John Adams: An early look at next SEC football season

John Adams
Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall throws during practice for Monday's BCS championship college football game against Florida State, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Photo by Jae C. Hong

Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall throws during practice for Monday's BCS championship college football game against Florida State, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The last time Auburn played for a national championship, it began a bewildering nosedive, capped with the firing of coach Gene Chizik in 2012, two seasons after winning a national championship.

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Comments » 8

VibrantVol writes:

For the first time in decades, UT will play Georgia before it plays Florida in SEC play. We will have a chance to beat both of them & should've beaten both of them this past season.

Jones should make a bowl game with next year's schedule. According to what I've been told that the new recruits were told, Riley Ferguson will be the QB. He has the ability to throw the ball downfield. He & Dobbs will complement each other.

The schedule, even including an away game at Oklahoma, will be somewhat easier next season than this season, mainly because we get Ole Miss instead of Auburn.

A 7-6 record, whether it includes a bowl win or not, will be big for Jones. The real test for him will come in 2015. He needs to have 8 wins by then & at least 9 by 2016 to keep his job.

underthehill writes:

UT fans..continue being patient.

BrassMonkey writes:

It will be the 5th losing season in a row. Sad but true reality for Vol fans.

wilk58 writes:

The hope in players that have never set foot on a D1 field continues to amaze me.

writer#358485 writes:

John always has liked Spurrier--while most Vol fans, me included, can't stand him. Regardless, I don't see SC anywhere near the top of the East next year, we beat them this year, for gosh sakes. The Vols should be better enough for a bowl. It sure does seem like a long time until September!;-)

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Tennessee will only be favored in two games next year, UTC and Kentucky.
Georgia, Carolina, Ole Miss, and Vandy are all on the road. Only Georgia lost their bowl game. Ole Miss will have Wallace as a senior starting QB.
Tennessee will be predicted to be 0-5 when UTC comes to town. Utah State and Arkansas State start the season after winning their conferences and their bowl games. Then comes Oklahoma on the road, a team that physically whipped the mullet heads and satan.
This team could be physically beat up and demoralized before going to Athens.
No one in their right mind thinks the Vols are going to have a winning season next year.
Sadly, next year will be the first 8 loss team in Tennessee history. It might even be a nine loss team.
No proven QB, no proven offensive line, no proven defensive line, no proven kicking game and with a bunch of losses starting the season and no fans in the stands!
How many people want to donate $5,000 for the luxury of buying over priced tickets to watch this looming train wreck.
How's that firing of Coach Fulmer working out for Tennessee now. Great to see Randy Sanders win and earn another National Championship ring!

GBOEngineer writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Tennessee will only be favored in two games next year, UTC and Kentucky.
Georgia, Carolina, Ole Miss, and Vandy are all on the road. Only Georgia lost their bowl game. Ole Miss will have Wallace as a senior starting QB.
Tennessee will be predicted to be 0-5 when UTC comes to town. Utah State and Arkansas State start the season after winning their conferences and their bowl games. Then comes Oklahoma on the road, a team that physically whipped the mullet heads and satan.
This team could be physically beat up and demoralized before going to Athens.
No one in their right mind thinks the Vols are going to have a winning season next year.
Sadly, next year will be the first 8 loss team in Tennessee history. It might even be a nine loss team.
No proven QB, no proven offensive line, no proven defensive line, no proven kicking game and with a bunch of losses starting the season and no fans in the stands!
How many people want to donate $5,000 for the luxury of buying over priced tickets to watch this looming train wreck.
How's that firing of Coach Fulmer working out for Tennessee now. Great to see Randy Sanders win and earn another National Championship ring!

we'll talk again in the fall.

johnlg00 writes:

I prefer to look at this upcoming season as similar to Doug Dickey's first season. Dickey inherited a decidedly lackluster group that came in after the great 1956 season in which Majors was robbed of the Heisman. The previously announced shift to the T-formation had already brought in some guys who would be key over the next few years. The team Dickey found was strong defensively but offensively challenged. All-American defensive lineman Steve DeLong was a senior on a team that won four games that year.

The parallels with Jones are that, like Dickey, he inherited a fairly weak and downtrodden squad that had little proven talent or depth of SEC quality. The team struggled and fought to stay in most games and despite the final record, most fans were encouraged for the future. I think Dickey won eight games in his second year and a pretty successful six or seven years followed.

Jones was essentially the executor of the estate of the departing senior--and other--linemen. They weren't necessarily what he wanted, but they were what he had, so he made use of them. His fortunes were essentially tied to theirs for that year anyway. In that sense, this past season was like the Jim McDonald fill-in year. Next season may well see the Vols finally hit bottom or it may provide a modest bump, but there just isn't enough "Jones" in this team yet to make a big jump next year. One more recruiting class like the one presumably coming in this NSD, and the Vols will be in shape to contend if not yet to conquer.

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