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Random SEC Thoughts, 11/14

Just a couple of random non-sequiturs from around the league.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
  • I hope everybody is prepared for one of the most interesting coaching carousel's in some time. And I'm not just talking about head coaches. Yeah, Texas and USC are in the market, and that could also translate to a couple of other big money programs, such as Texas A&M or Alabama (I'm on the record as believing Nick Saban will stay at Alabama, though milk the Longhorns [phrasing] for a Jimmy Sexton Special). But the real action may be on the coordinator market.

    Texas and Southern Cal will obviously be in the market for new ones, and I believe Jeremy Foley when he says he backs Will Muschamp, but OC Brent Pease is a definite goner. Michigan is another program that will probably be in the market, Oklahoma, maybe even Clemson if Chad Morris gets a head gig. Watch UCLA's Noel Mazzone to get a ton of attention. That's funny to think about, given that 10 years ago his name was mud in this conference after rough stints at Auburn and Ole Miss. Other names sure to draw interest: Baylor's Phillip Montgomery, Arizona State's Mike Norvell, Oregon State's Danny Langsdorf, Duke's Kurt Roper, Miami's James Coley or Central Florida's Charlie Taafe.

  • Offensive Player of the Year award competition ought to be pretty stiff this year. Johnny Manziel probably should run away with it, but you can bet there's going to be a lot of talk in favor of giving it to Aaron Murray or A.J. McCarron as a lifetime achievement award. A&M's Mike Evans will get his share of votes as well. Auburn's Tre Mason will also get some love.

  • C.J. Mosley likely has defensive POY on lockdown though. And he probably should. Aside from Missouri's Michael Sam, there just aren't many individual defensive standouts in the league this season.

  • Race to bowl eligibility in the SEC East: will Vanderbilt's third straight appearance come at Tennessee's expense? The Vols, at 4-6, will have to sweep their final two games with Vandy and Kentucky to make it. The Commodores (5-4) need just one more themselves out of Kentucky, UT and Wake Forest. Florida, meanwhile, has to beat either South Carolina or Florida State to get there, in addition to Georgia Southern.

  • In the West, five have clinched some form of postseason, and only Arkansas has been eliminated. For Mississippi State to join the bowl season they'll have to win two out of their final three: Bama, at Arkansas and at home against Ole Miss.

  • The SEC's going to lose a lot of quarterbacks this offseason, but one non-LSU guy I'll particularly miss watching next season will be Connor Shaw. The guy's had one heck of an underrated season, with 18 touchdowns and all of one interception. He was never terribly flashy, but just a smart, tough quarterback that was never afraid to take a risk with his body to win a game. Everybody saw him keep South Carolina in the East race with that amazing one-legged fourth quarter. He's going to leave Columbia relatively un-recognized conference-wide, but he's had a heck of a career.