Mississippi State gives Mullen monster extension

Mississippi State deserves a round of applause: They showed loyalty to a man who has shown absolutely no loyalty to them over the last few years….their head coach, Dan Mullen.

In the new deal, Mullen will receive $4.5 million per season for the next four years, starting this season.

Listen, we GET there are good things about Mullen. He started in 2009 and hasn’t left. During his tenure, his record has been nothing short of phenomenal – especially for a poor team, where he’s been bowl eligible for the last seven straight years and gone 5-2 in bowls. He has a 5-3 record in the Egg Bowl against Ole Miss, and took the Cowbellers to phenomenal heights in the 2014 season.

He’s proved to be a bit of a ‘quarterback whisperer’ at the highest level, with Dak Prescott and now Nick Fitzgerald doing great things. Prescott himself has gone on to drop jaws at NFL level, which can’t have done Mullen’s credibility any damage. And his response to press questions about Fitzgerald in the aftermath of the last Ole Miss win was hilarious.

But I’ve got a problem. Where there seems to be a big job on the loose,  Dan Mullen seems to have no loyalty to the Land of Cowbell in the least. He’s been continually rumored for other jobs since taking over in Starkville, and he actually interviewed for the Miami (FL) job in 2015 before it was given to Mark Richt. Florida (2013) and Oregon (2017) were also thoughts. And although Mullen’s said that he’s happy where he is, the hiring of Jimmy Sexton – who is also the agent of a certain Nick Saban, who hasn’t shown any loyalty of his own in the least to programs – in October – doesn’t seem to indicate that.

I just can’t help thinking that the cowbell will toll for Mississippi State in this relationship. Then again, I might be wrong.

SEC Week 6: Hurricanes, bad names, and long-ass games

The only thing anyone was talking about this weekend was the fact that the LSU-Florida game got ‘postponed’ because of Hurricane Matthew and never may see the light of day again, which could lead to quite a ruckus in the SEC Standings – especially in the SEC West. Both ADs Joe Alleva (LSU) and Jeremy Foley (Florida) and SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey have made complete asses of themselves in all of this, and Sankey showed no backbone whatsoever.

Now, back to football: College Gameday’s ‘crowd’ at the start of ESPN’s 3-hour college football preview might as well have been The 1/12th Man, bearing in mind how small the crowd was, but it grew larger as the day wore on. I still want to punch the scheduler in the face for bring on The Chainsmokers, who showed no knowledge about the sport, but were able to pimp their buddies and a shoe company. The game itself was a 5-hour epic, not helped by the fact there were a ton of injury time-outs, it went to double over-time, and CBS had to have 164 EXTRA ****ING COMMERCIAL BREAKS. Of course, Clay Travis liked to blame the bands and the fact that they played for 40 minutes at half-time, but then again, it’s Clay Travis. I leave it at that.

Elsewhere in SEC Country, we learned – if we hadn’t already – that Arkansas doesn’t have a defense, Mississippi State without Dak Prescott is an abomination, Georgia’s offensive line really isn’t that bad (or is South Carolina’s terrible?), South Carolina’s got an awful offense, and Alabama is really, really scary on offense. 

So here are your rankings:

  1. Alabama (6-0): Nick Saban had another Napoleon-like tantrum when it became plainly obvious to anyone watching that his defense couldn’t stop Arkansas. But when your offense is up by three touchdowns to start the game off, it doesn’t really matter. Alabama has its starting QB for the next 3 (or 4) years, so other applicants should look elsewhere.
  2. Texas A&M (6-0): Texas A&M blew a huge lead, couldn’t convert 7 turnovers, missed a 37-yard field goal with time running out in hilarious fashion, and still came out victors against Tennessee. Now who’s the lucky ones? John Chavis was right to say that there are things to be learned on the defensive side of the ball. Stopping a running back might be one of them.
  3. Ole Miss (3-2): I’m dropping Tennessee down a place despite them taking Texas A&M to two overtimes on the road despite seven turnovers and a bunch of injuries? Yes. And here’s why: If Ole Miss and Tennessee played each other, I’m not sure Tennessee could stop Ole Miss. It would end up 70-69, though.
  4. Tennessee (5-1): This team can’t play two halves of football. But Good Lord those comebacks are fun to watch.
  5. Auburn (4-2): We know it seems this is pretty high for Malzahn’s team, but his defense is GOOD.
  6. LSU (3-2): Yeah…so Arkansas was that bad against Alabama.
  7. Florida (4-1): Yeah….so Arkansas was that bad against Alabama.
  8. Georgia (3-3): The good news: Nick Chubb was healthy. Sony Michel was healthy. The O-Line looked OK. Isaiah McKenzie is fun. The bad news: Jacob Eason is borderline erratic.
  9. Arkansas (4-2): Bret Bielema’s has no defense. After the TCU game, I think that was established. What is now concerning, is that Arkansas has no offensive line, either. The biggest star of the game was Arkansas Agriculture professor Dr. Lawton Lanier Nalley, who screamed at Bielema: “If I had your record, I would be ****ing fired. **** you!”. He was arrested. Would he be right? Probably not, but if Arkansas ends this season 5-7 – which it could quite easily do, the seat could be warming. Apparently Mr. Nalley was drunk. Well I never.
  10. Missouri (2-3): The guys at Mizzodcast – the best podcast around (in our humble opinion) for a SEC Team, are probably convinced that the bye week saved them a loss. I still think they are better than one SEC West team.
  11. Mississippi State (2-3): I watched Mississippi State this week get CRUSHED by Auburn, and I become more convinced that Dak Prescott was the only reason Dan Mullen looked like a good coach.
  12. Kentucky (3-3): Beat Vanderbilt in a horrible game, and convinced nobody.
  13. South Carolina (2-4): Lost to Kentucky, and the offense downright stinks.
  14. Vanderbilt (2-4): At the end of the season, Vanderbilt should fire Derek Mason or ask him if he wants to be the defensive co-ordinator. I’m not sure he’s got the hand of the offensive side of it.

 

 

Missouri’s the worst team in the SEC: Week 8 rankings

OK, so I’m still trying to work out who the worst team in the conference (Missouri, South Carolina or Vanderbilt). I know one thing for certain: Missouri’s got the worst offense (and one of the best defenses). South Carolina got a win after Spurrier left, but they are still awful. And Vanderbilt is still….Vanderbilt. And that’s despite beating Missouri. Jeez, it’s difficult. Anyway, I took some smelling salts (sold to me by Maty Mauk) and came up with the answers….

After a lay-off of rankings last week, here’s our rankings after Week 8:

  1. Alabama (1): Derrick Henry will be a Heisman candidate. If it wasn’t for him – and some horrific Tennessee field goal kicking – this game against Tennessee could have quite easily been lost. Cigars for the team, but no cigars for the performance.
  2. LSU (2): We still love Leonard Fournette, and this offense is improving. We will see what happens against Alabama, but it’s looking like Cam Cameron actually has an offensive idea that’s not “Give the ball to The Destructor”.
  3. Florida (3): Goes to three after beating bye week.
  4. Ole Miss (5): The defense was great against Ole Miss, only conceding three points and harrying Kyle Allen all night long. A good win for the Rebels, who keep the SEC West in their own hands.
  5. Texas A&M (3): Kyle Allen is looking like 2014 Everett Golsons. That’s not a compliment. A lot of people are crying out for Mr Spavital’s job. Weird, because two weeks ago, we could have sworn that the Aggies looked great.
  6. Mississippi State (6): Dak Prescott and the Mississippi State offense is starting to tick – see as they dropped 42 points on Kentucky on the weekend..
  7. Arkansas (7): Won a huge fourth quarter game against Auburn. Why huge? The Hogs should make a bowl game from here.
  8. Tennessee (8): SHOULD have beaten Alabama. If the secondary wasn’t so poor in the fourth quarter and the kicking game wasn’t so poor all game long, they would be the ones celebrating the biggest upset of Week 8.
  9. Georgia (9): How does it feel when good miracles happen to a hated rival, Georgia? See Georgia Tech for details.
  10. Auburn (10): Win over Kentucky made this team close-ish to being bowl eligible…the four-overtime loss to Arkansas means that they probably won’t make it.
  11. Kentucky (10): Yeah, so getting blown out at Mississippi State isn’t a good look.
  12. South Carolina (14): South Carolina might have lost to Missouri, but they are a better team now the Head Ball Coach is playing 400 rounds of golf a day. 
  13. Vanderbilt (13): HUGE win over Missouri ensures that the Commodores won’t get the 0-fer in conference play. Defense is looking better and better, too.
  14. Missouri (13): As was well said on the “Mizzodcast”, the Tigers could well be unbeaten if the team could find an offense. But the offensive line could rival Penn State for its awfulness. Everything’s going wrong in Columbia. And it went further wrong losing to Vanderbilt, too.

 

Alabama Rising, Florida flying – Week 5 SEC Rankings

Week 5 of the season came and went with these feelings about the SEC: The Swamp was titinus-causingly loud. And Florida is good. Or Ole Miss was overrated. Alabama playing at their best will be unbeatable. Or Georgia was overrated. Auburn fans toilet-papered Toomer’s Corner out of relief. Les Miles has got to get his team’s head together against lower opponents. Maty Mauk may have started his last game for Missouri. South Carolina is awful. Kentucky is overrated. Texas A&M is good. Mississippi State’s run game is bad. Kyle Field is loud.Vanderbilt scored a nice upset win. Over MTSU. The weather was horrible in most parts of the SEC this week. Prayers to Columbia, SEC, where it’s flooding at the time of writing. 

Anyway, here’s your rankings after Week 5.

