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  • #51 by jbcarol on 06 Jul 2017

  • Hoping for good weather
  • #52 by jbcarol on 07 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    Former Auburn star Ronnie Brown, a running back from Rome, Ga. who starred on the Tigers’ unbeaten 2004 team prior to becoming the No. 2 overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft, made an appearance at a charity golf tournament alongside Kirby Smart in Greensboro, Ga. on Thursday.

    Brown retired from football in 2014 after a decade in the NFL...

    “I think he’s going to be great. In my opinion, I would pick Georgia to win the East this year. But, you never know with injuries and all these other kinds of things. I think he’s doing a great job and he’s going in the right direction.”

    Then one Hurts fumble away from one of those bowls offered by the men in the fancy coats.
  • #53 by jbcarol on 08 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    Pegs the SEC as his projected toughest conference, followed by the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and much more.

    Many in the SEC have something to prove in the months ahead. Will Alabama continue its dominance? Will LSU or Auburn challenge the Crimson Tide in the SEC West? Will Florida have an offense with a pulse? Will Butch Jones survive at Tennessee? How about Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M?
  • #54 by jbcarol on 08 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    For the first time in recent memory, you could make a legitimate argument last season that the SEC was not the best conference in college football. That was last year. Moving forward, the league should reclaim its spot as the unquestioned king of the sport, thanks to the continued dominance of Alabama and the expected re-emergence of Auburn and LSU in 2017.
  • #55 by jbcarol on 09 Jul 2017

  • Has Florida winning the East with Vols and Wildcats tied for 3rd.

    Hogs are fourth in the tough West.
  • #56 by jbcarol on 11 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    “I’m calmer now,” Orgeron said. “I don’t do the things I used to do. I don’t take my shirt off anymore. … I look at myself as a head football coach now. I’ve eased into the head coach mode.

    “If I wanted to be a head coach, I had to start acting like one.”

    He has mellowed with experience, he said. He greeted most of the questions sent his way with a smile. He often prefaced his answer with, “That’s a good question,” before delving into his answer.

    He appeared to clearly understand his role as the face of the program. Between tight windows for interviews on Radio Row, he took a break to greet those fans gathered in the lobby with Sharpies and memorabilia.

    “Let me go see my guys and take care of ‘em,” Orgeron told his handler.

    Perhaps he was caught up in the moment. For several fans, Orgeron wrote “Geaux Tigers” ... without actually signing his name.

    A woman holding two young children screeched with glee when she saw Orgeron so close. She pleaded for him to take a group picture, and Orgeron dutifully obliged, mugging for the camera as the woman clutched her children.

    As the face of the program, Orgeron appeared to be in his element. But what about the other, more important side? The one that demands results?
  • #57 by jbcarol on 11 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    In the East, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee will be picked to finish at the top of the division in some order. In the West, it will be Alabama on top, and then LSU and Auburn second and third (or third and second).

    The last two years, the media has picked Georgia and Tennessee to win the East, and Florida has won it both times. The Gators remain nothing special on offense --

    West is certainly deeper than the East, but the gap between No. 1 and everyone else is far larger than in the East. It would be a major surprise if anyone other than Alabama won the SEC West, let alone the overall SEC title...
  • #58 by jbcarol on 12 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. – Tennessee had six players selected in the NFL draft in April for the first time since 2009.

    The task of finding replacements has just begun.

    Jones will be approaching this new task with familiar faces, though. Since Jones enters his fifth football season with the Vols, every player in the program will be one of his guys.

    “The great thing is we know every one of them,” Jones said at a Big Orange Caravan at The Barn at Sycamore Farms in Arrington. “We’ve sat in all their living rooms and they know us. That’s the great thing, the kind of transitional piece with this football team.”

    Freshman running back Ty Chandler will be one player Jones might lean on early. Tennessee lost junior running backs Alvin Kamara (NFL draft) and Jalen Hurd (transfer to Baylor), creating an opening for Chandler.

