Published September 13, 2012 - 2:00pm
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Here are four questions worth asking about the SEC West this weekend:
How bad will Alabama beat Arkansas? With or without Tyler Wilson, this Arkansas squad is in trouble. I would be very shocked if Wilson does play. The best thing going for Arkansas right now is the fact that Nick Saban has to prepare for three quarterbacks. The spread is right at three touchdowns. With the way ULM pushed around the Hogs’ offensive line, Bama has to be licking its chops. I just don’t see any way the Razorbacks’ defense can stop the Tide’s offense. Alabama wins this game running away.
Is Gene Chizik done at Auburn if the Tigers don’t make a bowl? There are three wins you can pencil in for Auburn this season. Swing games against Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M are winnable, and after the season you can look to those four games as to whether the Tigers make a bowl game. I think Auburn has to really step back and evaluate the program and the direction if in fact AU does not go bowling. The talent is there, as Auburn has signed three straight top recruiting classes. They are just not showing development from the young talent.
Does Ole Miss stand a prayer against Texas? Yes. Any time a ranked team hits the road against an undefeated team, you know the fan base will be rabid. I like Ole Miss’ chances, but I’m not ready to call for an upset. Texas likely has the best defense in the Big 12, and the Rebels are just too reliant on their star quarterback Bo Wallace. But the direction of this program is very encouraging for everyone except Mississippi State. Ole Miss wants to shock the college football world this weekend, and a win against Texas will certainly do it.
Can Mississippi State win 10 regular season games? One team that was penciled as my wild card before the season was MSU. The schedule sets up well before running the gauntlet against the West teams. MSU could realistically be 7-0 headed into Alabama week. In a 12-game schedule, they only have two probable losses – Alabama and LSU – the rest of the way. However, swing games against Tennessee, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Ole Miss will all be hard to win. Either way, I think MSU finishes third in the West, behind Bama and LSU. While this team looks strong right now, I’m not sure they’re a 10-win team. However, I do like them to win nine.