After a week in St. Augustine and a week focused on the Bob Dooley Invitational, Wednesday’s With Dr. Football returns and will be with you until the start of the season. It’s football time.
1. I submitted my All-SEC ballot on Tuesday. It was weird because we had to vote for eight offensive linemen and six linebackers and four running backs and rank them. Anyway, the Gators I had on there were Jeff Driskel, Vernon Hargreaves III, Dante Fowler Jr., Max Garcia and Andre Debose. I picked Auburn and South Carolina to win the divisions with Auburn repeating as SEC champs. We in the media have been correct four times since the media started voting in 1992. Why do they even ask us anymore? By the way, this is my 20th Media Days. Do I get a gold watch?
2. While we wait in anticipation of the start of the season, I don’t think it’s going to take long to find out about a lot of the teams in this league. Here are four we should have a much better feel for by the time October rolls around:
* South Carolina: The schedule is front-loaded with the opener against Texas A&M, the third game against Georgia and the fifth against Missouri.
* Arkansas: The Razorbacks haven’t won an SEC game since Oct. 13, 2012. They open the season at Auburn and have to go to Lubbock to face Texas Tech before a game in the Jerry Dome against Texas A&M.
* Georgia: Clemson to start, a bye week and then at South Carolina. Should be interesting.
* Vanderbilt: The ‘Dores play Ole Miss in the second week and South Carolina in the fourth. They follow that with a must-win game against Kentucky to close out September.
3. Steve Spurrier was great as usual at SEC Media days, but Kevin Sumlin gave him a run for his money. Sumlin was very relaxed and enjoying himself on Tuesday. He needled writers and blew off the Johnny Manziel questions with humor. Maybe he’s not tight because he doesn’t have to worry about Manziel anymore. After listening to the first seven coaches go through our version of the car wash, there was no coach who made you want to doze off. Pretty impressive guys.
4. You can call them trap games or sandwich games but no matter what you call them they are dangerous. Here are the top three trap games in the SEC as I see them:
* South Carolina vs. East Carolina: The Pirates are really good, especially on offense and are sandwiched between the opener against Texas A&M and the huge game against Georgia.
* LSU vs. Arkansas: It comes right after the Alabama game and right before an open date. And it’s in Fayetteville.
* Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt: Between the game at Alabama and the emotional Egg Bowl game at Ole Miss. Watch out Dan Mullen.
5. Thanks to the Birmingham Gator Club for having me come speak to them on Tuesday night. It was a great crowd and an intelligent group of fans who are stuck in Alabama. If there was a common theme to the night it was that they can’t wait for the Dooley Noted Podcasts to come back. They will, starting with the first week of August. As I said, it’s football time.