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  1. 2019 All-SEC Spring Game Team By Southern Pigskin Staff SouthernPigskin.com An all-conference style team comprised of the SEC's best players during each school's respective spring games. OFFENSE QB Feleipe Franks, Florida RB Kavosiey Smoke, Kentucky RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU WR Trevon Grimes, Florida WR Freddie Swain, Florida WR Jay Urich, South Carolina TE Baylor Cupp, Texas A&M OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia OG Darryl Williams, Mississippi State C Donell Stanley, South Carolina OG Ryan McCollum, Texas A&M OT Noah Gatlin, Arkansas DEFENSE DE Qaadir Sheppard, Ole Miss DL Phidarian Mathis, Alabama DT Daevion Davis, Vanderbilt EDGE Andre Anthony, LSU LB Michael Divinity, LSU LB Shane Lee, Alabama LB Eric Gregory, Arkansas CB Clifford Chattman, Texas A&M CB Eric Stokes, Georgia CB Moses Reynolds, Texas A&M S Jaylen McCollough, Tennessee S John Huggins, Florida SPECIAL TEAMS K Chance Poore, Kentucky P Braden Mann, Texas A&M AP Charles Olatunji, Auburn
  2. Wow Right off the bat do not agree with this outcome. 1. This isn’t the first year we’ve played without Deebo, 9-4 2. There is zero chance our defense isn’t much better this year 3. Some of this has to do with the fact that we have the hardest schedule in the country 4. I love the underdog role
  3. SEC: The toughest nonconference schedules ranked April 21, 2019 LSU and South Carolina face the toughest nonconference schedules in the SEC heading into the 2019-20 football season. Here are the rankings from toughest to easiest: 1. LSU Aug. 31 Georgia Southern; Sept. 7 at Texas; Sept. 14 Northwestern State; Oct. 5 Utah State Overview: LSU is coming off its first 10-win season since 2013 with the Tigers winning five nonconference games including wins over ranked teams in Miami and UCF. Ed Orgeron’s team travels to Austin for the first time since the mid-1950s with the Tigers looking to snap a four-game road losing streak to the Longhorns with the last road win coming in 1938. 2. SOUTH CAROLINA Aug. 31 vs. North Carolina (Charlotte); Sept. 7 Charleston Southern; Nov. 9 Appalachian State; Nov. 30 Clemson Overview: This is the third time in the last six seasons in which South Carolina has opened up the season against rival North Carolina. The Gamecocks have won three straight in the series and six out of the last seven meetings. The out-of-conference schedule wraps up with a home contest against in-state rival Clemson with the Tigers winning five straight in the series. 3. MISSOURI Aug. 31 at Wyoming; Sept. 7 West Virginia; Sept. 14 Southeast Missouri; Oct. 5 Troy Overview: Missouri is 1-4 against Power 5 opponents in the three seasons under coach Barry Odom with the lone win coming against Purdue last season. The Tigers will look to improve on that mark when they host West Virginia for the first time since the mid-1990s. About a month later, the team hosts a Troy team coming off a 10-win season in 2018. 4. GEORGIA Sept. 7 Murray State; Sept. 14 Arkansas State; Sept. 21 Notre Dame; Nov. 30 at Georgia Tech Overview: Georgia has been outstanding against nonconference opponents in the three seasons under coach Kirby Smart with the Bulldogs putting together a 13-2 mark. The two losses were against Georgia Tech (2016) and Texas (2018). Notre Dame makes its first visit to Sanford Stadium looking to avenge a 20-19 home loss to Smart and the Bulldogs in 2017. 5. TEXAS A&M Aug. 29 Texas State; Sept. 7 at Clemson; Sept. 14 Lamar; Nov. 2 UTSA Overview: Clemson’s 28-26 win over Texas A&M was the closest the Tigers came to losing a game last season and the Aggies would like nothing better to shock the defending national champs early next season. The last time Jimbo Fisher beat a Dabo Swinney-led team in Memorial Stadium was back in 2014 when he was still at Florida State. 6. TENNESSEE Aug. 31 Georgia State; Sept. 7 BYU; Sept. 14 Chattanooga; Nov. 2 UAB Overview: Tennessee has been outstanding in its out-of-conference schedule over the past eight years, winning 31 out of the last 35 games including a 3-1 record in 2018. Year 2 under coach Jeremy Pruitt features a schedule that includes the first meeting with BYU in the second week and a showdown with a UAB program coming off a school-best 11-win season. 7. VANDERBILT Sept. 7 at Purdue; Sept. 28 Northern Illinois; Oct. 12 UNLV; Nov. 23 ETSU Overview: After losing five straight season-openers, Vanderbilt has won two straight games, both over Middle Tennessee. The Commodores, who were 1-4 on the road last season, open up next season away from Nashville at Purdue. Derek Mason’s team hosts Northern Illinois and UNLV hoping to extend a winning streak over Group of 5 teams to six games going back to 2015. 8. MISSISSIPPI STATE Aug. 31 vs. Louisiana (New Orleans); Sept. 7 Southern Miss; Sept. 14 Kansas State; Nov. 23 Abilene Christian Overview: Mississippi State hasn’t lost more than two nonconference games in a season since 2003 and the Bulldogs schedule in 2019 features just one Power 5 showdown against a Kansas State team coming off a disappointing 5-7 season and a coaching change. The last time the program lost a home game to an out-of-conference foe was 2016. 9. AUBURN Aug. 31 vs. Oregon (Arlington); Sept. 7 Tulane; Sept. 14 Kent State; Nov. 23 Samford Overview: This is the second straight year in which Auburn has opened up at a neutral site against a Pac-12 opponent. The Tigers knocked off No. 6 Washington in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta last season. This time around, Gus Malzahn’s team will face Oregon in a rematch of the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. 10. OLE MISS Aug. 31 at Memphis; Sept. 14 Southeastern Louisiana; Sept. 21 California; Nov. 9 New Mexico State Overview: The last time Ole Miss ventured north to Memphis, the Rebels left with a 37-24 loss to the Tigers in 2015. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak in the occasional series that dates back to 1921. Three weeks later, the team hosts a team from the Pac-12 for the first time in school history when Cal travels to Oxford. 11. FLORIDA Aug. 24 vs. Miami (Orlando); Sept. 7 UT Martin; Sept. 28 Towson; Nov. 30 Florida State Overview: Florida opens up a season away from the Swamp for the second time in three seasons when the teams travels to Orlando for an in-state showdown with Miami at Camping World Stadium. The Gators have lost seven out of the last eight meetings with the Hurricanes. Dan Mullen’s team looks to make it two-in-a-row after snapping a five-game losing streak to rival FSU. 12. ALABAMA Aug. 31 vs. Duke (Atlanta); Sept. 7 New Mexico State; Sept. 21 Southern Miss; Nov. 23 Western Carolina Overview: For the eighth straight year, Alabama kicks off a college football season at a neutral-site venue, this time in Atlanta against Duke. The Crimson Tide is 7-0 in those games, outscoring their opponents 271-91. This is the fifth time these programs have met with ‘Bama holding a 3-1 advantage. The Tide is 55-7 against nonconference opponents under Nick Saban with the last regular-season loss coming in 2007. 13. KENTUCKY Aug. 31 Toledo; Sept. 7 Eastern Michigan; Nov. 23 UT Martin; Nov. 30 Louisville Overview: Kentucky went undefeated in its nonconference schedule last season (5-0) for the first time since 2008. The Wildcats open things up with back-to-back matchups against Mid-American Conference opponents, looking to extend their 10-game winning streak against the league. Mark Stoops’ team wraps things up Thanksgiving weekend looking to make it two straight against Louisville. 14. ARKANSAS Aug. 31 Portland State; Sept. 14 Colorado State; Sept. 21 San Jose State; Nov. 9 Western Kentucky Overview: The Razorbacks are the only team in the SEC to face a nonconference slate that doesn’t feature a game against a Power 5 opponent. That’s good news for a program that is coming off a two-win season in 2018 with both of those wins coming out-of-conference.
