As the 2012 season kicks off, many analysts seem to think Alabama will pick up right where they left off, and why not, right? While Eddie Lacy takes over for first round draft pick Trent Richardson, the question surrounding the Tide is this: Can McCarron lead, again, and not try to do too much? Bama faces a couple of tough road conference games in which it will be tough to come out with the W, though with Nick Satan, err, Saban, is definitely more than capable of making it happen.
The Dawgs bring back Senior signal caller Aaron Murray who looks to put up Heisman Trophy Winning numbers in an offense featuring three skilled and experienced wide receivers in Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Conley, and Tavarres King. The Dawg’s defense, whom was ranked fifth nationally, returns nine starters to Todd Grantham’s relatively new 3-4 scheme in Athens. Look for a vaunting defense to keep points off of the board while Murray is putting them up.
LSU turns to QB Zach Mettenberger after the departure of Jordan Jefferson. If Mettenberger can live up to the hype, the offense should be better than last season as they also bring back a four-headed monster backfield with Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue, and Kenny Hilliard who together combined for more than 2,300 yards and an astounding 30 TDs. They have the talent to run the table, the question is whether the Tigers will step up or not.
Missouri and Texas A&M make their conference debuts coming from the defensive lacking Big 12. Look for them to have somewhat successful years in their rookie seasons and spoil SEC contender’s hopes. Keep an eye on Mizzou QB James Franklin as he has the tools to become a big-name-QB for the SEC with his arm as well as his legs.
Will Muschamp starts off season two in Gainesville after a disappointing first year. Though Florida always has a talent filled roster, don’t look for them to impress too many people this season as they have yet to even name a starting QB, and seem to be irrelevant in the SEC title race. This could be a big year for the Gators and Muschamp as fans are getting restless and don’t want to accept mediocrity.
Arkansas returns top two of the SEC’s top players in RB Knile Davis and QB Tyler Wilson. Wilson, you may remember last year, broke several of former Arkansas’ QB Ryan Mallett’s records and showed the Hogs offense can be a force to be reckoned with. Look for their offense to carry the load and put up many points to carry the Razorbacks team through the season.
Games to Watch:
Sept. 15: Alabama @ Arkansas
Oct. 20: Alabama @ Tennessee
Oct. 20: LSU @ Texas A&M
Oct. 27: Florida @ Georgia
Nov. 3: Alabama @ LSU
Nov. 10: Arkansas @ South Carolina
Nov. 23: LSU @ Arkansas
Nov. 24: Missouri @ Texas A&M
Nov. 24: Auburn @ Alabama
Championship: Georgia v LSU
Ninja Sports Preseason All-SEC Team 2012
|WR Cobi Hamilton, ARK||DE Sam Montgomery, LSU||K Caleb Sturgis, Fla|
|WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M||DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU||P Brad Wing, LSU|
|TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, AUB||DT Jesse Williams, ALA||KR Dustin Harris, Texas A&M|
|T D.J. Fluker, ALA||DT John Jenkins, UGA|
|T Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M||LB Jarvis Jones, UGA|
|G Chance Warmack, ALA||LB Alonzo Highsmith, ARK|
|G Alex Hurst, LSU||LB DeVonte Holloman SC|
|C Barrett Jones, ALA||CB Johnthan Banks, MS ST|
|QB Tyler Wilson, ARK||CB D.J. Swearingwer, SC|
|RB Marcus Lattimore, SC||S Robert Lester, ALA|
|RB Knile Davis, ARK||S Eric Reid, LSU|
SEC Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Murray, QB UGA
SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Eric Reid, S LSU
Check out our other conference outlooks: