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Around the SEC

Damien Harris responds to Alabama sorority girl’s racist rant

Damien Harris responds to Alabama sorority girl’s racist rant

There is an awful, awful video making its way all over the internet today from the University of Alabama. In it, an Alabama student from the Alpha Phi sorority says some horribly racist things as her sisters giggle in the background. She then doubled down with a second video, which was even more offensive than the first. I’ll spare you the specifics because you can probably guess what offensive word she used (frequently and viciously), on Martin Luther King Day of all days.

The University of Alabama had this to say about its notorious student, who is going to have a hard time finding a job in this lifetime:

These remarks are ignorant and disturbing and in no way reflect the values of The University of Alabama. This unfortunate behavior has been reported to the Office of Student Conduct as it does not align with the community expectations of students at the Capstone.

Kentucky’s own Damien Harris, the star running back on the Alabama football team, also commented on the matter:

You can see the sickening videos here, but proceed with caution because they’re disturbing.

She has since been expelled from school.


SEC Seinfeld Index: January 15

SEC Seinfeld Index: January 15

Before the season began, who would have predicted that Auburn would be on top of the SEC standings and Texas A&M at the bottom? SEC Basketball is a circus this year, so let’s try to make sense of it all with some help from the show about nothing, and in turn, everything, Seinfeld.

First, a look at the current SEC standings:

TEAM CONFERENCE RECORD GAMES BACK OVERALL RECORD
Auburn 4-0 16-1
Kentucky 4-1 0.5 14-3
Florida 4-1 0.5 12-5
Tennessee 3-2 1.5 12-4
Alabama 3-2 1.5 11-6
Ole Miss 3-2 1.5 10-7
Missouri 2-2 2 12-5
LSU 2-2 2 11-5
Arkansas 2-3 2.5 12-5
Georgia 2-3 2.5 11-5
South Carolina 2-3 2.5 11-6
Mississippi State 1-3 3 13-4
Vanderbilt 1-4 3.5 6-11
Texas A&M 0-5 4.5 11-6

 

They’re real and they’re spectacular?

 #17 Auburn (16-1, 4-0)

Last week: Won vs. Ole Miss (85-70); Won at Mississippi State (76-68)

So, I guess Auburn is legit? I didn’t take them seriously in the non-conference because of their weak schedule, but they’re the only undefeated team in SEC play and continue to impress, all without Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley. I see you, Bruce Pearl.

This week: at Alabama, vs. Georgia


Still Masters of their Domain

 #21 Tennessee (12-4, 3-2)

Last week: Won at Vanderbilt (92-84), Won vs. Texas A&M (75-62)

After starting SEC play 0-2, the Vols have won three straight. It feels weird to rank them ahead of Kentucky, but there’s no denying that they exposed all of the Cats’ flaws in Knoxville over a week ago. We’ll find out more when they go on the road this week.

This week: at Missouri, at South Carolina

 #18 Kentucky (14-3, 4-1)

Last week: Won vs. Texas A&M (74-73); Won at Vandy (74-67)

Kentucky was without Quade Green and Tai Wynyard this week but managed to grind out wins over Texas A&M and Vandy despite some critical errors down the stretch. Lots to nitpick, but considering the Cats were shorthanded, you have to be encouraged.

This week: at South Carolina, vs. Florida


Spongeworthy

 Florida (12-5, 4-1)

Last week: Won vs. Mississippi State (71-54), Lost at Ole Miss (78-72)

The Gators’ loss in Oxford snapped a six-game winning streak, but a road loss is forgivable in the SEC these days. How will they respond with two huge games coming up this week?

This week: vs. Arkansas, at #18 Kentucky

 Alabama (11-6, 3-2)

Last week: Won vs. South Carolina (76-62), Won at LSU (74-66)

After back-to-back road losses to Vandy and Georgia, Alabama got back on track, beating South Carolina and LSU. The win at LSU was especially impressive because the Crimson Tide were without starting forward Donta Hall, who is recovering from wrist surgery. Wednesday’s game vs. Auburn is huge.

This week: vs. #17 Auburn, vs. Mississippi State


Yada Yada Yada

Ole Miss (10-7, 3-2)

Last week: Lost at #22 Auburn (85-70); Won vs. Florida (78-72)

Ole Miss’ win over Florida may be reason to sit up and take notice, but I’m waiting to see how they do in back-to-back road games this week before I deem them spongeworthy.

This week: at Texas A&M, at Arkansas

 Arkansas (12-5, 2-3)

Last week: Lost vs. LSU (75-54); Won vs. Missouri (65-63)

Arkansas ended a three-game losing streak with a two-point win over Missouri at home on Saturday, but that’s not enough for me to forget their 21-point loss to LSU on Wednesday.

This week: at Florida, vs. Ole Miss

Missouri (12-5, 2-2)

Last week: Won vs. Georgia (68-56); Lost at Arkansas (65-63)

After losing to Florida and Arkansas by only two points, Missouri is better than their record suggests; however, they have to break their bad habit of starting games slowly.

This week: vs. #21 Tennessee, at Texas A&M

LSU (11-5, 2-2)

Last week: Won at Arkansas (75-54); Lost vs. Alabama (74-66)

Had LSU beaten Alabama at home on Saturday, they would be much higher on this list; however, the Tigers just couldn’t take the next step despite 19 points (including five threes) from Tremont Waters.

This week: vs. Georgia, at Vanderbilt

South Carolina (11-6, 2-3)

Last week: Lost at Alabama (76-62); Won at Georgia (64-57)

South Carolina beat Georgia in Athens despite shooting only 27.1% from the field. That tells me more about Georgia than it does the Gamecocks. We’ll find out more this week.

This week: vs. #18 Kentucky, vs. #21 Tennessee


Shrinkage

Georgia (11-5, 2-3)

Last week: Lost at Missouri (68-56); Lost vs. South Carolina (64-57)

It was a bad week for Georgia, which dropped games to Missouri and South Carolina. Try as he might, Yante Maten can’t do it all, and if the Bulldogs want to keep their postseason hopes alive, they’ll need to pull off some big upsets…such as Auburn on Saturday.

This week: at LSU, at #17 Auburn

 Mississippi State (13-4, 1-3)

Last week: Lost at Florida (71-54); Lost vs. #22 Auburn (76-68)

The Bulldogs started conference play off strong, beating then-#22 Arkansas, but lost their next three. Mississippi State actually led #22 Auburn by 13 early in the second half, but collapsed. They’ll look to get back on track vs. Vandy tomorrow night before a tough trip to Alabama.

This week: vs Vandy, at Alabama


Eh…

Vanderbilt (6-11, 1-4)

Last week: Lost vs. #24 Tennessee (92-84); Lost vs. #21 Kentucky (74-67)

As has been the case all year, Vandy had the chance to upset Kentucky, but choked. In a moment that encapsulated their entire season, senior Riley LaChance missed three free throws in the final minute that could have put the ‘Dores within one. Ouch.

This week: at Mississippi State, vs. LSU


Again with the sweatpants?

 Texas A&M (11-6, 0-5)

Last week: Lost at #21 Kentucky (74-73); Lost at #24 Tennessee (75-62)

At this point, I’m not sure what to think about Texas A&M. The Aggies are clearly capable of being a good team, as they showed vs. Kentucky last Tuesday; however, Saturday’s collapse at Tennessee showed they are still very far from that. With everyone back from injury and suspension, Texas A&M still couldn’t find a way to win, yet another setback for a squad that many picked to win the SEC this season.

This week: vs. Ole Miss, vs. Missouri


(Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Way-Too-Early 2018 SEC Football Rankings

(Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

The Alabama Crimson Tide won the National Championship behind the surprising play of Freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Heading into next year, the defending National Champions will once again be the class of the SEC. Here is a way too early ranking of the 14 teams in the conference for next season that is sure to be wrong.

1. Alabama

Did you really expect anyone else? If you did, well I have some bad news for you. The Crimson Tide will be even better next season whether you like it or not.

The Crimson Tide will get back 7 returning starters on offense which includes Damien Harris and the quarterback duo of Tagovailoa/Jalen Hurts.

Even with their defense losing some very talented players, it will just be the next man up. As evidenced in that National Title game, Alabama is absolutely loaded with 5-star talent. They may only return 4 starters on that side of the ball, but they will be more than fine.

Let the hype start now for Tagovailoa. This kid is one of the most talented QB’s I’ve seen in quite some time. He is going to have a huge year throwing the football, and he will most likely be in the Heisman running. Watch the video below for an in-depth clip of Tua’s talent.

2. Georgia

Despite Monday’s devastating loss in the title game, Kirby Smart has the Bulldogs on the right track. Their offense returns seven starters including Jake Fromm, and Georgia’s much improved defense could possibly return five starters if Roquan Smith doesn’t turn pro (which he will).

With the No. 1 recruiting class in the country according to ESPN, Smart will have plenty of talent to replace the likes of Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and Lorenzo Carter.

Names to watch will be D’Andre Swift and Justin Fields. Both could explode onto the scene in a big way as underclassmen.

3. Auburn

The Tigers figure to be the last of the truly elite teams from the SEC next season. However, Auburn will have some big questions to answer. They will have to replace 4 of 5 starters on the offensive line, and both of their star running backs left for the draft.

Despite these problems, the Tigers will return Jarrett Stidham at quarterback who will be a very high pick in the 2019 draft. It will be interesting to see if Auburn will start the season ranked in the top 10.

4. Mississippi State

This is the first big surprise of this list, but I think the Bulldogs have earned it. After winning nine games last season, Mississippi State will return eight starters on both sides of the ball which is very impressive.

Talent-wise there is a big gap between the first three teams on this list and every other team, but the Bulldogs have the best chance to challenge Georgia, Alabama, and Auburn due to their returning experience,

How well Nick Fitzgerald will play after his terrible injury in the Egg Bowl will play a big role in the success of Mississippi State next season.

5. South Carolina

From here on out, anyone’s guess is as good as mine. Between teams 5-10 there isn’t a huge amount of separation between these teams, but they are obviously better than teams 11-14.

I’m going with South Carolina here at 5 with the Gamecocks returning Jake Bentley at quarterback. Their big win over Michigan to end the season will provide a nice boost for a team returning most of its starters next season.

6. LSU

LSU gets the nod here because of their talent on defense. However, their offense will struggle with its most important players departing. I still think Ed Orgeron’s team is simply another year away.

7. Kentucky

The Wildcats could very easily finish as the fourth best team in the conference next season due to multiple talented defensive players skipping this year’s NFL Draft. With Benny Snell back in what will most likely be his last season at UK, the Wildcats also figure to have one of the best players in the entire league.

This ranking may be a bit low, but until UK can finally have a meaningful breakthrough in the SEC and field a consistent passing attack, I just can’t rank them higher right now.

8. Missouri

Drew Lock single handily got the Tigers to a bowl game last year and he will be back next season. That alone earns Missouri this spot. Can’t help but to feel this may be a little low for the Tigers, but I just don’t believe in their defense yet.

9. Texas A&M

Jimbo Fisher’s first season in College Station will be an interesting one, but expectations aren’t too high for the Aggies next year. Just wait until he gets a few recruiting classes in and Texas A&M will soon find itself near the top of this list.

10. Florida

It’s Dan Mullen’s first season in Gainesville, however next season figures to be a rebuilding year. Look for the Gators and Aggies to finish with similar records.

11. Vanderbilt

The Commodores better hope that the return of Kyle Shurmur will help get them back to a bowl game. Besides him, Vanderbilt is still largely devoid of top-tier talent. The Commodores will once again be a fringe bowl team next season.

12. Ole Miss

Ehhhh well Shea Patterson left for Michigan, and I think that’s a huge move in college football. Michigan will be very good because of it. Ole Miss on the other hand will probably struggle with his transfer.

13. Tennessee

Sheessshhh good luck with this dumpster fire Jeremy Pruitt. His coaching talent will truly be put to the test in this rebuilding effort.

14. Arkansas

How bad will Arkansas be next season? They are ranked behind Tennessee. That should tell you all you need to know.


Brian Bowen leaves Louisville for South Carolina

Brian Bowen is no longer a student at the University of Louisville.

The $100,000 Dollar Man was granted his full release from the school following the fall semester. Bowen had registered for spring courses, but then decided to leave UofL to seek other opportunities.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting Bowen will now try to suit up to play basketball for South Carolina. Bowen told Goodman he has been admitted to South Carolina and will seek reinstatement from the NCAA.

Bowen would have to sit out a year per NCAA transfer rules, should he even be granted eligibility at all, which seems silly.

Could we see him play against Kentucky after all?


UPDATE


South Carolina released the following statement to announce the addition of Bowen to its basketball program:

Jan. 10, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina head coach Frank Martin announced Wednesday that Brian Bowen (F – 6-7 – 195 – La Porte, Ind./La Lumiere School/Louisville) has enrolled at the University and has joined the Gamecock men’s basketball team. Based on NCAA transfer rules, Bowel will have to sit for two semesters before being eligible to play.

Of all the people to give Bowen a chance, I didn’t think it would be Frank Martin.


Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Damien Harris returning to Alabama

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Six playoff games and two national championships in three seasons isn’t enough for Damien Harris in Tuscaloosa.

The Richmond, Ky. native announced on Wednesday that he will return to Alabama for his senior season to chase a third title in four years with the Crimson Tide.

Harris led Alabama with 1,000 yards rushing yards and 11 touchdowns this past season, after rushing for 1,040 and two scores as a sophomore in 2016. He was benched in the national title game for true freshman running back Najee Harris, but the emergence of the other Harris did not push Damien toward early entry in the NFL.

WalterFootball.com considers Harris the sixth-best back in its current NFL draft projections for this year; CBSSports.com ranks him as the fifth-best back and the No. 35 overall prospect.

You can expect he’ll be in the preseason Heisman talk next fall.


How is Texas A&M last in the SEC?

How is Texas A&M last in the SEC?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M was picked third in the SEC in the conference’s preseason basketball rankings.

Today it is ranked dead last with the conference’s only winless record through the first three league games.

So what’s wrong?

It wasn’t all that long ago — two weeks, to be exact — when Texas A&M was a top-five team in the country. A lot has changed since then as the Aggies have lost three consecutive games to open Southeastern Conference play, two of which came on their own floor.

First, it was a 22-point loss at Alabama in the SEC opener. A&M was without its leading scorer, D.J. Hogg, who was serving his second game in a three-game suspension for a violation of team rules. To make things worse, A&M was also without starting guard Admon Gilder, the team’s third-leading scorer, who sat out with a knee injury. With the absence of those two players, the Aggies struggled offensively in Tuscaloosa.

Loss No. 2 came three days later when Florida came to town and beat A&M on its own floor. Again, A&M was without Hogg and Gilder, although this time a third starter, Duane Wilson, joined the pair in street clothes on the bench. Like Gilder, Wilson was battling a knee injury, leaving A&M with only two available starters. It didn’t really matter, though, because Florida hit 17 of its 28 three-points attempts in the 83-66 victory, and that’s tough to beat with any roster.

Then this past Saturday, A&M lost yet another game, this time as a heavy favorite, at home to LSU. Gildon and Wilson were still out with their knee injuries, but Hogg was back in the lineup after his three-game suspension. However, Hogg’s return was negated by the absence of All-SEC forward Robert Williams, who sat out of the game with an illness. Still, with Williams — a projected NBA lottery pick and the face of the Aggies’ basketball program — out, A&M appeared to have the game locked up, holding onto a five-point lead with only 19 seconds to go. Then Tremont Waters happened:

And that is how the No. 5 team in the nation loses three straight games to open conference play: A&M was without one of its two leading scorers in each of the three games; without its fourth-leading scorer in two of the games; and without its third-leading scorer in all three.

Suspensions, injuries and illnesses have the Aggies already on the verge of dropping out of contention for the SEC regular season crown.

All but Wilson will be back in the lineup for Tuesday night’s game at Kentucky.


National Championship by the Numbers

National Championship by the Numbers

Georgia and Alabama will throw down on Monday night in the National Championship Game. I happen to love the fact that a portion of the elite media loathes the league and must endure a four-hour SEC infomercial. The nation’s best two teams will settle the matter on the field. Sorry, Oklahoma and Ohio State. With all the rage about high octane offenses, Howitzer armed quarterbacks, and video game-like statistics, the Dawgs and Tide prove that defense and turnover margin actually mean more when competing for the Big Trophy. Let’s take a look: 

OFFENSE

The game’s two starting quarterbacks are the conference’s 7th and 8th ranked passers. Let that resonate for a minute. Alabama’s Jalen Hurts (8th): 61% completion percentage, 2060-yards, 17 TDs, 1 INT, 158.5 yards per game. Georgia’s Jake Fromm (7th): 63.7% completion percentage, 2383-yards, 23 TD’s, 5 INTs, 170.2 yards per game. Again, when the world focuses on signal callers that sling the football around the field for 400 yards a game, neither of the two last standing quarterbacks average 200 pass yards per game.

Georgia and Alabama are ranked 1st and 2nd in the SEC’s Rushing category as you can see below. Also, please note the turnover margins for each: Alabama +13 and Georgia +5.

ALABAMA

Scoring 37.9ppg SEC-1st
Rushing 255.7ypg SEC-2nd
Passing 193.9 SEC-9th
Total 449.7 SEC-4th
3rd Down 42.07% SEC-5th
Red-Zone 87.3% SEC-8th
Turnover Margin +13 SEC-1st

Top Performers

Rushing Damien Harris 75.62 ypg
Passing Jalen Hurts 158.5 ypg
Receiving Calvin Ridley 59 receptions, 935-yds

Pic by Bama Hammer

GEORGIA

Scoring 36.3 ppg SEC-3rd
Rushing 267.3 ypg SEC-1st
Passing 172.9 SEC-13th
Total 443 SEC-5th
3rd Down 46% SEC-2nd
Red-Zone 96.2% SEC-2nd
Turnover Margin +5 SEC-4th

Top Performers

Passing Nick Chubb 94.29 ypg
Rushing Jake Fromm 170.2 ypg
Receiving Javon Wims 44 catches, 704 yds

DEFENSE

Alabama and Georgia rank 1st or 2nd in 11 major SEC defensive statistical categories. Both are excellent vs. the run. A fun fact to watch is that Alabama has allowed just 31 rush plays of 10+yards. Georgia has executed 110 run plays that exceeded 10+yards. Conversely, Alabama’s rushing attack produced 112 plays of 10+yards. UGA’s defense has allowed 47 runs of 10+. The lack of explosive plays due to superb run defenses may influence the final score to be decided in the Red-Zone. The Dawgs are much more efficient from the 20-yard line in scoring 96.2% of all trips and have the more reliable kicker. Comparatively, Alabama’s 87.3% Red-Zone ratio is lesser and the Tide’s field goal kicking team is adventurous.

The following statistics are relevant in the “Defense wins championships” discussion:

ALABAMA

Scoring Allowed 11.1 ppg SEC-1st
Rushing 91.7 ypg SEC-1st
Passing 160.6 SEC-1st
Total 254.1 SEC-1st
QB Sacks 36 SEC-4th
Tackles for Loss 89 SEC-2nd
Interceptions 17 SEC-1st
3rd Down 33.8% SEC-5th
Red-Zone 73% SEC-1st

Top Performers

Tackles Ronnie Harrison 70
Tackles for Loss Raashan Evans 11.5
QB Sacks Raekwon Davis 7.5
Interceptions Mack Wilson 4

Pic by Chattanooga Times Free Press

GEORGIA

Scoring Allowed 15.7 ppg SEC-2nd
Rushing 121 ypg SEC-2nd
Passing 167 SEC-3rd
Total 289 SEC-2nd
QB Sacks 31 SEC-7th
Tackles for Loss 87 SEC-4th
3rd Down 33.6% SEC-4th
Interceptions 11 SEC-7th
Red-Zone 80% SEC-2nd

Top Performers

Tackles Roquan Smith 124
QB Sacks D’Andre Walker 5.5
Tackles for Loss D’Andre Walker 13.5
Interceptions Dominick Sanders 4

Special Teams

Georgia’s Mecole Hardman leads the SEC in both punt (16.9) and kick returns (27.3). Georgia also has the advantage in the kicking department with Rodrigo Blankenship’s 17/20 field goal ratio. Alabama punter JK Scott (42.40) is more recognizable but UGA’s Cameron Nizialek (44.87) is actually averaging 2-yards more per kick.


What does all this mean?

The SEC will once again own the National Championship Trophy. Will it call Athens or Tuscaloosa home? Conventional wisdom favors the Tide; thus, I’m going with the Dawgs.


18 Things To Know About The 2018 CFB National Championship

18 Things To Know About The 2018 CFB National Championship

If you’re a college football fan whatsoever, you don’t need to be told that Georgia and Alabama will meet tonight in an All-SEC College Football Playoff National Championship. SEC East vs SEC West for all the Dr. Pepper at 8 pm tonight.

So here are 18 things to know about the ’18 title game…

 

1. How To Watch:

ESPN Traditional Broadcast (ESPN) – Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Tom Rinaldi and Maria Taylor

Coaches’ Film Room (ESPNEWS) – College football head coaches — including Mike Bobo (Colorado State), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) and Kevin Sumlin — provide Xs and Os analysis

ESPN Voices (ESPNU) — ESPN personalities discuss the game as it unfolds in a living room-type setting in Los Angeles

Finebaum Film Room (SEC NETWORK) — SEC analysts provide live analysis and take live calls from Atlanta

Sounds Of The Game (ESPN CLASSIC) — ESPN’s traditional broadcast without the play-by-play and commentary

2. Gambling Odds:

Line: Alabama -4.5
Total: 46

3. OddsShark.com Score Prediction: 

Alabama, 38.6 | Georgia, 31.4

(That is a computer prediction based on advanced statistics; it is very unlikely the final score will have decimals.)

