Kicking off my third year writing for this great site I’d first like to thank John and Mike for allowing me to contribute and being my only two readers since my first “article” was posted.
I’ve returned just in time to tee up the SEC football season for you, so for the next four months expect two Overtime posts a week, probably on Friday and Saturday. (If someone gets in a motorcycle accident, proves to me the Big East actually still plays football, or Clay Travis isn’t talking smack about your fan base expect to see me more often.) The first will be a quick snapshot of what’s happening around the league and the second a few handicapping tips for the upcoming weekend slate of SEC games. For you first-time readers out there I picked 95% of SEC games correctly the last two years and last year I picked all 71 bowl games correctly, too.
A special welcome to Mizzou and A&M fans! Your one-year grace period ends in late November. Please enjoy it before it expires and if you understand everything written in the juvenile high school yearbook dot dots below consider yourself 25% part of the SEC.
Jefferson Pilot is not the nickname of a speedy freshman quarterback… Danny Sheridan passed a self-administered lie detector test purchased from Piggly-Wiggly… A real person named Hugh Freeze coaches Ole Miss… Notre Dame hate… Mark Richt is really nice… Eli Gold and Larry Munson… Eating synthetic grass long before kids started smoking it, Les Miles is a trailblazer… Finebaum… Tim Tebow still plays for Florida… Vanderbilt is the default answer to every non-football related SEC question… 51% of SEC fans truly believe Vanderbilt is in the Ivy League but plays sports in the SEC… Who Let the Dogs Out?! South Carolina fans suffer from an SEC inferiority complex because they used to play in the Sun Belt or something… Mo Isom… OH MIIIII GOODNESS >> chuckle for two seconds >> two seconds of silence >> WOW!! … Very attractive women… The First Lady, Olivia… Phillip Fulmer no longer coaches Tennessee… Orange Pants… Hobnail boot… The Process… Bag Man… Rev. Cecil… Fly in the ointment… We’re all cheaters in this conference… Alabama will always be better than your football team… Kentucky will always be better than your basketball team… On second thought, it actually takes 10 years to become an official SEC member so you guys are on your own until 2022.
Since it’s a fact the SEC will make it seven in a row – our dominance really began back in ’98 – I’m opting for a mailbag opener of random questions instead of writing about SEC greatness like everyone else.
Is James Franklin for Real? – Woody Widenhofer and General Neyland
Woody and General, he really is doing the impossible by winning games and reeling in recruits once destined for SEC heavyweights. The big question is if Vandy can win since they are no longer stamped as an automatic W. A coach hasn’t brought the right mixture of coaching and attitude to a perennial SEC doormat since Spurrier at USC. Without LSU or Bama on the schedule nine wins is in play and I am Dead Franklin Serious (DFS). The tiresome argument that a great coach can only win at certain schools in the SEC finally be put to bed forever at season’s end.
What is the least-attended game in SEC History? – Bill Curry
Bill, despite leading your UK team to a 1-10 record in 1994 you’ll be glad to know it will take place on November 17 in Lexington. When UK is 3-7 at best heading into their home game against powerhouse Samford, 500 fans will be in the stadium. If it’s a 12:00 start with cold, rainy weather it will be the first SEC game in history to be played in front of no fans. This will be like the first NCAA Chicken Pox football game. My money is on the three Dave’s reuniting with JP to broadcast this game on PPV for free. (Andy Katz will be doing sideline work.)
Is Nick Saban that good? – Al from Dadeville
Al, yes. Depending on how long he stays at Alabama he could go down as the greatest coach in Alabama history despite not piling up numbers in the win category. This of course means he would go down as the greatest coach in SEC history. If he can bag two more national titles, a realistic possibility, in my eyes he’s the best college football coach ever. A scary thought is Nick Saban coaching Florida State the past decade when only one game a year counts.
Who survives to play in Atlanta? – Harvey from Opelika
Harvey, since we’ve already established Alabama is the greatest football team ever every single year they will obviously win the West. With Petrino no longer motorcycling the sidelines the trip to Fayettenam is no longer a roadblock, and the Tide’s visit to Columbia 2.0 officially welcomes the Tigers to the SEC and their fans get to hang out with entitled Bama fans for the first time. The big test, of course, waits in Baton Rouge. While the Tigers will bulldoze past the 50 this time around, the Tide will return the home loss from last year and lock up the West.
