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Right now, we’re in the middle of a low time in the all mighty South Eastern Conference. The Spring Games are over and done with and SEC Media day is too far off. So what do we do? Well there’s workouts, studying playbooks, you know the usual or we can speculate on the 2016 season.
For College football fans far and wide it doesn’t matter if you follow the ACC, MAC, Pac 12, or Big Ten we all have something to keep an eye on going into the season. For the SEC I’m gonna give you FIVE. These are the five things that will keep us talking leading up to the kickoff of the season.
5 – Ole Miss In Hot Water?
If I’m Coach Hugh Freeze, I’m not thrilled with former prized offensive tackle and now Miami Dolphin Laremy Tunsil. And by all means I’m not talking about the social media post of Laremy allegedly smoking weed but his comments after being drafted. You know where he admitted to taking money from Ole Miss coaches. This doesn’t surprise me and I’m not advocating it but I’m not saying it’s wrong either. Though head coach Hugh Freeze says he was unaware of such wrong doing. that doesn’t make it any less potentially devastating for coach and the program. The NCAA has already been in the midst of investigating Ole Miss and this could be just one more nail in the Hotty Toddy coffin. This story has sadly just begun.
4 – Texas A&M vs. The Internet
The A&M in Texas A&M has really stood for “Absolute Mess” this off season and it all can be traced back to one thing… Twitter. Yes, the ole’ Twitter machine has snuck up on College Station and left a trail of agony for Coach Kevin Sumlin. Dual threat QB recruit Tate Martell recently abandoned the Aggies completely after what else comments on Twitter. And you’re thinking it was probably comments from a student or player at a rival school nope, same school and nope A&M coach specifically wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead. Martell decided to reopen the recruiting process to other programs, and why not he’s a top QB recruit. Well this did not sit well with Moorehead who tweeted “I feel sorry for ppl who never understand loyalty. I can’t really even vibe with u. At the end of the day trust is 100 & everything else is BS”. Which for anyone is partially understandable but never ever,ever, ever hit “post” on that keep it to yourself or say it among fellow coaches because it will bite you. Oh for A&M it did as shortly after as wide receiver recruits Mannie Netherly and Tyjon Lindsey said thanks but no thanks to the Aggies. This will sting in College Station this season and in my own opinion could put Moorhead and Sumlin on the chopping block.
3 – Will Tennessee Be At The Top?
Could we all be singing Rocky Top this year in the SEC? If you ask me, the answer is yes. People should be excited about the Volunteers this year after returning 18 starters from last year, including quarterback Joshua Dobbs the Vols are in prime position to strike on the SEC East. This is a Butch Jones team that last year lost for games by less than 20 points, and with another year all together under their belts could absolutely turn it around again. 2016 may be the year of the orange and white, the last time people we’re this on board with Tennessee was when Philip Fulmer was running this team with some QB you may remember named Peyton Manning. I have a feeling that Tennessee will be the team representing the east when the SEC gets to Atlanta.
2 – No More Sleeping On Florida
Last year the South Eastern Conference slept on the Florida Gators, with the media picking the Gators dead last. Given that they had just hired a new coach in Jim McElwain, and with other questions yet to be answered on the field it’s understandable. But for Jim and the crew in Gainesville that was just bulletin board material. As they used that motivation to lead them the SEC title in Atlanta and Coach McElwain to SEC coach of the year. Pretty surprising for a team that nobody picked to do anything. Will they be able to do it again though? Sure, they hit magic even through a challenging time at QB with Will Grier who is no longer with the program suspended. And did they lose their final three games against rival Florida State, the SEC title to Alabama, and bowl game to Michigan, they sure did. But all things considered don’t expect the Gators to be picked last again this year.
1 -Coaching Changes In The SEC
Out of any job in sports the one I wouldn’t want is head coach in the SEC. You could be having the time of your life and one little thing could put you on the block like what happened to LSU coach Les Miles. The 2015-16 off season was one that may have took us all a little by surprise South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel both gone into retirement and Georgia’s Mark Richt is done in Athens. All three replaced by fellow SEC minds Will Muschamp leaves Auburn after a year to lead the Gamecocks, Barry Odom is promoted to head coach after being Mizzou’s Defensive Coordinator, and Georgia brings back their favorite son Kirby Smart from Alabama. I expect their to be some obvious ups and downs for these new faces but 2016 is going to turn the heat up on a few others in the SEC like guys I’ve already mentioned Hugh Freeze and Kevin Sumlin, but also Mark Stoops at Kentucky, and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn. All these men are gods to their respected fan-bases one day and the worst thing to ever happen the next … again just ask Les Miles.
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