SDS Mailbag: SEC-Bachelor crossovers, Jamie Newman hype and SEC Tournament predictions
We’re less than a month from the start of postseason college basketball. First up are the conference tournaments, some of which tip off in the first week of March. Then, it’s Selection Sunday on March 15 (my birthday) and the start of the NCAA Tournament that next week.
No, there might not be any college football going on, but there is still plenty to be excited about moving forward. March is a great month for sports, as SEC baseball heats up and MLB spring training continues.
Enjoy these next few weeks of staying inside and bingeing on sports because, before we know it, it’ll be summer and you’ll feel obligated to spend some time outside.
Anyway, here are your questions for this week’s Mailbag:
After Bruce Pearl’s cameo on “The Bachelor” this week, which SEC coach would you most want to see on a reality TV show? Which show?
I thought about this for a while, and I think I’ve reached a great conclusion. I want to see Ed Orgeron on “Survivor.” That would be a match made in heaven.
I don’t think he’d be great with the tribal councils at first, but as he advanced through the weeks, he’d learn and become pretty devious if needed. I just imagine him somewhere in the Amazon or another remote location, catching fish with his bare hands and making himself invaluable to the other contestants.
I think he’d win without really having to break a sweat. Sam Pittman could be in that group with Coach O, too. That’d be fun.
How would the SEC head coaches fare on “The Bachelorette?”
Another reality TV question? Let’s see. First, I’m going to assume that all the coaches are single for this hypothetical exercise. Second, I’m going to limit it to only the SEC football coaches. Then, I’m going to determine the top 3 finalists.
Lane Kiffin would absolutely be in there. He’d be the bad boy who the audience knows is no good for the woman, but he hangs around and makes the final 3 because he’s so fun. The second spot in the final 3 would go to Derek Mason, who is intense, focused and lives in Nashville. That’s a pretty big plus for him.
But I think the winner would be Kirby Smart. He seems laid back when he’s not on a football field and is well-spoken and polite. He’s the sort of guy whoever the bachelorette ends up being could bring home to meet her parents, which would separate him from the rest of the pack. Plus, with the way Georgia has been recruiting in recent years, it’s clear Smart is a huge hit with parents these days.
What’s your opinion on the Jamie Newman hype? Pro Football Focus has him as the best returning QB in the SEC and Vegas has him as a top 5 Heisman candidate. That’s a lot to put on somebody who hasn’t played a snap in the SEC. Is he the new Cam Newton or the next Jeremy Johnson?
Admittedly, I didn’t catch many Wake Forest games this past season. However, having him as a top 5 Heisman candidate is a bit much. My colleague Mike Bratton did a great breakdown of Newman’s time at Wake Forest, which you can check out here.
With no D’Andre Swift in the backfield and without guys like Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson blocking for him up front, he’ll find it a bit difficult early in the season.
The SEC lost a lot of its top QB talent this offseason, though, so I can’t say I’d be surprised to see him end up as the top QB in the SEC in 2020. He’s a very talented runner and passer, and Georgia does have some interesting receiving options coming back this fall.
I think he’ll be a solid quarterback for the Bulldogs and that the offense will run more smoothly than it did in 2019 (which isn’t saying much). Still, that said, I think the Newman hype train is moving a little too quickly. Let’s at least see how he does this spring.
With a 2-game lead, it looks like Kentucky will probably win the SEC basketball regular-season title, but who do you think will win the SEC Tournament?
If the season ended today, I’d go with Kentucky to win the tournament, too. However, the tournament doesn’t start this week, so there’s still time for other teams to challenge the Wildcats.
The big question involves Auburn freshman Isaac Okoro’s health. He has missed the past 2 games for the Tigers, and they’ve lost to Mizzou and Georgia. With him, they were 22-2. Without him, they are 0-2. Get him back at 100% and the Tigers could make a run in the SEC tourney.
For now, though, I’ll go with Kentucky continuing to improve as the season goes on, winning both the regular season and tournament titles.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.