Who will be the No. 2 team in the SEC West heading into the season?

ESPN’s Booger McFarland joined Paul Finebaum Thursday to discuss the very topic. No doubt, Alabama will enter as the preseason favorite, but which team will rise and challenge the Tide?

Two teams come to mind immediately: Auburn and Mississippi State, and while Auburn is a constant contender, Mississippi State could be the team to rise and challenge for the division. However, McFarland isn’t quite sold on MSU, yet.

“I think Mississippi State is going to be pretty good,” McFarland said on Finebaum. “Anytime you have a quarterback coming back, that gives you a leg-up on the field. I need to see how healthy Fitzy (Nick Fitzgerald) is. They’re going to play a tough physical style of football. We know what they did at Penn State; they used Saquon Barkley a lot. How are they going to do that at Mississippi State? They don’t have the dynamic running back at Mississippi State. They have a dynamic quarterback like (Trace) McSorley at Penn State. So, I think Mississippi State is going to be good. I don’t know if they can challenge Alabama.

“I think Auburn right now is No. 2.”

New Penn State head coach Joe Moorhead has a talented and veteran team in his first season, and it’ll be interesting to see his brand of football on MSU.

McFarland is right, though, Auburn should enter as the West’s No. 2 team behind Alabama; however, things can certainly change quickly in college football’s toughest division.

The trio of Auburn, Mississippi State and Texas A&M should be very interesting to watch.