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  1. #1

    Way Too Early 2018 Southern Conference Football Predictions

    School Conference Wins Conference Losses
    Samford 7 1
    Furman 6 2
    Western Carolina 6 2
    Chattanooga 4 4
    The Citadel 4 4
    Wofford 4 4
    Mercer 3 5
    ETSU 2 6
    VMI 0 8

  2. #2
    AGS FCS Champion PaladinFan's Avatar
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    Re: Way Too Early 2018 Southern Conference Football Predictions

    Did you just pull those out of a hat or have some reasoning behind them?

    I do not necessarily quibble with your first two. Samford is the team I have slated for the top spot, though I still have a hard time fully buying in on the Bulldogs. They lose some talented players on a resurgent defense from this year, and I'm not sure can afford to go back to the up and back style trying to score 40+ points a game to win. Not in this league. Not in 2018. They are going to need a defense.

    Furman returns virtually everyone and needs to figure out who is under center. I think the Paladins could have the SoCon's top defense with 20 returning players on the two-deep and the addition of three talented transfers on that side of the ball.

    Realistically, I feel comfortable having VMI at the bottom and ETSU above them. The Bucs are talented, but I am not quite ready to count on them to show up and win games week in and week out. They will undoubtedly knock off a few teams and have perhaps as much to say about who wins the SoCon as anyone.

    Some teams have a few more question marks than others. I think right now Samford, Furman, and WCU are more "complete" teams on both sides of the ball top to bottom. The next echelon of UTC, Citadel, Wofford, and Mercer are all talented enough to win the conference but, in my view, have a few more question marks going into 2018.

    None of that takes away from my general thought that 2018 will be the strongest SoCon we've seen in a number of years.
    FU all the time.

    "The game we know and love literally grew up in the Southern Conference. To find the foundation for ACC and SEC football, you have to go the league’s roots. To find an appreciation for a brand of football often-overlooked and seldom-appreciated, we as fans should do the same."

  3. #3
    Top FCS Ruler SU DOG's Avatar
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    Re: Way Too Early 2018 Southern Conference Football Predictions

    I hope the banker is totally correct, but PaladinFan makes some valid points. Samford must replace some really good ones on defense, especially at linebacker. Some younger guys will have to step-up. There is some returning talent there, and true Fr. will not have to be depended on. Depth at this position, however, is a big concern that I have. Otherwise, I'm thinking that there will be little, if any, drop off. The secondary should be very good, and the defensive line likewise. We will also miss one of the best punters in the nation.

    I certainly hope that, with the entire O-Line returning, we will see a far better running game. There were times last year when our rushing game showed some signs of improving, but it was still insufficient. Last season we started 2 Fr. 2 Soph, and a Junior on one of the better O-Lines that we've fielded in some time, IMO. These are very talented guys, and some pretty good RBs also return, so I see no reason why we can't supplement a terrific passing attack with some rushing threat this year.

    I have no real reason why, but I think UTC might be the surprise team for this year. I think the 4-4 prediction will be way too low for the Mocs. The Paladins will be tough, but the QB spot is so critical that I'm not convinced yet. Also, I may be wrong, but I thought their D-Line was somewhat suspect last season. With what returns, however, FU will be a dangerous team for sure.

    It should be an exciting year for the SoCon. Somehow, I have a gut feeling that this will be a topsy-turvy upset filled season.

  4. #4
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    Re: Way Too Early 2018 Southern Conference Football Predictions

    Does Furman bring back their QB?



    Quote Originally Posted by chattownmocs View Post
    Grass is a disaster. He has 2 senior RBs and he brought in an auburn reject to be his starter. It's sad how in shambles your roster is right now. And it happened so quickly. Pathetic. I guess you should expect it from a career high school coach. Who btw, underachieved in high school. What a loser.

  5. #5
    AGS FCS Champion PaladinFan's Avatar
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    Re: Way Too Early 2018 Southern Conference Football Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by JSUSoutherner View Post
    Does Furman bring back their QB?
    Negative.

    Furman has potentially four options.

    1. Harris Roberts, a redshirt senior and career backup behind Reese Hannon and PJ Blazejowski. In my opinion, Roberts has a better arm than Blazejowski, but he's a big fella (6'4 210) and is not nearly as nimble. He saw the field a good bit this season as Hendrix would often yank Blazejowski as soon as the game was in hand. He ran a wing-t in high school, and while not a scat runner, still has plenty of giddyup.

    2. JeMar Lincoln, a redshirt freshman. Lincoln is a whale of an athlete out of a big south Georgia program. He was the 3rd stringer this season, but was in uniform pretty much every game signaling in plays from the sideline. He's a better runner than Roberts, and has a great downfield arm, but has to show the accuracy necessary to run Furman's offense.

    3. Hamp Sisson, incoming true freshman out of Birmingham. Easily one of the most polished QBs I've seen Furman recruit in a long time. Comes out of big Mountain Brook program and has a game that looks a lot like Blazejowski.

    4. Darren Grainger, incoming true freshman out of Conway, SC. Grainger is the wildcard. He's built like a bigger version of Tyrie Adams (6'4) Extremely athletic, but looks to have come out of a high school program that didn't have a particularly sophisticated passing offense. He has a cannon of an arm, though I am not sure whether he's had to do a lot of finesse type passes. I expect he will be a little behind the curve in terms of the offense, but also has the athletic ability to force his way on the field.

    Clay Hendrix has already said he has not preconceived plans for redshirting players. Both Roberts and Lincoln were impressive during spring practice. He looks like he will give Sisson and Grainger the opportunity to see the field as well, though I expect they will be behind the other two.
    Last edited by PaladinFan; March 13th, 2018 at 02:05 PM.
    FU all the time.

    "The game we know and love literally grew up in the Southern Conference. To find the foundation for ACC and SEC football, you have to go the league’s roots. To find an appreciation for a brand of football often-overlooked and seldom-appreciated, we as fans should do the same."

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    Re: Way Too Early 2018 Southern Conference Football Predictions

    1. Samford
    2. Furman
    3. WCU
    4. UTC
    5. Wofford
    6. Mercer
    7. El Cid
    8. ETSU
    9. VMI



    Quote Originally Posted by chattownmocs View Post
    Grass is a disaster. He has 2 senior RBs and he brought in an auburn reject to be his starter. It's sad how in shambles your roster is right now. And it happened so quickly. Pathetic. I guess you should expect it from a career high school coach. Who btw, underachieved in high school. What a loser.

  7. #7
    FCS Champion The Cats's Avatar
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    Re: Way Too Early 2018 Southern Conference Football Predictions

    I think Western will again be fine on the offensive side of the ball, but I have concerns about the defense again this season. The Cats are replacing 8 starters on defense and 2 assistant coaches, that's a pretty big bump in the road for the DC to overcome. Right now, I'm looking at the middle of the pack, unless some redshirt freshmen really step up. We picked up some help in the recruiting class, but you never know about freshmen until the games start.


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  8. #8
    AGS FCS Champion PaladinFan's Avatar
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    Re: Way Too Early 2018 Southern Conference Football Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by The Cats View Post
    I think Western will again be fine on the offensive side of the ball, but I have concerns about the defense again this season. The Cats are replacing 8 starters on defense and 2 assistant coaches, that's a pretty big bump in the road for the DC to overcome. Right now, I'm looking at the middle of the pack, unless some redshirt freshmen really step up. We picked up some help in the recruiting class, but you never know about freshmen until the games start.
    The Cats lost to all four of the top SoCon scoring offenses they saw last season (Samford, Furman, Wofford, and Mercer). Each of those games with the exception of the Furman contest was a shootout.

    I agree with you, WCU is going to have to find a way to get some stops on defense. They can score against pretty much everyone, but their issue appears to be keeping the better offenses off the board.

    In years past, some SoCon teams have managed to get by just bludgeoning everyone to death of offense. I'm not sure that's going to work this year. The league is going to be deep, and there will be some games where everyone is going to have to lean on their defense to get a win.
    FU all the time.

    "The game we know and love literally grew up in the Southern Conference. To find the foundation for ACC and SEC football, you have to go the league’s roots. To find an appreciation for a brand of football often-overlooked and seldom-appreciated, we as fans should do the same."

  9. #9
    Top FCS Ruler SU DOG's Avatar
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    Re: Way Too Early 2018 Southern Conference Football Predictions

    Three of those four unfortunately.

  10. #10
    FCS Champion The Cats's Avatar
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    Re: Way Too Early 2018 Southern Conference Football Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinFan View Post
    The Cats lost to all four of the top SoCon scoring offenses they saw last season (Samford, Furman, Wofford, and Mercer). Each of those games with the exception of the Furman contest was a shootout.
    maybe your memory is a little faulty, or you were thinking of a different team..... I see no shootouts in those 4 games.


    2017-18 season

    Western Carolina 38 - Samford 34
    Western Carolina 6 - Furman 28
    Western Carolina 28 - Wofford 35 (OT)
    Western Carolina 33 - Mercer 35

    You did, however, get one thing right, we lost 3 of the games, so what's a little win over Samford count for anyway?


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