Ranking the 2015 SEC Media Guide covers
Promotion is key in college football.
At SEC Media Days this week, teams have revealed this season’s media guide covers, photoshop creations often used to reflect each program’s brand heading into August.
Some of last season’s artwork, including various daring covers, simply didn’t work and were comical to say the least. This year’s approach was considerably different.
Here’s how we rank 2015 SEC media guide covers:
Not ranked — AUBURN: Sports information director Kirk Sampson said Sunday on Twitter that the Tigers have provided a ‘media almanac’ this week instead of its soon-to-be-revealed media guide, meaning we’ll give them a pass for going generic. Blah.
13. KENTUCKY: That’s not exactly a look of optimism on coach Mark Stoops’ face anticipating what we’ve been told is the Wildcats’ inaugural season. (Huh? Oh, the first year of the new Commonwealth Stadium, gotcha.) Outside of Lexington, few SEC fans could tell you that’s two-year offensive line starter Jordan Swindle on the right and senior linebacker Josh Forrest on the left — both team leaders, but not necessarily recognizable faces. Hard-hitting safety A.J. Stamps should’ve gotten some love here.
12. GEORGIA: It’s awfully generic and looks as if a previous template was followed, but Georgia’s cover highlights three seniors and a junior each capable of posting All-SEC seasons this fall. Nick Chubb is the obvious exclusion and he would’ve been a good fifth option in the middle of the graphic. The random defender’s arm in the foreground by John Theus just looks bad.
11. SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks’ cover looks more like an Under Armour ad than a puff image for the university’s football program — a generic player stiff arming the reader with Kevin Plank’s unofficial signature across the pigskin. Maybe a shot of, I don’t know, returning All-American Pharoh Cooper would’ve worked better? According to South Carolina independent blog The Rubber Chickens, it’s the first time the Gamecocks haven’t used ‘an actual football player’ since 1994.
10. LSU: The Tigers could’ve hit a home run here with Leonard Fournette spitting nails toward the reader with a chain around his neck and a deflated football in his hands. Instead, they went safe with an aerial shot of Tiger Stadium with … storm clouds? It could be worse, but for ranking purposes, it falls near the bottom for a lack of creativity.
9. TENNESSEE: What’s up with generic players this season? The Vols have Derek Barnett, Curt Maggitt, Joshua Dobbs, Jalen Hurd and Cam Sutton in their arsenal and use a Nike mannequin? C’mon guys. Do better.
8. VANDERBILT: The Commodores look the part on this season’s image. Now they need to go out and prove it in the Eastern Division.
7. ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks are embracing ugly this season. Bret Bielema’s ‘big uglies’ are front and center, the only SEC media guide to showcase a team’s strength up front. From left to right, projected starters Dan Skipper, Frank Ragnow, Mitch Smothers, Sebastian Tretola and Denver Kirkland look like they’re ready to eat you. It’s certainly uncommon to see five offensive linemen as featured players on a media guide, but it fits for Arkansas.
6. MISSISSIPPI STATE: The SEC’s top returning player was an excellent choice for this extremely clean cover. Less is more with Dak Prescott who is arguably the league’s most well-known player entering his senior season.
5. ALABAMA: The Crimson Tide took the multi-cover approach without much creativity again this season, using up-close glamour shots of a who’s who assortment of stars across several different position groups. Simple and clean works for Alabama, so why ruin a good thing?
4. TEXAS A&M: Myles Garrett. Enough said.
3. OLE MISS: The Rebels are taking the defense wins championships mentality into this season and they’ve artfully pushed three helmetless veterans in our face, signatures and all. It’s a well-executed approach. There’s an alternate cover featuring three stars on offense as well.
2. FLORIDA: Vernon Hargreaves owns. One of college football’s best at the back end This graphic may have looked better without the two bursts on the image, but the Gators wordmark is a nice touch and I like Ben Hill Griffin in the background.
1. MIZZOU: Note to the rest of the SEC: If you place All-American candidate Mizzou center Evan Boehm next to a glass wall, his primal scream will shatter it … along with your dreams of an Eastern Division title. The Tigers’ catchy cover features their best player on offense with the program’s noteworthy recent accomplishments below. Well done.