SEC Football Unfiltered

SEC Football Unfiltered

SEC Football Unfiltered features hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams of the USA TODAY Network serving opinion, debate and analysis on trending college football topics within the Southeastern Conference. No subject is off limits, and no one is above rebuke. Take off the filter and revel in the banter.

Episodes

June 11, 2024 48 mins

You’ve heard of hot takes. You’re probably familiar with cold takes.

But, do you know of lukewarm takes?

They might be the truest predictions of all, and hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams are serving a helping of those lukewarm SEC football takes on today’s episode.

What constitutes a lukewarm take? It’s an against-the-grain prediction that doesn’t rise to the piping-hot level of a hot take.

A surprise SEC team will be ranke...

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The first 12-team College Football Playoff projects to be an SEC party. Nine SEC teams profile as playoff hopefuls, but not all of them can qualify.

Four playoff teams from the SEC seems reasonable. What about five? That’s a stretch, but doable if the SEC catches a few breaks.

On today's episode, hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams unpack the SEC’s playoff outlook and handicap the hurdles standing in the way of the SEC qualifyin...

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Georgia's backup quarterback is suing an SEC coach. Welcome to college football in 2024.

In a lawsuit filed this week, Jaden Rashada is suing a top Florida booster, a former recruiting staffer and Gators coach Billy Napier after Rashada's NIL deal with Florida unraveled while the quarterback was a blue-chip prospect.

Rashada's attorney says the quarterback was defrauded. He's seeking millions in damages. 

On this edition of "SEC...

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Either Georgia or Ohio State will be preseason No. 1. But just how heavily are those teams favored to win the national championship?

The SEC will be even more of a juggernaut than usual, following the arrival of Texas and Oklahoma. Georgia's schedule will include games against Clemson, Texas, Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee. That's a rugged road before the playoff arrives. Ohio State is loaded but will transition to a new starting...

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The SEC is as strong as ever. That’s what a preseason top 25 from 247Sports suggests, anyway. The website updated its rankings while spring practice concluded. Nine SEC teams are ranked in the top 25, including eight inside the top 15.

Those rankings indicate that about half of the conference enjoys realistic aspirations of contending for the College Football Playoff. The SEC and Big Ten account for each of the top nine spots in t...

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Brian Kelly says there’s “no doubt” his 2024 LSU Tigers can contend for a national championship.

Pardon us, but we have some doubts.

Start with: How much better is LSU’s defense? LSU led the nation last season in scoring while finishing 10-3, but it lost three offensive stars to the NFL Draft's first round, including quarterback Jayden Daniels.

The offense is almost bound to regress. To become a true championship contender, the ...

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Arch Manning stole the show at Texas' spring game, while Quinn Ewers played sparingly.

What does that mean? Well, for first up, let's slow the idea of any Texas quarterback controversy. Ewers didn't play much because he's got a grip on the starting job. This spring game became more focused on developing backup quarterbacks.

Manning's 355 passing yards were a sign of abilities and his growth and evidence that Texas possesses more ...

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Georgia's Carson Beck and Alabama's Jalen Milroe rank among preseason Heisman Trophy frontrunners.

But, forget awards for a moment. Does one of these quarterbacks have to battle to retain his starting job?

At Georgia, that's not the case. Beck remains Georgia's QB1. End of discussion.

What about Milroe? A new coaching staff adds uncertainty to the quarterback competition, but, to hear Milroe tell it, he's hitting it off with Kal...

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John Calipari's whopper buyout saddled him to Kentucky. Not anymore, though, as Calipari prepares to exit out the side door to Arkansas.

This looks like a potential win-win-win for Arkansas, Kentucky and Calipari, and one of the nation's biggest basketball jobs is now on the market.

Where will Kentucky turn?

On today's episode, hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams weigh in on Kentucky's search to replace Calipari. Each host offe...