  1. Alabama (2): They came, they saw, they conquered. Brutal weather conditions meant nothing to Saban, who’s defense took advantage of Georgia having no vertical passing threat whatsoever. The Tide played near-enough a perfect game. If they play like this, they will win the College Football Play-Off. With some ease. And Saban was actually happy. Beware, SEC folks, when Nick Saban is happy. 
  2. Texas A&M (3): Defense stood up nicely against Mississippi State, and the offense did what it needed to do against a better-than-advertised Cowbeller team. We still love Christian Kirk, and we’re already eyeballing the Alabama game.
  3. Florida (6): The Swamp and the Gators fans that lived in it were a loud, drunken, rageful-turned-delirious frenzy on Saturday night. The refs couldn’t hear themselves think. Even watching on TV, nor could we. From the first whistle, it was obvious that blood was sensed. By the end, Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze were crucified at the altar of The Gator. Florida was great in almost all passages of play, and unlike the orange unis, were great to watch. This Gators team is good, folks.
  4. Ole Miss (1): The Rebels’ destruction at Ole Miss proved that if you’re not playing Fresno State, then maybe your offense isn’t that good after all. And it shouldn’t have been too much surprise that the defense was at times shredded in the second half….that’ll happen with a bunch of 3 or 6-and-outs.
  5. LSU (5): “LSU’s great because it has Leonard Fournette” seems to be the line that ESPN and all the other guys trot out. Yes, Fournette may have had a 200-yard game, but the defense and a lot of the quarterback play is pretty ugly. The worst part? Les Miles cannot seem to get his team psyched up for crappy teams. This has now happened for two weeks’ straight. Against the likes of Alabama, Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Florida, can LSU get psyched up for the good ones? I just don’t know.
  6. Georgia (4): After their shellacking in the rain, Georgia fans can lie there with their hangovers, comforted that at least the Alabama loss wasn’t a divisional loss. They can also worry that in-division Florida’s suddenly looking a lot better than they are. Another thing that Georgia fans are annoyed about: Abandoning the running game too early. In Brian Schottenheimer/Mark Richt’s defense, every 3-and-out seemed to be leading to points for Alabama. They had to do something.
  7. Mississippi State (7): Losing at Kyle Field isn’t something to hate your team about, but going 14-0 down quickly and having an offense that’s not good trying to dig yourself out of that hole probably is. If Manny Diaz’ defense can play two halves and Mississippi State can get something going on offense, this will be one of the SEC’s toughest outs this year.
  8. Arkansas (10): Alex Collins is a beast, and again proved that against Tennessee. The 24-20 win – especially the final drive – was an exhibition of run-down-your-throat offense, with no stupid penalties given away. Brandon Allen looked serviceable.
  9. Kentucky (10): Kentucky’s risin’ and Tennessee’s fallin’. Kentucky was lucky to win on Saturday. Against Eastern Kentucky.
  10. Missouri (11): Mizzou’s got a quarterback in Drew Lock, who went 21/28 for 136 yards and 2 TDs against South Carolina. The defense had 3 picks. They were a lot better against this crappy opponent than they were, say, against UConn. Mind you, that’s hardly a high standard.
  11. Tennessee (8): On the surface of it losing 24-20 at home to Arkansas is simply another heartbreaking loss. But when the offensive co-ordinators seem to have no clue as to what they are doing, and the wide receivers don’t seem to be allowed to catch – or even try – for a deep ball (and the Razorbacks’ secondary was hardly special going in), all you can think is: “This team’s got problems.”
  12. Auburn (13): Peyton Barber might have gotten five touchdowns, and the defense might have gotten four turnovers, but ‘D’ still gave up 406 yards. I’m sorry, but I don’t think future SEC opponents give the ball up four times to Auburn this season. And I don’t think Peyton Barber scores 5 TDs against future SEC opponents either.
  13. Vanderbilt (14): THE COMMODORES ARE OFF THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST!! An ‘upset’ win over MTSU will do that for  you. And the defense is looking much improved, even if the offfense is, er, poor.
  14. South Carolina (12): South. Carolina. Is. Awful. And the cry for Steve Spurrier to retire are getting even louder.

 

Live! The Quarterly SEC Awards (Or SECs)

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Is that Derrick Henry? Is that Nick Saban? Is that Lane Kiffin with Nick Saban’s daughter? Is that Leonard Fournette, brushing off all the reporters as he goes? Is that Les Miles, who’s stopped to say something that no-one understands?

Yes folks, it’s your quarterly SEC Football Blog Awards, given out to the players, teams and coaches who have made a difference – good or bad – in the first quarter of the season. And afterwards, we can all go to Chilli’s with players from the University of Georgia and threaten people.

(DRUMROLL PLEASE)

THE GOOD AWARDS

BEST PLAYER

Leonard Fournette (LSU)

BEST IMPRESSION OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK 

Leonard Fournette, in his performance against Auburn.

BEST QUARTERBACK PERFORMANCE

Greyson Lambert (Georgia)’s performance against South Carolina was something special, when he went 24-25 for 330 yards and 3 TDs.

BEST QUARTERBACK ESCAPE FROM PRESSURE TO PULL SOMETHING OUT OF HIS REAR

Chad Kelly (Ole Miss) against Alabama, where he avoided the sack – and getting himself killed- by the throwing the ball up to ANYONE and it was deflected off an Alabama player and into the arms of Quincy Adeboyejo, who took it to the house.

BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER

Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)

MOST IMPROVED DEFENSE

That’ll be your Texas A&M Aggies. New DC John Chavis has done wonders. Might need to sort the “stop the running back down the middle” game.

BEST NEWCOMER

Christian Kirk (Texas A&M) is – as mentioned on the Solid Verbal – already one of the most exciting players in college football.

THANKS FOR STAYING AWARD FOR SENIORITY

Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) – Has been pretty great this year for Mississippi State, who ran LSU close and beat Auburn on the road in the last four weeks. Prescott’s been the key. He might not be the Heisman contender…but he should be.

TEAM WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT BUT ACTUALLY ARE OK

Mississippi State. This is a pretty solid team Dan Mullen’s put together after so much talent left in 2014. Thanks for staying, Dak Prescott.

TEAM WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT BUT MIGHT NOT BE GODDAWFUL

Vanderbilt. Terrific defensive performance against Ole Miss indicates things might be turned around a little in Nashville. Anchor…up?

TEAM THAT MIGHT REALLY BE QUITE GOOD THIS YEAR

Florida. Jim McElwain’s turning this boat around, folks!!

 

TEAM WE’VE BEEN LAUGHING AT OVER THE YEARS BUT MIGHT HAVE TO TAKE NOTICE OF NOW..

Kentucky. Apparently the “BB” in “BBN” doesn’t stand for basketball, but stands for “Big Blue”. Nice, Mark Stoops.

AND NOW, THE MOMENT YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR….THE BAD AWARDS!! AND DON’T WORRY, AUBURN, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO CLEAN UP THIS YEAR….

PLAYER WE THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE A HEISMAN CONTENDER BUT OUTRIGHT SUCKED

Jeremy Johnson (Auburn). He is a human tire fire. Let’s hope that Johnson is studying hard, because he might need that degree when all is said and done.

WORST QUARTERBACK MESS

South Carolina. Steve Spurrier’s on No.3 right now. Auburn’s on No.2, for those of you counting.

BIGGEST OFFENSIVE ****-SHOW

Missouri, Missouri, Missouri. No quarterback, no running game, and the receivers can’t catch.

YELLOW FLAG AWARDS FOR DRIVE-YOU-CRAZY-PENALTIES

LSU’s 28 penaties for 258 yards (9.2 yards/penalty) IN THREE GAMES takes some beating. Arkansas leads the SEC with 31, by the way.

WORST SPECIAL TEAMS EFFORT, BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

Alabama in the Tide’s loss to Ole Miss included two fumbles on kick returns early, which included TWO kick-off return fumbles. Alabama went 10-0 as a result, and never recovered.

WORST DEFENSIVE EFFORT WHILE HAVING A 4TH QUARTER DOUBLE-DIGIT LEAD 

Tennessee. That’s to you for the Oklahoma and Florida games.

TEAM THAT WE THOUGHT WOULD BE SEC CONTENDERS BUT….AREN’T

Auburn…..Tennessee….Arkansas….. Take your pick.

MOMENTS THAT WILL HAUNT HIM FOREVER BROUGHT TO YOU BY “#KARMA” BY JEN BIELEMA

“Ohio State’s ranked No. 1 and they have one game remaining on their schedule that has anybody ranked right now — Michigan State. We’re going to play eight straight opponents that are ranked.” – Arkansas coach Bret Bielema. His team then lose to Toledo the next week. And Texas Tech the week after. And Texas A&M in overtime the week after. And…

(Quiet Clap, clap, clap)

And your bonus category:

FUNNIEST STORY IN THE SEC THIS QUARTER 

Lane Kiffin’s getting fired from Alabama!!Apparently, Lane Kiffin was getting fired at Alabama the Thursday before Saturday’s game with ULM for sleeping with Nick Saban’s daughter. The rumor mill went through the roof….and it didn’t happen. We don’t know if he DID sleep with Saban’s daughter, but he wasn’t fired.

SEE YOU NEXT TIME FOLKS!!!

Can Tennessee end the Florida Drought? Week 4 Predictions

WE’RE IN WEEK 4? ALREADY?! In eight more weeks and a lot of bluster’s time, this regular season will be over. God, I’m depressed already. Anyway, let’s change that with memories of an awesome Week 3.

We saw some amazing sights. This included Leonard Fournette throwing off Auburn defenders with the ease of an elephant discarding a human (And by the Heisman hype he’s getting now, he might well be a god amongst men). We also balls bounce off Alabama special teams players, defenders, and wide receivers, and the bad bounces outnumbered the good ones. The Crimson Tide was upset in Tuscaloosa by Ole Miss in a game for the ages. And Arkansas? They lost at home to Texas Tech, and Kliff Kingsbury threw some shade at Bret Bielema.

