A Corgi’s SEC Power Rankings: Preseason

Corgia preventing its owner from watching a football gameThe offseason has been tough on all of us. We’ve been reduced to reading arrest reports, praying that star wide receivers stay healthy during aggressive stretching drills, and even watching The Bachelorette. And that’s just Georgia fans.

With only a few weeks left until the football season, we need someone who will guide us in our never-ending quest to properly rank the teams of the SEC. Someone to generate ten times as many clicks as correct the clearly-flawed power rankings I wrote on Wednesday. So — with apawlogies to ActionCookBook, who absolutely did this first and I’m stealing his brilliant idea — we turn to Charles Barkley, my Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Chuck is only a year old, and has never known a world in which the SEC had fewer than 14 teams or one where Florida has been to a bowl game. His impressions of the SEC teams are therefore horribly flawed and lacking almost any relevant context. Also, he is a dog and doesn’t know what football is. That said, these rankings are as likely to be correct as anyone else’s, given the Charlie Foxtrot nature of the SEC.

We’ve brought Chuck inside from his daily routine of hunting butterflies in the backyard to write these, so here is his first crack at the SEC Power Rankings:

1. Auburn
“Did you know that Charles Barkley played basketball at Auburn? I’m too short to play basketball, but they do call me ‘The Round Mound of Rebound’. Because I steal food. Like that piece of bacon. Give me that bacon.” corgi wants a piece of bacon

2. Alabama
“The Tide should be fine as long as they stick to running the dang ball, Pawwwlll.” corgi at the beach

3. Georgia
“If they can just avoid injuries, they should be able to win the SEC East!” corgi in a neck brace   “Alternate joke: Look, I’m a Georgia football player!”   corgi in his cage

4. South Carolina
“This is my hawaiian shirt. It’s not really relevant, but I feel like Coach Spurrier owns a shirt just like this. We should be friends.” a corgi in a hawaiian shirt

5. LSU
“Much like Les Miles, I also enjoy a nice patch of grass.” corgi rolls in the grass

6. Ole Miss
“I am a kindred spirit to Ole Miss fans, as I also enjoy solo cups. Someone get me a tent at the Grove.” A corgi chews on a solo cup

7. Mississippi State
“A real sleeper pick this year!”   sleeping corgi

8. Missouri
“Got to some pretty great heights last year. The question is if they can take the next step with Maty Mauk at quarterback. Now please carry me down these stairs.” corgi on stairs

9. Vanderbilt
“Sometimes I get in trouble when Vanderbilt loses football games. Please don’t lose football games, Vanderbilt.” a corgi is in trouble

10. Texas A&M
“We’ve been writing this list for awhile now. Please feed me?” corgi begs for food   “Ok, better. I like Kevin Sumlin, but losing Johnny Football and Mike Evans might neuter that offense.” corgi in a cone

11. Florida
“No! Please don’t make me watch any more Florida football games!” a corgi tries to escape

12. Tennessee
“They have two tough road trips at the beginning of the season, going to Oklahoma and Georgia, but this could be a good team by the end of the year.” corgi driving a car

13. Arkansas
“Bret Bielema says he wants his defensive plays to have ‘an incredible, incredible ass‘. Sign me up, coach.” a corgi butt

14. Kentucky 
“I do not like horses, and therefore do not like the state of Kentucky. You deserve every loss you get for enabling horses, as well as being named the Wildcats.” a corgi meets a horse

Thank you again to ActionCookBook for having this wonderful idea that allowed me to post pictures of my corgi on a sports website.

Charles Barkley is a dog, and therefore will not read any responses to this article. Negative comments will be printed out for him to chew up. You can follow Chuck on Instagram over at @TheSoundAndTheFurry.

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2014 SEC Power Rankings: Preseason

Each week I rank the teams in the SEC 1-14. This week, we present the preseason estimation of where each team will end up and it definitely won’t end up being hilariously wrong at the end of the season nope not at all.

1. No. 2 Alabama
You have to kind of wonder if Alabama is losing its edge. First the Tide lose to Auburn, then to Oklahoma and Bob Stoops in the Sugar Bowl, and then a petition on change.org claiming Chris Davis was out of bounds in the Iron Bowl and overtime of that game needed to be played only got 697 signatures. Frankly, that’s embarrassing for the once-proud fan base of the Crimson Tide.

As public shaming for that embarrassment, let’s all watch hundreds of Alabama fans run across the Bryant-Denny field to get in line for Nick Saban’s autograph – fondly known as the Gump Run – set to the Auburn radio call from the Kick Six.

2. No. 5 Auburn
The Tigers lose three important pieces from last year’s miracle season in defensive leader Dee Ford, running back Tre Mason – who broke Bo Jackson’s single-season rushing record – and Kick Six hero Chris Davis. That said, Nick Marshall looked far more comfortable passing the ball in spring practice, which could add yet another threat to an already dynamic offense.

Given how tough the West will be every this year, the Tigers could easily fall back to the pack and finish with four or five losses. Gus Malzahn is also a damn wizard in a sweatervest, so expect the Tigers to run for 320 yards a game and win 10 games with no regard for human life whatsoever.

3. No. 12 Georgia
A-aron is gone, but it might not matter if Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are healthy. The Bulldogs have already celebrated one major championship this year, and another one could be around the corner if Bobo would just run the dang ball.

The secondary is going to be a huge concern for the Bulldogs, but new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is one of the best DB coaches in the entire country. At the very least, we probably shouldn’t expect anything like The Miracle at Jordan-Hare to happen again. Right?

Disclaimer: I am a fan of both Georgia and Vanderbilt, and these rankings will probably reflect those biases given my delusional optimistic nature.

4. No. 9 South Carolina
Steve Spurrier is fresh off a summer filled with golf and disparaging comments about Clemson, which are my favorite things Steve Spurrier does.

We can basically copy and paste the preseason capsule for the Gamecocks from the last few years here: Lot of talent, lost a few playmakers but should have the depth to put out another 10 or 11 win season. Will probably miss out on the SEC Championship Game by some inane tiebreaker to Georgia, giving Spurrier something to bitch about the rest of the summer.

Did I miss anything? Oh, right, no Jadeveon Clowney this year. Whoops.

5. No. 19 Ole Miss
Is Bo Wallace the best returning quarterback in the SEC? No, stop laughing, he really might be. Dr. Bo has thrown for 6,340 yards, 40 touchdowns and 27 INTs in just two seasons, and he’s got a whole mess of talent surrounding him in Oxford.

The Rebels start out the year with “neutral” games in two NFL stadiums – against Boise St. in the Georgia Dome and the SEC opener with Vanderbilt at LP Field – that will tell us early on if Hugh Freeze’s team is ready to make a leap and contend for its first SEC West title ever.

6. No. 13 LSU
Freshman Leonard Fournette is scary. Usually reports calling freshmen running backs “the next Adrian Peterson” are unfounded and hyperbolic, but when the guy listed on the depth chart ahead of him spends his time at SEC Media Days marveling at the rookie it might be time to take notice.

7. Missouri
Losing quarterback James Franklin, wide receiver Notorious DGB, defensive ends Michael Sam and Kony Ealy, and running back Henry Josey means the Tigers return probably only one player you remember from last season’s march to the SEC Championship Game.

Fortunately, that guy you remember is sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk, who took over while Franklin was injured and might have even played better during his four starts. Mauk rightfully earned a spot on the Freshman All-American team last year, and should build on his legacy this year, even without his favorite receiving threat in DGB.

8. No. 20 Texas A&M
Didn’t even have a spring game this year. They s’posed to be ESS-EEE-CEE, Pawwwwwllllll. Roll Tide.

Kevin Sumlin got a huge contract extension this offseason. Let’s see if he’s worth it in Year One after Johnny Football. Oh, and also without Mike Evans or Jake Matthews. Good luck, coach.

9. Vanderbilt
This is probably too high a spot to put the Commodores, but someone has to put them up here after the deluge of media projections this year saying Vanderbilt will be lucky to make a bowl game. Look at the schedule. The Commodores are going bowling for the fourth year in a row and the rest of y’all are just going to have to get over it.

10. Mississippi State
The Bulldogs have somehow become the popular sleeper pick in the West, and I just don’t get it. Wins last season came against Alcorn State, Troy, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Arkansas and Ole Miss before a blowout victory over Rice in the Liberty Bowl.

A big part of this newfound hype surrounds quarterback Dak Prescott. Some writers have gone as far as comparing the junior quarterback to (one-time Bulldog commit) Cam Newton. I shouldn’t have to tell you how ridiculous that is – Newton’s one year at Auburn was the best single-season performance by a college player in my lifetime — but remember that Prescott was the guy getting kicked in the shins by Miss St. students randomly on campus last season. Also, against the three good defenses he played last year – Oklahoma State, LSU, South Carolina — Prescott completed just 55% of his passes with 0 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.

11. Florida
There is a ton of talent on Florida’s roster, making the Gators a threat to reemerge and contend for the SEC East crown much like Auburn did last year. Of course, the Gators had just as much talent on the team last year, and went 4-8.

Auburn had the advantage of having a brilliant offensive coach in Gus Malzahn to spur last season’s transformation. Florida has Will Muschamp, a coach so out of his depth that people openly wonder if he’s a spy for his alma-mater, UGA, sent to sink the Florida program.

12. Tennessee
The only team in the country that is replacing every single starter on the offensive and defensive line. Is that bad? It sounds bad.