4. ESPN FPI Matchup Predictor:

5. Master vs. Apprentice

The title game pits college football’s greatest head coach against his understudy: second-year Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. Smart was Saban’s defensive coordinator at Alabama for eight seasons from 2008-15, plus a year as defensive backs coach in 2007. Smart followed Saban to Alabama from the NFL, where he coached the safeties for Saban’s Miami Dolphins in 2006. They were together for 10 seasons before Smart took the job at his alma mater in 2016.

6. Saban has never lost to a former assistant.

He’s a perfect 11-0 against his old employees.

7. Saban can tie Bear Bryant.

With a win tonight, Nick Saban will tie Bear Bryant’s record of five Associated Press college football national championships.

8. Georgia seeking its first title in 38 years.

While Saban has four of his own, Georgia has only two titles in its program’s history: one in 1942 and one in 1980.

9. Alabama has the best defense in the country.

Alabama is among the top 10 in every significant defensive category in the FBS, including the nation’s top scoring defense (11.1), total defense (252.4 ypg), rushing defense (91.8) and pass efficiency defense (95.81). That’s just silly.

10. Georgia’s is pretty good, too.

Georgia ranks fifth in the country in defense, allowing only 15.7 points per game.

11. Tennessee’s head coach is helping out the Alabama defense.

The Vols hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt this offseason, but Pruitt stuck around Tuscaloosa after signing the deal.

Fun fact: Pruitt was Georgia’s defensive coordinator until Saban hired him to fill Alabama’s defensive coordinator spot left open by Kirby Smart, who, as I just mentioned, left for Georgia. My head hurts.

12. Alabama is banged up.

The Crimson Tide will be without three starting linebackers and its starting right guard, and all-world safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is battling a kidney injury.

Saban said, “I can’t even tell you the number of guys that we have out, but it’s a pretty significant number.”

13. Two Kentuckians will be in action for the Crimson Tide tonight.

Damien Harris of Richmond is Alabama’s leading rusher with 983 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, while Jedrick Wills of Lexington saw time against Clemson as a true freshman on the Alabama offensive lineman.

Both were recruited heavily by the University of Kentucky, as you well know.

It’s pretty easy to understand their decisions today.

14. Thoughts and prayers to Ashley’s father.

“She’s a good friend of the whole football team.”

15. Donald Trump to be in attendance.

That’s right: the President of the United States, our nation’s most stable genius, will attend the game tonight.

16. Kendrick Lamar to perform at halftime.

However, the live performance will be in a park outside the stadium and not on the field, although it will be part of the TV broadcast.

17. You can still get a ticket.

It’ll only cost you about $1,500 for the cheapest seat in the building. You’ve got that, right?

18. Georgia will pull off the upset.

You heard it here, folks.


Calipari thinks SEC champion could still have 6-7 losses

Calipari thinks SEC champion could still have 6-7 losses

How strong is the SEC this year? John Calipari thinks whichever team wins it can still have six or seven losses on their resume.

“This is a six or seven loss league,” Cal said on today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference. “You could lose six or seven and win the league. That’s what it looks like to me.”

“Teams we thought would struggle are leading our league. Teams you thought would be in the middle are up. Teams that have had issues as far as injuries and everything are taking a little step back but they’ll be back.”

A quick check of the standings:

STANDINGS CONFERENCE OVERALL
SEC W-L GB PCT W-L PCT STRK
Florida 3-0 1.000 11-4 .733 W5
Auburn 2-0 .5 1.000 14-1 .933 W12
Kentucky 2-1 1 .667 12-3 .800 L1
Ole Miss 2-1 1 .667 9-6 .600 W1
Georgia 2-1 1 .667 11-3 .786 W2
Mississippi State 1-1 1.5 .500 13-2 .867 L1
Missouri 1-1 1.5 .500 11-4 .733 L1
LSU 1-1 1.5 .500 10-4 .714 W1
South Carolina 1-2 2 .333 10-5 .667 W1
Arkansas 1-2 2 .333 11-4 .733 L2
Alabama 1-2 2 .333 9-6 .600 L2
Vanderbilt 1-2 2 .333 6-9 .400 L1
Tennessee 1-2 2 .333 10-4 .714 W1
Texas A&M 0-3 3 .000 11-4 .733 L3

If we follow Calipari’s logic that the SEC Champion will have six or seven losses, how many do you think Kentucky will end up with? Look at the rest of the schedule and leave your predictions in the comments.


Recapping a wild bowl season in the SEC

Image result for georgia and alabama 2018 getty images

The Cats dropped a tough one down in Nashville to end the season against the Northwestern Wildcats, and we also saw some inconsistency from some of the other SEC programs during bowl season. That being said, the league finished strong with the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs competing for a National Championship tomorrow night in Atlanta.

Here are all of your SEC bowl scores and highlights with a breakdown of what to expect in the National Championship:

December 27, 2017, Texas Bowl

Missouri vs Texas

Your 2017 Texas Bowl Champions! #ThisIsTexas #HookEm

A post shared by Texas Football (@texasfootball) on

The Longhorns beat the Missouri Tigers in Houston 33-16. Despite the loss for the Tigers, things are looking up in Columbia for next season.

December 29, 2017, Belk Bowl 

Texas A&M vs Wake Forest 

2017 Belk Bowl Champions!!!

A post shared by Wake Forest Football (@wakefootball) on

The Demon Deacons took care of business in a classic shootout against the Aggies 55-52. A positive for A&M is that Jimbo Fisher will be in command down in Aggieland going forward.

