I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of reading, writing, and hearing about:
**–Name, Image and Likeness. There are no rules. Nobody has an answer. I’m not sure there IS an answer that follows the laws of the United States of America. I’m all for the players making as much money as possible. Figure it out and get back to us.
**–The transfer portal. I’m happy that players are finally getting the mobility they deserve. Players are going to transfer if they are not playing enough or if they believe they can get a better NIL deal elsewhere. Fine. But the portal doesn’t have to be open 365 days a year. Let us know when you fix that.
**–Conference realignment: . Texas and Oklahoma need to figure it out with the Big 12 and get to the SEC. The Big 12 and Pac-12 need to stop sniping at each other and figure out a way for both conferences to survive. Notre Dame needs to stay an independent, which means that NBC needs to step up its TV deal..
**–The process of getting to a new College Football Playoff. There was a perfectly good 12-team format that checked all the boxes, but it got shot down by the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12. The commissioners will get it done because they have to get it done by the 2026 season. But the process is wearing everyone out. Figure it out. Tell my friend Heather Dinich and she’ll tell the rest of us.
So let’s you and I make a deal. Until something actually happens and the facts on the ground change substantially, we’re going to write about and talk about FOOTBALL from this point forward.
You know, Football?
Teams in the SEC are reporting to camp this week to begin what I think is going to be one of the most entertaining seasons we’ve had in a long, long time. Here are just five reasons why:
1—More good teams. Take Alabama and Georgia and push them off to one side. They’ve won the past two national championships and will be in everyone’s preseason top three. They’ve recruited at a different level than everyone else in the SEC over the past five years. We’ll write a lot more about them later but not today.
Now take Vanderbilt and Missouri and push them off to the other side.
The 10 teams that remain are all capable of beating each other on a given Saturday. That is going to give us the most competitive SEC that we have had in a long time.
Bottom line: Alabama and Georgia are No. 1 and No. 2. But who’s going to be No. 3? It’s going to be fun finding out.
2—Arkansas has found their guy. Since Lou Holtz left as the head coach of Arkansas after the 1983 season, the following men have held the position: Ken Hatfield, Jack Crowe, Danny Ford, Houston Nutt, Bobby Petrino, John L. Smith, Brett Bielema, and Chad Morris.
The Razorback faithful never loved any of those guys the way they love Sam Pittman, who is beginning his third season in Fayetteville. The Hogs were 9-4 last season and it could have easily been 10-3 or better.
Their quarterback (KJ Jefferson) returns as their coordinators Kendall Briles (offense) and Barry Odom (defense).
The Hogs open at home against Cincinnati, a playoff team last season, and host South Carolina on Sept. 17.
3—Billy Napier at Florida: Napier checked all the boxes when Florida hired him to replace Dan Mullen. The son of a successful high school coach from Northwest Georgia, Napier, I am told, is one of the most detailed, organized coaches you’ll ever meet. Florida is getting ready to move into a new $85 million office/practice complex. That will only help recruiting.
Long term the Gators are going to do well under Napier. But what about this season?
The Gators have a really tough opener with Utah, the defending Pac-12 champions, in the Swamp. They play Texas A&M and LSU from the SEC West. They have to go to Florida State.
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Be patient, Gator fans.
4—Brian Kelly at LSU: For all of the issues LSU has gone through since Joe Burrow left, the problem was never about a lack of players. What the Tigers needed more than anything was a steady, organized hand behind the wheel. I believe they have that in Brian Kelly, who left Notre Dame after 12 seasons to become the head coach in Baton Rouge.
Now Kelly has to find his quarterback, but he’ll do that in training camp. Myles Brennan, Garrett Nussmeier, Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels (29 career starts), and recruit Walker Howard give LSU one of the deepest quarterback rooms in college football.
The Tigers open on Sept. 4 against Florida State in New Orleans. Kelly will learn a lot about his team in that game.
5—Quarterback depth could be the best I’ve seen in the SEC. Just look at this partial list of quarterbacks who could be starters this season.
Alabama: Bryce Young, 2021 Heisman winner.
Arkansas: KJ Jefferson, returning starter
Auburn: Zach Calzada, transfer from Texas A&M, where he was the starter
Florida: Anthony Richarson, returning starter
Georgia: Stetson Bennett, MVP in CFP semifinals and national championship games.
Kentucky: Will Levis. Could be the first SEC QB taken in the 2023 draft.
LSU: Jayden Daniels, started 29 games at Arizona State
Ole Mess: Jaxon Dart, transfer from USC
Mississippi State: Will Rogers led the SEC in passing yardage last season
South Carolina: Spencer Rattler, transfer from Oklahoma.
Tennessee: Hendon Hooker, 31 TD and only 3 INT last season.
Texas A&M: Max Johnson, started games for LSU in 2020 and 2021
So what do you think? Go back to my Twitter account @MrCFB and let me know your thoughts.