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SEC Preview with Holly Anderson (8/13)

Ty and Dan talk with Holly Anderson from Grantland.com about Florida’s rebooted offense, the Dak Prescott Hype Machine, Lane Kiffin’s Alabama offense, Auburn’s encore, Leonard Fournette, and much more. Plus, Ed O’Bannon’s victory and the increasing power of the Power 5 conferences.

Show Summary

Introductions start with Ty mentioning that Holly Anderson, staff writer for Grantland and Tennessee graduate, will be joining Ty and Dan on this week’s episode to break down the SEC for 2014. The guys also have a slew of Facebook questions to get through, both during and after the interview.

2:24 – Dan asks Ty if there’s a central theme to the conference in the coming season. Ty says he’s interested in the quarterbacks, both new and old. Neither of them seem to understand the hype for Dak Prescott at Mississippi State. Ty also wants to see if the conference still makes gains on offense or if it returns to a defensively minded, power-rushing type of conference, which he thinks it will. Dan calls out the “ridiculous” depth at running back throughout the SEC.

5:24 – Ty brings up Florida and says they’re “as boring as they’ve ever been.” They have a new offensive coordinator, which sparks interest, but after last year he’s bored by them and is tired of waiting for them to take the next step. Dan says that, after talking to Ryan Nanni (@CelebrityHotTub), he agrees that it is fun when big teams fall by the wayside, but only for a short while.

8:41 – Before getting to Holly, Ty brings up a some news, which starts with the NCAA giving the Power 5 conferences autonomy to create their own rules.  They segue to the O’Bannon ruling, in which players gained the ability to profit on their own likeness via a school-operated trust. Dan also brings up scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance and that they’re now on the table, regardless of how the NCAA feels about it.

13:24 – The guys cover a whole host of injuries and losses affecting teams, like Oregon’s left tackle Tyler Johnstone sitting out the year after tearing his ACL, Nebraska’s Adam Taylor suffering a broken ankle which puts him out indefinitely, and Penn State’s Adam Breneman needing left knee surgery that puts him in similar indefinite status too.

16:05 – Dan and Ty cover Frank Shannon’s one-year suspension at Oklahoma due to his violating the school’s sexual misconduct policy, which thins their defense a bit. They then mention Texas’s attrition, and losses at TCU and USC. They finish the conversation by laughing at Nick Marshall’s citation for marijuana possession, which Ty likens to a post-game snow cone.

18:40 – Holly joins Dan and Ty for some SEC discussion. They first talk about Holly’s recent wedding and her attempts to catch back up with all the football talk missed during planning. Ty’s going through his own wedding planning and he admits that he has no say on the prices on certain things.

22:12 – Ty brings up Georgia and all their returning talent, on both sides, and Jeremy Pruitt coming in as the new defensive coordinator. The question, though, is if they’re Holly’s preseason favorite, with all they bring to the table. Holly thinks it’s South Carolina and that it’s Georgia’s injuries that scare her. They’ve already had a few this year, which doesn’t bode well.

24:15 – Dan asks about the SEC West favorite, Alabama, their new quarterback and their new coordinator, Lane Kiffin. Does it matter that there’s that much change for their offense? Holly think it does and, despite the pain they’ve caused her, she likes another team in the division. Bama could be “scary” with Jacob Coker coming in, given his ceiling, but Lane Kiffin makes them a big question on offense.

27:40 – Dan brings the talk back to Auburn, mentioning that they only lose a couple key players, and asks about their ceiling in year 2 for Gus Malzahn. Holly thinks that both Auburn and Florida State could be better teams this coming year but have worse records than last year.

28:55 – Ty brings up South Carolina, specifically their run defensive since they will play many teams that have solid rushing attacks. Is it their weak link and should people be worried? Holly says she picked South Carolina based on wish fulfillment but their schedule does not do them any favors, with early games against A&M, ECU, Georgia, Vandy and Missouri.

30:49 – Matty Mauk leads the defending East champs, Missouri, and Ty wonders if they can sustain and be what they were last year. Holly really likes Mauk but doesn’t necessarily think last year’s success is sustainable, given how many pieces are gone after last year.

32:28 – Ty uses UCF, Missouri’s third opponent this year, as a segue to bring up Florida, which brings giggles from everyone. He asks about the impact of incoming offensive coordinator Kurt Roper from Duke and what it’ll do for Florida in 2014. Holly wonders how much the offense at Duke was Roper and how much was Cutcliffe giving him instructions.

33:49Texas A&M probably won’t have trouble with their offense, Dan says, but he asks whether we have any reason to think their defense will improve. She doesn’t think Sumlin’s too concerned about it, as they’re loaded on offense and still exciting there. Dan prods on more and asks if it’s sustainable, though, liking Sumlin to Mike Leach. Maybe Manziel leaving gives them a break from opponents.

37:33 – Another team with a fairly ideal West schedule is Ole Miss, according to Dan, and he asks if the talent is finally good enough to compete. Holly talks at length about where their schedule helps them and where it gets tough, specifically around the middle.

39:50 – Dan doesn’t know what to make of Mississippi State except that their defense should be top-notch. He asks Holly if she believes in Dan Mullen’s ability to make that offense “serviceable enough.” All three of them don’t seem to get Dak Prescott’s praise but Holly does buy their defense and the schedule starts off well enough then gets really difficult.

41:16 – Holly’s alma mater is Tennessee and Ty asks about them by bringing up Bill Connelly’s (@SBN_BillC) preview piece, and that they’re essentially working on the “Ole Miss model.” He asks Holly if she’s fine with the comparison. Tennessee gets Utah State in week 1 and then Oklahoma in week 3 and neither of them are favorable match-ups for the Volunteers.

44:30 – Ty brings up Vandy next and their new coach, Derek Mason, now that James Franklin has left for Penn State. He says the offense doesn’t look good and neither does the secondary so he just asks about one game: the Tennessee state title, between Tennessee and Vanderbilt on November 29th. Holly goes with Tennessee simply because the young talent should be close enough to year 3 to give them the edge.

45:50 – Ty’s last team in the East is Kentucky, a team he thinks knows its own identity. He asks if Mark Stoops is right for the gig and about the ceiling for a team like UK. Holly really likes Stoops, and not to prop them up for a UT loss, but because recruiting has taken a big leap since he was hired. He’s better suited to get around their geographic recruiting restrictions.

47:54 – A team without recruiting issues is LSU, says Dan, as they produce more 5-stars than perhaps any other team. Les Miles, though, is losing his quarterback and other keys pieces this year which makes him wonder whether everyone should just trust him and his defensive coordinator, John Chavis. Holly and Dan both agree that you have to trust them.

50:40 – Dan shifts focus to LSU’s final opponent, Arkansas. He thinks they’re the pick to improve on the field by not so much with statistics. Holly jokes that she inflicted Bert upon the SEC without knowing it. She also brings up that his buyout his enormous, so it doesn’t matter if his offensive style doesn’t work. Arkansas is stuck with him.

54:18 – Dan asks Holly which two teams she’d like to see in the SEC Championship game. In terms of pure entertainment, she wants Alabama and South Carolina but more realistically, she thinks a rematch between Georgia and Auburn would be interesting. He follows up with another hypothetical question, wondering which teams are dramatically better than they appear to be now and which are worse. The Gators could be improved but Holly doesn’t think we’ve seen the floor yet. The group then discusses Jeff Driskel’s potential and how Kurt Roper fits in with his “asshole plays.” For most improved, Holly says Tennessee but not until November.

58:58 – For his final question, Dan asks about the 3 best things Holly’s done so far this Summer. She says that getting married in a museum ranks among them and then tells the story about getting proposed to on the interstate. Sharknado 2 is one of the other answers.

The guys close the show with their admiration of College Gameday and Holly’s Vols tweets, questions about Paul Finebaum’s hat size, and a reminder to sign up for the Solid Verbal newsletter.

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