Last year, at our old digs, The Cup played a little game called "Stack-Ups," where we ranked the teams in the SEC West according to position. While, I can make no promises that my job will continue to provide me with little or no actual "work" to do (opening, thus, the opportunity for my recent blitzcup), in the coming weeks, we / I / possibly you will be sharing some information that our readership has probably already memorized before offering our / my / y'all's opinions regarding the relative strengths and weaknesses of the
in ye old SEC West. Learn about how Kevin Sneed is going to make OLE MISS a dark horse after the jump.
I am to paraphrase Banky Edwards in Chasing Amy a persistent traveller on the road that's the path of least resistance. And I am proud to take the easy way out to begin stack-ups with, probably, the least controversial category: quarterbacks.
For the billionth time, Greg, you throw to the guy that plays for Alabama, not the guy that plays for any other team. It John Park three years to learn that.
So, John Parker is off to
getting drunk with Stabler the NFL (?), and Alabama is once again breaking in a highly touted quarterback who has some bench experience. Honestly, the stability at quarterback for the Tide over the last six years has been pretty impressive. Good, long reigns by Sarah Jessica and, before her, Brodie Croyle. Of course, the good news is that the Alabama offense (hand it off to some freshman who is about three times better than he ought to be) is difficult enough that Alabama quarterbacks have a penchant for sucking until their senior season. Greg, for his part, completed 16 of 30 for 189 yards in the A Day game, which is actually worse than his career 16 for 20 in real games. With a top-notch wide reciever in Julio Jones (I think Tiders may have t-shirts that have "Got Julio" on them), Greg might well be like the Brodie Croyle that led the SEC in passing efficiency before Tyrone Prothro did that thing that still makes me a little wheezy (Crappy video? Yeah, I know. It's better for you that way). For my money, though, I am guessing he struggles until the Tide plug somes holes at offensive line.
Fresh out of Dicks, Bobby Petrino thinks he has found big one in cocky quarterback Ryan Mallett, whose middle name is not Peter, but it ought to be for consistency's sake. I am mentally preparing myself for the video game numbers that are coming from Ryan Mallett. But let's ask ourselves why? Does it have anything to do with anything we saw out of the young man when he was at Michigan? I doubt it. We're worried that putting this '69 Corvette of an arm in the hands of the world's greatest used car salesman will ... someone finish that metaphor for me. But, he did throw 5 interceptions to his 7 touchdowns at Michigan, going 61 of 141 on the season. Does anybody doubt that Mallett will have 141 attempts by the first week in October? Then, think about the six weeks between September 19 and October 24; except for a "week off" against Texas A & M, Arkansas gets Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Ole Miss - Ryan Mallett is going to get hit. Often. If Petrino does not have faith in Nathan Dick (okay, so he's not out of 'em) to carry a little load for Mallett, I am wondering if this young man can take as many snaps as Petrino will have him without getting injured.
Here we see Coach Chizik employing a contemplative style reminiscent of Ed Orgeron.
Kodi Burns is about like the invisible man, isn't he? Even though Gus Malzahn has him listed at the top of the depth chart, that man has been laying lower than Osama bin Laden. But Scout thinks that Neil Caudle will be Malzahn's man when this is all over. Track 'Em Tigers are hiding their disappointment by putting their trust in freshman phenom recruit Tyrik Rollison. Here's what is fairly obvious to us all - Auburn's quarterback situation is about as dire as I can remember in the SEC - messes like this should not be happening at schools outside Starkville. What Auburn really wants is a guy that has enough effectiveness to distract defenses from focusing entirely on Ben Tate and Mario Fannin. If the invisible man at quarterback can do that, War Eagle Nation will be (ought to be) plenty satisfied.
Here's something you've never heard of before - an LSU quarterback with plenty of zip in his arm and a set of legs to boot. That having worked out so well in the past is why, I think, the punditry have their eye on Jordan Jefferson. But, as Chris Low points out in the linked article, he has only started two games. His performance in the spring game was an efficient 8 of 10 for 97 yards, but such a brief showcase supports the belief that Jefferson will not be the star of this offense. And people aren't joking when they call him a question mark. His out-of-nowhere performance in the final three games of the 2008 season was so out of nowhere, that he is not on ESPN's 2008 LSU roster. I'm not sold on Jordan Jefferson. Now, the guys he hands the ball off to are a whole 'nother issue.
Tyler Russell. Tyson Lee. Do I really need to go on ad nauseum about these guys? You expect that Dan Mullen will give Lee the majority of the snaps trying to ease Tyler Russell into this college football thing. The guy completed 58% of his passes in 2008 with 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Hell, he's not much worse than Ryan Mallett up at Michigan. Maybe Petrino should've gotten this guy. When you're looking, as State is looking, for someone to run an offense for Anthony Dixon and get the ball to Brandon McRae every now and then, I don't see how Tyson Lee isn't your guy.
Bubble wrap. Lots of bubble wrap.
With highly-touted not-yet-starters coming into Arkansas, LSU, and Alabama and the great race for mediocrity going on in the Western Division's cow colleges, it's not homerism to call Jevan Snead the best in the West. I highly doubt anybody but Mallett will challenge Snead for the crown, and that only because Mallett will be shouldering so much more of the offensive weight. My pecking order is as follows:
1. Ole Miss