SEC Football Roller Coaster: 2008 Western Division Preview

Seth BowmanCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2008

For the past couple of years, the SEC has been the class of college football.  You had LSU's 2003 BCS championship, Auburn's undefeated 2004 season, Florida's 2006 BCS championship, and LSU taking it again in 2007—not to mention SEC dominance in both men's and women's basketball.

If you're an SEC fan, consider yourself spoiled.

With this much success, is it fair to assume another BCS champion in 2008?  I think not, but the competition for the SEC crown will be a great one, with ups, downs, twists, and turns.

So buckle up—let's take a ride on the SEC Football Roller Coaster.

I think it's only fair to say that this year's competition is going to be like no other.  In the West race, you will have good LSU and Auburn teams, an enigma for Alabama, and a big question mark for MSU.  These are my four teams that will look to overtake the tricky West.

Let's start with LSU.  After one year of winning the BCS, some could assume that LSU will have BCS drowsiness.  I beg to differ.  LSU will still have one of, if not the best, defenses in the country, and a very capable offense, even without their jailbird troubled QB exile.  Look for LSU to finish second in the West.

Next is Mississippi State, who will stun a few critics with another—yes, another—stellar year, with some great games.  MSU will have the best defense in the West, but due to consistent offensive woes, look for MSU to finish third.

Finishing fourth, right below MSU, is Auburn.  No, Auburn fans, this is not a typo.  With a sophomore QB who has never started, and a junior college transfer possibly controlling the offensive reins—without even bringing up Auburn's two new coordinators—you can look for a disappointing but positive rebuilding year.

Auburn will be good, and their defense will be great—but as with all new things, the kinks must be ironed out.

If neither Auburn or LSU wins the West, who will win it?  I mean, there are no other contenders in the West, right?  Wrong—it's going to  be Alabama, in a very weird and strange way.

In year two of Nick Saban, you can expect his players  to be playing at the highest level of competition.  While their defense will be just good enough, the Tide's offense will be ranked top three in the SEC.  John Parker Wilson, the senior QB, will lead his great running backs and young talented WRs to a very electrifying offensive year.

The Tide will finish first in the West and finish 10-2 before the SEC Championship Game, with losses to Clemson and Georgia.

Look for part two of my SEC segment, when we will take on the SEC East Preview.