How much did Mark Richt pay Mike Slive for Georgia’s schedule? The only game the Bulldogs won’t be favored in is against South Carolina, only because it’s in Columbia. Even if UGA loses this game they could still win the East because USC is at LSU and Florida the following two weeks. (Not so fast my friend…)
Who wins more games this year – A&M or Missouri? – Jackie Sherrill
The Tigers are just about the same as the Aggies on the field, but the big but is the Tigers play in the East. UGA, UK and Vandy are winnable home games, as are roadies against UT, USC, UF and A&M. Forget the rookie nameplate because if Missouri beats UGA at home in Week 2 they have a real shot at Atlanta. A&M? 12 men on the field is not allowed in the SEC and it’s not my fault the Aggies joined the NFL West.
Who are two top Heisman candidates from the SEC? – Little Richard
Richard, thank you for my first easy question.
- The person who applies Spencer Tillman’s makeup.
- The person who plugs Tim Brando’s hair so tightly to his scalp that it can stand up and defeat gale force winds. *I am totally bald and don’t wear makeup. Jealousy is unhealthy characteristic of mine.
Is Twitter or Facebook more damaging for players? – Greg Oden
Greg, Twitter is great because overnight it has surpassed Spanish as #2 most used language in America. My advice is to put the camera down and stay away from social media all together. Especially Pintrest.
How bad of shape is Tennessee football in right now? – Da’rick Rodgers
Mr. Rodgers, I would say as bad as it’s been in 30+ years. I can’t see any possible scenario where Dooley survives this year so Rebuilding 3.0 begins with I have No Idea as their coach in 2013. The UT brand has to be sold to get players the best players from out of state and right now the UT brand is swagging out the Life Support brand. Honestly, what happens to UT if they don’t make the right hire next time around? Vol fans deserve much better than this. I just read about disappearing Da’rick a few minutes ago.
Bobby P’s next stop? – JD
The NFL is out for a head coaching job after he left the Atlanta Falcons in the middle of the night like he was wearing a Baltimore Colts uniform. The SEC West is dead for obvious reasons… at least for the foreseeable future? USC, Mizzou, UF, UT (see Kiffin disaster) and Vandy are off the table for 2013.
Honestly, Petrino has two options: relocate to the PAC-12 or become the next coach at Kentucky. UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart took a “risk” on a “dirty” guy like John Calipari and was handsomely rewarded. Petrino makes a terrible candidate for the squeaky-clean Barnhart, but Barnhart believes deeply in redemption and hitting a grand slam with Calipari has given him all the leverage he needs. Petrino won big just down the road at Louisville and his “sins” pale in comparison to Rick Pitino’s. (This is important in Kentucky.) Calipari dominating Pitino is already too much for Louisville fans to handle, so can you hear the nail biting of Cardinal fans about Petrino coming back to the Bluegrass? Especially after Charlie Strong leaves to coach in the FBS.
Think about this for a minute… If Kentucky basketball fans welcomed Calipari – two vacated Final Four visits and all – with open arms to coach their pride and joy, hiring Petrino to coach the lazy UK football program won’t be an issue with long-suffering UK football fans. What does UK football have to lose? Is there a basement below the basement below the basement below the basement to live in? Is this called a bomb shelter? That’s where the UK football program currently lives. Petrino’s first step to on the road to redemption begins in Lexington in 2013 and long-suffering UK football fans will be thrilled to join him in the healing process. If UK is serious about landing Petrino they better start courting Mrs. Petrino because I’m very confident about who is calling the shots in that family these days.
You’re an awful writer. Nobody reads your posts besides the guys who run this site. – The Internet
Internet, like me, you will one day be replaced. As always, thanks for reading.
Tyler B. works as a communications specialist for a Louisville, Kentucky company. A lifetime SEC fan – long before it became “acceptable” to cheer for every team in the conference – he plans on writing several books about college football that have a fantastic chance of never being written.