Tuesday, October 18, 2011
A look around the SEC. Teams 9 and 10.
We checked in on the bottom feeders yesterday. Now let's look one step above. The mix can be a bit convoluted, but in our opinion, these are the next to worst teams in the conference.
#10, Tennessee. In our opinion, without Bray, Tennessee struggles mightily down the stretch. They may make their way to 6-6 and a crap bowl, but Vandy may upset them at home in late November, at which point another losing season is likely for the Vols. Babs can whine about her baby all she wants, but if he has a losing season, Derek Dooley becomes squarely in the cross hairs for Tennessee fans. At that point, his future employment becomes contingent on Superstar getting healthy and leading them to a much better season in 2012. Tennessee is a very difficult job, and the former Clarke Central man stepped in to a horrible spot after Kiffikins snuck out in the middle of the night. But their fans won't care if he can't turn it around by year 3, with recruiting so far being less than stellar. Plain and simple, Tyler Bray's busted thumb may ultimately be what makes Barbara's Baby an offensive coordinator for the first time in his career.
#9, Vanderbilt. As you saw above, we think Lionel Ritchie's back up band can upset UT at the end of the year. It was a hard call between them, and team's 7 and 8, but we don't see the Commodores winning more than 2 more SEC games along the way (they have Army this weekend, and an Academic Bowl with Wake Forest to end the season). They have a likely gimme vs. Kentucky, with the Battle for the Hills against UT deciding if they win 7 and get perhaps a Liberty Bowl bid. The main key for Vandy is the continued development Jordan Rodgers. Saturday was his first start, and if he can play like that in their remaining games, it'll be a huge boost.