SEC: Ques­tions to pon­der in 2013

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

My 6-year-old daugh­ter asks a lot of ques­tions. From “Why does the moon change the tides?” to “How does the tooth fairy de­cide how much money to give?” She’s cu­ri­ous. To para­phrase a Jimmy Buf­fett song, I know the an­swers to some of her ques­tions; for many oth­ers, I’m look­ing for sug­ges­tions.

It’s only nat­u­ral to ask ques­tions about the un­known, and a new SEC football sea­son is no dif­fer­ent. Ques­tions loom about coaches, teams, play­ers, tra­di­tions, and fans of the finest col­lege football con­fer­ence in the coun­try.

Here are SEC Ban­ter’s key ques­tions just one week re­moved from the start of the 2013 SEC football sea­son.

We’ve got ques­tions about coaches. Will Nick Sa­ban win a his­toric fourth national ti­tle at Alabama and in­sist that his statue out­side Bryant-Denny Sta­dium be raised to make him look a foot taller, bring­ing his height to 5-foot-7?

Will the gob­bledy­gook spew­ing from Les Miles’ mouth bring Loozia­ni­ans to the craw­fish boil­ing point?

We’ve got ques­tions about play­ers. Will any­one care that Ge­or­gia quar­ter­back Aaron Mur­ray be­comes the SEC’s all-time leader in touch­down passes, com­ple­tions and pass­ing yardage if his big­gest ca­reer win is the Cap­i­tal One Bowl?

Will Texas A&M quar­ter­back Johnny Manziel have dif­fi­culty ex­er­cis­ing good judg­ment and stay­ing out of the spot­light in the wake of win­ning the Heis­man Tro­phy as a 19-yearold fresh­man? We’ve got ques­tions about the sea­son’s first week. How badly will the SEC em­bar­rass the con­fer­ence that used to be good at bas­ket­ball when South Carolina beats UNC, Ge­or­gia whips Clem­son, and Alabama de­stroys Vir­ginia Tech?

The first week also has Ole Miss vis­it­ing Van­der­bilt, but surely you can’t se­ri­ously be look­ing for­ward to that game? (I ac­tu­ally am look­ing for­ward to it, and don’t call me Shirley) We’ve got ques­tions about tail­gate recipes. Have you tried my widely ac­claimed SEC Ban­ter pop­pers yet? If grilled chicken topped with jalapenos and a dollup of cream cheese all wrapped in ba­con isn’t your thing, hon­cho your own SEC tail­gate recipe and let me know if it beats the pop­pers.

We’ve got ques­tions about SEC teams on the rise. Van­der­bilt kicked four play­ers off the team this sum­mer. Does that sig­nal the ‘Dores are fi­nally at­tract­ing SEC-cal­iber tal­ent? Auburn is sup­pos­edly on the rise, too, but the bar is low. Can the Plains­men win just two SEC games? (Au­bie went win­less in the SEC in 2012). We’ve got ques­tions about our habits dur­ing football sea­son. Af­ter a big win, will you spend the fol­low­ing work week read­ing and watch­ing ev­ery­thing col­lege football-re­lated? Will you ig­nore col­lege football en­tirely af­ter a big loss? On Sun­days at church, will you avoid that guy who pulls against your team but pre­tends he’s sorry your team lost?

We’ve got ques­tions about what poor non-SEC team will con it­self into believ­ing it can beat Alabama or Ge­or­gia in the national cham­pi­onship game. Ohio State? Ore­gon? Stan­ford? Puh-leaze.

His­tory dic­tates that the true national ti­tle game takes place on the first Satur­day in De­cem­ber in the Ge­or­gia Dome, and in an ex­hi­bi­tion con­test fol­low­ing that game, the SEC champ will make it eight crys­tal ball tro­phies in a row. On the brink of an­other sea­son in the South­east­ern Con­fer­ence, our ques­tions will be an­swered as the air cools, the leaves turn, and we usher in our fa­vorite South­ern pas­time. Speak­ing of ques­tions, my daugh­ter re­cently asked me why SEC football is the best. As Jimmy Buf­fett sang, there’s a lot I want to pass along that was handed down to me. Bet­ter get started.

Ben Prevost is a con­tribut­ing colum­nist for The Times. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @SECban­ter or con­tact him at SECban­ter@ hot­

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