Early Conference Playlists: The SEC

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I had an interesting thought today, what if the Power 5 conference were playlists with each team being a song that describes them to date so far. Since we’re heading into conference play this weekend, there’s no time like now to put together the conference playlist for the SEC. I will be doing this in reverse power ranking order. This ought to be fun. Special thanks to Marissa and Carol-Anne for some of the ideas. 

;Vanderbilt

Baby Come Back – Player

All day long, wearing a mask of false bravado
Trying to keep up the smile that hides a tear
But as the sun goes down
I get that empty feeling again
How I wish to God that you were here.

Vandy has not done well under Mason. How bad is this team hurting for James Franklin? They went from middling SEC team who can surprise people, back to Vandy being Vandy in record time. I imagine they would do anything to get Franklin back. 

South Carolina

As Good As I Once Was – Toby Keith

I used to be hell on wheels
Back when I was younger man
Now my body says, “You can’t do this boy”
But my pride says, “Oh, yes you can”

This should be self-evident. Spurrier has now dropped two games in a row to Kentucky after having solid teams at South Carolina almost since he arrived. Additionally, his body of work at SC has paled in comparison to his work at Florida. Spurrier has gotten worse with age. It happens, but don’t count Spurrier out. Just like Toby, he’s as good once as he ever was. 

Arkansas

What Goes Around…/…Comes Around – Justin Timberlake

You wish you had somebody/
That could come and make it right/
But girl, I ain’t somebody/
I’m out of sympathy

For reasons that should be obvious, I am truly delighted by Bielema getting run over by the karma train. Still, I’m also flummoxed by the fact that Arkansas gained over 500 yards of offense and managed to score 10 offensive points against Toledo. I just don’t even know what to expect out of this team. 

Mississippi State

Bad Moon Rising – CCR

I see a bad moon a-risin.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin’.
I see bad times today.

Mississippi State kept it close and dropped an early conference game to LSU last weekend. This gives them a rough uphill battle this year. The bad moon rising is that Dak will be gone after this year and they have been out recruited by not only their intrastate rival Ole Miss, but several other teams in the west as well. Mullen is staring straight at famine years coming. 

Florida

It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To – Billy Currington

Hey, hey, what can I say?
I can just lie and say it’s all okay.
Oh-ho, what can I do?
Been goin’ through Hell gettin’ over you
But it don’t hurt, it don’t hurt like it used to.
No it don’t hurt, it don’t hurt like it used to.

Mercy. Florida is still recovering from the damage wrought by Urban Meyer. If you enjoy reading about train wrecks, check out ESPN’s longform of it here. Muschamp brought (read: crashed) Florida fans down to earth and showed what it looks like to be atrocious at football. But since, Florida has arguably edged up after bottoming at 4-8. It’s still a long road back, but a coaching change has taken some of the bitterness out. The conference schedule will show where the Gators truly stand this year. 

Kentucky

My Next Thirty Years – Tim McGraw

My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doin’ here in my next thirty years

Kentucky faces a very real prospect of toppling the nation’s oldest winning streak when they play Florida this weekend, despite the Gators being favored. If they manage to win, it will mark the beginning of a new era of Kentucky Football. While it is possible and likely that it will bear an uncanny resemblance to the old era, it will finally allow Kentucky to close the door on an embarrassing period for their football team. McGraw’s song is laden with optimism, just like UK fans will be if they beat the Gators. The fit was perfect. 

Missouri

I Want You to Want Me – Cheap Trick

I’ll shine up the old brown shoes
Put on a brand new shirt
I’ll get home early from work 
If you say that you love me

Poor Mizzou. They have won the east regularly since joining the conference and it still seems like no one wants them. The other expansion team, Texas A&M, has been welcomed with open arms. The only reason I can think of is that no one considers Missouri to be in the South or the East. So, Mizzou will just have to continue winning as the red-headed step-child of the SEC. I doubt they’re too upset, but it would be nice to be invited to parties every now and then. 

Tennessee

King of Wishful Thinking – Go West

I refuse to give in to my blues
That’s not how it’s going to be
And I deny the tears in my eyes
I don’t want to let you see…

Tennessee is the most resurgent team in the SEC. It seems like they’re “back” every year. That is, of course, if you ask Tennessee fans. Now, because the SEC East sucks and everyone expects Georgia to Georgia at least one game this year, the writers had to pick a winner. Many settled on Tennessee. So now, the Vols hype machine is in full force. The reality is Tennessee could go 0-5 from the end of September to the end of October. And, they squandered a 14 point second half lead against Oklahoma at home. Until they do something other than give us phenomenal YouTube videos of sad UT fans, they are the kings of wishful thinking. 

