Tennessee head coach Butch Jones
Every Thursday on The SEC Blog, we will feature questions from the Bleacher Report inbox, Twitter and email. Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at email@example.com.
You've got SEC questions, and I've got SEC answers. Thank you, everybody, for your questions this week. If I didn't get to them this week, they are still saved and will be used in the future.
And we're off:
@barrettsallee Which two SEC teams (east & west) will have most disappointing football seasons in 2013— Michael Collins (@GaSportsCraze) February 28, 2013
The East will look very similar to the way it looked in 2012, with Georgia, Florida and South Carolina all in the mix for the national title and the rest of the teams vying for bowl position. I don't think that there will be a major disappointment in the East, but if I'm forced to choose, I'd go with Tennessee.
That's not to say that Butch Jones is a bad coach or that they won't improve. They will improve. However, the schedule and the roster turnover suggest that it won't be an immediate turnaround on Rocky Top, and I don't know if 6-6 and a bowl game will appease a very desperate Vol Nation.
Out West, somebody has to lose and I think it will be the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Dan Mullen's crew stumbled down the stretch last season, draw South Carolina on the road out of the East and open the season with a tough out-of-conference matchup with Oklahoma State in Houston. Not exactly the cake walk that the Bulldogs feasted on in 2012.
Mississippi State is 5-21 versus teams that win eight or more games under Mullen, and there are at least five and possibly more on that schedule that will get to that level in 2013.
@barrettsallee which "under the radar" players do you expect to be household names by the end of the season?— Jeff Jones (@JeffJones99) February 28, 2013
I said it last season and I'll stick with him again. My guy is South Carolina wide receiver Shaq Roland. Maybe it's cheating because I was high on him a year ago, but this year, I think the chips are falling in his favor.
He had only five catches for 80 yards and a touchdown a year ago, but the offense should be a little more receiver-friendly now that gunslinger Dylan Thompson and Connor Shaw are battling for the top spot on the depth chart at quarterback.
No matter what, Thompson should play. After all, head ball coach Steve Spurrier loves to play musical quarterbacks. That means more chances for Roland—a former "Mr. Football" in the state of South Carolina.
The 6'1", 173-pounder has everything it takes to be a star in the SEC, but needs to earn the opportunity first. That could happen this spring.
@barrettsallee what are chances Virginia Tech gets a solid invite from the SEC?— Daniel Meier (@xpin3appl3) February 28, 2013
If you're wanting one soon, I think you'll be disappointed. However, I do think that it will happen eventually.
While the Big Ten may be happy with 10 teams, the Pac-12 may be in neutral and the SEC comfortable with its 14 members, things can change in a hurry. If specific situations arise, I think the SEC will absolutely extend an invitation to Virginia Tech.
The specific situations I'm speaking of are if the age of the super-conference appears inevitable and if the ACC starts to crumble. At that point, the SEC will be looking for two new members and the crumbling ACC would be the easy and appropriate target.
Missouri and Texas A&M were added because the two bring four media markets in Nielsen's top 31, which means that the SEC will be printing money once the SEC cable network launches and gets on providers in those markets.
The SEC would love to grab Virginia Tech and get a bigger piece of the Virginia/District of Columbia pie. Political pressure could make it difficult for the Hokies to get away from the University of Virginia, but if the ACC starts to crumble, it's going to be a free-for-all.
Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at firstname.lastname@example.org.