SDS Week 5 Mailbag: Best chance to beat Alabama, Kelly Bryant vs. Jalen Hurts and cornhole vs. bags
Welcome to Week 5 of the SDS Mailbag!
This week, Mizzou is on a bye, so I have an extra week of reliving one of the worst officiating plays I have ever seen in my life.
I mean, seriously, how has this play not become a national scandal yet?
Some great downfield blocking by the ref on UGA's pick six. Sorry Mizzou.pic.twitter.com/4HOcoE8jK2
— Saturday Down South (@SDS) September 22, 2018
I know Congress is busy right now, but I demand congressional hearings! First of all, forward progress anyone? Then, this ref threw such a perfect block that it will be shown on film for years.
Would Drew Lock have made the tackle? Probably not. Should he have even tried? Probably not, considering how important he is to the Tigers’ success. However, he should have still had a chance to make the play, and bozo referee up there took that chance away from him.
All right, now that I’m all worked up again, let’s get to your questions:
This summer, Averion Hurts said his son Jalen would be “the biggest free agent in college football history” if he didn’t win the Alabama starting quarterback job. With this week’s news of Kelly Bryant’s impending transfer, it is now possible that both quarterbacks from the 2017 Alabama-Clemson College Football Playoff semifinal will be playing for different teams in 2019. Who would you rather have between the two Playoff veterans?
I’m going to come in strong here and say it’s Jalen Hurts, and it’s not even close. If I’m a team like Auburn, who many think will be involved with both Bryant and Hurts, I take my time and wait for Hurts to make his decision.
Just look at their 2017 numbers for all the proof you need that Hurts is the better quarterback:
Bryant: 262-for-398 passing, 2,802 yards, 13 touchdowns, 8 interceptions; 665 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns
Hurts: 154-for-255 passing, 2,081 yards, 17 touchdowns, 1 interception; 855 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns
Bryant may be a little bit better as an overall passer, but Hurts had more touchdowns and seven fewer interceptions. Hurts is also the more dynamic runner.
Look, both quarterbacks will be great for whatever school they end up at, but the fact that Hurts was even able to hang around in the quarterback competition with Tua Tagovailoa for as long as he did is nothing short of incredible. With what Tagovailoa has done this year, it’s absolutely crazy that Hurts has been able to stick around in Tuscaloosa for as long as he has.
That just goes to show his unique talent and how much he has progressed (even if Tagovailoa has progressed at a much faster rate). If he ends up at Auburn, where coach Gus Malzahn prefers a quarterback with Hurts’ skill set, watch out.
Between LSU, Auburn and Georgia, which team has the best chance to beat Alabama?
I’ll answer this a couple of different ways. If we’re assuming that Georgia is going to win the SEC East, then I give the Bulldogs the best chance of beating the Tide. However, since winning the division is no guarantee (especially with the way Kentucky is playing right now), I’ll also offer a different opinion.
I think that the Nov. 3 game at LSU is going to be tougher than people think for the Tide. The Tigers always play ‘Bama tough. Even last year, the score was a closer-than-it-seemed 24-10.
LSU has proven it can beat top-10 teams, with wins over Miami and Auburn already. While I think Alabama is a big step above both of those squads, playing this year’s Tigers team in Death Valley won’t be easy.
You’re a high school senior in Canada picking an SEC school. You’re swept up in American football fever and want the best 4 years possible. Where are you going?
It depends on what you value most. If you want to see a title, you have to go to Alabama. The Tide haven’t had a four-year championship drought since Nick Saban took over.
However, if you want atmosphere, I have two options for you — Georgia and LSU. I know I’ve already angered 11 other SEC fanbases by leaving them off this list, but the Bulldogs are building something special under coach Kirby Smart. I really think they’re going to win a title in the next four years.
Then there’s LSU. If you’re looking for a great SEC football atmosphere, look no further than Tiger Stadium. A night game at Death Valley is a bucket-list item, and if this hypothetical Canadian high school senior were looking for the best gameday experience, Baton Rouge is tough to beat.
Do you think the white board that Jeremy Pruitt kicked will file charges or will it be handled in house?
What is it with the Vols and weird sideline props and sayings? First it was Butch Jones’ brick-by-brick motto, then last year someone had the great idea to put a trash can on the sideline. How did someone not realize they would be mocked for that?
This, at least, wasn’t some bizarre motivation tactic — it was simply an angry head coach kicking a whiteboard. However, if you think that won’t be replayed 1,000 times during the Vols’ remaining eight games, you’re wrong.
With every loss the Vols pile up this season, it’ll increasingly become the Year of the Whiteboard in Knoxville. I, for one, can’t wait to see what theme the 2019 season ends up having.
How many coaches hate Nick Saban after he asked for bad press?
In case you missed it, things are going so well for Alabama that Saban actually asked (somewhat jokingly) for media members to write something negative about the Crimson Tide.
I don’t think it’s that coaches hate Saban, per se, as he seems to be very well respected in the industry (six titles will do that). However, it certainly is a problem that no other top program has.
Just off the top of my head, Ohio State has the ugly Urban Meyer scandal, Clemson has the Kelly Bryant transfer drama, Oklahoma just needed overtime to beat Army and Georgia players can’t stop dropping the football before they cross the goal line.
Meanwhile, Alabama is blowing opponents out and looking like an absolute juggernaut. However, I will say one bad thing about the Tide, just to humor Saban — their 35.9 yards-per-punt average ranks only 120th in the country.
That’s definitely what keeps Saban up at night these days.
And now for our non-football question of the week:
Is it cornhole or bags?
I’ve lived in Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Utah and California, so I can tell you I have heard it both ways. In the Midwest, it’s generally cornhole, while I usually hear it called bags on the East Coast. I even had one friend in Utah who called it “Baggo” (looking at you, Alan).
It was called cornhole because the bags were originally filled with corn. Even as we have gotten away from that a bit today (with beans usually providing the filling), every now and then you’ll find a set that still uses corn.
Those are the best, providing authentic gameplay, so next time you’re at a tailgate, please call it cornhole. That’s the most popular name for it across the country, and it’s just more fun to say than “bags.”