SDS Mailbag: Changing the SEC Baseball Tournament, first-time CFP winners, ranking CFB kickoff times
That’s the word of the week in the SEC. So far, the SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover, Alabama, has been besieged by it, causing postponements and delays through the first 3 days of the schedule.
Hopefully, this weekend is better and all the games can be played, but right now, it’s anyone’s call. So, what should be done about it?
Well, that’s the first question in this week’s Mailbag, so let’s dive in, shall we?
With all the rain in Hoover this week, should the SEC switch to a single-elimination format for the baseball tournament?
That’s one thing the league could certainly consider. Then, it wouldn’t be crazy to follow the same bracket model men’s basketball has, where all 14 teams are invited to the festivities (and I’m not just saying that since Mizzou was left out once again).
But, I think the double-elimination format is actually fun and fair. There’s no reason the league couldn’t play all those games, but there needs to be some change.
First, there are 2 domed MLB stadiums within the SEC footprint – Houston and Tampa. Houston even has a retractable roof, so if the weather is good, the games can be played outdoors (as baseball ideally should be played).
Second, if you’re going to host the tournament in Hoover, you need to have Birmingham on standby. That way, if there are weather delays, when the weather clears up, 2 games can be played simultaneously.
My solution? Rotate the tournament every year between Houston, Tampa and Hoover/Birmingham. That way, there are 2 out of every 3 years that you don’t have to worry about weather, but you can also keep the history of Hoover in the mix, too.
Will Levis is getting some major top-10 buzz ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, with some even having him as the No. 1 overall pick. Which NFL quarterback does he most remind you of?
To me, Levis is a gunslinger. Sometimes, he makes throws that make you scratch your head and say “why did he do that?” Other times, he makes throws that make you jump out of your seat and yell “how did he do that?!”
Yes, he needs to cut down on his interceptions, but if you take away his aggressiveness, you take away a big part of the reason he’s so successful.
Thus, my pro comp for Levis is Tony Romo. Look at Romo’s first full year as the Dallas Cowboys’ starter (2007) in which he led the team to a 13-3 record during the regular season:
- 16 games, 4,211 yards, 64.4% completions, 36 touchdowns, 19 interceptions, 8.1 yards per attempt
Now, here are Levis’s stats at Kentucky in 2021, in which he led the Wildcats to a 10-3 record:
- 13 games, 2,826 yards, 66.0% completions, 24 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 8.0 yards per attempt
While Romo only ran for 129 yards and 2 scores in 2007, though, Levis had 376 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns in 2021.
So, what’s his ceiling? Romo with better running ability. That’s worth a top-10 pick in today’s NFL, for sure.
Which school will be the next first-time College Football Playoff champion, and how long will we have to wait to see it?
Here’s the list of schools that have won national titles during the College Football Playoff era (no, UCF, you don’t count):
- Alabama (3)
- Clemson (2)
- Georgia (1)
- LSU (1)
- Ohio State (1)
So, theoretically, there should be plenty of schools to choose from to be the next first-time winner, right?
Well, if you look at early 2022 projections, you’ll see plenty that have Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson as the top-4 teams, many of them in that exact order.
So, it’s going to be difficult for new blood to reach the top of the sport. I’m on the record as saying Alabama is going to cruise to a title this season. I truly believe that will happen, as the Tide have the reigning Heisman winner (Bryce Young) and the best defensive player (Will Anderson Jr.). Should the Tide slip up somehow, I think Georgia or Ohio State will win it all.
I’m also on the record as saying I think Texas A&M has a great shot to win it all in 2024, once this historically great recruiting class has time to develop.
That leaves us with 2023. Will anyone jump in and win in 2023 before I think the Aggies claim their first CFP crown? USC is my trendy sleeper. Lincoln Riley is already bringing stars to LA and has plenty of NIL money to work with.
However, I’ll stick with Texas A&M in 2024 as the next first-time CFP champ.
Alabama-Texas is going to be a noon ET kickoff on FOX. Rank the 4 kickoff time slots for college football games – noon, mid-afternoon, primetime, Pac-12 after dark.
The best, by far, is the mid-afternoon slot. That’s when SEC on CBS takes place. It’s also late enough that you can sleep in, but early enough that you can go out and celebrate after a big win.
My next choice is sure to draw some criticism, but I like the noon kickoffs the second-most. When I was in college, I wanted plenty of time after the game to celebrate a big win. Head to the bars, go out to dinner, all that good stuff.
Third is the primetime kickoff. Those games are fun to watch, yes, but not as fun to attend, in my opinion. Plus, you have to be careful not to party too hard during the pregame tailgates so you can still enjoy the game.
Finally, to the surprise of no one, is the Pac-12 after dark time slot. Yes, there are some entertaining games played then, but for the Central and Eastern time zone fans, they’re simply too late.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.