We went 7-3 straight up in our predictions (we screwed up on ‘Bama, Auburn and Arkansas), and stank out the room on straight-up scores, so less to say about that the better.

Anyway, onto Week 4 with our SEC rankings:

  1. TENNESSEE AT FLORIDA

We’d like to rub this in for Tennessee fans: Y’all couldn’t beat Will Muschamp in 2014. This year’s Butch Jones team has been talked up a hell of a lot, but we’re very, very worried about the defense. They are dreadful. This year’s Florida team hasn’t been talked up a whole hell of lot, apart from the secondary…which has. Yes, the secondary which gave up 300 yards to ECU without Vernon Hargreaves. Well, with Hargreaves back they looked a lot sturdier against Kentucky – as did the defense – and they’ll come up against a high-octane offense in Tennessee and Joshua Dobbs, which rebounded from a heartbreaker against Oklahoma to beat Western Carolina with some ease. Oh, and they’ve lost CB Jalen Tabor, who got suspended for allegedly refusing a drug test. Here’s what Florida fan Cody Steeves has to say about THAT defense: “Tabor is a big loss, no doubt. I think Towles is a better downfield passer than Dobbs, but Dobbs and Hurd are gonna command a ton more respect on the run than anything UK had to offer. And we’re not gonna sack Dobbs 6 times. Quincy Wilson and the safeties wil really have to step up but I’d be much more worried if we took a big hit to our run defense in the UT game.” So there. And Florida’s offense is going to miss back-up QB Treon Harris, who’s also been suspended – allegedly for testing positive for drugs. Us? We just hope and pray 2014’s goddawful 10-9 game will not be repeated.

PREDICTION: Florida’s actually a 1-point underdog after the Tabor news. We’re taking Florida – for the 11th time – by 3.

2. MISSISSIPPI STATE AT AUBURN

We don’t normally say this in Week 4 of any sports season, but Auburn NEEDS to win this game. After they were destroyed by Leonard Fournette at LSU, they NEED to win this game to keep in the SEC West. Carl Lawson being out for the game ain’t gonna help the ‘D’ against MSU and Dak Prescott. On the other side of the ball, Gus Malzahn thought Jeremy Johnson was so horrible that’s he’s dropped him for The Human Tomato, Sean White (no, he’s not a snowboarder!!). White’s a pocket passer, who hopefully won’t make the stupid decisions that Johnson did….Auburn fans hope.

PREDICTION: Auburn’s a 2 point favorite. We’ll take them to win by a close 7. 

3. TEXAS A&M VS ARKANSAS (JERRYWORLD)

I hate this game being in JerryWorld, and always will….even if the game’s as exciting as it was in 2014. For 2015, Texas A&M’s a freight train, Arkansas is a freight train….wreck. Texas A&M’s high-octane offense is still putting up the points for fun, while Arkansas can’t score in the red-zone. Against Texas Tech, it was almost comical. Almost as comical is fans are being asked to pay $250 for the privilege of going to this slaughter on Stubhub.

PREDICTION: Texas A&M’s a 7-point favorite. And they’ll win by more. 

4. VANDERBILT AT OLE MISS

VANDY WON A GAME LAST WEEK! YOU READ IT RIGHT! VANDY WON A GAME LAST WEEK! This time they go to Oxford against an amped Rebels team that beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and who’s fanbase are going to ALL swear they were there, when the ticket availability would indicate otherwise. Anyway, we don’t see Vanderbilt doing much against Ole Miss’ defensive line….or much against Ole Miss’ offense, either.

PREDICTION: Ole Miss is favored by 24. We like Ole Miss by 28. 

4. MISSOURI AT KENTUCKY

Combined, both offenses scored 18 points on Saturday. EIGHTEEN (9 each, and Missouri won 9-6, and Kentucky 14-9). This game could be absolutely awful. Could? Or probably will be? We’ll go for the latter.

PREDICTION: Kentucky’s a 2.5 point favorite. We think they win by 3 in a putrid game. Maybe 3-0.

5. LSU AT SYRACUSE

We all know what Leonard Fournette did to Arkansas, so it’s going to be a foregone conclusion that he’ll put up 800 yards and 90 TDs against Syracuse, right? Well, first of all, we think Les Miles is going to “do a Matt Harvey” on Fournette, and not give him the carries. And with his back-ups – Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams – as well as a running Brandon Harris, Miles might not need to. You can also expect Harris to throw a lot more for Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre, who were both somewhat underused against Auburn. Syracuse gives up around 128 yards per game passing, but was pretty stout against the run, giving up 140 total. Mind you, the competition wasn’t that great, either.

PREDICTION: LSU’s a 24 point favorite. LSU wins by 18 in a game that they cruise, but somehow looks closer in the fourth quarter…mostly due to Les Miles. 

6. LOUISIANA-MONROE AT ALABAMA

Did you know that this series is tied at 1-1? Did you know that Alabama lost at home last week? Did  you know that Alabama fans are pissed at Lane Kiffin and want his head? Did you know that there were some amusing rumors running around Tuscaloosa about Lane Kiffin and what he did or didn’t do with a certain member of the Saban family? Did you know that people are calling the end of an era? Anyway, prepare for the critics to talk more about Ole Miss than they do about the game in front of them on Saturday. And prepare for the critics to get bigger if they play badly, too.

PREDICTION: Alabama’s a 38-point favorite. We think they’ll win by 41, with Derrick Henry scoring 3 touchdowns.

7. UCF AT SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina’s Lorenzo Nunez is going to be Steve Spurrier’s new quarterback project after not looking too awful against Georgia, and his running of a triple-option offense could be some fun to watch. The deal with Nunez should be to throw the ball to Pharoh Cooper – the only crowd-pleasing this of this Carolina thus far this season. Then South Carolina’s fans might not tear the roof off Williams-Brice. UCF’s started the season 0-3, by the way.

PREDICTION: South Carolina’s a 15-point favorite. We predict they win by 21 to take the pressure off Spurrier, a little.

8. SOUTHERN AT GEORGIA

STOP! THE BAND’S GOING TO BE ****ING AWESOME!! STAY FOR HALF-TIME!!! PLEASE!!! STAY FOR HALF-TIME!!!

PREDICTION: Georgia’s a 54.5 point favorite, with the over/under 74.5. We’ll take Georgia to win, but by 45. The Southern band will win half-time. Easily.

 

 

 

Mississippi State 2015 Preview: Dak Attack!

Last season was a stunning one for Mississippi State. They went to No.1 in the polls. They beat LSU on the road for the first time in their history. They had their second 10-win season in their history. Their QB, Dak Prescott, was a Heisman contender. OK, so underestimating the Bulldogs was our mistake, Starkville.

OFF-SEASON

Dak Prescott had an awful Spring Break when he was blindsided by some douchebag in Panama Beach. He didn’t press assault charges, which is a shame. He should have done.

Coaching-wise, Dan Mullen lost defensive co-ordinator Geoff Collins to Florida, and replied by bringing in Manny Diaz as his DC, who did a terrible job at Texas where he was DC there. Seriously, the Texas players were awful tacklers under his regime.

IN DAK WE TRUST

Dak Prescott was exceptional for the Bulldogs in 2014, throwing for 3,449 yards and 27 TDs and only 11 INTs. He also ran the ball for a career-high 986 yards and 14 TDs….and even caught two receptions (one of them for a TD!). He’s going to provide the nucleus for this offense this year, which should hardly be surprising for anybody.

More pressure is going to be piled upon him because of the departure of RB Josh Robinson, especially with the under-experienced Ashton Shumpert. Aeris Williams and Dontavius Lee will provide the back-ups.

Prescott’s biggest target will be De’Runnya Wilson, who – despite his awesome name – is actually a WR. The 6-5, 215lb player caught for 680 yards and 9 TDs in 2015. He’ll be a difficult match-up for most secondaries….if he stays clean. He was arrested on drug charges in March, which wasn’t his brightest move. Fred Brown and Fred Ross will provide depth.

OFFENSIVE LINE? GULP

It has been noted that MSU has to replace  THREE offensive linesman from the successful corps that shone out last year. ESPN put it simply: “The heart of that line — Ben Beckwith, Blaine Clausell and Dillon Day — is gone.” A lot will be expected of Justin Senior and Justin Malone, as well as three other replacements.

With this, I’m not sure that Prescott’s going to repeat his banner year of 2015. Sorry.

DEFENSE!

In their SEC season preview, SaturdayEdge notes that MSU “had the worst pass defense in the SEC a year ago, and three starters are gone from the defensive backfield”. Kivon Coman and Deontay Evans at safety and Taveze Calhoun will come back to play, but I’m not thrilled about them.

Also, it’s sad to say goodbye to Bernardrick McKinney and Preston Smith, who did an excellent job for the Bulldogs. They’ll need to replace them. A lot will be required of Beniquez Brown, Chris Jones, A.J. Jefferson and Nelson Adams.

Otherwise, the addition of Diaz as defensive co-ordinator – who we didn’t like during his time at Texas and we don’t now – hardly spells out exciting times in Starkville.

THE SCHEDULE

Sep. 5 – at Southern Miss
Sep. 12 – Louisiana State
Sep. 19 – Northwestern State
Sep. 26 – at Auburn
Oct. 3 – at Texas A&M
Oct. 10 – Troy
Oct. 17 – Louisiana Tech
Oct. 24 – Kentucky
Nov. 5 – at Missouri
Nov. 14 – Alabama
Nov. 21 – at Arkansas
Nov. 28 – Ole Miss

It’s going to be an ugly season in Starkville. They’ll go 4-0 in their non-conference games against nobody, but against SEC opponents, we can see them win one game – at home to Kentucky – and losing the rest. Here’s why: Dak Prescott cannot do everything alone. His offensive line has been shredded, his running backs are experienced, and on the other side of the ball, his defense loses a huge amount of talent. This will be a rebuilding year.