13. Arkansas
The good news: Arkansas will definitely be better this season!

The bad news: It’s really hard to be any worse than the Hogs were last season. Quarterback Brandon Allen didn’t have much competition for his starting job in the spring, which isn’t a great thing to hear about a guy who completed 49% of his passes last season.

14. Kentucky
The Wildcats have some talent in Lexington this year thanks to a sterling recruiting effort by new head coach Mark Stoops. Now, let’s see if he can do anything with that talent.

Feel free to send any and all hate mail to the author at Jackson.o.martin@gmail.com, just know that it will be republished and made fun of.

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Gone for Graduation

Finals are about to start at Vanderbilt, and then graduation (fingers crossed) is after that so the DSSR is taking a break for awhile. Don’t worry, we’ll be back in time for football season.

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Inside the NBA crew takes on Donald Sterling

I’ll save my thoughts on Sterling for now, because this story is just going to get a whole lot weirder in the next few weeks, but the Inside the NBA guys absolutely nailed this one. I’d listen to Charles Barkley talk about anything, but he’s especially good in chaotic moments like this one.

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Hawks vs. Pacers, Game 3: So this is happening?

There are games where everything just goes right for a team. This wasn’t one of those games. The Hawks didn’t play a great basketball game, but it was miles better than the game the Pacers played.

Jeff Teague’s ridiculous three with the shot clock winding down was a huge bright spot, as was Kyle Korver rediscovering his stroke in the second half, but the team did not play well. And that’s comforting, because it means the Hawks don’t have to be at their best.

The team shot just 38% from the field, Jeff Teague was inefficient (but still very good) and needed 20 shots to accumulate 22 points, and the Hawks went long stretches without scoring. Still, the Pacers looked even worse and made Larry Bird a very sad man.

The Pacers are on the ropes now. A win on Saturday would put this series out of reach, and set up that Hawks-Wizards conference semifinals everyone is clamoring for. A loss gives Indiana home-court advantage back and may give the Pacers just enough of a breather to actually get it together and take the series against a less-talented team.

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Watch Outkast score 404 points in a game because you know you want to

If you haven’t been following Jon Bois’ “Breaking Madden” and “NBA Y2K” this year, then you’ve missed out on hands-down the most entertaining series on the internet. Basically, he takes all the stupid roster tweaks you used to do as a kid and puts them on steroids to purposely screw with the game. Go lose yourself in the chaos of those links above.

Well Mr. Bois has finally gotten around to his most important manipulation yet — creating an Atlanta Hawks roster composed of The Dungeon Family, Dikembe Mutombo and Dominique Wilkins. Go read the whole thing right now.

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State College Spikes’ jerseys are not unusual

If every walk-up song isn’t replaced with “It’s Not Unusual” then someone needs to get fired. Having Carlton in the house is always a special occasion, and has to be celebrated accordingly.

Though I’ve gotta say, if you’re inviting Carlton to the ballpark then the jerseys really should be mock-sweatervests. Will was the one with the funky colors and graffiti. But whatever, cool promotion nonetheless.

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Herschel Walker says he could still play in the NFL at 52

NFL.com: In a wry twist of fate, Herschel Walker is best remembered by NFL fans as the losing end of football’s most lopsided blockbuster trade that ultimately played a pivotal role in constructing the Dallas Cowboys‘ dynasty of the early 1990s.

There was a reason the Minnesota Vikings surrendered an unprecedented five players and six draft picks for Walker.

He was one of the most uniquely talented phenoms ever to grace the gridiron.

Now 52, the man who once upon a time routinely cranked out3,000 situps, 2,000 pushups and 1,500 pullups on a daily basis told USA Today’s Jarrett Bell that he could still suit up and hold his own at football’s highest level.

I can play in the NFL today,” Walker insists. “I couldn’t take every snap. But running backs nowadays don’t play every down. Now they send in the choir section.

“Physically, I can still do it.”

Does anyone have any doubts that Herschel could still put up four yards a carry in the league? Last we saw Herschel, he was beating up professional fighters in his late 40s. The Falcons could use a new third-down guy; don’t waste a draft pick on a running back when Herschel Walker is sitting right there. Now that it’s out there, we have to see this happen.

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That’s not legal, Josh McRoberts

Oh come on, Josh McRoberts. At least try to play defense. You aren’t playing for Duke anymore.

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Michael Pineda is not sneaky

In case you were wondering, this is not how you hide pine tar while pitching in a major league baseball game. It’s unbelievable for a guy to do something this stupid less than two weeks after everyone watching on TV already saw him do it to the exact same team.

No baseball guy cares if a pitcher uses pine tar. Tons of pitchers do it. But breaking the rules this blatantly deserves an ejection. Put the pine tar in your glove, your hat, or anywhere but out in the open on your neck. I used to keep a pine tar rag in my pocket during high school JV games. It’s not hard to keep it discreet.

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