Stock Watch: SEC West, Bowl Season
The SEC is a wild place, with teams’ chances at a division crown or playoff berth, or a coach’s job security, can vary widely week to week. Whose stock is rising and whose is dropping as we head into bowl season in the SEC West? SDS takes a look.
- Alabama’s secondary receivers: Christion Jones and DeAndrew White, both seniors, stepped up big time in the SEC title game, hauling in one each of Blake Sims’ touchdown passes. Despite their underwhelming production this season, both look like solid NFL prospects. With Ohio State having a month to prepare for Amari Cooper, both Jones and White will be counted on in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
- Mississippi State: Somehow, despite losing two of their final three SEC games, the Bulldogs leapt up above Michigan State in the final CFP rankings. That earned them a trip to the Orange Bowl, another “first time since…” accomplishment in the best season in school history. This will be Mississippi State’s first trip to the Miami bowl game since 1941.
- TV ratings: Once again, the SEC’s markets crushed it in the ratings department. The top seven markets for ESPN broadcast ratings were all SEC hotbeds, proving once again that the SEC has the most rabid fans to go along with the best football in the country.
- Kevin Sumlin’s staff: The Aggies are losing assistants with regularity these days. First, Mark Snyder was fired, then top recruiter Dave Beaty left to take over the head coaching job at Kansas. With Jake Spavital being mentioned as a candidate for several jobs, Sumlin’s crew of assistants could look much different next year.
- Trey Flowers: Flowers was the best player on Arkansas’ underrated defense all season, yet somehow he was snubbed from the all-SEC teams. After ranking sixth in the conference in tackles for loss, 13th in sacks and fourth among defensive linemen in tackles, Flowers is certainly on the up-and-up, even if media and coaches don’t notice.
- T.J. Yeldon: Alabama’s junior running certainly didn’t live up to the huge expectations in 2014, and his championship performance was nothing special. He did punch in two goal-line touchdowns, but it was Derrick Henry who carried the load late in the game when Alabama was trying to drain the clock. Yeldon’s numbers for the season aren’t terrible, but with so much expected of him he didn’t live up to it.