    “We are going to need a lot out of Ty,” Jones said.
  • #59 by jbcarol on 13 Jul 2017
  • #60 by jbcarol on 14 Jul 2017
  • FWIW:


    Eastern Division (1st Place votes in parenthesis)
    School    Points
    Georgia (138)    1572
    Florida (96)    1526
    Tennessee (3)    998
    South Carolina (5)    897
    Kentucky    869
    Vanderbilt (1)    554
    Missouri    388

    Western Division (1st Place votes in parenthesis)
    School    Points
    Alabama (225)    1683
    Auburn (13)    1329
    LSU (4)    1262
    Arkansas (1)    796
    Texas A&M    722
    Mississippi State    633
    Ole Miss    379
  • #61 by jbcarol on 14 Jul 2017

  • 2017 SEC title odds per Bovada

    Alabama– 2/3
    Auburn– 5/1
    LSU– 5/1
    Georgia– 6/1
    Florida– 8/1
    Tennessee– 25/1
    Texas A&M– 40/1
    Arkansas– 66/1
    Mississippi State– 75/1
    Kentucky– 100/1
    South Carolina– 100/1
    Missouri– 200/1
    Vanderbilt–200/1
    ***Ole Miss is off the board
  • #62 by jbcarol on 17 Jul 2017

  • Vanderbilt has never won an SEC football championship since the conference's first title in 1933.

    While trying to convey integrity did they convey credibility?
  • #63 by jbcarol on 17 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    1. Tennessee's new QB will be talented.

    Whoever winds up becoming the successor to Joshua Dobbs will bring plenty of talent to the field. Sure, Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano lack experience and are total unknowns. But we know they're talented -- both were former four-star recruits --
  • #64 by jbcarol on 17 Jul 2017

  • Game is in Columbia

    Quote
    3. NOT A LOCK

    Drew Lock has a powerful arm and a few games under his belt, and roasted underwhelming defenses last year. He also had 10 balls picked off, one at the 2-yard line during a loss at USC.And the Gamecocks get Skai Moore back this year (11 career interceptions).

    4. WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS

    Missouri’s rotten defense from a year ago gets a softball in Missouri State in Week 1. The Gamecocks’ defense, not rotten but not healthy a year ago, has to slow down N.C. State. Results aside, USC’s D will be more seasoned.
  • #65 by jbcarol on 18 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    Florida: Little love from media under Jim McElwain

    In McElwain’s first season at the helm, the Gators were predicted to finish fifth in the SEC East, behind Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and South Carolina. Fifth!

    Then, after Florida won the SEC East —

    Georgia: Historically over-hyped

    Those who follow the Bulldogs know that every offseason seems to culminate with high expectations and a prominent place in the preseason polls. And while the team was generally a lock for 9-10 wins under Mark Richt, mostly because of the embarrassment of in-state recruiting riches at its disposal...

    Alabama: You can’t win it every year, but you can come close

    Alabama has been picked to win the SEC five times since 2008, and it has also won the SEC five times since 2008.

    Crimson Tide did not take home the conference crown in three of the years reporters expected...

    The best of the rest: Vanderbilt, Missouri and Mississippi State

    These three schools rounded out the top four by virtue of entering most seasons with low, low expectations, which isn’t a bad situation at all. We’ve seen it several times: Missouri winning the SEC East — twice! — Vandy beating a sixth- or seventh-place prediction and Mississippi State riding that Dan Mullen quarterback magic to an impressive finish.
  • #66 by jbcarol on 18 Jul 2017
  • Updated 2017 SEC over/under win totals finally released by Bovada

    School    Over/under
    Alabama    10.5
    Arkansas    7
    Auburn    8.5
    Florida    8
    Georgia    8.5
    Kentucky    7
    LSU    9
    Ole Miss    5.5
    Mississippi State    5.5
    Missouri    6.5
    South Carolina    5.5
    Tennessee    7.5
    Texas A&M    7
    Vanderbilt    6
  • #67 by jbcarol on 19 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    Alabama's dominating 54-16 smackdown of Florida in last year's SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome showcased the growing chasm between Alabama and everybody else. Bama has won the last three SEC title games by a combined score of 125-44.

    ama must replace Butkus Award winner Reuben Foster and Superman defensive end Jonathan Allen, as the Tide became the first team in draft history with seven players selected during the first 55 picks of the draft and the first with nine players chosen during the first 80 picks.