OUR PREDICTION: 5-7. 

 

Dan Mullen: Dak Prescott was close to going pro

Dak Prescott was close to leaving Mississippi State and going pro, admitted head coach Dan Mullen.

“He applied, got all of his NFL paperwork,” Mullen said.  He added that it was with his counsel that Prescott decided to stay in school. “We did some research and study of looking at quarterbacks that were coming out, where he might fall…..If he had gone and maybe midround draft pick that’s going to sit the bench in the NFL, he’d have a chance to get zero game reps, and I think that experience in the long run will help his career of getting those live game reps. It might not be at the NFL speed or in that offense against those schemes, but he’s out there making decisions, getting the reads, getting the progressions, getting the ball out of his hands, and when you look at that opportunity and that experience to grow and develop this year to help set him up for his career. I know he and I talked — I know we’d both like to see him play for the next 15 years. So when you look at how this year is going to affect him in the big picture of football over the next 15 years, it’s a great experience for him to come back and get all those reps.”

He also made no bones about having the Confederate Flag taken down at the university. He said: “I don’t see it very often. We don’t have it on our campus up. I do know we’re the most diverse campus in the Southeastern Conference. I know the university embraces that diversity as a whole. I certainly embrace that diversity. We’re so diverse, they have a Yankee as the head football coach in the Southeastern Conference. I think it’s something that on a national level is getting an awful lot of attention right now, that people are really looking into how we can make things better in the state of Mississippi. And I hope as a university we’re out on the forefront trying to help make things better with the type of school that we have and the diversity we have in our school.”

2015 SEC Season: 50 Things We Can’t Wait For

It’s only the start of June, but we can’t wait for the start of the SEC season. We here at the SEC Football Blog LOVE the College World Series (with half of the field coming from the SEC, what good Southerner couldn’t?), but we still can’t wait until the Fall. And for the temperatures to drop a little. 

Anyway, so here’s 50 things we’re looking forward to in the SEC season. We start with the running backs….

And we haven’t even gotten onto the match-ups!! That’ll be soon!!

1) Alabama’s Derrick Henry running over people. Or past people. The kid’s a Heisman candidate. And the best RB in the SEC.

2) LSU’s Leonard Fournette running over people. It’ll be Texas A&M 2014 all over again.

3) Georgia’s Nick Chubb running over people. Or past people. Some idiot said that he had “underrated speed”. Didn’t he compete at state level in track and field in the 100 and 200 meters?

4) Seeing the huge Arkansas offensive line towering over defenses. It’s like Bret Bielema’s recruiting at Wisconsin.

5) Seeing that huge Arkansas offensive line create holes for RB Alex Collins. He’s gooood.

6) Seeing Bielema balance out whether it’s Collins or equally good Jonathan Williams getting the ball. 

7) Getting Georgia’s Keith Marshall back. The kid’s good for college football. We just pray he’s going to be OK this time.

8) Speaking of horrible injuries, can’t wait for Alabama’s Kenyan Drake to return.

9) Or Ole Miss’ Laquon Treadwell playing on the turf after his.

10) Auburn’s offense with D’haquille Williams. He’s pretty good, you know. And Thomas. And all the weapons at Gus Malzhan’s disposal.

11) Alabama’s new offense with Lane Kiffin, which claims to be running faster than usual. With Henry. Gulp.

12) Seeing the new QB at Georgia (Faton Bauta or Brice Ramsey). And hoping he’s not as ordinary at Hutson Mason was.

13) Seeing the new QB at South Carolina (Connor Mitch, Michael Scarnecchia and Perry Orth. We hope either Orth or Mitch, because they are easier to spell). And hoping he won’t be as big a let-down as Dylan Thompson or as awesome a drunk as Stephen Garcia.

14) Seeing the new QB at Ole Miss (Ryan Buchanan, Chad Kelly and DeVante Kincade). And hoping his career will be as fun as Bo Wallace, who went from ‘great’ to ‘terrible’ all the time.

15) Seeing the new QB at Florida (Treon Harris and Will Grier). And hoping the offense will be better than Will Muschamp’s.

16) Seeing the new QB at Alabama (Jacob Coker, Blake Barnett, David Cornwell, Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman). Alabama fans will be hoping they won’t be as bad as their performances at A-Day.

17) LSU fans either praying to the God of Jim Beam, fried oysters and jambalaya about the talents of Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings, or swearing at them. We can seem them do both. A lot.

18) Texas A&M QBed by Kyle Allen. Highly-recruited, and hellish good. And loved by A&M fans. And no dumb-ass middle name.

