As the college football regular season is mere hours from getting started, the point of final prognostication is upon us. When we last left the Georgia Bulldogs, they were riding high after finishing the regular season unbeaten at 12-0. As for which team from the SEC West will be awaiting the Dawgs in Atlanta, the slight edge goes to LSU.
The western portion of the SEC features three teams with a realistic opportunity to contend for the conference title. Arkansas (interim) head coach John L. Smith is playing with house money, because with the exception of Razorback faithful, there are not many folks who expect the Hogs to live up to the hype. Arkansas will be impressive on offense with senior quarterback Tyler Wilson at the controls, and they get standout tailback Knile Davis back from injury. Even so, the Razorbacks do not have enough on defense to stand up to the two-headed monster of Alabama and LSU. Prediction: nine regular season wins for Arkansas.
Alabama is coming off a national championship victory in 2011 and the Tide is certainly high in Tuscaloosa. However, the defending champions of college football lost a lot of talent to the NFL draft, along with some other players who graduated, which will likely leave the Tide on the outside looking in at the BCS championship picture this season. Alabama has a brutal road schedule as well, including a showdown with LSU in Baton Rouge. Nick Saban’s boys will contend for another title again soon, but it would be flat out scary for the rest of college football if Bama is able to defend their college football crown in 2012. Prediction: ten regular season wins for the Alabama Crimson Tide. (No team has ever repeat in the Bowl Championship Series era.)
LSU is the lone team out of the wild SEC West left standing. The Tigers have had to live with the shame of the national championship thumping they received from Alabama for an entire off-season. The Louisiana State University defense will certainly miss Tyrann Mathieu, but the Tigers are talented enough to overcome his absence. Former dismissed Dawg Zach Mettinberger is expected to start for the Bayou Bengals at quarterback this season, which will add intrigue to the SEC Championship rematch. Prediction: LSU finishes the regular season unblemished, setting up a sudden death SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
The 2012 SEC Championship Game will mark the fourth time that Georgia has played LSU for the Southeastern Conference title. The Tigers have won two out of three in this championship series. If the Bulldogs are to even the score, every single member of Bulldog Nation must be at their best. The coaching staff must call an aggressive game, the offense must execute flawlessly, and the defense needs to be the most dominant it has ever been under Todd Grantham. Prediction: Georgia finds a way to get the victory, and the Bulldogs move on to play the University of Southern California for the national title.
The Bulldogs and the Trojans meet with all the Bowl Championship marbles at stake. This match-up will be a collision of two polar opposite fan bases and a pair completely different head football coaches. Program conditions notwithstanding, USC has the most talent of any team in the country. For Bulldog Nation to hoist the BCS trophy, every single player wearing the silver britches must play at the absolute highest level.
Prediction: Georgia wins the BCS National Championship, bringing utter mayhem to Athens, Georgia.