Larry’s Losers in the SEC – Way Too Early Predictions
By: Larry Burton
Last week we looked at the losers in the East and the top loser should have come with little surprise. But on the bright side Kentucky does have good liquor and basketball, so it’s not a total loss. But things in the West aren’t so cut and dried and last season some folks smiled and some just cried.
So looking at the list of losers on this side isn’t quite as simple, because last year no one picked Auburn and they swept the prize as best in the West. They smiled all the way to the national championship game and what made it sweeter was leaving the tribe in Tuscaloosa traumatized and their their winning ways were ended.
So this is the division where anything can happen and it usually does, so let’s jump right in and take our best shot.
Arkansas – Yes, it’s the easy choice based on schedule and last season, but didn’t we think the same thing about Auburn last season? Still, Bret Bielema doesn’t have the talent around him that Auburn had last season and these are some Hogs that just seem tuskless.
This is a team though that has the ability to surprise some people, because they do have some people who can make plays and we all know that sometimes the ball bounces funny so you just never know.
But with all the other teams in the West that don’t need to have a ball bounce to to escape the bottom of the barrel, we have to point to these porkers and place the plaque of patsies on these Pigs. Larry’s Loser in the SEC West – Arkansas.
Texas A&M – While Arkansas remains where they were last season, these Aggies are going to fall and fall far from the high expectations of last season. With Johnny football signer now signing footballs in the NFL, they won’t have the offense to keep them in games that they’ve have in the past.
So for the crop growers from College Station the news is not good and bad, but bad and worse. The worse news is the offense isn’t going to put up the points that the team from last year did and the bad news is that the defense isn’t going to much better this year than last season when they let opponents pile on points.
But keep this in mind folks, nobody had Cam Newton or Johnny Football on their radars until they saw them for the first time and maybe, just maybe, coach Kevin can catch lightning in a bottle twice and this quarterback will astound us all and keep these Aggies from being awful.
Mississippi State – This is the year that Dan’s Doggies are supposed to get off the porch and run with the big dogs but we’ve been waiting for that so long I’ve just given up on these pooches. Bacardi the Wonder Dog usually always tries to find something positive when it comes to looking a fellow fidos, but even he is coming up empty after so many years of frustration.
Some think that this dog pack may just make a run at the SEC West title, but we don’t even see them being the best team in Mississippi. Yes, they have a lot of experience, but it’s like the old football joke that goes, “The good news is, this team returns a lot of starters from last year. But the bad news is, they’re the same starters that disappointed us last year.”
And that’s how we see the Dogs this year, yes, they’ve got a lot experience, but they’re experienced losers.
Ole Miss – The Rebels are going to be a good team this season and they may be better than we see them right now. They have all the players in place to panic people on the schedule, it’s just that they’re not as seasoned as some other of these SEC’ers.
Hugh Freeze sure wants to give the rest of the SEC the cold shoulder but he still might be a year or two away from being able to give these Rebels a trip to a title.
Winners win because sometimes it’s just instinctual, habitual and expected. The Rebels just haven’t reached that that stage yet when it comes to playing the big boys in the SEC and that’s why we have them where we do. Their day may be coming, but it’s just not there yet.
Auburn – Oh I can hear them now. You never give Auburn it’s due, you have an anti- bias against the birds from South Alabama, blah, blah blah… But instead of poking puns at these players from the plains, let me give the reason that I felt they’d finish second until Bacardi the Wonder Dog pointed out the schedule and the past.
LSU didn’t just beat them last year, they beat them bad and we expect them do it again this year. Also on the schedule is South Carolina, who we’ve already picked to win the East and they should take care of business even with the game in Auburn. And games at Georgia and at Alabama could leave them with three or four SEC losses or at best just two, with the tie breaker going to LSU, who we expect will take care of the Tigers once again.
Now Auburn could just as easily repeat, but Bacardi pointed out that Auburn hasn’t been in the top 10 in back to back years since 1989 and that’s 25 years ago. So if the Tigers do what they usually do, this is a year that takes a dip. The schedule, history and using up all their luck last year catches up with them this season and that’s the reason, not the bias, that we have Auburn at third.
LSU – You won’t make a living counting out LSU and Les Miles. They recruit like mad and always seem to have talent no matter how many folks leave for the NFL or graduation. Yes, they’re breaking in a new quarterback, but so did Auburn last season and we all saw how that went.
Nick Saban has proven that with top recruiting classes, you’re always going to be near the top and next to Saban, nobody has the history of pulling in the prized players better than Les.
Like we said on the Auburn pick, John Chavis has figured out how to slow the Auburn offense and he won’t forget it this season. In fact, despite losing both defensive tackles, this defense could possibly be better than the one last year and with some surprising play from youngsters on offense, the Mad Hatter will pull another rabbit from his famous hat once again and finish just short of number one in the West.
Alabama – Well, if I’m a shill, so is almost every other member of of the SEC media who when polled all picked Alabama at SEC media days. There’s a reason everyone picked these pachyderms to prevail in the post season, super talent plus Nick Saban equals success.
Yes they lost their quarterback several other key players, but the replacements are seen by most as upgrades, but the biggest thing that makes the dog and I dare dedicate this spot for the Tide is attitude. Yes they have all their players all lined up with stars at most every position, but this year they have something different that will make them even more dangerous.
And what they have this year that they didn’t have last season is attitude: a bad attitude, an attitude dedicated to payback and an attitude based on desire. A wounded animal is always the most dangerous and last season, the Tide had their pride wounded and they are going to play like a team with something to prove. After all, an elephant never forgets.
So not only does Alabama take the West, but they prove to be the team that takes the SEC again and then off to the playoffs.
The next list of losers you’ll see will be Larry’s Losers in the SEC – 2014 Week 1, see it soon here at Touchdown Alabama Magazine.