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2013 SEC Most Over and Under Hyped

9587049- Auburn Team at Rose bowl

Still waxing nostalgic for last season. We’ve quit cold-tukey for two weeks now. Spring ball can’t get here quick enough. I’ve seen a few lists hyping what we can expect from the upcoming season but I’m curious in retrospect what was hyped to us back in 2013-both over-hyped and under-hyped–in a variety of categories. Here’s the list: player, coach, team, trend, predicament, and prediction. Let’s go!

PLAYER: Jadaveon Clowney was the most over-hyped. After the hit of the decade against that Michigan back in the Gator Bowl, we expected a season of dominance from the South Carolina defensive end. What we got instead was an out of shape, overly cautious, play-it-safe, non-motivated player merely going through the motions to punch his ticket for the next round into the NFL. Sadly, this might be the trend to come for future high round picks–do NOTHING to jeopardize your future lottery lot, namely, becoming injured. While I can’t say I blame him, it does squat to enhance the view from the college fans’ perspective.

Nick Marshall was easily the most under-hyped player. Exactly no one expected the cornerback transfer from Georgia to be a SEC quality QB–much less to lead the team to a SEC championship and BCS appearance. He certainly showed up former teammate Aaron Murray and proved that a pure athlete can overcome other shortcomings in the Gus Malzahn offense. Better yet, Auburn gets him back again next year, something rare for the Tigers in the last decade.

TEAM: Florida was easily the most over-hyped team going into 2013. After a promising 2012 and a Sugar Bowl appearance under 2nd year coach Will Muschamp, The Gators wheels came off mid-season, culminating in seven straight losses to end their streak of non-losing seasons going back to 1979. While Florida was expected to contend in the east along with Georgia and Carolina, they instead took a cue from Auburn’s 2012 season and crash-landed.

Easy one. Auburn, coming off said 2012 debacle, was decidedly the most under-hyped of all the SEC teams. Picked to finish sixth in the west and garnering absolutely NO preseason poll votes, the Tigers came as close as any team coming off a similar situation to winning a BCS national championship. Pretty sure they’ll be on the radar for 2014 though.

COACH: While Jay might be thinking Saban here, I believe Will Muschamp is the most over-hyped coach because of the aforementioned reasons above. While I don’t think Muschamp is head coach material, most of the Gator nation still does but their patience is wearing thin. He wasn’t the immediate savior in 2011, and 2012 had the humiliating bowl game loss to Louisville to snuff out any warm fuzzies for 2013. Honestly, I didn’t think Muschamp would make it through December, but Foley is giving him a reprieve. I get the feeling the Gators will be in the market for a new coach come next bowl season, and Charlie Strong is NOT going to be available then.

While many of you might be thinking Gus Malzahn as most under-hyped, if you know anything about Gus, 2013 wasn’t a complete surprise. My pick is James Franklin, who’s back-to-back 9-win seasons at Vandy and subsequent hiring by Penn State showed the world that he’s a winner. Some thought 2012 was a fluke for the Commodores, but Franklin had them back at it last year and had every needy college team plus some from the pros considering him. If you think about how close Malzahn came to taking the Vanderbilt job in 2011, you can’t help but to wonder if the Gus Bus would now be barreling north to Happy Valley.

TREND: Poor, poor, pitiful SEC defenses were the most over-hyped trend of last season. Always renowned for that side of the ball, SEC defenses were being maligned by those such as Big Game Bob Stoops in the media before the season began, to Auburn and Missouri themselves on the field in the SEC title game with over 100 points in a basketball score. Other marquee games such as Alabama-Texas A&M, Mizzou-Georgia, and Auburn-A&M were score-fests, too. Suddenly the conference was looking more like the Big 12 than the Southeastern. The horror.

New conference addition Missouri immediately competing for the SEC crown was the most under-hyped trend of the year. Like Auburn, nobody was looking for the third Tigers to make it to Atlanta. No 1992 addition or later team has yet to win a conference title in divisional play, and neither has any of four historical teams for that matter. I hope Mizzou doesn’t think it’s that easy though. Long a Big 8 and Big 12 doormat, Mizzou was acquired more for their TV markets than football prominence. Welcome to jabs southern-style, Tigers!

PREDICAMENT: Alabama’s non-BCS title game bowl motivation is the most over-hyped of 2013. Long thought to have shaken off the cobwebs of no motivation following an ass-handing from Utah in the 2008 season Sugar Bowl, The Tide most recently beat down Michigan State in the 2010 Capital One Bowl 49-7 to apparently exorcise those demons. Faced with another non-national championship game in another Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma–perhaps the worst bowl team of the BCS era– Bama laid yet another post season egg. Perhaps Saban neglected to install enough “Never Again” posters around the locker room, or maybe it’s because he’s the only one on his staff that can remember that previous debacle. Sorry, Saban. I see a trend here.

The SEC’s 10 bowl teams in 2013 was the most under-hyped predicament. A NCAA record, no one from outside the SEC would talk about anything other than how many of those bowl games the conference lost. Haters. Imagine how many we’d have if we didn’t have to play each other. Oops. I guess we wouldn’t be a conference then if that was the case.

PREDICTION: I’ll throw the rest of college football a bone here. The most over-hyped prediction was the SEC’s streak of seven natties going to eight in a row–but only because it didn’t. Granted, many SEC doubters would still argue that it would have been over-hyped even if Auburn hadn’t laid an egg in the second half of a game for the first time that season. That’s because they were absolutley sick of it. Anyway, the streak is over and CFB won’t have it flaunted in their face anymore until the next streak. With perhaps double the chances of landing two of our teams in the title game for the foreseeable future, it’s something might consider getting used to.

The most under-hyped prediction was that Johnny Manziel would be as good in 2013 as his Heisman winning 2012 season. I admit, I thought 2012 was a fluke. Granted, I’d never seen a QB as elusive as he is, but I thought that all the luck from completed passes after throwing it off his back foot or throwing it up for grabs in traffic would finally come to an end. It didn’t. Statistically, he had an even btter year than the previous one. You weren’t going to stop him. The only way to beat Manziel was to outscore him, and it took four teams ranked in the top 14 in the final poll to do that. Hat tip, Johnny Football. Your game will be missed.

Who you got on your lists?

17 Comments

  1. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I think that the most over-hyped team was Georgia. Weren’t they supposed to be MNC contenders? Again? Yes, they were. At least according to Dawg fans and a lot of pundits, and probs Vegas. Ha. hahahahaha.

    But I agree with you that Muschamp was the most over-hyped coach. You gotta hate that kind of attention unless you are going to deliver and I believe that even Muschamp didn’t think that their season was going to be that great. He might make a good head coach one day, but I think the idea that Mack Brown is not only a groomer of players, but of coaches, has lost its credibility (yes, Gene Chizik, looking at you. again.).

    2nd most over-hyped coach: Butch Jones. Tennessee, you can’t run off Fulmer and expect to hit gold on your next coaching hires. This is called Karma. When you hired Kiffin, it was like breaking a mirror…bad luck for at least 7 years. It’s why you can’t have nice things, Tennessee.

    • WarEagleAtlanta WarEagleAtlanta says:

      Great analogy with the mirror. And Richt definitely was a contender for over-hyped coach. Look, I like Richt, but if he can’t ever get over the hump, the Dawgs will cut him loose.

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        I don’t share your admiration of Richt. I will never compare Richt to Bobby Stoops again. It’s an insult to Stoops……I think that UGA has maxed its potential under Stoops, I mean, Richt. Gah, I did it AGAIN! But you know, since I don’t have a dawg in the fight, then I can be peaceful in watching the meltdown when the exact same preseason expectations meet the harsh realities of the post season record.

        • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

          ….You know, Todd Grantham says that he’s the reason UGA won the East in ’11 and ’12. Will be interesting to see how they do, next fall.

          • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

            Dude, how are you doing the linkity links like that?? Grasshopper wants to know!!

          • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

            …..COMMENT LINKS TUTORIAL! What I do is just type the comment up, then post. Then, I go back and edit the comment. There should be a little edit thingie right next to the date and time of your comment. There’s a link icon in the little toolbar. You can paste in links and update to your heart’s content!

        • wpleagle says:

          TOTM, why the Georgia hate? I live in Georgia and get along just fine with Dawg fans except the week we play them. And, I have high regard for Coach Richt, other than his inability to win the BIG ones. Just wondering.

          • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

            My disregard for Richt AS A COACH is twofold: I don’t like how he takes extraordinarily talented young men and squanders that talent (Georgia: where excellent talent goes to die) and I don’t like how he acts all righteous when he suffers from the same (if not worse) discipline problems as the rest of the league. Hence: Mark Richt has lost control of _______(fill in the blank). His teams often are known for their classless actions, and lets not even get into the whining or dirty play. I hear that Richt does a lot of charity events and travels to obscure places to do good things–that’s awesome and he should be applauded for that. But as a coach? Meh.

            My ire for Georgia fans is linked to some of their aggressive behavior during a game. In my early twenties, I was lucky to live in wonderful Charleston, SC. I was watching the AU-GA game, with mostly Georgia fans (it was 2000 or 2001). It was a close game. I was keeping my mouth shut and never talked badly about Georgia nor gloated about Auburn doing well. I have also never felt so nervous about my own personal safety for the simple reason of being an Auburn fan. I high tailed it as soon as the game was over. Keep in mind, I’m under 5’2″ and, at the time, weighed maybe 105….so I was not a formidable person in stature. I also have a high tolerance for boisterousness and am not easily intimidated. I was flat out scared–especially when we won. One of my male friends even escorted me to my car. This incident came on the heels of my sister going to a game in Athens and almost getting smacked by a Georgia fan in the stadium. Then many years later in Montana, I saw a dude in a Georgia hat. I was happy. I walked up with a big smile and said War Eagle!-extending my hand. Yeah, that guy started yelling obsenities. And let’s not even get into the ‘Fairley is the dirtiest player of ALL time’ debate. Nope my patience for that. For all of that is done. That’s just silly stuff.

            Now, I have had friends, great friends, who are Georgia fans. So, I’m not soured on the whole bunch. And I would imagine (or hope) that if you lived in a Georgia fan dense area, that there would be more ‘good’ fans than ‘bad’ fans….that’s just probability. But I’m struck by how absolutely violent some of the negative fans are.

            That’s my two cents-and these are solely my opinions and anecdotal experiences………

          • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

            I’m on the same page as TOTM. He played ball at a program that didn’t stress discipline and class (Miami), and was a GA, OC and QB coach at FSU during the Criminole era. Birds of a feather.

          • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

            …..I’m sorry to hear about the bad Bulldog experiences. I’m pretty much of the opinion that there are some rotten fans at nearly every school. When I’m around opposing fans, I try not to be that guy they’ll talk down to their friends back home. My experiences with a–hole Georgia fans has pretty much been limited to when they visit Auburn. They were pretty insufferable when they pulled it out against us in 2002. Nevermind that Fred Gibson got by with a huge push on the pass play that got ‘em close.

            …..What was interesting was that nearly a decade later, WEA and I made the trip to Athens, and I don’t think we heard even one negative comment from any Georgia fan. We walked around campus a good while before the game, and sat amongst the red and black in the stands. They were mostly critical of their own team, especially Mike Bobo calling plays. Of course, we didn’t get to see how they’d react to adversity. Auburn tied the game at 7-7 on a couple of trick plays early, and was done after that, as UGA rolled to a 45-7 win. It was one of those early Chizik meltdown games.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      I thought UGA had a very good chance to contend for the SEC East title had they not had as many key injuries as they did. That being said, I also think Richt would have found a way snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in at least one game that game that the Dawgs were comfortable favorites.

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        Exactly. They always lose at least one that they shouldn’t, but make up for it by a win somewhere in a game that they didn’t have a shot. This year, it was all losing. Especially to Nebraska. That’s just embarrassing.

        • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

          I think Richt kept his keister off of the hot seat by beating us a couple of time when UGA had no business beating us.

        • tigertracker says:

          Richt reminds me of a waning tuberville. Wins the ones he isn’t supposed to and allows his team to play down to inferior competitions level rather than setting the tone.

  2. sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

    Conference championship losers:

    Ohio State – Over-hyped (and by extension, Urban Meyer) Surrendered 576 yards and 40 points to a team that couldn’t score more than two touchdowns against FSU or South Carolina.

    Duke – Under-hyped (and by extension, David Cutcliffe) Made a game of the Chick-fil-A Bowl by engaging in an surprising shootout with Johnny Manziel and Company. With any other QB, that games ends with TAMU three touchdowns down and well out of it.

  3. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    No one has mentioned Bielma. Can’t wait to play him the first game……are they even going to be a factor for a while?

    Ditto for the dawgs.