Category Archives: SEC Football

Don’t sleep on this guy.

I know Georgia is expected to roll over Vanderbilt in the season opener, but Vandy is an SEC team, which means while the ‘Dores may be short on depth, they’ve got some players.  Here’s a list from Dawgs247 of a few names to watch.  In particular…

RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn: The 5-foot-10 215-pound back was tremendous a year ago. He averaged just under eight yards per carry en route to a 1,244-yard, 12-touchdown season and it was his first as the feature back. He won’t have Khari Blasingame around to spell him but he has to be considered one of the top play-making running backs in the SEC. His blend of speed and power isn’t easy to come by.

In my humble opinion, Vaughn is the most under the radar player in the conference.  Even in last year’s rout in Athens, he still managed almost nine yards a carry.  Damned good running back.

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Filed under SEC Football

Off to the races

Missouri is making plans to offer in-stadium beer sales for the 2019 season.

On Monday, Sterk will formally propose starting alcohol sales when he meets with the school’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, a collection of MU faculty, staff, alumni and students. The topic also could come up for discussion at next week’s UM System Board of Curators meeting in Columbia. Should MU approve to start sales this fall, Levy Restaurants — the school’s concessions company —would be responsible for hiring and training workers to comply with SEC regulations for game-day sales. For now, MU would like to start sales at football and men’s and women’s basketball games and probably baseball and softball contests.

I guess that’s what you can get done when you don’t have a Magill Society to flatter.

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UPDATE:  Another SEC school checks in.

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Filed under I'll Drink To That, SEC Football

License to print money

The SEC, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to revenue streams:

First off, good for the schools.  Nothing at all wrong with making a buck off your product.  It’s America.

That being said, it’s also another example of how quaint those of you who keep insisting nothing’s really changed in college football over the past quarter century come off sounding.  The reality is that the sport is immersed in commercial exploitation to a degree nobody contemplated years ago.  To pretend that the players are somehow uniquely immune from that is an interesting form of denial.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Ranking ‘dem SEC QBs

From And The Valley Shook!:

Let’s start with the quarterbacks, which you know means it’s time for my favorite ATVS tool: ATVSQBPI. The big thing to remember is that essentially ATVSQBPI is how many yards a QB is worth each time he calls his own number, whether running or passing.

ATVSQBPI = (passing yards + rushing yards – (30*interceptions) – (30*lost fumbles) + (20*passing touchdowns) + (20*rushing touchdowns))/(pass attempts + rush attempts)

No real surprises at the top, not that you were expecting any.

1. Alabama. Tua was absurdly great last season, and his numbers simply crushed everyone else in the conference. Yeah, Jalen Hurts is off to Oklahoma, but this is still the best quarterback in the SEC, and I don’t think it is especially close.

2. Georgia. The only guy you could put in Tua’s class is Jake Fromm, though I think there’s a pretty large gap. Fromm was in the pack of next best guys in the SEC, but everyone else in that group has graduated. He’s alone now in the pursuit group of Tua. It’s possible he could take another step and catch him, but that’s a lot of ground to make up.

The rest is quite interesting, though, mainly because there are so many candidates in the muddled middle, which is basically the three through eight spots.  Poseur sees LSU’s Joe Burrow as the best of that bunch, based on how he finished last season and him being a senior, and there’s certainly some validity to that argument, but for some reason the quarterback I’m keeping an eye on to step up this year — and don’t laugh! — is Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano.

As Poseur notes, Guarantano’s stats last season are pretty damned decent.  He’s got some skill position players to work with and he’s got an upgrade at offensive coordinator/position coach directing him.  His big problem is that he is going to be working behind a weak offensive line, but that’s something that will be limiting plenty of other peers of his.  In fact, I’d probably say that out of the middle bunch, it’ll be the guy who gets the best protection who winds up at the top of the pack.  (Deep, I know.)

Your thoughts on this year’s The Year of the Quarterback?

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Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

“It galvanized us a little. Us against the world.”

I mentioned the other day the impressive job Barry Odom has done holding his roster together in the face of tough NCAA sanctions that gave a free pass to transfer to every Missouri senior.

Even though the Tigers can’t play for the SEC championship, they still have a regular season to play and have some potential as a dark horse candidate to upset the expected order in the East.

For me, how far they go comes down to a couple of issues.  One is psychological.  Do they band together and ride that us against the world mentality to, say, a 7-1 conference record, something that would put them squarely in the mix for the division lead?  Or do they face some early adversity and, with little to play for, crumble?

One hint about the answer to those questions comes with the second issue.  Mizzou has got some schedule ($$).

In SEC play, the Tigers’ front-loaded schedule could mean they won’t face a ranked team until November. After facing South Carolina, Ole Miss, Kentucky and Vanderbilt as an appetizer, the main course arrives in the season’s final month with a trip to Georgia before hosting Florida. The good news is the Tigers precede the Georgia-Florida back-to-back with an off week to reload and get a little healthier. They’ll finish with Tennessee and against Arkansas in Little Rock.

It’s a favorable but unusual schedule that, after the opener in Laramie, features five consecutive home games before three consecutive SEC road games. In the East, any year a team dodges Alabama is a good year. But drawing annual rival Arkansas and Ole Miss as crossover West opponents makes for a fantastic year on the schedule rotation.

The early softness of their schedule reminds me a little of 2013, when Missouri was able to cruse into Athens behind a 5-0 start against unranked teams and build on the momentum with back-to-back wins over Georgia and Florida.  I’m not saying history is about to repeat itself (I hope we never see another Georgia injury run like the one we saw that season), but take a look at the schedule and predict the number of losses Mizzou is likely to have when it returns to Georgia in November.

mizzou_sotp_2019_schedule-1024x187

Probably don’t want to sleep on those guys.

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Anchor down, Knoxville.

Vanderbilt’s current winning streak over Tennessee is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

In Derek Mason’s fifth season with the program, The Commodores finished 6-7 with their second bowl appearance in three years. Still, Vanderbilt failed to secure a winning record under Mason. In his half a decade in Nashville, the best Vanderbilt has been able to do is 6-7. That’s not bad when you look at the team’s history, especially when you consider the recent dominance over in-state rival Tennessee.

The Commodores have won three straight over the Volunteers, the program’s best stretch in that rivalry since the 1920s.

A three-game winning streak while failing to finish above .500 in any of those three seasons is my kind of “recent dominance”.  Keep it going, ‘Dores.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, SEC Football

“Everything’s important when it comes to Jimbo.”

This is about as all in as a school can go on a football coach.

When Texas A&M hired Jimbo Fisher to be its football coach, the university clearly indicated its commitment of resources to ensure Fisher’s success.

In addition to a friendly 10-year, $75 million guaranteed contract, A&M also paid top dollar for Fisher’s 10 assistants, his new strength coach and an expanded recruiting budget. But even all of that fails to show how much A&M has invested in its football coach.

That became evident during the hiring process for new athletic director Ross Bjork, who was introduced at A&M on Monday. Along with A&M president Michael Young, Fisher was also involved in the search for Scott Woodward’s replacement.

On top of the millions of dollars that have poured into the football program since Fisher’s arrival in 2017, the level of commitment from A&M includes being consulted on key decisions about the program’s future…

And while Sharp and Fisher both cited Young as the key person responsible for hiring Bjork, who spent the last seven seasons at Mississippi, Fisher also played a key role in the process.

That says as much about how beholden Bjork is to Fisher as it does about what kind of AD Fisher wants.  Those aren’t necessarily good things, but nobody can claim the TAMU oars aren’t rowing in the same direction for now.

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