SEC West champ could have 2 losses - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

SEC West champ could have 2 losses

Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn must win on the road at Ole Miss and Bama to make it back to the Georgia Dome. (Source: Auburn Athletics) Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn must win on the road at Ole Miss and Bama to make it back to the Georgia Dome. (Source: Auburn Athletics)
Circle Nov. 8 on your calendar to watch the annual LSU and Alabama clash of titans.  (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications) Circle Nov. 8 on your calendar to watch the annual LSU and Alabama clash of titans. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications)
  • AlabamaMore>>

  • Former 5-star QB Barnett transfers to USF after 'Bama, ASU

    Former 5-star QB Barnett transfers to USF after 'Bama, ASU

    Friday, May 18 2018 2:11 PM EDT2018-05-18 18:11:51 GMT
    Blake Barnett (Source: University of Alabama Athletics)Blake Barnett (Source: University of Alabama Athletics)

    Former Alabama and Arizona State quarterback Blake Barnett, once a five-star recruit, has transferred to South Florida, where he'll be immediately eligible to play with two seasons remaining.

    Former Alabama and Arizona State quarterback Blake Barnett, once a five-star recruit, has transferred to South Florida, where he'll be immediately eligible to play with two seasons remaining.

  • Alabama, Texas announce home-and-home series

    Alabama, Texas announce home-and-home series

    Wednesday, May 16 2018 4:40 PM EDT2018-05-16 20:40:24 GMT
    Source: WBRC graphicsSource: WBRC graphics

    The University of Alabama and The University of Texas have announced a home-and-home series between the Crimson Tide and Longhorns. The Tide will travel to Austin in 2022 and the Longhorns will come to Tuscaloosa in 2023.

    The University of Alabama and The University of Texas have announced a home-and-home series between the Crimson Tide and Longhorns. The Tide will travel to Austin in 2022 and the Longhorns will come to Tuscaloosa in 2023.

  • Alabama-Louisville to kickoff ABC's Saturday Night Football

    Alabama-Louisville to kickoff ABC's Saturday Night Football

    Wednesday, May 16 2018 12:19 PM EDT2018-05-16 16:19:13 GMT

    National champion Alabama will face Louisville in ABC's first Saturday Night Football game, and Miami plays LSU on Sunday night of the season-opening weekend.

    National champion Alabama will face Louisville in ABC's first Saturday Night Football game, and Miami plays LSU on Sunday night of the season-opening weekend.

  • LSUMore>>

  • LSU football enjoys team outing at original T.J. Ribs restaurant

    LSU football enjoys team outing at original T.J. Ribs restaurant

    Tuesday, August 11 2015 9:37 PM EDT2015-08-12 01:37:12 GMT
    Tuesday, August 11 2015 10:06 PM EDT2015-08-12 02:06:19 GMT
    The LSU football team took a break from the sweaty grind of fall camp Tuesday night to enjoy some team bonding and great food.
    The LSU football team took a break from the sweaty grind of fall camp Tuesday night to enjoy some team bonding and great food.
  • LSU football wants return to 2011 defense

    LSU football wants return to 2011 defense

    Thursday, August 6 2015 3:15 PM EDT2015-08-06 19:15:51 GMT
    Thursday, August 6 2015 3:36 PM EDT2015-08-06 19:36:51 GMT
    LSU may have ranked No. 1 in the SEC defensively last season, but many fans and analysts agree that wasn’t an accurate reflection of how the team actually played. 
    LSU may have ranked No. 1 in the SEC defensively last season, but many fans and analysts agree that wasn’t an accurate reflection of how the team actually played. 
  • LSU football reports for fall camp, Miles says Bain was never reinstated

    LSU football reports for fall camp, Miles says Bain was never reinstated

    Wednesday, August 5 2015 12:06 PM EDT2015-08-05 16:06:42 GMT
    Wednesday, August 5 2015 4:52 PM EDT2015-08-05 20:52:04 GMT
    On a steamy and sweltering morning in south Louisiana, the LSU football team officially reported for the start of fall camp. The Tigers checking into the West Campus Apartments Wednesday morning, with their first practice set for Thursday. 
    On a steamy and sweltering morning in south Louisiana, the LSU football team officially reported for the start of fall camp. The Tigers checking into the West Campus Apartments Wednesday morning, with their first practice set for Thursday. 
  • National SportsMore>>

  • Oh brother: Cole's good game blemished by HR from Crawford

    Oh brother: Cole's good game blemished by HR from Crawford

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 11:43 PM EDT2018-05-23 03:43:09 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:34 AM EDT2018-05-23 05:34:41 GMT
    (AP Photo/David J. Phillip). San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford (35) runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip). San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford (35) runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Houston.
    Gerrit Cole pitched the Houston Astros to another win on Tuesday night, striking out eight in six innings of a 11-2 win over the San Francisco Giants, allowing just two runs on a homer to brother-in-law Brandon...
    Gerrit Cole pitched the Houston Astros to another win on Tuesday night, striking out eight in six innings of a 11-2 win over the San Francisco Giants, allowing just two runs on a homer to brother-in-law Brandon Crawford.
  • Letter: USA Taekwondo wasn't shy about punishing Lopezes

    Letter: USA Taekwondo wasn't shy about punishing Lopezes

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:22 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:22:47 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:34 AM EDT2018-05-23 05:34:34 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File). FILE - This Aug. 22, 2008, file photo shows Steven Lopez, right, celebrating with his brother and coach Jean after defeating Azerbaijan's Rashad Ahmadov in a bronze medal match for the men's taekwondo -80 kilogram class at...(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File). FILE - This Aug. 22, 2008, file photo shows Steven Lopez, right, celebrating with his brother and coach Jean after defeating Azerbaijan's Rashad Ahmadov in a bronze medal match for the men's taekwondo -80 kilogram class at...
    USA Taekwondo produces letter that shows it was not shy about punishing Lopez brothers.
    USA Taekwondo produces letter that shows it was not shy about punishing Lopez brothers.
  • Harden scores 30, Rockets even series at 2 games apiece

    Harden scores 30, Rockets even series at 2 games apiece

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 11:43 PM EDT2018-05-23 03:43:56 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:34 AM EDT2018-05-23 05:34:30 GMT
    (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez). Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates after scoring against the Houston Rockets during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, May 22, 20...(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez). Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates after scoring against the Houston Rockets during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, May 22, 20...
    James Harden scored 30 points, Chris Paul had 27 and the Houston Rockets sustained the latest second-half flurry by Stephen Curry, evening the Western Conference finals at 2 games apiece with a 95-92 win.
    James Harden scored 30 points, Chris Paul had 27 and the Houston Rockets sustained the latest second-half flurry by Stephen Curry, evening the Western Conference finals at 2 games apiece with a 95-92 win.
  • Texas A&MMore>>

  • Game winning shot rattles out, Ole Miss falls at Texas A&M

    Game winning shot rattles out, Ole Miss falls at Texas A&M

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:44 PM EST2018-01-17 04:44:02 GMT
    Source: SEC NetworkSource: SEC Network

    Tyler Davis scored 20 points, including Texas A&M's final basket, and the Aggies defeated Mississippi 71-69 on Tuesday night for A&M's first victory in Southeastern Conference play this season. The Rebels' Breein Tyree missed a 3-point attempt at the other end that rattled in and out as time expired.

    Tyler Davis scored 20 points, including Texas A&M's final basket, and the Aggies defeated Mississippi 71-69 on Tuesday night for A&M's first victory in Southeastern Conference play this season. The Rebels' Breein Tyree missed a 3-point attempt at the other end that rattled in and out as time expired.

(RNN) – In the last four SEC Championship Games an average of 74 points has been scored in each track meet. Blame Steve Spurrier for igniting the offensive fire in the 90s when he coached at Florida. Now Gus Malzahn – the architect of 56- and 59-point Auburn explosions in 2013 and 2010 – is pouring gas on the blaze this decade.

But with a lack of widespread returning star power at quarterback, will SEC defenses return to dominance in a league once known for silencing cocky offensive gurus?

If they do, LSU and Alabama will be the first in the West to solve the offensive riddles. Nick Saban has stars from the line, linebackers and secondary on the media's preseason All-SEC first team. Defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson, linebacker Trey DePriest and defensive back Landon Collins headline the top tier.

LSU's Les Miles has five Tigers on the second and third teams, including ballhawk defensive backs Tre'Davious White, Corey Thompson and Rashard Robinson.

Much-heralded lineman Robert Nkemdiche and defensive back Cody Prewitt give Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze hope that flashy QB Bo Wallace won't have to put up 30 points every Saturday to put the Rebels in the Georgia Dome for the first time.

Auburn's defense, which is known as of late for surrendering comfortable leads, had five of the 36 players named to the three teams, although defensive lineman Carl Lawson, who is recovering from knee surgery, is questionable.

Leading Bulldog tackler Benardrick McKinney and lineman Chris Jones will anchor a defense that returns eight starters for Dan Mullen in forever hopeful Starkville.

Arkansas and Texas A&M provide only one player each among the three teams. But after an 0-8 league mark, plan for a spirited defensive stand from Bret Bielema's Hogs on their revenge tour of the conference. As for the Aggies, yielding 32 points per game in 2014 will just not generate many Ws.