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Can we agree Kirby Smart is the SEC's top football coach? A better debate: How to rank SEC schools by football coach plus their men’s basketball coach. Would Georgia remain No. 1 in such a ranking? What about Alabama? Where does Tennessee factor into the mix?

On today's episode, hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams rank their top eight SEC schools in terms of football plus men’s basketball coaches.

In some instances, the school's...

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The ball tipped, and the upsets began.

Then the second round tipped, and chalk held strong. Each of the four No. 1 seeds remains in the NCAA Tournament in the Sweet 16, but does that mean we think it'll be all favorites in the Final Four? Nope.

On today's episode, hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams revisit their March Madness predictions.

Three of Toppmeyer's Final Four picks remain in the tournament, while two of Adams' picks...

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Get your brackets finalized. Decide whether you want to lean into that No. 13 over a No. 4 upset pick. Lock in your Final Four.

The Madness is nearly here.

With eight SEC teams in the NCAA Tournament, including four that are either seeded No. 2, No. 3 or No. 4, could this be the year the conference produces a national champion for the first time since the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats?

On today's episode, Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams...

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In the spirit of March Madness, we're ready to seed the SEC – but here's the twist. We're seeding for football.

Now, you might be thinking, "This sure sounds like an SEC football power ranking, doesn't it?" Well, yes. It's exactly that. But, this is the time of seeds, brackets and upsets, so why call this a power ranking? It's seeding, darn it!

On today's episode, hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams offer their 2024 powe...

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Steve Spurrier weighed in on the state of Florida football under embattled coach Billy Napier, and the HBC's assessment came off as anything but a ringing endorsement.

Florida Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette quoted Spurrier questioning the direction of Napier's Gators in a recent column. The most biting quote?

“There’s a feeling around the Gators of, 'What the heck are we doing?'” Spurrier said.

Yes, indeed: What the heck is...

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The contract originates in the state of Texas, and the deal is a big one.

In those two ways, the contracts for Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian and former Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher are similar. Maybe it's true that everything is just bigger in Texas – even the paychecks. Sarkisian's salary now jumps to $10.3 million, while Fisher enjoys his record-breaking $77 million buyout.

Peel back the layers, though, and you'll see sev...

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The 12-team College Football Playoff evolved before it ever debuted.

The expanded playoff that's set to launch this season originally had been devised as a 6+6 format. That is, automatic bids for the six-best conference champions, plus six at-large bids.

But, after that format got approved, realignment crippled the Pac-12.

So, on Tuesday, the CFP Board of Managers voted to change the playoff to a 5+7 format – automatic bids for ...

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The SEC teems with talented quarterbacks in 2024, ranging from proven veterans to ballyhooed freshmen. The quarterback talent only stands to improve with Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC.

Eight of the SEC's soon-to-be 16 teams return their starting quarterbacks, and even a few of those breaking in new starters will be led by familiar faces.

On today's episode, hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams draft SEC quarterbacks in an at...

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The “Power 2” are super buddies all of a sudden after last week’s announcement that the Big Ten and SEC are forming an advisory group aimed at solving some issues facing college sports.

Will this alliance produce a breakaway, at least in football, of the NCAA’s two richest and most powerful conferences? Could the Big Ten and SEC say farewell to the College Football Playoff in a few years and launch their own postseason exclusive t...

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If you couldn't have Kirby Smart coaching your team, which SEC coach would you want?

As of a month ago, the answer should have been obvious: Nick Saban. But, the retired GOAT is out of the equation, leaving Smart all alone on the top tier of college football coaches.

Within the SEC, who forms the second tier?

On today's episode, hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams draft SEC coaches in an attempt to collect the best group of coa...

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The SEC Championship Game stands to acquire some new flavor in 2024.

Three times in the past six years, the December clash in Atlanta featured Alabama vs. Georgia. And if Nick Saban had returned as coach in 2024, that theme may well have repeated.

But now, after Saban's retirement and the transfer of several prominent players? Eight or nine wins suddenly looks more realistic for Alabama in Kalen DeBoer's debut season than a retur...

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