SDS Mailbag: SEC passing leader, adopting the B1G’s title week plan and McDonald’s
ACC and Big 12 teams are already dealing with postponed and canceled games on a weekly level. With the SEC returning to action next weekend, hopefully the conference can avoid the cancellations and postponements that have impacted the other leagues.
That would be great, because the jam-packed, 10-game SEC-only schedule will feature a ton of incredible games, and I don’t want to miss a single one (not even Vanderbilt games!).
This week, we’ll talk about some potential SEC passing leaders, the Big Ten’s interesting championship week plan, nepotism and more.
Here are your questions for this week’s SDS Mailbag:
Who will be the SEC’s top passer this year? Is it really as easy as penciling in KJ Costello since he’s running Mike Leach’s offense at Mississippi State?
Honestly, yes, it really is that easy. When Leach took over at Washington State in 2012, that first season was the only one in which the Cougars didn’t have a top-3 passer in terms of total yards in the Pac-12.
Leach had 3 different passers lead the conference in yards — Anthony Gordon (2019), Gardner Minshew II (2018) and Luke Falk (2016). Costello finished a distant second to Minshew while he was with Stanford in 2018, so we know he has the arm talent to succeed in Leach’s Air Raid system.
I think it’s an easy bet that Costello will lead the SEC in passing yards, even if he isn’t necessarily the “best” quarterback in the conference. As for his competition, I don’t particularly think it’ll even be close. Florida won’t need Kyle Trask to put up insane passing numbers to succeed. Ditto Alabama with Mac Jones. LSU’s Myles Brennan and Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond both lost their top receivers to opt-outs, and I think that will hurt them.
Barring an injury, I think Costello easily takes home the SEC passing crown in 2020.
How do you feel about the Big Ten’s championship week scheduling this year? Do you think all conferences should adopt it?
So, in case you missed the news, the Big Ten will apparently have all 14 teams in action during the weekend when it plays the Big Ten Championship Game. The East champion will play the West champion for the conference title, but there will be 7 B1G games going on that weekend.
The No. 2 team in the East will face the No. 2 team from the West, the No. 3 East team takes on the No. 3 West team, and so on. It is a unique and fun idea and, honestly, I’m here for it.
I don’t know that I’d make it a yearly thing moving forward, but this is 2020. Anything goes in 2020. Why not give it a try if you’re the SEC, Big 12, ACC or Pac-12? There’s nothing to lose.
If both schools involved in a particular matchup don’t want to play, let them opt out. That’s fine. But for players and schools that want to play more games, go for it! I, for one, would love to see Mizzou play whatever team finishes in the same position in the SEC West. More football is never a bad thing.
It even works in the Big 12. Even without the divisions, you can have team No. 1 and team No. 2 meet in the title game, then have No. 3 and No. 4 play, No. 5 and No. 6 square off and so on.
Have some fun with things this fall/winter. The pandemic is still going to be impacting everyday life, so give the fans some excitement. I have no problem with the Big Ten’s plan. About time they brought some good ideas to the table!
McDonald’s now has the Travis Scott Meal and spicy McNuggets. Which one, if any, would you rather eat? What would your signature meal be?
Man, I love McDonald’s. I’m in for both of them, but I think I’d give the slight edge to the Travis Scott Meal. It has a Quarter Pounder with bacon and lettuce, medium fries and a Sprite. Perfect.
The spicy McNuggets also sound awesome, in theory, but writer Drew Magary didn’t exactly make them sound all that great in his review. He says the nuggets are fine, but the sauce is awful. As someone who loves sauces, that’s disappointing to hear.
I wouldn’t turn either of them down, but I’ll give the slight edge to the Travis Scott Meal.
As for my signature meal, it would be 2 McDoubles with Big Mac sauce (tastes like Big Macs, but for less than $3 total), medium fries and a root beer. You won’t regret ordering that. And, I’ll give it like 5 years before the “Adam Spencer Meal” is a thing at McDonald’s.
I notice a lot of coaches, both in college and the pros, have family members on their staffs. What is the maximum number of family members a head coach should be able to have on their staff? Should this expand to athletic department administrative positions as well?
I have no problem with a coach having one family member on staff. Personally, though, these head coaches are all so connected, I think it would be better for the family member if they got a job on another coach’s staff. Like, for example, in a hypothetical world, since Will Muschamp and Kirby Smart are friends, if they each had coaching-age sons, Smart’s kid should be on Muschamp’s staff and Muschamp’s kid should be on Smart’s staff.
It’s tough to find situations where nepotism works. Even one of the best examples that comes to my mind — John Thompson and John Thompson III at Georgetown — there were 5 years between when Thompson retired and his son took over as the Hoyas’ men’s basketball coach. Thompson III never won a title like his dad, but he did take the Hoyas to a Final Four, and that’s highly successful.
Tony Bennett took over for his father, Dick Bennett, at Washington State in 2006, and did have some success with the Cougars, but he had to leave for Virginia to become a champion. Kyle Shanahan is a successful coach with the San Francisco 49ers, but he didn’t take over for his dad, Mike, when Mike was fired by the Washington Football Team in 2013.
Based on how few coaches have success with the programs their fathers coached, you’d think team owners and school administrators would put a limit on that sort of thing. But, if you look at the New England Patriots’ coaching staff, you’ll find 2 of coach Bill Belichick’s sons — Steve and Brian. Even if Bill wants one of them to take over for him when he retires, don’t count on it. If I were a betting man, I’d say neither younger Belichick will ever win a game as the head coach of the Patriots.
No good son wants to talk back to his dad or disagree with him too much, so by having family members on your staff, you run the risk of having your style get stale. Seems like it isn’t worth it to me.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.