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Muschamp will bring a tougher mentality

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Auburn's my pick to win SEC championship

By Brent Maze

Saturday, July 29, 2006 1:19 PM CDT

The media and the coaches have made predictions. Now, it's my turn.

SEC West

1. Auburn. Auburn and LSU are virtually a dead heat in the West. Both are equally talented. There are a couple big question marks surrounding the offensive line and receivers. The reason I picked Auburn is the defense. New defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will bring a tougher mentality they lacked last year. They are my pick to win the SEC Championship.

2. LSU. The Bengal Tigers depth at quarterback, maybe almost too deep. JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn both were outstanding in 2005. When you mix in fan favorite Ryan Perrilloux, coach Les Miles really is in trouble making a decision. The only reason why I've got them No. 2 is the road game at Auburn.

3. Alabama. The Crimson Tide lost a huge senior class last year. New QB John Parker Wilson will struggle early on but he will find his groove midway through the season. A favorable non-conference schedule will help, but road games at LSU, Florida and Tennessee are too much for any team.

4. Arkansas. The Razorbacks arguably have the best offensive line in the conference. Darren McFadden could be the conference's best back. New offensive coaches Gus Malzahn and Alex Wood will help their offense, but this is a transitional year for them. I wouldn't want to play them late in the year.

5. Ole Miss. Transfer quarterback Brent Shaeffer from Tennessee will help their struggling offense, but they are still a year away from being good.

6. Mississippi State. The third year under Sylvester Croom should show dramatic improvement. They now have the players to run the offense they want. I may be underestimating them.

SEC East

1. Florida. Chris Leak is the best quarterback in the league. The Gators are still thin in some positions. If they win at Tennessee, they should sail into Atlanta.????

2. South Carolina. Blake Mitchell should flourish in his second year under Spurrier. The Gamecocks have to win their first two games to have a chance to win the East.

4. Tennessee. The Vols will be better. They have a favorable schedule at home with Florida, LSU and Alabama. Road games at South Carolina and Georgia will be tough. If they win one of those two, they could be in Atlanta..

3. Georgia. The quarterback situation at Georgia is unclear right now, but by the Tennessee game, Georgia will hit their stride.

5. Kentucky. It's been 30 years since they tied for a conference title and Bear Bryant coached them to their only title. That won't change this year.

6. Vanderbilt. They had a great chance to make their first bowl since 1982 last year, but even first-round draft pick Jay Cutler couldn't do it.

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:uga: 4th in the East??? This guy is smoking crack.


They just had them listed below UT for whatever reason. Look again though, there is a 3 next to UGA and a 4 next to UT.

However, I do not believe that Florida will make the top 3 personally. Everyone has them built up so high, but without a running game to speak of, they will lose at least 3 conference games IMO.

SC and UGA will fight it out for the top spot and UT/UF will take spots 3 and 4.

If SC sneaks in an early win over UGA, they will be in the driver's seat. UGA will hit their stride midway through the season and should still be able to overcome that loss IF it happens.

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Again, the writer probably has not the faintest idea that USC has one of the most over-rated WR corps in the entire country. Over-rated you may say? I say over-rated because people assume they will have a better 2nd year under Spurrier...only one problem...Whiteside wont be playing most of the year...OJ murdock has been a HUGEEEE disappointment....Newton has yet to ever do anything major at WR....who else? True freshman? They have Rice...that is it.

As for their OL, it may be the worst OL in the East.

Spurrier will one day make USC a 10+ win team...it won't be in 2006

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:uga: 4th in the East??? This guy is smoking crack.


Where would you put them?

I honestly don't see them having a better record than UF or UT. UF owns them, SC game is away, Auburn game is away, not sure where UT game is.

UT doesn't have to play Auburn, and if they're playing LSU its at Neyland. Bama shouldn't be a factor for them. Pile all that on top of the fact that Fat Phil needs a great season to move the hunter's orange colored flame from below his size 54 pants, and UT comes out blazing this season.

UGA - 9-3 .... losses to UF, Auburn, and USC

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:uga: @ 3rd at the most in the East. I think UT will win it but UGA will be 2nd and in the hunt.
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