MVP Sports Channel

Kees to Sports — Spring Football Keeps Hope Alive for All

No matter where a football team is located geographically, when colleges across the country begin their annual spring football practice, everything is renewed, the record is 0-0, no interceptions, fumbles, missed field goals, etc., which is the beauty of the spring.

As NCAA football teams open the spring, they are on top of the world, for the most part, they haven’t taken a hit since December, they know who their coaches are if there was a change in the offseason (exception: Arkansas), and they are most definitely looking forward to the start of the regular season.

As annual spring games wrapped up this weekend, with more to come next week, several of the nations’ best teams have already shown their fans what they can do, including defending national champion Alabama, whose A.J. McCarron had a strong showing over the weekend, throwing for 304 yards and two touchdowns.  But in the end, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban told reporters they didn’t see anything new, even with a new offensive coordinator.  In fact, Saban went as far as to say if he had seen anything new during the spring game he would have been upset.

Looking around the rest of the Southeastern Conference, the two newcomers could have a rude awakening when week four rolls around and SEC play begins, but they are all sunshine and rainbows through spring practice as they head into what could be the toughest season in each school’s history.

Missouri held its spring game Saturday, where there was not a lot of excitement, as the Tigers were missing six starters.  Texas A&M will have its spring game on Apr. 28, where new head coach Kevin Sumlin received a double-promotion by moving from the Conference USA and Houston, to Texas A&M, bypassing the Big-12 and moving to the SEC.

Kentucky will hold its annual spring game on Saturday, and with the Men’s Basketball Team just winning the national championship, the Wildcats and especially Joker Phillips might be able to hide under the radar and keep his job for another season.  There is nothing good to talk about here.

Florida also has a new OC, and the Gators only scored a combined 41 points in their spring game two weeks ago, will the departure of Charlie Weis cause the Gators to have a drop in offensive production, or will they be able to regain their place atop the SEC East?

The same can be said for South Carolina, could they repeat as Eastern champions.  Or will The Old Ball Coach have another season like 2010, where they lost to Kentucky.

Georgia should be in good shape with a returning quarterback and a 10-game winning streak to end the regular season, Tennessee could be staring straight down the barrel at the end of the Derek Dooley era.  Mississippi will see the beginning of the Hugh Freeze era, which should be nothing but an improvement after the last two seasons.

Vanderbilt will have nothing but high hopes as James Franklin continues to turn the page on years of bad football in Nashville, with Jordan Rodgers returning and a stellar recruiting class coming in this fall.

Auburn will have to replace Gus Malzahn as the OC, as he moved to a head coaching position at Arkansas State.

Mississippi State was 7-6 last season, including a win in the Music City Bowl.

LSU will lost a lot of talent to the NFL Draft, but the remaining players, along with the incoming class will prove last season was no fluke for the Tigers, even after a shutout in the BCS Championship game.

Finally Arkansas, who knows what will happen with the Razorbacks, they have the team to possibly be the sixth straight SEC team to win the title, but now with the distractions and the lack of a head coach, the Hogs will have the toughest time getting past the drama.  Many teams are successful with this, but the best thing for Arkansas is that this was an ethics firing not a rule violation firing like what Ohio State had to go through last season, as they still have a stellar quarterback in Tyler Wilson, who passed on the NFL for a chance to win it all.

So coaches don’t show their fans everything during the spring football game, but the fact that just after basketball season wraps up, spring football gives fans a game to watch before the season kicks off the first weekend of September.

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