Seems Familiar: SEC’s Country Music Doppelgangers

Posted by Greg Mitchell on March 10th, 2016

Nashville is a great place for a conference tournament. Even if the basketball happens to be underwhelming, there’s plenty of other forms of entertainment just steps away from Bridgestone Arena. It is the Music City, after all. In the spirit of basketball and honky-tonk, here are some of the SEC’s teams and the country music stars they most resemble.

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Blake Shelton And Kentucky Are Both Living Large Again

Kentucky as… Blake Shelton. Before Wisconsin extinguished that dream, life was perfect for the unbeaten Wildcats last year as they tried to notch an unprecedented 40-0 record. Similarly, it wasn’t very long ago that Shelton and Miranda Lambert were living large as country’s pre-eminent power couple. But life happens, and the two stars have since gone their separate ways. Kentucky and Shelton, however, have both found a neon light at the end of the tunnel. Against the odds, Shelton has put together a run of hit singles, is dating Gwen Stefani and even has a Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit opening. The Wildcats, to their credit, claimed a share of this season’s SEC regular season title with a guard-oriented team. Life goes on.

Vanderbilt as… Little Big Town. Little Big Town was a bit of a slow-starter. The band originally formed in 1998 but didn’t make national waves until 2005 with the hit single “Boondocks.” They’re also a little older than the traditional mainstream country act (no ageism intended). This sounds a lot like Vanderbilt, a team that was stuck at 13-10 after a loss to Ole Miss and in serious danger of missing out on the NCAA Tournament. A 6-2 finish to conference play has saved the Commodores, even if it took them a while to get there. With Little Big Town, Karen Fairchild understandably gets top billing, but she’s surrounded by a talented supporting cast. The same goes for Damian Jones and the rest of the ‘Dores.

Texas A&M as… Keith Urban. Like Urban to the United States, Texas A&M is still a foreigner to the SEC. But the Aussie fits in nicely with American country music and has been pumping out great music for over a decade. The Aggies and their Texas footprint have similarly snuggled into SEC country quite nicely, and they finally made a splash in their new home by winning a share of the SEC regular season title this season.


Ben Simmons Probably Never Expected To Have His Tigers Likened To Florida Georgia Line…

LSU as… Florida Georgia Line. Don’t lie, it’s hard to not get swept off your feet by Florida Georgia Line. “Sun Daze” is catchy. Similarly, how can you not get the googly eyes for LSU? The future number one pick! Tim Quarterman‘s length! Antonio Blakeney‘s all-around athleticism! But like many Florida Georgia Line songs, the Tigers’ resume lacks much substance with 13 losses and an RPI nearing triple-digits.

Alabama as… Darius Rucker. Both the coach and the artist have had massive levels of success elsewhere. For Rucker, it was as the front man of Hootie & the Blowfish — a band that is, at least in our estimation, a part of the soundtrack of the ’90s. For Avery Johnson, it was leading the Dallas Mavericks within a superhuman stretch from Dwyane Wade of winning the franchise’s first NBA title. Both are finding good times in new places, though Johnson, and his surprisingly successful first season in Tuscaloosa, has a long way to go to catch Grand Ole Opry member Rucker.

Ole Miss as… Zac Brown Band. Like Stefan Moody, Zac Brown is one talented dude. You might even say blending EDM into Jekyll + Hyde was as experimental — and artistic — as one of Moody’s high-arching threes from 30 feet. Zac Brown certainly has great band members surrounding him, but if you are being honest, he’s the reason you attend the show. The same goes for Ole Miss. Sebastian Saiz has had a very good year and Tomasz Gielo has rattled home a few long range shots, but Moody is the undeniable star of the show.

Greg Mitchell (@gregpmitchell) (231 Posts)

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