Another big weekend of spring games is in the books for the SEC. There probably weren’t a lot of starting positions settled, and frankly most of the football was pretty forgettable. However, spring games continue to be a great excuse for a little tailgating, and it’s always nice to see those SEC logos pop up on the television screen. So we say keep them coming!
And make sure to pay attention to what was learned from the most recent collection of games.
Jacob Eason draws a crowd
With apologies to Ludacris, an overflow crowd of more than 93,000 showed up at UGA’s G-Day game primarily to get their first glimpse of true freshman quarterback Jacob Eason — which makes him already as popular in Georgia as fried chicken and sweet tea.
The thing about a great southern-style meal though is it almost never disappoints. That’s a lot more than can be said about five-star quarterbacks.
There’s a lot to like about Eason’s game. He throws the football like Adele sings. Yet expectations are going to be through the roof for him, and it won’t be easy to live up to them.
Alabama is still Alabama
The simplest description of the absurdity of Alabama’s depth is that Rashaan Evans is being used by the Crimson Tide as an inside linebacker. Don’t get me wrong. He’ll be fabulous at that position. In fact, he had 17 tackles from that spot in the spring game.
The point is that Evans is the kind of player that would anchor the pass rush for almost any other team in the country. Playing that caliber of athlete at inside linebacker is a luxury most programs can’t even imagine. It’s like having a Ferrari that you only drive to the supermarket.
Alabama is currently at 6-1 odds to repeat as national champions, according to VegasInsider.com. Load up.
Tennessee might have a three-headed monster on offense
By now, almost all SEC fans are familiar with Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs, and most know about Vols running back Jalen Hurd. However, the breakout star on offense for Tennessee this spring was probably running back Alvin Kamara.
The Vols should use Kamara to round out a potent backfield, and this trio should help Tennessee take steps toward fulfilling the increased expectations that exist for this season.
Of course, Dobbs will be a senior, and Hurd and Kamara could both decide to exit college early for the NFL. Which means that Tennessee — a team seemingly stuck in a perpetual mode of “wait til next year” — is suddenly a program that better hurry up and win now.
Les Miles still knows how to make a good hire
The reviews for new LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda are glowing. Aranda comes to the Tigers from Wisconsin — and imagine what a jump that must be. Wisconsin is missing two things that an SEC power like LSU has in abundance — elite talent and a willingness to spend money on coaches salaries.
This season Aranda will be paid $1.3 million, nearly triple the $520,000 he made last year at Wisconsin. He’ll also lead a defense at LSU that’s a pipeline to the NFL — as opposed to his Wisconsin defense which was on a highway to a custard factory.
All of this makes it easy to imagine Aranda crawled like Andy Dufresne in “Shawshank Redemption” to get to Baton Rouge, La.
Of course, Aranda won’t be able to get too far from his old team. LSU opens with Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Week 1.
It could be a long summer for Dan Mullen
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen ran the Boston Marathon this week — which is ironic because the group of players competing to be the Bulldogs’ next quarterback all looked to be about 26.2 miles away from being as good as Dak Prescott after Mississippi State’s spring game.
Mullen will be patient. He may have to be.