Category Archives: SEC Football

There’s loaded. And then there’s LOADED.

The top recruit in the class of 2016 signed with Michigan, but beyond him, the SEC did alright last week.

* SEC schools signed the top two pro-style quarterback prospects and three of the top five.

* SEC schools signed each of the top three dual-threat quarterback prospects, along with four of the top six.

* SEC schools signed four of the top six and six of the top 14 running backs. And league schools signed two of the top eight all-purpose backs.

* Robertson is the top wide receiver and he has yet to sign. As it is, SEC schools signed three of the top six, four of the top nine, five of the top 18 and six of the top 20 receivers.

* SEC schools signed the top tight end, along with four of the top nine and eight of the top 17 at the position.

* SEC schools signed three of the top four safeties.
* SEC schools signed three of the top five cornerbacks, as well as six of the top 10 and 11 of the top 20 at the position.
* SEC schools signed the top inside linebacker, as well as six of the top 15.

* SEC schools signed two of the top five outside linebackers.

* You’ll notice we skipped over the linemen. That’s because as well as SEC schools did at the other positions, they absolutely dominated in the trenches. SEC schools signed the top two offensive tackles, along with three of the top six, five of the top 10 and seven of the top 18. SEC schools signed three of the top 10 guards. SEC schools signed five of the top eight centers. Finally, SEC schools reeled in a boatload of top defensive linemen. League teams signed eight of the top 12 and 11 of the top 17 defensive tackles, along with four of the top six, five of the top 10 and six of the top 11 defensive ends.

Actually, that’s pretty staggering. And it’s how you wind up with this:

* Tennessee was 14th in the nation in recruiting — but that was good for just seventh in the SEC, smack dab in the middle. Consider this, though: That No. 14 finish puts put the Vols third in the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 and second in the Big 12.

Hugenin points out that Georgia reeled in its third top ten class in a row.  That’s nice, but…

Alabama has finished in the recruiting top 10 nine years in a row. FSU has finished in the top 10 in seven consecutive years; Ohio State has finished in the top 10 in six consecutive years. LSU has finished in the top 10 four years in a row, while Auburn, Georgia and USC have finished in the top 10 three years in a row.

When the day comes that college football delivers a sixteen-team playoff, you’ll likely see the field loaded with SEC teams.  In the meantime, with a four-team field, if Georgia can’t separate itself from the middle of the conference pack, it’s likely that its dreams will die regularly in Atlanta.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

The year of the (potential) quarterback

If you think that one big reason the SEC appeared to be down last season is because of the relatively sparse great quarterback play – and when you read something like this

The conference had a high water mark in 2013 with eight quarterbacks having a season passing efficiency of at least 140, headlined by the likes of Johnny Manziel, Zach Mettenberger, AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray, Nick Marshall, and Connor Shaw. Not included in those eight were Bo Wallace, who’d top the 140 mark in Ole Miss’s breakout 2014 season, and young versions of Brandon Allen and Dak Prescott, who were two of the best signal callers this past year.

In 2015, only five SEC quarterbacks hit 140: Allen, Chad Kelly, Prescott, Jake Coker, and Greyson Lambert. Lambert’s splits show that he only squeaked out a 141.5 because he torched bad teams to make up for mediocre-at-best performances against good teams. Florida’s Will Grier had a shot at beating 140, but then he got busted for PEDs and has since transferred.

… it’s hard to argue against that proposition – then the 2016 recruiting class may help the conference’s perception dramatically in the coming years.

This year, though, the SEC is bringing in one of its best quarterback bunches in recent memory. It should be a cause for excitement. Here are the headlining quarterbacks of the 2016 class. The stars and ratings are from the 247SportsComposite, and “EE” means early enrollee.

Player Team Style EE? Stars Rating
Shea Patterson Ole Miss Pro Yes 5 0.9979
Jacob Eason Georgia Pro Yes 5 0.9973
Feleipe Franks Florida Pro Yes 4 0.9721
Jarrett Guarantano Tennessee Dual No 4 0.9612
Brandon McIlwain South Carolina Dual Yes 4 0.9254
Jalen Hurts Alabama Dual Yes 4 0.9231
Woody Barrett Auburn Dual No 4 0.9149

Only seven quarterbacks achieved a rating of at least .9600, and SEC schools have secured at least a firm commitment from four of them. Patterson and Eason are the only 5-star quarterbacks, and they’ve already enrolled.

That is an impressive haul.  We’ll see if it pays off.

8 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Meet the SEC’s Mr. Popularity.

Bert’s gonna Bert, people.

This year’s SEC Media Days are shaping up to be a real hoot.

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UPDATE:  In the flesh…

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UPDATE #2:  And now we enter “Bert, you’re fulla shit” territory.

Riiiiight.

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Filed under Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, Recruiting, SEC Football

Second chance alert!

Anybody need a former SEC starting quarterback?

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Filed under SEC Football

If there’s one thing we definitely need…

… it’s another SEC working group.

The Southeastern Conference has appointed nine individuals from campuses across the SEC to form a working group to review and discuss issues concerning compliance with NCAA regulations and effective operation within the NCAA governance process, Commissioner Greg Sankey announced on Monday.

Sankey announced in July 2015 at the SEC’s annual Football Media Days that he would convene the SEC Working Group on Compliance, Enforcement and Governance, a collection of campus leaders to review and discuss NCAA issues.

“This working group will work to renew and strengthen the commitment the Conference membership made more than 12 years ago to a culture of compliance in the SEC,” said Sankey. “These campus leaders will review and update the principles which formed the foundation of that commitment and establish effective procedures for the SEC’s participation in the new NCAA governance structure.”

I have no idea what that means, but I hope Jere Morehead at least gets a nice trip out of it every once in a while.

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Filed under SEC Football

The case against starting Eason as a true freshman

And The Valley Shook takes a look at how redshirt sophomore starting quarterbacks have fared in the SEC over the last eight seasons.  Two things to take away from the data:  one, generally speaking, it ain’t easy.  And if it’s not easy for a kid with a year in his school’s system under his belt, what does that say about a true freshman’s chances?

Which is not to say it’s a totally preposterous decision.  (The sarcastic bastard in me notes that starting Eason in 2016 as a play for the future still makes more sense than starting Bauta on less than full practice reps against Florida did.  But I digress.)  It’s worth noting, though, that’s a decision that’s going to lead to a fair share of lumps taking in the short term.

Oh, and the second thing?  Aaron Murray was a helluva quarterback.

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

If you’re the SEC, pleading poverty isn’t easy to do.

From the latest chapter of “Miz Scarlett, howevah could the poah schools find the money to pay those greedy student-athletes?” comes this financial tidbit:

The return, which the conference provided Thursday in response to a request from USA TODAY Sports, also shows that SEC had $527.4 million in total revenue for a fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2015. That was the first fiscal year in which the conference began receiving money from the formation of the SEC Network and from the new College Football Playoff.

Over half a billion dollars.  In one year.  That’s a 60% increase over the preceding fiscal year.  In six years, SEC revenues have more than trebled.

I asked sarcastically in the comments how SEC schools could afford to get in an arms race over COA stipends.  At this point, does anyone really wonder about that?

42 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football