  4. OAYP: 2019 SEC Defensive Linemen Rankings By Jim Johnson / SouthernPigskin.com The new OAYP advanced metric ranks the SEC's returning defensive linemen. Today, we’re diving into the true defensive linemen. Those include defensive ends in three-man fronts, defensive tackles, and nose guards. Gone is Quinnen Williams, but outside of him, a ton of talent returns at the position. That means we have a pretty large sample of players that should be more accurately reflective than, say, the edge rushers were. So let’s tier the SEC defensive linemen, just like we did with the offensive players and edge defenders, into superstars (marginal OAYP >1), second tier (marginal OAYP between 0.5-1), and potential breakout stars. *marginal OAYP scores in parentheses* Superstars -Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M (1.9) -Derrick Brown, Auburn (1.35) -McTelvin Agim, Arkansas (1.33) -Rashard Lawrence, LSU (1.17) -Raekwon Davis, Alabama (1.12) Off the top of my head, I would have had the exact same top five as the formula, but not in that order. My gut says: Brown, Lawrence, Davis, Agim, and then Madubuike. Nevertheless, it’s hard to argue with Madubuike’s production. In some ways, the formula is, first and foremost, a playmaker index. Whereas, for example, Pro Football Focus’ grades measure consistency, OAYP values the sort of snaps that show up on highlight reels. Madubuike’s three forced fumbles in 2018 are tied with Agim for the most among returning SEC players. He’s also tied for first with Brown and Lawrence among returning interior defenders in tackles for loss alone atop that list in sacks. It will be interesting to see if he can be as statistically impactful in 2019 after Texas A&M’s losses of Otaro Alaka, Tyrel Dodson, Kingsley Keke, Landis Durham, and Daylon Mack in the front seven. The Aggies’ average front seven OAYP score is the lowest of the five schools represented by the above superstars, so while he was the beneficiary of a strong supporting cast last season, he will be the focal point going forward. In some ways it was surprising to see Derrick Brown come back for his senior year. I actually think it was a good decision, though. This is among the most talented defensive line classes ever, and while he could have been a first rounder, it was not a sure thing. Barring an unfathomable regression, he’ll go in the top half of the first round in 2020. An ideal blend of power and explosiveness, he combines a good first step with a devastating bull rush that only a few SEC offensive linemen have been able to handle over the past couple of seasons. With Nick Coe and Marlon Davidson back alongside, his encore performance could be his best. Agim has spent some time at end during his career, both in high school, where he developed into a five star prospect, and at Arkansas. He’s a good, even a very good defensive end, but not elite. He is an elite tackle. Now, finally moving to the interior of John Chavis’ defensive front, after posting double digit tackles for loss, QB hurries, and, as noted above, three forced fumbles, just imagine what he can do at his most natural position. Lawrence is a consummate leader, both on and off the field for LSU. He, like Brown, probably could have gone pro and been a day two selection at worst. He, Brown, and Madubuike had the most tackles for loss of any returning interior defender last year at 10.5. He’ll also continue to benefit from a top tier supporting cast -- LSU’s average front seven OAYP is a full point higher than Texas A&M’s and second only to Alabama among the above five teams. He’s strong, violent, and eats double teams for breakfast. Banged up a season ago, he could challenge Brown for the title of ‘SEC’s best defensive lineman’ in 2019 if he stays healthy. Rounding out the top five is the monster known as Raekwon Davis. The anticipation going into last season was that he would be Alabama’s best defensive lineman, and perhaps even the best player on their entire defense. He was clearly not Quinnen Williams, and might have even been third in his own position group, behind Isaiah Buggs. That’s not even an indictment of Davis, either, simply a reflection of just how dominant that trio was. He’s as tall as the average NBA player and heavier than Ndamukong Suh, yet shows incredible range for his size. When you hear people discuss the irresistible force paradox, the immovable object they’re referring to is Raekwon Davis. Second Tier -Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina (0.66) -Labryan Ray, Alabama (0.63) -Marlon Davidson, Auburn (0.62) -Glen Logan, LSU (0.53) It’s not much of a surprise that three of the four second tier players are teammates with one of the superstars. Like a rising tide lifts all boats, a truly elite defender makes everyone around him better. Javon Kinlaw is the lone player in the second tier without a companion in the ranks of the elite. Granted, with a healthy DJ Wonnum back on the edge in 2019, that’s subject to change. He joined the Gamecocks after spending time at the JUCO level as part of their 2017 signing class, dripping with talent, but overweight and limited by his physique. Since then, he’s cut around 40 trims and now sits at a trim 305-ish. Long, lean, and mean, Kinlaw has the sort of rare physique that scouts will drool over. His raw strength at that size, combined with an incredible first step for the position allows him to shed blocks with the best of them. The only left for him to prove is that he can turn that unlocked potential into more consistent production. The number two recruit at his position in the Class of 2017, LaBryan Ray has served only in a rotational role during his Alabama career, to date. Even so, he managed six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks during his sophomore campaign. Ray possesses the size, athleticism, and versatility that we’ve come to expect from Alabama defensive linemen, and could become one of the premier defensive linemen in the nation as he takes on more of a starring role for the Tide. Marlon Davidson is a perfect complement to Derrick Brown’s attack, attack, attack mentality. Davidson won’t wow anyone with his athleticism, but he approaches the position with veteran savvy. He doesn’t offer a ton in the way of pass rushing prowess, though he may be underrated in that respect, but is a physical run stopper that does his job with great consistency. Davidson’s raw production does not fully depict his value to Auburn’s defensive front. Glen Logan is a lot like the movie Fight Club. It was far from a success at the box office, and Logan is far from a box score stuffer, but both are beloved by a certain audience. The David fincher film grossed just over half of its budget, and Logan’s production is arguably about half of what fans may typically expect from a player as highly touted as Logan was coming out of high school. Even so, Fight Club eventually garnered the appreciation it deserved. Maybe in 2019, the same will happen for Logan. Potential Breakout Stars -Phidarian Mathis, Alabama (-0.63) Obviously, given the weight towards value over efficiency on the defensive scores, the smaller sample size players generally won’t be above the mean in marginal OAYP. Mathis ultimately may not even end up being Alabama’s primary nose tackle. He had a fine spring by all accounts, but freshman early enrollee D.J. Dale stole the show. Neither will be Quinnen Williams, but I’m quite sure that Nick Saban’s defense will be just fine regardless. Mississippi State’s Lee Autry and Jayden Peevy from Texas A&M are also both worth keeping an eye on. Full Marginal OAYP Scores for Qualifying SEC Defensive Linemen Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M (1.9) Derrick Brown, Auburn (1.35) McTelvin Agim, Arkansas (1.33) Rashard Lawrence, LSU (1.17) Raekwon Davis, Alabama (1.12) Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina (0.66) Labryan Ray, Alabama (0.63) Marlon Davidson, Auburn (0.62) Glen Logan, LSU (0.53) Josiah Coatney, Ole Miss (0.39) Jordan Elliott, Missouri (0.24) Fletcher Adams, Mississippi State (-0.14) Emmit Gooden, Tennessee (-0.15) Keir Thomas, South Carolina (-0.18) Adam Shuler, Florida (-0.18) Tyler Clark, Georgia (-0.22) Malik Herring, Georgia (-0.27) Julian Rochester, Georgia (-0.28) Kobe Smith, South Carolina (-0.33) Kyree Campbell, Florida (-0.37) Benito Jones, Ole Miss (-0.48) Phil Hoskins, Kentucky (-0.49) Drew Birchmeier, Vanderbilt (-0.52) Dayo Odeyingbo, Vanderbilt (-0.57) TJ Smith, Arkansas (-0.64) Neil Farrell, LSU (-0.66) Jordan Davis, Georgia (-0.74) Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina (-1.1) Tedarrell Slayton, Florida (-1.24) Cameron Tidd, Vanderbilt (-1.29)
  5. FeatheredCock

    Will Wade reinstated by LSU

    LSU has reinstated Will Wade.
  6. OAYP: 2019 SEC Tight End Rankings By Jim Johnson SouthernPigskin.com The new OAYP advanced metric ranks the SEC's returning tight ends. Earlier in the offseason I released the 2018 OAYP rankings as part of the debut of a new advanced metric to evaluate college football teams. Last season’s scores will obviously factor into the eventual 2019 preseason rankings, but those alone are only reflective, not predictive. In order to make the aforementioned OAYP metric predictive, we’re factoring in individual player OAYP scores for projected starters and key contributors. Those numbers are a sort of spiritual descendant of adjusted yards per attempt, the quarterback metric first introduced in the book The Hidden Game of Football by Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, and John Thorn, and Pro Football Reference founder Doug Drinen’s ‘approximate value’ measure. The basic premise is to cross the efficiency measure of the former, but across all positions, with the value principles of the latter -- hopefully as a way of more accurately depicting a given team’s returning production. Returning good players is more valuable than returning only average or subpar players, and not all production is created equal, so this should ideally prove to be more predictive than simply looking at the raw number of returning starters or the percentages of returning production. Over the coming weeks I’ll be diving into those individual OAYP scores for some of the top returning qualifying players in the SEC at each position, as well as some potential breakout stars that posted big OAYP numbers, but on too small a sample size to qualify. Now, to separate the truly dominant players, rather than just using the OAYP scores, we’ll be looking at the scores relative to their positional averages. For the time being, we only have the SEC to look at, but those marginal ratings will eventually reflect their value relative to the entire country -- at least among qualifying returnees. That way, because there is some mild inequity in scoring from one position to the next, those disparities are wholly mitigated. Sort of like WAR in baseball, marginal OAYP tells us how far above or below a player is their positional average. We’ll tier them into ‘superstars’ (marginal OAYP >1), ‘second tier’ (marginal OAYP between 0.5 and 1), ‘not as good as we thought?’, and potential breakout stars (players that didn’t get enough reps to qualify, but posted high OAYP scores on a smaller sample size). *Marginal OAYP in parentheses Superstars -Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri (1.94) Albert Okwuegbunam is special. He has the ideal frame for a modern tight end with well above average straight line speed. However, there are a lot of big, athletic guys in the SEC. What separates him from the pack is his ability as a natural pass catcher. He’s a large target with an even greater catch radius, making Drew Lock look good the past couple of years thanks to an innate knack for reeling in those off target throws. Whether he lines up in the slot, in-line like a more traditional TE, or even outside, his leaping ability makes him a special sort of nightmare to defend in the red zone. His season was cut short by injury in 2018, but he nonetheless managed to earn finalist honors for the Mackey Award. There’s not a better returning tight end in college football. Second Tier -Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt 0.88 -Cheyenne O'Grady, Arkansas 0.6 Pinkney might could have cracked the 1.0 OAYP mark if he was better blocker, but the rising senior is a matchup problem as a pass catcher. He’s not as nuanced a route runner or as athletic as Okwuegbunam, but like the Mizzou standout, he’s big, long, and strong. His production last year was as reliable as his hands are, posting at least three catches in all but two games, at least 40 yards in all but 4 games, and a touchdown in nearly half of Vanderbilt’s contests. Cheyenne O’Grady didn’t play in either of Arkansas’ first two games in 2018, and didn’t register a reception until their fifth game of the season, against Texas A&M. Once he got going, though, he really got going. Pinkney is the only returning SEC tight end with more touchdowns last year than O’Grady’s six, and that was with three more appearances and 20 more receptions. Moreover, four of those six scores came against Alabama and LSU, with two apiece against those two dominant defenses. Not as good as we thought? -Charlie Woerner, Georgia (-0.23) Woerner served in a limited capacity in 2018, backing up Isaac Nauta who has since departed for the NFL. He checks all the boxes athletically, but, albeit on a smaller sample size, has never matched production with the potential. As he steps into a larger role, it’s easy to expect that to be remedied, but that might be shortsighted. Nauta was arguably more physically gifted than Woerner, and was certainly a more highly touted prospect, but he never fully live up to the hype either. There are plenty of reasons for Georgia fans to be excited about what Woerner could be, but there’s also reason to question whether or not he ever actually gets there. Potential Breakout Stars -Octavius Cooley, Ole Miss (2.42) Cooley, too, was a backup in 2018, playing behind Dawson Knox. However, he made the absolute most of his limited opportunities, averaging 21.5 yards per reception and scoring a touchdown on just eight catches. There’s also a nice history of recent tight end success at Ole Miss left behind by Knox and Evan Engram, both of whom would have posted >1.0 marginal OAYP scores in their final seasons, relative to this class. Like with all the Rebels we’ve covered in these position rankings, it’s yet to be seen what the offense will look like under Rich Rodriguez, but Cooley has his own history and that of his predecessors on his side. Full Marginal OAYP Rankings for Qualifying Tight Ends Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri (1.94) Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt (0.88) Cheyenne O'Grady, Arkansas (0.6) Kiel Pollard, South Carolina (0.01) Sal Cannella, Auburn (-0.12) Charlie Woerner, Georgia (-0.23) Dominick Wood-Anderson, Tennessee (-1.28) Farrod Green, Mississippi State (-1.76)
  7. OAYP: 2019 SEC EDGE Rankings By Jim Johnson SouthernPigskin.com Today, we’re diving into the edge rushers. Those include defensive ends in four-man fronts and outside linebackers in three-man fronts. The league lost a ton of talent from this spot, including Josh Allen, Montez Sweat, and Jachai Polite, among others. As such, there’s a relatively short list of qualifying returnees which could somewhat skew the marginal scores.Regardless, let’s tier the SEC edge rushers, just like we did with the offensive players, into superstars (marginal OAYP >1), second tier (marginal OAYP between 0.5-1), and potential breakout stars.*marginal OAYP scores in parentheses*Superstars-Jon Greenard (Louisville 2017), Florida (1.32) -DJ Wonnum (2017), South Carolina (1.08)Curiously enough, these guys played a combined five games last season. Greenard suffered a season ending injury in the first defensive series of Louisville’s season opener in 2018. Wonnum also went down in South Carolina’s first game, against Coastal Carolina. He returned for a few games in the middle of the season, but didn’t play in either of the Gamecocks’ last two regular season contests or the bowl game.Therefore, as denoted above, their 2019 projections come as a result of their 2017 production.It’s tough to just assume that a grad transfer, Greenard, will be one of the best edge defenders in the SEC next year, but there are reasons for Florida fans to be optimistic. He has a prior relationship with Todd Grantham from when the Gators’ DC recruited him to Louisville. He also enters a situation in which the departures of Polite and Cece Jefferson have opened the door to plenty of playing time opposite Jabari Zuniga. Jeremiah Moon, his fiercest competition at the position is also missing spring practice due to injury. At this point, it almost seems like a foregone conclusion that Greenard will earn the bulk of the snaps in what was Polite’s role. Greenard isn’t an elite athlete, but neither was his predecessor. Superior effort was probably Polite’s greatest attribute. Greenard, a bigger defender if not as explosive, shares that unceasing motor. He may not be as good as these numbers would suggest, but he’s a film star. Everytime the whistle is blown, he’s in the camera shot.Wonnum is a bit easier to project than Greenard, or any grad transfer would be, because we’ve seen him be super productive in this defense. Assuming he’s healthy, few edge defenders in the conference can wreak havoc like Wonnum. However, he needs to be more consistent. He had just two sacks in five games