The Dye-Gest: Lots Of Optimism In the SEC

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye takes comments on the upcoming Southeastern Conference season.

Listening to the head coaches at last week’s Southeastern Conference Football Media Days, teams across the league better be ready to buckle up their chin straps tightly if those guys are correct. There was a lot of optimism and not much poor-mouthing from the 14 coaches when they were discussing the upcoming college season that is just around the corner.

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While the coaches may be a bit too optimistic about what will happen during their 2014 seasons there are plenty of reasons for them to be positive. There is a solid chance that all of the teams in the SEC West will be as good as they were last year or improved. The team with the most questions in the division is Arkansas, but the Razorbacks’ second-year head coach certainly was upbeat about his team’s chances for success this year.

It sure seems like Arkansas is putting a lot of emphasis on being ready to give Auburn a strong test on August 30th in what will be the season opener for both teams. After a dismal 2013 season the Razorbacks need to give their fans hope that change is on the way and nothing would do that more than knocking off the defending SEC champions.

In the SEC East I think Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and possibly= South Carolina which had a strong team last year, look like they have a chance to be improved. Some of those programs weren’t where they wanted to be last year, but there is no reason why they can’t be improved this year. If that is the case the SEC will be tough again, which is nothing new. When you play football in this league you are going to get your papers graded every week.

Nothing has changed in SEC for a long time regarding how difficult it is to win games, particularly on the road. If you show up on Saturday not ready to play there is a good chance you are going to get beat.

Nobody knows that any better than Coach Gus Malzahn as he prepares for a tough 2014 schedule that features five road trips to places where it can be difficult to win a football game. Winning a non-league test at Kansas State won’t be easy and that is certainly true of league games vs. the Mississippi teams, which should be improved, and old rivals Georgia and Alabama.

Looking at the big picture is nice this time of year, especially for fans, but from everything I am hearing and seeing the Auburn coaches and players are seriously focused on being ready to play their best football when they take on Arkansas next month. Considering the league the Tigers play in, concentrating on one game at at time is a good thing.

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