Week 3 SEC Preview: Vols-Gators, MSU-LSU

With the destruction of Hurricane Irma still lingering over the State of Florida, there will be a lot of positive sentiment flowing towards the Florida Gators in Week 3. Can they back it up with a good offensive performance against Tennessee?

The SEC Football Blog previews that game and all the others involving SEC teams in our Week 3 preview….

  1. No.23 Tennessee vs No.24 Florida (-5.5): From 2005 to 2016, Tennessee-Florida was hardly a rivalry. Florida won 11 in a row. Sure, 2014 and 2015 had been squeakers, but it just didn’t look as though UT would beat the Gators. Then 2016 happened, and Tennessee romped to a 10-point victory. Suddenly, after Florida fell apart against Michigan on Week 1 (sadly, it’s the last we saw of them because of Hurricane Irma), and Tennessee started the season 2-0, the questions are less about Butch Jones’ coaching ability and more about Jim McElwain’s. Yes, we know that Florida has an incredible defense, and – as Michigan found out – anything disastrous from Tennessee QB Quinten Dormady could result in a Pick-6. Tennessee showed that they can score AND come back from big deficits against Georgia Tech, and the Indiana State game was a predicted slaughter. WR Antonio Callaway and RB Jordan Scarlett will miss the game through suspension (as well as seven other depth players), which has been seen as a bonus. What we think gives Florida an edge is the fact that Florida has The Swamp behind it. With Florida mourning from Irma after the awful hit, the Gators will see it as a moment to fight for the State. And the Vols had better watch out. PREDICTION: Florida by 7.
  2. No. 12 LSU (-7) vs Mississippi State: There haven’t been a lot of teams who have made more impressive starts than LSU, who showed both youth and skill in a lot of places. But as they showed for the last 3 years (including a win with Dak Prescott in Tiger Stadium), this team under Dan Mullen isn’t going to lie down and let LSU give them a geaux-ing over. Last week Nick Fitzgerald and Mississippi State was very impressive in smashing La. Tech on a road 57-21 in a game many thought could cause the Bulldogs a lot more headaches than actually happened. Fitzgerald could cause this Tiger secondary – who calls itself ‘DBU’ – a lot of problems, and so could Aeris Williams, who’s averaging 7.6 yards per carry this season. So could running backs Jefferey Simmons and Montez Sweat on the other side of the ball. For LSU, Arden Key, LSU’s best pass rusher and future NFL first round pick, is back after injury but Coach O has said that he’s not confident he’ll play the whole game. One of the most interesting factors will be how LSU Derrius Guice deals with a firmer defense than he’s played for the last two games. Guice hasn’t exactly exploded out of the gates so far this year, averaging just 5.3 yards per play on 45 carries. This game could be one of the best SEC games of the year. And one thing’s for certain, we’ll hear a few bells ringing. PREDICTION: LSU by 10 in a game a hell of a lot closer than that until the final few minutes. 
  3. Kentucky at South Carolina (-6.5): Of all the SEC teams, we’ll throw it out there and say South Carolina’s had the most testing of schedules. The NC State game wasn’t easy, going into Missouri wasn’t (meant to be) easy, and now Kentucky, who some people talking about as a vastly improving team, come into Columbia for the Gamecocks’ first game of the season. That ain’t easy. But South Carolina’s 2-0, they dismantled a very good offense in Missouri spectacularly easily, and Jake Bentley’s looking like one of the SEC’s top quarterbacks. As for Kentucky, they are 2-0 but haven’t convinced anybody. I like Carolina, and I like Carolina a lot. PREDICTION: South Carolina by 14, smashing the spread.
  4. Ole Miss (-3.5 to 4) vs Cal: If any of these two teams’ defenses have been anything to go by in the last two weeks, then this game should be awesome. Cal gives up 505.5 pts per game, while Ole Miss gives up around 354. Both sides have given up 6 touchdowns this year to pretty terrible opponents. And it’s a 10.30 ET game, and it could be the most spectacularly high-scoring of the night, with the good money on the over/under of 72.5 getting blown out like the marijuana smoke from them Hippies’ lungs up there.  Even Ole Miss’ fan website haven’t a clue about what will happen. That’s what will make it so damned fun. PREDICTION: Ole Miss in a high-scoring crazy one, winning by 10 in a late-night classic (for the record, I think Ole Miss by 10 might be conservative).  
  5. No.18 Kansas State (-4) vs Vanderbilt: Bill Snyder’s team of veterans come into Nashville as a 4-point favorite, and we’re pretty excited about this one, as it could be under-the-radar. Derek Mason’s given this team a lot of hope this year, despite not playing anybody and going 2-0. Kansas State hasn’t played either, so it’ll be interesting. PREDICTION: Vanderbilt wins in the upset. 
  6. Purdue vs Missouri (-7): Things have gotten so bad at Missouri that the Tigers fired their defensive coordinator after just two games into 2017 (If we’re honest, he should have gone after the 2016 debacle, but that’s another story). After their horrific all-around performance against South Carolina (and Purdue’s ‘lucky getaway’ loss against Missouri (it could have been a lot more), there are thoughts that Missouri could be better. Vegas doesn’t seem to think so, making the Tigers only 7 point favorites. If Barry Odom loses this one, prepare for the seat to be set to boiling. PREDICTION: Missouri wins by 14, but no-one’s satisfied.
  7. ULL vs Texas A&M (-24): The world is expecting Texas A&M to rout ULL after they were dropped 66-42 by Tulsa last Saturday, and we’re expecting it too. But to do this, A&M desperately needs an offense. Kevin Sumlin’s still struggling about who will be the QB – Jake Hubenak or Kellen Mond, and the defense is simply struggling. Traeyvon Williams and Keith Ford should keep running the ball down the Ragin Cajuns’ throat all night long, as the Aggies seek a big blow-out victory. PREDICTION: Aggies by 30.
  8. Colorado State vs Alabama (-28.5): Nick Saban seems to believe in the Rams, called Mike Bobo’s team a “really good football team”. Vegas doesn’t seem to, believing the Crimson Tide will win by over four touchdowns. To be fair on Colorado State, a lot of Rams fans believe that they should have had the upset over Colorado in the ‘Weed Bowl’ after blowing out Oregon State in Week 1. The name Crimson Tide fans have got to look for is WR Michael Gallup, who’s a big NFL prospect. We look forward to the Gallup vs Fitzpatrick battle in the secondary…..if QB Nick Stevens is given any time to throw! PREDICTION: Alabama rolls by 31, but it’s a lot easier than that.
  9. Mercer vs No.15 Auburn: After not getting into the end-zone against a beastly Clemson defense, the fanbase will be looking for the Tigers to run up the score against Mercer’s defense who is yet to play a quality opponent. This is their time. PREDICTION: Auburn by 45, leaving Auburn fans a little happier. 
  10. Samford vs Georgia: There’s a lot of excitement about Georgia QB Jake Fromm after the Bulldogs came out of Notre Dame with a 20-19 victory, and Bulldogs fans will look for the $1m game (well, Samford’s getting paid $1m to get the butts in Athens in front of next-to-nobody) to show that the offense can really, really click. Look for less about Fromm and more about Nick Chubb and Sony Michel running riot. PREDICTION: Georgia by 50. At least.