    Yes, Jalen Hurts returns at quarterback - the first time Saban has had the same starter in back-to-back seasons since AJ McCarron, who won two national titles. Hurts struggled late in 2016, especially against Auburn, Florida and Washington, but those were also three of the top 12 defenses in America.

    Coach Saban: "A realistic view of this team is that we lost 11 starters, a punter, a kicker, and a great return guy. So we lost a lot of good football players from last year's team, which is going to create a lot of opportunity for some other young players who need to prove and show that they can play with consistency and performance."

    And later, he offered this: "Are we going to be able to do the things that we need to do with the young players that don't have as much experience, that are going to get some on-the-job training in terms of what they want to accomplish, what they need to do to do a good job? Are they going to be able to do those things with the right attitude, the right commitment, the right intensity, the right sort of ability to overcome adversity? Deal with success when they have success, and have the maturity to overcome some of the negatives that they'll surely go through in this season?"
  • #68 by jbcarol on 20 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    Missouri

    Game date & time: Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium, Sept. 23

    2016 record: (4-8, 2-6 SEC)

    Returning starters: 10 offense, 5 defense, 0 specialists

    Most important returning players: QB Drew Lock, RB Damarea Crockett, WR J'Mon Moore, DE Marcell Frazier, DB Thomas Wilson

    Most critical departures: DE Charles Harris, DB Aarion Penton, LB Donavin Newsom, TE Sean Culkin, DT Rickey Hatley

    Tod Palmer (@todpalmer):
    How has Missouri addressed its rush defense this offseason?
    The bad news for Mizzou -- which finished 13th in the SEC, allowing more than 230 rushing yards per game last season -- is that defensive end Charles Harris left early for the NFL and starting linebackers Michael Scherer and Donavin Newsom graduated. Those are three big losses --

    With 10 starters back, what's expected of the offense?
    Missouri quietly set a school record for most yards per game last season, averaging 500.5 yards and finishing fifth at 446.3 yards per game in conference. The Brad Smith, Chase Daniel, Blaine Gabbert, James Franklin powerhouses under Pinkel never put up that many yards per game. Of course, the Tigers also were wildly inconsistent, having their way with Eastern Michigan, Delaware State and Tennessee, while getting shut down by LSU and Florida among others.

    A win for Missouri against Auburn would mean? A loss for Missouri would mean?
    Probably an eye-opening 4-0 start (perhaps even the start of another surprising SEC East run) and certainly the biggest win of Barry Odom's coaching tenure, especially if Auburn arrives in Columbia as a ranked team as is anticipated. Missouri went 0-3 against ranked teams last season, losing by an average of 36-11. Of course, it also might spell the beginning of the end for Gus Malzahn. Most Mizzou fans aren't penciling that game in as a victory this summer, so a loss --
  • #69 by jbcarol on 20 Jul 2017
  •  Michael Carvell‏ @Michael_Carvell 1m1 minute ago

    2017 LSU football preview: D.J. Chark leads a new-look group of pass catchers  https://www.seccountry.com/lsu/2017-lsu-football-preview-wide-receivers



    Quote
    Wide receivers
    The face: D.J. Chark

    LSU isn’t returning too much as far as pass catchers go in 2017. Malachi Dupre, Travin Dural, Colin Jeter, Desean Smith and Leonard Fournette accounted for 60 percent of LSU’s receptions and receiving yards a year ago. All are gone in 2017.

    But the Tigers are returning D.J. Chark. LSU’s second-leading receiver and leading touchdown scorer in 2016, Chark accounted for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns last year while averaging 17.9 yards per reception, the best mark in the SEC West.

    Tight ends

    For years, LSU football fans have clamored that Les Miles and the old regime didn’t properly use tight ends in the passing game. That shouldn’t be a problem this season.

    Canada’s offense doesn’t use a traditional fullback as LSU did under Cam Cameron...
  • #70 by jbcarol on 22 Jul 2017
  •  Bruce Feldman‏Verified account @BruceFeldmanCFB 3h3 hours ago

    Spoke w #OleMiss staffer>Said FRI's team workout was the best of summer. "Kids are out to prove that this is not gonna splinter the program"
  • #71 by jbcarol on 22 Jul 2017

  • Quote
    Ole Miss

    Game date & time: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Oct. 7 at TBA

    2016 record: (5-7, 2-6 SEC)

    Coach: Matt Luke, interim

    Betting line: Not yet posted

    Returning starters: 5 offense, 6 defense, 2 specialists

    Most important returning players: QB Shea Patterson, WR Damore'ea Stringfellow, LT Greg Little, DE Marquis Haynes, LB DeMarquis Gates

    Most critical departures: QB Chad Kelly, RB Akeem Judd, TE Evan Engram, LB Tony Conner, DE Fadol Brown, LB Rommel Mageo [, Hugh Freezes's dignity?]



    What does Matt Luke bring to the table as a coach?
    He's an alum and was on Hugh Freeze's staff for all five seasons, so he has a good understanding of the program and the current team. A former assistant said he related to the players and the other side of the ball well. He was also on an Ole Miss team that went through a postseason ban during his playing days, so he can relate a bit to what these players are going through.

    With both an NCAA investigation and coaching search going on, what does success look like for Ole Miss this season?
    I think if they were to go 6-6 it would be a success. The players already know they can't play in the postseason and the coach who most of them committed to resigned a week and a half before camp. Luke is a first-time head coach and there's two new coordinators...

    Running game
    Ole Miss was the worst rush defense in the SEC last season. Expected Kamryn Pettway, Kerryon Johnson and whoever has emerged as the third back to see a lot of touches.

    Back-to-back games in Alabama
    The Rebels will be coming off a trip to Tuscaloosa that could be absolutely brutal. With so many unknowns at this point, there's no way to gauge whether Ole Miss will enter this game 3-1, 2-2 or 1-3, but the Tigers should be favored regardless.
    NCAA investigation
    Where the NCAA process stands at this point could again be a season-long distraction. If Ole Miss has met with the Committee on Infractions by this point, stories could drop at any time.
    Wesley McGriff
    The former Auburn secondary coach is in his first year as defensive coordinator
  • #72 by jbcarol on 23 Jul 2017
  • Auburn opponent early scouting report: LSU

    Quote
    LSU

    Game date & time: Tiger Stadium, Oct. 14 at TBA

    2016 record: (8-4, 5-3 SEC)

    Coach: Ed Orgeron, first year (22-29, 6-2 as interim head coach at LSU)

    Betting line: LSU by 4.5

    Returning starters: 8 offense, 5 defense, 1 specialist

    Most important returning players: RB Derrius Guice, DE Arden Key, LG Will Clapp, LB Donnie Alexander

    Most critical departures: RB Leonard Fournette, WR Malachi Dupre, WR Travin Dural, C Ethan Pocic, DL Davon Godchaux, LB Kendell Beckwith, CB Tre'Davious White, S Jamal Adams

    A win for LSU would mean? A loss for LSU would mean?
    I tend to believe that this year's Auburn-LSU, for how early it is in the season, will determine the team that's still in the hunt to challenge Alabama for the SEC West title. The winner is still in it. The loser is eliminated. It's a big one, and it's in Tiger Stadium.

