SEC team-by-team stocking stuffers for 2015
During the holidays, sometimes you get what you want. Sometimes you get what you need. Sometimes you get neither. But we’re in a generous mood. The grinch has bypassed us in favor of Saint Nick (Saban). So we’re stuffing every SEC team’s stocking with something useful.
ALABAMA — Fresh bottle of Coca-Cola. Let’s face it: The Tide don’t need much. But that darned Coke bottle that the Tide sports information staff trots out to every Nick Saban press conference has to be flat by now. This should put some extra fizz into the College Football Playoff media gatherings.
ARKANSAS — One night’s stay at The Peabody Memphis. Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries included. We expect the Razorbacks to hammer Kansas State. And you already know what kind of mood will overtake coach Bret Bielema. After last year’s Texas Bowl, he called the team’s victory formation “borderline erotic.” After Arkansas beat Ole Miss this year, Bielema said “I’m just looking forward to hopping on my wife.” We’ll let Bielema and his lovely wife celebrate this one in private, in whatever way he sees fit.
AUBURN — Rights to broadcast Carolina Panthers games at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers need something to show on the largest scoreboard in college football. Former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is 14-0 for the first time since he led the Tigers to an SEC title. Surely Auburn fans would rather see Newton chase a Super Bowl than watch the team struggle to win the Birmingham Bowl. Plus, it’s a reminder of what coach Gus Malzahn can do with a good quarterback.
FLORIDA — Modified version of Matt Damon’s pheromone from Ocean’s 13. We could go rouge and deposit a vial of clean urine in the Gators’ stocking. It’s too late for Will Grier in terms of fighting his one-year suspension, though, and we know the NCAA would frown upon such things. And if there’s one thing the SEC would hate to see coming down a chimney this Christmas, it’s the NCAA.
Instead, we’ll give Florida a perfectly-engineered scent with instructions to make Grier forget all about his intention to leave Gainesville. (Here’s a demonstration of how it works.)
GEORGIA — Tickets to Six Flags Over Georgia on Jan. 2. The team’s main coaches are gone. Georgia’s likely quarterback, Jacob Eason, will enroll soon. Its head coach may not be available until Jan. 12, one day after the national title game. The TaxSlayer Bowl is pretty meaningless. And for a team that won 9 games, these players have endured a lot of drama, from reports of internal turmoil to the firing of Mark Richt. We’re giving them the option to ride roller coasters all day to celebrate the new year instead of playing a mediocre Penn State team.
KENTUCKY — A giant bowl. We’ll let the Wildcats decide what to put in it. After getting stuck at 5 wins for such a long stretch of games the last two seasons, Kentucky is home for the holidays once again. Perhaps it will serve as motivation. Or maybe UK can just fill it with Christmas sugar cookies, kick back and watch some hoops.
LSU — Clump of sod from every SEC stadium. The Tigers administration needs to hug and make up with coach Les Miles. What better way to try to get back on the good side of the Mad Hatter?
MISSISSIPPI STATE — The phone number of Manhattan attorney Tedd Wells. For those not as versed in NFL happenings, Wells led the Deflategate investigation into Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. What does this have to do with the Bulldogs, you might ask? Well, Dak Prescott is headed to the NFL. Mississippi State may have peaked these last two seasons. An SEC West title may only be possible if all the other teams in the division are on probation. Give Wells a stack of SEC Network cash and 6 months and we bet he can find dirt on all six other programs. First step: Set a meeting between Wells and Laremy Tunsil’s father-in-law in Oxford.
MISSOURI — A game against Kansas. It’ll have to be an exhibition. The Jayhawks finished 0-12, and the Tigers aren’t participating in bowl season either. But we think some of the negative feelings and derisiveness on Missouri’s campus with the student protests, as well as frustration with the losing season, could be channeled toward a furious beat-down of the worst football team in any power conference. Wouldn’t everyone feel better after beating the K out of the former Big 12 rivals?
OLE MISS — A comped rap album production from GOOD Music. The Kanye West-founded record label houses artists like John Legend, West, Q-Tip — and now, Chad Kelly. This may be an NCAA violation. But the Rebels desperately need Kelly to return at quarterback next season. And we all know about his rap prowess. Perhaps this will woo him to remain in Oxford one more year. We’ll make sure GOOD Music offers to remix the hit single “Chad Kelly” with help from Kanye himself.
SOUTH CAROLINA — Neuralyzer. Utilized in the “Men in Black” franchise, a neuralyzer wipes the memory of a target or witness, putting them in a hypnotic state and making them susceptible to the suggestion of false memories. We’ll suggest the Gamecocks gather every fan in Williams-Brice Stadium, utilize the neuralyzer, and erase the memory of 2015 — the loss to The Citadel, Steve Spurrier’s “enemies” press conference and subsequent resignation and the 3-9 final record.
TENNESSEE — Tube of intestinal fortitude. We’re plastering Butch Jones’ face on the side of the tube, potentially as a red-nosed reindeer. Tennessee’s play-calling got conservative against Oklahoma, Florida and Arkansas, and the Vols lost second-half leads in each of those contests. It won’t fix 2015, which has turned into a nice year anyway. But it could help Team 120 barge into the SEC Championship Game next season, assuming Jones applies it to himself liberally.
TEXAS A&M — Copy of the book “Parenting a Teen Girl: A Crash Course on Conflict, Communication and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter.” From the Amazon.com summary: “Parents everywhere struggle to respond appropriately to challenging behavior, hit-or-miss communication, and fluctuating moods commonly exhibited by teenage girls.” Something tells us Kevin Sumlin and the coaching staff could learn some applicable lessons here to manage players like quarterback Kyler Murray in the future.
VANDERBILT — DVD of the 1999 St. Louis Rams offense. Because Vanderbilt’s players and coaches deserve to be reminded that it is possible to score touchdowns in the game of football. We feel for the Commodores defense, which played outstanding football at times this year.