Category Archives: SEC

SEC East, As Picked by the Esteemed SEC Media, and Why They’re Wrong


You may notice the lack of coverage of SEC Media Days this year. Two reasons: 1) we’re STILL trying to get back into football writing mode; 2) you shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about SEC Media Days. Nick Saban said it best yesterday, when he said (paraphrasing):

You saw our spring game. You know our depth charts. Everything we talk about here, you’ve already written about.

The little man is honest, yet deplorable. The best and worst voice in college football. And absolutely right.

As proof of the uselessness of SEC Media Days, I present this tidbit: the Southern media has correctly picked the SEC champ 3 times in the past 20 years. Sorry, Alabama, you’re doomed.

The SEC East projections were nothing to shout about, but given the above statistic, a fun exercise will be to discuss how they can be absolutely right, or dead wrong.

So…the bottom four is interesting in that Vanderbilt and Kentucky are on the rise, and the fallout from that is dropping three of the division’s last six champs to the cellar. But this is the SEC East. Mizzou won after being picked last in 2013, and 4th in 2014. How can everyone win this/blow this thing?

Tennessee

They win if: They win the close games that they showed the proclivity to…not win last year. They should’ve beaten Oklahoma, Florida, and Arkansas (and only lost at Alabama by 5), return their skill talent, 4 starters on the O-line, and most of a defense which should improve under Bob Shoop (sideways glance toward Daniel Palmer).

They finish last if: Josh Dobbs is still too conservative, injuries blow up the OL, and Shoop does Shoopy things. The schedule is brutal enough– they open SEC play with Florida, at Georgia, at A&M, Bama. Their confidence could be shot after an 0-4 start, making games with the bottom four from the East tough.

They’re gonna be fine, probably.

Florida

They win if: They find a quarterback, a playmaker (in the McIlwain/Kiffin ‘get our best guy the damn ball sense) and their defense remains a Florida defense. They have the inherent advantage of being completely in Tennessee’s head.

They finish last if: Luke Del Rio is no better than Treon Harris, losses of Jonathan Bullard, Vernon Hargreaves, and that dude the Falcons took in the 1st round make the defense take a step back, and their streaks against Kentucky (29) and Tennessee (11) end in succession in September.

Georgia

They win if: Kirby Smart makes a seamless transition on the defensive side of the ball, Jacob Eason makes a seamless transition from high school, and Chubb/Michel make seamless transitions from injury.

They finish last if: Honestly, more feasible than the first two. The 3-4 is an awkward fit in year 1, the secondary’s great numbers from 2015 are based on the crap quality of passing teams they played last year, Chubb and Michel never make it to full speed, and no quarterback establishes himself as even average. Kirby Smart is the next Will Muschamp.

Kentucky (aka the point where you scoff, but in so doing you forget the premise of this exercise)

They win if: They navigate a hellacious road schedule (Florida, Bama, Mizzou, Tennessee) because Drew Barker and Eddie Gran (new hotshot OC) are the truth with everyone else on the offense returning. The defense is good enough to hold people under 30.

They finish last if: The brutal string of 5-7’s wears on the program and they tank. The tough road slate means winnable home games, but South Carolina and Vanderbilt just prove better. The Mississippi State game won’t be on CBS like it was two years ago.

Vanderbilt

They win if: Trump wins the Presidency. Their defense is going to be legitimately good, so the offense just has to be 2014 Missouri good. Winning the home opener vs. South Carolina buoys them forward through the SEC-East heavy first half of the season, as Florida, Kentucky, and Georgia all fall victim.

They finish last if: They Vandy. Their offense is going to be heinous.

Missouri

They win if: See 2014. Charles Harris is the next Sam/Ealy/Golden/those dudes. Drew Lock goes from mediocre to efficient. The young offensive line gels.

They finish last if: The players strike again, the offense maintains the status quo, and Barry Odom is not cut out to be a head coach, SEC or otherwise.

South Carolina

They win if: Coach Boom is who we thought he was six years ago when he went to Florida. He actually learned from his mistakes, and he and Kurt Roper manage to piece together an amazing offense to pair with a defense that goes peak Muschamp-y.

They finish last if: Their punter is one of two featured players in Phil Steele’s spread (check). They open with losses at Vandy and Mississippi State, and can’t hold the fort at home vs. any of A&M, Georgia, Tennessee, or Mizzou. That…all seems pretty plausible.

100 Days of SEC Dominance: Sorry ‘Bout Da Condoms


Quick: Name another conference in which an athletic director has had to issue a formal condom apology? You can’t do it. SEC for the win!

Per Chip Towers of the Athens Banner-Herald, Georgia AD Greg McGarity offered this in response to Ludacris’s Magnum Condom request:

I do want to take this opportunity to apologize to our board for mistakes we made with certain aspects of the details of an entertainment agreement. Few things in my professional life have bothered me more than this situation. There are no reruns in life so we need to turn the page, learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to make sure errors of this nature do not reoccur.

