This SEC spring preview prompts me to ask you all a question that’s been on my mind for a while: how well are the new Big 12-style offenses of Missouri and Texas A&M going to translate into the SEC?
Last season, those two schools finished in the top twelve in the country in total offense (the best showing for any SEC school was Arkansas, at #29). They didn’t do so well in total defense, though, as Texas A&M wound up 59th and Missouri ranked 61st. Only two SEC schools ranked lower (Auburn and Mississippi) – and both of those schools have new defensive coordinators this season.
So how will the whole immovable force and irresistable object debate play out? In the for what it’s worth due to small sample size category, remember that TAMU and Arkansas faced off last season. The result was an 80-point, 1209-yard shoot out. It was Arkansas’ worst defensive showing in 2011. But it was also one of the Hogs’ most productive offensive games of the year. (Tyler Wilson had the fifth-highest passing yardage total in SEC history.) And on the other side, things came out about the same way.
Now Arkansas didn’t rank among the conference elite in defense (47th nationally; 8th in the SEC), so, again, take that with a grain of salt. But, still, there’s little question that the typical Big 12 offense was more successful last year than was the typical SEC offense. How much of that can you attribute to crappy Big 12 defenses?
One area to look at for an answer might be Texas, which had, statistically speaking, a competent defense, and, in Manny Diaz, a former SEC defensive coordinator running the show. TAMU was slowed down by the ‘Horns defense. Missouri was, too.
So where do you think things stand after all my number shuffling?