Alabama’s Nick Saban and LSU’s Les Miles have curved a niche for themselves as two of the best longstanding head coaches in the SEC Conference, boasting of several years of success for their respective programs. So as a way of honoring their legacies, we take a look at the two coaches and the chances NCAA Football betting odds of the two teams in being crowned as the next King in the SEC West.
Who’s the College Football Betting Favorite to Win SEC West?
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) June 27, 2015
Saban, Alabama and the 2015 College Football Season
Having presided over four National Championships, five SEC Championships and seven back-to-back double-digit win seasons in his last seven years, it doesn’t need to be explained why Saban is a venerated coach. Often, betting lines are a quantitative representation of the public expectations, no wonder coach Saban, a two-time AP National Coach of the Year, and the Crimson Tide have the shortest SEC West title, SEC Conference title and national title odds in the 2015 college football betting lines.
Coming off a season where Alabama won both the SEC West and SEC Conference titles to make the cut for the inaugural four-team playoff system before losing to Ohio State, it makes sense that the Tide are favored to make another run worthy of winning both the divisional and conference title to reach the playoffs. Saban also had an excellent recruiting class, ranked best in the country, offering a lot of hope for Bama fans. Nevertheless, it should be noted that Alabama lost a ton of talent, including quarterback Blake Sims, running back T.Y. Yeldon, wide receiver Amari Cooper and safety Landon Collins. In overall, the Tide have just 11 starters returning to the team, with only four on the offense.
On top of that, there is the issue of teams like Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas all looking like solid contenders for the SEC West title. This gives a bleak outlook for the Tide, who are yet to find a good lead quarterback for the team, with Jake Coker, David Cornwell, Cooper Bateman, Alec Morris and Blake Barnett all vying to start at the center.
Miles, LSU and the 2015 College Football Season
With a remarkable reputation of a 103-29 record in his 10 years as a coach for the Tigers, Miles is commendably a master in the game. Miles also brags of being among the five active college football coaches with a national title, the others being Saban, Urban Meyer, Jimbo Fisher and Bob Stoops. As one of the secrets to his success, LSU boasts of having the most feared home stadium in the league in the Tiger Stadium a.k.a the Death Valley. In this regard, you may have, by now, heard Miles being quoted in the phrase, “Death Valley, where opponents’ dreams come to die.”
Stadium issues aside, the Tigers are returning with a good number of starters, including the pair of Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, who are competing for the starting QB role, SEC’s arguably best running back in Leonard Fournette, and the returning talented defensive combo of cornerback Tre’Davious White, linebacker Kendell Beckwith, safety Jamal Adams and tackle Davon Godchaux.
But even with all that talent, LSU’s ceiling in 2015 will be determined by the efficiency of who starts at the center of the Tigers’ offense. In 2014, the Tigers had an anemic offense mainly because of poor quarterback play, and if there is no improvement from Jennings/ Harris, then another disappointing season will be in the offing for them.
My Expert Predictions for Alabama and LSU in 2015
Like LSU, Alabama is in a good position to have a succeed in 2015, considering the good coaching systems in both teams and solid weapons they have both in the offense and defense. However, without strong performances from the quarterbacks, 2015 could prove to be very disappointing for both coaches. Overall, I believe the Tide are just too talented and well-coached to fail in 2015, so a 12-2 (7-1) record looks more likely for them like in 2014, while the LSU will improve from their 8-5 (4-4) mark in 2014 to a 10-3 (6-2) mark in 2015. In the end, therefore, the Tide should still be the kings of the SEC West. As a note though, watch out for Auburn and Mississippi State, who equally look strong enough to challenge for the division title.