SDS Mailbag: Georgia vs. Florida in 2020, SEC teams starting from scratch and top options for a 5-star QB
Now that football season is over, it’ll be a long couple of months before spring practices start. Fortunately, we’ll have plenty of basketball action to keep us entertained.
It has been a wild year in SEC hoops already, and that is sure to continue. Anyone could win the conference title this season.
For now, though, this week’s Mailbag questions are football-focused. Let’s take a look at your questions for today’s column:
If you were a 5-star QB, what would be the top 5 schools you’d consider?
As someone who was a 0-star recruit coming out of high school and did not play in college, being a 5-star prospect sounds like it would be a pretty sweet deal. I like the idea of having pretty much every school interested in me.
Here are the 5 schools I’d probably put at the top of my list (taking into account historical competitiveness, history of developing QBs and how interested I am in the school and its location):
- Oklahoma — Just look at what Lincoln Riley has done with his past 3 QBs — Baker Mayfield (Heisman and No. 1 overall pick), Kyler Murray (Heisman and No. 1 overall pick) and Jalen Hurts (Heisman runner-up). That’s pretty solid for my future, though maybe I should transfer there after starting out elsewhere like those 3 guys did?
- Oregon — Cool uniforms, coastal location, competitive team. I like all that the Ducks have to offer. Plus, they produced Marcus Mariota and Justin Herbert in the past decade.
- Alabama — Since Nick Saban took over in 2007, the Tide have never gone more than 3 seasons without winning a title. That would appeal to me. I’d want to leave college with a ring.
- USC — This is purely based on location and history of developing QBs. Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart, Matt Barkley, Cody Kessler, Sam Darnold — they were all drafted into the NFL. Getting to play in Southern California is a nice bonus.
- Mizzou — Did you really think I’d make a list without including my beloved Tigers? As a member of the 2008 recruiting class, I would have potentially taken over for Chase Daniel. That would have been really cool.
Honorable mentions go to Illinois (my home state) and Florida (potentially taking over for Tim Tebow).
Who will do better in 2020? Georgia or Florida?
For now, I’m going to lean toward Florida. The Gators have holes to fill, yes, but not as many as the Bulldogs. Georgia landed graduate transfer QB Jamie Newman, but I’m really worried about that offensive line.
Meanwhile, Florida carries momentum into the 2020 season. I think it will be a close Cocktail Party matchup, and I think that game will once again decide the SEC East.
However, Florida will have to work hard to beat Georgia this year, and will have to work even harder to keep the Dawgs out of the SEC title game in 2021. Georgia’s recruiting has been insane in recent years, and some of that talent should be on display in 2021 after players have a year to develop.
Hypothetically, if a down of college football had never been played, and the 14 SEC schools were all starting programs from scratch, how much different do you think the hierarchy of teams would be in that theoretical SEC versus what we have now? Who would be your big movers from a positive and a negative standpoint?
I’m going to follow some really simple advice when answering this question — follow the money. I’m going to assume you mean that there are no players, no coaches, no facilities, no history … no nothing. Completely starting from scratch.
Therefore, you’re going to need a boatload of money if you’re going to rebuild a program from the ground up. You know which SEC school has boatloads of money? Well, most of them do, but Texas A&M goes above and beyond.
With all that oil money among boosters, I’d like the Aggies’ chances of starting from scratch and building the best facilities and hiring the best coaches. Other schools like Alabama, Georgia and Florida also ranked in the top 10 in terms of total athletic department revenue for the 2017-18 season, per USA TODAY.
Schools like Mizzou, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and, of course, Vanderbilt (due to its relatively small enrollment) would struggle if they were forced to start from scratch.
What will Kentucky need to do to get some preseason respect nationally, other than throw a forward pass?
Well, considering how big a part of the offense QB/WR Lynn Bowden Jr. was, the Wildcats are going to have an uphill climb to gain respect heading into 2020. As a Mizzou fan who has watched his team get trounced by the Wildcats over and over again, I love what Mark Stoops has done in Lexington.
However, the biggest thing the Wildcats can do to earn national respect is get a healthy Terry Wilson back. Yes, Bowden’s season was special, as he led the SEC in rushing yards despite not serving as the Wildcats’ QB all year. But, Wilson has a lot of those same skills, and is a more developed passer.
Now that Kentucky had success running that style of offense with Bowden, Wilson could be in for a huge 2020 season. But, he needs to be fully healthy first.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.