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Here are four hot topics we will hear a lot of over the next few days from various media sources in the south.
Lack of quarterbacks
This has been an issue for a couple of years now and it is a worse year in the league than last one, or so it appears. Outside of Chad Kelly at Ole Miss who is an All-American candidate and Josh Dobbs at Tennessee who will certainly get some All-SEC recognition and is a dual threat to be dealt with, most of the rest of the league is a big question mark.
Alabama and their continuous hot recruiting will likely find a good one, but they aren’t exactly sure. Will Georgia put the ball in the hands of true freshman Jacob Eason? The Gators feel like they have a good one in Luke Del Rio, but he is unproven just yet, so hard to say exactly what will happen with him. Texas A&M has become a hot mess at the position in the last 12 months. Does Auburn or LSU have an answer for their poor offensive performances of late?
Any way you slice it this year, the quarterback situation in the SEC is about as unproven as any time in the last couple of decades. It will be interesting to hear what the different coaches and players in the league have to say this week about the leaders of their team.
Running backs aplenty…
Have we flashed back to the 80’s again with the running game taking over? With all the missing quarterbacks in the league, the running back position is something that isn’t in short supply. LSU’s Leonard Fournette has been a monster talent so far and he may not get all the votes as the best in the conference. Georgia’s Nick Chubb has something to say about that along with teammate Sony Michel. Are they the best duo in the conference? Tennessee’s two-headed backfield of Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara could very well be.
If you want dark horse, look at Vanderbilt’s Ralph Webb as a guy that could get a lot of votes.
With the quarterback issues at LSU, Georgia, and Vanderbilt, look for all of these guys to step up big in 2016.
The Ole Miss situation…
The NFL Draft was both kind and hard to Ole Miss. The admission of Laremy Tunsil on the big stage of taking money from staff member at Ole Miss just about stole the entire story of draft day.
Questions about the ongoing NCAA investigation and all of this stuff are going to be prevalent with both head coach Hugh Freeze and his players that are going to being attendance. Freeze has lost a bit of believability in all of this, so it will be interesting how the group reacts to the questions that are thrown at them.
The Tennessee situation…
Butch Jones will start the season on the hot seat despite what has been perceived as excellent recruiting over his time in Knoxville. Winning the big game and the close game have not been things Jones has been able to do as the Tennessee coach and the fans are getting restless.
An 11 year drought against Florida (not all on his watch) is just another caveat that will be approached by the media this week.
The biggest issue at hand is the ongoing federal investigation into the way certain things were handled by people in charge of several football players that were reportedly involved in a sexual assault incident. It is a black cloud not only over the University and the football program, but the local police that reportedly acted in the best interests of the accused at the beginning of the situation.
It is an ugly scandal that will certainly get mentioned a great deal over the next few days and the Vol contingent will be put on the spot.