Category Archives: SEC Football

TFW you’ve made your bed…

I suspect this is the closest Greg Sankey gets to saying “FTMF”.

There wasn’t much surprise in the tone of SEC commissioner Greg Sankey’s voice when reached on Thursday night. When asked about the future of the playoff, he said: “Who knows? I’m not the one that voted against it.”

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

Sankey’s dilemma

So, if D-1 college football is morphing into two super conferences, the Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference, that will likely expand significantly beyond their current numbers, where does the latter go from here?

If you’re Greg Sankey, that’s not an easy question to answer.  There aren’t any obvious major media markets to gobble up, as the Big Ten just did.  At least not as long as the ACC exists.  On paper, that’s for a while.

Now, I don’t doubt there are some clever minds out there sharpening their pencils in an effort to find the means to scuttle that, but I’m not certain that would help the SEC much, either.  Sure, Clemson and FSU would likely clamor to join, but neither brings much to the table in terms of media rights.  Sankey’s problem there would be that even if they don’t, he might not have much choice but to invite them to join, strictly as a defensive measure, because even if they don’t move the needle much for him, they would make for an enormous beachhead for the Big Ten to establish in this part of the country if they went there.

So, assume for now, the ACC fends off disaster, probably with some help from Mickey.  In that scenario, where does Sankey go to meet future expansion needs?  I don’t think that’s a question arising from the silly dick measuring contests we’ve seen between the two conferences over the better part of the last two decades, but instead one recognizing where the balance of power in the sport is headed.  No obvious choices jump out at me now, although I recognize the situation is fluid.

What do y’all see?

66 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down

LOL, somebody at one of the Auburn message boards asked how their recruiting was going and got this in response“Last in recruiting, but a commanding lead in excuses.”

That led me to wonder — how many SEC fan bases are genuinely miserable right now?  And how many are genuinely excited about their prospects?  Auburn and Florida would seem to be in the former camp, for sure.  I’d think Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee are in the latter.  Probably Texas A&M, too, now that I consider it.

Alabama, Georgia and Vanderbilt strike me as being outside those two categories.  ‘Bama folks are jaded, we’re still basking in the glow of a natty, while feeling pretty solid about the program’s footing, and Vandy fans are too numb to have any feelings at all.

What say you?

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UPDATE:

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Filed under SEC Football

SEC strength of schedule rankings

I can nitpick Barrett Sallee’s rankings, but overall I don’t find them objectionable.

If you’re wondering which team is ranked with the hardest, but don’t want to read his piece, here’s a clue:  “Simply put, if Harsin stays employed, it’ll be one of the most miraculous coaching jobs in recent memory.”

I stopped believing in miracles on the Plains when Gus took his lucky rabbit’s foot away with him.

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Filed under SEC Football

“Rivalries”

Apparently, the word isn’t supposed to mean what I thought it meant any more.  Seth Emerson, in ranking Georgia’s most important SEC rivalries, post-expansion era ($$), defines them thusly:

What are the games that are the most important – for reasons of history, location and luster – to be on the annual calendar?

When you put those three factors on equal footing, I suppose that’s how you can get to ranking Oklahoma and Texas, whom Georgia has rarely played, ahead of Kentucky, whom the Dawgs have faced 74 total times, including every year since 1956.  Or seeing South Carolina as UGA’s third biggest conference rival.  (No question Georgia’s USC’s biggest SEC rivalry, though.)

My point isn’t to take a shot at Seth’s ordering, but it does seem like he’s using the term more broadly than I would.  For me, it’s a short list:  Florida and Auburn. Everybody else comes after those two.

And you?

64 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

The AL.com Preseason SEC football poll

The AL.com Preseason SEC football poll, which tallies the votes of the SEC’s 14 Sports Information Directors, has reached its 76th edition, and you will be shocked to learn which program tops the conference this go ’round.

(SIDs can’t vote for their own school, in case you were wondering how the math works.)

Sure, it’s hard to pick against ‘Bama, but I do appreciate this bit of honesty about the Dawgs:

Georgia, on the other hand, faces a bit of re-loading job — there’s too much talent in Athens to call it a rebuild — following the departure of a record 15 players to the NFL draft. Still, quarterback Stetson Bennett returns, as does tight end Brock Bowers, offensive tackle Broderick Jones, defensive lineman Jalen Carter and linebacker Nolan Smith, among others.

The Bulldogs have been stacking top-flight recruiting classes since Smart arrived in 2015, so there’s no shortage of emerging standouts. Running back Kenny McIntosh, wide receiver Kearis Jackson, cornerback Kelee Ringo and safety Chris Smith are among those former four- and five-star prospects who will no longer have to share playing time with departed veterans in 2022.

And here’s the way they see the East:

The West came out looking like this:

That one vote for LSU there is a bold strategy, Cotton.  Anyway, your thoughts?

24 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Everyone’s a winner, baby.

Barrett Sallee takes a look at preseason over/under win totals on SEC teams and comes up with this:

  • Alabama:  Pick: Over 11 (-140)
  • Arkansas:  Pick: Over 7 (-125)
  • Auburn:  Pick: Over 6 (-130)
  • Florida:  Pick: Over 7 (-125)
  • Georgia:  Pick: Over 11.5 (+150)
  • Kentucky:  Pick: Under 8.5 (-140)
  • LSU:  Pick: Under 7 (-130)
  • Mississippi State:  Pick: Under 6.5 (-110)
  • Missouri:  Pick: Over 5 (-105)
  • Ole Miss:  Pick: Over 7.5 (-140)
  • South Carolina:  Pick: Over 6 (-125)
  • Tennessee:  Pick Over 7.5 (-145)
  • Texas A&M:  Pick: Under 8.5 (+145)
  • Vanderbilt:  Pick: Under 2.5 (-170)

He’s really bullish on Ole Miss, picking them to win ten games.  He’s most bearish on Kentucky’s chances, seeing them losing five, including to Missouri.  I’m not sure I’m buying either of those, but most of the rest of what he’s come up with looks reasonable to me.

What do y’all think?

26 Comments

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

The nobility of Kentucky football

Mark Stoops has made it abundantly clear that he’s opposed to a nine-game conference schedule, but at least he’s been honest about his motives.  His athletic director, on the other hand, is full of crap.

If UK loses the fight to keep the 8-game schedule, Kentucky could keep the Governor’s Cup alive. However, it would come at a cost, most likely impacting FCS football programs. This year UK will host Stoops’ hometown team, Youngstown State, and pay the Penguins’ athletic department $550,000 for the trip to Lexington.

“It’s important to support FCS football because I want people participating in college football,” Barnhart said. “I think sometimes we forget about thinking about the end game, making sure everybody is still playing. If there’s opportunities that go away and there’s not kids that want to play the game of football, the game of football suffers. We’ve got to make sure we do things that ensure the game of football and people want to play the game. Keeping FCS football alive is very, very important to that end.”

Doing it for the kids can never fail; it can only be failed.  The only thing more laughable than his absurd attempt to cloak cowardice with some sort of allegedly higher calling is the pretense that he can use the threat of cancelling the series with Louisville as some sort of leverage with Greg Sankey.

All of that word salad cannot make the FCS game more significant than the rivalry against Louisville. Still, Barnhart will not take the Governor’s Cup off the negotiation table. After all, it’s one of his greatest pieces of leverage to prevent the SEC from expanding its conference schedule. Even though the game is under contract until 2030, Kentucky’s athletic director will not commit to playing Louisville until after a scheduling decision has been finalized by Southeastern Conference officials.

Of course it can’t.  Just ask Mitch McConnell, a die hard Louisville fan.  Who, by the way isn’t likely to be pleased if Barnhart actually tries to can the series.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

20 Comments

Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, SEC Football

Kentucky and regression to the mean

It’s one of last season’s odder statistical anomalies:  Kentucky managed to win ten games while finishing last in the conference in turnover margin, at minus-11.  That is not an easy thing to do.  Perhaps this had something to do with it:

Good teams find ways to win close games, and Kentucky has gone 16-8 in one-score games since 2017. But they exceeded even their own pace last year. After going 11-7 in such games from 2017-20, the Wildcats were 5-1 last year. That includes a 3-0 mark in the SEC with two of those wins against teams they’ll face on the road this year in Florida and Missouri. Their lone one-score defeat was a three-point loss at home to Tennessee, who the Wildcats have to face in Knoxville, Tennessee, this year.

Mark Stoops is a good game day coach, and I can’t figure out what that might portend for the ’22 season.  Does UK maintain its winning ways as turnover margin swings back more favorably?  Or do one-score games come back to bite the ‘Cats in the butt?  I have no idea.

15 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

One ring to rule them all

The Pac-12 commissioner has an idea and I’m sure it has nothing to do with Greg Sankey’s dominance ($$).

Does college football need the NCAA to run the sport? Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff doesn’t think so. He also doesn’t believe he’s alone.

“We have to be realistic about the fact that football is a unique animal among the rest of the college sports and that there are conferences that should be more aligned and should be more in control of the future of high-level college football,” Kliavkoff told The Athletic on Friday.

“I’ve had conversations with several of the FBS commissioners, and I’ve been surprised by the unanimous support for the idea among the folks that I’ve spoken to about taking football rule-making and football rule enforcement out of the NCAA and investing it in an organization that is run by the 10 (FBS) conferences.”

He doesn’t know the feelings of the commissioners he hasn’t spoken with yet, of course.  I’m sure this will go over well with the head of the SEC:

“The way I think about it is: Control of everything related to college football with the exception of the media rights during the regular season would vest in one organization — setting the rules, enforcing the rules and running the postseason,” Kliavkoff said.

“Everything” is doing some very heavy lifting there, especially when you consider it includes the CFP.  Yeah, I bet Sankey is all for ceding his power and humbly submitting himself to the will of the other nine commissioners.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football, SEC Football