ole Miss (win, 4-0) Oct. 20th - Tennessee (toss up) Oct. 27th - OPEN DATE / BYE WEEK Nov. 3rd - LSU (toss up) Nov. 10th - @ Miss St (win, 5-0) Nov. 17th - La-Monroe (win, 6-0) Nov. 24th - @ Auburn (toss up)
So we've got 6 gimmes, just like this past season, and then 6 games that I would consider toss ups. We're still not sure about the talent on the offensive and defensive lines, and that is where the games are always won in the SEC.
Western Carolina - Should be handled easily. Beat them 52-0 in 2004 before Brodie went out with a torn ACL.
at Vanderbilt - ALWAYS gives us trouble, but I expect us to pick up a road win here. They're very well coached, but always seem to have bad luck on their side.
Arkansas - Arkansas has all of their skill players returning, but the one thing that made them so good was their offensive line. They lose starters Tony Ugoh, Jeremy Harrell, and Zac Tubbs, along with capable backup Stephen Parker. On the defensive line, they are only losing DT Keith Jackson, but that's a pretty significant loss for that line. He was their leader. LB Sam Olajabutu will be gone, along with backup Desmond Sims and safety Randy Kelly. They'll still be good, but they won't be able to run around as much as they did this past year. I look for a good home win in this one.
Georgia - This is a weird game. Georgia finished out this year beating Auburn (in Auburn), Ga Tech, and Va Tech in Chick-Fil-A bowl. But they also lost to Vandy and Kentucky this year. I think they're getting better as a unit. They were a young team this year, and next year will be much improved thanks to experience. They're losing starting offensive tackles Ken Shackleford and Daniel Inman, and the center Nick Jones. Tight End Martez Milner will be gone, but I think they can replace all of those guys with the young ones behind them. Offense should be better this coming year than the last. Defense may hurt a little bit. Say bye to DE Quentin Moses and defensive tackle Ray Gant and safety Tra Battle. I think their biggest problem could be at linebacker where they're losing all 3 starters (Verdon, Taylor, Jackson). For a team that depends on their linebackers as much as UGA, this could end up hurting them...especially in an early game against a team with as many playmakers as Alabama. I think we can win this one as well.
vs Florida State - Gotta do some more research and see who all is gone, etc. I look for their defense to be incredible, like usual, but still have some weaknesses, and I look for their offense to be drastically improved. We'll see about this one later. Still a toss up.
Houston - They're losing Kolb along with several playmakers on the offensive and defensive sides. Again, this is a home game, so I like our chances. I think we win this one relatively easy.
at Ole Miss - Coach O will finally have a majority of HIS players on the field. Go ahead, ask me who I chose between an Orgeron coached team and a Saban coached team. Haha.
Tennessee - Another home game. Gotta love these. They shouldn't really be hurting on offense. Meacham may go pro. They're losing playmakers in Bret Smith and Jason Swain at the WR position. But, like always, they can reload that position. FB Cory Anderson is gone, along with offensive tackle Arron Sears and guard David Ligon. They relied heavily on these two for their running game. On defense they lose a little bit everywhere. DT Turk McBride, LB Marvin Mitchell, CB Jonathan Wade, and S Antwan Stewart. Tennessee should be the same team they always are...physical, grind it out type of game. I think we can win this one too, thanks to the home crowd.
Bye week - Bama hasn't had a bye week in two years, so this one will be great for the team...especially right before the LSU game after the Tennessee game. Those two are always tough battles in the trenches.
LSU - I really thought these guys were losing a lot more. I would say that if JaMarcus Russell goes pro, it would help, but I don't know. I think Flynn may be a better QB than him, and Perilloux ain't bad either. They lose RB Justin Vincent, and both starting WRs (Davis and Bowe), along with TE Keith Zinger. They're going to be really young on the offensive line, with losses of starters Dyakowski and Johnson, and backups Hodges and Wibel. On defense, they're losing a hoss in Chase Pittman. The secondary may be the weakest, thanks to the departure of starters Zenon, Daniels, and Landry. I still think that with Pelini there, they'll be fine. This game will be ridiculously brutal. Glad it's in Tuscaloosa. I'm leaving this as a toss up.
at Miss. St - Can we say payback? I have a feeling this one could get ugly. Alabama's strength and conditioning will REALLY show in this game, I believe. Don't expect anything remotely close to last year.
La-Monroe - This is like the warmup for the Auburn game. I think we'll be playing LOTS of backups in this one.
Auburn - Road game. Booo. But hey, I guess it's better than playing them in Tuscaloosa...haha. Kenny Irons, Tre Smith, and Courtney Taylor are all gone. Almost the entire offensive line is gone - Jonathan Palmer, Ben Grubbs, Tim Duckworth, and Joe Cope. That will be their biggest hole. Defense could take a big hit if Groves goes pro. They're already losing DE Marquies Gunn, LBs Herring, Dede, and Sears, and CB David Irons, but something tells me that they'll be fine too. Look for this team to be a repeat of this past year's Georgia team. Young, but getting better as the season progresses. I think we can handle this team on the road. Chalk it up as a win.
¶ 11:47 AM
Meachem is going pro, so they lose all they their receiving corp # posted by irishjihad : 4:58 PM
Well, I'm shooting for a 9-3 season. Anything less will be disappointing. A 9-3 season means we split the 6 games that are toss ups. 8-4 will be tolerable. # posted by Anthony : 8:05 PM
8-4 would get us a New Year's day bowl game.
Not too shabby for ANY first year coach. # posted by Anonymous : 2:20 PM
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