Alabama Crimson Tide

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SEC Stocks

Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The 2022 College Football season is in the books. Kirby Smart and UGA have won back-to-back National Titles. My annual SEC Football stock report is upon us again.

Stock Keys:

Buy

Sell

Hold

Georgia: The best college football stock on the planet. CEO Kirby Smart has developed a winning organizational culture.

401K plan is the best in the business, and the best employees are recruited year in and year out.

The executive management team is the best in the business and well compensated.

This organization is built for any market and will flourish even during down economic times. Blue blood stock that will make you tons of money. The long-term future of this stock is through the roof. Advice: Buy it all.

Alabama: Over a 10-year period this stock has been the most consistent producer of wealth.

CEO Nick Saban is still the king of CEO’s.

Maybe the stock dipped slightly in 2022, but the long-term future is bright.

Top rated employer with the most talented work force make this stock very attractive.

The CEO training program is the best I the country. The executive management team has become a little complacent over the past 12 months and that has been addressed by the CEO.

This stock will always make you a ton of money. Advice: Buy as much as you can.

Tennessee: This historically producing stock crashed over the past 15 years.

However, in 2022 this stock hit a 20-year high. CEO Josh Huepel has been a breath of fresh air after a string of poor CEO’s dating back to 2008.

If you held on to this stock during the bleak years, then you are a wise investor. This stock will continue to rise to get back to the glory years of the Clinton Presidency.

When the Big Orange stock is producing the SEC portfolio is second to none. Advice: Buy

LSU: After reaching an all-time high in 2019 this blue blood stock crashed over the past two years prompting the board of directors to hire a new CEO in Brian Kelly for 2022.

The early returns have been great. Stock has performed much better than expected.

Changes were made in the human resources department resulting in an influx of topflight employees for 2023 and beyond.

This corporation has invested properly for long-term growth once again. Advice: Buy

Mississippi State: This stock made a huge turnaround over the past 24 months. The tragic loss of beloved CEO Mike Leach has made things difficult over the past month.

Leach leaves behind a great foundation that is positioned for continued growth, and his legacy will live on. Rest easy Pirate. Advice: Buy

South Carolina: This stock made a remarkable turnaround late in calendar year 2022 and recovered from some tough early losses by performing well against superior brands Tennessee and Clemson.

Energetic CEO in Shane Beamer has the stockholders optimistic but not totally convinced to invest great sums of money.

This corporation has excited its stockholders before, and returns have not matched investment. Watch this stock closely in 2023. Advice: Hold for now.

Ole Miss: Aggressive CEO Kiffin takes too many chances and this has become a roller-coaster stock. Exciting to watch but for investors nerve-wracking. This is a high anxiety stock. Advice: Hold and never become emotionally invested in stock.

Florida: This stock should be a solid producer. New CEO Billy Napier inherited a horrible organizational culture.

Mass firings have taken place. Lazy employees have bailed for the transfer portal employment agency.

It will take some time to fix this mess. 401K plan is depleted and new hires are backing out causing this once proud organization to take massive public relations hits.

Advice: Sell it all until the board of directors allows CEO Napier to completely blow up this rotten culture.

Auburn, Texas A&M, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Vanderbilt: These poorly run or non-productive organizations are not worth the ink to write about.

Advice: Sell them off quickly. Watch Auburn and Texas A&M for future reinvestment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowl Grades

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

This has been an interesting college football season to say the least in the SEC.

Below are my bowl grades for each team. Auburn, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt did not qualify for a bowl game in 2022. Auburn fired their head coach, and A&M is the biggest disappointment in college football currently.

 

Current Record: 6-5 (East: 2-4, West: 4-1)

 

Las Vegas Bowl: Florida got blown out by Oregon State 30-3. Florida holds the longest streak in college football of consecutive games of not being shut out that dates back to 1988.

When it mattered the most the Gators drove the field with little time remaining and kicked a 40+ yard field goal to keep that streak intact.

Florida was a pathetic team in 2022, finishing the season with a 6-7 record for the second consecutive year. Bowl Grade: F-

Gasparilla Bowl: Missouri went to Tampa and got beat 27-17 by Wake Forest. Did anyone watch? Not many did.

A bowl loss to the ACC gives the Tigers a low grade. Bowl Grade: D

Liberty Bowl: One of the most exciting games of the bowl season.

