SDS Mailbag: Playoff expansion thoughts, SEC College World Series predictions and sitcom characters as NCAA leaders
The European Championship starts today. The Olympics start in July. I think there need to be more big-time international tournaments every summer.
When there’s no football and no basketball, I want to watch countries battle it out for medals and trophies. I didn’t realize how much I missed these big international tournaments until they didn’t happen during the pandemic.
I like games starting early in the morning. It’s especially nice on weekends, when you can head to the bar around lunchtime to watch some elite competition. I can’t wait for these tournaments this summer! They’ll keep me distracted until college football comes back.
Speaking of distractions, let’s dive into your questions for this week’s Mailbag!
If the College Football Playoff does expand to 12 teams, how long will it take for a double-digit seed to win it all?
Oh, I think it will take many years for that to happen. Even with a 12-team format being more inclusive (particularly for top Group of 5 teams), my bet is that the top-4 teams will still be the champions more often than not.
No. 8 seeds don’t make it to the NBA Finals. Double-digit seeds can sometimes make Final Four runs, but they don’t win the NCAA Tournament. Every now and then, a wildcard team will make a run to the Super Bowl (the Buccaneers just won as a wildcard). But, the NFL has way more parity than college football.
Now, here’s where I mention that I am a big fan of the Playoff expansion format. I do think it will lead to some surprising results and some fun games, but when the Playoff championship game is played, my expectation is that the Alabamas, Clemsons and Ohio States of the world are going to be in the mix more often than not.
Plus, the top-4 seeds are going to get byes, according to the proposal. That will be huge. I think it could be a decade or more until a lower seed ends up winning the Playoff.
Six SEC teams are playing in the NCAA Baseball Tournament super regionals this weekend. How many do you predict will advance?
Well, since Tennessee and LSU are squaring off in one super regional, the maximum number of SEC teams that can advance is 5. And, the minimum that can advance is 1.
My prediction? I will go with 4 SEC teams advancing to Omaha for the 8-team College World Series. I think Arkansas bounces back after a bit of a lackluster performance during the regionals. I also think Vanderbilt advances past ECU.
I’ll pick Tennessee to make it past LSU since the Vols are hosting the super regional, but that series should be intense. Those 2 teams don’t like each other, so I predict that series will go all 3 games.
That leaves us with Ole Miss and Mississippi State. I think 1 of those 2 teams will lose. I’m not sure which one yet, though. Mississippi State looked good in the regionals, but I can’t get the bad taste from the Bulldogs’ SEC Tournament flop out of my mouth.
Meanwhile, the Rebels have to head to the desert and deal with the heat in Tucson. Playing on the road isn’t easy at this point in the tournament. Again, I don’t know which team will lose, but I’m guessing only 1 of the Mississippi schools makes it to Omaha.
Who is your early pick to be the first SEC player off the board in the 2022 NBA Draft?
That’s a tough question, since rosters are still in the process of being finalized, but I’ll give you 3 guys who I think could be lottery picks in 2022. First, Tennessee 5-star PG Kennedy Chandler. I think he has the potential to be a hugely successful point guard.
The second player, assuming he comes back to Alabama and doesn’t stay in the 2021 NBA Draft, is Josh Primo. He’s been getting some buzz as a potential late-Round 1 pick in this year’s draft, but I think he could make a leap to the lottery if he returns to school this season.
And, finally, there’s incoming freshman Jabari Smith at Auburn. He’s 6-9 and can shoot the 3 pretty well. That’s a must for forwards in today’s NBA. He’ll be a guy NBA teams take long looks at this season.
There are sure to be other guys emerge as potential lottery picks. Incoming Kentucky big man Daimion Collins is another guy to keep an eye on. We’ll see how the 2021-22 season plays out!
Michael Scott, Ron Swanson or Homer Simpson? Who would you most want as the NCAA president? And who would be the worst?
I’ll start with your last question. I think Ron would be the worst NCAA president. He is old school and unwilling to budge on many issues. I think he would be fair and just as the president, but he’d want fewer teams in the NCAA Tournament, more focus on profits and other things.
Meanwhile, doesn’t Homer Simpson basically run the NCAA right now? Mark Emmert can’t stay out of his own way, much like Homer. My pick for the best NCAA president is Michael. He just wants to be liked. He would actually listen to public opinion rather than burying his head in the sand like Emmert.
I’d give the job to Michael and see how he does. It can’t be worse than the job Emmert has done thus far.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.