The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has dominated college football the last four years. Here are five questions to get a quick glimpse of what SEC football will look like in 2010.
1. Who will win the conference? Alabama Crimson Tide. Even though Alabama lost several key defenders to the NFL, so did Florida. Florida also lost a lot on the offensive side. Alabama did not. Nick Saban faces the challenge of keeping his team hungry and focused after reaching the pinnacle last year.
2. Who is the top returning player? Mark Ingram, Alabama. How can the answer to this question be anyone but the reigning Heisman Trophy winner? In case you forgot, Ingram ran for 1,658 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and scored 20 touchdowns (17 rushing, 3 receiving) in 2009. In nine games the Heisman Trophy winner ran for more than 100 yards.
3. Which team will be the most improved? Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were 5-7 in Dan Mullen's first year. Mississippi State ended the year on a positive note by beating Ole Miss, 41-27. That momentum will carry over into this year and people will be talking about the Bulldogs at the end of the year.
4. What will be the biggest surprise? The SEC champion will not play in the BCS title game. After an unprecedented four year run, the SEC champion will be back in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama will not be undefeated at season's end, and that will keep them out. At least two other teams will be undefeated and claim the top two spots in the final BCS standings.
5. Which coach is on the hottest seat? Les Miles, LSU. Everyone in the Bayou is getting restless after the 2007 National Championship has been followed up with back-to-back single digit win seasons. Miles didn't even receive much credit for the national championship three years ago, since he won that year with Nick Saban's recruits. Now is the time for Miles to deliver with the players that he has recruited, otherwise, he will be shown the door out.