 

There you have it. Few things in Greg McGarity’s professional life have bothered him more than this situation.

 

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

 

100 Days of SEC Dominance: All The Ole Miss Bonuses for Players


Look, people should get paid for what they do. You probably get paid for your job. Sometimes I get paid for mine. College athletes should get paid for theirs. So shout to Ole Miss for handling things the honorable way by allowing/encouraging things the NCAA doesn’t like and then saying, “No way. Not my staff. That was the old Ole Miss guys.”

Nothing too major here unless you’re into rules or whatnot, but a few high points:

  • 13 of 20 (65%) of the allegations against the athletic department were against the football team. So with 16 scholarship sports listed on the website, 6.25% of teams did 65% of the cheating (allegedly). That’s SEC concentration right there.
  • Nine of the 13 football-related allegations occurred under current head coach Hugh Freeze who somehow quite conveniently saw this story spun quite differently right before National Signing Day. SEC Spin Zone. AKA Shaggy “It Wasn’t Me” Zone.
  • Ole Miss let concerned citizen Laremy Tunsil borrow $3k to buy a car from someone he wasn’t supposed to and some folks got to cruise around in loaner cars for a long-ass time. Can’t spell “Free Cars” without S-E-C.
  • Some athlete got $2,253 worth of free lodging from June 7, 2013 to May 27, 2014. Let’s hope that wasn’t one continuous stay at one place. Because I don’t know that I’d classify a place valued at $6.36 per day as a true “benefit.” Can’t knock that SEC hustle.
  • Two recruits received some stuff. So SEC.
  • Other things happened. SEC! SEC! SEC!

You do you, Ole Miss. Sounds like everything is and was above-board here.

Move along.

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

100 Days of SEC Dominance: All of the New Coaching Hires Rank in the Top 25


Editor’s note: There were a total of 28 coaching hires this year.

There was major coaching turnover in the SEC East this year, as Georgia, Missouri, and South Carolina brought in new head men. Athlon Sports ranked the hires 1-28, and all three new hires ranked in the top 25 among the 28 total hires made.

8. Barry Odom, Mizzou: Continuity for the Tigers, as they promoted their AWESOME defensive coordinator. What that means for an offense that scored 8 touchdowns after a week 1 win over Southeast Missouri State? No clue.

10. Kirby Smart, Georgia: Even taking off the red and black glasses, this seems like a low ranking. Assuming ‘relative to program standing’ is a blind variable here, as Smart ranks behind Willie Fritz (2), his predecessor (3), and Mormon West Coaster Bronco Mendenhall at Virginia (9). Whatever.

24. Will Muschamp, South Carolina: BUT THEY RANKED IN THE TOP 25!!! I can’t adequately put into words how stupid this hire was. South Carolina maintained its trend of ‘upward mobility through retreads’, or at least ‘retreads’. Coach Boom is getting the last year at Florida band back together, and I can’t be happier about the hire.

A sampling of schools who made better hires, according to Athlon: Illinois, Central Florida, Toledo, North Texas, ULM, Hawai’i, RUTGERS, Texas State, ECU (who inexplicably ran good guy Ruffin McNeill out of town).

Go Cocks.

100 Days of SEC Dominance: The SEC Dominated Recruiting AGAIN


This is more of the wash, rinse, repeat variety, because duh. Since its Saturday, we present…A LIST! 

There’s no secret that the SEC dominates recruiting rankings. Fanboys will say its because of things like #SECSpeed, cynics will say because of absurd recruiting budgets and pandering by the recruiting services to the schools with the largest followings. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

This, however, is absurd:

Rank Name Position School
3 Greg Little OT Ole Miss
4 Shea Patterson QB Ole Miss
5 Jacob Eason QB Georgia
9 Derrick Brown DT Auburn
10 Ben Davis LB Alabama
12 Isaac Nauta TE Georgia
13 Mecole Hardman CB Georgia
15 Lyndell Wilson LB Alabama
17 Jonah Williams OT Alabama
18 McTelvin Agim DE Arkansas
19 Jeffery Simmons DL Mississippi State
21 Kristian Fulton CB LSU
23 Rashard Lawrence DT LSU
24 Benito Jones DT Ole Miss
26 Antonneus Clayton DE Florida
30 Marlon Davidson DL Auburn
33 Tyrie Cleveland WR Florida
35 B.J. Emmons RB Alabama
38 A.J. Brown WR Ole Miss
43 Nate Craig-Myers WR Auburn
45 Chauncey Gardner DB Florida
47 Saivion Smith S LSU
49 Antwuan Jackson DT Auburn

Yep, 23 of the top 50 consensus recruits in the nation are going to make their debuts in the SEC this year. Eight SEC schools (over half the league, for those keeping score at home) nabbed at least one, making a list (Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, Texas A&M) of teams that didn’t land a top-50 recruit less keystrokes than those who did.

19 of the next 50 also inked with SEC schools, but maybe we’ll get into that when we run out of ideas in like, 3 weeks.

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