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Larry’s Losers in the SEC – Way Too Early Predictions

Winning may not be everything, but sure beats being on the top of  the list of Larry’s Losers

Larry’s Losers in the SEC – Way Too Early Predictions

By: Larry Burton

Well sports fans, it’s time to knock the fleas off Bacardi the Wonder Dog and start baking our little smart cookies for this season’s weekly list of Larry’s Losers in the SEC. But before we delve into the published prognostications of perfect picks on a weekly basis, we’re going to try and take a stab at how the teams should wind up at season’s end.

Last year, I sure didn’t see Auburn rising more like a phoenix than an eagle from the ashes of the cellar of the SEC in the fashion it did and this season may have another team or two that muddle the media’s minds like last season. So with nothing more than a few scrimmages, a smart dog’s intuition and a coin flip or two, let’s see if we can correctly calculate the conundrum of college contests. The first article will deal with the East and the next we’ll delve into the real power of the SEC, the West.

In the East – In Order of Losers

Kentucky – It’s always easy to pick the patsy of the SEC East, all you have to do is name Kentsucky. Yes, it juvenile to resort to name calling, but in this case if the shoe fits, at least in Kentucky, it sucks. This ain’t the Kentucky team that went to back to back bowls not too long ago.

Kentucky could well go winless in the SEC again this year and could only win the games against the lower division and have not conference teams. Mark Stoops knew that coming to the SEC would be a tough job, but doing it Kentsucky makes if far far tougher.

They may not have a great offense, but at least they have a bad defense too, so we’ll give them points for balance anyway. These Wildcats will end up being Mildcats just like last season. With little doubt, Larry’s Loser in the SEC East is Kentucky.

At least Kentucky fans still have liquor for football season. I might suggest diapers for this season as well.

At least Kentucky fans still have liquor for football season. I might suggest diapers for this season as well.

Tennessee – Butch Jones may just be minding the store until Peyton Manning retires and most hope that tenure will be like the time Mike Shula filled the job at Alabama until Saban came along. Keep the program going, do some good recruiting and leave a few good players behind for the next man to build on.

With a win over Kentucky and possibly one other team, it was hard to see this team this near the bottom because last year they showed they had some heart and they are improving. The question here was will Tennessee improve more than Vanderbilt will fall and the Wonder Dog and I both they won’t, but it could be close.

So until Peyton Manning Volunteers to retire from the NFL and take over this team of Tennessee, they’ll just be foundering near the bottom and leading the list of most Larry’s Loser’s lists.

Vanderbilt – The Commodores had their skipper jump ship to command a better battleship and without James Franklin at the helm, these song city sailors with shrivel up in the win column. To add insult to injury, they lost some good players too.

Vanderbilt is bringing back a bunch of boys who have been to bowl games and that memory and experience will help them stay respectable, but they may fall short of a bowl game this year if our predictions are perfect.

New coach Derek Mason will find that wearing the big hat and commanding his own crew may not be the life he wished he had inherited, but like Frank Sinatra once sang and James Franklin once proved, if you can make there, you’ll make it anywhere, so good luck Coach Mason.

Missouri – Coach Gary Pinkel last year proved to be quite the ring master and he trained his tribe of Tigers to not just take on the SEC, but be the beast of the East and almost win the whole ball of wax in the SEC.

But now the question is how will he fare with so many stars gone and how deep is pool of talent in mighty Missouri? It will help that they play a weak team in the West, Arkansas, and wins against Vanderbilt and Kentucky look promising, so they’ll only have to come up with another win or two to prove they’re still the terrible Tigers they used to be.

Could they catch fire and take the crown in the East again? Well they sure fooled us all last year and anything can happen as we all know, it’s just that I don’t see it and neither does the pigskin pickin’ pooch.

Which Tiger will turn up this season, big or little? That's the real question.

Which Tiger will turn up this season, big or little? That’s the real question.

Florida – Will Muschamp’s swamp choppers have his butt on the hot seat to stay around and steer these Florida football players for another fortnight or two. This defensive coach has the defense he wants, but the offense has been just downright offensive. And that’s in the bad way.

But this year he thinks he has the man in charge on that side of the ball to get the Gators going in the right direction and move the ball a little more regularly and a little more to the end zone.

This is a team that Bacardi and I think could catch fire and possibly put a push toward the absolute top of the East with just a little luck. Despite his past, Jeff Driskel is due for some stardom and this is the year it could all happen. A gaggle of Gators with that gritty defense and a ball moving offense could be a very dangerous team and this is our upset team and dark horse danger for the SEC.

Georgia – Mark’s Mutt’s never live up to expectations, and this group will be no different. They have lots of talent ambling into Athens every year, only to see them always find a way to blunder when it counts. So will it be this year.

They have the talent once again, but once again, these Bulldogs will play like bullfrogs and croak when it counts.

Talent will get you far in the SEC and this is a team that’s always close to the top, but I’ll bet the Bulldog fans would rather rise and fall and sometimes win it all than just be the SEC’s always also ran.

South Carolina – The Old Ball Coach has put the spurs on these Carolina cluckers or should I say he’s put the Spurriers on them? Either way, he’s got these feathered footballers to heights they’ve never been before and unlike Moses, who died of old age before he finally got his tribe to the promised land, Steve Spurrier thinks he can get the pullets to promised land in his lifetime.

Yes, we know that Connor Shaw and lots of others like Clowney have flown the coop, but that didn’t leave this hen house so empty that they can’t walk away with a trip to Atlanta and a shot to finally win it all.

We won’t say just yet whether they’ll lay an egg in Atlanta, but just getting there will prove that maybe South Carolina ain’t the place for old coaches to go to die. At least in the career sense.

This ain't the chickens from your grandfather's barnyard.

This ain’t the chickens from your grandfather’s barnyard.

And that’s it for now folks, next we’ll look at the best of West, but in true Larry’s Losers fashion, from the bottom up and we’ll throw in our SEC winner too! So till then, go to your local Sam’s or Costco and start loading up on the popcorn and peanuts because the season will start before you know it and you’ll be luxuriating in lists of losers for weeks to come.

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