Picking the West

Ole Miss – Freeze knows he can take down a member of the big three in the West. The Rebels topped No. 6 LSU 27-24 in Oxford in 2013. Mississippi could withstand a loss at LSU and win the West, but that would require exacting revenge for some long Alabama nights to take advantage of Ole Miss' best shot at a league title since Manning. Or the Rebel faithful can just pour some iced tea, settle in the recliner and wait for the third generation.

Bama – Florida will try to regain its mojo by beating Bama on Sept. 20, and is a virtual lock to come to Tuscaloosa 3-0. The Tide faces Ole Miss and LSU in unfriendly confines after four straight home contests. Saban hosts MSU and The Gus Bus in Bryant-Denny. Hard to sage better than 10-2 without a proven quarterback.

ARK - The schedule is just hideous, but look for Arkansas to win one game in which they are more than two-touchdown underdogs. A determined coach Bret Bielema takes them bowling at 6-6.

AU - The mantra is that the 2014 edition could be better team than 2013 but finish with a worse record. The schedule is labeled horrific, but that largely depends on how South Carolina enters Jordan-Hare on Oct. 25. An October of LSU and Spurrier at home, and road Mississippi hostilities will challenge a team and coaching staff seemingly poised for a long run. As a reminder, Auburn finished No. 2 in 2013. Hard to be better than that so let's say Gus slows down to 10-2.

LSU – Les Miles faces Alabama and Ole Miss at home and can win the West by holding serve in Baton Rouge and keeping away loses to just one among Auburn, Florida, A&M and Arkansas. But with an unknown quarterback, it's hard to put that kind of confidence in the Tigers. But LSU has three easy wins among its first five games to get a QB ready for stretch run so let's say 9-3.

OM - A perfect home record puts Hugh Freeze in the Georgia Dome. Road games also are manageable at Vanderbilt, A&M, Arkansas and LSU. But Ole Miss lacks a returning big back resulting in too much pressure on Wallace for a prediction of more than 10-2.

MSU – A Sept. 20 tilt at LSU should feature two ranked 3-0 teams. With a veteran quarterback, this is the kind of showdown Mullen must finally prevail in to arrive in Atlanta. A win would set up a headliner against Gus Malzahn on Oct. 11. But the Bulldogs, like Ole Miss, lack the big, speedy back, and that projects them at 8-4.

A&M – An opener against the Gamecocks and a closer against LSU after playing Missouri and Auburn on the road is formidable. Look for a considerable dropoff to 6-6.

SEC West Champ

Who represents in Atlanta will come down to the tie-breaker - who beat who - among Ole Miss, Auburn and Bama.

Can an 11-2 SEC champ that emerges from the brutal SEC West make it to the Final Four? Yes, it's already been done. LSU made it in 2007 with two overtime losses to unranked Arkansas and No. 17 Kentucky, and won the BCS title for Miles after a win in Atlanta and a victory over Ohio State in the BCS finale. But they came into both losses ranked No.1. Take note Bama and AU. History may repeat itself in 2014.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

 

  • SEC FootballSEC CoverageMore>>

  • LSU football legend Billy Cannon passes away; visitation and funeral arrangements set

    LSU football legend Billy Cannon passes away; visitation and funeral arrangements set

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 6:14 PM EDT2018-05-22 22:14:17 GMT
    Billy Cannon at the LSU Spring Game on April 21, 2018 (Source: WAFB)Billy Cannon at the LSU Spring Game on April 21, 2018 (Source: WAFB)

    LSU football legend Billy Cannon died Sunday morning. He was 80 years old.

    LSU football legend Billy Cannon died Sunday morning. He was 80 years old.

  • Ohio State QB Joe Burrow announces transfer to LSU

    Ohio State QB Joe Burrow announces transfer to LSU

    Friday, May 18 2018 5:19 PM EDT2018-05-18 21:19:01 GMT
    Ohio State QB Joe Burrow (10) calls out signals during a game against Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Sept. 30, 2017 (Source: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)Ohio State QB Joe Burrow (10) calls out signals during a game against Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Sept. 30, 2017 (Source: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

    Ed Orgeron has his quarterback. LSU will add Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow to the roster as a graduate transfer according to a report.

    Ed Orgeron has his quarterback. LSU will add Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow to the roster as a graduate transfer according to a report.

  • Hundreds pack Birmingham temple to celebrate Mike Slive's life

    Hundreds pack Birmingham temple to celebrate Mike Slive's life

    Friday, May 18 2018 4:26 PM EDT2018-05-18 20:26:59 GMT
    (Source: WBRC Video)(Source: WBRC Video)
    (Source: WBRC Video)(Source: WBRC Video)

    The overwhelming message on Friday morning? Former SEC commissioner Mike Slive was tough man who just so happened to be one of the nicest people you’d ever meet.

    The overwhelming message on Friday morning? Former SEC commissioner Mike Slive was tough man who just so happened to be one of the nicest people you’d ever meet.

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