Mississippi rebellion brewing in SEC West - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Mississippi rebellion brewing in SEC West

T.J. Yeldon is Bama's preseason All-SEC candidate. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications) T.J. Yeldon is Bama's preseason All-SEC candidate. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications)
The SEC West could be up for grabs when Ole Miss and Alabama meet in Oxford on Oct. 4. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications) The SEC West could be up for grabs when Ole Miss and Alabama meet in Oxford on Oct. 4. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications)
Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn will try to duplicate last year's offensive explosion on the Plains.  (Source: Todd Vam Emst/Auburn Athletics) Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn will try to duplicate last year's offensive explosion on the Plains. (Source: Todd Vam Emst/Auburn Athletics)
  • AlabamaMore>>

  • Parents say MCSD should increase safety measures after mass FL shooting

    Parents say MCSD should increase safety measures after mass FL shooting

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 6:36 PM EST2018-02-21 23:36:59 GMT
    (Source: WTVM)(Source: WTVM)

    Parents are speaking out after a Columbus middle school increases safety plans following the mass shooting at a high school in Florida. 

    More >>

    Parents are speaking out after a Columbus middle school increases safety plans following the mass shooting at a high school in Florida. 

    More >>
  • Kentucky beats Alabama 81-71 behind Washington's 16 points

    Kentucky beats Alabama 81-71 behind Washington's 16 points

    Saturday, February 17 2018 5:29 PM EST2018-02-17 22:29:34 GMT
    (Source: University of Alabama)(Source: University of Alabama)

    PJ Washington scored 16 points, Kevin Knox added 13, and Kentucky beat Alabama 81-71 on Saturday to end a four-game slide.

    More >>

    PJ Washington scored 16 points, Kevin Knox added 13, and Kentucky beat Alabama 81-71 on Saturday to end a four-game slide.

    More >>
  • Donta Hall powers Alabama to 80-65 win over LSU

    Donta Hall powers Alabama to 80-65 win over LSU

    Wednesday, February 14 2018 3:52 PM EST2018-02-14 20:52:23 GMT
    (Source: University of Alabama)(Source: University of Alabama)

    Donta Hall had 20 points and eight rebounds, including some powerful dunks, to lead Alabama to an 80-65 win over LSU on Tuesday night.

    More >>

    Donta Hall had 20 points and eight rebounds, including some powerful dunks, to lead Alabama to an 80-65 win over LSU on Tuesday night.

    More >>
  • LSUMore>>

  • LSU football enjoys team outing at original T.J. Ribs restaurant

    LSU football enjoys team outing at original T.J. Ribs restaurant

    Tuesday, August 11 2015 9:37 PM EDT2015-08-12 01:37:12 GMT
    Tuesday, August 11 2015 10:06 PM EDT2015-08-12 02:06:19 GMT
    The LSU football team took a break from the sweaty grind of fall camp Tuesday night to enjoy some team bonding and great food.More >>
    The LSU football team took a break from the sweaty grind of fall camp Tuesday night to enjoy some team bonding and great food.More >>
  • LSU football wants return to 2011 defense

    LSU football wants return to 2011 defense

    Thursday, August 6 2015 3:15 PM EDT2015-08-06 19:15:51 GMT
    Thursday, August 6 2015 3:36 PM EDT2015-08-06 19:36:51 GMT
    LSU may have ranked No. 1 in the SEC defensively last season, but many fans and analysts agree that wasn’t an accurate reflection of how the team actually played. More >>
    LSU may have ranked No. 1 in the SEC defensively last season, but many fans and analysts agree that wasn’t an accurate reflection of how the team actually played. More >>
  • LSU football reports for fall camp, Miles says Bain was never reinstated

    LSU football reports for fall camp, Miles says Bain was never reinstated

    Wednesday, August 5 2015 12:06 PM EDT2015-08-05 16:06:42 GMT
    Wednesday, August 5 2015 4:52 PM EDT2015-08-05 20:52:04 GMT
    On a steamy and sweltering morning in south Louisiana, the LSU football team officially reported for the start of fall camp. The Tigers checking into the West Campus Apartments Wednesday morning, with their first practice set for Thursday. More >>
    On a steamy and sweltering morning in south Louisiana, the LSU football team officially reported for the start of fall camp. The Tigers checking into the West Campus Apartments Wednesday morning, with their first practice set for Thursday. More >>
  • National SportsMore>>

