Category Archives: SEC Football

The SEC ♥ Nick Chubb.

One other interesting call by the conference SIDs…

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Dak Prescott, QB, Miss. State
Runner-up: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
TOP HEISMAN CANDIDATE
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Runner-up: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

… seems like an incongruity, but really isn’t when you think about it.  It’s a judgment that Chubb plays for a team that surrounds him with more talent than Prescott enjoys and is perceived to have a greater upside for success this season than does MSU.

With that in mind, voting Chubb second for league MVP is a helluva compliment.  So is naming him the best blocking back in the SEC.

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Filed under SEC Football

Another first and second team All-SEC list

And while we’re on the subject of the AL.com/Birmingham News Spring SEC Football Preview, here are the first and second All-SEC teams as voted on by the conference’s SIDs.

They’ve chosen two Georgia players for the first team, Nick Chubb (duh) and Greg Pyke.  None of Georgia’s outstanding trio of OLBs received a first-team nod and only one, Jordan Jenkins, made the second team.

I’m not saying I find a huge number of whiffs there – although the selection of Maty Mauk on the second team ought to raise a few eyebrows about either the SIDs’ analytical skills or the sad state of quarterbacking in this season’s SEC – but a few calls there I’m not so sure about.

What do y’all see?

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Who’s gonna the win the SEC? Beats us.

Honestly, if this doesn’t summarize the current state of the SEC, I don’t know what does.

According to voters in the 69th annual AL.com/Birmingham News SEC Preseason Football Report — the league’s 14 football information directors — Auburn and Georgia are the choices to win their respective divisions and meet in the Dec. 5 SEC Championship Game.

Auburn received three first place votes and three second-place finishes from the seven Western Division football information directors to top its division with 33 points, barely edging Alabama, which received three first-place votes, two second-place votes and one third-place finish for 32 points.

Georgia had an easier path in the East, gathering six first-place votes for 36 points. Missouri was second with one first-place vote, four seconds and one fifth for 28 points.

A school’s football information director could not vote for his school in the polls.

Just how good Auburn and Georgia turn out to be will be front and center Nov. 14 when the Tigers host the Dawgs in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

In the overall poll, just to make things interesting, Alabama was voted No. 1. With all 14 football information directors participating, the Crimson Tide received nine first-place votes, three seconds and one third for a total of 164 points.

Auburn, with three firsts, six seconds, two thirds, one fourth and one eighth-place vote, was runner-up with 149 points. Georgia was third with 145 points with its one first-place vote, three seconds, six thirds and three fourths.

In other words, the conference SIDs believe the SEC’s best team won’t make an appearance in the conference championship game.  Clear as mud.

These folks aren’t any more certain than we are.  What are the odds Saban mocks that a bit at SEC Media Days?

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Adding up the Golden Nugget numbers

So, based on who’s favored and who’s not, how would those Golden Nugget lines on SEC teams play out?  al.com has your answers.  (Order based on favored-underdog-toss up.)

  • Alabama:  8-0-1
  • Georgia:  4-0-2
  • LSU:  7-1-1
  • Missouri:  5-2
  • Auburn:  5-3-1
  • Ole Miss:  4-2-1
  • Tennessee:  4-2-1
  • Arkansas:  4-4
  • Texas A&M:  3-5
  • South Carolina:  1-5
  • Vanderbilt:  0-1
  • Kentucky 0-2
  • Mississippi State:  0-6
  • Florida:  0-7

First impression?  Vegas is a lot less worried about this not being the Year of the Quarterback than we are.

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Filed under SEC Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Nick Saban doesn’t have time for this “decline of the SEC West” shit.

You can tell he’s getting his condescension ready for the next ESPN talking head who dares raise the subject, can’t you?

