#4 LSU Tigers: College Football 77 in 77

lsu tigers girls

welcome to The Sports Bank 77 in 77. We’re previewing one team a day everyday as the college football season approaches. And we’re doing it in rapid fire sequence. Today, the LSU Tigers

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#8 South Carolina Gamecocks: College Football 77 in 77

South Carolina basketball

welcome to The Sports Bank 77 in 77. We’re previewing one team a day everyday as the college football season approaches. And we’re doing it in rapid fire sequence. Today, the South Carolina Gamecocks

Go here for the basketball version of this column #97 South Carolina Gamecocks

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#9 Florida Gators: College Football 77 in 77

florida-gators

Welcome to The Sports Bank 77 in 77. We’re previewing one team a day everyday as the college football season approaches. And we’re doing it in rapid fire sequence. Today, the Florida Gators

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#10 Arkansas Razorbacks: College Football 77 in 77

jessica-dorrell-bobby-petrino

Welcome to The Sports Bank 77 in 77. We’re previewing one team a day everyday as the college football season approaches. And we’re doing it in rapid fire sequence. Today, the Arkansas Razorbacks

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#26 Auburn Tigers: College Football 77 in 77

auburn dance team

What did we just learn from Joe Paterno? Erecting a statue for someone while they’re still alive and their legacy is not yet fully formed is risky business. And sometimes backfires. There’s already a Cam Newton statue at Auburn. Again, something scandalous could arise, especially given Newton’s past history.

The Bo Jackson statue I’m cool with; his career is long over.

As for the Auburn Tigers this college football season, a step forward? 2011 was rebuilding from the title year of 2010, so now better things are expected. Even though they’re breaking in a new coordinator on each side of the ball

Go here for the Auburn Tigers men’s basketball season preview

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#29 Missouri Tigers: College Football 77 in 77

missouri-cheerleaders

“Interesting move Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them,” the words of Jason Bateman’s character in “Dodgeball” and my thoughts on Mizzou jumping ship for the SEC.

I understand why they did, but a team that hasn’t had a conference championship since 1969 (when it was the Big 8 conference) won’t be getting another one for a long time probably. But they’ll still be a good team, and fun to watch, with dual threat QB James Franklin, who truly embodies the adjective more than any other signal caller in the nation.

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#55 Vanderbilt Commodores: College Football 77 in 77

vandy cheerleaders

Last year’s weakest link of Vanderbilt football was the passing game, as they ranked 97th in the nation in that department. That stat is a bit misleading though, as the air attack, and the offense itself took a major turn for the better when Jordan Rodgers replaced Larry Smith in mid-season.

Rodgers is of course, the younger brother of Green Bay Packers signal caller and NFL and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers. So that’s what the Vanderbilt Commodores are known for now. Under Smith they averaged 20.4 ppg and 244.4 yards. With Rodgers, those numbers went up to 31.6 and 413.

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#58 Ole Miss Rebels: College Football 77 in 77

ole-miss

The Ole Miss Rebels haven’t won the SEC since 1963. 1963! And they haven’t been to a bowl since 2009. Yet I think they’ll be better this season for some reason. Or at least serviceable. Somewhat competitive.

One thing’s for sure- they’ll end that 15 game losing streak to SEC opponents.

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#3 Oregon Ducks vs. #4 LSU Tigers: Brutally Honest Game Preview

oregon-cheerleaders-hot

The Oregon Ducks open up against the LSU Tigers at Cowboys Stadium Saturday night at 7pm CT. Talk about starting fast out of the gate! Two top 5 teams with national title aspirations, and one will go home with those championship hopes severely impaired. Forget warm-up cream puff scheduling in the non-conference. Let’s get right to it!

I’m adding a new wrinkle to the brutally honest game previews this year. I’ll still do two previews each week; only this time It’s going to be a nationally significant/sometimes out of region game in addition to the regional game I’ll be at the press box for. Not only is this the game of the week by miles and miles, it’s also the last two teams I previewed in my 77 in 77. That’s 77 college football teams in 77 days.

So let’s kick 2011 off!

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#6 LSU Tigers: College Football 77 in 77

Have you been following the news lately? The LSU Tigers could be facing a Category 2 storm of off-the-field issues. If they’re lucky, their problems could be downgraded to a Tropical Storm by conference season. LSU football players should have learned- what good can come from hanging out at a bar named Shady’s?

I bet even Marshall Mathers would agree with me. You can’t spell assault without the letters l-s-u and this incident forced me to move the Tigers down a few pegs. From USA Today:

The Baton Rouge Police Department’s view is that LSU starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson and reserve linebacker Josh Johns committed second-degree battery against two of four male non-football players that went to the hospital in the aftermath of a fight outside Shady’s Bar near campus on Aug. 19. One alleged victim has three fractured vertebrae and the other has bruises and scratches on their face and hands possibly from self defense, police say. Police have failed to update or detail the condition of the injured victims, though.

Upon request by police, Jefferson and Johns turned themselves in late Friday morning at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. While they were being booked, Miles indefinitely suspended both players. They were later released on $5,000 bond by their attorney at the time, Nathan Fisher.

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#11 Arkansas Razorbacks: College Football 77 in 77

The Arkansas Razorbacks suffered a big blow when they lost running back Knile Davis to a season-ending ankle injury, but it didn’t seem to affect them too much in the polls.

Arkansas is ranked #15 in the AP preseason poll, which was released two weeks before season opening Saturday. It was released more than a week after Davis went down and two weeks after Arkansas grabbed #14 in the USA Today preseason poll. Despite the season ending injury to their biggest ground weapon, the ranking is Arkansas’ highest since 1990.

The Razorbacks are also ranked in the AP’s preseason poll in consecutive season for the first time since 1989-90.

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#14 Georgia Bulldogs: College Football 77 in 77

uga cheerleaders

Why am I so high on a team that had a losing season last fall and lost their best players on both sides of the ball? Well, the Georgia Bulldogs have a lot more going for them in 2011 than they did last year. A.J. Green and Justin Houston are indeed gone, but they have a blue chip recruiting class coming in, stud transfers becoming eligible, and another year in the system at key positions.

Also, the Bulldogs off-season conditioning program will bring more speed to the personnel better suited for their attacking style on defense.

For the Georgia basketball season preview go here

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