  • Unprepared and outclassed, North Korea wraps up Olympics

    Unprepared and outclassed, North Korea wraps up Olympics

    Thursday, February 22 2018 1:54 AM EST2018-02-22 06:54:05 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:44 AM EST2018-02-22 16:44:26 GMT
    Unprepared and outclassed, North Korea's 22 athletes wrap up their competition at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics without a medal _ or even a finish higher than 13th.More >>
    Unprepared and outclassed, North Korea's 22 athletes wrap up their competition at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics without a medal _ or even a finish higher than 13th.More >>
  • The Latest: Gold for US women's hockey after 20-year drought

    The Latest: Gold for US women's hockey after 20-year drought

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 8:35 PM EST2018-02-22 01:35:29 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:36 AM EST2018-02-22 16:36:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Morry Gash). Marcel Hirscher, of Austria, skies into the finish area after the first run of the men's slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.(AP Photo/Morry Gash). Marcel Hirscher, of Austria, skies into the finish area after the first run of the men's slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

    Russian state TV reports that curler Alexander Krushelnitsky will give back his Olympic bronze medal after failing a drug test at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

    More >>

    Russian state TV reports that curler Alexander Krushelnitsky will give back his Olympic bronze medal after failing a drug test at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

    More >>
  • The perils of live microphones tripping up NBC's Olympics

    The perils of live microphones tripping up NBC's Olympics

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 5:45 PM EST2018-02-21 22:45:34 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:35 AM EST2018-02-22 16:35:59 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. David Ake). Television personnel work inside of the International Broadcast Center at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Live television has always presented challenges, but NBC's Olympic stumbl...(AP Photo/J. David Ake). Television personnel work inside of the International Broadcast Center at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Live television has always presented challenges, but NBC's Olympic stumbl...
    'A screen grab away from infamy': The Olympics are a technological marvel to telecast every four years, yet NBC has been bedeviled by the very simple stumbling block of live announcers before live microphones with...More >>
    'A screen grab away from infamy': The Olympics are a technological marvel to telecast every four years, yet NBC has been bedeviled by the very simple stumbling block of live announcers before live microphones with everybody listening.More >>

(RNN) – It’s been more than 15 years since a cowbell was anywhere near the Georgia Dome when it mattered. In 1998, Jackie Sherrill guided the only team from the state of Mississippi to play in the SEC Championship Game.

After a gritty effort, an over-achieving pack of Bulldogs yielded to eventual national champ Tennessee 24-14. And a hearty Rebel yell has not been heard in Atlanta since Sherman passed through. Ole Miss is the only long-standing member of the SEC West to have never played in the SEC Championship Game.

But with two of the conference’s top three returning quarterbacks warming up in Mississippi, could the winner of a late-season Egg Bowl shootout between MSU’s Dak Prescott and Ole Miss’ Bo Wallace be bypassing Tuscaloosa and Auburn on their way to Atlanta?

Uh, no, according to those who like to carry notebooks and be called experts in public places. The same throng at SEC media days that selected Auburn’s Nick Marshall, Prescott and Wallace the top three SEC signal callers, also predicted the Rebels and MSU to finish fourth and fifth in the West, respectively.

But as LSU Head Coach Les Miles wisely pointed out, how many of the football intelligentsia picked Auburn to rule the West in 2013?

Both Mississippi hopefuls entertain Auburn, but MSU plays LSU and Bama in hostile territory. The schedule nod goes to Ole Miss.

If it all comes down to the Egg Bowl and not the Iron Bowl, the Mississippi feud would be the hottest ticket in Oxford since 2003 when Eli Manning had Ole Miss thinking of glory only to be derailed by Nick Saban–led national champ LSU in a deflating 17-14 final.

We’ll take a look at who will be the most offensive in the West.

Rebel revenge?

Wallace is easily the most experienced quarterback in the SEC. He has started 26 games, led the Rebels to two bowl victories and has thrown and rushed for more than 7,000 yards. More important, he’s grown wiser. He threw the ball to the wrong team 17 times in 2012 but had only 10 interceptions in 2013.

But Saban unmercifully put down a border insurgency in Tuscaloosa last September. And seven days later, against unranked Auburn, a Tiger defender emerged from a of nest of players with a tipped Wallace swing pass for a 78-yard pick-six in a foreshadowing of bizarre happenings to haunt foes on the Plains.

Wallace has weapons at his disposal. Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell pulled in 608 yards worth of aerials in 2013, and backs Jaylen Walton and I’Tavius Mathers accounted for more than 2,000 yards of turf. Spotting the tight end is always a smart quarterback’s out and Evan Engram is a good one.

MSU to ride Dak’s back

For Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs, success comes early and fades often. A promising start falls flat and the season boils down to the Egg Bowl. Then a rerun hits the screens the following year.

Dak Prescott offers a new burst of hope. He’s a physical, dual-threat leader who accounted for more than 2,800 yards in 2013 while appearing in 11 games.

Wide receiver and return man Jameon Lewis is back from a 2013 effort that netted more than 1,600 all-purpose yards.

Back Josh Robinson should be eager to take on the feature role after playing understudy to LaDarius Perkins. He averaged 5.9 yards per handoff in 2013.

The Big Three

Alabama, Auburn and LSU have accounted for 18 of the 22 SEC West championships, and are the only three West teams to seize the SEC in Atlanta.

An SEC champ with one loss would be a shoo-in for the new Final Four of football.

After witnessing a production of The Twilight Zone in Jordan-Hare Stadium and a Sugar Bowl embarrassment, a hyper-motivated Saban-coached Alabama Crimson Tide would normally be the wisest choice in the West.

But a new quarterback will be at the controls, although he will command some of the top talent in America. The Nick Pick should be either FSU transfer Jacob Coker or patient senior Blake Sims.

Back T.J. Yeldon contributed more than 1,400 yards in 2013 while Amari Cooper has already thrilled Tide fans in the Georgia Dome. His 736 yards in receptions in 2013 was almost seen as a mediocre performance following his breakout freshman season.

Tide end O.J. Howard, receiver and return man extraordinaire Christion Jones and backs Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake round out an explosive offensive lineup.

"Auburn Fast" is the new motto on the Plains. QB Nick Marshall, backs Corey Grant and Cameron Atis-Payne sped for more than 2,300 yards in 2013. Back also is receiver Sammie Coats, 902 yards, and crunch time tight end C. J. Uzomah.

Hopes are high for junior college transfer Duke Williams stretching defenses deep.

LSU did not have an offensive skill player on the astute media’s preseason All-SEC first, second or third team.

But for Miles, someone always emerges to chew up the turf and the most likely candidates are plus-200 pound senior backs Terrence Magee, Kenny Hilliard and much-hyped freshman Leonard Fournette.

Call the receiver corps “The Unknowns” for now. Ditto for the man taking snaps behind center. It’s a battle they say between Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris. Will Miles dust off mentor Bo Schembechler’s playbook?

Keep Hope Alive

For Arkansas and Texas A&M, it’s a throwback to a Jesse Jackson campaign slogan - Keep Hope Alive.

For the Aggies, we all know who’s gone.

The quarterback is not set but Coach Kevin Sumlin is, so hope remains. The battle is between sophomore Kenny Hill and freshman Kyle Allen.

Junior runner Trey Williams is a long-distance threat who should see the ball more behind a veteran offensive line. The Aggies, like LSU, did not have an offensive skill player on the first three All-SEC teams.

Look for A&M to dial back from the air some as Sumlin learns from the success of elder statesman Steve Spurrier in the East.

Arkansas prevailed just three times in 2013 but has returning Alex Collins, who ran for more than 1,000 yards, and QB Brandon Allen who threw for more than 1,500. Junior Johnathan Williams also ate up more than 900 yards.

Outlook for the offenses

The biggest unknown before any season is injuries. Ask any Georgia or Florida fan how they can shellac a season. But casting that concern aside, we will rank the offenses in the SEC West.

1. Auburn – More returning weapons, including a starting quarterback, than any other outfit.

2. Ole Miss – Most experienced returning quarterback but lacks the big, speedy back.

3. Bama – An abundance of explosive talent at receiver and back, but uncertainty behind center.

4. MSU – Strength at quarterback but like Ole Miss lacks the star runner.

5. Arkansas – The Hogs have a returning 1,000 yard rusher and a badger-like commitment to the ground game.

6. Texas A & M - The Aggies have speed at back and will use it more.

7. LSU – An unknown receiving corps and signal caller could leave Tiger fans cheering on a 1970s Michigan-style ground game and special teams. But hey, it doesn’t have to be flashy to be effective.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly