Friday, July 13, 2012

10 questions: SEC's strength to remain concentrated in West

10 questions: SEC's strength to remain concentrated in West
Published on Houston Chronicle | shared via feedly
1. In these parts, there's only one burning question: Can the Aggies gig 'em in the Strong Everywhere Conference?

Kevin Sumlin proved himself to be a brilliant offensive strategist at the University of Houston, and the Aggies return nine offensive starters, including the entire line, from a team that scored 39 points per game. But quarterback Ryan Tannehill has matriculated to the NFL, and the SEC is chock-full of defensive players who are headed there, too. If likely new QB Jameill Showers can make it rain against the big boys (a murderer's row of Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn and Florida), the Aggies will at least equal last season's .500 record despite moving up to college football's major leagues. If not … could be ugly.

2. Has Alabama's Nick Saban stockpiled enough talent to retool a stifling national championship defense that lost three starters to the NFL as first-round draft choices?

Saban, college football's best coach, is a pretty fair recruiter, too, and most teams anywhere would love to line up with the players he still has. Bama figures to compensate with a better offense despite the loss of running back Trent Richardson. Redshirt freshman T. J. Yeldon was crazy good in the Tide's spring game (179 yards rushing and receiving), and quarterback AJ McCarron showed the poise of a senior as a sophomore last season. But LSU is loaded, too, and aching for revenge. The Tigers so hate Saban, you know. Never mind that national title he gave them.
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