This article is going to be a very brief prediction for the 2009 SEC West division teams. Starting with who I think will be the worst team in the SEC West.
Yes, I will be ranking the teams along the way, and I will probably get a lot of negative comments after the first 100 or so reads, but it's ok. I can take a couple of of rocks getting thrown at me, but it is the bad comments from Alabama fans that hurt the worst.
Please though, send negative comments, positive, or any kind of comment for that matter. You can even make up a type of comment for that matter. Ok, here we go.
No.6—Mississippi State Bulldogs
Now, this was a tough choice believe it or not. It could very well have been Arkansas by that six right now, but it's not and here's why:
Before you get all mad Dawg's fans, I am not going by favoritism. If you look at Mississippi State's season last year, they ended with an Ole Miss loss, and I do mean ENDED.
No conference championship, and no bowl game.
Their record of 4-8 was the worst in the SEC. Yeah, they did beat Arkansas, but they also lost to teams like Auburn, Kentucky, and Louisiana Tech. I do see Mississippi State being a much improved team from last year, set aside the fact that they had a horrible season in 2008, but they will not be in the conference championship.
Maybe a bowl game if they can get that win column to at least a six. Wins don't come easy when you are in the SEC, and to be Mississippi State in these days makes it even worse.
Again, no favoritism here, but Arkansas did beat Auburn, and they won their final game of the season. Unlike an unpredictable Auburn team that lost to the No.1 team in the nation at the time, Alabama Crimson Tide. A blowout wasn't good enough for the Tide, so they went for the also unpredicted shutout. A 36-0 final score took the Tigers out of bowl contention. Their season didn't go as planned, as they went 5-7, and lost to teams like Vanderbilt, Arkansas, and Ole Miss.
Tommy Tubberville's final season at Auburn, was his only losing season. Not the best way to cap off a very successful career at an SEC school. He hung six straight wins over the hated Tide, and had an SEC championship under his belt.
The surprise firing shocked fans throughout the nation, and the hiring of Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik gave everyone a little confidence.
Coach Chizik has coached at the University of Auburn in his career before, under the Head coaching of Tommy Tubberville. His Iowa State career didn't go as planned, but he is considered 'Back at home' by Auburn fans all over. This is why they are at No.5 in the SEC West.
The Razorback's season didn't go great either. Their record of 5-7 was identical to Auburn's, but they were able to beat LSU in their final game of the season.
Many surprised faces could be seen in the stadium on that very day. Arkansas had not had a great season to that point, as they were 4-7 and looked to be going for 4-8, but the upset alert went off across the nation as they pulled off the win against the hated Tigers.
They should be a better team this coming season. They begin their season against their rival Texas A&M Aggies. Another upset may be on the horizon for the Razorbacks. We'll just have to wait and see.
No.3—Louissianna State Tigers
LSU got off to a good start last season, but the defending National champions just didn't have enough to claim successive titles.
Losses to teams like Alabama, Florida, and Arkansas really turned their season upside down. Though they did lose to hated rival Arkansas, they were able to beat Georgia Tech in the Chick Fil-A bowl in a surprising game.
The Yellow Jackets were on fire after beating Georgia in the last minutes in their annual rivalry. LSU, though, put that fire out in a hurry. The Tigers may be able to catch fire this year if they can win some key games. No telling what will happen with this team.
No.2—Ole Miss Rebels
No one saw the season they had last year coming.Beating the eventual national champions, Florida Gators, in the middle of the season, then beating the team that was also a big surprise in the Cotton Bowl, Texas Tech was just the beginning of the run that Ole Miss may be starting for the next decade or so.
They capped their season with an impressive win in their bowl game, that put them in the top 25 teams going into the 2009 season. This one game may have given them the hype to take them to a BCS bowl game this coming season.
Only time will tell.
No.1—Alabama Crimson Tide
Considered by many the most surprising team in the nation last season. They started the season with an impressive win over the ranked Clemson Tigers, and then only four games later defeated the pre season No.1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs to show the nation that Bama is back.
Alabama kept the No.1 ranking for the longest consecutive weeks in 2008. They were also invited to play in their conference championship game.
Though they lost to the Gators, they were able to keep up. Losing by two last quarter touchdowns. If the game were only played in three quarters, Alabama would have been in the National Championship game.
It was a loss though, and gave Bama an invite to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
It was set, Alabama vs. Utah in the Sugar Bowl. Both teams were having stellar seasons. Utah looked to be the huge underdogs. In a nationwide vote, 92 percent said that Alabama would beat Utah. Apparently that doesn't mean anything as the 12-0 Utes went on to beat the Tide, 12-1. Utah then became 13-0, and were the only undefeated team left in the nation.
How's that for 2009 hype?
Alabama WILL have an improved team this season. I stated in one of my previous articles that we would have a weakness at our QB position, but I stand today saying that there will be not weakness.
After attending the A-day game I realized that it may be an improvement. These reasons are why I see Alabama starting the 2009 season at the No.1 ranking in the SEC West.