- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
With Christmas only four days away, we thought we'd take a look at the gifts that all 14 SEC teams would love to get from Santa. Some teams are wishing for do-overs from the regular season, while others are wishing for new things in the new year.
I'll handle the SEC Eastern Division and Chris will take a look at the West a little later. Here's to hoping Santa can work overtime in 2012:
Florida: A new passing game. The Gators survived most of the season on a robust running game, but throwing the ball wasn't very pretty to watch. Florida was last in the SEC in passing offense and only tight end Jordan Reed eclipsed the 40-catch mark and the 500-yard receiving mark. Quarterback Jeff Driskel was far more effective running rather than throwing in 2012.
Georgia: Getting that last play back. If Santa could somehow send Georgia back in time to that final play against Alabama, the Bulldogs would gladly take it. If not for Aaron Murray's deflected pass falling into the arms of Chris Conley, Georgia might very well be in the national championship game instead of Alabama. I'm willing to bet a second chance from Santa might even make Mark Richt decide to spike the ball in that situation as well.
Kentucky: Extra bandages. The Wildcats' football team looked like it belonged in the infirmary more than on the football field in 2012. Now, new coach Mark Stoops is hoping that some of the injuries that cut players' seasons short won't creep back up. One injury in particular to keep an eye on is running back Josh Clemons' knee injury. He went down early in 2011, but never recovered enough to return in 2012. He has potential to be a special player for the Wildcats when healthy.
Missouri: Its Big 12 offense. Injuries might have hurt the Tigers when it came to consistency on offense, but the explosion Mizzou showcased in their final season in the Big 12 barely made it to the SEC. We saw glimpses of it early in the season, but after the first half of the Georgia game, the Tigers' offense was a mere shell of the one that was one of the most balanced in the country in 2011. Maybe new offensive coordinator Josh Henson can help instill more confidence and big plays in 2013.
South Carolina: Some help for Clowney. We know how dangerous Jadeveon Clowney is on the field. He ate quarterbacks for breakfast this fall, but the Gamecocks are asking for more help for him next year. South Carolina wants him to be as disruptive as possible, and having double teams come his way won't help. Kelcy Quarles has to stay healthy and the Gamecocks have to get more at the other end of Clowney with Devin Taylor graduating.
Tennessee: Support and patience. The Vols will be breaking in another new coaching staff this spring and what this program needs from its fan base is some real patience because a lot has to get cleaned up. The hire of Butch Jones was a surprising one and while he might not have been the first choice, he proved to be a winner at Cincinnati. Things won't get turned around immediately, so the Vols are hoping fans can have some perspective.
Vanderbilt: James Franklin to sign another extension. Vandy fans would love a bowl win, but if Franklin were to decide to sign another contract extension they'd be ecstatic. The more paperwork Franklin signs, the better for Vandy fans. He has completely changed the perception of Vandy's program with an entire attitude overhaul in his two years. He has now directed the Commodores to back-to-back bowls for the first time in school history.
3dSam Khan and Greg Ostendorf