Three Agendas For SEC Opening Saturday
By Dan Harralson
SEC coaches chat up Week 1 in the SEC during this week’s SEC coach’s conference call. Here’s a look at three agendas to look for this weekend:
Arkansas at Auburn
The Razorbacks were 3-9 overall and 0-8 in the SEC in Bret Bielema’s first season, but the former Big Ten champ is ready to take on the defending SEC champions – and he's confident about it.
"Saturday, we have the whole world to show what we're about," Bielema said during this week’s SEC coach’s conference call. "We will earn everything that we get, play by play, negative or poor, positive or great, it doesn't matter. We're building something that I hope to get to that plateau sooner than later."
On the flip-side, Auburn's Gus Malzahn is also building something, and his program has arrived on the national scene sooner rather than later. It's about unfinished business at this point.
"Obviously we're disappointed we came up 13 seconds short of winning the whole thing, but we're extremely motivated from a players' and coaches' standpoint moving forward," Malzahn said during the weekly conference call. "Our guys understand that we'll get everybody's best shot and we're going to do our best to get back to Atlanta."
Alabama vs. West Virginia
Unfinished business is also the tune for Nick Saban and his eight year-tenure at Alabama. A missed field goal away from essentially capturing the right to play for a national championship three-peat has the Crimson Tide focused in 2014.
"This year, I find the players are really more focused in terms of the things we need to believe in, the things we need to do, whether it's hard work, discipline, finishing plays, paying attention to details," Saban said. "The kind of things that make big differences in close ballgames."
LSU vs. Wisconsin
The story of LSU seems to be the confidence in Les Miles for his 2014 Tigers. He likes his team in every game – as he mentioned at SEC Media Days in July. But the real topic LSU has to face centers around who will be the signal caller.
Miles has a plan and it's playing two quarterbacks against Wisconsin: Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris.
“There is a plan. We’re going to do those things that we feel like will benefit both quarterbacks and play them appropriately," Miles said. "It’s not something without conception. We understand it but it’s not something I’ll reveal. There’s not tremendous magic to it. We like both guys, both will play.”