Welcome to today’s edition of Around the SEC.
It’s Election Day, so be sure to go out to the polls and vote. It’s awfully important, if you hadn’t already heard.
Here’s what’s going on in your favorite conference
Del Rio’s injury causes problems (Alligator Army)
Florida fans of a certain age — ones who remember a time before Steve Spurrier being the Gators’ head coach, which I literally can’t — and ones who are aware of history beyond their own time may recall that Richard Nixon once told reporters, bitterly, “You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.”
Let’s get over this hangover (And The Valley Shook)
2015-16 was a big disappointment for the program and every LSU Basketball fan. This shouldn’t be news. You already know LSU had a top 10 recruiting class with the #1 prospect in Ben Simmons. You already know the team started the season ranked in the Top 25, only for that ranking to disappear after a 3-3 start. You already know the season ended on a 71-38 trouncing by Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament, cementing LSU’s place squarely on the couch come time for the NCAA Tournament. You already know that’s not how it was supposed to go.
Bumper Pool committed to Arkansas (Arkansas Fight)
Arkansas racked up so many 2017 commitments over the summer that there hasn’t been a ton of recruiting news over the last three months or so, but that should start picking up again as the season is winding down, and the Razorbacks picked up a big time player with a big time name on Monday with the commitment of 2018 4-star linebacker Bumper Pool.
Why is Jamal Murray struggling? (A Sea of Blue)
At his zenith in college, Jamal Murray was a scoring maven, especially from the perimeter and off screens; as such, he was projected to occupy the same niche in the NBA. He was selected 7th in last June’s NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets to shoulder that offensive responsibility. Yet he didn’t make his first field goal until his fifth game; so, role...unfulfilled, thus far.
Surprises suck. (College and Magnolia)
There were so many things to be surprised about in Auburn’s 23-16 escape over Vanderbilt. I had written this game off. I figured Vandy would hang around for a half because they pretty much do that with everyone. But Auburn, much to our surprise, came into this game with lots of injuries. I read a couple rumors about Sean not practicing the week before. But Phillip Marshall at 24/7 quelled those rumors. Phillip Marshall now has the street cred of Bagdad Bob.
Degenerate info awaits you (Dawg Sports)
The Auburn Tigers are betting favorites to even up the all-time series with the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia gained a 56-55-8 advantage last season with a win at Jordan-Hare Stadium. This time around, the powers that be in Vegas initially installed Auburn as an eight-point favorite, and the line has now grown to 10.
Mullen’s going nowhere (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
But there are still a number of fans who refuse to buy in to the idea that Dan Mullen needs to continue to be the head coach of the Bulldogs. We still saw people littering our comments section on Facebook with things like he still has to win the Egg Bowl or Dan needs to go. Hate to burst those people’s bubble, but it isn’t happening.
The magic’s back (Garnet & Black Attack)
We, as a fan base, got to ride that wave of change to the best stretch of football in the history of our program over the next three seasons. We always found ways to win. We thrived in big games. We owned our neighbors to the north. There was a quiet confidence that permeated our fan base which had never been seen before. Simply put: it had finally happened. We had arrived. Things were good and they were going to keep being good.
A great video gets greater (Good Bull Hunting)
Clay Taylor set the viral video of snakes chasing a newly hatched iguana to the Verne Lundquist call of Johnny Manziel’s magical self-fumble TD versus Alabama.
Neat. A podcast. (Rock M Nation)
I’ve been working on getting this set up for a while, and I’m really excited about the collaboration between me and Chris Dobbertean as we do our best to break down college basketball this season.
Reassessing in Knoxville (Rocky Top Talk)
After a faith-shaking performance against the South Carolina Gamecocks two weeks ago, the Tennessee Volunteers did even more than expected against FCS foe Tennessee Tech. It's not quite enough to get all of the warm fuzzies back, but it goes a long way in settling our collective stomachs and expectations the rest of the way.
Spencer Hall ranks ‘Bama #1 (SB Nation)
Beat LSU, 10-0. It sucks so, so much how little you can change. LSU came into this game like a New You rolling into the year. They had a new attitude! (Ed Orgeron, who sounds more like a talking rock tumbler than ever). A chance for redemption! (For Leonard Fournette, the god-like running back whose mortal efforts against Alabama are the bad data points in an otherwise amazing career). New diet! (If it’s like Ed’s family days, it’d be “boudin balls, ribs, dirty rice, [and] shrimp”). (Maybe that didn’t help, to be honest, especially if eaten before the game.)
Ole Miss clouded by ‘what-ifs’ (SB Nation)
Some seasons remain unfinished. You spend nine months trying to figure out what a lineup might be capable of, but you never see that lineup because of Injury A, Suspension B, and Injury C. Instead, the entire season becomes a what-if or coulda-been.
To yell or not to yell... (SB Nation)
Nick Saban runs the tightest ship in college football. So when a reporter asks him a question leading him to believe there may be a leak in his organization, he’s going to have some questions of his own.
Da’Ron Payne for Piesman (SB Nation)
Most of the Piesman-related attention in Tuscaloosa has been focused on Jonathan Allen, and for good reason. But let’s not ignore the efforts of his teammate Da’Ron Payne on this play.