    Auburn story lines:

        Losing streak in Baton Rouge
        Auburn has not won at LSU since the 1999 Cigar Game. Gus Malzahn has never won at LSU. If this is a night game, and it should be, then Tiger Stadium will be in its usual lively form. Expect silent counts and lots of hand signals.
        Start of a three-game road stretch
        Auburn's season will hinge on the second half and it opens with games at LSU, Arkansas and A&M.

    LSU story lines:

        QB play
        Danny Etling is expected to retain the starting job to start the season. Whether that continues with two touted freshmen on the roster will depend on how Etling handles a new offense in the first six games, but LSU should be 5-1 or 6-0 heading into this game.
        Ed Orgeron's first full season
        Oregeron had a good run as interim coach but anything less than a 5-1 start and questions will begin to be raised about whether retaining him was the best move.
        Opening of brutal second half of season
        LSU will be coming off a road trip to Florida and an intense game there. But the opponents it faces in the final six games include Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas A&M. The season is won or lost in this stretch.
        Les Miles
  • #73 by jbcarol on 23 Jul 2017

  • FWIW, ESPN FPI rankings for SEC Teams:

    2. Alabama
    5. Auburn
    10. LSU
    13. Georgia
    14. Florida
    19. Tennessee
    27. Texas A&M
    32. South Carolina
    33. Mississippi State
    35. Kentucky
    37. Ole Miss
    38. Arkansas
    39. Missouri
    46. Vanderbilt
  • #74 by jbcarol on 25 Jul 2017
  • Auburn A&M Scouting Report

    Quote
    A&M

    Game date & time: Kyle Field, Nov. 4 at TBA

    2016 record: (8-5, 4-4 SEC)

    Coach: Kevin Sumlin, sixth year at Texas A&M (79-38, 44-21 at Texas A&M)

    Betting line: Not yet posted

    Returning starters: 5 offense, 7 defense, 2 specialist

    Most important returning players: RB Trayveon Williams, WR Christian Kirk, LB Otaro Alaka, DB Armani "Ronnie" Watts, DB Donovan Wilson

    Most critical departures: QB Trevor Knight, WR Josh Reynolds, WR Ricky Seals-Jones, DE Myles Garrett [would have led with Garrett], DE Daeshon Hall, LB Shaan Washington

    Insight from Texas A&M beat reporter Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman):

    A&M's quarterback competition heading into the season?
    Plenty of times in these situations the coaches will have a pretty strong inkling of who will start, even if they don't reveal as much, but in this situation I believe it's still wide open. I wouldn't blame the coaches if "journeyman" senior Jake Hubenak earned the start at UCLA on Sept. 3, considering freshmen Nick Starkel and Kellen Mond have never taken a college snap. Longer term, it wouldn't surprise me if Starkel was the guy

    If he doesn't win the job before the season, what would it take for Kellen Mond to be the starter by the Auburn game? Did Kevin Sumlin learn from the Kyler Murray/Kyle Allen situation?
    Rivals had Mond as a five-star out of IMG Academy, but the spring showed he still has a long way to go in terms of being a starter in the SEC.

    How do the Aggies plan to replace Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall?
    The Aggies signed one of the top junior-college defensive ends in Micheal Clemons, and he'll compete with veterans Qualen Cunningham and Jarrett Johnson for playing time. Truth is, the Aggies can't come close to replacing the monster that was Garrett

    Auburn story lines:

        End of the road
        This is the last of a crucial three-game road stretch and comes after an open week. It's also Auburn's last road game of the regular season.
        Most pivotal game?
        After moving earlier on the schedule last season, this game is back to late in the season and has proven to have a huge impact on four Auburn seasons from 2012-15. Depending where each team is in the standings, the loser might be completely out of the race in the SEC West, or in the case of Kevin Sumlin, out of a job.

    A&M story lines:

        Sumlin's job security
        The entire season will be a week-to-week review of Sumlin's tenure and evaluation of if he's best for the future.
  • #75 by jbcarol on 25 Jul 2017

  • 8 wins per Bovada
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