Sports

2012 College Football Team-by-Team Strengths and Weaknesses: Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and More

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Since the 2012 college football season is just about 24 hours from getting underway, it's time to get focused and minimally learn about the conference opponents your team will crush with great or average zeal, be crushed by with great or average zeal, or shit the bed to in horrific fashion. 

ALABAMA
Strengths

  • Nick Saban and his desire to wreck everyone's business
  • Defensive style that makes you feel like you're getting beaten with a sack full of hammers
  • Offensive line and a steady stream of running backs that can squat Lincoln Navigators
  • PAAAAAAWWWWWLLLLLL criers, which help hold people accountable

Weaknesses

  • Inexperienced defense
  • Inexperienced wide receivers
  • Head coach could unhinge his jaw and eat someone if a terrible mistake is made (while it could weed out the weak, not a strong PR move)
  • Starting quarterback AJ McCarron still has an elaborate tattoo on his sternum

One thing that might surprise you:
Support staff members are now allowed to make eye contact with Nick Saban, as long as said contact is not longer than 1.3 seconds.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

ARKANSAS
Strengths

  • Tyler Wilson, Knile Davis, and an offense that can be devastating when everything is clicking
  • Temporary head coach has an exceptional ability to track blimps
  • Temporary head coach knows the buttons to press to get players' piss hot
  • FOIA requests help hold people accountable

Weaknesses

  • Offensive line often left on its on with so many five wide receiver sets
  • Temporary head coach and his teams have a history of meltdowns, which I'm sure will be handled well by a lucid fanbase like Arkansas'
  • Defense, always the defense
  • No pressure, coaches, but screw up a game and HERE COME THE FOIA REQUESTS

One thing that might surprise you:
Arkansas fans can't actually spell "FOIA."

AUBURN
Strengths

  • UNABLE TO COMPUTE
  • WAIT, GOD-THINGS, WHICH ARE ACTUALLY PRETTY STRONG
  • Ted Roof no longer employed by Auburn University

Weaknesses

  • Quarterback, running back, wide receiver, ALL THE OFFENSE
  • Onterio McCalebb is nice to have at running back, but if he's the every down guy, he'll be using a Rascal to get around campus by the fourth week of the season
  • Tree strength
  • Lack of Cam Newton

One thing that might surprise you:
Trooper Taylor only uses a half sheet of fabric softener when drying his towels.

FLORIDA
Strengths

  • Two quarterbacks are available to bear the brunt of outrage with the inevitable failures of the offense, instead of one taking all the blame
  • Charlie Weis no longer employed by the University of Florida
  • Will Muschamp has a surplus of hate if anyone else needs more hate to meet hate level requirements
  • 4-0 against Peyton Manning

Weaknesses

  • Quarterbacks, receivers, and running backs
  • The "by quarter" QB rotation plan hatched by Muschamp and offensive coordinator Brent Pease, which will do wonders for each quarterback's confidence and overall quality of play
  • When Muschamp gets really angry, he tends to bleed out of his eyes, which can cause disorientation

One thing that might surprise you:
Mack Brown is the coach-in-waiting at Florida

GEORGIA
Strengths

  • Mark Richt hasn't lost control of Aaron Murray
  • Jarvis Jones seems to have figured this football thing out
  • Speaking of defense, though led by a shitheel of a coordinator, this group should be a good one
  • Offseason is over, which should cut back on suspensions and/or dismissals from the team

Weaknesses

  • Best offensive player not named Aaron Murray no longer on the team
  • Defensive coordinator could bludgeon someone to death before, during, and after the game
  • Mike Bobo not only still collects paychecks, but is allowed to coach
  • This is Georgia we're talking about, so a loss to ANYONE is always a possibility

One thing that might surprise you:
Mark Richt has lost control of the "Mark Richt has lost control" joke.

KENTUCKY
Strengths

  • John Calipari and Worldwide Wes
  • Once beat Tennessee with a wide receiver playing quarterback
  • Have players named CoShik and Pancho

Weaknesses

  • When the game starts

One thing that might surprise you:
Morgan Newton has always won a giant stuffed animal at the state fair when he plays that game where you try to land a softball in a milk can. 

LSU
Strengths

  • Les Miles
  • A defensive line that goes 27 deep
  • A running game that slowly beats the will to live out of your defense
  • Jordan Jefferson is no longer eligible to play

Weaknesses

  • Les Miles
  • Anything that calls for forward passes
  • Inexperience at cornerback
  • Playing Alabama

One thing that might surprise you:
The family of squirrels that lived under Les Miles' hat all died after prolonged exposure to his dye job.

