Last-minute stocking-stuffers for each SEC team
If a misspent lifetime of watching bad Christmas movies has taught me anything, it’s that there’s always that extra present hidden in the corner that shows up just in time to beat the end of the movie. Why should SEC football be any different?
Here is a last-minute stocking-stuff for each SEC team.
Alabama: Porter’s Salve
What? This is somewhat personal to me, but my mother-in-law, kind and generous woman that she is, possesses an almost mythical belief in these little tins of something called Porter’s Salve. Got a blister? Porter’s Salve helps. A cold? Rub it on your feet. A broken leg? Well, it couldn’t hurt. Seriously, plenty of haters are down on Alabama right now, but if they hadn’t had a horrific injury year, they’d be in the CFP. Stick a little Porter’s Salve on it.
Arkansas: an SEC win, any SEC win
The hardest part about hitting the bottom is how far back you’ve got to go in the SEC. If the Razorbacks could just win an SEC game (for the first time since October 2017), it would jump-start their momentum in a hurry. Maybe we could swap their game with Tennessee on Halloween for one against Vandy?
Auburn: a rejuvenated Chad Morris
This starts to feel like a Hallmark movie. Chad is the well-meaning guy who lost his mojo. Along comes Gus and gives him a grab-bag of top talent, and watch Chad rediscover the true meaning of running an offense. Have I seen this one before?
Florida: a running game
All season, we expected Florida’s offense to bog down under a sub-par ground game. All season long, that didn’t happen. That said, the difference between a pretty good UF team and a great UF team is probably finding that elusive running attack. They were OK, but 4.0 yards per carry and 120 yards per game on the ground isn’t next-level stuff … so if Santa’s looking for a UF present, he could start on the ground attack.
Georgia: QB mojo
Maybe it’s Jake Fromm, maybe it isn’t, but as UGA prepares for an offseason pondering if they didn’t force out a Trevor Lawrence and keep a Kelly Bryant by going Fromm over Justin Fields, they have to find the game-changer under center. It’s far from too late for Fromm to end up being the guy who delivers the big win, but Santa might want to throw in a Magic 8 ball to determine if Kirby waits to see.
Kentucky: a smooth rehab for Terry Wilson
Kentucky’s offense was never the same after Wilson was injured in Game 2. Granted, the Lynn-Bowden-runs-the-ball stuff was fun, but Kentucky needs a healthy Wilson to settle into a more traditional run-pass balance … and possibly complete in the East in 2020.
LSU: a replacement Rakim Jarrett
Recruiting sometimes doesn’t makes sense. Rakim Jarrett, a play-making 5-star receiver has to pick a school, and at the last minute, he shuns LSU and goes to … Maryland? Look, no offense to Jarrett or to LSU’s remaining class, which was superb, but Jarrett to LSU made sense. It should have happened. It didn’t happen. Maybe Santa has a grad transfer WR1 in his sack to fill that spot until next recruiting class?
Mississippi State: Kylin 2.0
Kylin Hill might have been the most underappreciated player in the SEC this season. Given how much of a struggle installing a passing offense has been in Starkville, Joe Moorhead’s best gift would be another carry-the-load running back. Aside from QB Garrett Shrader, State doesn’t return a rusher with over 84 yards from last season. If there’s an extra 1,000-yard back on the sleigh, the Bulldogs would be glad to him under their tree.
Missouri: “new” linebacker Gale Carrett
Remember how much better Mizzou looked in the first half or so, with Cale Garrett roaming sideline-to-sideline from his linebacker spot and making plays? Yes, he was a senior, and yes, the season fell apart after his injury. The least we can do for the new Mizzou staff is turn up a mysterious grad transfer who we’ll call Gale Carrett. Playmaking linebacker, looks awfully familiar? Must be a coincidence.
Ole Miss: a 2-QB offense
Lane Kiffin gives the Rebels back some swagger, at least until he jets for the next big job (is the clock running yet?). But the challenge for Lane is whether he can fit Matt Corral and John Rhys Plumlee into his offense. Corral is a better fit for Kiffin, but Plumlee was right there with Lynn Bowden as an insanely fun quarterback to watch in 2019. The Rebels have too many holes to waste either guy. Does Santa have a secret playbook with 2 QBs lined up in the backfield together? A Florida style play-to-play QB switch offense? We’ve got to know.
South Carolina: Dabo to Dallas? Or Bama?
Look, if Santa wants to make life easier for the Gamecocks, he’ll break up that thing Clemson has going. Maybe Dabo would enjoy working with Jerry Jones … or maybe he’d enjoy replacing Nick Saban if he goes (an eternal rumor until it happens). In any case, getting a new zip code for Dabo would be a pretty merry Christmas for USC fans.
Tennessee: jump the Ole Miss game to 2020
Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin (if he’s still there) will come to Knoxville in 2021. With the emergence of Jeremy Pruitt’s Vols late in 2019, the best gift Santa can bring UT is a chance to move that game up a year. As UT can well attest, sometimes a year of Kiffin is all you get. And the Vols deserve a chance to take down the guy who jilted them in one of the weirdest college football moments ever.
Texas A&M: A cupcake kit
No sides taken here, but some in the SEC draw notice for their weak nonconference scheduling. On the other hand, A&M feels like it might schedule Clemson, the New England Patriots, the AFC All-Pro team, and the active members of the NFL100. Give these guys a cupcake or 2 — they earned it!
Vanderbilt: A new stadium
Yeah, yeah, yeah, space in Nashville, fundraising, blah blah blah. Vanderbilt will never compete for anything playing its home games in a place that looks like a dilapidated old high school stadium with a few extra rows tacked on.