I fail to understand the logic in this continued chain of "SEC Playoff threats". The SEC will likely get one team in this year. Likely Alabama or Georgia, but hey it could be Auburn and it could be another team. The other 3 teams will probably be from the ACC, the Big 12, or either the Big 10 or PAC 12. Maybe Notre Dame, but I don't think so. As we have seen the past few years, to win the National Championship, you need to be in good shape injury wise, well coached, have a great defense and a balanced offense. Probably an undefeated Power 5 conference champion makes the playoff. If Washington wins out, including Auburn and USC, they are probably in. Not really a threat, just math.
I grew up in the southeast and now live in the Chicago metro. The very loyal Bear fan base is not pleased about a player with an $18 million contract holding out for all the training camp downstate. He really needs to hit the ground running right away and pray to God that he doesn't get hurt with a hammy or a sprain or something that training camp in August could have worked out. Linebackers achieve legendary status in Chicago ( QBs and WRs not so much). We were initially very excited when he was drafted, but a lot of that has worn off. If he has a great year, all is forgotten, but the local press and fans will not be forgiving if he stumbles out of the gate.
Alabama showed us multiple backs last year that could tote the football. When Kerryone Johnson got hurt late in the season, Auburn lost the ability to run the ball, and thus control the game. I like Auburn's QB situation better, but they need to find a couple or three powerhouse backs to have a BCS kind of season.
The QB situation would be much improved if Florida could establish a power running game like Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia. They had no offensive flow last year and that puts all the pressure on an untested QB. The QB job should be to distribute the ball, hit the short pass in stride and be able to launch one deep to keep the defense honest. Hurts was able to manage the game for Alabama for most of the year. Jarrett Stidham and Jake Fromm are being heralded as brilliant QBs when they had a great running game to establish tempo. When they continue to put all the offensive burden on a QB, it makes a bad situation worse. I have not followed Florida this off season. I am surprised to find that they still don't have a guy.
I would love to Auburn beat Washington, but Auburn tends to start slow and get rolling later. They might surprise Miss State or GA. Never sure until the season starts.
I don't see Alabama and Georgia in the playoff this year. I do think they will play for the SEC championship with the winner going to the playoff. If the loser is GA, they will will be a one loss team with a very weak schedule. If the loser is AL, they might sneak in depending on how close the SEC championship game is and how well the overall seasons of Louisville, LSU, Auburn and the rest turned out. The committee could also say Alabama is a one loss team with a very modest non conference schedule and most of their big games at home. Win out and you control your destiny.
Stephen Smith is an absolute idiot. Hurts had two great years. He did his job. He struggled against really elite defenses ( Auburn and Georgia), but everybody else did too. His job is to manage the game, hit the quick routes, and hit the big long throw several times a game to keep the defenses honest. Same job as AJ McCarron, Blake Sims, Jake Coker and all the other Saban QBs. Alabama's offense is not set up for a QB to throw 45 times a game. I was super excited about Tua, but let's seem him win 37 games. I think Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Michigan, and about 95 other schools wish they had a guy like Hurts.
Coaches matter, team chemistry matters, distractions matter. I think Ohio State is a dumpster fire waiting to happen. I like UCF, I hope they have a good year, but when your head coach leaves for a bigger job, there is usually a drop off. Polls don't matter much in early August. When do the games start???
Will Urban Meyer survive at Ohio State following damning report? Many call for his firing if details are true
This could be the big break that Harbaugh needs!
Fox analyst Joel Klatt on why the SEC has the easiest Playoff path “by a wide margin” and his interesting CFP tweaks
Eight or nine game conference schedules don't matter when the bottom half of your conference belongs in a mid major program. Illinois, Rutgers, Kansas,etc. There is only one legitimate team the the Big 10 West right now and that is why Wisconsin goes to nice bowls every single year. Big 12 it is Oklahoma and not much else. The ACC and SEC are the best football conferences in the country right now. I admit that Ohio St, Penn ST, and OK, and even USC are capable of hanging around with the best of these schools. Please don't expand the field to 8 teams. There were not 8 national championship caliber schools at the end of any of the past 3 playoffs. Usually there were only 2 or 3. You can't make these kids play more games, especially during final exams and Christmas Break.
Johnny has many years of history of bad decision making. His career did not end at the Manning passing academy. His career ended in Cleveland when he did not have sense enough to take advantage of his opportunity. If he had led Cleveland to the playoffs, even once, no one would remember the Manning passing academy. AJ is a class guy that is finally getting a shot. Just compare the trajectories of these two guys and you will know everything you need to know.
Yank his scholarship and find another kid. Florida has a very bad reputation for tolerating punks. Time for Mullins to show some leadership.
I like the fact that they play the game more in the middle of the season. So many of the big rivalries are the last regular game of the season ( Alabama/Auburn, Michigan/Ohio State, etc. ) The teams are getting beat up at the end of the year. Winners frequently have the conference championship the following week. It makes great TV, but not so great for the athletes. Go Gators!
The problem is the Power 5 conferences have too many members and cover too much geography. I have no problem keeping the conference games at 8 per season. They need to schedule at least 3 games against other power 5 conferences. I would love to see Alabama play USC or Ohio State or Notre Dame. Only one powder puff game per year, preferably against a mid major team. No more Mercers and U C Charlotte. Then we can see who the best 4 are. No expansion of the championship 4 is fine. And we have too many worthless bowls.
Football and Chili. Well played, Central Florida, well played.
SEC Media Days: Nick Fitzgerald blames himself for injury, eyes big year for himself and Mississippi State
Guy sounds like a leader and a winner. Hope they have a good season.
Tiger stadium is a tough place to play. Probably Alabama's most difficult test next year in the regular season.
Only one involved football. All this stuff seems trivial. I bet all this big schools have an administrator making six figures that runs around and does this crap. They could provide scholarships to a dozen students rather than paying people to do this crap.
Some statistical context on Lincoln Riley’s out-of-context quote about how Georgia’s defense would fare in the Big 12
The Big 12 plays an exciting style of football, but they have to win a National Championship or two in the modern era before we take them too seriously.
I am a Florida transplant living in the Chicago suburbs. The number of kids from our high school that attend Alabama is unbelievable. The state of Illinois sends more kids to Alabama than any other state besides Georgia and Alabama. I can't say the Tide has coast to coast appeal, but everybody east of the Rockies is well aware of this team. ( I agree the PAC 12 hippies don't care about football). America loves winners. They also love winners that are tough, disciplined and don't cheat. Alabama is America's team.
I am not too worried about strength of schedule, especially if Florida and Tennessee pick it up a notch and have good seasons and go to bowl games. SC, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee is not a cakewalk. Usually GT is at least competitive. The two teams have split the games the past 4 years. I would like to see the new QB get into the game with wildcat packages or something creative. Most coaches leave their starters in the game way too long when the game is over. Give Fields some reps early and often to see what he's got.
The Arkansas loss to Toledo was not devastating. Arkansas was a very mediocre SEC team last year. Toledo won 11 games, and the MAC championship. A good mid major can and does beat a lower tier power conference team. It happens every year.
Same argument we have every year. There is a little bit of "reputation effect" with these things. But if Nebraska or Mizzou runs the table, they will get into the championship game. So would any team in a power 5 conference. The issue becomes when a team loses once or twice, or does not win their conference championship. I think the committee has gotten it right every year. Remember, half the fun of college football is the arguing that goes along with it.
There’s a simple, yet important question about Jake Fromm that we’re going to get an answer to in 2018
Sorry to dredge up a sore subject GA fans. How did Georgia lose this game? I saw the game live and have watched highlight reels several times. As I watch GA go up 20-7 with 6:52 left in the 3rd, I still cannot believe it. I think Fromm is pretty good. Going out on a limb, but I think he beats Saban's committee system in the SEC Championship game. If you have two Quarterbacks, you don't have A Quarterback. Not yet sold on Tua.
If you have time and can find it on cable, watch the college world series. It is very fast and fun and so much more entertaining than pro baseball. The women's world series is even better. Faster and funner. 13 SEC teams this year.
I hope all this hype is true. Florida still does not have a proven QB. Their running game never really showed up last year. I know they have talent. They have had talent before. The talent has to be coached and disciplined. Coach Mullen should take a page out of Bear Bryant's playbook and talk down the team to minimize expectations. I love the Gators and Gainesville, but this is a very fickle fan base. You want to give them pleasant surprises, not hype and disappointment.
Jimbo is a good coach and good recruiter. The SEC West just got more difficult.
Unless something crazy happens, and it usually does, I see 10-2 with a New Year's Day Bowl game. Not sure they can beat GA and Alabama on the road. But that's why we wait and play the games.
Wow, way to be bold with your predictions! Alabama in the CFP again. Who would ever see that coming!
While it’s extremely difficult, here’s why it’s not impossible for a Group of 5 team to make the Playoff
I have a problem with one win against a strong Power 5 conference team gettin a team in the playoffs. Let's see in the SEC, someone has to beat LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia or some combination of those. It has to survive Florida, Tennesse, both Mississippi schools, Texas A&M. The Big 10 winner has Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. And off weeks against Nebraska, Iowa, Purdue and the rest. The ACC has Clemson, Florida State, Miami, and cannot have a let down against Georgia Tech, NC, NC State and the rest. Ditto for the Big 12 and the PAC 12. There are 2 to 4 power schools in each conference, plus pretty tough "off weeks" against teams that can and will pull off upsets each and every week. That is very different from playing one legitimate power team and a bunch of lesser schools the rest of the year. Don't get me wrong, I love mid majors. I went to a mid major school. I think the Power 5 should have more matchups with mid majors and less matchups with the Mercers and Charleston Southerns of the world. I love to watch the best mid majors play in bowl games against good teams in power 5 conferences. But I do not think a mid major will ever be in the top 4 of the nation. Their strength of schedule is just not there.