- David Ching, ESPN Staff Writer
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ESPN.com SEC blogger Chris Low chatted Friday with Bram Weinstein and Max Bretos on ESPN Radio’s “SVP and Russillo,” covering a variety of conference subjects -- leading off, of course, with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
The league’s coaches this week voted the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner to their preseason All-SEC second team, behind Georgia’s Aaron Murray, which many observers view as punishment for Manziel’s tabloid-worthy offseason and recent autograph scandal.
Low agreed with that assessment.
“Maybe the coaches sent a little bit of a message to Johnny Football that the offseason, it was a circus, and maybe they’re not real thrilled with that,” Low said. “And you know what, maybe there’s another message they’re sending. Maybe they’re saying that we just like Murray better. I think more than anything, guys, in the league this year, you’ve got three premier quarterbacks: [Alabama’s AJ] McCarron, Murray and Johnny Manziel.”
Low went on to discuss a handful of non-Manziel SEC storylines -- yes they exist -- with Weinstein and Bretos, including the respect national pollsters have given the league, with six SEC teams ranking among the top 12 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25.
It’s hard to discount the conference’s seven national titles involving four different programs, Low said.
“When you continue to win at that level, when you continue to get into the money game and blow people out -- I mean Notre Dame last year goes unbeaten against a pretty good schedule. I think you could make a pretty sound argument that at least five SEC teams would have beaten Notre Dame last year at the end of the season,” Low opined.
The trio closed by discussing the league’s marquee game of opening weekend, with Georgia visiting Clemson on Aug. 31. Low expects the two prolific offenses to dominate in that game.
“You’d better take your calculators to that game, because both these teams can score points,” Low said. “Both of them have got issues in the secondary, a lot of uncertainty. I really think it comes down to which secondary holds up, guys, which secondary can make the fewest mistakes, the fewest busts, and maybe it’s that defense, that secondary, that can get off the field one time, can make one key stop in the second half to win, because both these offenses can score points in bunches.”
To listen to Low’s entire segment on “SVP and Russillo,” click here.