Oh, and we’re not usually the kind to give some out-of-conference betting tips, but we would urge you to stay the heck away from Clemson (-3)-Louisville, but WOULD encourage you to take USC as a 16.5 point favorite against Texas. We saw Texas in Austin on Saturday, and we can safely say that Texas is horrible. 

Nick Saban signs extension but raises questions

Nick Saban has signed a contract extension this year that will pay him $11.1 million in 2017 as part of an eight-year deal that will pay the coach a total of $65 million – and that’s before bonuses that could pay him another $700,000 per year until 2024.

Also seeing their salaries bumped are new AD Greg Byrne (who only took the job in June), as well as his assistants, led by co-defensive co-ordinator Tosh Lupoi, who will earn $950,000, while new offensive co-ordinator Brian Dobell has re-signed until January 2020 in a $1.2 million salary deal.

Record

Saban’s record at Alabama is stunning – 119-19 over the last 10 years, with four of those years leading the Crimson Tide to a National Championship.

During his tenure at Alabama Saban has not been immune from the loss of co-ordinators, who have gone on to varying successes. Former OC Jim McElwain is the head coach of Florida, former DC Kirby Smart is the head coach of Georgia and most recently, OC Lane Kiffin in the head coach of Florida Atlantic University, while offensive line coach and recruiter supreme Mario Cristobal is now the co-offensive co-ordinator at Oregon.

The deal is great for Saban, his family, for Alabama fans still worrying he might leave for Texas, and of course, his agent Jimmy Sexton, who should be pocketing a tidy amount for the negotiation.

Alabama and other schools

In the time that Saban has been in charge of Alabama, the school has made more than $100m from football – which is absolutely stunning. And football’s success and the subsequent financial income has meant good news for the other non-revenue-making sports ‘on the Alabama roster’, which are being kept afloat by the thousands of fans buying tickets, shirts, hats and probably pets called ‘Crimson’ just for bathing in the light of the pigskin.

Oh, and rival schools – whether they like to say it or not – probably love Saban’s success, because every time the Crimson Tide come to town there is more fanfare than a Royal Wedding in Britain, leading to higher TV exposure. The SEC certainly loves Alabama’s success – Saban’s made the conference look better. ESPN and CBS have enjoyed the Crimson Tide for viewing figure purposes, and those charming people on the secondary market who concentrate on Tuscaloosa games are probably driving Mercs.

