SEC West champ could have 2 losses - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

SEC West champ could have 2 losses

Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn must win on the road at Ole Miss and Bama to make it back to the Georgia Dome. (Source: Auburn Athletics) Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn must win on the road at Ole Miss and Bama to make it back to the Georgia Dome. (Source: Auburn Athletics)
Circle Nov. 8 on your calendar to watch the annual LSU and Alabama clash of titans.  (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications) Circle Nov. 8 on your calendar to watch the annual LSU and Alabama clash of titans. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications)
  • AlabamaMore>>

  • Bama football team chows down on steaks or frank and beans post A-Day

    Bama football team chows down on steaks or frank and beans post A-Day

    Monday, April 23 2018 9:17 PM EDT2018-04-24 01:17:50 GMT
    Steaks for the winners. (Source: WBRC video)Steaks for the winners. (Source: WBRC video)

    It’s just another way that Nick Saban motivates his players: He reminds them each year around the time that the spring game is held that the players from the winning team will be eating steak the next Monday night while the losers will be eating beans. 

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    It’s just another way that Nick Saban motivates his players: He reminds them each year around the time that the spring game is held that the players from the winning team will be eating steak the next Monday night while the losers will be eating beans. 

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  • Bama football players receive their National Championship rings

    Bama football players receive their National Championship rings

    Monday, April 23 2018 8:59 PM EDT2018-04-24 00:59:03 GMT
    Alabama football players receive their National Championship rings. (Source: WBRC video)Alabama football players receive their National Championship rings. (Source: WBRC video)

    Exactly fifteen weeks after Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found Devonta Smith streaking down the sideline at Mercedes Benz Stadium, the Crimson Tide players and coaches were on top of the world again. 

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    Exactly fifteen weeks after Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found Devonta Smith streaking down the sideline at Mercedes Benz Stadium, the Crimson Tide players and coaches were on top of the world again. 

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  • Hurts struggles, Crimson beats White 24-12 in Alabama spring football game

    Hurts struggles, Crimson beats White 24-12 in Alabama spring football game

    Saturday, April 21 2018 7:26 PM EDT2018-04-21 23:26:13 GMT
    (Source: Christina Chambers/Twitter)(Source: Christina Chambers/Twitter)

    The Crimson team outlasted the White team 24-12 in Alabama's 2018 A-Day game. The Crimson team scored three touchdowns, coming on a 1-yard run by Brian Robinson, a 65-yard pass from Mac Brown to Chadarius Townsend and a 46-yard pass from Jones to Xavian Marks. All of the White team's points came from field goals by Joseph  All eyes were on Jalen Hurts, who is in a tight battle for starting quarterback. With fellow QB Tua Tagovailoa out due to injury, Hurts had an opportunity to...

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    The Crimson team outlasted the White team 24-12 in Alabama's 2018 A-Day game. The Crimson team scored three touchdowns, coming on a 1-yard run by Brian Robinson, a 65-yard pass from Mac Brown to Chadarius Townsend and a 46-yard pass from Jones to Xavian Marks. All of the White team's points came from field goals by Joseph  All eyes were on Jalen Hurts, who is in a tight battle for starting quarterback. With fellow QB Tua Tagovailoa out due to injury, Hurts had an opportunity to...

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  • LSUMore>>

  • LSU football enjoys team outing at original T.J. Ribs restaurant

    LSU football enjoys team outing at original T.J. Ribs restaurant

    Tuesday, August 11 2015 9:37 PM EDT2015-08-12 01:37:12 GMT
    Tuesday, August 11 2015 10:06 PM EDT2015-08-12 02:06:19 GMT
    The LSU football team took a break from the sweaty grind of fall camp Tuesday night to enjoy some team bonding and great food.More >>
    The LSU football team took a break from the sweaty grind of fall camp Tuesday night to enjoy some team bonding and great food.More >>
  • LSU football wants return to 2011 defense

    LSU football wants return to 2011 defense

    Thursday, August 6 2015 3:15 PM EDT2015-08-06 19:15:51 GMT
    Thursday, August 6 2015 3:36 PM EDT2015-08-06 19:36:51 GMT
    LSU may have ranked No. 1 in the SEC defensively last season, but many fans and analysts agree that wasn’t an accurate reflection of how the team actually played. More >>
    LSU may have ranked No. 1 in the SEC defensively last season, but many fans and analysts agree that wasn’t an accurate reflection of how the team actually played. More >>
  • LSU football reports for fall camp, Miles says Bain was never reinstated

