Blog Entry

Five things about the SEC

Posted on: July 22, 2010 6:26 pm
 

As my annual swing through preseason media days continues I’ll be updating you on the current state of the conferences I’m covering …

1. Alabama and Florida are pulling away from the pack. One or the other has won three out of the last four national championships. The schools have combined to win two of the last three Heismans.  Bama has a 14-game winning streak. The dirty little secret is that aside from the Gators and Tide, the SEC is down this year. “Obviously Florida and Alabama have done a great job the last couple of years,” Georgia’s Mark Richt said. “But historically no one stays on top forever.”

2. OK, so who’s third? The next legitimate question after the Alabama-Florida discussion. Try to pick the No. 3 team in the SEC. There are few candidates: Auburn, with a veteran quarterback (Cam Newton) to run Gus Malzahn’s offense? Georgia on the rebound with Richt’s job on the line? Arkansas? South Carolina? Finishing second in one of the divisions is going to be like winning another conference.

3. Three new coaches. It would be hard to pick any of the conference’s new leaders out of a lineup. A sweaty guy in a Vanderbilt polo got off the elevator Thursday at the SEC media days. Who knew this was Robbie Caldwell, the new Vanderbilt coach. To be fair, Caldwell had just been working out. He cleaned up pretty good before entertaining the media during his time on the podium. Caldwell took over last week when Bobby Johnson abruptly retired. Joker Phillips was the offensive coordinator at Kentucky before Rich Brooks retired. Derek Dooley was the – what was it? – fourth or fifth choice at Tennessee after Lane Kiffin took off in Tennessee. Don’t expect much out of any of the three newbies this season. Best chance for long-term success? Probably Phillips who has a good offensive mind and will be knighted in Lexington if he puts together back-to-back 7-5 seasons.

4. The sad, long decline of Steve Spurrier. It’s come to this for the once brash, bold Spur Dog. He was bragging about his team’s graduation rate Thursday at the SEC media days. Coming off his second consecutive seven-win season at South Carolina, Spurrier looked and sounded like a beaten man. He hasn’t been able to recruit a quarterback of substance while his defenses have carried the team. Maybe it’s just a South Carolina thing. The program has won little of anything in its history despite having two of the most successful coaches of this generation (Spurrier and Lou Holtz). For now, Spurrier is looking like Willie Mays when he went out with the Mets. That’s sad. “We haven’t proven much of anything,” Spurrier said Thursday, “pretty much in the five years I’ve been here.”

5. Repeats. There are two significant ones pending in the SEC – Alabama and Mark Ingram. The team is much more likely to repeat as national championship as the tailback is to win another Heisman. Bama is loaded despite having to replace nine defensive starters. Ingram is actually going to run the ball less with the emergence of sophomore Trent Richardson. Book it. The SEC wins its fifth consecutive national championship and Bama repeats. Ingram doesn’t but I don’t think he would care.

 

 

Comments

Since: Jul 23, 2010
Posted on: July 24, 2010 3:38 am
 

Five things about the SEC

Um no Florida is a team that plays average football against average opponents most of the time while getting credit everything that goes there way and an excuse for everything that doesn't.  Case and point Tebow will prove himself a failure in the NFL when he wins the starting job and in Denver and does nothing because he can't do anything without an outstanding supporting cast as he proved last year.  Tebow and Florida is a joke that waits for real competition and feasts when the NCAA puts inferior competition in front of them (example Cincinatti)



Since: Aug 27, 2007
Posted on: July 23, 2010 3:28 pm
 

Five things about the SEC

Yeah, I'm really impressed with ArKANSAS.  I'm glad they lost both games you mentioned.  Shows how "great" they are.  Petrino is a back stabbing jerk of a coach and Mallett hasn't won anything yet.  AU took led Bama most of the game last year losing at the very end yet I don't see a reason to brag about a loss.  I guess AU alums won't brag about failures like ArKANSAS alum (if you actually graduated from there, if at all).  And yes, AU could be third best in the SEC.  AU has actually beaten FL in the swamp and recently had a 6 year win streak on Bama.  Malzahn runs a different offense than Petrino but has been statistically better at the schools he's coached at.  Ranked 1st nationally in offense in 07 and 08 and 16th nationally in his first year with AU in 09.  woo pig sooie.

WAR EAGLE!

OBTW we beat FL at the swamp the last time we played 20-17 in '07 and 27-17 in "06 at Auburn.  Are you impressed?  Oink, Oink...



Since: Apr 2, 2010
Posted on: July 23, 2010 1:23 pm
 

Five things about the SEC

re-read that section and you'll see he didn't pick AU - he listed all of them as candiadtaes but started with Auburn.



Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:11 pm
 

Five things about the SEC

You are "so tired about hearing how great Florida is" for one simple reason - Florida is that good.



Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:08 pm
 

Five things about the SEC

South Carolina will finish second in the East AT BEST.  Florida wins the East... again.



Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: July 23, 2010 9:28 am
 

Best Chance for Long Term Success

I will have to respectfully disagree with your selection of Joker Phillips.  I believe Derek Dooley has the best chance.  It will take him at least three years, but he is already working on it.  In the short recruiting period after his hire, he got a top receiver from Virginia.  Since then he has signed the top punter and the top place kicker in the country.  He will turn the TN program around.




Since: Apr 4, 2007
Posted on: July 23, 2010 6:34 am
 

Five things about the SEC

How on earth do you have Auburn as the 3rd best team in the SEC?  You talk about them having a veteran QB and Gus Malzahn at the helm.  How about having the offensive mastermind in Bobby Petrino and having his offense ran by the best "Pro Style" college QB since Peyton Manning in Ryan Mallett.  Arkansas returns tons of starters from last years team, a team that ran the Auburn Tigers out of Don W. Reynolds stadium.  A team that stood toe to toe with the National Champion Crimson Tide for 45 minutes, a team that was within an ear shot of beating the Florida Gators...in The Swamp. 

Woo Pig Sooie!



Since: Jul 23, 2010
Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:57 am
 

About Florida

I'm so tired about hearing how great florida is.  I know I'm going to get ripped for saying what I'm about to say but so be it.  Florida has to be one of the most consistently overrated teams in the country.  Last year what at the end of the year including bowl games they played what three ranked teams.  LSU (Barely Beat),  Alabama (got crushed by), and Cincinati (Crushed).  Wow so they're one of the best teams in SEC after they lose the Golden Boy Tim Tebow.  Last year was a sham.  LSU couldn't score for most of the year and Florida limped past them as they so often do.  Cincinatti was hand selected to lose to florida in a bowl game because everyone in the country knew they weren't actually a number five team.  We were cheated by not getting to see florida play TCU which would have been an actual game.  The only legitimate competition that florida faced all last year was Alabama and they crushed Florida in the SEC title game.  Alabama is the class of the SEC period.  And quite frankly I think they have plenty to prove this year.  They were primarily a defensive team and I look forward to seeing what Ingram and Macelroy can do with a year of experience under their belts



Since: Nov 28, 2009
Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:26 am
 

Five things about the SEC

Agree with most of your comments. However I see USC winning the East this year. I just dont see FLORIDA being as good as everyone expects this year.
LSU will probably be better than most expect.




Since: Nov 28, 2009
Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:24 am
 

Five things about the SEC

Agree with most of your comments. However I see USC winning the East this year. I just dont see being as good as everyone expects this year.
LSU will probably be better than most expect.



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