Alabama put a perfectly fastened, houndstooth bow tie on the 2015 SEC season. The Crimson Tide's fourth national championship in seven years means the Alabama dynasty is towering over the sport of college football.
It also proved to be a pain in my side, as I picked that other team from Alabama -- which will not be named -- to win it all in 2015. Hey, at least I got the correct state ...
Speaking of hollow predictions, it feels like the perfect time to whip up a new batch of foolproof prognostications from yours truly. So here are 10 bold (rushed) predictions I have for the SEC in 2016.
1. Leonard Fournette will win the Heisman Trophy: The runaway favorite for most of the 2015 season will snatch that bronze baby up in December. I envision a more balanced offense that will help Fournette be more productive against better defenses. I also predict that every single one of Fournette's runs will be violent and reek of bitterness from not making it to New York in 2015. Fournette will rush for more than 2,000 yards with 25 touchdowns.
2. Florida will total more than 3,000 passing yards: Wait, who's playing quarterback for the Gators, again? Yeah, I'm not sure either, but I do anticipate this offense looking more like the one that lit up the thin air out there in Colorado when Jim McElwain was at Colorado State. Treon Harris will have his hands full of competition, but I see both walk-on Luke Del Rio and true freshman Feleipe Franks surpassing him and splitting time to get to a number Florida hasn't reached since 2009.
3. Kirby Smart will win nine games in his first year at Georgia: Smart has plenty of talent to work with without a daunting schedule ahead. The Bulldogs could be 3-0 before heading to Oxford, Mississippi, on Sept. 24, with the toughest game being against North Carolina (in Atlanta). The game against Tennessee is at home, South Carolina will be making the transition to Will Muschamp as its head coach and after a trip to Jacksonville to face the Gators, Georgia heads to Kentucky and then is home against Auburn, Louisiana Lafayette and Georgia Tech. There are definitely nine wins -- if not more -- to be had.
4. LSU will win the SEC ... and play for the national championship: I just can't get over the talent coming back in Baton Rouge and the fact quality defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is taking over a defense packed with power. The offense will be more explosive, as Cam Cameron tweaks things and gets Brandon Harris more comfortable. With most of his line back and Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural returning, Harris will be better and he'll hit nearly 3,000 passing yards. And Fournette is still around ... and angry. The games against Alabama and Ole Miss are also on the Bayou this year.
5. Ole Miss will beat Alabama for a third straight year: Hugh Freeze has the Juice and Ole Miss will be pretty good this fall. The game is also in Oxford. I'm sure the Tide will be motivated by last season's loss, but most of that front seven will be gone, as will Jake Coker and probably Derrick Henry. Ole Miss will lose a lot on offense, but quarterback Chad Kelly is back and that defense should once again be potent. Expect another classic in the Grove.
6. Tennessee won't win the SEC East Division: The hype train is pulling into Knoxville as we speak, and we know how troublesome that has been for this program. I'll save it some anxiety and let you know that the East is going to someone else. Smart could pull a McElwain, or maybe the Gators will keep moving with a quality quarterback. Tennessee's defense should be great, but will quarterback Joshua Dobbs be a more consistent passer?
7. Bret Bielema will join "Monday Night Raw": This must happen. He's just too perfect for it. He has the personality, confidence and physique for prime time, baby. Just call him "Wild Hog!" I can hear him calling the hogs on the ropes now ...
8. Jalen Tabor will win the Jim Thorpe Award: Some people think he was better than Vernon Hargreaves III in 2015, and he's more than motivated to be the best in 2016. He nabbed four interceptions, but he'll tell you he should have had a lot more. He also tied for the league lead with 18 passes defended. He'll grab at least six picks in 2016.
9. This will be Dan Mullen's final year at Mississippi State: Not because the Bulldogs will descend into mediocrity. Just the opposite. Mullen has completely changed the culture at Mississippi State, has 55 wins in seven years and has taken the Bulldogs to a school-record six straight bowl games (4-2). This season will definitely be a test for Mullen, as he has to replace arguably the best player in school history in quarterback Dak Prescott. If Mullen succeeds without him, bigger schools will come calling, and it'll be tough for him to turn one down.
10. Alabama will find a way to make me look dumb: I've already started the new year by going against my resolution of not picking against Alabama. At this very moment I have LSU taking the SEC and Ole Miss beating Bama again. So, of course, Alabama will somehow make me look foolish. The Tide just won the national championship, and I'm humbling them. I'll get mine, and Bammers will let me know about it.
And one to grow on ... Muschamp will bleed during a celebration: Because he's Coach Boom and he'll probably smash his head into a player's helmet in a fit of pure lunacy and glee sooner or later.