Happy College World Series opening day, to those who celebrate!

Even without No. 1 Tennessee advancing to Omaha, it’ll still be an SEC-heavy affair. In addition to Auburn, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Ole Miss making it to the final 8, future SEC members Texas and Oklahoma are also still in the mix to win it all.

My new prediction? Arkansas takes home the trophy.

We’ll see if that prediction comes to pass! For now, though, let’s take a look at your questions for this week’s Mailbag:


Has Texas considered that its relentless pursuit to ban the “Horns Down” gesture makes everyone want to do it more?

I assume this is in reference to the singer who will no longer be allowed to perform the National Anthem at the College World Series because he flashed a “Horns Down” at the Women’s College World Series?

Yeah, I’m on the record as saying this is all sorts of soft from the Longhorns. If it’s not a penalty when the Longhorns do “Horns Up” to celebrate, it shouldn’t be a penalty for opponents to troll them with “Horns Down.”

The Florida Gators do a “Gator Chomp,” which has been used by many opponents (including the infamous and wonderful Marshall Henderson) against them after losses.

I’m sure school officials and fans don’t love seeing other players and fans using their celebration against them, but I haven’t heard anything about them going and whining to commissioner Greg Sankey about it.

Texas is in for a rude awakening when it joins the SEC if it is going to be petty about “Horns Down.” I mean, my goodness, can you imagine what Tennessee fans will do to those poor, soft Longhorns?


Kirby Smart just won his first national title as a head coach. Which football coach will become the next to win his first title?

This is a tough question, as Nick Saban, Kirby Smart, Dabo Swinney and Jimbo Fisher all have titles already (though Fisher hasn’t won one at Texas A&M yet).

Many preseason rankings have those 4 schools in the top 5. The other top-5 school in many rankings? Ohio State, led by Ryan Day.

The way I see it, there are 6 decent bets to be the next coach to win his first title. Now, before you jump on me in the comments, I’m certainly not predicting any of them to win it this year, as I am predicting Saban gets title No. 8 this season.

But, here are the interesting bets to win a first title next:

  • Lincoln Riley, USC
  • Ryan Day, Ohio State
  • Steve Sarkisian, Texas
  • Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame
  • Brian Kelly, LSU
  • Mario Cristobal, Miami

That’s my list, barring something crazy like Lane Kiffin taking over for Saban at Alabama when he retires (if he ever retires). Again, yes, I realize of those schools, only Ohio State has ever won a Playoff game.

But, it’s hard to win titles. That said, all it takes is 1 transcendent season to win it all (just ask Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers). With today’s NIL landscape, any of those coaches listed above is capable of landing a special group of players to snag a title over the next 5 years at some point.


In terms of points per game, which SEC team do you think will improve the most in 2022 and which do you think will decrease the most?

I get accused of not liking Mississippi State sometimes on Twitter, which is strange because I have absolutely nothing against the Bulldogs. But, anyway, let me throw them some love here.

If you look at quarterbacks under Mike Leach, Year 3 is usually a big one. Well, Will Rogers already had a big year in Year 2 under Leach. I can’t wait to see what he does this fall. Also, I feel that the Bulldogs had some bad red-zone luck and notably had some struggles with kickers being inconsistent.

All of that led to Mississippi State averaging only 29.1 points per game in 2021 (tied for 9th in the SEC with Mizzou). I expect that to jump to around 32 points per game this fall, which should be enough for the Bulldogs to claim the crown of “most improved offense”.

As for the team with the biggest decrease in points per game? I’m going with Kentucky. I still like the Wildcats as the second-best team in the SEC East (though I think they could end up tied with Tennessee for that spot in 2022). But, they averaged 32.3 points per game last year.

Yes, QB Will Levis is back, but a couple of key offensive linemen are gone. Star WR Wan’Dale Robinson is a huge loss for this offense, as is the fact that OC Liam Coen went back to the NFL ranks. Oh, and there’s a potential suspension looming over RB Chris Rodriguez’s head.

So, while I think Kentucky will still be a formidable team that wins a lot of games, don’t be surprised if the offense ticks back to something like 30 points per game in 2022.


If you had to pick any other city to host the College World Series, where would you pick?

Firstly, I think Omaha is the perfect spot to host the College World Series, and I hope they keep it there for years to come. But, that’s not the question, is it?

I’m going to be a bit of a homer here (shocker) and say I think St. Louis would do a heck of a job hosting the College World Series. Like Omaha, it’s centrally located in the country. It has some of the best baseball fans in the world, and Busch Stadium is an awesome venue.

Yes, it would be difficult to schedule the entire tournament in one stadium during the heart of the Cardinals’ season, but this question doesn’t involve logistics, so someone else can figure that out. St. Louis would be a great spot to host the College World Series.

Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.