This is a random order. Here's reason No. 8 that Ole Miss will be improved in 2011.
Ole Miss didn't make a bowl game in 2010, but it didn't lack for ESPN coverage during the bowl season. It seemed like almost every time the network was pumping its coverage of the national championship game, an Auburn player was running away from someone in the Ole Miss game.
Speed was a big issue with the Rebels, an obvious need that Houston Nutt and his staff worked hard to address in recruiting.
They addressed it successfully. There's increased speed at a number of positions, but the four who come to mind most are Wesley Pendleton, Nick Brassell, Senquez Golson and Tobias Singleton.
Brassell is a two-way guy, but as mentioned in the previous post this morning, you have to wonder if his fast start won't lead to shift in his emphasis.
While the speed is increased on defense it remains young and unpolished. Experience is a huge factor in any college sport. It should not be understated.
However, if you know where to go but can't get where you need to be in time, what have you accomplished? Not enough.
The presence of speed doesn't establish your SEC bonafides right away. That was evident in the spring as Pendleton, the Co-Lin transfer, went through drills. You could see the time invested in him, could see his effort and desire to work to improve. Becoming a dependable SEC cornerback is a combination of many things.
But speed is like necessary ingredient No. 1, and skill is No. 1-A. You don't want to place unreasonable expectations on Brassell and Golson, but after two practices it appears they have more than average helpings of both.
On one side right now the Rebels have Marcus Temple, a fifth-year senior. He's played a lot of football, done a lot of things. You may recall that Temple made the initial contact on Tim
Tebow on the fourth-down stop heard round the college football world a few years ago.
His experience will pay dividends not only on the field but also in the education of the young guys.
When the light clicks, speed will help the young guys make plays. It won't take too long.