A crys­tal ball look into the west

The Covington News - - Sports -

A ma­jor perk of SEC Ban­ter is the crys­tal ball that pre­dicts the fate of South­east­ern Con­fer­ence teams. You'd be amazed at its ac­cu­racy. With SEC football just around the cor­ner, let's stare into the crys­tal ball and learn how the teams from the SEC Western Division -- home of col­lege football's na­tional cham­pi­ons in 4 of the past 5 years -- will fare this year.

First up is de­fend­ing BCS cham­pion Alabama. The crys­tal ball says Bama's suc­cess is closely cor­re­lated to the size of Nick Sa­ban's ego -- great news for Tide fans! It also pre­dicts that Alabama fans will carry them­selves with a dash of ar­ro­gance and a sense of en­ti­tle­ment. But heck, who can blame them?

The crys­tal ball fore­casts an out­landish sce­nario for the Arkansas Ra­zor­backs. It says that head coach Bobby Petrino will take his Harley for a spin with some bimbo bomb­shell on the back, crash, then lie to his su­pe­ri­ors about the bimbo's pres­ence. Arkansas drops the ham­mer and cans Petrino. For Petrino's re­place­ment, the Hogs lure John L. Smith away from We­ber State, his alma mater, just four months af­ter Smith be­came the school's head coach. Oh, and Smith files for bank­ruptcy. Pure class, baby.

For Auburn, the crys­tal ball says the fan base will de­velop an in­fe­ri­or­ity com­plex re­lated to its archri­val, Alabama, and continue its noth­ing-spe­cial ex­is­tence in life with­out Cam New­ton.

Ahh, LSU. The crys­tal ball al­ways has some­thing bizarre in store for Les Miles's Bayou Ben­gals. This year, it says the Tigers will garner a No. 1 pre­sea­son rank­ing de­spite re­ceiv­ing less first-place votes than Bama or USC. Then, the Tigers will dis­miss their best player and Heis­man hope­ful, Tyrann Mathieu, shortly be­fore the sea­son starts. Fi­nally, the crys­tal ball pre­dicts Les Miles will look funny in his white LSU cap and speak in such a dis­tinct ver­nac­u­lar that it's darn near im­pos­si­ble to de­ci­pher what he's say­ing. But some­how, the deeply tal­ented Tigers will find them­selves on the cusp of great­ness yet again.

Mis­sis­sippi State. The crys­tal ball doesn't know what to say about the Bull­dogs of the West. It likes MSU's head coach, Dan Mullen, but pre­dicts that Mullen will strug­gle at­tract­ing big-time ath­letes to Mis­sis­sippi State be­cause, af­ter all, it's Mis­sis­sippi State. Ole Miss. The crys­tal ball sees an­other ir­rel­e­vant cam­paign for the Rebels but is thrilled about a stel­lar year in the Grove, the dis­tinctly South­ern home of the best tail­gat­ing in col­lege football. Fur­ther, the crys­tal ball says Ole Miss games will be­come ex­cuses for drink­ing, so­cial­iz­ing, and look­ing at the best-dressed girls in the South. Who would've thought? And now for the SEC West's new­est mem­ber, Texas A&M. Star­ing deep into the crys­tal ball, I'm told that A&M students and fans will per­form a bevy of corny cheers and en­gage in slightly weird/awk­ward ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing games, all un­der the guise of "tradition." The crys­tal ball also sends a heart­felt good luck to the Ag­gies, who left the Big 12 to com­pete with the likes of Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, and Auburn -- and that's just in the SEC West.

On the sub­ject of Texas A&M, I must de­part from the crys­tal ball briefly to ad­dress com­ments by one of the most tal­ented, and cer­tainly most in­ter­est­ing, en­ter­tain­ers in Amer­ica, Lyle Lovett. I read that Lyle, an A&M grad, was some­what skep­ti­cal of the Ag­gies join­ing the SEC. Tex­ans are leery of any­thing nonTexan. For ex­am­ple, Lyle said he won't eat Mex­i­can food out­side of the Lone Star State. Ob­vi­ously Lyle hasn't paid a visit to Nuevo Laredo in At­lanta. Well, guess what, Lyle, we're skep­ti­cal of you Ag­gies, too, what with your "yell lead­ers" and all. If A&M ever makes it to At­lanta for the SEC Cham­pi­onship, we'll hit Nuevo Laredo, my treat. Fi­nally, the crys­tal ball has pre­dicted the SEC West champ. Un­for­tu­nately for Lyle and his merry band of yell lead­ers, it's not Texas A&M. It's the win­ner of the LSU-Alabama game in Death Val­ley on Novem­ber 3. Re­ally went out on a limb there, crys­tal ball! Thank you, Cap­tain Ob­vi­ous.

BEN PREVOST

COLUM­NIST

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