The Dawg House
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      Here is the first of 11 blogs I plan to write reviewing the college football season for each conference in FBS. Five categories will be reviewed for each conference: Most Surprising Team, Most Disappointing Team, Player of the Year, Coach on the Rise, and Coach on the Hot Seat. To start off, let's look at the best conference in college football, the SEC.

Most Surprising Team - Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs, who I predicted to go 3-9, were one goal-line stand by LSU away from being bowl eligible in Dan Mullen's first year as head coach. They almost beat Houston, a team that had earlier in the year defeated #5 Oklahoma State, kept it close to Florida until late in the game, and dominated "The Team Up North" (Ole Miss) to win the Egg Bowl, rebounding from last season's 0-45 loss to the Rebels. Things are looking good in Starkville, and I wouldn't be surprised if Mullen leads the Bulldogs to a decent bowl game in 2010.


                                              
                                  Mullen looks to be heading in the right direction with Miss. State


Most Disappointing Team
- Ole Miss Rebels. I decided to stay in-state for this one. Several notable college analysts predicted Mississippi would contend for the SEC title and possibly the national title with the help of QB Jevan Snead, a pre-season Heisman candidate. Things didn't go exactly as planned, as the Rebels finished the season 9-4 for the second straight season, including a second straight Cotton Bowl victory. Snead was dismal at best, throwing for 20 TDs and 20 INTs. He has since declared for the NFL Draft, which in reality shouldn't make so many Rebel fans sad. Houston Nutt has his work cut out from him now in the SEC West, as there really isn't a weak team in the division at this point in time.

Player of the Year - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama. How could I pick anyone other than the Heisman winner this year? Overlooked by many before the season, Ingram proceeded to run for 1,658 yards and 17 TDs, becoming the third straight sophomore to win the Heisman and first ever Heisman winner from the University of Alabama. Oh, and by the way, his team did go 14-0 and wound up being National Champs. Go figure.

                         

Coach on the Rise -
Lane Kiffin, Tennessee. Sure, I'll admit, I ranked Kiffin's hire at Tennessee as the worst hire of the 2009 off season, but really, could you blame me? He did absolutely nothing with the Raiders, and then commenced to piss off the Florida Gators, which seemed to spell B-L-O-W-O-U-T when the Vols traveled to the Swamp September 19th. However, the Vols kept it close and only lost by 10. Although 7-6 may not look too great, Kiffin's style seems to guarantee top recruiting year in and year out. Don't be shocked if Tennessee is back at the top of the SEC around year 4 of 5 of Kiffin's tenure as Vols head coach.

Coach on the Hot Seat - Les Miles, LSU. Before the season I would have called you crazy to say that Miles would be in trouble once the season ended, but that's exactly the case. Although 9-4 is a decent season, it was the loss to Ole Miss that sparked the heat under Miles's seat. As the time was running out, communication with the players lead to confusion and too much time running off. Miles signaled for QB Jordan Jefferson to spike the ball, which he did. However, the clock went to 0:00, ending the game with Ole Miss winning 25-23. Miles then said that he did not know who in fact told Jefferson to spike the ball, but video showing Miles signaling for the spike was later discovered. Miles will need a double-digit win season next year to relieve the pressure on his job.

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