But what about the students?

The biggest annoyance we have with a deal like this for Saban is that Alabama players over the years of Saban’s multi-million dollar success have been paid exactly $0. Of course, there are stipends (and we suspect under-the-table ‘players’ donations’ given by boosters (it being the SEC), but that’s nothing if you consider what Alabama has made in terms of sports revenue.

Of course, the likes of Paul Finebaum and many Alabama fans will argue that Saban’s contract is worth it, and we’d agree – if you are thinking about the price paid by the university itself. There are a ton of players who have profited from Saban’s teaching, too. Especially the 22 first round picks who played for Saban in Tuscaloosa (65 in total have gone pro).

But there are a ton of players who have played for Saban and have come out with exactly nothing, while their coach has reaped the financial rewards.

I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem right.

 

Who’s going to win the Iron Bowl? And other Rivalry Week predictions

It’s THAT weekend again, which means that either you are going to have drunken yourself into a stupor by the time Rivalry Weekend comes around, or most of your Thursday-or-Friday-or-Saturday will be spent either talking crap at tailgates or talking crap while being stuck in traffic.

A couple of weekends ago it was set to be a tremendous Iron Bowl, and then Auburn went and lost to a crappy Georgia team, while the SEC East looked really interesting. Now, Florida can afford to get thumped by Florida State and have the excuse: “We were resting folks for the SEC Championship Game” (where they’ll get shellacked anyway). Still, almost every game involving a SEC team should be interesting this week -which is more than can be said for Week 12. You know, apart from the Vanderbilt game. HOLY CRAP DID ANY OF YOU SEE VANDY BEAT OLE MISS LIKE THAT?

So here we go…..(in order of day)

THURSDAY

LSU vs Texas A&M

This is a battle for the two of the biggest let-downs of the season. LSU let us down from the moment they lost to Wisconsin, while Texas A&M had a great start to the season, and then lost handily to mighty Mississippi State. This will probably be the last game we say goodbye to Leonard Fournette and Myles Garrett, so the match-up will be worth watching when you get bored of the ad break that is the NFL. LSU’s a road favorite in Kyle Field  – but after watching their awful offensive performance against an undermanned Florida we have one question: Why?

PREDICTION: LSU’s a 6-1/2 point favorite. We’re taking Texas A&M to win outright. 

FRIDAY

Arkansas vs Missouri

The great thing about this game is that (probably) not a lot of people will be watching it, so the CBS guys can pretty much talk about the Iron Bowl. The most interesting thing to come out of Missouri this week is that the NCAA is investigating the school for academic fraud – which should fit it in nicely with a lot of other SEC schools. Joking apart,  Missouri fans will be wanting this game – and their seasons – over with bearing in mind the defense’s failures and the news that livewire running back Damarea Crockett had been arrested for pot and banned for this game, which will give the crowd in Columbia even less reason to be excited. Arkansas, on the other hand, ain’t great either.

PREDICTION: The Crockett loss will be huge for Missouri. Arkansas is favored by 8. We predict they’ll beat that nicely.

SATURDAY 

  1. No.13 Auburn at No.1 Alabama (3.30pm) 

Nick Saban wasn’t too pleased about how Alabama played against Tennessee-Chatanooga, and for very good reason….the Crimson Tide was awful. But does this mean that the No.1 team in the nation – who has been imperious all season long – will underestimate their hated rival? No. Auburn’s definitely improved on both sides of the ball as the season has gone on, but they really need Shaun White to come back from injury to get the team going again. Jeremy Johnson was able against Alabama A&M, but then again Gus Malzahn himself could have thrown for a couple of TDs bearing in mind the opposition. As for Alabama, this is a pretty beaten up team, but they’ll be fine come Iron Bowl. They always are!

PREDICTION: Alabama’s a 17 point home favorite. We think they win by 3 touchdowns. 

2. South Carolina at No.2 Clemson (7.30 pm) 

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was asked whether he planned to rest players for South Carolina game prior to the ACC Championship Game in Orlando. He looked the reporter in the eye and said: ‘You’re obviously not from South Carolina‘. Funnily enough, Dabo’s not either…..he’s from Birmingham, Alabama (but that’s another point entirely). ANYWAY, with all that said and done, he’s gonna have a damned fired up Clemson team to face South Carolina in the other Death Valley. If Clemson play as well as they are capable of (and don’t take their foot off the gas) they’ll win this easily.

PREDICTION: Clemson’s a 23-1/2 point favorite. We think Clemson wins by 24. But it’ll be one of the most interesting games of the day from a betting point-of-view, we can tell you.

