As the Kentucky native on the SDS staff, I’m honored to be tapped to write this column. But don’t think that means I know a horseshoe from horse … well, from much else about horses when it comes to the Kentucky Derby.

But one thing I do know is that a lot of horse names can be applied to other things, like SEC football. Here’s a horse (based on name only) for each SEC football team.


Classic Empire — Hmmm, if only there was a perennial SEC winner who deserves affiliation with this name. Oh wait. Alabama.

State of Honor — Got to go to Auburn. The state of Alabama has won seven of the past eight SEC titles. Sure, five of those belong to Alabama. But Auburn has held it up its end of the bargain too.

Untrapped — The perfect name for a team that has spent the last several seasons with a giant offensive game-planning handicap, but is finally free. This is an LSU kind of pony.

Thunder Snow — What’s as out of place as thunder snow? A Yankee in Arkansas. Bret Bielema, you have inspired a connection.

J Boys Echo — Texas A&M. Why? Because if the Aggies want to compete in the West they’ll need the kind of tough-minded football that echoes the Junction Boys, those old-school A&M heroes.

Fast and Accurate — Ole Miss, mostly because the Rebels are praying that QB Shea Patterson will continue to live up to this name.

Gunnevera — I have no idea where the horse’s name comes from, but with Dan Mullen, Mississippi State is in the (shot) gun (formation) every play, so it’ll work.


Irish War Cry — Florida. If the Gators can win their third straight East title, Jim McElwain might just deliver an Irish war cry.

Master Plan — Georgia. Kirby Smart’s rise up the East feels destined. And with so many Bulldogs passing up the NFL Draft, having a big season is clearly their master plan.

Always Dreaming — Tennessee. What? There isn’t a horse called Champions of Life? These days, the Vols are dreaming of those Fulmer glory days … and wondering when and if they’ll ever get back to that level of excellence.

Battle of Midway — South Carolina. Not so much for the team as the coach. If there’s anybody who exemplifies the “Football is War” spirit better than Will Muschamp, we don’t want to see him.

Sonneteer — Vanderbilt. A sonneteer is a poet. If only SEC football was a poetry contest, Vandy would likely rule the league. Alas, that’s not how it works out on the gridiron.

Hence — Kentucky. It’s not basketball, hence Kentucky is destined to be a long shot.

Practical Joke — Missouri. The Tigers were the worst team in the SEC, and they are the one that makes the least geographical sense. Whoever put Missouri in the East clearly was making a geographical practical joke.