Category Archives: SEC Football

Master of the finger wag

Swear to Gawd, between the Beckham stuff and his two top assistants leaving for greener pastures, I was gonna do a mocking Herbstreit-esque “Ed Orgeron has lost control” post this morning, only to find that the man himself has already beat me to the punch.

“Burrow’s comment about ‘I’m not a student-athlete anymore, yeah it was real money.’ If you care about the program, do you really say that,” Herbstreit said. “Going into this game I was thinking with Tua leaving Alabama, I was like not only are they gonna win this thing, there’s a really good chance that Coach O’s got some mojo going right now. This thing’s gonna be around for a while.

“And after the dust settled I’m like let me get my Bama roster back out. I don’t see them coming back next year at all.”

LSU completed its first undefeated season since 1959, defeating seven teams that were ranked in the AP Top 10 at the time of the meetings. Burrow won the Heisman Trophy, set the record for most touchdown passes in a season with 60, passed for 5,671 yards and accounted for 14 touchdowns in his team’s two wins in the College Football Playoff.

“I will say this: as much as we’re celebrating this team, I wasn’t a real fan of the postgame stuff, the OBJ stuff with the money,” Herbstreit said. “The way they handled themselves at times. If it’s just about 2019, great. But this is about staying power, right? This isn’t the finish line of their program. Don’t they wanna win in 2020, don’t they wanna win in 2021? I almost feel like it’s all the chips in, we made it, that’s it and forget everything else.

“Part of what makes Clemson, Clemson is they’re gonna be back and be preseason No. 1 next year. Part of what makes Alabama, Alabama is they don’t do that. Sure they celebrate, sure they’re happy, but guess what: they have freshmen that are watching, they have sophomores that are watching, they care about the health of their program.”

Of course, unlike me, he’s serious about that.

LSU fans, welcome to the new narrative.  We Dawg fans are happy to pass the torch to you.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

Matt Rhule, wrecker of worlds

This is a pretty impressive week of laying waste to Orgeron’s support staff.


Filed under SEC Football

Pod people

I don’t remember Andy Staples stating it so clearly in his earlier post on the topic, but today he says there is a significant amount of support among SEC schools to ditch divisions and go to a pod system ($$).

… The SEC office has been getting pushed by several schools in the past year to consider adopting a pod system that would set three fixed rivals for each school and then use a rotating schedule for the rest. The two best teams would play in the conference title game, and every team would play every other team at least twice every four years. A player who spent four seasons at a school would play in every stadium in the conference.

When I wrote about this subject in October, I asked around to get a sense of who would support such a plan and who would oppose it. Essentially, the schools in the West division and Florida would be in support.

There would have to be a lot of moving parts addressed to make this proposal a reality.  And I’m not sure it really gives the conference’s weaker schools the bowl eligibility protection they want, as there will be plenty of years when the rotating schedules won’t be so kind.  But Staples says they’ll be talking about it at the SEC spring meetings.  Interesting.

(You can insert your snarky comment about what McGarity will offer to give up at the meetings now.)


Filed under SEC Football

What a Year of the Quarterback doesn’t look like

From David Wunderlich:

Kyle Trask is the top returning quarterback in the conference, though he may get some competition for preseason first team All-SEC from Wake Forest grad transfer Jamie Newman at Georgia and Mac Jones at Alabama.

By passer rating, that’s right.  Trask’s 156.09, Newman’s 145.36 and Jones’ 186.84 are the SEC’s top three returners (yeah, we’re stretching the definition to include Newman, but you get the point).  The truly bizarre thing about them is that none have started a season’s worth of games yet (Newman missed the FSU game).

The top returning starter who has is Jarrett Guarantano.  I suspect we’ll find out that David should have included Kellen Mond on his list there, but I’m not sure that’s saying much.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

It just means more ($$).




Filed under SEC Football

SEC Power Poll, final edition

Welp, another season is in the books.  Top of the conference was more than solid, but the bottom was putrid.  My gut feeling is that the spread between the two was worse than usual, but that hasn’t stopped ADs from shelling out the big bucks… in fact, it’s probably encouraged it.

Anyway, here’s how the SEC shaped up from my perspective.

  1. LSU.  It’s refreshing to type something other than Alabama here.  The Tigers definitely earned the top spot.  Do they have an encore in them for next season?
  2. Georgia.  You know, for a team with such a shitty offense, the Dawgs sure managed to knock off a lot of ranked teams this season.
  3. Alabama.  I’ll believe the dynasty is dead for good when it really is, and that ain’t yet.
  4. Florida.  Second best in the East and five bucks will get you something nice at Starbucks.
  5. Auburn.  Biggest question about this team is whether the narrative will be “Auburn will be great in 2020” or nah.
  6. Texas A&M.  With the bowl win, the Aggies managed to beat one ranked team all season, so you’ll have to pardon me if I don’t swallow all the “TAMU will be a 2020 dark horse team” blather coming out now.
  7. Kentucky.  If you want to argue that Mike Mark Stoops deserved serious consideration for SEC Coach of the Year honors, I won’t push back.
  8. Tennessee.  Never underestimate the allure of November for the Vols.
  9. Mississippi State.  Joe Moorhead, we hardly knew ye.
  10. Missouri.  What a grim year for the Tigers.
  11. Ole Miss.  What does it say about an SEC program that it’s truly excited over the second coming of Junior?
  12. South Carolina.  Boom comes off his most disappointing season at Columbia and proceeds to resurrect Mark Richt’s offensive staff as a cure.  Bold strategy, Cotton.
  13. Vanderbilt.  Whatever you want to say about Muschamp’s staffing decisions, they still beat bringing Ted Roof back as an SEC defensive coordinator.
  14. Arkansas.  Remember the line in Moneyball about “Then there’s fifty feet of crap. And then there’s us.”?  Welcome back to Fayetteville, Sam Pittman.


Filed under SEC Football

“But the difference in the game is the quarterback.”

Really good Q&A with LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger here.  They touch on a lot of subjects, including Kirby changing his defense for the SECCG and an Eric Zeier comparison with Joe Burrow, but for my money, this was the most interesting exchange, if you’re wondering how the interaction between he and Brady went during games:

Q. (On the credit for changing the offense)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I don’t give myself any. Well, I knew we had to change. Coach O said, Hey, let’s do this. I said, let’s go.

It’s not about me. It really is not. It’s about LSU. I played there, I went to school there, I love that school. Whatever we could do to make LSU great, I’m in. I appreciate Joe Brady, I promise you. He’s brought a lot to the table. I couldn’t be more happy for him.

Q. How do you two decide how the calls will be made during the flow of a game?
STEVE ENSMINGER: We talked about it before the game. I tell him, I know what my strengths are and I know what my weaknesses are. Joe is better with our compact packages. Joe is better at our empty package than I am. So I tell him, we talk about it before the game, Look, when I want to go empty, be ready. If it’s third and whatever, and I have a call, I make it. If not, I tell him. He has it all highlighted. I’m like, Take it.

We can go to empty right now. I said, Joe, I’m going empty. Take it, he’s ready for it.

Compact meaning our bunch packages, a condensed formation, stuff like that. He’s better at that than I am. I know it. I tell him, Hey, I want to go whatever it is, bunch, pack ’em all in here. I said, Call it. He’s ready for it.

It helps to lack a big ego to make something like that work seamlessly.  That, and Joe Burrow, of course.


Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics