SEC West Teams Look to Compete for National Titles

by Jules Gonsoulin


Typically known for David vs. Goliath “puffball” matchups pinning Southeastern Conference powerhouses against smaller FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) opponents, weeks one and two of the 2015 college football season delivered intense action out of the SEC. The SEC West, looking to bounce back from a sub-par bowl season last year, looked particularly impressive early on.

Ole Miss ended last year’s impressive campaign in a disheartening 42-3 loss to Texas Christian in the Peach Bowl. However, the University of Mississippi Rebels did not lack offensive spark in their first two games. Behind quarterback Chad Kelly, the Rebels scored at least 70 points in both of their games against University of Tennessee at Martin and Fresno State. The Rebels look to continue their winning ways this Saturday at Alabama.

Used to high expectations are the Tigers of Louisiana State University. LSU entered the season ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press poll, but the school’s highly anticipated return was pushed back a week when its season opener against McNeese State was rained out. LSU’s season officially started this past weekend at Mississippi State. True sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris got some serious experience in a deafening, hostile road environment. Harris’ valuable snaps proved successful, as the new starter played better than most had expected, especially after Harris’ only start last year was in a 40-point blowout loss to Auburn. The Tigers will look for revenge of that very game this weekend in Baton Rouge, as Auburn travels to Death Valley.

Flying relatively under the radar so far is the Crimson Tide of Alabama. The Tide quietly and easily routed Wisconsin in their season opener in Arlington, Texas. Jake Coker leads the Alabama’s powerful offense after a long quarterback battle ended in his favor. The Tide get their first SEC test of the season when they play Ole Miss this Saturday. It will be the much anticipated rematch of last year’s memorable Rebel upset of Alabama.

Aside from the SEC West, teams like TCU, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Michigan State continue to make their cases for the College Football Playoff. Currently Ohio State is taking the vast majority of first place votes in the AP poll, with all three of their quarterback competition contenders making huge plays on the field, notably Braxton Miller, whose impact was immediately felt after he switched from QB to wide receiver. Tennessee approached the season with fairly high expectations, but those were put in serious question when they lost their high profile matchup with Oklahoma, who has been surging lately.