Monday, February 14, 2011
Handing out SEC Valentine's Day cards
By Chris Low
Can you feel the love?
Better yet, why don’t we spread a little love in a conference that’s brimming with love among all of its fans and teams?
Sound the sarcasm alert.
It’s Valentine’s Day, so we’re going to set aside all the bitter rivalries, feuds and finger-pointing for a day and hand out some very deserving cards.
Sit back and enjoy.
Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs,
You were skewered for your hiring of a guy with a 5-19 head coaching record back in December 2008. Clearly, Gene Chizik was the right hire for Auburn. And, clearly, you knew exactly what you were doing.
Georgia coach Mark Richt,
The class you’ve exuded during your tenure at Georgia speaks for itself, the way you treat people and the way you live your life. But coming off a 6-7 season, it’s the way your team plays in 2011 that will determine your coaching future. Even for the best of guys, it’s a bottom-line business.
Linda Bell, the mother of Mississippi State defensive end Nick Bell, who died last November,
The entire SEC aches for your loss. The courage Nick showed in his fight against the dreaded disease of cancer was an inspiration to us all. As I’m sure Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen has reminded you on several occasions, Nick’s spirit will endure.
Kentucky receiver Randall Cobb,
As you embark on your NFL career, take pride in the fact that you set a standard in this league for being a true “Renaissance Man.” It may be a while before we see somebody else who does as many things well on a football field as you did.
LSU coach Les Miles,
For a guy who gets pummeled for being lucky, loony and out in left field sometimes, I’m sure you’re aware that a lot of coaches out there would love to have your record. And one other thing: I hear the grass at Tiger Stadium this fall will be yummier than ever.
Florida quarterback John Brantley,
Here’s to starting over. Yes, you’re going to be a senior, but I would imagine a brand new coach, brand new offensive coordinator and brand new offensive scheme have given you a brand new lease on life.
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore,
A phenomenal start, young man. But as I’m sure you’re well aware, true greatness is achieved by doing it over time in this league. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for your sophomore season.
Arkansas running back Knile Davis,
Thanks for reminding us all that it’s not about where you are when the race starts, but where you are when the race ends. I doubt any of the coaches in this league even knew what jersey number you wore when last season began. I guarantee you they know now who wears No. 7 for the Hogs.
Alabama coach Nick Saban,
I realize that contentment, entitlement and inconsistency are variables that are as foreign to you as snow is to Miami Beach, but there were traces of all three last season in your team. Something tells me 2011 at the Capstone will look a lot more like 2008 and 2009 in the way your team goes about its business.
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin,
Your enthusiasm is infectious as you tackle one of the toughest jobs in all of college football. Bobby Johnson made some real strides there, but he could never quite get it right on offense for a sustained period of time. That will be your greatest challenge, in particular generating a legitimate passing game.
Tennessee safety Janzen Jackson,
Your head coach, Derek Dooley, is determined to see that you get yourself straightened out as you continue to battle your ongoing personal demons. And that’s whether you ever play football again at Tennessee or not.
Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix,
What a nightmare last season had to be with all the issues and injuries on defense. When I think of your defense, I think of the attacking units you put on the field in 2008 and 2009 that finished 19th and 21st nationally in total defense … and not the one that finished 107th nationally in scoring defense last season.