10 reasons why 2020 is one amongst the SEC’s most keen school soccer seasons in a decade – CBS Sports

LSU coach Ed Orgeron hoisted the School Football Playoff National Championship trophy on Jan. 13 within the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to cap off what used to be a banner decade for the SEC. The conference saw three teams dangle national championships (and 6 entire), boasted four Heisman Trophy winners and further solidified its place atop the college soccer world. 

The most simple is but to in finding back. 

The 2020 season is shaping up to be one amongst the most keen seasons in SEC history. There are more than one contenders with spacious questions to answer to, original coaches ready to fabricate a splash and no established star quarterbacks. Let’s atomize down the head 10 reasons why the SEC can be must-check out TV this tumble.

Main questions with the head teams

There will not be a hasten decrease favorite within the SEC this season … largely as a result of enormous roster and coaching turnover that has taken place. 

In the West, defending champion LSU has the fewest returning starters within the league (8). The Tigers furthermore favor to interchange Heisman winner Joe Burrow at quarterback as effectively as defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and passing-sport coordinator Joe Brady. Games are won and misplaced within the trenches, and Auburn is in a bind in that division. Defensive linemen Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson are long past, as are four starters on the offensive line. Alabama acquired more than one stars back along with working back Najee Harris, offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood and linebacker Dylan Moses. However the Tide salvage questions at quarterback, wide receiver and a secondary that might not if truth be told experienced enough to serve coach Nick Saban cheerful. 

The East has a variety of intrigue, too. Georgia has a rebuilt offensive line and must atomize in transfer quarterback Jamie Newman in a disjointed offseason — all while switching to a brand original plan below offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask used to be stable in relief of Feleipe Franks remaining season, and went thru the — albeit a peculiar one — offseason because the unquestioned starter for the major time in class or high school. 

Buckle up.

Jimbo Fisher’s nice window

Texas A&M wasn’t incorporated within the piece above for one cause — Jimbo Fisher hasn’t made the Aggies a contender. That has to alter in 2020. The individual with the 10-one year, $75 million contract has 16 starters back (tied for the most within the conference), the most experienced quarterback in Kellen Mond and a if truth be told stable linebacking corps that could per chance per chance be the rock of Mike Elko’s protection. What’s more, the three SEC West teams mentioned above salvage all of those questions. The Aggies design lowly Vanderbilt as their rotating unpleasant-division sport as effectively as to their eternal rival South Carolina.

Fisher must pause within the SEC West depart — and doubtlessly the CFP depart — effectively into November. Otherwise, this season favor to be labeled as a disappointment. 

Coaches on the sizzling seat

There will not be any query that two coaches are entering the season on scalding sizzling seats — South Carolina’s Will Muschamp and Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason. 

Muschamp used to be given the dreaded “vote of self assurance” at some stage in November 2019 and closed the season out with a 4-8 anecdote. Would he aloof salvage a job without the upset dangle over Georgia on his resume? That stays to be considered. However anytime you serve a job after receiving a vote of self assurance, with nothing of demonstrate to alter the story, you are now not exactly sitting comely.

Mason took over at Vanderbilt in 2014 after the Commodores posted back-to-back nine-dangle seasons below James Franklin. It is unrealistic to request the equivalent more or much less success early in Mason’s tenure since Vanderbilt is his first head coaching gig. However six straight losing seasons (granted, two of them came about due to bowl losses) and three straight seasons ending remaining or subsequent-to-remaining within the SEC East is now not acceptable — even at Vanderbilt.

If that might not if truth be told enough, the financial a part of the coaching carousel can be charming. The financial hit that colleges could per chance per chance also purchase if the season is decrease immediate or followers are now not allowed in stadiums will most likely salvage a in an instant affect on how mighty of a buyout colleges are appealing to dole out. 

Tennessee hype

Tennessee is both the fashionable purchase or a personnel on the upward thrust depending on the quiz. If truth be told, I pegged the Volunteers to pass 9-3 after we picked recordsdata this spring (field to alter, clearly). Why? Sixteen returning starters, an experienced offensive line, a protection that indirectly clicked and newfound admire for coach Jeremy Pruitt. 

Spend into legend this: Pruitt could per chance per chance also salvage misplaced his personnel after two straight losses to launch the 2019 season (Georgia Sigh and BYU). In its place, he performed Alabama closer than most and reeled off six straight wins to shut out the season. Certain, piece of that had to attain with a rather manageable schedule. However he did not lose his personnel when most young coaches would salvage. That’s comely impressive though-provoking about it used to be most efficient his 2nd season as a head coach.

I’m now not a nice “returning starters” guy. Each and each so ceaselessly those starters reliable are now not very true. However Tennessee has quantity, quality and an offseason that has runt other teams from filling holes as swiftly as they generally would.

The general remark of Mississippi

Ole Movement over wide receiver Elijah Moore pretended to pee luxuriate in a dog on the quit of remaining season’s Egg Bowl loss to Mississippi Sigh, and it place off a string of events that might without raze change the panorama of school soccer within the remark. Matt Luke used to be canned by the Rebels and modified by Lane Kiffin, Joe Moorhead used to be confirmed the door by the Bulldogs and modified by Mike Leach, and without be conscious the rivalry returned to the level Hugh Freeze and Dan Mullen had it at some stage within the 2010s.

