SEC Should Revamp Lower Level Bowl Ties

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One thing that fans of every school in the SEC enjoy are bowl trips. Nothing better than getting together with friends or family and watching your team play a nontraditional game around the holiday season. The game may be the sole reason for the trip but trying new restaurants, the night life, and activities creates excitement within a fan base. The top tier SEC bowls such as the Sugar, Capital 1, Outback, and Chik-Fil-A are all in great towns and give fans truly great experiences. When you look at the bottom 2 SEC bowl tie ins,it leaves more to be desired.

In a new article by John Solomon for Al.com he talk about the Birmingham Bowl losing its lead sponsor, “The decision leaves Birmingham’s 7-year-old bowl without a title sponsor on the eve of negotiations in the coming months for future conference tie-ins. The bowl’s four-year deals with the SEC and Big East expire after the 2013 season.” That announcement leaves the SEC with a possibility of losing a game that they shouldn’t want in the first place. It may be time for the SEC to flex some muscle and get the fans some new venues.

There is 1 other bowl game that has SEC ties that I think the SEC should get rid of and that’s the Advocare V100 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. These 2 bowls (Indy and B’Ham) aren’t great draws and simply don’t get a fan base excited to travel. I’m sure many disagree that the bowl game is first and foremost a reward for the players. While I agree with that in spirit, the bowls are driven by money and fans buying the tickets and traveling are what supply that money. I think the SEC needs to better reward its fans.

According to John Pennington, “The SEC’s current bowl contracts all expire after the 2013 season and new many new questions will be answered at that time.” What that tells me is that the SEC has 1 year to prepare to flex its muscle and make better moves. That is plenty of time for back channel negotiations to take place and better sponsorship dollars get lined up for what may be considered a lesser bowl now, but add an SEC team and the profile immediately skyrockets even if it’s a 9th or 10th SEC tie in.

Before I go in to which new bowls that I would like to be added, I would like to say that I fully support the Liberty Bowl staying as 1 of the lower bowls. First, the location is pretty close for most SEC schools making it a doable trip for the average income fan. Second is that Memphis is a pretty cool town. There is plenty of really good food and Beale Street is a pretty cool place for fans to congregate before and after the games.

Let’s take a look at some bowls that I think would be much better for the fans and the conference if they were to replace the Birmingham and Independence Bowls.

1) R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl- This one to me is a no brainer and that is why I list it first. It currently has CUSA vs Sun Belt ties. The CUSA is in disarray and should be easy to get rid of if the SEC wants in. I love the matchup between 1 of the top Sun Belt schools and a lower level SEC school because we are from the same region and have a certain familiarity with one another. New Orleans is an awesome town to visit and would be an easy sell to any SEC fan base. It would also lead to a SEC takeover of New Orleans of sorts with the Sugar Bowl being played about a week later.

2)Beef O’Brady Bowl- This is another one that seems to make sense. It’s located in St. Petersburg, Florida. That means there are odds for good weather and its and great trip for the fans because there is so much to do in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area. They currently have a CUSA vs. Big East matchup. The SEC has already had Big East matchups like in the B’Ham bowl, so why not keep the matchup but improve the venue by 100?

3) Valero Alamo Bowl- This one has a certain level of intrigue to me. After adding Texas A&M and getting into the Texas market, a bowl in Texas seems to make sense as Solomon said in his article. San Antonio is a long way from most SEC schools so location is a concern for the average income fan. This bowl does have nice prestige and payouts already though. Perhaps the most intriguing thing to me is the current Big 12 vs. Pac 12 matchup. The SEC currently has 0 bowl matchups with the Pac 12 unless it’s in a BCS game. I think that could potentially be a cool thing and could be a good home for either a SEC West squad or a well traveling East squad like UGA.

4) GoDaddy.com Bowl- I’m sure many are reading this thinking I have lost it. The current matchup is MAC vs. Sun Belt and I don’t really think it matters which one got tossed in favor for the SEC but I’d like to see the Sun Belt stay. The biggest issue is that Ladd Peebles is a dump with terrible parking. The part that makes me like this idea as perhaps the last SEC tie in is because it’s in Mobile. A very underrated town with great restaurants and seafood, plus Daulphin Street is a great place for fans to go before or after the game. The close proximity to Gulf Shores may also attract families to get a condo on the beach for the weekend and catch the game. A lot of possibilities here. I have been to a Mobile Bowl before (2005 USM vs. Ohio) and it was actually a blast.

