Knoxville newspaper says Hogs, Bama and LSU will stay in top 10 in 2012

Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams runs back a punt for a touchdown against Tennessee at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011.  (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)<br /><br />

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams runs back a punt for a touchdown against Tennessee at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

A Knoxville newspaper concedes the fact that the SEC West will stay dominant in football in 2012 and Arkansas, Alabama and LSU will stay in the top 10 again in 2012. Below is the article:

John Adams: SEC football hierarchy won’t change in 2012

John Adams
  • By John Adams
  • govolsxtra.com
  • Posted January 9, 2012 at 8 p.m.

Alabama and LSU reminded the rest of the SEC what they’re up against when they played for the BCS national championship Monday night.

The Tide and Tigers have emerged as the dominant programs in collegefootball‘s most dominant conference. That’s not based solely on their latest get-together.

In the last five years, the two programs have combined to win 107 of 133 games and play for four national titles. Both have succeeded in surpassing Florida, which began the SEC’s run of six consecutive national championships in 2006.

And they should begin the 2012 season as the most likely teams to extend that streak.

Something else shouldn’t change in 2012: The SEC West should be clearly superior to the East.

LSU will return so much talent — especially in the secondary, at running back and in the defensive line — you will hardly miss their outgoing players. Moreover, quarterback Zach Mettenberger, a former Georgia signee and junior college transfer, could be a better passer than the two seniors he played behind this season.

Alabama will lose more, particularly if its best juniors decide to leave early. But the Tide might have the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class, another testament to how coach Nick Saban keeps replenishing his talent. The program’s usual areas of strength will remain strong: defense, offensive line and running back.

You can’t rule out Arkansas against giving the West three top-10 teams. Tyler Wilson is the best quarterback in the conference, Bobby Petrino will develop another impressive receiving corps despite all the losses, and the return of injured Knile Davis will boost the running game.

Don’t forget about 2010 national champion Auburn, either. The Tigers might have lost offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and running back Michael Dyer, but they have an abundance of young talent.

Georgia will be a clear-cut favorite to repeat as the East winner.

The Bulldogs have as accommodating of a schedule as a title contender could hope for in the SEC, quarterback Aaron Murray is back to run their offense, and there’s depth at wide receiver and a wealth of talent at linebacker.

The anticipated addition of heralded high school running back Keith Marshall should aid a rushing attack that relied mainly on freshman Isaiah Crowell, whose durability is more of an issue than his talent.

Despite the loss of two prominent juniors (wide receiver Stephon Gilmore and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery) to the NFL, South Carolina still looks most capable of challenging the Bulldogs. The return of injured running back Marcus Lattimore and the development of quarterback Connor Shaw as a running and passing threat will bolster the offense. The defense can build around pass-rushing ends Devin Taylor and Jadeveon Clowney and big-hitting backs DeVonte Holloman and D.J. Swearinger.

Tennessee can’t help but improve after winning only one of eight SEC games. A more favorable schedule and a healthy passing combination of quarterback Tyler Bray and wide receivers Justin Hunter and Da’Rick Rogers should have the Vols battling Missouri for third in the East.

Here’s an early, early guess as to how the divisions will play out:

EAST

Georgia: The Bulldogs won’t have to play Alabama, Arkansas or LSU from the West.

South Carolina: Former coach Lou Holtz used to talk about changing the culture in Columbia, but Steve Spurrier has actually changed it.

Tennessee: The Vols will return more starters than any other team in the East.

Missouri: The Tigers will have some offensive firepower, but the conference didn’t do its rookie member any scheduling favors.

Florida: A disappointing 2011 season coupled with another highly ranked recruiting class should convince more Gators fans that Will Muschamp is the second coming of Ron Zook.

Vanderbilt: Back-to-back bowls aren’t out of the question.

Kentucky: Back-to-back non-bowl seasons are likely.

WEST

LSU: Imagine the 2011 team with a better passing attack.

Alabama: The Tide’s first five seasons under Saban haven’t been much different from their first five years of the Bear Bryant era.

Arkansas: Will still have the SEC’s most eye-catching offense.

Auburn: A porous defense should be much improved.

Mississippi State: Needs more consistent play at quarterback.

Texas A&M: Plenty of starters returning, but its first season in the SEC could be traumatizing.

Ole Miss: The Grove will continue to thrive under new coach Hugh Freeze.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns

Get Copyright Permissions © 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.

Related posts:

Nice to be feared: Knoxville news paper glad Vols don’t play hogs in 2012

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011 Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams runs back a punt for a touchdown against Tennessee at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL) Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011 Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams breaks past Tennessee defensive back Brian Randolph to […]

Petrino upset with Miles over field goal

I remember when USC beat Arkansas 70 to 17 back in 2005. The score was 49 to 7 in the first half and USC could have made it 100 to 7 if they wanted to but they put in their subs in the 3rd quarter. However, Wally Hall said they ran up the score because […]

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 3)

Earlier I wrote about where I think Arkansas could win a national championship with just two more wins. Below is a portion of an article by Jim Harris of the website Arkansas 360: AND ON BOBBY: Schlabach, on Arkansas’ coach: “I said when he was hired that Bobby Petrino would make Arkansas a contender for […]

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 2)

Earlier I wrote about where I think Arkansas could win a national championship with just two more wins. Below is a portion of an article by Jim Harris of the website Arkansas 360: STILL THERE’S LES AT LSU: Schlabach, in saying that LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in the country, had high […]

After blowout at Arkansas, Vols coach Dooley felt like celebration after Vandy win was warrented

I saw the end of the Tennessee/Vandy game on tv and my brother-in-law went to the game (pictures from him below). I have written about the game earlier on this blog so I will not go into that again. I just wanted to comment on the video clip above. I think it is fine that […]

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 1)

Earlier I wrote about where I think Arkansas could win a national championship with just two more wins. Below is a portion of an article by Jim Harris of the website Arkansas 360: What kind of college football polling world do we live in now that a No. 3 Arkansas could win Friday at No. […]

Mangino speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 2)

Mangino at a 2007 KU basketball game Eric Mangino is a very good speaker. Here is a portion of an article by Jim Harris: Jim Harris’ Notebook: Mangino Ready To Return; Big Week For Central Arkansas by Jim Harris 11/14/2011 at 3:37pm It’s easy for fans who don’t follow Kansas football closely to forget just […]

Johnny Majors speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 11)jh79

Interview with Johnny Majors after 1982 Kentucky game Below is a picture of Lane Kiffin with Johnny Majors. I enjoyed hearing Johnny Majors speak at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on 11-7-11. He talked a lot about the connection between the Arkansas and Tennessee football programs. It reminded me of what Frank Broyles had said […]

Will Dooley be given enough time to turn Vols around? Arkansas loss energizes foes of Dooley jh84

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011 Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley reacts as Arkansas scores their seventh touchdown of the night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Why is this victory over the Vols so sweet? Probably because of 71 and 98!! jh85

  Above is a picture from my camera at the game. Photo I have wondered why this victory meant over Tennessee meant so much to our Razorback Nation. I guess the answer is simply that we have lost so many close heartbreaking games to the Vols over the years and the 1971 and 1998 games […]

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: