Every SEC team has officially played at least six games, meaning the season is now halfway over. It seems like just yesterday that it was August and we were eagerly counting down the days until Week 1.

Now, as we enter Week 8, everyone has a good idea of where their team stands, and all preseason hope has either been proven right or come crashing down.

Soon, we’ll be talking College Football Playoff, Super Bowl, March Madness, and then it’ll be summer again. Where does the time go?

Here’s hoping things slow down a little and we can enjoy the last few weeks of the 2018 season at a leisurely pace. However, when it comes to Mailbag questions, they can’t get here soon enough. Therefore, let’s dive into your questions for this week:


Assemble your ideal college football broadcast crew. You can take anyone from any network.

I love this question, because unlike most people, I think there are a lot of great announcers out there. I wish Verne Lundquist were still around, because he was my favorite. Something about him just made SEC football on Saturday afternoons and golf on Sundays seem so relaxing.

Of the current crop of broadcasters, though, I’d probably have ESPN’s Chris Fowler as the play-by-play man, Kirk Herbstreit as the top analyst and CBS’s Gary Danielson in the booth as well. I know a lot of SEC fans hate on Danielson, but I think Herbie and Fowler could bring out the best in him.

Then, I’d have F0x’s Gus Johnson waiting in the background in case the game was close in the fourth quarter, because there’s no one who is better at living up to the moment than Johnson.

On the sideline, there’s no debate — give me ESPN’s Maria Taylor. No one has more fun doing their job than Taylor, and she does it well, too. There’s a reason the Fowler/Herbstreit/Taylor combo gets the best games of the week for ESPN and ABC, and adding Danielson and Johnson to the mix would make it the perfect team.

BONUS: Last week, Dobbe (my college roommate from our days at Mizzou) picked Iowa State to win outright against West Virginia and had Minnesota covering the spread against Ohio State. Rather than let him keep all these winning ideas to himself, I forced him to send me a few bets to pass along to you, the valued reader. So, here are Dobbe’s Locks of the Week for this weekend:

  • Mississippi State at LSU — Take LSU -7 and the under (45 points, according to our friends at MyBookie). Death Valley at night. LSU puts up points, State will not.
  • Michigan at Michigan State — Take the over (40.5 points). Gus Johnson game. He’ll be yelling all afternoon.
  • Purdue at Ohio State — Take Ohio State (-13). Everything in me says Purdue will cover under the lights, but that’s why it’ll be an Ohio State blowout.


Nick Bosa is leaving Ohio State midseason to prep for the NFL draft. If this becomes a trend, with all the NFL talent in the SEC, what impact will this have on the conference?

I wouldn’t worry too much about this affecting the SEC, or even any other conference that much. Bosa’s situation at Ohio State is a unique one, and one that’s not likely to pop up all too often.

Bosa likely wasn’t going to be able to work his way back from an abdominal injury and subsequent surgery, so there’s no sense in him simply sitting around in Columbus. Yes, it’s unfortunate that he won’t get to be with the Buckeyes as they try for their second College Football Playoff trophy, but the school isn’t exactly paying him to be there.

Then, there’s the matter of his draft stock. Bosa has a chance (though it’s more unlikely now due to the injury) to be the No. 1 overall pick. Even after the surgery, he’s still probably going to be a top-10 pick. That kind of money is life-changing, so I won’t fault the guy for making sure he gets as much of it as he can from whatever NFL team ends up drafting him.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve seen players sit out bowl games to protect their draft stock more in recent years (including in the SEC), but these are some special circumstances that have led to Bosa sitting out, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it becoming a trend.


What is Coach O’s max bench?

So, I went way deeper into this than I probably should have, but here’s what you have to consider about Ed Orgeron’s bench press max:

  • Pros:
    • He’s a former defensive lineman
    • He has been around some of the best strength programs in the country
    • He’s a fitness enthusiast
    • He’s Cajun-strong
  • Cons:
    • He’s 57 years old
    • He hasn’t played since 1983
    • It’s time-consuming being a head coach

According to this profile of Coach O by Bleacher Report, written back in 2014, Orgeron could still bench 325 pounds. A few years have passed, but I’d bet Coach O could still get 300 pounds up a time or two these days.


What’s Auburn’s all-time record in 11 a.m. starts?

So, there’s no way I’m going to go back through all of Auburn’s history to find this out. However, this is clearly a question about Gus Malzahn, whom many fans are frustrated with after two disappointing losses to Mississippi State and Tennessee in recent weeks.

I went back through the 2013-2018 seasons, and the results won’t shock you. In typical Gus Malzahn fashion, the Tigers are 8-5 in 11 a.m. starts under his leadership. Considering he has finished 8-5 in two of his five years at Auburn (and 7-6 one other year), that’s no surprise.

This weekend’s game at Ole Miss kicks off at 11 a.m., too, so watch out, Tiger fans.


Outside of Louisiana, who has the best food in the South?

I’d definitely say Louisiana has the most unique food culture in the South, and I’d love to try it sometime. After that, I’m going to pick a surprising answer and go with South Carolina. Ever since I saw the Anthony Bourdain “Parts Unknown” episode about Charleston, I really want to get down there to experience the food culture.

After that, it’s got to be Tennessee, where hot chicken is all the rage these days. I really love a hot chicken sandwich. Then, it’s a two-way tie for third, with Texas and Missouri both getting major points for their BBQ scenes. Memphis also has some really great BBQ, but I already have Tennessee at No. 2, so don’t blow me up on Twitter (@AdamSpencer4, for the record) for not mentioning it.

Coming in last place is Florida. That’s going to be a hard pass from me.

Have questions for next week’s SDS Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.