The 90s song that represents the state of each SEC program
The Class of 2017 was the last class to be primarily composed of players born in the 1990s. To celebrate that fact, we’ve decided to name a song from the ’90s that represents, in some form or fashion, the state of each SEC program.
Let’s get to it.
Alabama – “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer
No SEC team has come near the sustained level of success that Alabama has enjoyed since Nick Saban’s arrival. The Crimson Tide couldn’t repeat as national champions, but they’ve proven time and again that they can make it back to the Playoff with a new-look roster. Alabama is in the midst of one of the greatest stretches in college football history, and nobody in the SEC can touch the Tide right now.
Arkansas – “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot
Ignoring the obvious connection between “back” and Razorback, Arkansas returns one of the SEC’s best running backs in Rawleigh Williams III. With several veteran receiving options on their way out, Williams is undoubtedly Arkansas’ best offensive weapon, and he will be needed to help lighten the load for Austin Allen.
Auburn – “Run-Around” by Blues Traveler
Auburn led the SEC in rushing yards per game in 2016, and it returns both Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway. With Jarrett Stidham in the mix for the starting quarterback job, the Tigers could have a solid passing attack to go with their ground game. Even if that turns out to be the case, however, Auburn will always look to run around its opposition.
Florida – “Come as You Are” by Nirvana
Jim McElwain has taken Florida to the SEC Championship Game in each of his two seasons as head coach, but there is still the sense that the Gators have taken advantage of a weak SEC East. People want to point out the team’s shortcomings, but the results speak for themselves.
Georgia – “You Get What You Give” by New Radicals
Upon arriving at Georgia last season, Kirby Smart said that he believed there was a sense of entitlement within the program. In attempting to transform Georgia in the mold of Alabama, Smart has ushered in a spirit of hard work and competition. Players are working toward the ultimate goal, but they know that they will only get out what they put in.
Kentucky – “Vogue” by Madonna
Was last season the start of a resurgence for Kentucky football under Mark Stoops, or just a flash in the pan? The Wildcats were in the mix late in the season and earned a nice victory over Louisville in their regular-season finale. Now, Kentucky is a popular dark horse pick in the SEC East, but only time will tell if it is heading in the right direction.
LSU – “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day
It’s the start of a new era for LSU. Les Miles is out, marking the end of one of the most successful periods in the program’s history, and Ed Orgeron is here to help push the Tigers over the top. This season should be met with excitement for the future, but it’s important not to forget the foundation for success that Miles helped build.
Mississippi State – “I Don’t Want to Wait” by Paula Cole
Dan Mullen brought in a staggering amount of JUCO talent to Mississippi State, which should be taken as a sign that he wants the Bulldogs to be competitive sooner rather than later. This influx of veteran talent, largely on the defensive side of the ball, should complement an improving offense and help Mississippi State rebound from a down year.
Missouri – “I Want You Back” by NSYNC
Defense had always been Missouri’s calling card under former coach Gary Pinkel, but that wasn’t the case in Barry Odom’s first season. The Tigers had the SEC’s worst defense but also an offense that kept them in several games. Now, Missouri is trying to get back that stout defense and build a team that is dangerous on both sides.
Ole Miss – “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy
A lingering NCAA investigation looms over the Ole Miss program like a dark cloud that just won’t go away. It had a devastating impact on the Rebels’ 2017 recruiting class, and Hugh Freeze isn’t happy with this stigma surrounding his program. The Rebels recently imposed a bowl ban for 2017 and many believe Freeze’s job is in jeopardy. There isn’t much love lost between Ole Miss and the NCAA right now.
South Carolina – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
South Carolina played more true freshmen than nearly all other SEC teams in 2016, and their performance has many around the program excited for the future. Will Muschamp helped the Gamecocks improve on defense, and the offense figures to get much more electric with some incoming playmakers on offense. There’s a lot of positive energy in Columbia.
Tennessee – “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind
For the first half of last season, it looked as though Tennessee was fated to make its much-awaited return to the SEC Championship Game. Everything was breaking the Vols way, and they were doing everything they could to take advantage of those opportunities. Injuries derailed Tennessee’s season, and now the program appears to be falling a step behind once again, even if Butch Jones is trying to keep things upbeat.
Texas A&M – “Oops! I Did it Again” by Brittany Spears
Spears emerged in the late 1990s, so we’re allowing this March 2000 release to qualify. Under Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M has developed a reputation for starting hot and fading down the stretch. Last season looked to be the most promising for the Aggies, who started the season 6-0, but a familiar second-half swoon angered fans and has Sumlin on the hot seat heading into 2017.
Vanderbilt – “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
Derek Mason finally had the on-field success he’s been looking for since taking over at Vanderbilt. The Commodores earned some pretty big victories last season, including a win over in-state rival Tennessee, that left Mason dancing on the sideline.