We all know that both Alabama and LSU have set “NCAA Championship or nothing” goals this season. It’s an unfortunate situation, but that’s the reality. A one or two loss season seems to be a losing effort these days in Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge, but the fault lies on the coaching staff for setting such high expectations.
So let’s decided who the biggest disappointment will be this year in the SEC.
Arkansas faces a tough road ahead after replacing Bobby Petrino as head coach; but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Hogs get both 2011 national championship contenders LSU and Alabama at home this year. And remember the season Tyler Wilson had, averaging 300 yards a game last year? I expect Arkansas to be in the hunt for the SEC west.
South Carolina has been selected as the preseason SEC East division champion. I’m okay with this pick. Marcus Lattimore is coming off a pretty serious knee injury, but all reports coming out of Columbia seem over-enthused about his return. Needless to say, Spurrier will have his boys ready for contention, even though he will be alternating his offensive scheme.
I’ll lump LSU and Alabama together. It all comes down to which defense will have a better season. The Tide only have four returning starters on that side of the ball, while LSU is returning a slew of defenders, most importantly Tyler “King Mathieu,” as he has dropped the Honey Badger nickname. Run stopping ability comes first in the SEC, let’s see who can stand the test.
But I think the biggest disappointment of the 2012 season will be the Georgia Bulldogs. Although they did compete for an SEC championship last year (and got erased) Mark Richt was fight for his job, come the last game of the regular season. A new contract extension may be a thankful prize, or a raised expectation.