John Adams: SEC could lose best player and still win big

John Adams

Here’s how good life is in the SEC: The conference actually could benefit from losing its marquee player.

The college football season is slightly more than two weeks away, and the eligibility of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel remains uncertain. If the NCAA proves last season’s Heisman Trophy winner received money for signing memorabilia, it could rule him ineligible for all or part of the season.

The SEC would then be deprived of its most exciting player. And it would respond by rolling along.

Alabama would see to that.

The Tide is going for a historical third consecutive national championship, which would mean eight consecutive titles for the SEC. In that case, the conference could survive quite well without a possible back-to-back Heisman winner/Bama beater.

The Aggies were the only team to beat the Tide last season, mainly because of Manziel’s spectacular play.

Alabama still managed to play its way into the national championship game. It might not be that fortunate this season if it stumbles during the regular season.

The most obvious place for a stumble: College Station, Texas, on Sept. 14. But does any non-Aggie believe Texas A&M could defeat Alabama without Manziel at quarterback?

And if Texas A&M doesn’t beat Alabama, who will?

Its other SEC road games are against Kentucky, Mississippi State and Auburn. Its only other game outside Tuscaloosa is the season opener in Atlanta against Virginia Tech.

LSU was good enough to beat Alabama on its home field. But the current Tigers, though nationally ranked in the preseason, are neither as talented nor as experienced as they were in 2011.

And that should be a concern for any other team that regards itself as a national championship contender.

During the SEC’s championship streak, it has become obvious that the best way for anyone else to win a championship is to avoid the SEC.

This final season of the BCS championship might present the best opportunity for that. When college football goes to a four-team playoff next season, what are the odds of an SEC team not being in the final four?

As good as the SEC has been, it often has needed help in advancing to the BCS national championship game. Only two of its last seven champions were unbeaten.

Last season, the SEC’s help came from the NCAA, which had Ohio State on probation and ineligible for the title game. Otherwise, the unbeaten Buckeyes would have played unbeaten Notre Dame for the national championship. And a one-loss Alabama team — thanks to that Manziel-led upset — wouldn’t have had the chance to prove how much better it was than everyone else.

Ohio State, no longer encumbered by NCAA sanctions, looks capable of another unbeaten regular season. Its non-conference schedule is a breeze, and the Big Ten doesn’t offer SEC-size hurdles.

Out West, both Oregon and Stanford have the wherewithal to compete for a national title. But neither an unbeaten Pac-12 champion nor unbeaten Big Ten winner would keep an undefeated Alabama team out of the national championship game.

That’s why they should be pulling for Manziel to beat the rap.

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Comments » 19

Rock_E_Topp88 writes:

Going forward Johnny Football will be known as "Johnny Cash".....especially if they can trace the money trail. On a sports talk show in Atlanta today, they referred to him as a "punk" and somehow that seems very fitting.

Who cares about Texas A&M? Gimme some Vols!!!!!

Colliervol writes:

in response to Rock_E_Topp88:

Going forward Johnny Football will be known as "Johnny Cash".....especially if they can trace the money trail. On a sports talk show in Atlanta today, they referred to him as a "punk" and somehow that seems very fitting.

Who cares about Texas A&M? Gimme some Vols!!!!!

Good one-- Johnny Cash. I like it. I heard a national pundit on Memphis radio refer to him, and I quote: "an entitled little d-bag". Just a product of his raising. Rich and entitled. What's goofy is that he doesn't need the money. Sounds like he did it for kicks.

I'm thinking that opposing teams should sing the following when he's introduced (if he gets to play that is):

"Money, Money, Money" by the O'Jays

"How Do You Spell Love: M-O-N-E-Y" by the Fabulous Thunderbirds

"MONEY" - Is that one by Pink Floyd?

"Shake Yo Money Maker"- James Brown

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

The SEC will always have big returns regardless if Johnny FB plays or not. This isn't a one trick pony like the Big 12 was with RG III. Every game will be packed whether it's Ole Miss vs Vandy or UK vs Auburn. What other conference can say that?

lahvolman2 writes:

A&M is like a rookie pitcher in the major leagues... He's a hot shot the first time he faces the batters, but the SEC is just like the major leagues, the second time we see you won't be so pretty...Enjoy it while you can...

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Alabama's weak schedule should keep them out of the NC. IMHO!hehe

arkyvol writes:

for every article I've seen on the aggies or their program in general, it seems there have been half a dozen on manziel. they might not realize it yet in college station, but seeing the back of johnny football will the best thing to happen to them since joining the conference.

ctwins writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Alabama's weak schedule should keep them out of the NC. IMHO!hehe

Yes we do need to remove rocky flop from the schedule. Bama has as many SEC loses the last 2 yrs as little brother has SEC WINS....