5) Belk Bowl– This last pick is my wildcard. This game is in Charlotte, North Carolina and currently has an ACC vs. Big East matchup. It’s already a nice bowl with good sponsors and payout. North Carolina isn’t too far for most SEC fans. I think anyone who has ever been to Charlotte can tell you at length that it is a really cool city. I think it’s a great trip for the fans and regardless of what current tie in would be kept we would get a very good nontraditional matchup. Adding a game like this could also push the SEC footprint that much closer to the North East.

Current SEC bowls http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/tabid/473/article/130607/SEC-Bowl-Tie-Ins.aspx

List of all bowls http://www.fbschedules.com/ncaa/college-football-bowl-schedule.php

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SEC East Power 3: Way Too Early Predictions

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  1. South Carolina

My pick to win the East is the Gamecocks. Steve Spurrier finally has amassed the talent the “Ole Ball Coach” needs to not only win his division but possibly the entire SEC. Connor Shaw played much of the year banged up but was still able to compile 2,391 yards and account for 20 td’s through the air and on the ground. If he can stay healthy he seems to be primed for a monster year. In back up duty, Dylan Thompson was good for 10 td tosses with only 2 interceptions. Replacing Marcus Lattimore will not be easy but rising sophomore Mike Davis averaged over 5 yards a carry and seems like a great option to inherit the bulk of the carries. Losing Ace Sanders hurts but returning leading WR Bruce Ellington (40 rec 7 td) and big play WR Damiere Byrd (26.14 ypc) ensure the WR corps will be stocked with playmakers. The offensive line remains mostly intact, only having to replace the C position.  On defense it all starts with the line. Arguably the best in the country, Jadaveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles, and Chaz Sutton return 38.5 TFL from last year. They are poised to wreak more havoc. The biggest question mark is at LB where they lost 5 of their top 6 guys. Their hoping the talented but inexperienced group’s transition will be eased by the dominance of the DL. The secondary only has to replace the FS position with all the other positions having incumbent starters who combined for 6 INT’s last year.  The schedule will tell the tale for the Gamecocks. They open with North Carolina, at Georgia, then Vandy. They also get Florida and Clemson at home at the end of the year. Definitely a tough schedule but they should have the talent and coaching to overcome it.

2. Georgia

Mark Richt returns a team that was seconds away from beating Bama which would have given them the right to slaughter Notre Dame and be national champions. Again, it all starts and finishes with senior QB Aaron Murray (3893 yds 36 TD 10 INT) who should be a Heisman contender. Fantastic freshman duo Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall combined for 2,144 yds and 25 TD’s and both averaged over 6 yards a carry. Michael Brown and Michael Mitchell return at WR and as sophomores they combined for 64 catches and 8 TD. Mitchell seems poised to be the next superstar WR at UGA. The entire offensive line returns intact and with the numbers the Murray and the RB’s put up last year, I expect more of the same. On the defensive side is where it gets dicey. In losses they averaged giving up 33.5 ppg. They lose the entire D line and DE Ray Drew is the only one with at least a little experience. A lot of new faces at LB too; they will count on Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera and neither were starters last year. Basically a whole new front 7. Keeping with the reoccurring theme, UGA will also field a new secondary as well. Although they are young and talented they will have a hard time replacing Baccari Rambo, Branden Smith, and Shawn Williams. The schedule for UGA is a killer too. They open at Clemson and then get USC at home. They get LSU at home but travel to Vandy and Auburn and don’t forget about the cocktail party in Jacksonville.

3. Florida

After a resurgent 2012 featuring an 11-2 record, Will Muschamp’s Gators are ready to challenge for the East again. Florida’s ability to challenge will rest on the improvement of Jeff Driskel who passed for 1,646 yards 12 TD and only 5 INT. For them to really take the next step, Driskel will have to as well. Last year freshman Matt Jones played pretty well in limited carries averaging over 5 ypc. WR is a position where they need multiple younger guys to step up. Quinton Dunbar is the best playmaker returning. He had 36 catches and 4 TD’s last year. Florida only lost 2 seniors from last year’s O line. The group had a lot of injuries and played a bunch of guys. They return a lot of experience from an array of player. O line should be a strong point for the Gators next year. The Gators return a loaded group on the D line led by Dominique Easley, Leon Orr, and Jonathan Bullard who combined for 19 TFL last year. Also add in 2 highly touted juco guys in Damien Jacobs and Darius Cummings and they are set.  The LB’s are led by Jelani Jenkins and Ronald Powell even though he is more of a hybrid. At CB they return studs in Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy but hey also signed #1 hs CB recruit Vernon Hargreaves III who many believe to start immediately. Matt Elam going pro hurts at S but they are loaded with talent there as well. I expect a slight dip without Elam but nothing terribly noticeable. Of all the East contenders, Florida has the best schedule. They have 2 road test at LSU and USC but get the rest of the big games at home (I’m counting Jacksonville as home). Georgia, Vandy, and FSU are their other test. Those 2 road trips will make or break their chances.