19) Mississippi State QBed by Dak Prescott. Who we hope’s better now after that douchebag hit him on Spring Break. He was pretty good last year, y’all.

20) Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson  in the Cam Newton role in the Auburn offense. He was named as the starter early by Malzahn, too.

21) Tennessee and the continuing, growing leadership of Josh Dobbs. We don’t think Jauan Jennings is going to start, somehow.

22) Speaking of Tennessee, let’s talk about Dobbs’ incredible wide receiver Marquez North. He’s the new Peerless Price at wide receiver, Big Orange. And we’re not telling you anything you don’t know.

22) Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason getting electrified in the locker room after a win. Let’s hope it’s a SEC win, folks.

23) Ole Miss’ hitting machine Robert Nkemdiche. Not-So-Bold Prediction: Will go first round in the NFL in 2016.

24) His brother and defensive co-star Denzel, now he’s come back from injury. He was pretty good in 2013.

25) Will Muschamp‘s defense at Auburn. He’ll do a lot of screaming on the sideline, too. And maybe use some bad language. Speaking of screaming, can’t wait for Nick Saban to let it all out at his own players.

26) John Chavis‘ much-improved defense at Texas A&M. It had better be, anyway.

27) The outcome of Chavis’ stupid lawsuit against Texas A&M and LSU. It’s now with a federal court. He’s managed to piss off both fanbases. That’s pretty good.

28) Good defensive backs at Alabama. The Crimson Tide was burned time after time last season. Especially against Ohio State in the play-offs.

29) Florida‘s offense. It can’t get any worse after 2014. Jim McElwain’s going to make some great strides in 2015, if Colorado State was anything to go by last year.

30) Les Miles being hatted and mad. Steve Spurrier saying stuff to make opposition coaches and schools mad. Mark Richt making Georgia fans mad.

31) Missouri QB Maty Mauk. Watch out, Steve Spurrier! Let’s hope he has an offensive line this time. And some bigger wide receivers. And wide receivers that stay out of trouble.

32) Missouri and its new defensive players. We can’t for new Kony Ealys, Michael Sams, Shane Rays and Markus Goldens.

33) Neyland Stadium decked out in orange and white. Should happen again and again.

34) The time when Tennessee’s PA doesn’t play ‘Third Down for What?” on third down.

35) The hedges at Sanford Stadium. And everywhere in the SEC there’s a hedge.

36) A few beers and a bit of country before going to a Vanderbilt game.

37) The World’s Greatest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Because Drunk.

38) Calling the hogs at Arkansas.

39) Getting called a **** at LSU. Have pity on those cajun folks. They really love you. They’ve just started drinking Jack Daniels at 8am. For an 8pm kick-off.

40) Calling everyone ‘darling’ at Ole Miss, while drinking champagne at The Grove. Because they are more civilized than you are. Ole Miss, by damn (and we’re not just talking about the co-eds).

41) Drinking good Kentucky whiskey around (and maybe in) Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. Might even go out of season and get a mint julep. Or two. And remember not to mention the basketball.

42) Cowbells at Starkville.

43) Eagles at Auburn. If it doesn’t hit a SkyBox.

44) Mike The Tiger at LSU. His area rocks. We’d kill to have an apartment like that. Death Valley’s pretty cool, too.

45) Florida Gators at Florida. The school needs live alligators. Please.

45) Texas A&M fans singing. It’ll give you chills. Unless you’re a Texas fan, then it’ll irritate you. Saw varsity’s horns off, indeed. They don’t need no female cheerleaders down there, either. And thank God for Florida UF’s cheerleaders kept on smiling, even through the awfulness of 2014. Can’t have been easy.

46) Rocks at Missouri. And the place can rock too – especially at night. We don’t know if sitting on the rocks would be our first choice as a place to sit down, but maybe if you paid us. Or gave us free liquor.

47) “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer”.  Better than ‘adding words’ to Dixieland Delight, Alabama students.

48) Verne Lundquist‘s beautiful voice on CBS afternoons at 3.30pm. Gary Danielson, notsomuch.

49) College Gameday on SEC campuses. Katy Perry had a good time down there.  Worked out OK at Ole Miss, right? Apart from Alabama and LSU fans. For varying reasons.

50) The College Football Play-Off. And winning it, this time.

Dak Prescott attacked on Spring Break

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott has been attacked while on Spring Break in Panama City.

This video recently surfaced on Facebook. You can see Prescott- in the rainbow shorts- being surrounded by 3 or 4 guys and  – unsurprisingly – not looking certain on his feet moments after the attack.

Pictures have emerged of his bloody face and body after the attack, although he is not thought to be badly injured.

Prescott was on Spring Break with some Mississippi State players when the incident happened. There are rumors that it was Tennessee fans who attacked Prescott, although MSU blog Maroon and White Nation have said that “It was probably Southern Miss fans.”

Other players involved were back-up defensive end Torrey Dale and Prescott’s back-up QB Damian Williams.

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