Blog … Harbach’s 2008 SEC Preview

Two months before the season starts, one month before the SEC meetings in Birmingham all there is to read are predictions. Opinions are just like… well there is no need to go there so early in this column so let’s just say that everyone has one. Predictions are what get fans through the dead period of college football and preseason magazines are the sports fan’s bible. Any national news this time of year outside of those magazines usually isn’t going to be good thing (shout out to Alabama fans).
Predictions of the upcoming season offer hope and optimism for fans and the chance to prove all the prognosticators wrong for the players. Since this column will be dedicated day in and day out to SEC football the best possible starting point would be a discussion of the State of the SEC. Quickly hitting on the conference as a whole and then discussing the teams and where they are at going into this season.

As usual the SEC is the toughest conference top to bottom in the country and the league is no where near decided, while some teams in other conferences seem to be booking their BCS tickets with no argument necessary ( Ohio State , USC and West Virginia ). The SEC’s best team is in Athens this year and arguably will not win their division much less the conference due to a brutal schedule. Four teams should be considered national title contenders and four teams should start the year in or near the top 10 ( Auburn , Florida , Georgia and LSU).
The coaching in the conference is unmatched, 5 coaches have won national championships and a 6th has an undefeated season to go along with his disdain for the BCS. Four of the leagues coaches have been head coaches in the NFL and 7 coaches have won SEC Championships. National Championships in some conferences seem to give coaches lifetime passes to skate through poor seasons. In the SEC the two coaches with the hottest seats in the league have both won national titles, Steve Spurrier and Phil Fulmer.