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5 Questions We’d Love To Have Answered in 2011 – Valentine’s Day Special

We’ve got some questions.  Questions that we want answered.

On this Valentine’s Day, we thought it appropriate to share with you the top five questions we’d love to see answered in 2011.  And with 320 days left in the year surely we’ll get closure in these areas.  (Then again, the NCAA did take four years to wrap up its Southern Cal investigation.)

Without further ado, here’s what we we can’t wait to have answered:

1.  Will the NCAA strip Auburn of its national title? 

Auburn fans are tired of this story, but if Alabama had inked Cam Newton, they’d be working to keep it alive just as 11 other fanbases are trying to stir the pot via rumors and internet posts now.  We’re hearing that there’s more dirt out there.  Newton, banks collapsing, wire fraud, FBI phone taps, etc.  Yeah, we’ve heard that just as you’ve heard that.  But the fact that AU’s coaches all elected to stay on The Plains this offseason and not flee the scene suggests to us that this story has already run its course.  Much to the chagrin of all those SEC fans wishing evil on the Tiger program.  Much to the delight of Mike Slive who most assuredly wants this scandal to disappear from the national papers and websites.

2.  What will the NCAA do to Tennessee?

Notice we didn’t just say “to Bruce Pearl and his assistants.”  The football program is coming under more scrutiny these days.  Ex-coaches David Reaves, Ed Orgeron and Lane Kiffin are part of the NCAA’s look-see into Tennessee.  Vol fans are hoping/praying that the guys in Indianapolis show mercy since those football coaches are gone.  But the NCAA still hasn’t turned over its letter of allegations against the school.  That piece of paper was initially expected to arrive in December.  So it’s getting harder and harder to believe the NCAA won’t look at all that’s gone wrong in Knoxville (a small violation in baseball, multiple violations in basketball, a coaching staff caught lying in basketball, multiple violations in football) and not utter the dreaded words: lack of institutional control.

3.  Will Steve Spurrier go back to his quarterback-rotating days?

South Carolina finished 9-5 in 2010 and that’s got a lot of Gamecock fans down on quarterback Stephen Garcia.  Again.  But USC finished the regular season with just three losses and did win its first-ever division title… with Garcia at quarterback.  They then ran into a juggernaut in Auburn who no one defeated and their own star player — Marcus Lattimore — was knocked out of their bowl game with Florida State in the opening moments.  Spurrier loves Connor Shaw and might have cost himself an September win versus Auburn on The Plains by going to him.  The Cocks will have an open QB competition in the spring.  Spurrier needs to pick one guy and stick with him.  Since arriving in Columbia, the carousel he succeeded with at Florida hasn’t worked. 

4.  Who will win the SEC West?

Alabama and LSU figure to be the class of the West Division in 2011.  Sure they have unanswered questions and important holes to fill, but they also have four- and five-star players out the wazoo.  The same could be said for Alabama and Florida last year, however.  The fact that Alabama and Florida didn’t dominate as expected should give hope to Arkansas and Mississippi State.  Can Bobby Petrino get his Razorbacks back to a BCS bowl with a new quarterback?  Can Dan Mullen keep the momentum going in Starkville without Manny Diaz?  As was the case in 2010, the SEC West figures to be the best division in America next season.  Whoever comes out on top will likely be right in the mix to win the SEC’s sixth national title in a row.

5.  What coach will lose his job?

Entering 2011, Mark Richt sits on the SEC’s hottest seat.  He’s just signed a tremendous recruiting class and that’s lowered — for now — the temperature in Athens just a tad.  But all those blue chippers will only raise expectations this fall.  Richt probably needs an 8- or 9-win season to survive.  In Oxford, the bloom is already off the Houston Nutt rose.  No coach has more yearly roster churn than Nutt.  That kind of instability wears on fans.  The fact that Nutt hasn’t beaten Mississippi State in two years doesn’t help.  Especially since Nutt has outrecruited Mullen.  Finally, Les Miles goes from fan favorite to pariah with the regularity of a metronome.  He’s in Tiger fans’ good graces now and he just got a nice, big contract extension from LSU AD Joe Alleva.  But the SEC is an unpredictable place.  Don’t be surprised if Miles ticks off Tiger fans yet again this fall.




  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by KY Sports Network, MrSEC. MrSEC said: 5 Questions We’d Love To Have Answered in 2011 – Valentine’s Day Special: We’ve got some… [...]

  2. [...] John Pennington has five questions (Valentine’s Day edition) in the SEC. (MrSEC) [...]

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