SDS Mailbag: All-Decade offenses vs. defenses for each team, best non-Playoff bowls and more
Christmas is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for me to head back to Illinois for the holidays.
I hope you and your families all have happy and safe holiday seasons, wherever you travel and whatever you do!
Here are your questions for this week’s Mailbag:
SDS just finished up its All-Decade teams. My question is, if each SEC school’s all-decade offense faced its own all-decade defense, who would win?
That is an excellent question. If you want to browse all the SDS All-Decade teams, just click here.
There were some great offenses and some great defenses, but who would win in a head-to-head battle between each school’s offense and defense? Let’s take a look:
- Alabama: Offense — I’m probably going to get hammered for saying this, but that Alabama offense would mop the floor with the defense. Tua Tagovailoa throwing to Jerry Jeudy, Julio Jones and Amari Cooper? With Derrick Henry coming out of the backfield behind that offensive line? Forget about it. Add in the rules that favor offenses, and the Tide offense wins big.
- Arkansas: Offense — This one is close, but that Arkansas offensive line gives the offense a slight edge over the defense.
- Auburn: Offense — Two words. Cam. Newton. With Newton leading the way, this team won a national title. Even Auburn’s star-studded All-Decade defense couldn’t stop him.
- Florida: Defense — Hey, our first winning defense! That says as much about Florida’s lackluster offensive decade as it does about the Gators’ impressive All-Decade secondary.
- Georgia: Defense — The offense can play only 2 running backs at a time, so Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb get the nod over D’Andre Swift and Sony Michel. However, going against guys like Jarvis Jones, Leonard Floyd and Roquan Smith would be nearly impossible. Edge goes to the defense.
- Kentucky: Offense — The versatility provided by guys like Lynn Bowden Jr. and Randall Cobb make this Kentucky All-Decade offense tough to plan for.
- LSU: Defense — Even Joe Burrow and Leonard Fournette would find it difficult to move the ball against the Tigers’ All-Decade linebackers and secondary.
- Mississippi State: Defense — Even with Dak Prescott leading the way, the offense would struggle against a defensive front that includes Fletcher Cox, Montez Sweat and Jeffery Simmons.
- Mizzou: Offense — Give Drew Lock talent in the backfield with Henry Josey and some elite pass-catching talent, and this is a no-brainer choice. The offensive line will have its hands full with the Mizzou defensive line, though.
- Ole Miss: Offense — Given the Rebels’ defensive struggles this decade, this is an easy call. Plus, that receiving corps has a ton of talent.
- South Carolina: Defense — South Carolina’s defensive line talent and elite secondary give the defense the edge here.
- Tennessee: Offense — I asked SDS news editor Mike Bratton about this one, and he gave a slight edge to the offense, citing the Vols’ secondary concerns. Works for me.
- Texas A&M: Offense — Johnny Manziel gives the offense the edge here. Plus, with all the star receivers and talented offensive linemen to come through College Station this decade, the defense, led by a strong defensive line, would be overmatched.
- Vanderbilt: Offense — Kyle Shurmur, Ralph Webb and Jordan Matthews give this star-studded Commodores offense a big edge over the defense.
Too bad we can’t actually see these matchups happen. It sure would be a ton of fun to watch.
What are the 5 best non-Playoff bowl games?
I’ll be watching nearly every bowl game I get a chance to watch, since I love them all so much. I’m irrationally excited about the Redbox Bowl between Illinois and Cal, but I won’t put that on the top-5 non-Playoff list.
Here’s how I’d rank the 5 best non-Playoff bowl games:
- Outback Bowl (Auburn vs. Minnesota) — Auburn DL Derrick Brown is playing, and that’s bad news for the Gophers. Still, don’t count P.J. Fleck’s squad out.
- Rose Bowl (Oregon vs. Wisconsin) — The Pac-12 champion against a team that gave Ohio State its toughest test of the season? In Pasadena? Yes please.
- Citrus Bowl (Alabama vs. Michigan) — Alabama’s Jeudy is playing, and many other top Crimson Tide players are expected to follow suit. That’s bad news for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.
- Alamo Bowl (Utah vs. Texas) — This is not where either of these teams wanted to be heading into the season. Let’s see which team manages to salvage a bit of momentum heading into 2020.
- Las Vegas Bowl (Boise State vs. Washington) — This will be coach Chris Petersen’s last game at Washington, and he’s playing his old team. Expect emotions to be high in this one.
Watch as many games as possible this bowl season, because the 2019 college football campaign will be over before you know it!
With the new Star Wars movie coming out today, which SEC coach would you most trust to have your back in a lightsaber fight?
Nick Saban and Will Muschamp seem like they’d be good villains, so I won’t choose them. They give off more of a Sith vibe to me, and Saban would be a heck of a Sith lord.
On my side, I’d love to have Ed Orgeron after a few Red Bulls (or whatever the Jedi equivalent is) and Derek Mason. With those guys on my side, I wouldn’t be scared of anything.
BONUS: Dobbe nailed his pick for the Army-Navy under last week, making him 4-0 the past 2 weeks. Can he finish strong and get back to .500 for the year? Here are his Locks of the Week for the first round of bowl games:
- Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. BYU (Over 64 points) — Seven of the past 8 Hawaii Bowls that the Rainbow Warriors have played in have had at least 64 points. Last year was the only one to go under, but I have faith in this year’s Hawaii offense.
- Boca Raton Bowl: FAU (+3) vs. SMU — The Owls get to play at home, so that’s worth something. Also, they have a new coach (Willie Taggart) whom players are trying to build momentum for.
- Bahamas Bowl: Buffalo vs. Charlotte (Under 51.5 points) — The forecast calls for severe winds. That will make kicking and passing harder.
Dobbe’s Locks of the Week 2019 record: 22-25-1
Which Christmas episode of “The Office” is your favorite and why?
I’m going to go with Season 3’s “A Benihana Christmas.” The scenes with Dwight and Jim at Benihana are awesome, plus there’s the tension between Andy and Dwight (and between Karen/Pam and Angela).
The whole episode starts with Michael photoshopping himself into a family photo with Carol and her kids, which is just incredible. You can’t go wrong with that one.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.