    LSU football reports for fall camp, Miles says Bain was never reinstated

    Wednesday, August 5 2015 12:06 PM EDT2015-08-05 16:06:42 GMT
    Wednesday, August 5 2015 4:52 PM EDT2015-08-05 20:52:04 GMT
    On a steamy and sweltering morning in south Louisiana, the LSU football team officially reported for the start of fall camp. The Tigers checking into the West Campus Apartments Wednesday morning, with their first practice set for Thursday. More >>
    On a steamy and sweltering morning in south Louisiana, the LSU football team officially reported for the start of fall camp. The Tigers checking into the West Campus Apartments Wednesday morning, with their first practice set for Thursday. More >>
  • National SportsMore>>

  • Alaska Olympic games pay homage to hunting, survival skills

    Alaska Olympic games pay homage to hunting, survival skills

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 10:28 AM EDT2018-04-25 14:28:34 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 2:05 PM EDT2018-04-25 18:05:12 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). This Jan. 18, 2018, photo shows a type of decorative ball that organizers use in most kicking events in Native Youth Olympics Games in Juneau, Alaska. The high school state championships in Native Youth Olympics will be held b...(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). This Jan. 18, 2018, photo shows a type of decorative ball that organizers use in most kicking events in Native Youth Olympics Games in Juneau, Alaska. The high school state championships in Native Youth Olympics will be held b...
    A unique high school sports competition in Alaska this week has events that pay homage to the region's subsistence hunters.More >>
    A unique high school sports competition in Alaska this week has events that pay homage to the region's subsistence hunters.More >>
  • Commission: Independent probes needed in complex NCAA cases

    Commission: Independent probes needed in complex NCAA cases

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:28 AM EDT2018-04-25 12:28:29 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 2:03 PM EDT2018-04-25 18:03:43 GMT
    (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File). FILE - In this March 14, 2012, file photo, a player runs across the NCAA logo during practice in Pittsburgh before an NCAA tournament college basketball game. College basketball spent an entire season operating amid a f...(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File). FILE - In this March 14, 2012, file photo, a player runs across the NCAA logo during practice in Pittsburgh before an NCAA tournament college basketball game. College basketball spent an entire season operating amid a f...
    It's time for independent investigations for complex cases involving potential NCAA rules violations.More >>
    It's time for independent investigations for complex cases involving potential NCAA rules violations.More >>
  • The Latest: NBA, players union noncommittal on draft changes

    The Latest: NBA, players union noncommittal on draft changes

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:38 AM EDT2018-04-25 12:38:12 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 2:03 PM EDT2018-04-25 18:03:38 GMT
    (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2016, file photo, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice speaks during a luncheon at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio. College basketball spent an entire season operating amid a federal corruption...(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2016, file photo, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice speaks during a luncheon at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio. College basketball spent an entire season operating amid a federal corruption...
    Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tells NCAA leaders that the crisis in college basketball is "first and foremost a problem of failed accountability and lax responsibility.".More >>
    Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tells NCAA leaders that the crisis in college basketball is "first and foremost a problem of failed accountability and lax responsibility.".More >>
  • Texas A&MMore>>

  • Game winning shot rattles out, Ole Miss falls at Texas A&M

    Game winning shot rattles out, Ole Miss falls at Texas A&M

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:44 PM EST2018-01-17 04:44:02 GMT
    Source: SEC NetworkSource: SEC Network

    Tyler Davis scored 20 points, including Texas A&M's final basket, and the Aggies defeated Mississippi 71-69 on Tuesday night for A&M's first victory in Southeastern Conference play this season. The Rebels' Breein Tyree missed a 3-point attempt at the other end that rattled in and out as time expired.

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    Tyler Davis scored 20 points, including Texas A&M's final basket, and the Aggies defeated Mississippi 71-69 on Tuesday night for A&M's first victory in Southeastern Conference play this season. The Rebels' Breein Tyree missed a 3-point attempt at the other end that rattled in and out as time expired.

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(RNN) – In the last four SEC Championship Games an average of 74 points has been scored in each track meet. Blame Steve Spurrier for igniting the offensive fire in the 90s when he coached at Florida. Now Gus Malzahn – the architect of 56- and 59-point Auburn explosions in 2013 and 2010 – is pouring gas on the blaze this decade.

