Another Thursday, another mailbag, folks. We're at the tail end of SEC Media Days, with the rest of the leagues firing things up shortly thereafter. That means the season is right around the corner. Let's get to the queries.
Ha, I see what you are getting at, because the lists are so long. However, I think the lists are growing in length because so many great players are emerging from so many different places. It used to be you look at who's returning from the All-America team and then maybe check the major All-Conference first teams and slap some names together.
Now, players are blowing up on the scene in a big way and they are looking to both insulate themselves from omitting a potential finalist and not exclude someone just because they are at a small school. When those things combine, you get lists that do appear inflated. But no worries, the beauty of it all is that it does not matter anymore now than it did before.
What really matters is when the awards put their finalist lists together. Some go as early as the start of November and then, during crunch time, some deserving players who emerge late end up missing out on a chance. That is where I'd shame the people involved.
Good joke, my man. Honestly, I do not think SEC coaches are the only ones complaining about it. I just think they are the only ones who do it publicly. There is not a defensive coordinator in the nation worth his salary that likes the uptempo style.
Put it this way, if they came out with a rule to limit tempo offenses, we would see the collective defensive culture of collegiate football rejoice in a way that we likely have never seen before. Shoot, I'd probably take my shirt off and run around the block, at least halfway until I got tired out and had to walk, and I'm not even coaching in the game.
Whew, I'm torn on this one. I really like Cover 3 because it allows the strong safety to make run fits, and if you shift, the strong and free safeties can kick and mix responsibilities, thus adding the free safety to the mix while the free goes into the middle third.
But, I'm an unabashed Cover 2 lover. I think it is the best coverage in football and should be everyone's primary coverage. It lets safeties see the entire field, read quarterbacks' eyes, exchange responsibilities with a corner through a slice call if the situation dictates and so much more.
I love Cover 2. Yes, it has its weaknesses at the top edges and in the middle hole, but I'll live with those and tweak as I go. You can man up out of it and still have two high safeties. You can push it to Tampa 2 and then have your Mike run that hole to protect that soft middle.
It is so common, yet when it is run well, it is one of the best defenses out there. I love it.
I do not know much about Australian accents. In fact, everything that I have learned about it comes from Crocodile Dundee, Nicole Kidman and the "maybe a dingo ate your baby" episode of Seinfeld. That's basically it. So, when Les Miles speaks to his Australian accent, unless he is saying "that's not a knife," I cannot really comment.
As for the best accents, the obvious answer here is North Carolina. Especially, Eastern North Carolina. Also in the mix for some of my favorite accents are Cajun, a nice Georgia accent and, because I love my mom so much, the lower-Delaware-Maryland mid-Atlantic one.
We've got this classic from last week and, honestly, I think the answer here has to be the groin. Even though it is a popular target, it is—and always will be—the worst move ever when it happens to you or a teammate.
That said, other moves that are surprisingly painful and not just straight-up fighting are the toe stomp and throat jabs. When your feet are in cleats every day, they hurt all the time. A lot. So when someone steps on that already tender foot with a cleated shoe, it is excruciatingly painful.
As for the throat, it's a classic move that has stopped many a guy in his tracks. It looks like a grab for the chest plate, but those thumbs are just high enough to get the other person right in the throat. It hurts. Bad.
Man, if I had to put a number on it, I'd probably say something like 34.67 percent. A little more than a third but not much more. The reason why is pretty simple: South Carolina is a better football team. It has an offensive line that is going to lean on North Carolina's 4-2-5/3-3-5 hybrid scheme all game and has the running backs to make work tough at the second level.
That offense is also helped by the tight-end position. Bruce Ellington is solid on the outside, but Rory Anderson and Jerell Adams are coming into their own after big springs and will be real factors.
North Carolina is going to have to outscore the Gamecocks to win this ballgame, and while the linebacking corps, including the Spur position, is young, the front and back four will help them out. Losing D.J. Swearinger hurts, but the Gamecocks are sound at the corner position and we know that the front four are anchored by Jadeveon Clowney.
I will say that James Hurst vs. Clowney is likely the most under-discussed one-on-one battle to start the season, though. The Heels need to come in, guns blazing, and score early to force South Carolina to have to pass, which'll be the best path to victory. Otherwise, Brandon Wilds, Mike Davis and Connor Shaw will try to grind the defense into a fine dust with the run game.
House Hunters is one of my favorite shows. Yes, I know it is fake. In fact, I knew it was fake before everyone decided to try to tell me it is fake. I do not care. I love that show.
If I were to do an SEC coaches House Hunters, I would go with Nick Saban and Bret Bielema. They share the same views on offense and defense, so it stands to reason they will have the same interests when it comes to getting a house.
I am assuming they'd be bro roommates, and because we're all about traditional stuff, I think they would get exactly what they are looking for. Obviously, a formal dining room, a parlor, a mud room, a study and the like. Basically, anything that is in your grandma's house would be fair game.
You can call it boring, but mostly I call it traditional. Like football with a lead blocker, huddles, huge linemen opening up holes for power backs and such.