I am sure that the many folks here at Roll’BamaRoll are quite fond of the LSU Tigers and their athletics; unfortunately for us the Tigers have dismissed a valuable adversary in Tyrann Mathieu and will be sorely missed. Seriously though, SEC teams in the western division couldn’t be happier. It may not be good sportsmanship to win when your opponent is stripped of their players, but when you break team rules that is a whole other story. We don’t know what he did, all we know that is gone and will probably transfer to an FCS team. Regardless it will shake things up in Baton Rouge and will certainly shake things up in the SEC, if not the national title race.
1. Alabama: I may be a little biased towards ‘Bama because of their performance in the BCS National Championship, but I always believed that Alabama has the better coaching staff and the better players. There is little to no wiggle room in the western division and when a contender/favorite losses one of their best players, the race starts to thin out. Alabama still has to play LSU in an electrifying Tiger Stadium Nov. 3rd and both teams should be ready for that game, but Alabama will be one step ahead as LSU will scramble to find a replacement CB in the next 3 weeks.
2. LSU: Amazingly enough the Tigers still find a way to contend in the SEC even when they lose valuable players. LSU may be a media darling and gets lots of love from the likes of ESPN and the AP, but the Tigers will have to prove their resilience early on if they want to stay in the Title chase. I believe now that there is even more pressure on the new QB Matt Mettenberger to perform on offense, as he may not have the luxury of a great punt return, or even an interception to set up field position, not to mention a great loss on the defensive side with less and less stops. LSU is still a force to be reckoned with, for now, but could slip up.
3. Arkansas: Arkansas may have left the conversation momentarily with the dismissal of their own, in Head Coach Bobby Petrino, but now their odds of winning the west have increased and are just inches away from BCS greatness. Petrino’s essence still runs through Fayetteville as his brother Paul Petrino will be the Razorback’s newest Offensive Coordinator and will be sure to call on his brother for some wisdom and whatnot. Arkansas has the luxury of playing both Alabama, and LSU at home this year, but should be weary of Alabama as they are still a brick wall in Arkansas’ path to the, now more open, western division and SEC title race.