But with a lack of widespread returning star power at quarterback, will SEC defenses return to dominance in a league once known for silencing cocky offensive gurus?

If they do, LSU and Alabama will be the first in the West to solve the offensive riddles. Nick Saban has stars from the line, linebackers and secondary on the media's preseason All-SEC first team. Defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson, linebacker Trey DePriest and defensive back Landon Collins headline the top tier.

LSU's Les Miles has five Tigers on the second and third teams, including ballhawk defensive backs Tre'Davious White, Corey Thompson and Rashard Robinson.

Much-heralded lineman Robert Nkemdiche and defensive back Cody Prewitt give Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze hope that flashy QB Bo Wallace won't have to put up 30 points every Saturday to put the Rebels in the Georgia Dome for the first time.

Auburn's defense, which is known as of late for surrendering comfortable leads, had five of the 36 players named to the three teams, although defensive lineman Carl Lawson, who is recovering from knee surgery, is questionable.

Leading Bulldog tackler Benardrick McKinney and lineman Chris Jones will anchor a defense that returns eight starters for Dan Mullen in forever hopeful Starkville.

Arkansas and Texas A&M provide only one player each among the three teams. But after an 0-8 league mark, plan for a spirited defensive stand from Bret Bielema's Hogs on their revenge tour of the conference. As for the Aggies, yielding 32 points per game in 2014 will just not generate many Ws.

Picking the West

Ole Miss – Freeze knows he can take down a member of the big three in the West. The Rebels topped No. 6 LSU 27-24 in Oxford in 2013. Mississippi could withstand a loss at LSU and win the West, but that would require exacting revenge for some long Alabama nights to take advantage of Ole Miss' best shot at a league title since Manning. Or the Rebel faithful can just pour some iced tea, settle in the recliner and wait for the third generation.

Bama – Florida will try to regain its mojo by beating Bama on Sept. 20, and is a virtual lock to come to Tuscaloosa 3-0. The Tide faces Ole Miss and LSU in unfriendly confines after four straight home contests. Saban hosts MSU and The Gus Bus in Bryant-Denny. Hard to sage better than 10-2 without a proven quarterback.

ARK - The schedule is just hideous, but look for Arkansas to win one game in which they are more than two-touchdown underdogs. A determined coach Bret Bielema takes them bowling at 6-6.

AU - The mantra is that the 2014 edition could be better team than 2013 but finish with a worse record. The schedule is labeled horrific, but that largely depends on how South Carolina enters Jordan-Hare on Oct. 25. An October of LSU and Spurrier at home, and road Mississippi hostilities will challenge a team and coaching staff seemingly poised for a long run. As a reminder, Auburn finished No. 2 in 2013. Hard to be better than that so let's say Gus slows down to 10-2.

LSU – Les Miles faces Alabama and Ole Miss at home and can win the West by holding serve in Baton Rouge and keeping away loses to just one among Auburn, Florida, A&M and Arkansas. But with an unknown quarterback, it's hard to put that kind of confidence in the Tigers. But LSU has three easy wins among its first five games to get a QB ready for stretch run so let's say 9-3.

OM - A perfect home record puts Hugh Freeze in the Georgia Dome. Road games also are manageable at Vanderbilt, A&M, Arkansas and LSU. But Ole Miss lacks a returning big back resulting in too much pressure on Wallace for a prediction of more than 10-2.

MSU – A Sept. 20 tilt at LSU should feature two ranked 3-0 teams. With a veteran quarterback, this is the kind of showdown Mullen must finally prevail in to arrive in Atlanta. A win would set up a headliner against Gus Malzahn on Oct. 11. But the Bulldogs, like Ole Miss, lack the big, speedy back, and that projects them at 8-4.

A&M – An opener against the Gamecocks and a closer against LSU after playing Missouri and Auburn on the road is formidable. Look for a considerable dropoff to 6-6.

SEC West Champ

Who represents in Atlanta will come down to the tie-breaker - who beat who - among Ole Miss, Auburn and Bama.

Can an 11-2 SEC champ that emerges from the brutal SEC West make it to the Final Four? Yes, it's already been done. LSU made it in 2007 with two overtime losses to unranked Arkansas and No. 17 Kentucky, and won the BCS title for Miles after a win in Atlanta and a victory over Ohio State in the BCS finale. But they came into both losses ranked No.1. Take note Bama and AU. History may repeat itself in 2014.

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