3. Kentucky at No.11 Louisville

The Governor’s Cup game is high on the list because of Lamar Jackson – and no other real reason. If Jackson puts up a ton of points and touchdowns, then it’ll be difficult not to put him in the Top Three for New York, if not the No.1. Not because Kentucky’s incredible, but it’s because it will cap an incredible season. After Louisville’s O-Line was mauled all night long by future NFLer Ed Oliver and the Louisville defensive line, it’ll be interesting to see if Kentucky can get the same sort of pressure.

PREDICTION: The bookies don’t seem to think so, with Louisville at 25-point favorite. I’ll take Louisville to win, but by 14 in a game that’s close until the final quarter.

4. No.13 Florida at No.14 Florida State (8pm)

After their stunning victory at LSU despite the Tigers living in their red-zone, Florida will be really excited to go into Tallahassee to play their ultra-hated rival. The Gators have the annoying ‘Gator Chomp, while the Seminoles have the annoying ‘Tomahawk Chop’ (or whatever they call it). Florida hasn’t beaten FSU since 2012 and has only won once in the last six years, and this doesn’t look an opportune time to change.

PREDICTION: Florida State’s a 7 game favorite. We’ll take FSU by 10 or more.

5. Georgia Tech at Georgia (12pm) 

The Georgia – Georgia Tech game’s got one of the best names for a rivalry around: “Clean, Ole Fashioned Hate”. Georgia will be looking for revenge after the last time Tech went to Georgia and won at Sanford in overtime 30-24. The great things for the neutral is that the last three games have been very close (2015 was decided by 6, 2014 and 2013 went to overtime and double overtime respectively). This year, it’ll be intriguing to see how both sides rev themselves us for a rivalry where pride is TRULY on the line, bearing in mind both sides are 7-4 and out of contention in their conferences. Seriously, this one’s all about record. Won’t stop the fans liking each other any less, though.

PREDICTION: Georgia’s a 4-point favorite. We’ll take Georgia in the ‘over’. 

6. Mississippi State at Ole Miss (3.30 pm) 

The Egg Bowl has been christened by some cruel people ‘The Rotten Egg Bowl’ bearing in mind how bad the football has been in The Magnolia State this year. Of course, for every close (loss) Ole Miss has had (and there have been another) there has been getting beaten by three touchdowns by Vanderbilt. For every win over Texas A&M that Mississippi State has stunned the world with, there’s been a South Alabama, and a Kentucky. Listen, we still think Nick Fitzgerald’s a great quarterback and Shea Patterson’s a lot of fun to watch, but the rest of this game could be one for the bourbon. Just to get you through it.

PREDICTION: Ole Miss is an 8-point favorite. We’ll take Ole Miss by a field goal in an under-the-radar awful-come-classic. 

 

Who’s the worst team in the SEC? (Hint: They play in the East)

The race for the bottom of the SEC was a really difficult race, made a lot harder to work out after the frankly illogical Mississippi State victory over Texas A&M, a win that should have been celebrated by the fanbase violently clanging bells on the field. We were shocked the field at Davis-Wade Stadium wasn’t invaded after the felling of the mighty Aggies, but there we go.

But it also made us think: Who in the heck is the worst team in the SEC? So here’s our countdown from 1-14. You can probably guess No. 14. Roll Tide.

  1. Missouri (0-5 SEC, 2-7 total) – Hasn’t won a game and while they looked competitive against South Carolina, this is a bad, bad team – especially on the defense. The fanbase seems to hate new DC DeMontie Cross and the decision to recalibrate the defense, and the offense is riddled with mistakes.
  2. Vanderbilt (1-4, 4-5) – The defense is definitely doing some good things, but the offense is still terrible.
  3. South Carolina (3-4, 5-4) – Back-to-back SEC victories is suddenly exciting a fanbase about the Will Muschamp hire. We’re still not excited about the Gamecocks for 2016, although Muschamp’s 2017 class – considering how good he is a recruiter – could be something to watch.
  4. Mississippi State (2-3, 4-5) – The win over Texas A&M boosted them up the table, but you still think that things would have been different had Trevor Knight and Myles Garrett not been injured during the game.
  5. Kentucky (4-3, 5-4) – Gave Georgia the fright of its life and it’s a lot of fun to watch the Wildcats on offense. Defensively, they are a shambles.
  6. Georgia (3-4, 5-4) – Georgia’s medicore. That’s all there is to really say (They beat UNC, South Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky and should have beaten Tennessee, but were slaughtered about Florida, and lost to Vanderbilt and things will probably be really ugly against Auburn)
  7. Ole Miss (1-4, 4-5) – Chad Kelly’s injury ain’t going to make things a lot easier. Defensively again this has been a trouble.
  8. Florida (4-2, 6-2) – Boatraced on the road at Arkansas. The offense hasn’t clicked for most of the season. We will see how the Gators do down the stretch against LSU and FSU. This could get nasty.
  9. Tennessee (2-3, 6-3) – The only saving grace for Tennessee this season has been the win over Florida and the taking Texas A&M to double overtime despite the injury horror show. How much they’ve rebounded from the other horror show – the debacle at South Carolina – remains to be seen. They also haven’t managed to play a 100% good game this year. Butch Jones for Coach Of The Year? Nope.
  10. Arkansas (2-3, 6-3) – The excellent performance against Florida seems to indicate things going in the right direction, although whether this is a minor blip for Bielema remains to be seen what with LSU.
  11. LSU (3-2, 5-3) – The loss at home to Alabama showed us the importance of Les Miles actually recruiting a good QB, which he failed to do every since Zach Mettenberger.
  12. Texas A&M (4-2, 7-2) – This MSU loss was a bad day at the office. With the loss of Trevor Knight for the year and Myles Garrett’s injury really not 100%, we’ll see how bad this day at the office gets.
  13. Auburn (5-1, 7-2) – Hot Seat what? Gus Malzahn for Governor!
  14. Alabama (6-0, 9-0) – Nick Saban 2020. Just saying.

