It’s never easy to be a loser, but some handle it better than others.
Larry’s Losers Predicts the SEC Outcomes for 2013 Way Too Early
By: Larry Burton
Well sports fans, times are changing. This is the last season of the old BCS system that you either loved or hated. Realignment is still changing the landscape of college football so it’s time for me to make a change too and predict the SEC outcomes, even if it is way too early.
The old pigskin pickin’ pooch and I have made a life out of picking the SEC losers, but we’ve rarely looked looked more than a week down the road. So that’s way this marks a radical departure from the norm around here, but the prognosticating pug and I are itching to get picking and what better way to do so than just try something like this.
Starting in the West with the East Next Week
This is the easiest division to figure out as the boys from Bama are men on a mission to maul the rest of the college ranks one more time and go down as threepeat champions.
They’ll agonize the Aggies early and serve notice that this is a team not to be trifled with. Johnny Manziel may be a terrific quarterback, but three things are working against the College Station Cadets this fall. First of all, this ain’t the same cast of supporting characters that helped Johnny Football fling and flee his way to the Heisman Trophy last season. The defense has just four starters returning from the squad that rolled the Tide last season and the offensive line will prove to be more porous.
Secondly, the Aggies won’t be sneaking up on anyone this season and neither will Manziel. Thirdly, Nick Saban has a nasty habit of not letting teams beat him twice in a row. All these work against the agro men in Texas, but they could wind up being second best in the West.
That puts LSU in the unfamiliar role of being the third place team in their division. With lots of attrition on defense and a lot of questions to be answered on offense, the Cajun Kitties could easily lose three of four to either Georgia, Florida, Alabama or Texas A&M.
That puts the up and coming Rebels in fourth place, where the head coach of the guys from the Grove tries to put the Freeze on as many SEC rivals as they can. While they aren’t up to snuff yet to take on the top tier teams, they’ll make easy work of the weak sisters in the SEC and could end the year with a winning record after the bowl game.
In fifth place, Dan Mullen’s mutts just can’t seem to get to the point where they can run with the big dogs and this will be yet another year of ho hum play and fighting for a bowl game. Last year everyone saw the balance of power in the muddy river state when Dan’s doggies were thoroughly spanked by rising Rebels and that pendulum isn’t likely to swing back to state’s way any time soon.
Plainsmen painfully pontificate that I’m pleased to point out problems with the War Eagles, but I contend that sometimes the truth just seems that way. But in the spirit of spreading good news about all things Auburn, Bacardi and I both see the Tigers totaling at least 100% to 200% more SEC wins than they did last year.
Of all the hiring decisions that the Auburn Tigers could have made about a coach, they bring in a smoke and mirror offense minded coach who was in high school football just a few years ago. He’s going to be the short bus Gus coach in the SEC and following the beatings that they get from LSU, Ole Miss and Texas A&M, even the fanatics will start to question who the next head coach will be. Gus’ offense worked well with Cam Newton and for him and the fans of the well tamed Tigers, it’s too bad there’s no Cam Newton there anymore.
And that just leaves the harried hogs to finish at the bottom. New head coach Brett Bielema will get a baptism by fire here in the SEC and Pig patrons will ponder over the question, “How did things get so bad so fast after Petrino?”
Not everybody makes it to bowl season and we’re pickin’ these Piggies to pass on a bowl game this season.
So in a recap that recounts the previous predictions, here is the likely list losers along with the finishing order from leaders to losers.
SEC Western Division – prior to post season play, regular season games only
Alabama 12-0 overall 8-0 in SEC play
Texas A&M 11-1 overall 7-1 in SEC play
LSU 9-3 overall 5-3 in SEC play
Ole Miss 7-5 overall 4-4 in SEC play
Mississippi State 6-6 overall 3-5 in SEC play
Auburn 6-6 overall 3-5 in SEC play
Arkansas 5-7 overall 1-7 in SEC play
And that’s it for West and this week’s preseason prognostication. Bacardi the Wonder Dog and I will see you in about a week with the “Least in the East” and list those losers for you too. With just over two months of mourning from missing the game we all love so much, maybe these articles will fill the void as we can comment on your thoughts of the accuracy of these picks and the changes that you would make.
So until the next rounds of picks, the pug and I bid you farewell and wish you a happy summer.
Larry is an award winning writer whose work has appeared in almost every college football venue. Now he primarily writes for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow Larry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter