SDS Mailbag: SEC men’s hoops champion, who LSU should hire and SEC Playoff contenders
It seems there’s a lack of solid officiating in sports these days. In the MLB playoffs, crucial missed strike calls have happened on a seemingly daily basis.
In the SEC, don’t even ask Arkansas fans or Tennessee fans about shoddy officiating, or you’re sure to hear an hourlong diatribe as they dive into the grievances they have against specific SEC officiating crews.
It’s tough to be a ref these days. It’s a thankless job and people are getting angrier and angrier. However, the SEC isn’t doing officials any favors by not holding them accountable. Some of these refs are making such egregious mistakes they should be suspended for a couple of weeks.
Hopefully, we can make it through this weekend’s slate of games without any horrible, game-altering calls. And, hopefully, neither of the MLB LCS series are decided by bad umpiring, the way the Dodgers-Giants NLDS series was.
Now, let’s dive into your questions for this week’s Mailbag:
Who do you have winning the SEC men’s basketball regular-season title?
Well, last year, I picked Kentucky to make the Final Four, so maybe take my predictions with a grain of salt. However, I did also have Gonzaga and Baylor projected to make the Final Four, so I was right there (though it wasn’t too hard to predict the top 2 teams to make it that far).
This year, I think there’s a group of 5 teams that can win the regular-season title. That group is made up of:
I would have had LSU right outside of that top tier (along with Florida), but after Illinois transfer Adam Miller tore his ACL this week, I’m not as high on the Tigers.
Media members picked Kentucky to win the league this year. However, I’ll pick Alabama to repeat. I think JD Davison is the real deal. I also believe both Jaden Shackelford and Jahvon Quinerly will take big steps forward. Give me the Tide to win it all again.
Which SEC teams can still make the College Football Playoff?
Good question. A better one might be which teams can still realistically win the SEC title. Because, outside of Georgia, every other team in the league probably needs to hoist the SEC trophy in Atlanta to make a legitimate case for the Playoff.
So, let’s start with Georgia. It’s hard to imagine the Dawgs not making the Playoff at this point with how dominant they’ve been.
Then, there are, in my opinion, 6 other teams with varying hopes of making the Playoff. Here’s how I’d rank them:
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M
Alabama is the only one that controls its own fate there. Ole Miss obviously needs Alabama to lose once more, having already lost the tiebreaker to the Tide. But, that’s not impossible, with the Tide still facing games against tough teams like LSU, Arkansas and Auburn.
Kentucky needs Georgia to lose twice, but with Florida and Tennessee still on the schedule, there’s at least a slim chance. I wouldn’t book hotel rooms in Atlanta if I were a Kentucky fan just yet though.
Tennessee has the slimmest chance of the bunch. But, the Vols have opportunities. They still have a chance to knock off both Georgia and Kentucky before the end of the regular season. They’d still need Georgia to lose another game, but to quote Dumb and Dumber: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
You’re Scott Woodward. Who are you hiring to replace Ed Orgeron at LSU?
I said this when Mizzou had an opening a couple of years ago, but my top choice would be Lane Kiffin. There’s no guarantee that he’d leave Ole Miss, as he has a pretty good situation going there. But, I think he’s a great coach and could work wonders with the type of talent they consistently bring in at LSU.
However, it seems the frontrunner, if there is one at this point, is Michigan State’s Mel Tucker. I wouldn’t be opposed to that if I were an LSU fan.
Tucker has proven himself with the Spartans this year after a rough 2020 season. He also has plenty of ties to the SEC, which would help with recruiting.
I think either of those guys would be a great fit in Baton Rouge moving forward.
Bacon, sausage and hash browns. You have to get rid of one breakfast side dish. What do you eliminate?
Man, that’s a tough question.
Bacon obviously stays. I can eat an entire pile of bacon in one sitting, as I’m sure most meat-loving Americans can. So, it comes down to hash browns and sausage.
I’m going to eliminate sausage. I love sausage, too, but hash browns are more versatile. You can do a lot with them (just look at any Waffle House menu). Sausage links and/or patties are good with syrup, but I’d rather have bacon as my meat side dish.
So, hash browns and bacon stay, sausage gets the boot after a tough debate. Now I’m hungry.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.