‘Bama or no?

Bud Elliott analyzes the state of the SEC conference race:

Would you rather have Alabama or the field to win the SEC? There are good arguments to be made for both sides of the argument.

LSU was the SEC’s top team in 2019, but the Tide was not far behind. And that was without many of the Tide’s best defensive players who were missing the year with injury. Alabama still has as much talent as any program in the country, and the schedule is fairly friendly by SEC standards. Texas A&M and Auburn come to Tuscaloosa, as does Georgia. Quarterback and receiver are two of the bigger questions with the loss of Tua Tagovailoa, Henry Ruggs, and Jerry Jeudy, but Alabama has capable backups.

If not the Tide, then who? Georgia? LSU? Florida? Texas A&M? Maybe Auburn? All of those teams have a shot in theory, which is why the SEC is perhaps a bit more wide-open than normal.

Georgia is primed to have perhaps the best defense in all of college football. But its offense has been the relative weakness under Kirby Smart, and it won’t have spring ball to implement its new offense with transfer QB Jamie Newman.

LSU must replace a ton of starters and coordinators on both side of the football. And without a spring practice, that could cost the Tigers in terms of continuity. But there is so much talent on LSU’s roster that they cannot be counted out.

Florida returns a lot on both sides of the football and has a top coach in Dan Mullen. But do the Gators have the top-end talent to get over the hump?

Texas A&M returns even more than Florida does, with 19 starters including QB Kellen Mond. Yet Mond is still a question, as is A&M’s ability to hang with the SEC’s elite teams before garbage time kicks sets in.

And Auburn could potentially make a run with Bo Nix at QB and a salty defense.

Before you sneer, there’s a good argument to be made that Bud’s right about 2019 and Alabama.  An injury or two less for the Tide might have made the difference.

This year, Tua’s gone, but all those injured defenders are back.  I hate to use the “g” word here, but is there an SEC team you feel confident in saying has closed the gap on Alabama this offseason?

14 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

14 responses to “‘Bama or no?

  1. RangerRuss

    Yeah, I think the “g” word here is Georgia. The gap in personnel is minimal and trending upward for the Dawgs. The real gap is coaching experience for the HC and that is mainly on the offensive side. I’m cautiously optimistic the light turned on for CKS and we can move forward. The Dawgs are so close.

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    • Not saying the UGA “O” will be average (personnel will dictate otherwise), Special Teams play is where winning the seccg and moving on or playing in nola is where UGA football might find huge success (providing the football is teed up 2020)

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  2. W Cobb Dawg

    The only question I have is whether we get out of our own way and quit going into that turtle shell. Instead of acting like we’ll be perennial challengers and we’ll eventually have our title, act like this is our only shot at that brass ring.

    But we’re the only threat to bama in 2020.

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    • Russ

      I agree. Play to win and we have a great shot. Unfortunately, with the reduced time to put in a new offense, I don’t really like our chances in Tuscaloosa. But I really like our chances to kick their ass in Atlanta, which is what counts.

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  3. PTC DAWG

    I’ve seen our last two games vs Bama..talent isn’t an issue.

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  4. Derek

    As long as bama can’t keep the really good teams under 40, they’re not what they were.

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  5. 123fakest

    “Florida returns a lot on both sides of the football and has a top coach in Dan Mullen. But do the Gators have the top-end talent to get over the hump?”

    Florida doesn’t return a lot on both sides of the football and has a mediocre coach in Dan Mullen. But do the Gators have anywhere near the talent of rivals Georgia, to get over the hump?

    Fixed that for you. The answer is hellllllll nooooo.

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    • Uglydawg

      Good points. Sometimes I wonder if these writers think everyone is uniformed and can’t tell when they’re winging it. A lot of sports writers and talking heads are lazy bullshit artists that just loosely repeat what they heard from another lazy reporter.

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  6. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I have to disagree with this:
    “Florida….. has a top coach in Dan Mullen.”
    Based on what? He’s competent; he raised the faux dogs from Mississippi substantially. He also has a reputation as a QB whisperer (but Franks didn’t benefit much from that). These are things I can see as possibly true. But I haven’t seen top coach performances yet.

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  7. junkyardawg41

    “Florida returns a lot on both sides of the football and has a top coach in Dan Mullen.”
    I don’t get where the continued narrative of Dan Mullen as a top coach.
    Record vs. Top 10 opponents: 7-17
    Record vs. Top 25 opponents: 12-35
    Mullen has a career .255 winning percent versus top 25 opponents. In what world is that considered “top coaching”
    Smaller sample size but Pruitt has a .250 winning percent versus top 25 opponents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 79Dawg

      The record versus Top 10 is not bad; that he actually has a lower winning percentage against Top 25 teams is pretty horrendous though…

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    • Dopey/Sideshow/Portal Master Dan Mullet without Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin is about what Towel Boy has been everywhere without Jarvis Jones. He beats up on teams that are inferior talent-wise. When he steps up in weight class, generally, his offense generally gets manhandled by equal talent. No one shudders at the thought of the spread option any more. Sort of like the Gus Bus without $Cam.

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    • Uglydawg

      Great post!

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  8. Macallanlover

    Bama wasn’t close to LSU last year, imo. At home they trailed LSU by 20 at half, and that was in a game they knew they had to win.

    I also don’t think we will be ready for Bama in Week 3 in Tusky. Possible we could be ready to compete on a neutral site in the SECCG but too many questions at this point to say so.

    My issue with the article is how A&M dismissed as being ready because Mond has questions surrounding him, but FU goes without mention and returns Trask who has never won a starting job since 9th grade….not once. And they are coached by Dancing Danny who has never won anything in 11 years as a HC, nada.

    If he were to get the very first Division title of his career in 2020, does anyone really think he has the talent to compete with the West winner? Some of these writers seem to ignore facts, or just be ignorant of them. Saban will be much more concerned about A&M than the nothing burger residing in Gainsville, FL.

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