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SEC Media Days | It’s Not All Good

By Rick Bouch

Alabama head coach Nick Saban took to the podium and proclaimed that he has some pretty good players at a bunch of different positions. He liked how his team prepared in the offseason and how they continue to get ready for their preseason camp. Every other head coach in the SEC Media Days went to the podium and did pretty much the same thing. “I like where our team is at,” said every coach in the SEC. So, all 14 teams in the SEC are good to go, right? Think again. Someone has to bring this back to reality.

Yes Alabama Is Good

Okay, so Saban wasn’t lying when he said that he has some pretty good players. He does. He’s got a sophomore quarterback in Jalen Hurts who threw for 2,780 yards and ran for another 954. He also accounted for 36 touchdowns. And, the guy behind him is a true freshman who is just as good. There is NFL talent on defense once again and the Crimson Tide is the favorite to win the SEC West Division once again.

Auburn Could Challenge

The Crimson Tide’s biggest rival has fallen off a bit the past few years, but head coach Gus Malzahn ‘likes where his team is at’ thus far this offseason. Malzahn will have QB Jarrett Stidham, a transfer from Baylor, to run his spread offense and that alone makes the Tigers better. They are also much improved on defense and have the athletes to compete with the likes of Alabama, LSU, and the rest of the SEC.

Texas A&M, Another Late-Season Flop?

To hear Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin talk, you would think his squad is ready to enter the College Football Playoff. Here’s the ugly reality. Even if Sumlin and the Aggies find a way to start the season 5-0 again, something they have done the past three seasons, they will likely finish with eight or nine wins.

For the past three seasons, the Aggies have been 5-0 yet finished 8-5. They must replace DE Myles Garrett, the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft and QB Trevor Knight. They have a star in wide receiver Christian Kirk, but they are nowhere near where they need to be to compete with Alabama or Auburn.

SEC East Race Doesn’t Include Tennessee

If you ask Vols head coach Butch Jones, you will get the same rhetoric, “I like where our team is at right now.” I’m pretty sure Jones liked where the Vols were last year too. Tennessee started the season 5-0 with big wins over Florida and Georgia. Then, Jones and company dropped three straight – Texas A&M, Alabama, and South Carolina. Tennessee finished a respectable 9-4, but they entering 2017 they must replace QB Josh Dobbs and the school’s career sack leader DE Derek Barnett.

Missouri Might Not Win An SEC Game

Things are even great, according to head coach Barry Odom, in Missouri where the Tiger won just two conference games last season. It may have been hard if things really are good in Missouri since listening to Odom at the SEC Media could have put an insomniac to sleep.

The Tigers put up some numbers on offense, 13th in the nation in total yards per game (500.5), but they were horrible on defense. They were dead last in the SEC in most every statistical category and the Tigers were 118th nationally in total defense. Missouri returns just four starters on defense this season and 10 on offense. If they do not beat South Carolina in Week 2, it could be a long year for Odom and the Tigers.

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