SDS Week 4 Mailbag: The real Tigers and Bulldogs, how Jalen Hurts would affect the Iron Bowl and the most successful Air Raid QB
SEC play gets going in earnest this week, with six conference matchups taking place on Saturday.
In this week’s SDS Mailbag, we tackle some questions facing those teams, but we also discuss some other things — like mascot changes, Air Raid quarterbacks, Kansas’ bowl chances and more.
Oh, and we also get to the bottom of the big question — who is the Scranton Strangler?
With that, here are your questions for this week’s mailbag:
Drew Lock spent most of his first three seasons at Mizzou in an Air Raid-style offense. Who has been the most successful NFL quarterback to come from an Air Raid offense?
Fortunately for Lock, he returned for his senior season at Mizzou to prove he could run a pro-style offense (and win some games in the process). So far, he has looked good in Derek Dooley’s offense, and he’s likely rising up plenty of NFL draft boards.
However, back to your question — the Air Raid style of offense hasn’t exactly produced guys who went on to dominate in the NFL. Spread offenses often lead to what NFL scouts refer to as “system quarterbacks,” guys like Hawaii’s Colt Brennan or Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell who struggle at the NFL level.
In fact, the most successful quarterback to come out of a college offense like that is probably former Houston QB Case Keenum. Keenum just landed a big new contract from the Denver Broncos after a solid season with the Minnesota Vikings, but he went undrafted back in 2012 and spent the first six seasons of his NFL career as mostly a backup.
Here’s my ranking of the top five Air Raid quarterbacks who have had the most success at the NFL level:
- Case Keenum
- Andy Dalton (and he didn’t even run a true Air Raid offense)
- Patrick Mahomes (seriously, through two games he’s already at No. 3)
- Baker Mayfield (even without playing a single regular-season snap)
- Chase Daniel (just look at how much money he has made)
Yeah, like I said … not the most inspiring list. This probably had something to do with Lock’s decision to come back, and he’s already proving he can handle a more intricate scheme.
I’m an ardent believer that there should be a limit of one mascot type per conference. The SEC is a big violator of this rule with three Tigers and two Bulldogs. In your opinion, what teams should get to keep their respective Tiger and Bulldog mascots, and what replacement mascots would make sense for those teams that have to change?
Interesting question! Let’s start with the Bulldogs — Georgia and Mississippi State. I’m going to let Georgia keep the “Bulldogs” name since they have multiple national titles and Mississippi State has none.
But, I’m not going to change MSU’s name too much. We’ll just shorten it to the “Bulls.” Now, their cowbells make a lot more sense. Boom, done.
The Tigers are a little more difficult, especially since there are three of them. My solution is to let Missouri keep the “Tiger” mascot. I know everyone is already jumping on me here and calling me a homer, but hear me out!
Auburn can change to the Eagles. Now, their “War Eagle” cheer makes more sense. Also, they already have a live eagle mascot. LSU is pretty heavily invested in its Tiger mascot, though, as there is a live tiger that lives on campus. However, LSU already has a “Bayou Bengals” nickname, so let’s make that their permanent name. LSU Bayou Bengals has a nice ring to it, I think, and it allows Mike the Tiger to keep his job.
If Jalen Hurts was the QB of the Auburn Tigers right now, who would win the Iron Bowl this year, and why?
It still has to be Alabama, right? You’ve seen what they’ve done without Hurts at quarterback, and Tua Tagovailoa appears to be a Heisman front-runner at the moment.
Yes, Auburn is the reigning Iron Bowl champion, but the Tide are the defending national champions and appear to be even more dangerous this year. In fact, according to Golden Nugget LV, the Tide would be favored by almost 10 points against literally everyone else in the country:
Alabama vs the World.
College football championship game odds now posted @GoldenNuggetLV Alabama -9.5 vs Ohio St
Alabama -10.5 vs Georgia
Alabama -11.5 vs Clemson
Alabama-14.5 vs Oklahoma
— Tony Miller (@Gollumlv) September 19, 2018
The Iron Bowl is always a tough game, and Gus Malzahn does always seem to prefer quarterbacks who can run, but put Hurts on this year’s Auburn team and I’m still giving the Tide a slight edge (especially since it’s at Bryant-Denny Stadium this year).
Will Arkansas ever be relevant at football again? Second, who is the Scranton Strangler?
To your first question, of course Arkansas will be relevant again. I know things are dark right now — a 44-17 home loss to North Texas is downright embarrassing — but things will pick back up again eventually. All it takes is the right coach and a couple of solid recruiting classes.
Now, it won’t happen while Nick Saban is at Alabama, but he can’t keep coaching forever (presumably). Let Chad Morris get his guys in there, and then we’ll see if Arkansas can’t start consistently hitting eight wins or more each year again.
To the second part of your question, I believe none other than Toby Flenderson was the Scranton Strangler. He’s noticeably absent from the scene where the Strangler is being chased by police, and he serves on the jury during the trial but later visits the prison where the alleged “Strangler” is being held to speak with him.
He fits the profile of a serial killer, too, and if I haven’t convinced you, perhaps this incredible thread on Twitter will:
For my fans of The Office… Toby Flenderson is the Scranton Strangler. And I’ll tell you why… pic.twitter.com/DYuUb1q3NY
— Spencer McClure (@spencermcclure_) March 11, 2018
Will Kansas make a bowl game?
HAHAHAHAHAHA. Haha. Ha … oh wow, Kansas is 2-1? When did that happen?
It has been a great year for the Jayhawks so far, but let’s not get carried away with wins over Central Michigan and Rutgers. We’ll learn a lot about David Beaty’s crew this weekend when Kansas travels to Baylor, but I don’t see them winning that game.
In fact, their two most winnable games are Baylor and Texas Tech, and both of those are on the road. I see this team finishing 3-9, because they’ll pull off an upset in one of the road games I just mentioned or Texas will come into Lawrence in the final week of the regular season and lay an egg.
Will 3-9 be enough for Beaty to keep his job? Probably! After all, it would double his win total in four seasons at Kansas.
Have questions for the Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.