So, in the switch of platforms from SB Nation to ESPN, we lose Bill’s voluminous, meticulous team-by-team analysis in exchange for a division-by-division look. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to garner from his take. You’ll find his SEC West preview quite informative.
For one thing, S&P+ projects the West to be one tough neighborhood: its top five teams rank 1, 4, 8, 10 and 13, respectively, and even the two lowest teams come in at a respectable 39 and 48. Only one team projects to win at least 9 games (do I really have to tell you which?).
This is a pretty typical story for most of the teams in this division: “S&P+ projects A&M 13th overall — and projects an average win total of seven. That says a lot.”
There are also some great individual tidbits, like this one about Nick Saban’s management skills:
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has, of late, gone through coordinators like Spinal Tap drummers.
• 2015: offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, defensive coordinator Kirby Smart
• 2016: offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin (and, for one game, Steve Sarkisian), defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt
• 2017: offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt
• 2018: offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi
• 2019: offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, defensive coordinator Pete Golding
That’s insane. That’s eight different coordinators in five seasons.
Interestingly, Bill thinks we’re starting to see a few cracks in the ‘Bama foundation. If so, that’s good timing for Georgia.
9 responses to “Bill Connelly previews the SEC West.”
As mentioned yesterday, keep an eye out for Mizzou over the next few years, as their SEC schedule is infinitely easier than ours. This year we draw AU and TAMU from the west; Mizzou gets lowly Ole Miss and Arkansas. Next year we have to play at Bama and AU, while Mizzou get Arkansas and MSU. Talk about a monster schedule edge for Mizzou, and if we’re not careful, they could sneak into the SECC.
To put it another way, in regard to the ‘big 4’ from the SECW (Bama, AU, LSU, TAMU), we play them 4 times over the next two years. Mizzou? Zero.
The problem is the imbalance of the permanent opponent. The Barn will always be a more difficult game than Arkansas. I’m not saying we should eliminate the permanent crossover game, but everyone does have to understand that all schedules aren’t the same.
If we go undefeated against the East, it won’t matter.
Has anyone in the SEC finished undefeated in the division and not represented the division in the SECCG?
SC did it in 2011. They beat every team in the division but lost to Auburn and Arkansas and we went to the SECCG. We only lost to them and Boise State. Spurrier pitched a fit about it, it was glorious.
Thanks, JC. I had forgotten about that.
Anything that bothers the ol’ Ball Sack is fine by me.
Yeah, SOS started chirping about only divisional games counting…I remember it well.
One Bama coordinator who hasn’t changed over the years and who has consistently performed well for them: Steve Shaw, SEC Coordinator of Football Game Officials. They ought to build a statue of him in T-town.
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I make it a habit to watch the A-Day game every year. That way, I can actually see penalties called on Alabama.
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I am becoming a believer that LSU will win the West in 2019. Not placing any cash on it, but they have the athletes, and coaching staff to accomplish Mission Impossible. Orgeron wasn’t the most articulate yesterday at SEC Media Days on Tuesday, he will never win that award, but he seemed confident yesterday and the level of talent he boasted of made me think those guys are hungry enough to beat the Tide in Tusky in November. They will have to do that to make it to Atlanta, and they need to drill Texas the 2nd game of the season to build some confidence with their fan base. I think it happens, Big O is hitting his stride as a HC and he has surrounded himself with a very good staff. At this point, I want to face Bama in the SECCG, but I am afraid we will have to beat the Cajuns.