With another SWAC football season just a few precious hours away, it is time for me to take out my crystal ball and predict what will transpire during the upcoming year. Hopefully these will be not be prognostications sure to go wrong.
This might be Rick Comegy’s last season at the helm for Jackson State.
Just ask new AD Vivian Fuller…sort of.
“We have a football coach right now and right now we’re going through football season,” Fuller told the Clarion-Ledger last month when asked what Comegy needs to do to return as coach next year.
The APR mess Jackson State found itself in, which resulted in the program being banned from the SWAC title game, might be Comegy’s undoing. Short of winning the Eastern Division, I just don’t see how he returns next year. And Fuller’s non-answer-answer might have been a sign that the clock on the Comegy era is ticking.
Mississippi Valley State will win a game this season.
It will come Oct. 1 at Rice-Totten against Southern.
Grambling will struggle initially with D.J. Williams at quarterback.
I understand that head coach Doug Williams (who just so happens to be D.J.’s father) explained to the press that the freshman performed well during practices beating out sophomore Frank Rivers in naming him starter.
“It wasn’t a difficult situation; it was just a matter of trying to be fair to the process,” the elder Williams said.
I believe Williams. However, considering that D.J. is a freshman playing under the watchful eye of his famous father and a rabid fan base, those first few outings might be touch and go with the possibly that Williams will attempt to live up to all those lofty expectations. Now, that doesn’t mean Williams will prevent Grambling for being competitive or succeeding in 2011, but it does mean that Gramblinites need to be patient.
This might be the year Alcorn State wins the SWAC East.
Call me crazy (seriously, call me crazy. I have no problem with it), but I’m sold on the Melvin Spears-Brandon Bridge combination in Lorman.
In Spears, there exists a head coach whose Grambling teams were in contention for the league crown after replacing Doug Williams (winning a championship in 2005) and will have something to prove this season.
In Bridge, he will be looking to prove throwing 19 touchdowns along with 2,086 passing yards as a freshman was no fluke. From all accounts “Air Canada” as he’s called, is the real deal. We know that in order to win at any level of college football, a program needs a solid head coach and a stud at quarterback. The Braves seems to have both.
Expect Southern to somewhat bounce back.
The 2010 season for the Jaguars was a nightmare. A 2-9 record under first year head coach Stump Mitchell was unlike any other in the history of the program. Nothing went right.
But Mitchell is confident his group will bounce back come 2011 with the help of a little discipline and correcting mental errors that plagued the team. Southern just has too much talent not to improve this season. However, it will not be enough for the Jaguars to make a run at a division or conference crown. It can’t be any worse than last year, right?
Casey Therriault will be SWAC POTY.
Forget for a moment the route the second-year Tiger starter took to Jackson State and focus on his on field story. Before breaking his collar bone against in the season finale against Alcorn State last year, Therriault was on pace to hold several JSU passing records. In his first season, he finished No. 2 in the FCS with 3,436 yards passing while throwing for 31 touchdowns. With his health issues behind him, there is no reason for Therriault not to improve on those stellar numbers in the Tigers pass-happy offense.
Here is how the divisions and conference championship game will pan out when all the dust settles.
Mississippi Valley State
SWAC Champion: Grambling State