Athlon Preseason polls

Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

February 23rd, 2018, 4:39 am #1

https://athlonsports.com/college-footba ... ball-teams.  All of our teams are on this with reasons for optimism and reason for concern.

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58. Tennessee
Reason for Optimism: A fresh start. New coach Jeremy Pruitt is one of college football’s top minds on defense and is a standout recruiter. The future looks bright for Tennessee. Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and running back Ty Chandler form a promising duo on offense, and guard Trey Smith is already among the SEC’s best in the trenches.

Reason for Concern: Pruitt needs time to implement his style of play and overall makeup of the roster. Progress should be notable, but Tennessee has a tough path to six or seven wins. The rush defense must improve after giving up 251.3 yards a game in 2017.
Nothing earth shattering but above Ky

Athlon's top 4 are the same as ESPN's FPI  (Bama, Clemson, Ohio State and UGA) they just put Bama over Clemson which is fine.   That freshman qb for Bama did show a lot of potential.   Still seeing a lot of love for Oklahoma at #6 but they have ND at #14 which seems a little more realistic to me.   Maybe the most shocking on this one is Florida at #25.   They are expecting a good showing from the Gators in Mullen's first season.  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

February 25th, 2018, 5:49 pm #2

Mullen and his staff are experienced plus they know how to win with less.

Can he find and develop a QB?
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

February 26th, 2018, 6:13 am #3

I think Mullen got his guy with Emory Jones.  Jones is the No. 4-ranked dual threat quarterback in the class of 2018 and the No. 40 overall prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.   Granted, he will be a true freshman so he may not contribute a ton this season but I bet he is the future of the Gator offense.  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

February 26th, 2018, 6:34 am #4

DocVOLiday wrote: I think Mullen got his guy with Emory Jones.  Jones is the No. 4-ranked dual threat quarterback in the class of 2018 and the No. 40 overall prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.   Granted, he will be a true freshman so he may not contribute a ton this season but I bet he is the future of the Gator offense.  
Mullen did a great job with Tebow as a true freshman. He will figure it out. I think Florida is a sleeper for the east and think they can win it. Everyone is on Georgia's nuts but they lost a ton. How will this staff reload and replace all the veterans and leadership? We don't know that yet
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

February 26th, 2018, 7:54 am #5

nmerritt11 wrote:
DocVOLiday wrote: I think Mullen got his guy with Emory Jones.  Jones is the No. 4-ranked dual threat quarterback in the class of 2018 and the No. 40 overall prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.   Granted, he will be a true freshman so he may not contribute a ton this season but I bet he is the future of the Gator offense.  
Mullen did a great job with Tebow as a true freshman. He will figure it out. I think Florida is a sleeper for the east and think they can win it. Everyone is on Georgia's nuts but they lost a ton. How will this staff reload and replace all the veterans and leadership? We don't know that yet
Mullen has coached teams that were loaded and coached ones where he had to get the most out of what he has.  The SEC East currently is ripe for a decent team to manage their schedule and make it to Atlanta.  

I'm not all that worried about what UGA lost except for Roquan Smith.  The rest were good players, but the young backup could easily be better.  One thing to watch is that the new starters will mostly be Smart's guys and we don't know how good he is at coaching tomorrow's starter.  Saban is obviously excellent at it, but...
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

February 27th, 2018, 6:01 am #6

brown dog wrote:
nmerritt11 wrote:
DocVOLiday wrote: I think Mullen got his guy with Emory Jones.  Jones is the No. 4-ranked dual threat quarterback in the class of 2018 and the No. 40 overall prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.   Granted, he will be a true freshman so he may not contribute a ton this season but I bet he is the future of the Gator offense.  
Mullen did a great job with Tebow as a true freshman. He will figure it out. I think Florida is a sleeper for the east and think they can win it. Everyone is on Georgia's nuts but they lost a ton. How will this staff reload and replace all the veterans and leadership? We don't know that yet
Mullen has coached teams that were loaded and coached ones where he had to get the most out of what he has.  The SEC East currently is ripe for a decent team to manage their schedule and make it to Atlanta.  

I'm not all that worried about what UGA lost except for Roquan Smith.  The rest were good players, but the young backup could easily be better.  One thing to watch is that the new starters will mostly be Smart's guys and we don't know how good he is at coaching tomorrow's starter.  Saban is obviously excellent at it, but...
That is my point. We know Georgia has talent but now we will see how talent evaluation and development is on this staff. I'm not saying it won't be good I just think it is too early to tell. I mean look at Muschamp at Florida. He inherited a loaded roster that were all top 5 classes. He continued to recruit top 5 classes but it did not translate onto the field.  Smart seems to be doing a better job in the trenches than Will did but only time will tell. Remember Will went 11-1 his second year in the SEC before losing a bowl game to Louisville to finish 11-2

He followed that up with 4-8 and 6-5 when his players hit the depth chart. I like Smart but I need to see more from Chaney with his guys. He's been average at most places however he really did a nice job last season calling plays and letting Fromm grow into his role. I just think Georgia is one to watch and they wont sneak up on anyone this season
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

February 27th, 2018, 8:31 am #7

Yeah, I agree.  Muschamp's 11-2 season was with a horseshoe up his ass though.  I felt like UGA won without luck.  The easier schedule didn't hurt though.

Chaney is what he is.  Smart, like Saban, wants a vanilla offense with conservative play calling.  I like Pittman (OL coach) a lot though, and Pittman was only leaving Arkansas if Chaney was the OC.  Also, I think Smart likes/needs an OC with decades of experience because that's not his side of the ball.  He has enough problems micromanaging the defense, recruiting, and being a HC during the game.

One thing we haven't mentioned is can Smart keep the players focused during the offseason?  I know the team didn't win the Natty, but the season had that feel and I'm worried the players think they have arrived.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

March 3rd, 2018, 7:24 am #8

brown dog wrote: Yeah, I agree.  Muschamp's 11-2 season was with a horseshoe up his ass though.  I felt like UGA won without luck.  The easier schedule didn't hurt though.

Chaney is what he is.  Smart, like Saban, wants a vanilla offense with conservative play calling.  I like Pittman (OL coach) a lot though, and Pittman was only leaving Arkansas if Chaney was the OC.  Also, I think Smart likes/needs an OC with decades of experience because that's not his side of the ball.  He has enough problems micromanaging the defense, recruiting, and being a HC during the game.

One thing we haven't mentioned is can Smart keep the players focused during the offseason?  I know the team didn't win the Natty, but the season had that feel and I'm worried the players think they have arrived.
it is a mental grind. They are either going to use it as motivation to get better or they will get complacent. Clemson's team has a very similar feel to it as it did after the first loss. They seem really focused and determined especially the defensive guys that opted to all come back. Very veteran lead team with good young men
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