Related: SEC West Christmas gifts
Merry Christmas from all of us at SDS!
Every SEC team needs something this Christmas, so let’s hand out a present to every SEC East team, shall we?
Related: SEC’s top 5 games of 2013
Florida: An offensive game-breaker
Whether it’s a player already on the team, or whether it’s an incoming recruit like QB Will Grier, RB Dalvin Cook or WR Ermon Lane, Florida needs a game-breaker on offense. Specifically, an offensive game-breaker or game-changer could help ensure job security for Will Muschamp and his new OC.
Georgia: A new defensive coordinator
Yeah, I know Todd Grantham is returning in 2014, but I feel like Georgia is settling by keeping him. A young defense bought him another year, but UGA struggled in 2012 with an NFL-filled defense and one of the best defenses – on paper – in college football. I like Grantham and think he’s a great person, but after all, you’re Georgia, and you deserve a top 10 defense. The Bulldogs’ offense is – again – going to be electric next season, and the defense only has to be better than average to win a division title. Is Grantham the coordinator to help lead Georgia to a title? I just think it will have to be someone else.
Kentucky: A quarterback
I love Kentucky’s offensive scheme and think it’s necessary for a team like the Wildcats to have a different style scheme that’s tougher to prepare for. Neil Brown’s throw-it-around style of play is conducive for points, but Kentucky needs a quarterback to run it. Next year, four will be in the mix for the starting job in returners Jalen Whitlow, Max Smith and Patrick Towles, while incoming freshman Drew Barker could be the guy anyway. Kentucky wants to throw it around 40 times per game, but the personnel, specifically at quarterback, just wasn’t there in 2013.
Missouri: Another Michael Sam
The former two-star turned All-American Michael Sam is a senior and graduating this year. Last year, Sheldon Richardson did all the damage in the front four. This year, Sam was the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year in a league known for top defensive players. Sam racked up and SEC-leading 10.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. How does Missouri replace his production in 2014? Easy…they just need another Michael Sam.
South Carolina: Tennessee mulligan
I wonder what irks Steve Spurrier more – a loss to Tennessee or Georgia? After all, we know he loves beating Georgia, but the loss to Tennessee killed Carolina’s championship hopes. Was this Spurrier’s best chance at winning an SEC Championship? The schedule was quite conducive for winning it, but he has a boatload of talent returning in 2014. The Tennessee game prohibited Carolina from finishing 11-1 and getting their shot at Auburn in the SEC Championship. All the Gamecocks want for Christmas is a Tennessee mulligan or a do-over.
Tennessee: Time machine
The reality of the program Butch Jones inherited started to set in midway through the season. The upset over the Gamecocks was nice, but it was a necessity to try to get to a bowl game. That didn’t happen, and the rebuilding job Jones has in front of him is daunting but not impossible. He’s off to a good start, but it’s going to take two to three years to rebuild the sleeping giant and fill it back up with talent once again. Tennessee just needs a time machine so they can fast forward a few years.
Related: SEC bowl game records during BCS era
Vanderbilt: A long-term gentlemen’s agreement with James Franklin
James Franklin has taken Vanderbilt to new heights no one thought was possible, and all Vandy needs is for Franklin to guarantee he will be in Nashville for the next 20 years. He could turn Vanderbilt into the Stanford of the East, and the Commodores would never have to worry about Franklin eyeing another job, ever. Just pay him a fat chunk of coin and bask in the championship glory.
Photo Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports