College Football season is now over and 2016 season is far away (it seems) but there is still a lot of interesting things to think about and consider. Obviously the first would be February's commitment day where each school will cement it's recruits and see where they place in relation to other Colleges.
Although they are not early ranked to be in the Top10 Tennessee is said to be a Team to watch and what will be interesting to me is to see if they live up to that way too early hype. It's their returning players, with their experience, and the fact that Butch Jones just got a Half Million dollar salary increase along with new Defensive coordinator that have many thinking that a possible National Championship isn't unquestionable. That raise though along with all players being Butch Jone's recruits could be a double edged sword. IF Tennessee fails to win against Florida, Alabama, and/or Georgia then Butch may find he's on a very hot coaching seat. If 2016 isn't Tennessee's year they might not see future success anytime soon given a future Georgia team under Kirby Smart and Jim McElwain's players at Florida.
Some other interesting SEC Teams to consider or look at will be LSU what with a returning Leonard Fournette, who will be an early season favorite or highlight for next year's Heisman award, should be loaded and with Coach Miles, fully aware that he's one pivotal loss from the hot seat again, will play with new emphasis. Georgia with Kirby Smart's first year will take on a new look and I have no doubt that Kirby Smart will take a strong Georgia team and make them even more solid and successful even before his recruits start making an impact. Jim McElwain had a great first year and if he finds his quarterback and kicker then Florida will be a contender again. The real question mark will be what South Carolina will be under Muschamp? Time will tell that one.
Last comes the Alabama teams, Auburn and Alabama. You better believe that in Alabama the Auburn fans are going to be looking squarely at Gus Malzahn if Auburn has as miserable a season as 2015. Alabama, well is Alabama and the Crimson Tide fans will be unsatisfied with one loss but like in 2015 will be forgiving if that loss is early in the season and followed by another appearance in the final four. That scenario though isn't likely to play out because 2015 was a miracle season what with that miraculous Arkansas finish victory that allowed the Tide to be in the SEC Championship and the Final playoff games. Alabama has lost a huge number of pivotal players but unlike many teams Alabama usually has only to reload and has more 5 Star athletes setting on the bench in reserve than any other school. Alabama also has Nick Saban who has been amazing and if he can somehow win another Championship, a 17th, with a new Defensive Coordinator, the loss of those pivotal players like Ragland, Derrick Henry and Robinson, and having proved he could do it with Second year Offensive Coordinator and first year starting QB, then surely he will eclipse the Bear Bryant talk and comparisons. Alabama will have talent to spare and questions to answer but should start the year off in the Top 10 and poised to win again.
The exciting thing I'm looking forward to, with Alabama, is the next Quarterback and how much more effective an offense Kiffen (If he's still there) will field. Those freshmen QB's are supposed to be special and Kiffen is great at developing an offense so it may be that Alabama's defense goes back a small step but Alabama's Offense takes a huge leap forward. Alabama has always been balanced and that' a part of their success but last years team gelled greatly and played with passion as a complete team. Next years team will be different but there is enough of this last year's team leaders that have stayed to make the coming year's team just as special if not greater. It will be a long/short time till kickoff next September but I do love College Football with it's passion and excitement.
I am an Alabama fan first, Auburn Fan Second and every other SEC team after that but I do feel that a resurgent Michigan Team will be a real contender in 2016 not to mention several other teams that will come back loaded such as Oklahoma and I expect to see Texas play much better. One thing to watch in the Big 10 will be Michigan State. If you look at the teams that Alabama has beat soundly and in National Championships they didn't fair too well in the following years as if Alabama tore out the heart of the team. Remember Texas, Notre Dame, LSU, and now what will Michigan State bring back to the field in 2016 for the Big 10? Happy off season folks ... it's time for Hibernation until football comes around again.