SDS Mailbag: Updated Playoff picks, predicting SEC rushing leader and men’s hoops Player of the Year preview
I found myself wondering the other day when the first snow game of the 2022 college football season will take place.
As we approach November, it seems likely that one of these Big Ten games will soon feature some snowflakes falling from the sky. Or, it could happen at Wyoming, Utah or one of the Colorado schools.
It’s always fun watching snow games on TV, especially since we don’t usually get those in the SEC.
What’s your prediction for the school that will host the first snow game of 2022? I’ll go with Minnesota.
Now, let’s dive into your questions for this week’s Mailbag:
Ahead of the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season next week, who do you think will actually make the CFP when the season is said and done?
I’m seeing more and more projections with TCU getting into the field. I’m not buying that. I still think there’s a loss somewhere on the Horned Frogs’ schedule, even if it doesn’t come until the Big 12 Championship Game.
I think the breakdown will be 2 SEC teams, the Big Ten champion and Clemson. So, for right now, this is how I predict things will shake out:
- Ohio State
I know, that’s a boring field. And, I know, that leaves out a potential 1-loss Tennessee team, but I think the Vols will be in the No. 5 or No. 6 spot, with the Big 12 champion or Oregon taking the other.
We’ll see what happens, as there is still a lot of football left to be played, but this is how I see things going as things stand right now.
Rocket Sanders and Quinshon Judkins both have more than 800 rushing yards entering Week 9. They’re the only 2 SEC running backs to have more than 700 yards so far this year. Will either of them win the SEC rushing title this year and who do you like more in that race?
Well, Sanders has 1 big advantage in that Arkansas has only played 7 games and he’s already leading Judkins (who has played 8 games for Ole Miss) 870 yards to 829.
Judkins plays for an elite rushing attack under Lane Kiffin, yes, but he also has the disadvantage of splitting carries with another incredible rusher in Zach Evans.
For that reason, I like Sanders. He’s leading the conference with 20 attempts per game. But, if the rushing title comes down to the wire, it’ll be fun to see that Nov. 19 matchup between Sanders’ Razorbacks and Judkins’ Rebels in Fayetteville.
At this point, I don’t see anyone else catching up to either Sanders or Judkins. But, of course, anything can happen in college football.
Will Oscar Tshiebwe repeat as the SEC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year?
The good news for Kentucky fans is that the elite big man is looking like he’s ready to play in Game 1 despite a recent surgery. If he’s at full strength, he should pick up right where he left off last year.
Tennessee’s Grant Williams was the last player to win back-to-back SEC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year awards, back in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Tshiebwe certainly has that same level of talent, if not more.
He’ll have competition from a few guys, including potentially Santiago Vescovi at Tennessee, Colin Castleton at Florida, Nick Smith or one of the elite Arkansas freshmen and several other talented newcomers.
But, for right now, if Tshiebwe manages to score nearly 18 points a game and averages 15 rebounds per game again like he did last year, he’ll make it hard to vote against him.
Which team is more likely to give Alabama its second loss – LSU or Ole Miss?
I’ll take LSU at this point. I was really impressed with what the Tigers did to Ole Miss in Death Valley last week. Jayden Daniels is the real deal.
If you’re going to beat Alabama this year, you need to be able to take advantage of a secondary that has struggled at times this season. Hendon Hooker of Tennessee was able to do it. I like Jayden Daniels’ ability to potentially replicate Hooker’s recipe.
I’m not as confident in Dart, though Ole Miss certainly sports the most dynamic rushing attack in the SEC. Both of those games will be difficult for Alabama.
I have Alabama winning against both LSU and Ole Miss, but if there were to be an upset, I’d give LSU the slight edge.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at Adam.Spencer@XLMedia.com.