MWN Mailbag


It’s that time of the week again when you guys send in questions to me, and I do my best to give you answers. We have a wide range of topics today, so let’s dive in.

I am glad that it appears that Jameon Lewis is going to be back on the field this week to take on Kentucky. My primary thinking leans heavily towards A though in this situation. Gabe Myles has gotten most of the reps in the slot since Lewis went down, and he has done a fine job filling in. While he has been fine, he isn’t at the level Jameon is, at least not yet. Lewis had a huge game against LSU, and was on the verge of breaking out in a big way until he injured his leg. Giving Prescott his favorite target back from 2013 will do nothing but make this already potent offense that much more explosive.

As for #81 Jamoral Graham, I don’t think his role is going to be reduced at all with Jameon’s return. He is likely still going to be the punt returner. Lewis was taken out of that role because he takes some pretty big hits as the slot receiver, and he has a small frame. Punt returners also take big hits, so the coaching staff is trying to reduce the number of hits that his body takes. Punt returns have been shaky, but if Graham can at least call a fair catch and catch the ball without letting it bounce, I could live with that.

I would think pretty high. He is a tall, athletic receiver that is starting to make a name for himself.  When Wilson came to the Bulldogs out of high school, he came in as a 3 star recruit. To say that he is outperforming that would be an understatement. Wilson has drawn comparisons to Alshon Jeffrey, and even a few have compared Wilson to Calvin Johnson, aka Megatron, arguably the best receiver in the NFL. Wilson has shown that he can make big plays. He has already caught 6 touchdown passes and averages almost 18 yards a catch. Those are the types of things that makes you think he will be a big time receiver at the next level. The most important thing that scouts will look at for Wilson when he gets ready to workout is going to be his 40 time. If he can put up an impressive number, then his stock will skyrocket.

When I first got this question, I thought it was going to be tougher to answer than it actually is. The gist of this question is if there is a five way tie at 6-2 in the SEC West, who wins? Is this even possible? Yes, unlikely, but very possible. It basically means all five teams beat Arkansas and Texas A&M, and all five teams win both of their games against the East. That seems reasonable. It also means that the five teams would go 2-2 against each other. The key team to this happening would be LSU. They would have to beat both Ole Miss and Alabama. That seems like a pretty tall order, but the Ole Miss game will be played at night. It also wouldn’t surprise me if the same thing happened against Alabama. Strange things happen down there at night, and it is still Death Valley.

So who would win the West? Likely Auburn. They would go to the tie breaker that uses strength of East opponents in this situation, and Auburn would have the clear advantage with having Georgia on their schedule. So they would be the favorite. Now, the problem with this is it would be a disaster for the SEC. If this scenario played out, the SEC would likely not get a team into the playoff because every team would have at least two losses. This scenario presupposes that Georgia loses to Auburn as well. There is probably going to be at least one undefeated team in the playoff (Florida State) and a whole bunch of one loss teams jockeying for position. It’s possible that Mississippi State or Ole Miss could end the year undefeated, but that will be tough because they both have really difficult games remaining. While we might argue that a two loss team from the SEC deserves a spot over a one loss team from other conferences, I just don’t think the committee will see it that way. After all the posturing and work the league has done the past eight years to set itself up as the premiere conference in all of college football, a lot of that would be undone if the SEC didn’t have a team in the first ever College Football Playoff. So let’s just all pray this doesn’t happen.

No, I don’t. I talked about this a little on Tuesday. I think the Bulldogs are as complete a team as there has ever been in Starkville. They also know that they can’t afford to take any team lightly. That also doesn’t mean that Kentucky can’t make this a good game. The Wildcats are better than they have been the last few years, so I expect them to play well. If it is closer than Bulldogs’ fans would like, it won’t be because the Bulldogs overlooked them or didn’t take them seriously. It will be because the Wildcats are a pretty decent team.

Lots to unpack on this question. Should Archie have been on the committee in the first place? I don’t have a problem with him being named to the committee. The committee is picking four teams, not 68 like they do in basketball, so this committee is going to be under a lot of scrutiny. They chose Archie Manning because 1) he has played the game of football and knows it very well. His sons are great quarterbacks mostly because they have put the time and effort in to being great quarterbacks, but also because they have been students of the game under their father. He was also on the committee for 2) giving the committee name recognition. Archie Manning is one of the most recognizable people in all of college football. His presence provided that committee with some instant credibility.

Now, would Archie have been fair to Mississippi State had he stayed on? I think so, but I also think it really wouldn’t have mattered. The committee members will not have a say in selecting teams that they have a bias towards, and Archie likely would not have been a part of any discussions involving SEC teams. If the committee does what it is supposed to do, they would not have allowed him to even voice any opinion whatsoever about the SEC. Let’s also remember he would have had one vote out of 13. There is simply no way that one person would have been able to keep Mississippi State out of the playoff if we will be in a position to be considered.

Also, where were these people when Archie was named to the committee? There were some who expressed their dissatisfaction on message boards, but for the most part, most State fans didn’t think that much of it. Why? Most State fans assumed we wouldn’t be in this position. Sure a lot of us thought we could have a really good year, but to be in a position to win the West? That seemed far fetched.

I think this actually works better for Archie. Let’s say Mississippi State and Ole Miss both enter the Egg Bowl with 0 losses and Mississippi State wins. The debate would rage if Ole Miss deserved one of the four spots. If Ole Miss somehow got left out, I would imagine the backlash from the Ole Miss community towards Archie would have been unreal. It wouldn’t have been fair since Archie would have had no input into the selection of Ole Miss, but I still think it would have been there.

If you have questions for next week’s mailbag, hit me up on Twitter @JustinStrawnMWN!