SEC West champ could have 2 losses - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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>>

  • 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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  • Alabama forward Braxton Key says he will transfer

    Alabama forward Braxton Key says he will transfer

    Friday, April 20 2018 2:35 PM EDT2018-04-20 18:35:26 GMT
    (Source: University of Alabama Athletics)(Source: University of Alabama Athletics)

    Alabama sophomore forward Braxton Key is leaving the team and plans to transfer.

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    Alabama sophomore forward Braxton Key is leaving the team and plans to transfer.

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  • WATCH: Nick Saban Press Conference

    WATCH: Nick Saban Press Conference

    Source: WBRC videoSource: WBRC video
    Source: WBRC videoSource: WBRC video

    Nick Saban meets with the media after practice for the Crimson Tide wraps up. Watch the Alabama football coach speak live here.

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    Nick Saban meets with the media after practice for the Crimson Tide wraps up. Watch the Alabama football coach speak live here.

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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>>

  • Rubio's triple-double leads Jazz past Thunder 115-102

    Rubio's triple-double leads Jazz past Thunder 115-102

    Sunday, April 22 2018 1:04 AM EDT2018-04-22 05:04:41 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 1:05 AM EDT2018-04-22 05:05:54 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer). Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) reacts after being fouled as he shot a three-point basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half during Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Saturday, April 21, 2018...(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer). Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) reacts after being fouled as he shot a three-point basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half during Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Saturday, April 21, 2018...
    Ricky Rubio had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Utah's first playoff triple-double in 17 years, and Donovan Mitchell added 22 points to lead the Jazz to a 115-102 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and a...More >>
    Ricky Rubio had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Utah's first playoff triple-double in 17 years, and Donovan Mitchell added 22 points to lead the Jazz to a 115-102 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.More >>
  • Davis' 47 points leads Pelicans to sweep of Trail Blazers

    Davis' 47 points leads Pelicans to sweep of Trail Blazers

    Saturday, April 21 2018 8:04 PM EDT2018-04-22 00:04:34 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 1:05 AM EDT2018-04-22 05:05:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld). New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis reacts after making a 3-point shot during the first half of Game 4 of the team's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in New Orleans, Saturda...(AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld). New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis reacts after making a 3-point shot during the first half of Game 4 of the team's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in New Orleans, Saturda...
    Anthony Davis scored a franchise-playoff-record 47 points and the New Orleans Pelicans completed a first-round playoff sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers with a 131-123 victory.More >>
    Anthony Davis scored a franchise-playoff-record 47 points and the New Orleans Pelicans completed a first-round playoff sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers with a 131-123 victory.More >>
  • Backstrom scores in OT, Caps take 3-2 series lead on Jackets

    Backstrom scores in OT, Caps take 3-2 series lead on Jackets

    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:35 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:35:05 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 1:05 AM EDT2018-04-22 05:05:42 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nick Wass). Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), of Sweden, celebrates his goal during the first period in Game 5 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Washin...(AP Photo/Nick Wass). Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), of Sweden, celebrates his goal during the first period in Game 5 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Washin...
    Nicklas Backstrom scored his second goal of the game 11:53 into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets and a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series.More >>
    Nicklas Backstrom scored his second goal of the game 11:53 into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets and a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series.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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