Who’s Ready For Some SEC Football???!!!

I haven’t written anything in quite a long time. I am blaming COVID-19 and will ignore the fact that I am very lazy about penning anything these days. It takes both desire and effort and those two things have been in short supply with me concerning writing. That’s about to change as football season has, actually, begun and SEC football makes its debut NEXT week.

Therefore, I am going to make some predictions on the soon to arrive SEC 2020 season. Hot diggity dawg!

The Southeastern Conference member teams will be playing only teams from the SEC. At least until playoff time. Each team will play ten regular season games (https://www.secsports.com/article/29682732/sec-announces-new-2020-football-schedule).

And there will be an SEC Championship game right here in Hotlanta!

This week we will take care of picking the orders of finish in the SEC and next week we’ll get down into picking the actual contests that are on the slate for that week.

Let’s roll!

SEC East
1. Florida (9-1)
2. Georgia (7-3)
3. Kentucky (6-4)
4. Tennessee (4-6)
5. South Carolina (3-7)
6. Missouri (2-8)
7. Vanderbilt (0-10)

SEC West
1. Alabama (9-1)
2. Auburn (8-2)
3. LSU (7-3)
4. Texas A&M (6-4)
5. Ole Miss (4-6)
6. Mississippi State (3-7)
7. Arkansas (2-8)

In a quick bit of analysis, let’s start with the East. Florida went 9-3 in 2019 and will be improved, again, in Dan Mullen’s second year. I think Georgia will take a step down, due, primarily, to inexperience at quarterback and that a true freshman will likely start. It has holes to fill AND it plays Alabama during the regular season, as well as Auburn from the West.

Many prognosticators like Tennessee over Kentucky, but I do not. Jeremy Pruitt is doing a very good job of recruiting and rebuilding that program, but Mark Stoops has quietly rebuilt the Wildcats into a formidable team. They are very physical and should play well on both sides of the ball. The quarterback position, with former starter, Terry Wilson, at the helm, should be solid calling the signals.

Something has to give at South Carolina. They, also, should find some stability at quarterback. Colorado State transfer, Collin Hill, has been named the starter. Will Muschamp has had four years to recruit his guys and move the Cocks forward, but they seem to be standing still, as far as movement in the standings are going. UT has leapt over them.

Misery is the word in Columbia, MO and NashVegas. Derek Mason, for all of his enthusiasm and optimism (you have to love the guy) has not gotten it done at Vandy. They could well not win a football game this year, one tops!

And now over to the West. I think Auburn is going to field a VERY good football team this season. The Iron Bowl is in T-Town and that is the only reason I picked Bama over the Tigers. On the other hand, Gus Malzahn’s troops could pick up its first win at Bryant-Denny since the CamBack. Bo Nix has developed into a full grown man and he has championship QB written all over him at some point. That could be 2020, but we’ll give shaky nod to Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide.

I don’t get all the love for LSU. They did win it all last year. This year they have been hammered by attrition, from graduation and COVID, and look to drop a couple of notches in the pecking order. Yes, they tend to reload, but not enough to win the Wild Wild West.

I really don’t get the love for the Aggies. I do not have confidence in Jimbo Fisher and it appears, from this angle, that it will be the same old, same old in College Station.

The five and six spots in the West belong to the circus that both Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach bring to the Magnolia State. It will be a great deal of fun to watch them play and the pressers should be wonderful! The Mississippis promise to improve each succeeding year under these two coaches.

Misery is also the word in Fayetteville, AK. Bret Bielema left a complete dumpster fire there and it will be years before the Razorbacks are back on track. I am quite happy Chad Morris is now the offensive coordinator on the Plains. The O will ROCK!

We’ll work about the championship game when the time comes. For now, let’s just kick back and enjoy watching the best dang conference in the country play football!

Take care out there and love your neighbor as yourself. Peace out!










SEC Wrapz Up

Had the stomach flu

My gasket is blew

Now it’s time for LSU

And Georgia

And Georgia

The Dawgs will growl

The Tigers will prowl

The coaches will scowl

In Georgia

In Georgia

Yo! Which team wins

In Mercedes-Benz?

Tigers minus 7

Football heaven

Dawgs will fall

That’s all

That’s all

Thats’s all

That’s all…

Tyguz 28, Dawgz 23

O Defense, Where Art Thou?

“ I am a man of constant sorrow.”

Surely you remember that great song, done by the Soggy Bottom Boys, from the movie whose name spawned the title of this piece.

The opening line of that traditional American folk tune surely seems to ring true for the Auburn family, and particularly where defense is concerned.

Just when things began to appear to take shape… BOOM! … Coach Will Muschamp is named head coach at South Carolina. And, he takes defensive back coach, Travaris Robinson, with him. Good for them. Godspeed and good luck!

But that leaves Auburn back at square one… Again.