against teams that ranked in the top half of the country in adjusted sack rate that season, and five of his thirteen tackles for loss came against NC State and Tennessee, who ranked 110th and 125th in stuff rate, respectively. In fairness, he did have sacks against both Missouri and NC State, top six teams in sack rate, plus tackles for loss against Georgia, Florida, and Kentucky, all top four teams in stuff rate, so it’s not like he’s just showing up and stockpiling numbers against the hapless. The next step is simply being more impactful on a week to week basis.Second Tier-Nick Coe, Auburn (0.93) -Anfernee Jennings, Alabama (0.86) -Jabari Zuniga, Florida (0.68) -Darrell Taylor, Tennessee (0.57)Because Greenard is a transfer and Wonnum is coming off of an injury, Auburn’s Nick Coe and Alabama’s Anfernee Jennings would actually be my two best bets as to who will be the best edge rushers in the SEC.Coe has been a personal favorite of mine to watch going back to his freshman year. He has continued to put on weight since then, whilst maintaining the speed and explosiveness that made him such a highly touted recruit. Now, a devastating blend of power and athleticism, Coe’s 13.5 tackles for loss last year are the most among any returning player in the SEC and his seven sacks put him just one behind Tennessee’s Darrell Taylor.Jennings is not the raw athlete that Coe is, but he’s a straight up bully. Long, strong, and mean, where you or I have palms and phalanges, Jennings has cement blocks, except the blocks aren’t actually made of cement, they’re made of fire and nails. I mean, there might be some cement in there, too, but I’m not sure. Regardless, he put those things to good work tallying 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2018.Zuniga is in a good spot with Greenard coming in, even after losing Polite, and should continue to produce at a high level, as he has since he stepped on campus. After stagnating from his freshman year to his sophomore year, Zuniga made a jump last season, perhaps as a byproduct of Polite’s emergence, but a jump no less. He could take another step forward in 2019 and join the ranks of the college football elite.Taylor, meanwhile, was one of the lone bright spots on Tennessee’s defense last year. As mentioned above, he posted more sacks than any other SEC returnee a season ago and should be poised for a major encore performance as his surrounding talent continues to improve under Jeremy Pruitt.Potential Breakout Stars-Chauncey Rivers, Mississippi State (0.28)Having to replace Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat on a line that spearheaded one of the nation’s most dominant defenses is no joke, but Chauncey Rivers could help ease that transition. He won’t be Sweat, that’s an unfair expectation, but he is the only returning edge defender in the SEC that didn’t qualify but still managed to post a positive marginal OAYP score, although that’s partially because the defensive formula is a little more value based than efficiency based, as compared to the offensive formula.. Auburn’s Big Kat Bryant and Kenny Hebert from Vanderbilt are also a couple of names to keep an eye on.Full Marginal OAYP Rankings for Qualifying SEC Edge Defenders1. Jon Greenard (Louisville 2017), Florida (1.32)2. DJ Wonnum (2017), South Carolina (1.08)3. Nick Coe, Auburn (0.93)4. Anfernee Jennings, Alabama (0.86)5. Jabari Zuniga, Florida (0.68)6. Darrell Taylor, Tennessee (0.57)7. Qaadir Sheppard, Ole Miss 0.368. Calvin Taylor, Kentucky -0.649. Patrick Queen, LSU (-0.67)10. Jeremiah Moon, Florida (-0.7)11. Ryder Anderson, Ole Miss (-0.81)12. K'Lavon Chaisson (2017), LSU (-0.94)13. Daniel Fennell, South Carolina (-0.95)14. Tariqious Tisdale, Ole Miss (-1.11)
  8. OAYP: 2019 SEC Offensive Line Rankings By Jim Johnson SouthernPigskin.com The new OAYP advanced metric ranks the SEC's returning offensive linemen. Today, we’re diving into the offensive linemen. Now, simply because of the sheer volume of qualifying returnees, I won’t list all 40+ individuals, rather the projected offensive line totals for each school. Those obviously include returning starters, but also factor in projections for new starters and team pedigree. However, before we get to that, let’s tier some of the SEC’s blockers, just like we did with the skill players, into superstars (marginal OAYP >1) and second tier (marginal OAYP between 0.5-1) players. I’ll also list the top five at each position above the team projections. *marginal OAYP scores in parentheses* Superstars -Andrew Thomas, T, Georgia (3.11) -Solomon Kindley, G, Georgia (1.4) -Tre'Vour Wallace-Simms, G, Missouri (1.39) -Alex Leatherwood, G, Alabama (1.06) -Prince Tega-Wanogho, T, Auburn (1.02) It should come as no surprise to see two Georgia Bulldogs at the top. Sam Pittman’s offensive line was a finalist for the 2018 Joe Moore Award, given annually to college football’s best group of blockers. Oklahoma ended up winning, but the Sooners return only one starter from that unit, and Alabama, the other finalist, lost three starters. Georgia only lost one. Kindley was quietly one of the best guards in the league in 2018, not allowing a single sack in the regular season. However, Thomas is the name to know. He might have been the best tackle in the country already, when healthy. Now that all of his closest competitors are off to the NFL, it’s safe to assume he’ll be the best, hands down, in 2019. Wallace-Simms has been a bastion of consistency for Missouri for a couple of years now, and earned first team All-Conference honors from the media for his efforts. He helped the Tigers to a top 20 ranking in line yards per carry and opportunity rate, and the top ten in allowed stuff rate and sack rate, respectively. Leatherwood is an interesting case because, based on how highly touted he was out of high school, he can sometimes leave one wanting more. Yet, at the same time, when he’s at his best, there are only a couple of offensive linemen that are in the same class as he is, athletically. He was arguably playing out of position at guard, and could be in a more favorable scenario as he takes over for Jonah Williams at left tackle, so the sky 's the limit in 2019. There wasn’t a lot to like about Auburn’s offense in 2018, and the offensive line was a big reason why. One bright spot, though, was Prince Tega-Wanogho, who allowed just two combined sacks and hits in pass protection. With Tega-Wanogho leading the way, and all five starters coming back, Auburn’s new signal caller, whoever it ends up being, ought to be in a far more fortuitous situation. Second Tier -Jedrick Willis, T, Alabama (0.89) -Isaiah Wilson, T, Georgia (0.61) -Yasir Durant, T, Missouri (0.6) You might be starting to notice a trend here. The three best offensive lines in the SEC last season were Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri. The reason those were the three best was because they had good offensive linemen. Some of those good offensive linemen are back. That means those teams will, in all likelihood, continue to have very good offensive lines. Willis is the only returnee for the Tide that is still working at the position he played in 2018, and, though not as highly touted as Leatherwood was out of high school, should be the leader of that group. Wilson, a mountain of a man, will once again man the right tackle spot for what will be the most formidable offensive line in the country. Durant, meanwhile, is the prototype for the position, and play his way into a comfortable day two draft spot with another solid campaign. Top 5 Tackles 1. Andrew Thomas, Georgia (3.11) 2. Prince Tega-Wanogho, Auburn (1.02) 3. Jedrick Willis, Alabama (0.89) 4. Isaiah Wilson, Georgia (0.61) 5. Yasir Durant, Missouri (0.6) Obviously, as mentioned above, Alex Leatherwood is sliding to left tackle which would alter these rankings, but I’m going to leave him at guard for these purposes since that’s where he earned his OAYP score a year ago. Top 5 Guards 1. Solomon Kindley, Georgia (1.4) 2. Tre'Vour Wallace-Simms, Missouri (1.39) 3. Alex Leatherwood, Alabama (1.06) 4. Darryl Williams, Mississippi State (0.46) 5. Damien Lewis, LSU (0.28) Top 5 Centers 1. Donell Stanley, South Carolina (0.49) 2. Trystan Colon-Castillo, Missouri (0.39) 3. Nick Buchanan, Florida (0.28) 4. Drake Jackson, Kentucky (0.04) 5. Kaleb Kim, Auburn (0.04) 2019 Projected Marginal OAYP SEC Offensive Line Rankings 1. Georgia 6.3 2. Alabama 3.24 3. Missouri 2.67 4. Mississippi State 1.53 5. Auburn 1.15 6. Florida -0.37 7. LSU -0.55 8. South Carolina -0.61 9. Kentucky -0.67 10. Ole Miss -1.35 11. Texas A&M -1.54 12. Vanderbilt -2.02 13. Arkansas -3.02 14. Tennessee -4.81
  9. FeatheredCock

    Rick Barnes to UCLA?

    Probably a smart move. I doubt he'll be able to top what he accomplished this season.
  10. OAYP: 2019 SEC Receiver Rankings April 08, 2019 SOUTHERN PIGSKIN.COM The new OAYP advanced metric ranks the SEC's returning receivers. Earlier in the offseason I released the 2018 OAYP rankings as part of the debut of a new advanced metric to evaluate college football teams. Last season’s scores will obviously factor into the eventual 2019 preseason rankings, but those alone are only reflective, not predictive. In order to make the aforementioned OAYP metric predictive, we’re factoring in individual player OAYP scores for projected starters and key contributors. Those numbers are a sort of spiritual descendant of adjusted yards per attempt, the quarterback metric first introduced in the book The Hidden Game of Football by Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, and John Thorn, and Pro Football Reference founder Doug Drinen’s ‘approximate value’ measure. The basic premise is to cross the efficiency measure of the former, but across all positions, with the value principles of the latter -- hopefully as a way of more accurately depicting a given team’s returning production. Returning good players is more valuable than returning only average or subpar players, and not all production is created equal, so this should ideally prove to be more predictive than simply looking at the raw number of returning starters or the percentages of returning production. Over the coming weeks I’ll be diving into those individual OAYP scores for some of the top returning qualifying players in the SEC at each position, as well as some potential breakout stars that posted big OAYP numbers, but on too small a sample size to qualify. Now, to separate the truly dominant players, rather than just using the OAYP scores, we’ll be looking at the scores relative to their positional averages. For the time being, we only have the SEC to look at, but those marginal ratings will eventually reflect their value relative to the entire country -- at least among qualifying returnees. That way, because there is some mild inequity in scoring from one position to the next, those disparities are wholly mitigated. Sort of like WAR in baseball, marginal OAYP tells us how far above or below a player is their positional average. We looked at the SEC quarterbacks and running backs last week. Today, we’re diving into the receivers. We’ll tier them into ‘superstars’ (marginal OAYP >1), ‘second tier’ (marginal OAYP between 0.5 and 1), ‘not as good as we thought?’, and potential breakout stars (players that didn’t get enough reps to qualify, but posted high OAYP scores on a smaller sample size). *Marginal OAYP in parentheses Superstars -Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (1.98) -Jaylen Waddle, Alabama (1.59) -Henry Ruggs, Alabama (1.31) Tua Tagovailoa is the best quarterback in college football. He returns the best receiving corps in college football. That doesn’t seem fair. Jerry Jeudy won the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to college football’s best receiver, and yet, at least according to Pro Football Focus, he wasn’t even the best pass catcher on his own team. That distinction went to freshman Jaylen Waddle who posted the fourth highest WR grade in the country. Oh yeah, and then there’s Henry Ruggs, maybe the only player in the country that’s faster than Waddle. Not to mention… Second Tier -Devonta Smith, Alabama (0.91) -Bryan Edwards, South Carolina (0.54) Devonta Smith was Tagovailoa’s top target during the College Football Playoff, and all four of those weapons rank in the top eight among returning SEC pass catchers in yards per reception and touchdowns. Bryan Edwards is not the athlete that Deebo Samuel is, but as the latter provided enough excitement for the both of them, Edwards was a bastion of consistency and even proved to be a viable WR1 when Samuel was injured in 2017. He has 12 receiving scores and over 1,600 yards the last two years, and proved more able to stretch defenses downfield a season ago. Big, long, and strong, Edwards is a jump ball warrior and should have his best season yet in 2019, especially if Jake Bentley is a little steadier behind center. Not as good as we thought? -Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt -1.05 -Lynn Bowden, Kentucky -1.14 Both Lipscomb and Bowden were All-SEC selections in 2018, Lipscomb to the second team by the media and Bowden to the second team by the coaches. In fairness, Bowden was picked as an all-purpose/returner, but, nevertheless, his production does not match his perception. An elite punt returner to be sure, his numbers from scrimmage, both as a rusher and receiver, are pretty pedestrian. He did have some monster performances, but no-shows like he had against Mississippi State and South Carolina leave me wanting more. Meanwhile, though Lipscomb’s raw numbers are impressive, he was force fed the ball, and inefficient in the way in which he accumulated those stats. Despite leading the league with 87 receptions, he failed to hit 1,000 yard mark, and ranked 36th among 42 qualifying SEC receivers last year in yards per reception. Potential Breakout Stars -Kam Scott, Missouri 4.14 -Stephen Guidry, Mississippi State 2.72 -Tyler Simmons, Georgia 2.36 -Seth Williams, Auburn 2.22 -Jeremiah Holloman, Georgia 1.49 -Josh Palmer, Tennessee 1.18 Scott, Guidry, and Simmons’ numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. Impressive as they may be, none of them had even 20 touches, though Guidry was just shy of that mark. However, we saw enough of the other three to acknowledge that, though they probably aren’t as good as those OAYP scores, big seasons could be in the cards for each one. Williams is in an interesting spot because of Auburn’s quarterback situation, but Holloman did a nice job stepping into that Javon Wims-esque deep threat role for Georgia last year, while Palmer emerged as an upper echelon big play threat, gaining at least 20 yards on just shy of 40% of his receptions. Full Marginal OAYP Rankings for Qualifying WR’s Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (1.98) Jaylen Waddle, Alabama (1.59) Henry Ruggs, Alabama (1.31) Devonta Smith, Alabama (0.91) Bryan Edwards, South Carolina (0.54) Van Jefferson, Florida (0.51) Justin Jefferson, LSU (0.38) Marquez Callaway, Tennessee (0.32) Shi Smith, South Carolina (0.23) Josh Hammond, Florida (0.22) Jauan Jennings, Tennessee (0.2) Jalen Knox, Missouri (0.13) Quartney Davis, Texas A&M (-0.12) Camron Buckley, Texas A&M (-0.34) Anthony Schwartz, Auburn (-0.36) Johnathan Johnson, Missouri (-0.46) CJ Bolar, Vanderbilt (-0.48) Jhamon Ausbon, Texas A&M (-0.97) Eli Stove (‘17), Auburn (-1.04) Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt (-1.05) Lynn Bowden, Kentucky (-1.14) Elijah Moore, Ole Miss (-1.15) Kadarius Toney, Florida (-1.18)
  11. OAYP: 2019 SEC Quarterback Rankings SOUTHERN PIGSKIN.COM April 08, 2019 The new OAYP advanced metric ranks the SEC's returning quarterbacks. Earlier in the offseason I released the 2018 OAYP rankings as part of the debut of a new advanced metric to evaluate college football teams. Last season’s scores will obviously factor into the eventual 2019 preseason rankings, but those alone are only reflective, not predictive. In order to make the aforementioned OAYP metric predictive, we’re factoring in individual player OAYP scores for projected starters and key contributors. Those numbers are a sort of spiritual descendant of adjusted yards per attempt, the quarterback metric first introduced in the book The Hidden Game of Football by Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, and John Thorn, and Pro Football Reference founder Doug Drinen’s ‘approximate value’ measure. The basic premise is to cross the efficiency measure of the former, but across all positions, with the value principles of the latter -- hopefully as a way of more accurately depicting a given team’s returning production. Returning good players is more valuable than returning only average or subpar players, and not all production is created equal, so this should ideally prove to be more predictive than simply looking at the raw number of returning starters or the percentages of returning production. Over the coming weeks I’ll be diving into those individual OAYP scores for some of the top returning qualifying players in the SEC at each position, as well as some potential breakout stars that posted big OAYP numbers, but on too small a sample size to qualify. Now, to separate the truly dominant players, rather than just using the OAYP scores, we’ll be looking at the scores relative to their positional averages. For the time being, we only have the SEC to look at, but those marginal ratings will eventually reflect their value relative to the entire country -- at least among qualifying returnees. That way, because there is some mild inequity in scoring from one position to the next, those disparities are wholly mitigated. Sort of like WAR in baseball, marginal OAYP tells us how far above or below a player is their positional average. I’ll preface this by stating that the marginal OAYP scores for the SEC quarterbacks are skewed by having two of probably the five best quarterbacks in the entire country at the top. As a result, the other qualifying signal callers’ marginal scores are almost entirely negative. I can all but guarantee that when we look at their marginal ratings against all qualifying returnees at QB that the numbers will go up across the board. In the meantime, though, there is still value in evaluating quarterbacks against their SEC counterparts, only within the context of the league, given that it is those players against whom they will primarily be competing. You won’t be surprised at the top, but after that, it gets interesting. We’ll tier them out into ‘superstars’ (marginal OAYP >1), ‘average to above average’ (in the 50th percentile or better), ‘not as good as we thought?’, and potential breakout stars (players that didn’t get enough reps to qualify, but posted high OAYP scores on a smaller sample size). *Marginal OAYP in parentheses* Superstars -Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (3.15) -Jake Fromm, Georgia (1.9) Sorry Trevor Lawrence, but until proven otherwise over the course of a full season, Tua Tagovailoa is the best returning quarterback in the country, fresh off of one of the most impressive individual campaigns ever, regardless of how it ended. Since the turn of the century, 20 other quarterbacks had as many passing yards and touchdowns as Tagovailoa, but none did it in as few attempts, and only two with as many or fewer interceptions. He posted the highest passer rating of all time, and even though he had a relatively hard time against Georgia and Clemson down the stretch, those were two of the five best pass defenses in the sport, at worst. Jake Fromm is the second best quarterback in the conference, and that distinction doesn’t even begin to do him justice. He’s arguably a top three