Change, for better or worse, is part of life. Someone smarter than I once said the only consistent thing in life is inconsistency, or change.
The subject has fascinated musical artists since the dawn of time. Or, at least since the 1970s.
David Bowie sang about ch-ch-ch-ch-change in his 1971 single, “Changes.” The King of Pop boldly encouraged us to take a look at ourselves and make that change in 1987’s “Man in the Mirror.” And, not to be forgotten, the Scorpions told us how the children of tomorrow dream away in their 1990 ballad, “Wind of Change.”
SEC Banter performed extensive research to determine whether these songs about change were actually in reference to SEC football. The results were inconclusive.
But there’s no doubt that winds of change are howling across the Southeastern Conference.
Look no further than the two SEC teams from the Magnolia State. Ole Miss, long entrenched in a seemingly never-ending struggle for relevance, signaled to the college football world last week that it is ready to run with the big dogs.
Ole Miss outplayed Alabama and capped off a fantastic weekend in Oxford, highlighted by a superb broadcast from ESPN’s College GameDay.
Speaking of GameDay, the show travels just down the road to Starkville this Saturday, where No. 3 Mississippi State (No. 3!) hosts No. 2 Auburn. GameDay has its hands full in trying to make Starkvegas look like a remotely interesting place.
But I digress. Can you ever remember the Mississippi State/Auburn game carrying so much significance? Heck, ANY significance? Times they’re a changing indeed.
Upstart SEC programs challenging the status quo aren’t limited to the West. The SEC East is in the midst of change, as well.
Missouri has essentially cemented itself as a constant threat to win the division. Tennessee, though winless in the conference, is on the rise under head coach Butch Jones. The Vols will turn the corner soon.
And kudos to Kentucky. SEC Banter has lampooned the Wildcats as nothing more than an afterthought at a basketball-crazy school. But Mark Stoops has Kentucky trending in the right direction and, at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Wildcats went down to Baton Rouge later this year and beat LSU.
Not that beating LSU is difficult, because while some teams are emerging as new forces to be reckoned with, other programs are in decline.
LSU’s fall from grace is faster than Chevy Chase’s in the 1990s. While the Tigers have lost something like 354 players to the draft in the past few years, the cupboard appears dreadfully bare in Baton Rouge and Les Miles’s continued coaching gaffes don’t help.
LSU isn’t the only former SEC superpower that’s struggling. Florida’s athletic director slowly removed his finger from the big red “Fire Muschamp” button on his desk as the Gators squeaked by Tennessee last week. But you have to believe Muschamp’s days are limited as Florida is stuck in a swamp of mediocrity.
Alabama’s loss last week doesn’t portend the fall of the Saban empire, but it does hammer home just how competitive the league has become.
Change is everywhere in the SEC. Embrace it. Change makes life, and SEC football, more interesting.
In the meantime, I’m embracing change at home. I changed the car’s flat tire. I can’t tell you how many darn light bulbs I’ve changed recently. The baby’s diaper always needs changing. I mean always. Even more urgent, the remote control batteries need to be changed. I’m on it!