MISSISSIPPI STATE
Strengths

  • Three-time champions
  • Defensive backs
  • Playing Ole Miss
  • Playing a non-conference schedule that doesn't have a pulse

Weaknesses

  • Not playing Ole Miss
  • Shaky offensive line from last year now filled with guys who haven't played very much
  • Lost best defensive lineman
  • Passing on an all-world quarterback and buying a defensive back a car

One thing that might surprise you:
Dan Mullen once spoke about injuries and later that night the family goldfish was found floating in its bowl.  He hasn't spoken about either since.

MISSOURI
Strengths

  • The James Franklin that doesn't want to fight Todd Grantham (well, at least not yet)
  • An offense the SEC has not seen on a regular basis
  • Outside of them beating Ole Miss twice in the mid-2000s, that pretty much encompasses all the positives I know about them

Weaknesses

  • Red wine (jumbo glasses)
  • Inexperience facing average to very good defenses on a weekly basis
  • Don't hate Tennessee, a fellow meth competitor state, enough

One thing that might surprise you:
The Kansas/Missouri feud is actually a myth, like that time we "landed" on the moon. 

OLE MISS
Strengths

  • AIN'T NEVER LOST A PARTY
  • Houston Nutt no longer coaches the team
  • At least two offensive players other schools would want to have (Jeff Scott and Donte Moncrief)
  • Head coach has mastered the retweet button on Twitter (pretty sure I now know when everyone in Coldwater is having a birthday)

Weaknesses

  • Defensive line that has a career fullback/tight end starting at defensive end, after just THREE WEEKS OF PRACTICING THERE
  • Offensive line thin and lacking in most all forms of talent
  • Punter and kicker are the only positions in which Ole Miss people have a great deal of confidence; this means one (or both) will cost us a game
  • Probably could have saved us all some time and just said when the game starts

One thing that might surprise you:
Hugh Freeze's Twitter hashtag (#wintheday) was inspired by Dalton from Road House, who used it as a motivational technique to help clean up the Double Deuce.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Strengths

  • Connor Shaw turned out to be not terrible, perhaps even teetering on the edge of "fairly reliable" in their run-based offense
  • Marcus Lattimore returns, though I doubt he'll be fully healthy, but 75% of Marcus Lattimore probably works every time
  • Defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor appear to know what they're doing
  • Visor-throwing

Weaknesses

  • Lost top three cornerbacks
  • Lattimore can't carry the ball 30-35 times a game for an entire season
  • Top-10 ranking, which almost assures an inexplicable loss (Kentucky, just before the UGA game is where the good money is)
  • No more Stephen Garcia stories

One thing that might surprise you:
Steve Spurrier begins each week of fall practice by having his offense hang half a hundred on the scout team. 

TENNESSEE
Strengths

  • Jet ski tricks
  • Another rotation of assistant coaches to bring a fresh perspective
  • Tyler Bray's arm (minus bottle-throwing skills)
  • Plenty of playing time opportunities for backup wide receivers

Weaknesses

  • Tyler Bray's thinking machine
  • Inexperience in their new 3-4 defense
  • Top two receivers are either recovering from a knee injury or aren't on the team
  • Hired a coach who was 17-20 at Louisiana Tech

One thing that might surprise you:
No Tennessee football players robbed a place of business or fellow student this offseason. 

TEXAS A&M
Strengths

  • Much like Missouri, they run an offense of which the rest of the conference has not seen much
  • Experience, minus the quarterback, returns at most every position on offense
  • Mike Sherman no longer able to ruin a second half, particularly the fourth quarter

Weaknesses

  • Inexperience at quarterback, but experienced at shirtless street fightin'
  • Defense, at this very moment, is still hemorrhaging passing yards
  • Much like Missouri, has not had a consistent diet of average to very good defenses

One thing that might surprise you:
Mike Sherman once told his assistants that he'd rather be drawn and quartered before going for it on 4th and 1 ANYWHERE on the field.

VANDERBILT
Strengths

  • James Franklin has the Commodores losing close to the average teams and beating the bad teams (Ole Miss and Kentucky last season)
  • The Larry Smith era cannot even make a relief appearance
  • Zac Stacy and the offensive line have shown that they can be relied upon against bad defenses
  • Defense showed flashes of stinginess

Weaknesses

  • Still Vanderbilt and do Vanderbilt things like blowing 14-point leads, fumbling inside the 5 (about to go up 14 in the fourth quarter) and have it returned for a touchdown, and missing 42-yard field goals to force overtime
  • While Jordan Rodgers is an improvement over Larry Smith, he has plenty of Larry Smith in him
  • Chances head coach fights a coach, player, fan, mascot, cheerleader, or guy holding the first down marker are fairly strong

One thing that might surprise you:
A Nashville city ordinance does not allow on-campus stadiums to have more than 5,000 people in the stands at kickoff.

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