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football

COA stipends: keeping up with the (Butch) Joneses

Mike Cunningham posts the first list of revised COA figures for SEC schools I’ve seen.  It looks like this:

Here’s the full list for SEC schools, from highest stipend to lowest (figures from school Web sites unless otherwise noted):

Tennessee: $5,666

Auburn: $5,586

Mississippi State: $5,372

Alabama:  $4,886+

Mississippi: $4,600

South Carolina: $4,151+

Arkansas: $4,104

LSU: $3,920

Georgia: $3,746 non-state resident, $3,222 resident

Missouri: $3,742

Texas A & M: $3,528 non-state resident, $3,000 resident

Kentucky: $ $3,524 non-state resident, $3,256 resident

Florida: $3,330 res/non-res

Vanderbilt:  $2,780*

+ Data from National Center for Educational Statistics
*Does not include transportation costs

Note how dramatically the spread from top to bottom in the conference has shrunk in just a few short months.  As Cunningham puts it,

What’s great about this is the conflict between a school’s educational mission (remember that?) and its athletic interests. Schools want to keep the COA figure low to avoid sticker shock for students who must pay and also for budgetary reasons. Football and basketball coaches want it higher so they can offer bigger stipends to recruits.

I know who I’ve got my money on to eventually win that battle.

Let’s just say I doubt we’ve seen the last of these adjustments.

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Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

Don’t hate the SEC West because it’s pretty.

WARNING!  EMERGING MEME ALERT!

Is the SEC West too good for its own good?  The muttering on that topic grows ever more steady.

Here’s Stewart Mandel, from his Mailbag:

Hey Stewart. I like to judge the strength of a conference or division by the quality of the weakest teams. That said, the SEC West is absolutely loaded, with Vegas currently predicting Mississippi State and Texas A&M to finish near the bottom. Do you think this could be the year where all the SEC West teams finish the regular season with three-plus losses? If this were to happen, and if the West champion wins the SEC championship, would the SEC be shut out of the playoff?

— Jeff Pretzel, Houston

Instead of the phrase “absolutely loaded,” let’s go with “unusually deep and competitive.” That’s why this year’s SEC West is fascinating. I could see as many as five teams (all but Arkansas and Mississippi State) winning the division, and I could see all but two (Alabama and Auburn) finishing seventh. Which means some coach that makes $4 million a year, regularly recruits top-15 classes and whose fans genuinely believe right now they can win the division is in fact going to finish seventh.

The operative word here is “parity.” In fact, the SEC West has become a lot like the NFL, where essentially three-fourths of the league could finish anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6, which itself can be the difference between one or two last-second plays going for or against you. Most of the SEC West teams are similarly bunched together talent-wise, and the difference between 10-2 and 7-5 will come down to who stays healthy, who doesn’t fumble at the 1-yard line in the closing seconds, etc.

I could definitely see everyone finishing with at least two losses.

This, from a piece with the header “SEC West is so deep it could ruin league’s playoff shot”.  Heh.  Stewart’s not sayin’.  He’s just sayin’, if you know what I mean.

But he’s subtle with that in comparison to ESPN’s Alex Scarborough, who’s looked in every shadow and sees scary things for the SEC everywhere.  Including in the SEC.

But the biggest threat to the SEC might not come from the Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12, but within. The East is a mess right now, with Georgia as the only clear contender, while the West might be too strong for its own good. Alabama, Auburn and LSU are the clear front-runners in the division, but the separation between them and Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas is minimal. Should John Chavis coax some improvement out of Texas A&M’s defense, the Aggies will be right there, too. If Georgia can’t make it to Atlanta unscathed and the West beats up on itself too much and doesn’t produce at least a one-loss team, the SEC might be shut out by the playoff selection committee altogether, which will already have a hard enough time getting over the West’s failure in last year’s bowl season.

Ooh, yeah.  Last year’s bowl season is incredibly relevant to this year’s selection committee’s analysis.

Expect this shit to grow exponentially if there are a couple of early season “SEC West eats its own” results.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough how good a salesman Greg Sankey is.

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