This will be the eighth defensive coordinator change on the Plains since Gene Chizik left, after the 2004 season, to take the same position at the University of Texas. That’s more turnover than the apple pie variety at a 24 hour diner. But not as tasty.

David Gibbs, Will Muschamp (round one), Paul Rhoads, Ted Roof, Brian VanGorder, Ellis Johnson, Will Muschamp (deux), and, fill in the blank, compose the merry-go-round that has been churning at Auburn during that time span. Auburn has not, truly, had a salty defense in the Auburn tradition since Tommy Tuberville made his exit following the 2008 campaign.

Speaking of Tommy Tuberville, he was also, in good part, the inspiration for this humble column.

I was in Atlanta, this past weekend, soaking in the SEC Championship Game festivities in and around the Georgia Dome. I was joined by four Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brothers from my days at Troy University, circa 1974-76. One is a Gator (the gracious brother who pulled this all together). Another is a Georgia Bull-DOGGIE. The third, a Bama fan, and I pulled up the rear as the representative War Eagle.

To say a good time was had by all would be a gross understatement. More on that later over coffee, of the Irish sort, if any one of you so desires.

Back to Tubby.

After we brothers parted ways I made my way down to the College Football Hall of Fame, which is right there near CNN Center and the Dome. I am ashamed to say I had never been there prior to to this time. And let me say that it is a MUST, A+++, Five star, whatever. Go! Now! Drive! Fly! Just do it!

I upgraded to a season pass after I completed my, four hours of bliss, visit.

And, you don’t have to be a rabid fan, like myself, to enjoy the experience. Casual fans and non-football fans should enjoy it immensely. Everyone should enjoy it.

Enough of that endorsement. Let’s try again to get back to Tubby.

My host guided me through the sign-up process and my Auburn helmet lit up on the gargantuan wall in the spacious entry area of the Hall. I was then informed, by another host, as I was looking lost while gawking at the splendor of it all, that coaches David Cutcliffe, Bill Curry, and Tommy Tuberville were seated nearby. They were signing autographs before they were to participate on a panel for an event that takes place, weekly, on the “field” in the adjacent room.

That was the jolt to my system that I needed after two nights of revelry in downtown Hotlanta!

I made my way to the table and chatted, briefly, with each coach. Hog Heaven!

My conversation with Coach Tuberville consisted, partially, of thanks for his time in The Loveliest Village. I told him that we miss him, and what we really, REALLY miss is his defense. ( He brought up the six-game winning streak over Alabama). 😉

The fact-of-the-matter is, we haven’t had a good defense since Thomas Hawley Tuberville patrolled the sidelines at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Humor me. Here are the the defensive stats, total yards and points per game, since Tubs departed Auburn.

2010 368.4 ypg and 24.07 ppg (and remember, Auburn won the National Championship Game that year with Nick Fairley and company on D)
2011 408.0 ypg and 28.9 ppg
2012 420.5 ypg and 28.3 ppg
2013 420.7 ypg and 24.7 ppg (played for the Natty)
2014 398.8 ypg and 26.7 ppg
2015 421.8 ypg and 27.3 ppg

That’s grim, folks.

But take heart! We’re not Kansas! (561 ypg and 46.1 ppg) Mercy!

Tuberville’s best D was in 2004 with Gene Chizik as defensive coordinator-273 ypg and 11.3 ppg.

Yes, O defense, where art thou?

So, where do we go from here? First of all is the hiring of a good defensive coordinator. One of the first names to surface is Charles Kelly, the DC at Florida State. He played for Auburn and finished in 1990. He would be a good one. We shall see.

And then there’s the matter of the upcoming bowl game. It ain’t far folks! Get your tickets and head to Birmingham to support the Tigers! Gus Malzahn is at a critical juncture in his tenure at Auburn and needs all hands-on-deck.

Auburn’s opponent, as most of you know, is Memphis. Tigers vs. Tigers. It should be a dandy! (We miss you, Keith Jackson!)

The practice time Auburn gets to prepare for this contest is valuable. Muschamp will not coach the defense, obviously, as he has taken the head coach position at South Carolina. It would be nice to get someone on board to familiarize himself with his future talent on defense.

One reason Auburn struggled on defense in 2015 is the offense. It was nowhere near Gus Malzahn standards. That HUNH has not been hurrying and, last season, it didn’t score points as it has in past years under Malzahn. THAT MUST CHANGE!

I wrote, a couple of weeks back, that these are the times that try men’s souls. They absolutely are that.

The past is the past.

It is what it is.

The time is now.

And now is the time for all good fans to come to the aid of their football team.

Stay tuned, folks. Good, bad, or indifferent, there are some interesting times in front of us.

But, in closing, let me say this. If the other team can’t score, they have no chance to win the football game. That 11.3 ppg would be fantastic, but those days are a distant memory. Gone with the wind, if you will. I will “settle” for something under 20 ppg. 😉

O defense, where art thou?