SDS Mailbag: Eliminating SEC divisions, worst possible halftime concerts and a Week 7 must-win game
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Here are your questions for this week’s SDS Mailbag:
I was reading an ESPN article the other day and it proposed eliminating divisions in the SEC and having it be more like the Big 12, which has its top 2 teams every year play in the title game. What do you think of that?
This article, which was written by Bill Connelly and can be read here, is indeed an interesting one. It was seemingly inspired by the fact that Auburn and Florida had only played each other once in the previous 11 seasons.
So, while I do think that there are some potentially interesting games (LSU-Georgia, Alabama-Georgia, Alabama-Florida, Texas A&M-Mizzou, etc.) that should happen more often, I think it would be really difficult to implement in a conference like the SEC.
The one thing southerners seemingly love more than anything is tradition, so good luck trying to make any meaningful shift in the way the SEC is set up. Remember, this is a group of fans that still thinks Mizzou shouldn’t have been admitted, even though the Tigers have been competitive in football for all but 2 seasons so far.
Even though eliminating divisions might actually benefit SEC West teams like A&M, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State (since they wouldn’t have to run through the Alabama-Auburn-LSU gamut every season), I wouldn’t hold your breath about the conference getting rid of the East-West distinctions. Definitely an interesting idea, though.
In honor of the Kansas Midnight Madness fiasco with Snoop Dogg, what would be the most inappropriate homecoming halftime acts?
OK, so a disclaimer off the top here. I’m going to stay away from problematic acts like R. Kelly in these rankings. Don’t worry, though, there are still plenty of annoying bands out there.
Here’s who I would hate to see at my school’s halftime show (in no particular order, since they’re all bad):
- Pitbull — I’m really worried he’s going to be involved in this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.
- Bon Iver — I don’t know much about Bon Iver, but his music seems really sad. Not exactly football music.
- Any band formed before 1990 — There are still some good acts out there, no doubt, but it’s time to retire The Who, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen (I know I’m going to catch a lot of flak for that one), Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney and others. Nothing against them, but there are so many good acts out there right now that we need to stop trotting these acts out there in big-time spots.
- Imagine Dragons — I liked their first album. It was awesome. Literally every song they’ve made since then follows the same pattern and just involves a lot of incoherent yelling. Stop yelling at me! I’ve already imagined enough dragons for one lifetime.
I’m on the record as saying the Foo Fighters would be the perfect halftime show, particularly for the Super Bowl. They’re a great band (not my favorite, but definitely a bunch of talented musicians and performers) and fit the football sound. Get it done, Super Bowl. Heck, they’d be better than Imagine Dragons for a College Football Playoff concert, too.
Would you rather have your team schedule a cupcake for homecoming or have a difficult opponent?
Interesting. I think that depends on how good your team is. If you’re an elite team like Alabama, you probably wouldn’t mind having a homecoming game against LSU because you usually beat whoever you play in the regular season.
However, if you’re an average, or even simply a good team, you probably want a cupcake. Just take the easy win and celebrate your school. There are few things worse than a homecoming loss. It really kills the mood, ya know?
That said, you’d better beat that cupcake, or else you’re in for a bad week. Mizzou learned that lesson in 2016 against Middle Tennessee and LSU found out against Troy in 2017.
BONUS: Dobbe’s Locks of the Week went a surprising 2-1 last week. Still, it’s probably worth fading these picks until he strings a couple more good weeks together:
- Utah at Oregon State (+14) — It’s homecoming season. This happens every year. A ranked team goes into an unranked, conference opponent’s night homecoming game and loses. I’ll take the points for my record, but I’m taking the Beavers on the money line!
- Alabama (-17) at Texas A&M — Nick Saban had plenty of time coming off a bye week and he needs to beat Clemson’s performance against A&M. Clemson won by 14. Tide rolls by 21.
- Hawai’i (+12.5) at Boise State — Boise is wearing orange on their blue turf? They really need the blue-on-blue advantage to stop this Hawai’i offense. I’d like the outright upset, but I’ll take the points since it’s homecoming in Boise.
Dobbe’s Locks of the Week 2019 record: 6-15
What schools have an inexplicable history of poor performances? For example, Illinois is the main state school in a fairly populous state and it seems like no coach can get consistent success.
As someone who grew up an hour from Champaign, Illinois is a really good example. (Don’t count out their 2007 Rose Bowl appearance, though! We can forget what the score of that game was.)
Some other teams that should be better than they have been, historically, in my opinion, are:
- Oregon State — Oregon has really turned things around in recent years. I know the Ducks have Nike money, which is huge for uniforms and recruiting, but why are the Beavers so bad? They should be able to compete in the Pac-12 once in a blue moon, right? In this decade, they’ve only had 2 winning seasons (9-4 in 2012 and 7-6 in 2013). Get it together, Oregon State!
- South Carolina — The Gamecocks have only won a single conference title in their history, and that was back in 1969 when they were in the ACC. They’ve also only won the SEC East once, back in 2010. They then got blown out by Auburn in the SEC title game. Now, before I get a bunch of angry Gamecocks fans in the comments, I’m saying I think the Gamecocks should be better historically! Not a shot at them at all.
- Arizona — The Wildcats have only had 3 10-win seasons. They’ve only won the Pac-12 once, and that was in 1993 when it was still the Pac-10. Arizona has some high school talent, but Arizona and Arizona State never seem to do anything with it. The current Wildcats have an incredible talent in QB Khalil Tate, but all they have to show for it so far is a loss in the 2017 Foster Farms Bowl. Yikes.
I’m sure I’ve left out a few programs (cough, Kansas, cough) that deserve to be dragged a bit here, but these are a few teams I’m personally surprised haven’t fared better. I expect Kansas to be bad at football every year.
What is the biggest must-win game this weekend?
Can … can I mention 1-4 Vandy at home against 1-4 UNLV for this? *Looks at my editor* No? OK then, moving on to a more interesting matchup.
I’ll go with Kentucky, which is playing host to Arkansas this weekend. The Wildcats badly need to win to keep any momentum going this season. Coming off a loss at South Carolina 2 weeks ago, backup QB Sawyer Smith was banged up. Keep in mind, this is a team that already lost starter Terry Wilson for the year.
Then there’s Arkansas, which could get back into bowl contention with a win to improve to 3-3. However, the Hogs lost to San Jose State earlier this season. The winner of this game will get to feel good about itself, while the loser will be facing a world of hurt.
Considering the game is in Lexington, I’d say there’s more pressure on Mark Stoops and the Wildcats to pull out the victory.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.