(A Very Fast) Week 10 SEC Preview

After the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, this blogger feels like he’s been writing, drinking and tweeting all week long, so apologies if this SEC Week 10 preview is shorter than usual.

So in order for you to read this (quickly), here’s a line on what we think will happen in each of the SEC games this week, which is – as usual – in order of importance.

  1. No.1 Alabama at No. 13 LSU — Alabama will do the same as they did last year and block off Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guise, and force LSU to throw. LSU’s QB Danny Etling really isn’t very good. Sure, LSU’s ‘D’ athletic enough to keep this close, but we still think Alabama wins this by 10. It’ll definitely be fun in Baton Rouge though!
  2. No.4 Texas A&M at Mississippi State – This is only this high because Texas A&M’s in the College Football Play-Off, and suddenly everyone will be watching for this game to be a potential pigskin. Don’t worry Aggies fans….it won’t. Texas A&M by 28, and Dan Mullen’s seat gets hotter.
  3. No.11 Florida at Arkansas  – This is the first part of the CBS doubleheader, so if you hate Verne and Gary, the 3.30’s the one to watch. But if you don’t want to watch an ugly game, we’d advise staying away. Florida will probably win by 6 in a lackluster game, and edge ever closer to another visit to Atlanta.
  4. Georgia at Kentucky – Kentucky’s still in with a shout of the SEC East. Georgia is not. If Georgia loses to UK for the first time since 2009, the cries of Dawgs yelling: “Did we pick the right coach?” will get ever louder. We think Georgia will win this won by 7 in probably the second-most entertaining game of the week. Pity it’s on the same time as LSU vs Alabama. Not even the Kentucky and Georgia fans wanted that to be the case…
  5. Missouri vs South Carolina – Two weeks’ ago, this would have been a battle for the SEC’s worst teams, but Misssissippi State and Missouri are claiming the spots for their very own- particularly after USC upset Tennessee last week. This game is going to be incredibly poor in standard. South Carolina to win by 10. Maybe 13-3. 
  6. Vanderbilt at No.9 Auburn – We’ve got this lower than a number of other games because we think a born-again Auburn’s going to win this in a hurry. Tigers by 28. 
  7. Georgia Southern vs Ole Miss – Ole Miss destroys their second Georgia-based team of the season by 40.
  8. Tennessee Tech vs Tennessee – Tennessee hosts their 2-5 rivals. I didn’t know they were called the Golden Eagles, or were called Cookeville, TN home. I do know that Neyland Stadium’s probably going to be 2/3 full – if that – for this one, and the Vols should win by 48.

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.

 

 

Roll Tide Rolling: Week 5 SEC Rankings

What sickens us to the stomach is that we’re nearly at the HALF-WAY POINT of the College Football season, which is basically the worst thing that’s happened in 2016 since the last crappy thing that happened in 2016.

Anyway, this week, the greatest thing that happened was Georgia beating Tennessee by a Hail Mary then getting a Dobbs-Nailed Boot to the nuts via another Hail Mary, aided by dumb playcalling and stupid penalties. What a game. Elsewhere, LSU looked damned good in utterly destroying Missouri, Alabama looked good for 2.5 quarters against Kentucky, and neither Florida or Vanderbilt looked good in their game. Texas A&M is also unbeaten but it looked pretty lacklustre against South Carolina, and the Ole Miss-Memphis game was a lot of fun.