SEC West Power 3: Way Too Early Predictions

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1)Alabama
How can you pick against Alabama at this point? Nick Saban has his guys hitting on all cylinders and competing for a national title yearly. The weak point will be the O line. They lose 3 NFL caliber players across the front but return a talented group. The group is led by lone junior Anthony Steen and sophomore phenom Cyrus Kouandjio. I don’t expect to see much drop off with the talent they return. AJ McCarron also gets weapons aplenty in TJ Yeldon, Kevin Norwood, and Amari Cooper returning at the skill positions. The schedule sets up nicely this year. I really don’t think anyone can question an Alabama defense under Saban at this point. The lone road test is in the 2ndgame at Texas A&M but the revenge factor will keep the Tide motivated. They get their other remaining challenges at home (LSU, Ole Miss, and Tennesee). Factoring in returning talent plus the schedule and the Crimson Tide should be kings of the SEC again.
 
2)LSU
This is my surprise pick of the group. LSU lost a total of 10 underclassmen to the draft, not to mention graduating seniors and the Tigers will field a largely new team in 2013. O line is the biggest concern, particularly tackle, and they slide out La’el Collins from his guard spot and rising sophomore Vadal Alexander mans the other. The interior line has more upperclassmen and should be fine. Even though Michael Ford and Spencer Ware declared for the draft, Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue would have been ahead on the depth chart anyway. The defense took the bigger hit with Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo moving on to the NFL but I don’t expect the defense to take the dip that others do. LSU has elite athletes everywhere on the roster and Tommy Moffett will have those guys ready to go come fall. I expect LSU to field another elite defense next year. The real key to LSU is Zach Mettenberger. We saw flashes last year, such as the Alabama game, where he played lights out. I expect a much better Mettenberger this year with his gained experience and the Tigers riding him to challenging Bama for the Western Division crown. The schedule will decide LSU’s season. Road trips to Alabama and Georgia are crucial and a split is needed at the minimum. Their remaining tough tests are at home with Florida and Texas A&M coming to Death Valley.
 
3) Texas A&M
I have a feeling that A&M will be the trendy pick to challenge Bama for the west this year. I think they will be very good but I see a 3rd place finish in their future. They return Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and most of his weapons. Running Back Ben Malena (919 total yards) and receivers Mike Evans, Thomas Johnson, and Malcome Kennedy (138 combined catches) all return ready to light up big numbers again. No doubt the biggest loss on offense was Luke Joeckel but graduated center Patrick Lewis departure also hurts. Jake Matthews staying and sliding to LT will help but as a whole can they protect Manziel like last year’s unit? The losses on the D line of Spencer Nealy and Damontre Moore hurt badly. This unit will have to step it up to replicate last year’s group. Linebacker was hit hard by graduation and will be another inexperienced group. Bottom line on A&M’s defense is that they lost most of their high end talent off of a middle of the road defense last year. They were 7th in scoring and 9thin total defense in the conference. Any dip in what they did last year and their chances of challenging for the west decline dramatically. Another factor against them is that every coordinator in the conference has had a whole offseason to break down A&M/Manziel tape. I think he will see a slight dip in production as well. Alabama and Vandy are both tough games they get at home. Their road slate includes trips to LSU, Ole Miss, and Arkansas. To have a prayer they must win 4 of those 5 but I can see them losing 2 at a minimum with 3 as a solid possibility. Don’t forget that 3rd in the SEC West is still makes A&M a really good team who could beat anybody on any given Saturday.

SEC Questions Answered

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As spring football kicks off across the SEC, questions begin to arise with every program. This is one of my favorite times of the year. As fans, we get to speculate which personnel losses are devastating and which guys are ready to step up. Not only do we have new players proving themselves, there are some new coaches trying to put their stamp on their new programs.

I do some pretty extensive online reading and I stumbled across a topic on SEC Rant that had a nice series of questions up for discussion. I thought it would be interesting to answer them all here.

1. How will LSU’s offense do next season? With all the talent returning and a new OC, it seems that they can do well, but you can never expect too much from a Les Miles offense.

