The SEC: Who Will Challenge Alabama and LSU for the Heavyweight Title?

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The SEC: Who Will Challenge Alabama and LSU for the Heavyweight Title?
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Can Alabama Repeat?

In the words of the pro wrestler Ric Flair " To be the man, you have to beat the man!" 

The Crimson tide brought home their 14th national title and their second under head coach Nick Saban.


Alabama Crimson Tide

Chances are, the Tide will not be able to bring another Superman out of the phone booth in their backfield this year. Trent Richardson followed Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram into NFL glory. The huge and talented offensive line will be just as dominant, and the defensive front always seems to reload. But the Alabama defensive backfield has lost some serious first-round talent.

One of the hardest positions to fill is cornerback because of the complexities of big-time college football.  The offensive coordinators in the SEC are varied and very skilled in exploiting weaknesses in the passing game. A.J. McCarron is back and proved in the national title game that he has ice water in his veins, catching the Tigers flat footed by passing on obvious running downs. We will see if Nick Saban turns him loose or if the Tide revert back to a between the tackles run game with Eddie Lacy.


LSU Tigers

The LSU Tigers also lost some big-time ballers to the NFL. One loss could be in the Tigers' favor, as inconsistent quarterback Jordan Jefferson has moved on in favor of Zach Mettenberger.  Jefferson was erratic during his career as the starter. Most feel like Mettenberger will give the Tigers a chance to expand their playbook and open running lanes for their backs.

They will return a fast and physical defense in 2012, as well as a frenetic return game featuring All American Tyrann Mathieu, aka "The Honey Badger." 

The Tigers finished as SEC West Champs only to implode on the field in the National Championship game. It remains to be seen if they will be able to hold off Arkansas to challenge the Crimson Tide for the west championship again.

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