So here are your SEC rankings:

  1. Alabama (5-0): Because they seem unstoppable defensively, and when the offense clicks, it’s unstoppable as well. Mind you, they haven’t played a decent defense yet this year, have they? (Seriously, we don’t rate Ole Miss as a ‘decent defense’ anymore).
  2. Texas A&M (5-0): Great wide receivers, and an exceptional defense. Can’t wait to see The Battle Of The SEC’s Best Wide Receivers when the Aggies play Tennnesee on Saturday. College Gameday’s going to be at College Station too.
  3. Tennessee (5-0): That was a hell of a finish in Athens. This Vols team never gives up. But get this: Tennessee is still a team that seems to be only capable of playing when it’s double-digit scores down. Everyone will tell you it’s the ‘Miracle Vols’ – and maybe it is – but against Texas A&M and Alabama, their exercise of going down double digits before waking up might prove to be a problem.
  4. Ole Miss (3-2): Because the Rebels are a lot of fun to watch, and although they nearly blew a comfortable lead against Memphis, they didn’t, and The Elvis Cup was theirs. We need to have this game every year, by the way. Gosh it’s a lot of fun.
  5. Arkansas (4-1): After the loss against Texas A&M it’s hard for me to say that this team is really that good, and a win over Alcorn State is not going to change my mind about how great this Razorbacks team is. It’s really not that good. A win over Alabama would, though!
  6. LSU (3-2): 634 yards of offense. Derius Guise is a FREAK. Darrel Williams is a FREAK. More than made up for Danny Etling trying to get itself killed. LSU had energy – even if the roar from Death Valley was the one at Clemson rather than the one at Baton Rouge this Saturday night (the place wasn’t full). But still, LSU suddenly looks a scarier prospect for Florida than it did 2 weeks’ ago.
  7. Florida (4-1): I’M SORRY, LSU VS AUBURN….THE FLORIDA VS VANDERBILT IS NOW THE WORST GAME OF THE YEAR.
  8. Georgia (2-3): Georgia’s Hail Mary was a thing of beauty by Jacob Eason. The dumb penalties, the awful playcalling on the Dawgs’ own goalline and the missed tackles were a thing of first-year coaches by Kirby Smart. You hope. Mark Richt’s still unbeaten at Miami, by the way.
  9. Auburn (3-2): Smashed Louisiana-Monroe like they were meant to do. Defense again looked good, and the offense looked good against a crappy opponent. Still one of the weakest teams in the SEC West, though.
  10. Mississippi State (2-2): Had an off week. They were able to tell people how good Dak Prescott is and how they discovered him. This was a good week for the Bell Boys.
  11. Missouri (2-3): The last time I saw Mizzou get this owned was at the SEC Championship Game against Alabama a couple of seasons ago. Mizzou fans at the game didn’t seem to care…..they were too drunk. I hope that that was the case for the fans in Death Valley this weekend. I really do.
  12. Kentucky (2-3): Put up a good defensive performance for 1-1/2 quarters against Alabama before getting run all over. If Kentucky had an offensive line, they might have worried the Crimson Tide. But it didn’t, so it didn’t. UK still beat South Carolina though (that’s why it’s 12th).
  13. South Carolina (2-3): Brave, battling performance against A&M, but consistently snuffed by the Aggie defense (you’ll hear that a lot this year). Will Muschamp’s ‘D’ played pretty well, too. But they still lost to Kentucky.
  14. Vanderbilt (2-3): THE FLORIDA VS VANDERBILT WAS THE WORST GAME OF THE YEAR….AND THEY LOST IT.

 

Will Coach Oeux win his first game? Week 5 SEC Predictions

Ed Orgeron’s first game as LSU’s interim coach after the firing of Les Miles comes against Missouri on Saturday night, which may well get most of the attention on the SEC bill, although Tennessee’s trip to Georgia is a very interesting No.2. The other games might not raise too many eyebrows – with respect to Texas A&M’s trip to South Carolina!

So here are your games in order of interest level:

  1. Missouri at LSU

Trust me when we tell you that it wouldn’t be an interesting game if Les Miles hadn’t been fired on Sunday and Ed Orgeron’s in charge. The other great thing about this game is that Brent Musberger’s calling it. The bad thing is that he has to work with Jesse Palmer, who no doubt will come with something inane. Watch out for Missouri’s offense – it’s had a lot of fun recently and could well test LSU – especially late on if the Tigers are having their own problems scoring (as has happened all season!).

PREDICTION: The king is dead, long live the king. LSU’s a 12-point favorite to win. We’ll take them to win by 14. Although if we’re honest, LSU fans would probably just take a victory with more than one touchdown and some good clock management!

2. No.11 Tennessee at No.25 Georgia

Tennessee’s second half comeback and subsequent shellacking of Florida was of the ages, but a lot more is expected of the Volunteers going into Sanford Stadium, where they are four point favorites. They face a Georgia team that was bludgeoned by Ole Miss – and quite rightly so – and ARE ONLY RANKED BECAUSE THE POLLSTER PEOPLE ARE ON DRUGS. Seriously – Georgia has no play at both lines, which will mean that a tacked-up Nick Chubb will (again) struggle. UGA’s Isaiah McKenzie could be fun to watch, though. On the other side of the ball, we’re starting to love Josh Dobbs, and he might well be the best QB in the SEC.

