Happy Friday, everyone. With only twelve more days until fall camp opens on August 3, the preseason takes are ramping up. Nothing, and I mean nothing, boils the blood of a dyed-in-the-wool college football fan like calling his/her team overrated. Well then, let's do that, shall we?
#7 LSU Tigers (10 seasons ranked preseason, 8 seasons ranked post, -40) Want to know why some natives are restless in Baton Rouge, and Les Miles narrowly survived last season? LSU hasn’t been ranked higher than 14th in any of the last four seasons when the smoke cleared. They are perennially perceived as a top program, as the last time they were unranked entering a year was in Saban’s debut season (2000). (Only once has LSU been ranked outside the top 14 over that span in preseason polls). Since the 2007 national championship, LSU has as many seasons where they finished unranked as in the top 12.
Ouch. That wasn't kind to Les Miles's program. One has to wonder if Les has to win the West this season in order to keep his job. There are three SEC programs on this list, with the Florida Gators coming in #9 and the overrated national title going to.... The Georgia Bulldogs. Congratulations to Mark Richt for building the most perpetually overrated program in America. Kirby Smart has his work cut out for him, but being overrated usually means there is talent on the roster.
While this article discusses the most overrated teams in past seasons, let's take it a step further. Take a look into your crystal ball and tell us: Who do you believe is the most overrated SEC team going into the season? This should be fun. Answer the poll and discuss away.
Although both teams lost several key playmakers from last year’s squad, the Rebels return the SEC’s top passer in senior Chad Kelly, as well as some prominent defenders, while the Tide turns to its next-man-up mentality to replace several prominent leaders. If Alabama is still trying to find itself in Week 3, a third straight defeat at the hands of the Rebels could prove fatal in 2016 given the Tide’s difficult conference slate down the stretch, including road games at Arkansas, Tennessee and LSU.
Prediction: Ole Miss 35, Alabama 31
Alex writes for the Times Daily out of Florence, AL and includes his email in the byline. His inbox must be comedy gold right now.
Yes, Jalen Hurts, Alabama's promising freshman quarterback, was squatting 500 pounds as a sophomore in high school. There wasn't anyone on the Tide roster that squatted more than 555 pounds during the team's spring testing aside from linemen. Hurts, a quarterback, did 570 at a meet during his junior year of high school. The Channelview, Texas native bench-pressed 275 pounds and dead-lifted 585 pounds at that same event. Competing in the 198-pound weight class, Hurts placed second out of 85 lifters and qualified for the Texas state powerlifting meet.
According to my abacus, that adds up to Jalen squatting nearly three times his body weight as a 16-year old. This young man is going to be special.
Will freshman tackle Jonah Williams make an immediate impact on the Crimson Tide's offensive line? AL.com's Lauren Sisler and former Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson discuss his potential heading into the 2016 season.
JPW takes a look at young Jonah Williams, who is going to be counted on to start. Offensive tackle is probably the thinnest position on the team and a potential Achilles' heel.
It could be similar for Thompson, the No. 2 safety and No. 44 overall prospect in last year's recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. After moving from safety to wide receiver last spring, Thompson shifted back to safety in December. While Eddie Jackson and Ronnie Harrison will likely be Alabama's two starting safeties, Thompson will enter fall camp as a top backup and one of the frontrunners to be the Tide's sixth defensive back when Alabama goes into its dime defense.
Deionte Thompson was a huge get in the 2015 class as the first pure free safety talent Saban had brought in since Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Classmate Ronnie Harrison came in a bit more physically mature and thus saw the field quicker, but Deionte has all kinds of potential.
If you want to keep punters, let them punt without a return team. Wherever the ball lands or sails out of bounds is where the opposing team takes over. As for what to do at the beginning of a game, or the start of the second half, or after a team scores — that’s not hard, either. Every possession begins on the 20-yard line. From there: football. At least the part of football we actually like.
Wait, a man in Detroit wants to get rid of punting? Well, I never...
Wonder if Michigan will soon be making any "overrated" lists? Back to the program...
Three highly-regarded prospects from the state of Alabama have set commitment dates, and that may not be the end of it before the season starts. Alabama is the favorite to land two of them, and Auburn could land the third. Here's a breakdown.
Drew Champlin has a nice summary of the top in-state recruits and where they stand.
One of Alabama's own is making a huge splash in China's National Basketball League. Forward Tony Mitchell dropped 76 points in Hebei Xianglan's 159-123 win over Beijing on Wednesday, hitting 27 of 47 from the field (including 8 of 24 on 3-pointers) and 14 of 15 from the line. Per AL.com, Mitchell had already scored 61 in a game this season before Wednesday's outburst.
62 total shots in a game? Hope they allow ice in China - that elbow is going to need it.
Battle, 74, stepped away from work a month ago for stem cell treatments in Atlanta. Thursday's news release states Battle hopes to return to his duties on a limited basis soon. The stem cell transplant occurred June 27 at Emory University. He was released from the hospital July 8.
Great news for Coach Battle. Sounds like he's well on his way to recovery.
That's about it for today. Have a great weekend.