Arkansas with their horrendous defense, blew a huge second half lead against Kansas and then pulled it out 55-53 in triple OT.

This game film will not be shown at coaching clinics that focus on defense. Arkansas finishes 7-6 on the season. Exciting finish. Bowl Grade: B

Texas Bowl: Ole Miss lost to Texas Tech 42-25 in this contest.

Lane Kiffin and his ‘going for it on 4th down’ antics from anywhere on the field perhaps cost Ole Miss this football game.

The Rebels should have beaten Texas Tech but, instead, continued the late season nose dive for Ole Miss. Ole Miss sat at 7-1 on the season going into the Alabama game on November 12th. Ole Miss finished the season at 8-5. Bowl Grade: D

Gator Bowl: South Carolina lost to Notre Dame in an exciting game 45-38.

Both teams acted like they wanted to be there. Carolina finished at 8-5

Bowl Grade: B+.

Orange Bowl: Tennessee finished the season with 11 wins for the first time since 2001 by beating an overrated Clemson team 31-14.

Clemson, under Dabo Swinney, is starting the decline from elite status to coming back to the pack. Tennessee dominated the ACC champs. Bowl grade: B

Sugar Bowl: Alabama missed the college football playoffs, landed in New Orleans, and beat Kansas State 45-20.

Bryce Young did not win a Natty at Alabama is the huge story here. Bowl grade: C

Music City Bowl: Kentucky got shut out in Nashville 21-0 by Iowa and for their crappy showing the Wildcats receive an F as a Bowl grade.

Reliaquest Bowl: The Mississippi State Bulldogs, in memory of Mike Leach receive an A+ from this writer for beating Illinois 19-10. Rest easy Pirate.

Citrus Bowl: LSU curb stomped Purdue 63-7. For doing their job LSU receives an A for their bowl game grade. Florida, Ole Miss, and Missouri take notes on how to take care of business.

Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal):

Georgia took down Ohio State 42-41 in an instant classic.

Dawgs trailed 38-24 in the 4th quarter and Stetson Bennett led UGA on the largest comeback in CFP history.

OSU hooked a 50-yard game winner and 2023 rang in. 1000 yards of total offense. Jacked up crowd and the finish you want in a playoff game makes this one a classic.

Bowl grade: A+++

SEC Pulse

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The SEC football season is now a month old. Those who follow football have come to consensus about every single team in the best football conference in the country which is the SEC. Here are my thoughts a month into the season on every team.

SEC East:

  1. Georgia: The defending national champions looked like a beast for the first three weeks of the season. Stetson Bennett looked like a Heisman front runner. UGA was lighting up scoreboards. Over the past two weeks UGA has looked very beatable with struggles against Kent St. and Missouri. Wide receivers need to get healthy, and the defense needs to stop the run better. November is looking brutal now with the recent struggles with Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Kentucky in consecutive weeks down the stretch.
  2. Tennessee: The Vols look like a scoring machine with Hendon Hooker at QB. LSU this week and Alabama next week will tell us what we need to know about Tennessee. Will the Vols be able to stop any offense with a pulse moving forward? Right now, Tennessee looks like a contender for the SEC title.
  3. Kentucky: The Cats gave one away in Oxford last weekend. But isn’t that what Kentucky does when the pressure is on? Still in contention in the east. Probably will need to beat both Tennessee and Georgia later in the season. That is not going to happen. They might get one of those big games, but they will not win both. Odds are they lose both.
  4. Florida: The Gators are in a rebuild. Billy Napier will get 6-7 wins out of this team and make a bowl. Florida will be back soon.
  5. Missouri: The Tigers played UGA down to the wire last week. Can they take that same intensity to Gainesville this week? The answer is no.
  6. South Carolina: This is a bad football team folks. End of story here.
  7. Vanderbilt: This team plays hard, and I respect that. Not a particularly good football team.

SEC West:

  1. Alabama: How hurt is Bryce Young? The running game looked impressive at Arkansas last week. Defense is solid. Wide receivers are down from previous years. This is still the team to beat right now in the SEC if Bryce does not miss considerable time. The TSIO (Third Saturday in October) next week in Knoxville with Tennessee could be the game of the year in the conference.
  2. Ole Miss: Running game and defense. That is the recipe in Oxford in 2022. 5-0 sounds good. Alabama comes to Oxford soon.
  3. LSU: Will the real LSU Tigers stand up? Jekyll and Hyde Tigers right now. Alabama comes to Tiger Stadium in November….
  4. Mississippi State: MSU is one of the surprise teams this fall. This is a dangerous team to play right now. Are you listening UGA? The November 12th trip to Starkville looks like a beast on the schedule right now.
  5. Arkansas: The Razorbacks are horrible on defense. They cannot stop a dripping faucet right now.
  6. Texas A&M: I called this before the season. This team is a fraud. No QB, no imagination on offense, and are about to get run out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama this weekend. The real loser is CBS who used a primetime 8PM slot for this game against Alabama.
  7. Auburn: If the Tigers lose on Saturday to UGA will Bryan Harsin have a job on Sunday? Auburn has QB issues and have not won in Athens since 2005. It is safe to say that Auburn has hit rock bottom. Recruiting is down and the boosters at Auburn are running and ruining the athletic department.

I Have The Power

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

1)Georgia (1-0): Did everyone enjoy the Duck hunt in Atlanta? The Georgia faithful sure did. UGA dismantled Oregon 49-3. Could have been a lot worse. After week 1 Georgia is the best team in the country.

The defending national champions looked as if they could repeat. I am not going to say it but #13 looked like the best QB in the country last weekend. Yeah, I did say it.

2) Alabama (1-0): Alabama beat Utah State 55-0. Good solid opening day win for Alabama. Alabama and Georgia are the class of the country now.

The Tide is preparing to issue a beatdown to the Texas Longhorns on Saturday in Austin, Texas.

3) Florida (1-0): Yes, Florida goes right here after week one. The Gators playing in front of a raucous Swamp crowd on Saturday night beat the team everyone said would blow them out in Utah.

Utah was never coming into Gainesville and getting a win. BTW, I called this outcome.

The Gates land here. Billy got snubbed by LSU in the hiring process after building the best program in Louisiana. They called him Sunbelt Billy in LSU circles. Bet the power brokers in Red Stick are kicking themselves now after the Brian Kelly debacle against FSU.

Anthony Richardson looks like a Heisman front-runner.

4) Tennessee (1-0): The Vol offense looked world class, but can they stop anyone with a pulse. But today they land in the four spot. Look at the SEC East rising to the top of the current power rankings…

5) Arkansas (1-0): The Hogs beat a College Football Playoff contestant from a year ago at home last weekend in Cincinnati. That is enough to land in the top five of my initial SEC power rankings for 2022.

6) Mississippi State (1-0): The Air Raid is in full effect in year 3 of the Mike Leach era in Starkville. This could be a dangerous team in 2022. Alabama and Georgia are you listening?

7) Kentucky (1-0): The Cats looked ok in week one. Business picks up this weekend in Gainesville. I mean business really picks up. The Cats will not be ready to handle Anthony Richardson and the Gators.

8) Ole Miss (1-0): The Ole Miss defense looks solid. The offense will come around soon. Lane Kiffin will see to that.

9) Texas A&M (1-0): I am not a believer. Do not get upset by Appy State at home this weekend Aggies.

10) Missouri (1-0): The Tigers looked like you would expect Mizzou to look and that is the look of an SEC bottom feeder.

11) South Carolina (1-0): The Gamecocks had to block two punts for TDs against Georgia State to pull away.

Spencer Rattler looked rusty. Carolina better get better quick with Arkansas and Georgia coming up during the next two weeks.

12) Auburn (1-0): Auburn should never be in this position which is a formal accusation on everything associated with Auburn at this moment in time. This is unacceptable.

13) Vanderbilt (2-0): This may be the high-water mark for Vandy in 2022. Vandy looks good on offense currently. Enjoy it while it lasts.

14) LSU (0-1): What in the blue hell LSU?

You looked like hot garbage against Florida State. Offense was horrible. Players were unmotivated, coaches lacked emotion.

The culture in Baton Rouge right now is rotten. For week one you land right here where you deserve.

Florida looked impressive with Billy Napier in his first game. LSU looked awful under Brian Kelly in his first game.

Absolutely no reason for LSU to look this bad with the talent on that roster.

Wild West

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Let’s take a look at the SEC West and preview how each team’s season will go.

#1 Alabama: The Crimson Tide are loaded with talent like they are every year. They return Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Bryce Young and add Georgia Tech transfer running back Jahmyr Gibbs.

There are also a pair of transfer wide receivers, Tyler Harrell (Louisville) and Jermaine Burton (Georgia).

