Category Archives: SEC Football

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.


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

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


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.


Filed under SEC Football

“At this point in the summer, it’s clear the SEC East is not recruiting near as well as the SEC West except for Georgia. “

With the caveat that it’s a long way until February, read this post about SEC East recruiting prospects and ask yourself how the East is going to draw even with the West from a competitive standpoint.


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

SEC one-possession games records

Thought this compilation of team records in one-possession games over the past five years was interesting, although I can’t say for sure how meaningful it is.

Here’s how the SEC breaks down over that period:

  • Alabama 7-7
  • Arkansas 8-12
  • Auburn 20-6
  • Florida 10-13
  • Georgia 12-13
  • Kentucky 4-10
  • LSU 18-10
  • Ole Miss 6-13
  • Mississippi State 13-6
  • Missouri 11-10
  • South Carolina 14-9
  • Tennessee 7-12
  • Texas A&M 13-14
  • Vanderbilt 9-9

What I do find meaningful…

  • Alabama played the fewest number of those type games, along with Kentucky, which is an indication of how good one is and, um, how not good the other has been.
  • Yeah, that Auburn number is amazing.  And before you chalk it all up to Gus’ rabbit’s foot, it goes back to the Chizik era.
  • LSU has a good record, but with Les Miles, that’s only half the story.
  • Dan Mullen knows how to manage a football game.

Y’all have any thoughts to add?


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Whatever makes you feel good, podnah.

You knew this had to be coming.

For what it’s worth, from Ole Miss to Steve Spurrier, there isn’t a coach or a program in the SEC that wants to be linked to the Confederate flag nowadays.  So the suggestion that “the SEC as a body should join the chorus” of protest against the flag flying in Columbia is a day late and a dollar short, pal.  If Spurrier’s condemnation of the symbol didn’t move the necessary hearts and minds in 2007, I doubt it’s gonna have any more effect today.

Although I do wonder what would happen if a protest movement against student-athletes signing with Clemson or South Carolina cranked up and had an impact.


Filed under Political Wankery, SEC Football

Today, in coachspeak

So, Gary Pinkel, when the day comes that the SEC ditches its ban on satellite camps, will we hear you mourn the demise of integrity, or will you start planning your first camp in the Deep South?


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football