I think we will see the best LSU offense we have seen since Jamarcus Russell. It begins and ends with the QB and Zach Mettenberger is that guy. In his first year of experience he showed flashes of elite QB play (Bama and MSU games). I think we see him take that next step in his development which will elevate LSU’s offense to the next level as well. An improved Mettenberger will make LSU the top contender to compete with Bama for the SEC West crown.

2. Will Johnny Manziel be as good next year? He seems to be partying a lot and not really giving a shit about football….

I think we will see a dip in Manziel’s numbers and partying has nothing to do with it. He lost 2 great offensive lineman but returns most of his weaponry. I think the biggest thing working against Manziel is that Sumlin’s offense is not brand new anymore. Every coordinator in the SEC took extra time this offseason to break it down. I think Manziel will get a bit better but the defenses he plays will make a bigger jump in how to defend him. I think Manziel still has a big year but not a playstation 3 like repeat of last season.

3. Will Alabama really win the West next year again? It seems to be popular belief that they will be the best next year, but that means 4 out of 5 national titles. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it happening. They barely got away in two games this year (Georiga, LSU) and lost to A&M. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not flaming Alabama, but it seems really hard to believe.

I don’t see anyway Bama cannot be the favorites. They took a hit on the o line but they will retool. McCarron still has his top 2 WR’s and TJ Yeldon behind him. Bama still has Nick Saban and Kirby Smart so there is no reason to think their defense won’t be great. The key for them is their 2nd game at Texas A&M. If they get that one, its as good as over. They get LSU at home later in the year. If Bama were to lose to A&M it would open the door for the Aggies and Tigahs but that doesn’t count out the Tide by any stretch.

4. Will Georgia be relevant next year? Georgia has a great team and a great QB returning next year, but Mark Richt has been known for underachieving teams. Besides that, all logical reasoning points to the fact that they will be good.

With Aaron Murray returning you have to think UGA will at least challenge for the east. The loss of Jarvis Jones is huge for the defense but it seems that Willie Martinez has them bought into his scheme and I expect them to be a top 6 SEC defense. The biggest 2 things working against UGA this year are: (1) Mark Right teams have never had the “killer instinct”. They always seem to not quite be able to get it done on the big stage. (2) South Carolina is the biggest thorn in UGA’s side this year. Clowney and Shaw seem poised to lead USC to the SEC title game.

5. Which team will surprise? I actually think Tennessee with their new head coach and good recruiting class so far. They have some great players, and with the proper leadership, I think they can go far.

Tennessee should be improved but they aren’t my pick. I think we see the biggest turn around in Auburn. We saw what happened when Malzahn was there and when he left. I think he pushed Auburn to success in spite of the moron formerly known as Gene Chizick. People forget that Auburn recruits in the top 10 every year and has a roster as talented as anyone. The has just quit on Chizick last year. This year we will see renewed spirit and see a much better team that will upset 1 of the big dogs.

6. Who is going to be the non-SEC media darlings this year? Last year it was Notre Dame, but then that train went off the rails real quickly.

I think Notre Dame will get way too much hype again. With USC falling the way they have I don’t think they are in the discussion any longer. Mark this down guys. It will be Ohio State and the story line will be that Urban Meyer is the one who knows how to beat the SEC since he won NC at Florida. Prepare yourselves because its coming.

7. Will Ole Miss build on their success? I dont really think so. Not this year at least. They just dont have the talent, and now everybody is going to prepare hard for them since Hugh Freeze has proven himself. Just my thoughts.

Ole Miss has another brutal schedule and despite returning dang near everyone, they still are a very young team. The biggest problems I think Ole Miss faces is their road vs home schedule. Getting Bama and LSU at home leaves a brutal road slate. I don’t think they will upset either of those 2 at home. Throw in that Arkansas and Auburn will be different teams and the Egg Bowl in Starkville and this year is much tougher than last year. I think if Ole Miss duplicates what it did last year it would be a great success but I don’t see the next step happening.

8. Is Bret Bielema a good coach? He certainly was pretty successful at Wisconsin, but the SEC is MUCH MUCH more competitive than the Big Ten.

I think he’s a good but not great coach. He’s going to have to make his bones in the SEC recruiting. He has stepped into a whole new world and if he is going to have consistent success, he’s going to have to do a better job then he did at Wisconsin. That said, I think you see an immediate improvement in Arkansas. The motorcycle wreck wreck left the team stunned and John L was trying to hold it together to no avail. That was a dead, beaten team before they stepped on the field. I’m curious how the offense will fare without Tyler Wilson but I have full faith that the defense will be much improved. I expect a much better Arkansas team this year.

College Football is like Bodybuilding

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Professional bodybuilding has 3 major categories that it is imperative that the competitor excel in all to be a champion and major college football is no different. Confused yet? It’s actually very simple. The first part of bodybuilding and college football that plays a huge part in the end product is genetics. Genetics may be the first part part but what you do with those is the second part. Do you have a plan for success? The third part is the one that no one wants to address in either sport but can go into the big success or significant failures. You guessed it. How much are you willing to cheat and how far are you willing to go?
 
Genetics
In bodybuilding some guys just have the natural tools already equipped to allow them to attain big success if they want it. On the flip side, bad genetics don’t necessarily ruin your chances forever but you are working behind the 8 ball. Let’s apply this to football. When I say program genetics, I don’t mean how much you used to win. Past records and successes are irrelevant. Army was a juggernaut 50 years ago. Would you argue they have good program genetics? Florida State didn’t even have football 50 years ago but has great program genetics now. I would define program genetics as the means to compete. That includes money (budgets), revenue generating capacity, state population, recruiting base, and donor support. On the top end of this spectrum would be the Florida Gators. In 2011 they’re athletic department spent $ 107,157,831. They also have a huge home state, fertile recruiting base, and major donor support. The opposite end of the genetic spectrum would be Mississippi State which spent $51,588,743 in 2011. MSU is from a small state, less prospects, and smaller amount of donors.
 
Plan for Success
Bodybuilders require a stringent plan that includes coaching and hard work. There is no substitute for hard work and working smart. Applying this aspect to football is easy. Any program must have not only a good coach but a good coach that is the correct fit for their program. They also must have the right plan in place for the program considering the other factors. I would argue that Nick Saban at Alabama is the example of the perfect mix of the correct plan being worked at with maximum exertion. The opposite would be Gene Chizik in his last year. His guys may have been working hard in practice but they weren’t working smart. He was trying to run the pro set with a spread quarterback. He had a bad plan for success which ultimately lead to his firing.
 
Cheating
Every single competing bodybuilder cheats; all of them. It’s really a matter of how far are you willing to take it? The guy that barely qualifies for the Mr. Olympia does steroids. The guy that wins the Mr. Olympia does steroids, hgh, cutters, hardeners, diuretics, etc… Applying this to football is bit more subjective but similar enough. Everyone in the SEC cheats period. I don’t even blame the institutions as much as the rules but “it is what it is”. There is no way to monitor the $100 dollar and handshakes and other similar activities. These things are more of a required baseline. The high end which can take you to the big time faster is your pay-for-play, pay-for-visits, pay-for-signings, new cars, etc… There is a double edged sword here because the high end of cheating can help you win big but also has bad consequences.
 
Now let’s look at the different combinations of these factors and what you can most likely expect:
 
Good Genetics + Good Plan for Success + Good Cheating = If you’re a fan of these schools, congratulations. You’re probably playing for division and conference titles, playing in big time bowl games, and good chances you have won a national title in the last 15 years. This is rare air and only for the big boys. Must be nice. Roll Tide, Tigah Bait, Go Buckeyes, Gator Chomp, Boomer Sooner.
 
Good Gentics + Good Plan for Success = You guys are consistent winners. Nothing to be ashamed of here. You probably win with integrity and all that. Who needs national title when you do it the right way (cough cough)? Probably win in the 9-10 range yearly, play in good bowls, and occasionally challenge for a division or conference title. Enjoy your success. Go Gawga, Go Irish, Go Hogs (pre motorcycle wreck)
 
Good Plan for Success= Let’s face it. Your probably not good at cheating and your program genetics are dismal. But guess what? You have a good coach and you work hard and buy in. You keep our heads above water and fight the evil powers every Saturday and come up just a bit short most the time. Probably win in the 6-8 range yearly, play in bowls, and occasionally beat someone you’re not supposed to and get 9 wins. Hail State, Go Dores, Fighting Mike Leaches
 
Now let’s look at some fun ones:
 
Bad Genetics + Bad Plan for Success + Bad Cheating = I’m really sorry you have to be a fan of these kinds of schools. It’s probably miserable. You probably lose by large margins regularly, don’t go to bowls, and maybe win 3 games a year. Face it, you suck. Go Jayhawks, Go Fighting Illini, Go Golden Wave
 
Good Genetics + Bad Plan for Success + Good Cheating = Good lord this is frustrating! I mean, we’re winners and our roster is full of 5 stars!! I don’t know if I can take this! Fire _______ now!! Odds are you were an Auburn or Tennessee fan in 2012.