Left tackle Evan Neal departed for the NFL. The offensive line gave up 41 sacks last year and they were very inconsistent. The defense held teams to 20.1 points per game last season and they should be better this year.

#2 Texas A&M: The Aggies had the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation in 2022.

The question is can they convert that into winning the West, getting to the SEC Championship and the CFB Playoff? No, but I think they can win double-digit games.

Quarterback Haynes King was injured in the second game of 2021. He returns in 2022 along with LSU transfer Max Johnson and true freshman Conner Weigman.

They need more big plays from the passing game and true freshman Evan Stewart could provide that. Devon Achane rushed for 910 yards, 9 touchdowns and averaged 7 yards per carry in ’21. He should have a breakout year and the offensive line returns three starters.

#3 Arkansas: All-SEC candidate KJ Jefferson returns at QB, four starters on the o line and a solid backfield led by Rocket Sanders.

It’s going to be tough to replace receiver Treylon Burks (66 catches) and the big-plays he used to make. Transfer receiver Jadon Haselwood (Oklahoma) and Matt Landers (Toledo) will compete with Warren Thompson for the top target.

The defense gave up 29.6 ppg in SEC Play last year but they thrived at getting third down stops and limiting teams in the red zone.

They only return four starters but they added several players from the transfer portal. That includes ends Jordan Domineck (Georgia Tech) and Landon Jackson (LSU), linebacker Drew Sanders (Alabama), and defensive backs Dwight McGlothern (LSU) and Latavious Brini (Georgia).

#4 LSU: Bryan Kelly left Notre Dame to take over this program.

The Tigers are 11-12 over the last two seasons so they have a lot to improve. Only six starters return but they typically have talented players in Baton Rouge.

The secondary finished 12th in the SEC in pass efficiency defense last fall. They have several transfer players that should be able to contribute.

Garrett Nussmeier, Jayden Daniels and Myles Brennan are battling for the starting quarterback job.

#5 Ole Miss: The Rebels are coming off of 10 wins and a Sugar Bowl appearance. They lost several key contributors like QB Matt Corrall, running backs Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner and receiver Dontario Drummond.

USC transfer QB Jaxson Dart is expected to win the starting job. They also have several transfers on both sides of the ball.

#6 Mississippi State: The Bulldogs won seven games last year and return 17 starters. QB Will Rogers returns to lead an offense that averaged 378.3 passing yards per game and 29.1 ppg.

They allowed 34 sacks in 2021 and lose both starting tackles.

Having playmakers step up to keep the Air Raid going will be the storyline.

#7 Auburn: The Tigers lost five games to end the season, several players transferred and coach Bryan Harsin is already on the hot seat.

Running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter should be the focal point of the offense.

They ranked 11th in the SEC in scoring last season.

Save The Receipts

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The recent verbal jousting over NIL between two of college football’s heavyweight head coaches, Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher has garnered a ton of national media attention and headlines in the past few days.

The minute Alabama coach Nick Saban’s comments regarding Texas A&M and NIL showed up on social media Wednesday night, the college football world stopped to watch what happened next.

Saban further opened up about what he said during an event in Birmingham. He said Texas A&M “bought every player on their roster,” which led to a fiery press conference from Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher on Thursday.

Saban reiterated his stance on NIL and how it’s a good thing for players, but continued to call for “guardrails” to help create “parity.”

“It was not my intention to really criticize anyone,” Saban said. “I was just trying to make a point about the state of college football and college athletics right now. I think we have some unintended consequences of name, image and likeness in some of the circumstances that we’re in right now. The spirit of competition is what has made sports popular, created a lot of fan interest….But we’ve always had guardrails on rules that govern competitive sports to create parity, and I think the situation that we’re in now in college football, we don’t have that. There’s a lot of Division I schools that aren’t going to be able to do the same things that other Division I schools can do to create opportunities for players in some kind of way. I’m all for the opportunities for the players, but some way, we’ve got to create a balance in all that.”

Saban also said he worries about programs losing players to other programs because of NIL opportunities — and he called for “guardrails” to prevent that.

“I don’t want to go down that road of bidding for players out of high school. I don’t,” Saban said. “But if we go through this recruiting class this year and we lose all the players, because Jimbo Fisher has been saving the receipts.”

Texas A&M’s head coach went scorched earth Thursday during an impromptu press conference responding to comments by Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who accused Fisher and the Aggies of “buying every player on their team” through NIL deals this offseason.

Texas A&M inked the greatest recruiting class in modern history this spring, and Fisher, who has already issued multiple public statements denouncing accusations of cheating, once again doubled-down that the Aggies did nothing outside of the NCAA rules (i.e., pay for play) to land their historic class.

“It’s a shame that we have to do this,” Fisher said. “It’s really despicable. It’s despicable that somebody can say things about somebody, an organization, and more importantly 17-year-old kids. You’re taking shots at 17-year-old kids and their families. That they broke state laws, that they’re all money, that we bought every player in this group. We never bought anybody. No rules were broken. Nothing was done wrong.”

Thou doth protest too much? Too much performance art? Absolutely, but under the new NIL rules, Texas A&M could’ve totally provided six-figure deals to players. While inducements are prohibited, there’s a lot of gray area in-between.

But the mere suggestion that the Aggies’ recruiting was not above board sent Fisher into such a tizzy that he unleashed the greatest diss track since 2Pac’s Hit ‘Em Up.

The man emptied the clip on a man many considered his mentor, someone Fisher worked under for five seasons at LSU. During his opening salvo, Fisher referred to Saban as “despicable” multiple times, and called him a narcissist.

Jimbo Fisher has been saving the receipts, and his clapback is just relentless. No mercy. Who else cannot wait to be a fly on the wall when Fisher and Saban sit at the same table at the SEC Spring Meeting.

Jason Bishop Show w Kipp Branch December 11

Jason Bishop Show w Kipp Branch December 11
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Smart Or Not?

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

First and foremost, I am a huge fan of Kirby Smart.

After six years, some honest and constructive assessments seem fair game.

Kirby is hands down the best recruiter UGA has ever seen and probably the best in college football. The Athletic Board has given him a blank check for several hundred million dollars of new and upgraded facilities.

The UGA fan base is one of the most loyal, loud, rabid and die-hard in America. They show up and show out. Kirby has been given every possible resource at his disposal. He has proven himself as a phenomenal recruiter. He has not yet proven himself to be a phenomenal head coach.

Some guys are great defensive coaches. Kirby, Will Muschamp certainly qualify. Some guys are great offensive coaches. Todd Monken appears to be one of the best they have ever had at UGA.

But being a great Coordinator does not mean you will be a great Head Coach, just ask Muschamp and Mullen.

So far, Kirby has been a better than average Head Coach, and he has shown growth and improvement during his six years.

Clearly there are other coaches who have done more with a lot less talent and sub-standard facilities. Kirby is building a program for the long haul. No shortcuts. But to quote Kirby, “you’re either elite or you’re not” and Kirby is not an elite coach … YET.

Elite professionals work as hard improving themselves as they do improving others.

They don’t let egos or stubbornness impede their personal growth. I don’t know if that is what is happening with Kirby this season or not, but the next few weeks will certainly answer the question.

Kirby has tried beating Bama twice with Stetson Bennett. He failed both times.

He has more than enough film to prove he is not going to beat his mentor with Stetson Bennett. He also saw Auburn take Bama to 4 OT ‘s by playing man defense and pressuring Young with a constant blitz.

Georgia has three of the brightest defensive minds and through stubbornness or ignorance, they stayed in zone defense, with no pressure, and allowed Young to pick the Dawgs apart. Auburn had 7 sacks; Dawgs had zero.

Elite coaches will ADMIT their mistakes and make the necessary corrections. Time will tell if Smart has that skill set or not. And soon, we will see if Kirby can become an elite coach.

If he continues to do the same thing and expect different outcomes, then we will know Georgia hired a phenomenal recruiter, and an above average head coach.

Flame away if you like, but these are my constructive thoughts. Good news is you won’t have to wait but about a month to find out if I’m right or not.

Reevaluate the quarterback situation and get JT Daniels ready to play. I don’t know if it will happen but I do believe it needs to. I know many Dawg fans want to see Daniels under center against Michigan.

UGA has to get healthy and get some guys ready to play.

The STAR/nickel position got exploited against Alabama. I think the staff needs to get Kamari Lassiter or Javon Bullard or whoever ready to play winning football going into the playoffs.

The bottom line is Kirby Smart has built an Elite Program but can he win the BIG GAME?

Jason Bishop Show w Kipp Branch December 4

Jason Bishop Show w Kipp Branch December 4
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