While waiting for the first game of the Final Four (and if you haven’t taken in some of the Barner post-game reactions, you really, really should), I spent some time watching chunks of the spring games for South Carolina, LSU and Ole Miss. You want three bullet points? Okay, you got three bullet points:
- South Carolina. Goodness, are the ‘Cocks a bland team. They’re not untalented, but they’re not elite in that regard, either. Bentley didn’t play much, but given that the offense appears to be the same as it was last season — a lot of short passes and not much of a power running game — minus Deebo Samuel, I’m not sure how much it mattered. I have no idea where they think they’ll get explosive plays from, but I’m not sure that matters much to Boom. They’ll go as far as turnover margin takes ’em.
- LSU. If I needed any reinforcement of the talent gap facing Muschamp versus the conference elites, I sure got it in Baton Rouge. Noticeable athleticism all over the place, with a few more talented youngsters coming in the summer. Joe Burrow looked comfortable running the offense. Biggest takeaway with regards to personnel is that LSU doesn’t look as strong on either of the lines as it has in the recent past. Because of that, I don’t know how they expect to overtake Alabama. That also may explain why they claim they’re moving away from a power offense. (They did run almost exclusively all game out of four- and five-receiver sets, but, yeah, it was a spring game.)
- Ole Miss. Oh, mama, are these guys in trouble. If there’s a noticeable personnel gap between LSU and South Carolina, there’s a bigger one between South Carolina and OM. A slight clue as to that was that the game wasn’t scored between two squads, but between the offense and defense (with the defense being spotted 27 points going in). The studs they had on offense are almost all gone. There’s a total of four games of experience at quarterback on the roster. They’ve replaced both coordinators and RichRod is changing the offense. It’s going to be a long season in Oxford.
Anybody else watch?