SEC Hate Fueled the Manti Teo Fraud

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The hatred and jealousy of the national media regarding SEC dominance reaches new heights daily. Seven straight national titles will do that. This dominance has caused a national backlash where other programs and players are over-hyped to counter the SEC as being the big story every year. We have come to expect that USC will be deemed the team every preseason who can knock off the SEC but this year’s fraudulent campaign to promote Manti Teo is a travesty that should embarrass so-called national sports writers.
We will start off with his on the field performance. Teo was 46th in the country in tackles per game. Four SEC linebackers ranked ahead of him and not one of those guys played for Alabama or Florida and I would take any of their 3 over him. I know what you’re thinking. He may not have had the sheer number of tackles but surely he had a ton of tackles for loss because he was such a smart player. He had a measly 5.5. I have no idea where that ranks nationally because the top 100 stops at 11.5, over double what Teo had. For reference, Kevin Minter of LSU had 15 and Ole Miss freshman Denzel Nkemdiche had 13.
Now lets look at his catfishing scandal. Never has there been a campaign to support a young man as the one waged by the national media for Manti. Even cynical reporters such as Skip Bayless ran to his defense. Guess what America? He lied. He lied repeatedly. Looking back I think he and Notre Dame succumbed to Noble Cause Corruption, which I wrote about recently. He then admitted to Katy Couric that he was informed on December 6th that it was a hoax. He again mentioned his dead girlfriend on December 8that a Heisman finalist function. That is absolutely disgusting that he would still claim the lie but the national media supported that as well.
A few days ago, all of the eyes of the NFL world wanted to see how Manti performed on the field. The only things that mattered at the combine were his measurables. Another epic fail by the anti-SEC hype machine. Of 26 linebackers that ran the 40, Manti’s time of 4.82 was 20th. From the AP:
“Teo participated in five of the seven drills, opting out of the bench press and 60-yard shuttle, and did not finish ranked among the top five at his position in any of them.
His vertical jump was 33 inches, far below Southern Mississippi’s Jamie Collins’ positional best of 41½. Teo jumped 113 inches in the broad jump. He finished the three-cone drill in 7.13 seconds, well off the pace set by Gooden (6.71). Teo completed the 20-yard shuttle in 4.27 seconds, again behind Gooden’s 4.18.”
In short we saw that Manti was a complete fraud. It’s amazing to me that the SEC is so hated for its success nationally that writers outside of the southeast will go to the links that they do to promote someone like this. A big part of his push was the national love affair with Notre Dame but that’s a whole different story. We saw a guy who performed in a very average manner all year long get pushed by the media into a second place Heisman finish. We saw a guy who milked a lie for everything it was worth in a pursuit for national recognition and get defended by the media, even after it all fell apart. Now we are seeing real life happen. The NFL does not care about the anti-SEC media spin and his plummeting draft stock proves it. The funny thing is that it will happen again next year. If I had to guess, I would say that Ohio State is the next chosen “SEC killer” to be promoted and who knows what mediocre player will get hyped next year. The fun part is that we will get to see the jealousy of the national media fall apart again in the 2013-2014 season as it does every single year

SEC Speed to Burn

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Why does the SEC always seem to have the best league? You hear it all the time: speed and athleticism. Resentment is growing at an all-time high nationwide and many in these regions attempt to disqualify this as a myth. As usual, the NFL Combine laser timed 40 prove that the SEC does in fact have the best speed. Above is a list of the official 40 times for the running backs and wide receivers in the combine.

Take a look at these lists and digest it.  Both positions high end speed guys are dominated by SEC athletes.  When you look at the 40 times of SEC guys at the end of this list, it is almost all the big guys for their positions. Cobi Hamilton at 6’3 209 and still running a laser timed 4.56 is unreal. The only name on the list that is a bit surprising is Ace Sanders at a 4.58. I think anyone who watched him play would argue that his quickness and lateral movement may be unparalleled. The fact that we even scoff at a 4.58 laser timed 40 is a sign of the times but that’s a whole new story.

These times just go to show you what you are up against in the SEC on a weekly basis. These guys are the top playmakers who are able to go the distance on any play. It just goes to show you that even when you play a “down” SEC team such as Tennessee or Arkansas last year, they were still both chock full of elite playmakers and you better bring your A game.