quarterback in the entire nation, just behind Tagovailoa and Lawrence. He’s fresh off of a second consecutive top ten finish in passer rating and only twelve other quarterbacks this century have thrown at least 24 passing touchdowns and seven or fewer picks in back-to-back seasons, as Fromm now has. That shortlist includes the likes of Heisman winners Tim Tebow, Marcus Mariota, and Baker Mayfield. Assuming he does it again, which feels like betting on the sun to rise, he will join Geno Smith as the only other one to do it thrice in a row. Second Tier -Nick Starkel, Arkansas (0.52) -Feleipe Franks, Florida (-0.14) -Jake Bentley, South Carolina (-0.32) -Joe Burrow, LSU (-0.4) For Starkel I used his 2017 production at Texas A&M. He missed half of that season due to injury, but we got a decent sample size that included 67 attempts against Mississippi State, Auburn, and LSU. Unfortunately, he largely struggled in those contests, completing just over 52% of his passes with a 5:4 touchdown to interception ratio, albeit at a solid 8.12 yards per attempt. His season numbers were bolstered by huge performances against New Mexico and in the bowl game versus Wake Forest, but his OAYP score still might be a bit misleading. Factor in his transfer to a new offense under Chad Morris, and it’s probably not fair to expect the same production this season. That said, using Ben Hicks’ numbers from SMU, his fiercest competitor for the job is ranked second to last in OAYP among qualifying quarterbacks with a -0.97 rating, so maybe it should be his job after all. I’m still skeptical about Feleipe Franks in a vacuum, but he doesn’t play in a vacuum, he plays in a Dan Mullen offense. Mullen proved that his reputation as a quarterback whisperer was earned with the work he did with Franks in 2018. As B.J. Bennett recently explored, Franks is on a historic trajectory, and there’s no reason to expect his ascent to slow down. Jake Bentley’s spot here is not all that unexpected. He was top four in the league in yards per attempt and touchdowns a season ago. The problem is that he can be two totally different quarterbacks from one week to the next. Against Coastal Carolina, Ole Miss, and Clemson last year, he might as well have been Tua Tagovailoa. Er, actually he was better than Tua against Alabama. But then he can also go out and throw more passes to opponents than touchdowns or post sub-111 passer ratings, like he did against Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia. Apparently at the end of the day that all averages out to slightly above the mean, but that is hardly ever who actually shows up on Saturday. More often than not, it’s one or the other. Joe Burrow, huh? Alrighty then. This one made curious, so I factored out his overtime production against Texas A&M and it knocked his score down a bit, .04 points to be exact, but not enough to move his ranking. Technically because of Tagovailoa and Fromm he wasn’t average, per se, but he was the median SEC qualifier. I don’t know. He was eighth in the league in yards per attempt, completed less than 60% of those throws, and ranked 12th in passer rating. He did run the ball well and have a respectable touchdown to turnover ratio, but if he ends up in the positive after the national adjustments, which he probably will, I’ll be perplexed. Then again, I’m already moderately perplexed, so that won’t be much of a change. Not as good as we thought? -Kellen Mond, Texas A&M (-0.57) -Kelly Bryant, Missouri (-1.05) This is tough for me. I love Kellen Mond. I was stunned when he earned the starting job over Nick Starkel, but clearly Jimbo Fisher knew a little better than I did. Not only did Mond display marked improvement, pretty much across the board, but he was also one of the most exciting improvisers in the country from the quarterback position. On throws from outside the pocket, Mond’s 4:0 touchdown to interception ratio was tied for the best in the FBS. I do anticipate further progression from Mond in 2019, but the schedule is a nightmare. I’m not sure the numbers do him justice, but the formula is what the formula is. Whatever, I still like him. Similar to Starkel, I used Bryant’s 2017 production from Clemson. This was jarring. He took that Clemson team to an ACC Championship and the College Football Playoff. Then again, looking at his OAYP score, maybe that Clemson team took him to an ACC Championship and the College Football Playoff. However, like Bentley last year, there were two totally different versions of Kelly Bryant, in 2017. Over the first ten games of the season, Bryant completed 36% of his passes that travelled at least 15 yards downfield for an average of 10.5 yards per attempt, with a 78.3 QBR. In his last three games, prior to the playoff, he completed 64% of such passes for 18.1 yards per attempt, with a 100.0 QBR, including a 5/5 showing with a touchdown against Miami’s widely heralded secondary, in the ACC Championship. He posted another dud against Alabama in the postseason, but the flashes he showed in the lead up to that contest are undeniable. There won’t be any postseason for Bryant or his new team this year, but he will nonetheless be one of the most fascinating players to watch in the SEC. Potential Breakout Stars -Keytaon Thompson, Mississippi State (4.3) -Matt Corral, Ole Miss (2.0) Take Thompson’s score with a grain of salt. That 4.3 marginal OAYP -- which is higher than Tagovailoa’s -- was from mop up duty for Nick Fitzgerald last year. If we use his 2017 numbers, which actually give him enough snaps to qualify, he’s at -0.81, which is only higher than Hicks’ SMU score and Bryant’s 2017 Clemson score. The only time he registered more than eight combined rushes and pass attempts in 2018 was in the opener against Stephen F. Austin, an FCS program. If we combine the totality of his production from both years, his marginal OAYP is 0.77, which is third in the SEC. That’s still probably a little hot, bolstered by that SFA game, but I don’t hate it. Thompson is promising, but not 4.3 marginal OAYP promising. Yep, Corral’s 2.0 marginal OAYP is higher than Jake Fromm’s. Corral also threw just 22 passes in 2018 while backing up Jordan Ta’amu. Corral is talented and Ole Miss’ offense was conducive to effective quarterback play. The former’s 2018 OAYP score would have put him third in the SEC coming into this season, had he been eligible for another season. We’re going to get a different look from the Rebels, though. With Rich Rodriguez coming in to take over the offense, who knows what to expect behind center. That hire probably bodes well for Scottie Phillips, but you’ll have to forgive me if I’m not ready to assume that Corral will be as dynamic as Khalil Tate or Pat White were under Rodriguez. The Ventura, California-product is talented, no doubt, but only time will tell how well Rodriguez can adjust to his QB’s skillset. Full Marginal OAYP Rankings for Qualifying SEC QB’s 1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama 3.15 2. Jake Fromm, Georgia 1.9 3. Nick Starkel (TAMU ‘17), Arkansas 0.52 4. Feleipe Franks, Florida -0.14 5. Jake Bentley, South Carolina -0.32 6. Joe Burrow, LSU -0.4 7. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M -0.57 8. Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee -0.59 9. Terry Wilson, Kentucky -0.72 10. Keytaon Thompson (‘17), Mississippi St -0.81 11. Ben Hicks (SMU), Arkansas -0.97 12. Kelly Bryant (Clem ‘17), Mizzou -1.05 13. Riley Neal (Ball State), Vanderbilt -1.2
  12. FeatheredCock

    SEC FB Sleeper Teams is

    Find this interesting you all agree? SEC: Arkansas Razorbacks The idea of being a sleeper is relative – it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to win the division. Maybe a team can be a sleeper on a one or two week basis to catch a giant team off-guard. That’s Arkansas, with a team that should be what last year’s wasn’t. No one was expecting Chad Morris to step in and make the Hogs the new Alabama, but with his offensive coaching style, they were supposed to be that dangerous team that, on the right day, could pull off a shocker. The defense wasn’t going to stop anyone, but that offense … It didn’t show up. Not only was the Arkansas offense bad in the 2-10 season, but it got worse as the season went on. Call that the proverbial one step back to potentially take a giant leap forward. The problems led to a wholesale change of quarterback possibilities, with Texas A&M’s Nick Starkel coming aboard instead of going to Florida State, and with SMU’s Ben Hicks transferring over, too. – SEC 2019 Win Total Projections The running backs are good, even if almost all of the good ones seemingly got hurt this spring, La’Michael Pettway left, but most of the top targets are back, and the line can’t help but be stronger. The defense? Sort of along for the ride, and not the point – this all works for Arkansas this season if the offense starts to crank it up. Beating Portland State, Colorado State – after losing to the Rams last year – WKU and San Jose State shouldn’t be an issue, but the Hogs need to be able screw up at least a few SEC teams, and they should. Again, they’re not going to the College Football Playoff or anything, but can the passing game start to kick in like it’s supposed to and stun an Auburn? Mississippi State? How about catching Alabama off-guard as it looks forward to its off week to prepare for LSU? How about LSU as it gets ready for Texas A&M? At the very least, the Hogs should be a whole lot more fun. – Arkansas Schedule & Analysis
  13. A winless season is remarkably bad. I was shocked to see it happened (winless). Have to make this move if you are Vandy.
  14. Muchamp #2 when it comes to being on the Hotseat just behind Malzahn (in the SEC) thoughts? 1. GUS MALZAHN, AUBURN Did the amazing offensive show against Purdue in the Music City Bowl show off the hope needed going forward? Malzahn now has lost five or more games in four of the last five season, and this should be a rebuilding campaign. Throw in the rough schedule, and few head coaches will have a more pressure-packed year. Last Season SEC Spring Hot Seat Ranking: 7 2. WILL MUSCHAMP, SOUTH CAROLINA Virginia 28, South Carolina 0 in your 2018 Belk Bowl. That’s how the 7-6 season ended in what was supposed to be a big third season for South Carolina under Muschamp. At 22-17 so far, this had better be a really, really good year. Last Season SEC Spring Hot Seat Ranking: 8 3. CHAD MORRIS, ARKANSAS It was an interesting hire that was at least supposed to bring a difference-making offense into the equation. Instead, the Hogs under Morris had a very, very ugly 2-10 season. He won’t get fired with another 2-10 clunker … maybe. At the very least, Arkansas had better be interesting. Last Season SEC Spring Hot Seat Ranking: 10
  15. SEC teams listed in ESPN's 1st Power Index for 2019 Gamecocks ranked 19th, seven of Gamecock opponents are also ranked, six of them are ahead of the Gamecocks.
  16. Ole Miss football has been forced to vacate 33 wins from six seasons as the last part of the NCAA’s investigation into the program. The wins will be vacated due to ineligible players participating in football games, and most ineligible players had some sort of ACT violation. https://wreg.com/2019/02/12/ole-miss-football-forced-to-vacate-33-wins-after-investigation/ Mizzou gets hit, now Ole Miss. One can only hope a certain shithole in the upstate is next.
  17. SEC EAST 2019 Pre-Spring Rankings February 16, 2019 These can and will change after spring ball and going into the season, but for now, as a starting point, welcome to your pre-everything early ranking of all the SEC teams. SEC EAST 7. Vanderbilt Commodores Can Ball State transfer QB Riley Neal come in and take over for Kyle Shurmur? If he can’t Mo Hasan will get the look. The winner of the battle gets a fantastic receiving corps to work with – everyone is back – helped by TE Jared Pinkney not taking off for the NFL. The O line takes a hit losing three starters, but RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn is back for what should be a decent ground game. The defensive front three is in decent shape, but three of the four bowl game starters at linebacker are gone. Losing CB Joejuan Williams early to the NFL doesn’t help – only one starter returns to the secondary. Final 2018 Record: 6-7 (3-5) 2018 SEC East Finish: 6 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 14 Biggest Issue To Fix: Pass Rush & Tackles For Loss Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Wide Receiver Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Secondary 6. Missouri Tigers This changed after the punishment from the NCAA – Mizzou is now banned from going bowling in 2019. If everything was normal, this was probably around the fourth-best team in the East. It’s pushing it to say that Clemson grad transfer Kelly Bryant will be as good as Drew Lock, or possibly and upgrade, but he’ll be … different. Rarely do you find a guy with College Football Playoff credentials ready to step in and go. Dangerous deep threat Emanuel Hall is gone, but Arkansas transfer Jonathan Nance will fill in just fine and Albert Okwuegbunam might just be the nation’s best tight end. Leading rusher Larry Rountree is back, but No. 2 man Damarea Crockett is leaving early for the NFL. Three starters return up front. Five of the top seven tacklers are back, but the interior of the defensive line has to be replaced. The pass rushers and talent are there on the outside, but linebackers Terez Hall and Brandon Lee have to be replaced. It might have been a rough year for the secondary, but three of the four starters return. Final 2018 Record: 8-5 (4-4) 2018 SEC East Finish: T2 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 11 Biggest Issue To Fix: Pass Defense Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Wide Receiver Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Defensive Tackle 5. Kentucky Wildcats Of course this is way too low, but the rest of the division is better. What Mark Stoops did with the Cats last year was amazing. Doing anything close to that this year would be miraculous considering what he has to replace. There’s no replacing hybrid defensive star Josh Allen, but he’s not the only one missing. Four of the top five tacklers are gone, almost the entire starting secondary, and the line needs reworking, too. Even so, there’s a decent core to work around, starting with LB Kash Daniel in the middle. Heart-and-soul RB Benny Snell is done, but there’s an interesting young rotation of backs ready to go around QB Terry Wilson. The O line should be fine with a little bit of time, but the receiving corps has to find some new key pieces around Lynn Bowden. Final 2018 Record: 10-3 (5-3) 2018 SEC East Finish: T2 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 12 Biggest Issue To Fix: Passing Offense Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Quarterback Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Defensive Back 4. Tennessee Volunteers QB Jarrett Guarantano needs to become something special after a promising year – there aren’t a slew of viable other options at the moment. The receiving corps is very deep and very promising with almost everyone who caught a pass last season returning. Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan lead a decent group of running backs behind a line that gets four starters back, only losing OT Drew Richmond to transfer. Nine of the top 12 tacklers return. The defensive front gets gutted, but Pruitt has enough of a rotation that it shouldn’t be too massive an issue after some reworking. Most of the linebackers return – losing Quart’e Sapp early to the NFL – and the secondary gets enough talent back to be a whole lot stronger. Final 2018 Record: 5-7 (2-6) 2018 SEC East Finish: 7 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 9 Biggest Issue To Fix: Total Offense Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Wide Receiver Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Defensive Line 3. South Carolina Gamecocks The Gamecocks are an interesting blend of loaded and concerning. Start with the defensive line that gets back everyone and should be a deep, talented killer as the year goes on. Continue with the linebacking corps that welcomes back leading tacklers TJ Brunson and Sherrod Greene, and then … the secondary. It’s going to take some work around emerging young talents Jaycee Horn at one corner spot and RJ Roderick at safety. Getting back JT Ibe for a sixth year is a huge help at safety. Star WR Deebo Samuel is gone for veteran QB Jake Bentley, but Bryan Edwards is a No. 1 guy for a good-looking receiving corps. Everyone of note is back for the ground game, but the O line has to undergo an overhaul. Final 2018 Record: 7-6 (4-4) 2018 SEC East Finish: T4 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 5 Biggest Issue To Fix: Turnover Margin Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Defensive Line Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Defensive Back RELATED SEC 2019 Football Schedule: 5 Things That Matter 2. Florida Gators The expectations are higher now, but there are just enough glaring holes to keep the 2019 season from blowing up – and it starts on the offensive front. Jawaan Taylor is an NFL starter somewhere on a front five next year, and Martez Ivey will have a place in the league, too. Four starters have to be replaced on the line, but leading rusher Lamichal Perine is back along with a terrific-looking receiving corps. Can QB Feleipe Franks step up and be a superstar? If he gets the blocking, maybe. The defense takes a hit losing DE Jachaei Polite, leading tackler Vosean Joseph from the linebacking corps, and S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson early to the NFL, but the return of Jabari Zuniga helps. The secondary should be a killer with Marco Wilson expected to return fine from a torn ACL to join CB CJ Henderson and a great group of safeties. Final 2018 Record: 10-3 (5-3) 2018 SEC East Finish: T2 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 6 Biggest Issue To Fix: Penalties Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Defensive Back Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Offensive Tackle 1. Georgia Bulldogs The talent is all across the board, but there might be little margin for error over the first part of the season until the depth develops. It’s all Jake Fromm’s quarterbacking world now, but who will he throw to? Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman, and TE Isaac Nauta all left early – this is where Kirby Smart’s great recruiting classes kick in. RB D’Andre Swift should go off behind a line that gets back four starters. The defense still might not have any Roquan Smith-like obvious superstars, but it’s going to be really, really good despite the loss of five of the top ten tacklers. The line will form a killer rotation, the linebackers should rise up with a little time, and despite the loss of CB Deandre Baker, the secondary will be fantastic. Final 2018 Record: 11-3 (7-1) 2018 SEC East Finish: 1 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 2 Biggest Issue To Fix: Pass Rush & Tackles For Loss Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Offensive Line Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Wide Receiver
  18. SEC media days schedule rolled out Thursday. 7/15 Fla: Mullen LSU: Orgeron Miss: Odom 7/16 Ga: Smart Miss: Luke Ten: Pruitt A&M: Fisher 7/17 Ala: Saban Ark: Morris MSU: Moorhead USC: Muschamp 7/18 Aub: Malzahn Ken: Stoops Vandy: Mason
  19. FeatheredCock

    Who wins the East in 2019?

    Who wins the East in 2019? Is it UGA again? They have one it in the last 2 years. Florida? Tennessee? or perhaps Carolina. I feel Flordia and Georgia will be in the big picture and I fear Tennesse will be right there. Carolina will have to play better much better on the defensive side. Just hope they do not lose any more players Like today with Belk gone. There is a chance he could be back just would not hold my breath though. On Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Mizzou will finish out the bottom. Kentucky lost too much and Mizzou has troubles of their own that they have to overcome and Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt. Tough to play but lacking in certain important areas.
  20. NCAA hits Missouri football with postseason ban January 31, 2019 CLICK TO VIEW FULL ARTICLE As a result of an NCAA academic violation, Missouri football is banned from the postseason for 2019 and 2020, according to an announcement made Thursday afternoon. The punishment is part of the penalties laid upon the Missouri athletic department after it was found that a Former Missouri tutor completed coursework for 12 student-athletes. “A former University of Missouri, Columbia, tutor violated NCAA ethical conduct, academic misconduct and academic extra benefits rules when she completed academic work for 12 student-athletes, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel,” the NCAA stated. “Although the tutor said she felt pressure to ensure student-athletes passed courses, according to the committee’s report, the investigation did not support that her colleagues directed her to complete the student-athletes’ work." The football postseason ban is part of the penalty. Other penalties against Missouri include a three-year probation, postseason bans for softball and baseball, a 5 percent scholarship reduction next year and “a vacation of records in which football, baseball and softball student-athletes competed while ineligible.” The penalty comes after Missouri football put forward a strong 8-5 season under coach Barry Odom. It was the second-consecutive bowl appearance for Missouri, which will not be eligible to go for a third next season if the penalties hold. It is tough news for Missouri players, including graduate transfer Kelly Bryant. Bryant left Clemson after losing the job to Trevor Lawrence and selected Missouri and the chance to replace Drew Lockas his transfer destination. Bryant was eligible to transfer without penalty because of his graduation at Clemson. A player is only eligible once to graduate-transfer without penalty.
  21. Bentley on pace to collect more records With a school record 510 passing yards last Saturday night in South Carolina’s 56-35 loss at No. 2 Clemson, Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley got himself into the program’s record books. https://247sports.com/college/south-carolina/LongFormArticle/South-Carolina-Football-Gamecocks-quarterback-Jake-Bentley-is-within-reach-of-rewriting-the-programs-record-books-125563107/?utm_source=247Sports Newsletter&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=181129_103516_South Carolina Gamecocks&utm_content=Link&liveconnect=B9-59-5C-F8-9C-E0-15-9E-F0-7B-5F-1E-D7-67-B8-9D181129_103516SouthCarolinaGamecocks
  22. SEC Rivalry Week Preview - College Football Week 13 - Game Times, TV, Odds November 22, 2018
  23. Five things to know about South Carolina’s opponent November 06, 2018 THE STATE Matt Baker, a Florida beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times, took time this week to answer a few of our questions about the No. 19 Gators as they prepare for Saturday’s game with South Carolina. Kickoff is noon from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. ESPN will televise. 1. Florida’s got some quarterback drama heading into this game. Between Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask, who gives the Gators the best shot to win and why? Probably Franks. After a loss, the backup quarterback is always the most popular player on the roster, right? But Franks is more talented than Kyle Trask. That’s why he has beaten him for the starting job repeatedly, under two different coaching staffs. The touchdown pass he had against Georgia was a big-time throw. He hasn’t made those kinds of plays consistently, but he’s got the edge in experience and talent. I think he starts Saturday and every game this season (barring injury). 2. Franks is a sophomore. Trask is a sophomore. Freshman Emory Jones was a high-profile recruit. UF’s starting QB in 2019 will be ? Emory Jones. Unless something weird happens, he’ll probably only play against Idaho and in the bowl game to preserve his redshirt. Dan Mullen is taking it slow with him; he doesn’t want to throw him in too early, as UF probably did with Feleipe Franks last year. But from what very little we’ve seen, Jones is a better fit for Mullen’s offense than Franks or Trask. That’s why Mullen recruited him. I don’t think Franks/Trask have done enough to prove they’re the long-term answer UF has been seeking since Tim Tebow left. Jones might be. 3. Which is more like the real Florida: The Gators that started 6-1 or the Gators that have dropped consecutive games by a combined 40 points? What’s the old coaching line, that you’re never as good or as bad as you thought you were? Sorry to use the lame answer, but the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. Florida beat a very good LSU team. That is a fact. It’s a thing that happened. But UF also got drubbed at home by a decent Mizzou team. That is also a thing that happened. Here’s what that tells me: When the Gators play well, they can hang with almost every team outside of the Alabama/Clemson echelon. When they play poorly, they can get beat by most decent teams. So that makes them like almost every other team in the country. 4. Recent attendance numbers have suggested some apathy with the program. Is that surprising with Dan Mullen in the fold A little bit. Mullen has done a lot to try to fire up the fan base, dating back to the offseason. His time as an assistant under Urban Meyer means he knows the program and can tell stories of Tebow and Percy Harvin. Fans love that connection. But he has a big hill to climb. UF fans want wins and offense. They’re beaten down from the Muschamp and McElwaindebacles. They’re frustrated that there’s still no long-term quarterback. Let’s not forget, too, that this isn’t just a Florida issue. Attendance has been down nationally. Florida State reduced its capacity a few years ago, to name one other school. It’s bigger than UF, but the Gators’ on-field product has contributed to the problem. 5. After Will Muschamp was fired, Jim McElwain lasted two and a half years at Florida before his tenure came to an unceremonious end. How do Gator fans view Muschamp now? They’re not going to build a statue of him or anything, but they view him better now after the McElwain era. Even when McElwain won the East in his first two years, fans didn’t seem to love him. He wasn’t a right fit, and that became obvious pretty quickly. Muschamp was different. I don’t think it was personal with him — certainly not to the degree that it was with McElwain. With Muschamp, it was business. There are people at UF who still like Muschamp as a human being. He just didn’t win enough. So I think that’s how the fans view him —as a nice enough guy who didn’t win enough games or put up enough points.
  24. Scouting South Carolina’s next opponent: Florida November 04, 2018 South Carolina (5-3, 4-3 SEC) at Florida (6-3, 4-3) When: Noon, Saturday Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium TV: ESPN Three storylines 1. Will Muschamp’s old team stands in the way of South Carolina becoming bowl eligible for a third consecutive season. It wasn’t long ago when Florida was destined to be a definitive favorite in this game. The Gators were 6-1 and ranked among the nation’s top 10 in mid-October before stumbling to consecutive defeats against Georgia and Missouri by a combined score of 74-34. 2. USC is 2-2 over its last four visits to The Swamp, including a 20-7 loss in 2016. Saturday’s task isn’t overly daunting — Florida is just 3-2 at home this season — but can the Gamecocks pull it off short-handed? Carolina’s thrilling win over Ole Miss came at a cost as several regulars went down with injuries. 3. South Carolina vs. Dan Mullen happens for a fourth time, but first time featuring Mullen in orange and blue. As Mississippi State’s coach from 2009-17, Mullen went 1-2 against the Gamecocks, including a 27-14 win in Starkville in 2016 that served as Muschamp’s second game in charge of USC. Three Florida players to watch 1. Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks heard boos from the UF faithful before he was replaced against Missouri. The sophomore, who completed just 10 passes in last year’s loss to USC in Columbia, isn’t certain to appear against the Gamecocks again. Kyle Trask, a redshirt sophomore, went 10 of 18 for 126 yards with a touchdown late in the Missouri loss. “We’ll see how they perform this week,” Mullen said of the QB situation. “If there’s a drastic change, we’ll make a change. If not, we’ll play with who’s going to give us the best chance to win.” 2. Florida defensive end Jachai Polite is fourth in the SEC with seven sacks. He’s a Bednarik Award semifinalist who’s forced four fumbles this season, most among FBS defensive linemen. South Carolina, as a team, has only forced two fumbles this season. 3. The Gator defensive front is a handful. Not lost in Polite’s shadow is Jabari Zuniga. The 6-foot-4, 257-pound end is 11th in the SEC in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (nine).
  25. A deeper dive into numbers suggests South Carolina can stop Ole Miss November 02, 2018 Ole Miss’ high-scoring offense is going to be nearly impossible for South Carolina to stop, right? Let’s take a closer look at that. The Rebels are third in the SEC in scoring and 21st in the nation in scoring offense with 38.4 points per game, but that’s in all games. Ole Miss scored 47 points against Texas Tech, 76 against Southern Illinois, 38 against Kent State and 70 against Louisiana Monroe. In conference games only, the Rebels are 12th in the SEC and 116th in the nation in scoring offense with 19 points per game. South Carolina has outscored Ole Miss in conference games, averaging 25.2 points in the league, which ranks fifth. It’s worth noting here that the Rebels’ conference opponents have been Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and Auburn, so some pretty good defenses. Ole Miss still racks up a ton of yards in SEC games (ranking third with 408.5 per game), it just hasn’t done a good job of turning those into points. All that being said, the Rebels offense still scares South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp. “They play extremely fast,” Muschamp said. “I think they run the ball extremely well. They’ve got RPOs off every run-action that they have, so you’ve really got to do a good job with your eyes and train your eyes to be in the right spots.” Ole Miss has two things that have hurt South Carolina in the past, a quarterback who can make plays with his legs in Jordan Ta’amu, and a group of pass catchers that has to be salivating while watching film of the Gamecocks secondary. The difference in Saturday’s game won’t be on that side of the ball, though. The outcome will be determined when South Carolina has the ball. The Rebels defense is bad, ranking last in the SEC in points allowed (34.6) and yards allowed (497.8). Every conference opponent has scored more than 30 points against Ole Miss. If South Carolina can score more than 30 points, it’s likely to come away from its first trip to Oxford, Miss., in 10 years with a victory. The problem with that equation is the Gamecocks have only scored more than 30 points once since Sept. 22, and they have only done it twice overall in conference play. South Carolina has been slow coming out of the gate, inconsistent in its rushing offense and not consistently explosive in its passing offense. Unless it addresses those issues, a conference win the road will be a tough task.

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