SEC West predictions 2008 (1 Viewer)

st dude

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Coaching changes in the last two years have really changed the landscape in the SEC west. Now you have Petrino at Arkansas, Nutt at Ole Miss and Saban at Alabama to go along with Croom at Miss State, Tuberville at Auburn and Miles at LSU.

Its a murderers row of coaches. If these coaches were available today and a head coaching job opened at any major school in the country, including USC and Texas, any number of these six would be in the mix.

For the most part these caoches will cancel each other out on game day and the winner of the SEC west will be the team with the most talent. In this decade that has meant the LSU/Auburn game more often than not determines the conference winner. I think that will hold true in 2008 as well and with Auburn hosting LSU you have to make them the favorite.

Alabama is really just now recovering from the sanctions that zapped their talent level and will likely be contenders in the west either next year of soon thereafter. The West is really about haves and (relative)have nots. LSU, Auburn and Alabama all have, or in Alabama's case will have, top ten talent. Ole Miss, Arkansas and Miss State all have fine coaches but not enough talent to consistently contend for the West. I do not see that trend changing anytime soon. Most kids go in state and there isnt enough talent in Arkansas to compare to Louisiana and Alabama. Mississippi has talent, but what talent survives raids from LSU, Bama and Auburn gets divided between Ole Miss, Miss State and USM. I do not see that changing in the forseeable future.

What has changed is that the SEC West will be better top to bottom. Nutt is a great hire for Ole Miss and they will be tougher. Croom is doing well at State. Petrino will make Arkaknsas dangerous.

This will make it very difficult for a national champion to come out of the West again. The west champion will be much more likely to win with a 6-2 record or even a 5-3 record than the 7-1 or 8-0 you need to be a national champion. Yes, LSU did get to the big game with two losses but that was and will be a rarity.

In 2008 I see LSU and Auburn one and two, whovever wins the game between those two has a leg up. I see Bama as a spoiler but probably finishing third. Ole Miss, State and Arkansas will finish 4,5 and 6 in an order thats impossible to predict. I'll say Arkansas will have the toughest time losing their great two backs.

In 2009 and beyond its going to be LSU, Auburn and Bama taking turns winning the West save for an occasional run by one of the other three. Auburn might be the team hurt most by the coaching changes as Saban is doing a great job recruiting the state. Tuberville is a better game day coach than Saban, for my money, and that kind of evens out. Miles continues the trend of locking down Louisiana talent, which is considerable. As good as the other coaches are, I just dont see them overcoming the talent differential to consistently contend(I say consistently because if you get an Eli Manning or a Mcfadden in your program, one of these special guys can elevate the talent around them as we have seen happen).

2008 West:

Auburn
LSU
Alabama
Ole Miss
Miss State
Arkansas

Next week: The East.
 

Saintman2884

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st. dude, can I ask you a question about the annual LSU/Auburn rivalry? Do you think that is one of the top 5 rivalries in NCAAF right now? Sure Auburn has Alabama as its top rival but over the past 10 years, our games have become pretty important. I dont think I have seen this type of intensity between two teams in the SEC for a long time now. When ever a game comes, their is always either a bloodbath, somebody getting injured, fights breaking out in the stands between fans, and a call that is crucial to one team losing the contest.
Our rivalry is red hot right now, because it is so important to one of us winning that game goes on to win the SEC title.
Thats a big time contest IMO
 

GrayMatter78

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My only issue with Auburn is with Kodi Burns. Sure, he can run the spread offense effectively, as far as running, but he threw only 26 passes all season. You have to wonder if his inexperience throwing the ball will create issues on offense for Auburn.
 

Maxp

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My only issue with Auburn is with Kodi Burns. Sure, he can run the spread offense effectively, as far as running, but he threw only 26 passes all season. You have to wonder if his inexperience throwing the ball will create issues on offense for Auburn.
I was worried about this at first, but you are forgetting that we are trading Brandon Cox for Kodi Burns. At worst I see this as an even trade, but I believe Kodi will be better than Cox. Burns might not be the starting QB, we signed a former Texas Tech qb a month ago who came over with our new OC.
 
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MLU

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I don't see how anyone could favor Auburn over LSU with Kodi Burns at QB for Auburn...
 
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st dude

st dude

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st. dude, can I ask you a question about the annual LSU/Auburn rivalry? Do you think that is one of the top 5 rivalries in NCAAF right now?

I do. But I doubt people across the country would agree. It has determined the SEC west champion and that has an impact on who will be national champion since one of the top two BCS teams often comes out of SEC championship game.

More high profile rivalries would include Ohio State/Michigan, Florida/Georgia, Texas/Oklahoma and probably even Florida/Tennessee.

If you measure it by impact of the outcome of the game and not popular opinion, yes, its one of the top five rivalry games of the new millenium.
 

MLU

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That's easy, the game is in Auburn.
That's only an advantage if the teams were even. I don't feel that they are. Kodi Burns has three games to get himself up to par before facing what will be one of the better defenses in the country (again) next year. I assume that Brad Lester is coming back, so at least they'll have someone to take pressure off him. Most of the O-Line is coming back as well, right?

Perhaps if the young receivers step it up and help him out they might have a shot, but a young, raw QB is a big obstacle to overcome. I fast, aggressive defense like LSU's can out him in a hole that he can't dig out of real quick.
 
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st dude

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I don't see how anyone could favor Auburn over LSU with Kodi Burns at QB for Auburn...
LSU has had better QBs than Auburn in most of their games and lost their share. LSU lost at Auburn in 2006 with a much better team, yes, LSU got bad calls, but thats life on the road in the SEC and somethign you consider.

LSU might well win the west and beat Auburn, who knows. Its just a general proposition that in even years LSU has a brutal road schedule which works against them.
 

Maxp

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That's only an advantage if the teams were even. I don't feel that they are. Kodi Burns has three games to get himself up to par before facing what will be one of the better defenses in the country (again) next year. I assume that Brad Lester is coming back, so at least they'll have someone to take pressure off him. Most of the O-Line is coming back as well, right?

Perhaps if the young receivers step it up and help him out they might have a shot, but a young, raw QB is a big obstacle to overcome. I fast, aggressive defense like LSU's can out him in a hole that he can't dig out of real quick.
You are correct about Burns, it is too early to know how up to speed he will be in the new offense. Our entire starting o-line will be back and most of our starting receivers will be juniors or seniors. Lester, Tate, and Fanin will be back at rb with lester and Fanin getting more time in a receiving role. In the past, our defense is what kept us in games. I believe Auburn will have another top ten defense. If our offense can improve over last year's 114th ranking, we will have a lot of success. Our first three games set Kodi up nicely to gain confidence in our offense (ULM, USM, MSU).
 

Treybad

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Well, In my opinion Auburns defense better be ready too play. I believe that Periloux and Co. will light up the scoreboard on anyone..... Way too much talent on LSUs offense for Auburns offense too overcome in my opinion....
 

MLU

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Well, damn. I was hoping for a blowout over Auburn next year. Looks like we're both in for another knock-down, drag-out that leaves both teams weary for the rest of the season.
 

LSSpam

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If JPW is the QB for Bama again next year I'm not so sure about a 3rd place finish. :covri:
You guys have an insanely easy OOC schedule. Barring another ULM you should sweep it without any problem. Anything less then an 8-4 finish (4-4 in the SEC) would be an embarrassment.

Edit - Hey wait, I take that back. You have Clemson on your schedule. I don't remember them, is that a new addition? If so kudo's for adding a great opener (if it's not new, oops).
 
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stevedrum

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You guys have an insanely easy OOC schedule. Barring another ULM you should sweep it without any problem. Anything less then an 8-4 finish (4-4 in the SEC) would be an embarrassment.

Edit - Hey wait, I take that back. You have Clemson on your schedule. I don't remember them, is that a new addition? If so kudo's for adding a great opener (if it's not new, oops).

Yes it's a new addition and I'm glad they added it because without it their OOC schedule was a joke.
 

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