Something has been bugging me about 7 wins, and I figured it out. It wouldn't represent real progress for the team because of the extreme laxity of the schedule. At least four games on the schedule are demonstrably easier than last year, due to opponent or home/away flip. However many they win this year will be the high water mark for the next several seasons. People predicting seven wins and trumpeting that mark as some meaningfully positive accomplishment are flat-out wrong. It would not be any step forward.
Unfortunately I think we a par 6 win team. We may have an "easier schedule" but we were blown out in some of our games last year, failing to even be competitive. For now, we need to focus on beating South Carolina, Vandy, and Mizzou again.
I think UAB and BYU are much better than our fanbase is giving them credit for. Should we be the favorites? Possibly. But I'm sure both will be a pickem game. UAB won 11 games last year and BYU was Neither are givens and if we played both those teams last year, I would have been content with splitting.
That is given the information I have from watching last years O-Line and D-Line perform. All my concern is with the Line. Many are projecting us to be much better with two five star O-Lineman coming in, but that is still to be determined. I have to see them play a college game first. Even then, there is always the risk of injury. One injury to one of our starters and we don't have much depth up front.
There is even more concern on Defensive Line. No proven players and still waiting to hear about Aubrey Solomon. We will need multiple surprises from some unknown and inexperienced players to be a bowl team.
With that said, the performance at the Line of scrimmage could be the difference in us being a 5 win team and being an 7-8 win team. We have plenty of talent at skilled positions, but need to increase the physicality upfront.
They sure are high on themselves aren't they? I mean, wouldn't you after finishing the year clobbering a bad FSU team, a really bad Idaho team and a Michigan team where the heart and soul of the defense LITERALLY didn't show up?