PREDICTION: Tennessee by 10 in a slugfest in which the Vols only cover in the fourth quarter. OTHER BOLD PREDICTION: Georgia’s line play is going to be inept. 

3. Memphis vs No.16 Ole Miss

Ole Miss looked gooooooood crushing the hell out of Georgia last week, but Memphis could actually give the Rebs more fits. They have played a far weaker schedule than Ole Miss, but they’ve actually looked pretty good.

PREDICTION: This could actually be pretty fun. Ole Miss is only a 14-1/2 point favorite, and for some reason we’re taking Ole Miss to win, but only by 10 in a really, really fun game.

4. No.9 Texas A&M vs South Carolina

One thing’s for certain: It’s going to be loud in Williams-Brice when the No.9 Aggies walk into the stadium to face Will Muschamp’s team. Not a lot is expected of the Gamecocks, who hilariously lost to an awful Kentucky team last week. Now, with South Carolina down, you’d probably think that NOW is the time that Muschamp will pull a win out of his behind and that they’ll call a stunning upset of the Top 10-ranked Aggies….but it ain’t going to happen. We will be shocked if it’s not out of control by half-time.

PREDICTION: Texas A&M’s an 18-point favorite. We think A&M by 21. And that’s being nice.

4. Kentucky vs No.1 Alabama

This won’t be close. Let’s not say that it will be, because it won’t be. Tim Williams’ suspension for the first half of the game for his pot/pistol arrest will make no difference whatsoever. Kentucky’s inability to tackle will.

PREDICTION: Alabama by 36 is what Vegas is calling for, so we think Alabama by 41. Because the Tide have got to beat the spread sometime, right?

 

5. No.24 Florida vs Vanderbilt 

Florida’s a 10-1/2 point favorite in Nashville, and it’s pretty predictable why. Vandy has shown us nothing in SEC play, and they avoided a bullet against Western Kentucky when the Hilltoppers went for two because, well, going for two is fun. Florida’s offense went from good-to-awful in the space of a half the last time they were in Tennessee (last week, in Knoxville), but they should have the athletes to win pretty easily.

PREDICTION: This should be the easiest money of the week. Florida by 21. 

6. Louisiana-Monroe vs Auburn

Apparently Auburn won in weird circumstances last week, and apparently it cost a head coach his job and apparently in between that weirdness some drunk German dude tried to burn down a Toomer’s Corner oak, and this week a student called Herron Taylor got an award from Auburn for trying to protect said tree but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we HAD TO WATCH THAT AUBURN VS LSU GAME BECAUSE IT WAS ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE FOR 99.9% OF THE GAME. This week the half-full crowd in Jordan-Hare should see more touchdowns against a not-very-good ULM team.

PREDICTION: Auburn is a 32 point favorite. We’ll take them to win by 41. 

7. Alcorn State vs No.20 Arkansas

Yawn. Razorbacks. Win. Not even erotic.

PREDICTION: Arkansas to win by 50. If it’s close, we’ll laugh. 

 

 

Undeniable SEC statements from Week 2

Here’s a statement about each SEC team after their Week 2 performances, and we think you’ll find it undeniable.

If you think we’re talking B.S., tweet us on @SECblog.

  1. Alabama: It wasn’t exactly a surprise that Nick Saban lit Lane Kiffin’s ass on fire at the end of the Western Kentucky game. The team looked sleepy. They beat the spread, but only just! Also, Nick Saban’s strategy of saying unkind things about the team to fire them up for big games wasn’t lost on the Alabama media. It becomes a bit of a charade. Especially when the guy doing it could star in ‘Willow’.
  2. Tennessee: Caused five fumbles, and recovered them. And took advantage of Virginia Tech’s fumblefingers. This team may not be as bad as we thought they were against Appalachian State.
  3. Arkansas: When you make throat-slash gestures and your team loses to Bret Bielema, that’s karma, Kenny Hill.
  4. Georgia: The Bulldogs have no offensive line, according to a friend who was at the debacle against Nicholls State. “This will be a ****ing long season,” he added.
  5. LSU: Danny Etlng is maybe the new king of LSU. Mainly because Brandon Harris is a crapshow. We don’t know why Leonard Fournette didn’t play, but we presume he wasn’t injured.
  6. Ole Miss: If this game was preparation for Alabama, then this was, er, fine.
  7.  Kentucky: The Wildcats aren’t very good.
  8. Florida: Can’t wait for the Tennessee game. That’ll decide the East.
  9. Mississippi State: Great rebound against South Alabama. The lightning break was cool too. They are still the weakest team in the West. By a mile.
  10. Texas A&M: We thought they’d pitch a shut-out against mighty Prairie View A&M. We were right.
  11. Missouri: Hell froze over. Missouri scored 61 and won by 40. And Drew Locke looked good doing it, too.
  12. Auburn: They papered the new oaks after the win over Arkansas State. Sean White actually looked serviceable (he threw 3 TDs), folks.
  13. South Carolina: Kept on battling.
  14. Vanderbilt: Middle Tennessee State’s ‘D’ makes Vanderbilt’s offense look good.

