SDS Mailbag: Best SEC Week 1 matchup, predicting the SEC’s leading WR and a gameday drink
We made it! SEC football is officially back tomorrow! I can’t wait to be sipping on a beer tomorrow night watching Mizzou pull off a historic upset against Alabama.
OK, maybe I’m a little ambitious there, but I am excited for the Mizzou season (and the SEC football season in general). Yes, it will be different, but it’s still very exciting. It’s going to be awesome to hear that SEC on CBS theme song again ahead of the Mississippi State-LSU game.
But, for now, we have to make our way through Friday. Today is going to feel like it lasts 100 hours.
Hopefully this week’s Mailbag makes the day go a little bit faster:
What is the best SEC matchup this Saturday?
Good question. A lot of people are saying either No. 23 Kentucky at No. 8 Auburn or No. 16 Tennessee at South Carolina, and both of those are intriguing matchups, for sure.
I’ll go in a different direction, though, and say I’m most excited for Mississippi State at No. 6 LSU (and not just because we’ll get to hear the SEC on CBS music before kickoff). LSU lost a ton of talent to the NFL Draft this offseason and then also had key players like WR Ja’Marr Chase and DL Tyler Shelvin opt out.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs bring in new coach Mike Leach and his Air Raid style. They also have Stanford transfer QB KJ Costello to run that offense. I think this game is going to be much closer than many analysts think. The line is LSU -16.5, but I think Mississippi State will cover that.
I’ll go with LSU to win, but it won’t be easy. The Bulldogs are going to put a scare into a lot of teams this season, starting with the Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
Last week, you picked KJ Costello to win the SEC passing title this year. Who do you think will be the leading receiver now that Ja’Marr Chase has opted out?
Well, the leading returning receiver is DeVonta Smith, who had 1,256 yards and 14 touchdowns. That was impressive considering he had to split targets with Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, both of whom were Round 1 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. That’s not to mention Jaylen Waddle, who also returns this season.
But while I think Smith is going to have a heck of a year, I’m going to go a different way with my pick. I like Auburn’s Seth Williams. I’m not the biggest Bo Nix fan, but I think Williams and Nix have a connection that will lead to great things in 2020.
Auburn has Anthony Schwartz, too, but Williams has a much different skill set than Schwartz, so they won’t be stealing targets from one another too often. Also, if Williams has a big year, he’ll work his way into the Round 1 draft pick conversation. I think he’ll do just that.
If each SEC school had to field a team of 11 of their mascots (Georgia gets 11 bulldogs, Mizzou would get 11 tigers, etc.), which school would be the best?
I hate to break this to all the Alabama haters out there, but the Crimson Tide would likely remain the best team in the conference. Yes, 11 tigers, 11 alligators, 11 wildcats, etc. would be intimidating, but 11 elephants? Coached by Nick Saban (I assume)? Forget about it.
The Commodores or Rebels would be my second pick, since that would be 11 humans, and they would understand the rules of the game. I also think 11 Razorbacks would be tough to beat, but elephants would have a much easier time carrying the football than the hogs would.
It would be much easier to pick the worst team in the SEC in this scenario. My apologies to South Carolina, but the Gamecocks are the lightest mascot in the league. They’d have trouble even picking up the football, let alone stopping any of the other mascots.
With bars either outdoor-only or closed in a number of places, what’s a drink I should make myself at home this weekend to watch SEC football with?
Well, if it’s the SEC you’re watching, bourbon has to be involved. I’m going to share a recipe for a drink I’ve been making variations of for myself a lot in recent years.
It’s called a Beggar’s Banquet, and I found it on Liquor.com. Here’s how you make it:
- 2 ounces bourbon
- ¾ ounce maple syrup
- ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
- 5 ounces lager (when I was living in Philly, I used Yuengling or Narragansett, but any lager is fine)
Mix those first 3 ingredients in a rocks glass. Then, add ice cubes and the lager and stir. Finally, garnish with an orange wheel. Enjoy!
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.