We acquired Kiffin vs. Leach — two of the most considered and intriguing coaches within the country — within the Egg Bowl rivalry because a player pretended to pee luxuriate in a dog. The Egg Bowl is repeatedly heated and one amongst the most underrated rivalries within the country. The original coaches eager salvage cranked it into overdrive. 

Man, I love school soccer.

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Alabama vs. Georgia Phase III

In January 2018, we acquired “2nd-and-26” for a national title. In the 2018 SEC Championship Game, we acquired Jalen Hurts’ redemption. After a one-one year hiatus, we in finding the third installment of “the trainer vs. the scholar.”

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban will square off with ex-Alabama defensive coordinator and most new Georgia coach Kirby Comely in Week 3 in Tuscaloosa in what is at chance of be one amongst the most impactful video games within the playoff depart. Perchance far more keen is the indisputable truth that, as mentioned above, each teams salvage basic roster questions that most likely will now not be stuffed by the level they tee it up at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Will this matchup be the equivalent more or much less thriller that the two behemoths had the rest two scoot-rounds? Please … please let it occur.

Florida’s protection

Defense has been a staple of Florida over the rest 15 years, and it will purchase a lot from defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to serve that custom alive. Gone are defensive linemen Jon Greenard and Jabari Zuniga, linebacker David Reese and defensive back C.J. Henderson from a unit that finished 2nd within the SEC in scoring protection remaining one year (15.5 components per sport).

If the Gators are going to contend for the SEC East title, the inexperienced faces taking on for ragged stars favor to make at an elite stage. That functions Georgia transfer linebacker Brenton Cox, linebacker/defensive back Amari Burney and defensive lineman Zachary Carter. 

It be on Grantham to fabricate that $1.8 million paycheck.

Possess a Drink

Missouri bellied up to the bar and signed Eliah Drinkwitz to a six-one year, $24 million contract despite most efficient one one year as a college head coach. Granted, that 12-dangle season at Appalachian Sigh used to be impressive, but that checking legend calls for that he lead the Tigers back to SEC East relevancy.

Can Drinkwitz in finding them back to the SEC Championship Game for the major time since 2014? He told CBS Sports author Dennis Dodd that he knows he wasn’t the major decision for the job, but knows that he’s the most efficient decision. That self assurance extends to his thought of how his program can stack up to the division’s nice boys.

“I repeatedly assume if we play at home versus Florida outdoors of October, we’ll beat ’em because they don’t seem like going to play within the chilly climate. Interval.”

He talks the debate. Let’s check out if he can stroll the stroll.

Auburn’s time to shine

Powerful luxuriate in Texas A&M, the door is wide launch for Auburn to re-express itself as a national energy. Coach Gus Malzahn has three wins over Saban since 2013, which could per chance per chance be more wins than every other coach within the country all the design in which thru that timespan — along with Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. Despite that, Auburn has won the SEC West reliable as soon as (2017) since that magical 2013 season and stepped on too many landmines along the design in which.

That has to alter. 

Quarterback Bo Nix used to be stable as a true freshman and must thrive below first-one year offensive coordinator Chad Morris. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has confirmed to be one amongst the most efficient assistant coaches within the country. The linebacking corps, led by Okay.J. Britt, is one amongst the most efficient within the country. Mountainous Kat Bryant is a top-tier edge rusher who favor to be the focal level of each opposing offensive coordinator when they pop on movie all the design in which thru sport-week prep.

There are questions abound within the SEC West, and Auburn will not be any exception. Nevertheless it has enough of a foundation for followers around the country to request CFP contention.

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Alabama’s QBs

Closing, and indubitably now not least, is Alabama’s quarterback strive in opposition to. Mac Jones used to be nails in place of Tua Tagovailoa, throwing for 14 touchdowns — along with 10 after Tagovailoa’s damage — with the load of the enviornment on his shoulders. Certain, two costly purchase sixes within the Iron Bowl are furthermore piece of his 2019 legacy, but put now not put out of your mind that he torched that identical Auburn protection to the tune of 335 yards in that barnburner. Jones could per chance per chance be the unquestioned starter to launch the season. No longer now not up to, for now. 

Genuine freshman star Bryce Younger, the head-ranked quarterback and No. 2 general prospect within the class of 2020, will salvage his shot at winning the job all the design in which thru tumble camp. Can he dangle it? CBS Sports’ in finding Barton Simmons wrote that Younger has the more or much less talent that can lead Alabama to a national championship as a true freshman in April. Does Jones salvage that more or much less upside? It be up to Saban and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to fabricate that possibility.

This strive in opposition to has the equivalent feel that the 2016 strive in opposition to in Tuscaloosa had — entire with the equivalent opponent in Week 1. Blake Barnett acquired the originate within the opener vs. USC, then-true freshman Jalen Hurts acquired his shot, won the job and led the Crimson Tide to within an eyelash of the national title. 

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