SDS Mailbag: Best CFB road trips, KD Johnson vs. Sahvir Wheeler and picking QB battle winners
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Now, let’s get to your questions for this week’s Mailbag:
There have been a couple of big-name transfers from Georgia to other SEC schools in recent weeks — KD Johnson to Auburn and Sahvir Wheeler to Kentucky. Who do you think will have the bigger impact?
I might be in the minority here, but I don’t understand why Johnson transferred to Auburn. That Tiger team is stacked and very deep for the 2021-22 season. Even if JT Thor doesn’t come back (which it doesn’t look like he will), the Tigers have loads of talent.
I think Johnson has the talent to crack the starting lineup, but he’s not a point guard, so he will have to play the 2 spot. Does that force Allen Flanigan to the 3? All I know for sure is that Walker Kessler is going to be manning the 5 spot.
Johnson should have an impact, but Auburn is going to be able to score in a variety of ways, so I don’t think he’ll be the focal point on The Plains.
Meanwhile, Kentucky had a glaring need at point guard. Wheeler is going to be able to get into the lane and set up Kentucky’s 3-point shooters, including former Davidson sharpshooter Kellan Grady. He’ll also throw lots of lobs to Oscar Tshiebwe, I’m betting.
I wish Wheeler was a better 3-point shooter himself, but he’s going to feast in that Wildcats offense. I give him the slight edge in terms of impact over his former teammate, Johnson. Oh, what could have been for Tom Crean and the Georgia Bulldogs.
There are a few QB battles going on in the SEC, particularly at Tennessee, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Kentucky and LSU. Who do you predict will win those battles?
It’s still early with all those battles. I see them continuing well into fall camp, perhaps all the way up to Week 1 when those teams take the field.
But, I’m never one to shy away from making predictions, so let’s dive right into it. I’ll put these in order of my confidence level that each of my picks will end up being right:
- Texas A&M: Haynes King
- Tennessee: Hendon Hooker
- Mississippi State: Will Rogers
- Kentucky: Joey Gatewood
- LSU: Myles Brennan
Honestly, I have zero clue who is going to win the LSU QB battle. Brennan is my pick because he was looking really good before he got hurt in 2020, but Max Johnson is no joke. I could see either of those guys winning the job and going on to become a big-time star this fall.
North Carolina went 8-4 last year, losing the Orange Bowl to Texas A&M. Are you OK with the Tar Heels giving out “state title” rings?
In case you missed it, here’s the story about the Tar Heels handing out rings with “state champs” engraved on the side. For reference, this North Carolina team didn’t play Clemson in 2020 and lost games to Florida State, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Virginia.
I don’t like it, personally. Is beating Duke, NC State and Wake Forest really a cause for celebration and rings?
Now, before y’all rush to the comments to complain about the “participation trophy” generation, let’s step back a bit. Mack Brown is the head coach. He’s 69 years old. North Carolina’s athletic director, Bubba Cunningham, is also an older gentleman. They’re the ones who signed off on this, not the players. They’re the ones who want everyone to be celebrated for a slightly above-average season, not the players.
It seems like an ill-advised ploy to try to have something to show off to recruits, but I think that’ll backfire. State championships aren’t worth much unless you’re a high school athlete.
What’s the most random college football road trip you’d want to do? Preferably something that you have no personal ties to.
My first thought is that it would be fun to do an Ivy League road trip. Fall in the northeast is beautiful and even though it’s an FCS conference, there are some good squads in the Ivy League. Going to see Harvard play Yale, watching Columbia in New York City, visiting Cornell, Dartmouth and more — yeah, I could go for that.
If it has to be a random FBS road trip, though, I think it would be interesting to go see every Power 5 team in Texas play a home game. One of my best friends went to Baylor law school, and the Bears’ new stadium looks beautiful. I would also love to visit Kyle Field, watch the Texas Longhorns play in Austin and even visit the lonely, remote outpost that is Lubbock, Texas.
The main takeaway? There’s no wrong way to take a college football road trip. I hope we’re able to start doing those again this fall with full-capacity stadiums.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.