If the SEC West was a girl, it would probably be Kim Kardashian because of how deep and complicated the conference is this year. I look at just about all of the 7 contestants, and I see teams that can penetrate their way to the top and find themselves at the climax of college football, only to be forgotten about by Kim K and the public a year afterwards.
I present to you Big Daddy's 2023 SEC West Predictions. If you actually read my predictions in their entirety and feel compelled enough to confront me in-person and tell me I should have stuck to being a Florist, odds are I'll be in the local Fayetteville Walmart quizzing employees which Land O' Lakes is best for greasing the cheeks before a Round of 18.
Yours in being 31 Days Away From Football,
Big Daddy / Fat Curry
Pre-Season Media Predictions: Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State
Fat Curry Predictions: Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi State
1.) Texas A&M:
In a year when the SEC doesn't have a lot of QB-depth and Jamokes on Twitter are saying that KJ Jefferson can be the best QB in the SEC, then I argue why can't Conner Weigman? Conner was the #3 QB in the Class of 2022, has Bobby Neckbrace Petrino as his brand new Offensive Coordinator and gave Jimbo a glimpse of hope that he'll see out half his contract at TAMU after throwing 8 tds, 0 ints and beating LSU.
All jokes aside, Evan Stewart could easily be the best WR in the SEC in 2023. The market was way too early on TAMU last year, but it feels like this could be the year where Jimbo creates some havoc, especially with Bama having more question marks than usual and LSU getting a little more love from the media than I'd prefer to see.
Can TAMU win it all? No. But could they shock the SEC West and get to the SEC Championship where you can easily hedge out your future before Kirby makes Jimbo call him Daddy, I think so.
I was dropped a lot as a child and this prediction will likely show the consequences of smacking a baby's head against the stairs. I think it is completely logical to 1) not bet Alabama to win the SEC Championship but 2) to bet Alabama to win the National Championship. Why? There's so many unknowns right now with this team, and both the illiquidity premium and risk premium that I would receive for Bama to win the SEC Championship at +290 is a joke. Rather, if they do put it all together (and they most definitely can with their recruiting classes and God still being their puppet master), then give me +600 for them to just win it all.
I'm not a big Tommy Rees guy, but he's never had a weapon like Malik Benson (RIP to the second biggest pride of Cov Cath, Michael Mayer). My penultimate concern is having 3 QBs and no declared starter just yet. If I'm lucky enough to have 3 decent fantasy football starters for one position, I become a mental midget and always end up choosing the wrong player to start.
My biggest concern about Alabama and why I have them #2 is because last year's team had a handful of one score games, lost two games with the best QB in the nation and the best defensive player in the nation and now returns less than 50% of their starters. I'm expecting another 2 loss season.
This prediction comes down to 3 things: 1) Me praying Brian Kelly never sees a championship in his life, 2) Jayden Daniels being the Jayden Daniels that I watched for 2.5-years at Arizona State and 3) the media's annual tradition of overhyping one team.
This year's LSU feels a bit like last year's Texas A&M but for different reasons. Texas A&M team had a ton of media hype because of the recruiting class that they put together. This year's LSU is getting a lot of hype because they return a pretty good QB, maybe the best Sophomore in the country in Harold Perkins Jr. and they won the SEC West last year but with 4 losses. Last year's team wasn't exactly flawless and they've since lost 6 players to the draft and now have a lot of pressure from the media. Their first game in Orlando against an FSU team that I may actually like more will dictate how this season goes.
4.) Ole Miss:
As Lane Kiffin would say, #ComeToTheSip if you want to be an above-average team. I like their hire with Golding, and yes they have Quinshon Judkins, and yes they have QBs on QBs in Dart, Sanders (if he doesn't leave) and Howard. My issue with Ole Miss is their national recruiting. Ari Wasserman is the most self-entitled, nauseating loser at The Athletic, but he is right when he says that stars matter. Ole Miss having the 22nd best class over the past 4-years provides depth concerns, especially in the trenches and on the defensive side of the ball. This is the difference in the SEC.
As a kid, my parents used to read me Chicken Soup For the Soul. Some of the stories that I fondly remember were the orphans who grew up, eventually met their long-lost parents and ended up living with them happily ever after.
Well how about Arkansas finding its Daddy last year in Hugh Freeze. As a committed Dad would do, he decided to end his milk run and come back to the SEC West where he can be Arkansas' Daddy every year.
Not many people probably know this, but Payton Thorne transferred from Michigan State to Auburn. Say what you want about Payton, but he did throw for 3200 yards and 27 tds in 2021. If Hugh can find some weapons to compliment Payton (please for the love of God do not start Robby Ashford), they'll have a chance to be a sleepy competitor and wreak havoc come autumn. If I'm going to be wrong on any prediction, it is going to be this one. This is an ode and my salute from one Daddy to another Daddy.
Maybe I'd have them ranked higher if Bill Clinton wasn't as accurate as KJ Jefferson.
Maybe I'd have them ranked higher if their QB didn't look like a poster child for Golden Corral.
Maybe I'd have them ranked higher if their backup QB who has never played a down for Arkansas wasn't a Top-99 Heisman future option.
7) Mississippi State:
I really hope I am wrong here for the sake of this being a tribute year to the GOAT, Mike Leach. As Mike Leach would say to teams that are acting entitled because of last year's results (https://www.tiktok.com/@vawldaddy/video/7165920874955115819), you haven't done a thing. Unfortunately, this is why I worry most about Miss. State this year. They over exceeded last year's media expectations (shocker). But this year, I see a conflicted Miss. State team who is bringing back their best player in Will Rogers but putting him into an offensive scheme that makes the ceiling the roof. The Air Raid was never going to win them the SEC, but they were a heck of a lot more fun to watch and did pull off an upset every now and then. Their run game was the 2nd worst in all of D1 FBS football last year, so I have no faith in their ability to create a balanced attack in one offseason with another sub-par recruiting class. God bless this team, and I hope they make KJ wish he had declared for the 2023 draft, but let's get past Arizona and then worry about the SEC.