December 30, 2017, Tax Slayer Bowl

Mississippi State vs Louisville

Give it up for the Champs! #HailState 🐶🏆

A post shared by Mississippi State Athletics (@hailstate) on

Again, Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals got beat in their bowl game by an SEC team, this year by the Mississippi State Bulldogs 31-27. Thank you MSU for sending Jackson off in losing fashion to end his college career as a Card.

January 1, 2018, Citrus Bowl

LSU vs Notre Dame

We watched LSU lose a nail biter in the Citrus Bowl 21-17 to the Fighting Irish.

January 1, 2018, Outback Bowl 

South Carolina vs Michigan 

Outback Bowl Champs 🤙

A post shared by Gamecock Football (@gamecockfb) on

This one hurts to talk about because we know if Kentucky would’ve handled business against Florida or Ole Miss, the Cats would’ve had the chance to play in the Outback Bowl.  Either way, it is what it is and was what it was, the Gamecocks beat the Wolverines 26-19.

January 1, 2018, Peach Bowl

Auburn vs UCF 

🏆📰

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Inspiration. Perfection. Champions. 🏆

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If you haven’t already seen it, now you have. The Golden Knights of UCF beat the Auburn Tigers in the Peach Bowl 34-27 and ended the season with a 13-0 record. That’s not all though, as the Knights declared themselves the real National Champions of 2017.

They will be watching the real National Championship from their couches tomorrow night.

CFP

January 1, 2018, Rose Bowl 

Georgia vs Oklahoma 

FINAL!!! #DawgsOnTop #CFBPlayoff // #ATD

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The Rose Bowl was hands down the best postseason game we have seen so far, with the Bulldogs winning in a dramatic fashion over Oklahoma. Georgia took home the victory in double overtime 54-48 against the Sooners.

Oh yeah and Baker Mayfield… “Humble yourself!”

January 1, 2018, Sugar Bowl 

Alabama vs Clemson 

This one was all Tide. Alabama absolutely dominated the Clemson Tigers on the defensive side of the ball, only allowing the Tigers to score six points. The final score was 24-6.

January 8, 2018, National Championship

Alabama v.s Georgia

Arrive in style #OutworkYesterday #RollTide #cfbnationalchampionship

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📍Atlanta #NationalChampionship #ATD / #GoDawgs

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If you’re like me and love SEC football, then you’re ecstatic to watch two SEC foes go at it in the last college football game of the season tomorrow night.

Historically, Alabama leads the all-time head to head series against the Bulldogs 38-25. Tomorrow will also be Kirby Smart’s first game against his old boss Nick Saban as the head coach of Georgia.

I know a lot of people would like to see Georgia beat Alabama as the Tide get a shot at the National Championship just about every year, but I believe Dawg fans will end up disappointed. The Bama defense will be too much for the Bulldogs ground game, and with the Dawgs not having much of a passing game, it’s going to be hard for them to get much of anything going on offense. Their defense may make a few plays, but I believe the Crimson Tide will win this one 17-10 with defense being the biggest factor in the game.

As of right now, Vegas has Alabama as a four-point favorite.

What are your all’s predictions for the big game?

@Alex_Holder_KSR


(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

SEC Basketball Weekly Roundup: Things Get Crazy

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

The College Basketball season is another week old, and the SEC consistently provides the sport with several talented players and teams. Here are the major storylines from the previous week of conference play. (AP Rankings accurate up until January 6th.)

1. Chiozza Caps off Big Week for Florida

In a very wacky week in the SEC, Florida proved to be the team that provided the conference with the most craziness.

First off, they provided the most surprising result from this week with their absolute beatdown of Texas A&M in College Station. The Aggies came into the week ranked as the 11th best team in the nation, but they suffered an 83-66 defeat to the Gators.

In the matchup Florida’s guards proved how explosive they are from behind the arc as the Gators hit an absurd 17 three-pointers.

As if things were not already crazy enough for Mike White’s squad, things got interesting in their trip to Missouri on Saturday. The Tigers seemed to have a victory locked up until Chris Chiozza took matter into his own hands.

The play of Chiozza and the rest of Florida’s guards will be a huge story moving forward. Not many teams in the country can beat the Gators when that unit is playing its best basketball.

2. Texas A&M’s Embarrassing Week

Whoa boy. The Aggies just had what will be their worst week of the season. In my last article, I wrote that Texas A&M was the best team in the SEC coming out of non-conference play.

Things have certainly changed since then. The Aggies opened SEC play with three straight losses and they are now the worst team in the entire conference. So much for my last article.

However, their losses should be put into context. Multiple key players for Texas A&M were out in all three of these games due to multiple off and on-the-court issues including star Robert Williams missing their last game against LSU.

Turns out that was a bad game for him to miss as LSU star guard Tremont Waters made what is quite possibly the shot of the season so far.

Texas A&M’s rough start was quite terrible, but I don’t think it’s indicative of how good this team is at full strength. This team is still one of the best in the conference. Don’t forget about the Aggies.

3. The Hype Behind Auburn is Real

Welcome to 2018 everyone. Also, welcome to the reality in which Auburn finally has a good basketball team behind the leadership of Bruce Pearl.

The Tigers opened conference play with two victories over ranked opponents in Arkansas and on the road at Tennessee. What’s even more impressive is that both victories were by double digits.

Auburn now sits at 14-1 overall on the season and is one of just two teams (Florida) that is undefeated in SEC play. The new rankings have not come out yet as of the time this article was finished, but I can personally guarantee you that the Tigers will be ranked.

If not this Sunday, they will be ranked eventually this season. Auburn is officially the real deal so get used to it. If you don’t believe me, just watch the highlights from their big win over the Razorbacks.

4. Kentucky’s Growing Pains

This week the youngest team in Division I basketball had to play their first two true road games of the season in hostile environments during their first full week of conference play.

If you didn’t think that this week was going to be stressful for Kentucky, then you are just a very optimistic person. This week wasn’t even all that bad as the Wildcats did manage to get a gutsy road win over LSU which is something that Texas A&M can’t say.

However, their game against a talented Tennessee team on the road showcased that this Kentucky team has some very big flaws that need some serious addressing.

First off, Hamidou Diallou must show up during conference play. He is arguably UK’s most talented player, however in three conference games he has scored only 22 points, notched 2 assists, and five turnovers.

Secondly, the Wildcats need to start knocking down more three pointers. They made some against LSU and Tennessee, but it’s still very low when compared with the rest of the conference as UK ranks dead last in three pointers made in the SEC.

If neither one of those problems are fixed by Tuesday night when the Aggies visit the Wildcats, then Rupp Arena will be a very depressing place to be for UK fans.

5. The SEC is a Very Good Basketball Conference

After a very long stretch where the SEC was just a very, very bad conference in college basketball, the SEC is officially back and better than ever.

To put it simply, out of all 14 teams there is only 1-3 teams that are truly “bad” basketball squads. The other 10-11 teams will have compelling cases to make the NCAA tournament this season.

With teams like Auburn, Georgia, and Missouri and others enjoying unexpected good starts, it is a real possibility that the SEC will have 8 or 9 teams make the NCAA Tournament.

This is great news of course, but now it means that there aren’t many nights in the SEC where a team will go on the road and play an easy conference game.

Any team can lose on any night which means the youngest team in college basketball will need to grow up fast, because things will not be easy for Kentucky in conference play.

 


A Tremont Waters Buzzer-Beater Takes Down Texas A&M

A Tremont Waters Buzzer-Beater Takes Down Texas A&M

Wednesday night LSU needed a three-pointer to force overtime against Kentucky.  Tremont Waters’ contested double-clutch attempt fell short and the Cats won by three.  This time Waters made sure he had enough behind his potential game-winner.

Trailing by two with three seconds remaining, everybody in Reed Arena knew Waters was going to get the ball.  He briefly got open, was swarmed by two defenders, yet the 5’11” point guard still got off the prayer.  Some how, some way, it fell through the net to upset No. 11 Texas A&M.

Texas A&M played without preseason SEC Player of the Year Robert Williams (illness), Admon Gilder (knee) & Duane Wilson (knee), but it’s still a troublesome loss.  The Aggies have not won an SEC game. Their three-game skid started with a 22-point loss to Alabama, and it also features a 17-point loss to Florida.

A&M travels to Rupp Arena Tuesday and will likely have Robert Williams back in the lineup.


WATCH: Florida Beats Mizzou on a Buzzer-Beater

WATCH: Florida Beats Mizzou on a Buzzer-Beater

The Florida Gators survived a scare at Missouri to remain undefeated in SEC play following an impressive road win at Texas A&M.

The game was tied ay 75 with 17.4 remaining.  Missouri had that ball and a play drawn up out of a timeout.  Instead of getting up a final shot for the win, Chris Chiozza stole a pass and took it to the house as time expired.

Another look:

Chiozza is getting pretty good at these buzzer-beaters.


It’s Going to Mean More in Atlanta

KATV

A large sect of college football journalists and enthusiasts aren’t exactly thrilled that the Southeastern Conference will have two representatives in the National Championship Game. You know; It just means more and all.

Alabama and Georgia will duke it out on Monday night. To the victor goes the spoils and a large trophy. The loser (if Alabama) will later have an over-caffeinated strength coach smash the runner-up prize into a thousand pieces hoping to motivate its revolving door roster full of 5-stars.

2017 SEC Media Days Predictions

 

SEC Media Days are moving to Atlanta. I’m not exactly thrilled about the move because the Hoover Lamp will not likely make the trip to the ATL. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the past two events. The media votes for divisional rankings as well as predicts an overall champion. Let’s take a look back and see how it did.

EAST

Media Days Prediction Actual Finish
Georgia Georgia
Florida South Carolina
Tennessee Kentucky
South Carolina Missouri
Kentucky Florida
Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
Missouri Tennessee

 

WEST

Media Days Prediction Actual Finish
Alabama Auburn
Auburn Alabama
LSU LSU
Arkansas Mississippi State
Texas A&M Texas A&M
Mississippi State Ole Miss
Ole Miss Arkansas

Perusing back through the 2017 Media Days All SEC team presents an obvious all-conference omission. Kentucky running back Benny Snell was not voted to the All SEC’s first, second, or third team. Snell finished the regular season with the league’s most rushing yards.

(more…)


SEC Seinfeld Index: January 3

SEC Seinfeld Index: January 3

Yesterday morning, everything was looking up for SEC Basketball; then, three of the league’s four ranked teams lost last night. What’s happening on this newfound battlefield of conference play?

Here’s my weekly breakdown, as told by Seinfeld GIFs.

“It’s go time”

 #17 Kentucky (11-2, 1-0)

SEC Play: 1-0 (Beat Georgia 66-61)

The first half wasn’t pretty, but Kentucky survived its Louisville hangover to grind out a win over Georgia on Sunday night. The road’s about to get a lot tougher, with away games at LSU and Tennessee and a showdown with Texas A&M on Tuesday night.