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to ctwins:

Yes we do need to remove rocky flop from the schedule. Bama has as many SEC loses the last 2 yrs as little brother has SEC WINS....

and yet here you are following the Vols. Interesting. Don't you have a mullet to comb or some other productive activity?

Rock_E_Topp88 writes:

in response to ctwins:

Yes we do need to remove rocky flop from the schedule. Bama has as many SEC loses the last 2 yrs as little brother has SEC WINS....

Wow you are so funny and clever. Quit your day job at Waffle House and go into stand-up. You will slay them in Tuscalooser. Idiot.

Whizzer writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Good one-- Johnny Cash. I like it. I heard a national pundit on Memphis radio refer to him, and I quote: "an entitled little d-bag". Just a product of his raising. Rich and entitled. What's goofy is that he doesn't need the money. Sounds like he did it for kicks.

I'm thinking that opposing teams should sing the following when he's introduced (if he gets to play that is):

"Money, Money, Money" by the O'Jays

"How Do You Spell Love: M-O-N-E-Y" by the Fabulous Thunderbirds

"MONEY" - Is that one by Pink Floyd?

"Shake Yo Money Maker"- James Brown

People who don't need money are usually obsessed with the notion of acquiring more money. My experience is that it is often most difficult to collect a debt from someone who is wealthy, as opposed to someone falling in a middle to low income category.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to ctwins:

Yes we do need to remove rocky flop from the schedule. Bama has as many SEC loses the last 2 yrs as little brother has SEC WINS....

Do you like one lump or two?

ctwins writes:

in response to navarrebeachvol:

and yet here you are following the Vols. Interesting. Don't you have a mullet to comb or some other productive activity?

Believe me I am not following the puke orange, but your KNS does a great job. Actually I live in WKnoxv and a make a nice living doing very little.

Sports Illustrated has the Tide on the front cover this week for the 15th time in the Saban Era and 24th time since 1951. I would put the rocky flop number at less than 8.... Those mullet jokes are so outdated, and another beatdown is coming in October Butchy.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to ctwins:

Believe me I am not following the puke orange, but your KNS does a great job. Actually I live in WKnoxv and a make a nice living doing very little.

Sports Illustrated has the Tide on the front cover this week for the 15th time in the Saban Era and 24th time since 1951. I would put the rocky flop number at less than 8.... Those mullet jokes are so outdated, and another beatdown is coming in October Butchy.

So, you're unemployed??

voloffaith writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

So, you're unemployed??

His favorite singer is either Johhny Paycheck or Steve Miller with'Take the money and run.". Either way is proud (apparently) of being lazy and good at it. That "Pride comes before the fall..." shows no favoritism.....

Colliervol writes:

in response to Whizzer:

People who don't need money are usually obsessed with the notion of acquiring more money. My experience is that it is often most difficult to collect a debt from someone who is wealthy, as opposed to someone falling in a middle to low income category.

Or we could just say that he is a selfish little brat who doesn't care about anybody but Johnny Manziel.

rbwtn writes:

Honestly, there's something wrong here. I think things have gone to his head and we will see the results of this during this season. It's happened before. I wish him luck and "luck" is why we're even talking about him.

GBOEngineer writes:

I thought this was going to be about the SEC's best player, but it was about Johnny Manziel instead.

johnlg00 writes:

TO THE SITE STAFF: For the last several weeks, I have spent about half of my time on this site "Waiting for ad.turn.com". I assume this is the program that loads your ads, and I know you need those, but I get hung up for about 3-5 minutes every time I try to navigate around the site. I have high-speed internet and have my computer "cleaned" every couple of months at least, so it would seem, from my non-techie point of view, to be a problem with that software. I would be interested to know if any other posters are having this problem.

chattabluetick writes:

Looks like the bammers are worried with pictures of their players showing us the money. Everybody knows they are at it again. Cheating is their way of life. Saban was an average 7-5 coach at Michigan State, in a league the bammers claim is no good. Guess if the boosters chip in on getting all those 5-star players every year an average coach can become a great coach. Players must be getting extra benefits, how else do you think you could get 5-star players to play on the kicking team or sit the pine 2-3 years before playing time. These are players many who have played every down and been stars in high school who could sign and start as freshmen at just about any university in the land, so why go to Bama and have 8 running backs in front of you like a back this year. All points to Alabama must pay pretty good. Just wait till the hammer drops and a van from NCAA shows up and loads those crystal trophies and drives away. They will ignore and still holler what about those 15 National Championships. Somebody they forget to pay will blow the whistle then no football for 5 years. Their motto is "Still cheating after 50 years" Bear started when he sent money to Lee Roy Jordan's father to buy a tractor to make up for the work Lee Roy did so he could go play for Bear.

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