The SEC would love to have Week 1 back

Right, we here at the SEC would like to have Week 1 back.

Sure, some of the schools are 1-0 and some are not, but none of our teams were particularly great, and some of them – even in victory – couldn’t seem to get their collective asses off the ground.

Anyway, here’s ranking how every team in the conference did this week, in order of performance:

  1. Alabama (win vs USC)- The Alabama fans were ready to lynch Lane Kiffin, right until the USC QB threw a pick-6 and the Crimson Tide to shreds. It wasn’t a complete performance, but if this was considered as a bad performance after Week One, then the rest of college football is in trouble. Oh, and this Hurts kid looks good, people….
  2. Texas A&M (win vs UCLA) – The wide receivers are good, and the defense – especially that Myles Garrett kid – are great. But they HAVE to play for four quarters. Listen, they were lucky – UCLA had so many chances to win this game even before free football – but wins are wins.
  3. Georgia (win vs North Carolina)- Nick Chubb’s pretty damned good, y’all. Which is good, because the defense isn’t that great. And Kirby Smart hasn’t worked out who’s the good quarterback – the veteran with a pea-arm, or the kid with the cannon. We’ll go with the cannon, but maybe that’s just us.
  4. Auburn (loss vs Clemson) – Look, I thought the Tigers would get shellacked at home to Clemson, but boy, was I wrong. The Tigers SHOULD have done more offensively, but Gus Malzahn doesn’t seem to have a clue as to who his starting quarterback should be. In our view, it definitely shouldn’t be Sean White. He sucks. But the defensive line? Wow.
  5. South Carolina (win vs Vanderbilt) – HEY. WE DIDN’T EXPECT MUSCHAMP TO GET A WIN HERE.
  6. Ole Miss (loss vs Florida State) – Well, the first half looked great, didn’t it? The rest of it – not so pretty. Chad Kelly went from Heisman to Fliesman in the space of a half. Or Florida State simply made the sort of adjustments that should make everyone else very, very afraid.
  7. Florida (win vs UMass) – When the best moment of the game was Steve Spurrier doing the Usain Bolt before the game and Steve Spurrier’s interview with the SEC Network during the game, you know what’s happening on the game stank like a swamp
  8. Missouri (loss vs West Virginia)  – This team isn’t going to be very good this year, but the offense actually looked like it could move a little. That’s why the Tigers tripled their entire 2015 scoring total in one game this year.
  9. Arkansas (ONE-POINT win vs Louisiana Tech) – Should have lost this game, but didn’t. What will happen against a TCU game that should have lost to South Dakota State this week? Probably the shoot-out of the century.
  10. Vanderbilt (loss vs South Carolina) – The reason why it’s not higher? Vandy’s best chance to win a SEC game this season was in Week One against an ordinary South Carolina team. And they blew it.
  11. Kentucky (loss vs Southern Miss) – Dazzling in first half, played like they were blind in the second half. Only had under 15 plays in the second half as Southern Miss destroyed them on both sides of the ball. And you know what? What we say is true. We watched it. It wasn’t even funny.
  12. Tennessee (win vs Appalachian State) – The Volunteers got very, very lucky. They should have ‘done a Michigan’ and lost on Thursday night. But they didn’t, and they are 1-0. It’ll be interesting to see if Butch Jones can turn it around against Florida. He’ll need to.
  13. LSU (loss vs Wisconsin) – We loved Les Miles so much that we hoped and prayed he’d stay in Baton Rouge for another season. We hated Cam Cameron last year and the year before. Miles should have fired Cameron, and didn’t. In fact, this Spring he actually RE-UPPED Cameron’s contract for another three years where he’ll get paid around $1.2 million per year. He took a pay-cut of $300,000, but he shouldn’t have had it renewed in the first place. And the result? Brandon Harris is STILL the starting quarterback at LSU, despite sucking ass yet again.
  14. Mississippi State (loss vs South Alabama) – This isn’t about a 5-star player getting banned for beating the crap out of a woman during the off-season. This is about a coach who has made it clear he doesn’t care about life in Starkville….so much so that he interviewed for other jobs. Recruits aren’t going to care as this happens, are they? Oh, and Dak Prescott’s left.
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