Next up: at LSU, at #23 Tennessee 


Shrinkage

 #11 Texas A&M (11-3, 0-2)

SEC Play: 0-2 (Lost at Alabama 79-57, Lost vs. Florida 83-66)

Texas A&M has been without three starters the past two games; as a result, they’ve lost both by sizable margins. Admon Gilder and Duane Wilson have been out with knee injuries, while leading scorer D.J. Hogg just finished up a three-game suspension for an undisclosed team rules violation. That makes the Aggies’ slide a little more understandable, but still, it ain’t good. That loss to Florida at home will sting on the resume.

Next up: vs. LSU, at #17 Kentucky

 #23 Tennessee (9-4, 0-2)

SEC Play: 0-2 (Lost at Arkansas 95-93 OT, Lost vs. Auburn 94-84)

Tennessee continues to shoot itself in the foot, blowing leads vs. Auburn and Arkansas. The Vols had the game in Fayetteville won, but let the Razorbacks storm back from a nine-point deficit with four minutes left to force overtime and win. All of that being said, Saturday’s game in Knoxville is still a major trap game for the Cats; not only has Kentucky lost two straight in Thompson-Boling, the Vols will be pissed off and probably play their best game of the season.

Next up: vs. #17 Kentucky, at Vanderbilt

 #22 Arkansas (11-3, 1-1)

SEC Play: 1-1 (Won vs. Tennessee 95-93 OT, Lost at Mississippi State 78-75)

Tennessee basically gave Arkansas the win in overtime on Saturday, which resulted in the Razorbacks’ first appearance in the AP Poll since March 2015; unfortunately, they stumbled on the road in Starkville last night.

Next up: at Auburn, vs. LSU


Spongeworthy

Auburn (13-1, 1-0)

SEC Play: 1-0 (Won at #23 Tennessee)

Look at ya, Auburn! Last night’s win over Tennessee in Knoxville was huge for the Tigers, who continue to impress without Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley (suspended indefinitely over eligibility concerns). It was also Bruce Pearl’s first win at Tennessee since he was fired in 2011. The Vols have a history of squandering opportunities, so Auburn’s win may be fool’s gold; we’ll find out more when the Tigers host #22 Arkansas on Saturday.

Next up: vs. #22 Arkansas, vs. Ole Miss

 Mississippi State (13-1, 1-0)

SEC Play: 1-0 (Won vs. #22 Arkansas 78-75)

Is Mississippi State for real? They managed to knock off #22 Arkansas despite shooting only 4-22 from three-point range, their first win over a ranked opponent since 2011. Road games vs. rival Ole Miss and Florida will tell us more.

Next up: at Ole Miss, at Florida

 Florida (10-4, 2-0)

SEC Play: 2-0 (Won vs. Vanderbilt 81-74, Won at #11 Texas A&M 83-66)

Florida sits atop the SEC with two wins, and when they’re hitting their threes like they were vs. A&M (they hit 17), they can’t be stopped; when they’re not, they’re totally vulnerable. Remember, last month, the Gators lost to Loyola-Chicago at home after going 2-19 from the outside.

Next up: at Missouri, vs. Mississippi State 


Yada Yada Yada

 Alabama (9-5, 1-1)

SEC Play: 1-1 (Won vs. #5 Texas A&M 79-57, Lost at Vanderbilt 76-75)

Alabama rebounded from a disappointing loss to Texas with a huge win over Texas A&M…then turned around and lost to Vanderbilt last night. Granted, the game was at Memorial Gym and the Crimson Tide only lost by one, but it’s further proof that no one is safe in the SEC this season.

Next up: at Georgia, vs. South Carolina

Georgia (9-3, 0-1)

SEC Play: 0-1 (Lost at #16 Kentucky 66-61)

As always, Mark Fox’s team is good but not good enough to take the next step, which, in this case, was a win over Kentucky at Rupp Arena.

Next up: vs. Ole Miss, vs. Alabama

LSU (9-3, 0-0)

SEC Play: 0-0

Will Wade’s squad beat Memphis last Thursday but is about to embark on a brutal stretch of ranked opponents, starting with #17 Kentucky tonight. Let’s see what you’re made of, Tigers.

Next up: vs. #17 Kentucky, at #11 Texas A&M

Missouri (10-3, 0-0)

SEC Play: 0-0

Missouri will also play its first conference game tonight at South Carolina. After a week and a half break, will they be rusty or rested?

Next up: at South Carolina, vs. Florida


Eh…

Vanderbilt (6-8, 1-1)

SEC Play: 1-1 (Lost at Florida 81-74, Won vs. Alabama 76-75)

Is Vanderbilt good? Last night, they managed to do what they haven’t been able to yet this season: win a close game at home, beating Alabama by one. I still don’t think the Commodores will live up to their preseason hype, but last night proves they can still catch teams off guard with that weird gym, which Kentucky’s freshmen will get to experience for the first time a week from Saturday.

Next up:at South Carolina, vs. #23 Tennessee

Ole Miss (8-5, 1-0)

SEC Play: 1-0 (Win vs. South Carolina 74-69)

Ole Miss and South Carolina might be the worst teams in the league this year, so don’t color me too impressed by the Rebel Black Bears’ win over the Gamecocks on New Year’s Eve.

Next up: at Georgia, vs. Mississippi State

South Carolina (9-4, 0-1)

SEC Play: 0-1 (Lost at Ole Miss 74-69)

South Carolina had the lead vs. Ole Miss but fell apart down the stretch. Combine that with a 16-point loss to Clemson a few weeks back and I can see what Frank Martin is so angry all the time.

Next up: vs. Missouri, vs. Vanderbilt