The people that get paid to make these kinds of predictions are confident that this weekend, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War will make more money in it’s first 48 hours of release than any other movie in Hollywood history. This movie is kind of a big deal, right? It is the beginning of the final chapter of a cinematic universe we were introduced to ten years ago in the first Iron Man.
Let’s boil the plot of Avengers: Infinity War down to the very basics of what it is about. We have one all powerful, seemingly unstoppable monster exerting his will and dominance over an assembly of beings that theoretically are his peers. Practically though, the members of this assembly are going to have very little success in going toe-to-toe with the monster.
Doesn’t that sound at least a little bit like SEC football? The conference has its own grumpy overlord that is obsessed with collecting the jewels that make him the universe’s most powerful being. The difference is in the SEC, our villain doesn’t have pink skin or a beard that appears to be made out of skin. Saban may not be an anagram of Thanos, but they both have and S and at least one A. That is a start.
So if Bama and Nick Saban are Thanos in this metaphor who do the other 13 teams in the conference represent? Good news for you! While I have never read a comic book, I do have a film studies degree! From an SEC school! 364 days of the year, that is as useful as having a degree in tropical studies from the University of Alaska, but this is the one day it is useful.
Which of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are in fact SEC schools in disguise? Strap in. Here we go!
ARKANSAS IS THE WINTER SOLDIER
At one time Arkansas was very dangerous. Actually, multiple times in their history in the conference they have been pretty good. They haven’t made much noise recently as they were held captive by a bitter guy that tried to turn them into a monster by replicating Alabama’s run-heavy scheme of Saban’s first years in charge. It’s not unlike Bucky Barnes’ unfortunate turn as Zemo’s enslaved henchman.
AUBURN IS THOR
Auburn proved last year that they are good enough to take down Bama, just like Thor probably is strong enough to take down Thanos under the right circumstances. Just like Thor facing off with Thanos though, the next time the Tigers meet Alabama they will be without their hammer (Kerryon Johnson) and missing an eye (Carlton Davis) so you have to be concerned about their chances of winning. Also there is this:
FLORIDA IS THE VISION
If you’ve checked out the previews, you know things are not going to go well for Vision in Infinity War. I feel like people that read Athlon, Phil Steele, etc. will walk away with similar feelings about the 2018 Florida Gators.
GEORGIA IS SPIDER-MAN
The new (and dare I say best) Spider-Man, starring Tom Holland was filled with discovery. The character keeps discovering new abilities. He discovers new ways for his suit to assist him. And from the trailer, it looks like Spider-Man is getting even newer toys in Infinity War! The Georgia Bulldogs have already proven that they are quite good, and somehow they keep getting new toys. Is Spider-Man good enough to take down Thanos right now? No, but he’s young and promising and keeps adding new weapons to his arsenal. It’s going to happen sooner rather than later.
KENTUCKY IS STAR LORD
Kentucky is from our college football obsessed conference, but have really made their mark in the college basketball world. It’s just like Star Lord, who is originally from Earth, but is a much bigger deal elsewhere.
LSU IS BLACK PANTHER
Black Panther is pretty cool and has a lot of cool toys. LSU is objectively a great job and they stay loaded at linebacker and running back. Black Panther is also from Wakanda, which like Louisiana, is a strange land we will never fully understand.
MISSISSIPPI STATE IS LOKI
Loki, like Mississippi State, is probably only be pretending to be good.
MISSOURI IS GROOT
When Infinity War opens, we see Groot has grown into a gangly, awkward teenager. His fellow Guardians of the Galaxy still love him and want him to be okay, but they are clearly put off by just what a different part of life Groot is in. Like Groot, Mizzou will be finding its way in the SEC world in 2018. Sure, the conference wants the Tigers to be good, but the other teams giggle behind their back for hiring Derek Dooley as Mizzou’s next offensive coordinator. Also, Groot can only say one thing - “I am Groot.” One assumes the Mizzou playbook only has one play - “snap it to Drew Lock and hope he does something amazing.”
OLE MISS IS BLACK WIDOW
Black Widow’s skills are off the charts. Seriously, can you imagine her agility and pursuit scores on NCAA 14? Ole Miss’s skill players are off-the-charts talented. Both Ole Miss and Black Widow have the ability to be major players in their respective universes. The problem is the man (or in Black Widow’s case “men”) are holding them down and ensuring they are reduced to supporting roles.
SOUTH CAROLINA IS THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Bruce Banner is a mild mannered guy that most don’t see as a threat, but piss him off and...well, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. During last year’s inexplicable win over NC State, I described the South Carolina offense like this on Twitter.
NC St fan: Demetri, what offensive scheme does SC run?— Demetri Ravanos (@DemetriRavanos) September 2, 2017
Me: Chaos that sometimes works out.
With all the weapons back on offense, South Carolina will be an unstoppable monster at times this season, but just like with Bruce Banner, even they have no idea when that will happen.
TENNESSEE IS DR STRANGE
You all saw how things played out for John Currie and the University of Tennessee in November and December. You surely have read Jeremy Pruitt’s stern words for Tennessee fans that didn’t attend the spring game in Neyland Stadium. Like Dr. Strange, the Vols will have to rely on magic this year to cover up the fact that they are severely crippled.
TEXAS A&M IS IRON MAN
Texas A&M is not the SEC’s biggest threat to Alabama, but the school’s boosters are confident they will be. Iron Man is not the Avengers’ best option for going head-to-head with Thanos, but he is pretty sure he is. There is nothing wrong with Iron Man, but that isn’t enough for the man inside the suit. Like Tony Stark, Texas A&M was willing to spend money to upgrade their football coach. Did they spend it wisely? Probably not. Did they have a plan beyond “spend money and get better”? Almost certainly no. The Tony Stark is strong in College Station!
VANDERBILT IS QUICKSILVER
Already dead before this whole thing even begins.