This is by no means an attack on Auburn itself, but rather a serious question as to how anyone can seriously pick Auburn to win the SEC West this year. Someone please explain to me how Auburn is stronger than Alabama in any facet of the game.
QB: Nobody can give me any reason, right now, that Cam Newton is better than Greg McElroy. Newton has been at Auburn for a few months, not a few years. While McElroy was a new starter last year, he was with the program for 3 years, waiting and learning. He is a game manager who does not make a ton of mistakes. Advantage: Alabama.
RB: This takes less explanation, and just a mere mention of who Alabama has: Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. Nobody on Auburn's roster comes even close to this tandem. And I'm not even mentioning the 3rd and 4th string. Advantage: Alabama.
WR: While I can certainly concede Auburn has a good stable of WRs, they do not have a Julio Jones on their roster. Watch last year's matchup again and you will see what that means. And after watching Bama's Spring game, it's hard not to get excited about what Alabama will field this year in Maze, Hanks, Alexander, Bell, Gibson and Norwood. Advantage: Alabama.
Offensive Line: Auburn has a veteran presence that will help transition in a new QB. But the last time I checked, Alabama doesn't allow chop blocking of any kind. They teach form and technique, not dirty garbage that ends careers. And Joe Pendry is the best in the business who will help break in the new starters. There is a reason Bama went 9 games straight without a holding call. Advantage: Alabama.
Defensive Line: Carter and Clayton should be strong for Auburn, but they are working in a lot of freshmen. Alabama has Marcell Dareus. Should I just stop there? Josh Chapman played as much as Cody last year for a reason, and he and Kerry Murphy will keep teams from running the ball effectively. Advantage: Alabama.
LBs: Please. This is the deepest position Alabama has, and is the exact opposite for Auburn. No further explanation needed. Advantage: Alabama.
DBs: Auburn definitely brings some experience in this group, which bodes well for them. However, two senior starters are coming off very serious injuries and missed part or all of last season. Alabama will start two juniors and two sophomores with loads of talent. I will be generous and call this a push.
Kickers: Auburn finally has a leg up on Alabama, right now, in these positions. They bring experience to a position that is crucial. Alabama will be fielding a freshman kicker and punter, while talented, have yet to be tested. Advantage: Auburn.
So there you have it. Apparantly an experienced kicking game is going to take Auburn to the SEC championship this year. Hopefully I'm not the only person who seriously questions the predictions some of these analysts are coming up with.
Alabama, while losing a number of defensive starters from last year, still dominates at almost every position on the field. How is this even a discussion? Advantage: you know who.