SEC West: Roll Tide or a Dark Horse?

Dylan MartinContributor IIIJanuary 26, 2010

Yesterday I posted my early predictions in the wide open SEC East. Now it's time for me to rank the teams of the West. Last year the Tide dominated the SEC West and will look to continue their dominance. However, the other teams look to stun the Tide.

LSU is always a strong candidate for SEC West title. With a deadly defense and a beast of a running back LSU will be a top candidate to beat out the Tide.

Arkansas is a dark horse of the West with one hell of a quarterback. Ryan Mallet the 6-foot-7 inch tall QB towers over even some receivers.

Auburn looks to improve on the 8-5 season last year but may have some fallback due to key losses

Ole Miss losses their star QB and Mississippi State lost its star running back to the draft. This will put them in the back of the West again.

No. 6 Mississippi State

Like Vanderbilt the other Bulldogs will be the bottom feeder of the SEC once again. Their running back Anthony Dixon was deadly and was a main reason they got a bowl win a couple years ago. A glimmer of hope was seen in their blasting of rival Ole Miss in their last game but Dixon and others have left which leaves the Bulldogs weak.

2010 Schedule Predictions: 3-9

No. 5 Mississippi

All the hype and all the glamour of the Rebels has died down and is gone. Sneed was the reason that gave Rebel fans belief. And why not at one point Ole Miss was No. 6 in the country and hotter than ever.

But, something went wrong in Oxford the Rebels lost their "Mojo" also Alabama was going on a rampage which didn't help. It's all gone the love and the hype also they will go back to fifth place in the West.

2010 Schedule Predictions: 6-6

No. 4 Auburn

New head coach Gene Chizik got Auburn a winning season and a near upset of the Crimson Tide of Alabama he also got them a bowl win in his first season. I still remember Barkley whining about the fact that Auburn did not hire a black coach.

Well coaches are not decided on race they are decided on knowledge and experience. Gene clearly has fit that match for the Tigers. I don't know if you can call it a fallback but they won't be in Atlanta.

2010 Schedule Predictions: 7-5

No. 3 LSU

The Tigers finished under the radar this year with all the focus in the SEC on Alabama and Florida. Now the spotlight will be on Alabama and LSU for the West title. LSU lost their bowl game on poor clock management by Less Miles.

LSU has not been to Atlanta since 2007 when they squeaked by a beaten up Tennessee team, they also won the National Title. Arkansas and Alabama will beat out LSU for the top spot in 2010 but 2011 looks to be brighter than before.

2010 Schedule Predictions: 7-5


No. 2 Arkansas

Man oh man do I remember that game when Arkansas took on Georgia. After hammering Texas A&M on the road Ryan Mallet has a record day with over 400 yards and a near upset of Georgia. While it did not turn into a great season for the Razorbacks it showed what might happen in the next year.

What may be the deadliest team in the SEC Arkansas is over looked right now and will open up on a poor team this season to make a run back to Atlanta. Redemption will be on their minds if they do make it back to Atlanta.

2010 Schedule Predictions: 9-3

No. 1 Alabama

How can the Tide go any higher than they did last year? Well they did go 14-0, crush Florida in the SEC title game, make Tebow cry, and win a national title. Not much better you can do there.

The Tide look to continue their dominance of the regular season going 24-0 in the last two regular seasons and going 26-2 in the last two seasons. Bama should have no real tough problem getting back to Atlanta for the third straight time but they should slip up along the way.

2010 Schedule Predictions: 11-1


There you go feel free to say what you want to say. In my third article I hope to write more articles check out my East predictions to see who I believe the Tide will duke it out with in Atlanta.

This list could change after the spring games. I still want to see how the new guys work out before I do make a solid prediction. Anything could happen from now until summer.

My final prediction will come out a week before the season starts with the SEC title prediction and a national title prediction.