Auburn

Lotta Boot Left to Fill – Eric Church

I ain’t doggin what you’re doin’
But boys come on, let’s get real.
You still got a lot of boot left to fill.

So, Auburn lost five games last year, and scored a highly touted DC/disgraced HC over the offseason. Things were shaping up well for “Guschamp.” The polls thought so. The writers thought so. Auburn fans thought this was going to be a playoff year.  People forgot they lost five games and the Outback Bowl last year. Then, the Tigers took overtime to beat Jacksonville State, and the flawed team again reared its ugly head. Auburn has been trying to out-Alabama Alabama ever since the Tide got good again. Auburn has challenged Bama lately, but they’re not quite there. 

LSU

Bad Blood – Taylor Swift

Now we got problems
And I don’t think we can solve them
You made a really deep cut
And, baby, now we got bad blood

LSU hates everybody. They have rivalries with Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi State, Tulane, and Texas A&M. Are you kidding me?! Most teams have roughly 3 rivalries. Sure, they play divisional opponents every year, but every game isn’t a rivalry game. LSU does not understand what that means. They have bad blood with anyone around them. It’s insane. 

Ole Miss

Crushin’ It – Brad Paisley

I sure could use an “Atta boy” or a big ol’ high five
I’d love to hear “You’re killin’ it dude”, it’s been a long time
Since I hit one out of the park or nailed it as they say
I guess I’ve been in a dry spell but that’s about to change…

The part that did it for me was the last line about the dry spell. Ole Miss has been a middling SEC team for so long and they’re starting to gain momentum in the conference. Additionally, the fan base comes off as the most “bro” in the SEC, barely edging Auburn–to be fair, it’s possible that’s just Grove Envy on my part, but I stand by it. Crushin’ It is perfect for Mississippi. 

Texas A&M

Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore

Get up! Fresh out, pimp strut walking, little bit of humble, little bit of cautious
Somewhere between like Rocky and Cosby. Sweater game, nope, nope y’all can’t copy
Yup. Bad, moon walking, this here is our party, my posse’s been on Broadway,
And we did it our way.

The Aggies hit the ground running in the SEC and began competing immediately in the West. They brought a Big 12 offensive feel to the conference and found a new way to do things that works. They’ve already had a Heisman winner and Sumlin’s program is still rising. There’s no apparent ceiling for A&M, especially now that they get SEC Network Revenue sharing. Cha-Ching. 

Georgia

Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

Some will win
Some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

Georgia has become synonymous with choking. It’s gotten so bad that Georgia fans who aren’t idiots will tell you that Mark Richt is the best 9 win coach there is. The problem is: Georgia’s name has become a verb tantamount to shipwrecking a season by winning major games only to inexplicably lose to crappy conference team and piss away greater hopes. Georgia gets great recruits and has great teams all the time that never amount to anything. Georgia fans think every year is their year, but unlike Tennessee fans, they actually have reason to be optimistic. So, Georgia fans, don’t stop believing. Keep running into that brick wall. Bless your hearts. 

Alabama

Run This Town – Jay-Z ft. Kanye West & Rihanna

Victory’s within the mile,
Almost there, don’t give up now (What’s up)
Only thing that’s on my mind
Is who’s gon’ run this town tonight (What’s up)

So, Alabama is the big brother in the SEC. There’s no doubt about it. They are always the team to beat and the 600 pound gorilla. Don’t believe me? Who other than Alabama can lose to the absolute glee of non-SEC fans all over the country? Sure, people react when the SEC loses, but nothing like when its champion loses. Alabama is the game everyone in the West circles. They are the best, and though they have come up short a couple times, you would be foolish to dethrone them as kings of the conference. I also chose this song because of the double meaning of run. Alabama running the ball is a beautiful thing. They always get the best running backs in the country and just reload every season. Alabama runs the show, and there is a big gap to second. 

So, that’s the playlist for the SEC right now. Check back later in the season to see what changed!

Coming next, the ACC!

Check out the playlist on Apple Music here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/early-2015-season-playlist/idpl.6433458f2d664f9ba168adfb1cfd4b88

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