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And we're off:
@BarrettSallee Which new coordinator has the most pressure to succeed this year?— Patrick Netherton (@PTNetherton) June 27, 2013
You could make the argument that Texas A&M's duo of Clarence McKinney and Jake Spavital does due to the expectations for the Aggies and the ridiculously high bar that was set for the offense last year. I'll pass on them and say that it's LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
I'm not buying the LSU rebuilding hype and think the Tigers will be squarely in the national title mix, but the offense will have to improve a bit to withstand what's bound to be at least a few defensive inconsistencies.
Quarterback Zach Mettenberger threw for more than 215 yards in each of LSU's four November games last season, and he has a talented yet underachieving wide receiving corps. If Cameron can keep that ground game cooking—which is possible even without Jeremy Hill—he has weapons outside to go over the top.
Plus, LSU's season may be determined in its first 60 minutes of play.
That opener against TCU is looming, and it could eliminate the Tigers from the national title race before the conference season even starts.
Unlike Texas A&M, there are no tuneups for LSU. That puts a lot of pressure on Cameron.
@BarrettSallee Can Ladarius Perkins be an All SEC caliber back for Mississippi State?— Derek Butler (@derekabutler) June 27, 2013
I know I'm in the minority in this, but he absolutely can.
LaDarius Perkins got labeled at a changeup back because that's exactly what he was when he backed up Vick Ballard early in his career. A funny thing happened since he arrived on campus at 175 pounds...he got bigger.
Crazy, I know.
Perkins now chimes in at a solid 5'10" and 195 pounds, but he hasn't lost a step from his days as the "lightning" portion of "thunder and lightning."
He has the talent, and he will probably have plenty of opportunities this fall.
Mississippi State lost its top three wide receivers from a year ago, which should translate to a heavy dose of Perkins early in the season. Against Oklahoma State, when the best defense is going to be a ball-control offense that keeps the ball out of the hands of the Pokes, Perkins may establish himself as one of the SEC's top running backs.
@BarrettSallee I saw some talk of Auburn & Missouri changing divisions. It had many pluses. What is the % that it may happen & why?— TBrumbeloe (@TomBrumbeloe) June 27, 2013
Zero, because given the current landscape, it wouldn't "fix the glitch."
It makes sense from a geographic standpoint to put Auburn in the East, but geography has always been more of a guideline than a rule. After all, Auburn is farther east that Nashville, home of the SEC East's Vanderbilt Commodores.
In the current 6-1-1 schedule format, which features one permanent cross-division rivalry game for each school, switching Auburn to the East would still force one of the SEC's top rivalry games off the schedule on an annual basis.
Sure, Auburn vs. Georgia would be an intra-division game and Auburn's permanent cross-division rivalry game could switch to Alabama, but then Alabama vs. Tennessee would go away. That doesn't really solve much.
The only way that the SEC realigns the divisions is if it expands again. With grant of rights deals being signed in other conferences all around the country, that doesn't look likely anytime soon.
Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at email@example.com.
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