SECMD18: What's in store for Day 4 - Montgomery Alabama news.

SECMD18: What's in store for Day 4

The wall of all D1 football team helmets at SEC Media Days 2018 The wall of all D1 football team helmets at SEC Media Days 2018

The final day of SEC Media Days in Atlanta puts the spotlight on two of the more interesting football programs entering the fall of 2018. The Auburn Tigers may have the best overall talent in the league. Only problem for Gus Malzahn and company is a very difficult schedule. Then there is South Carolina, under Will Muschamp the Gamecocks is on an upward swing and could give Georgia a run for its money in the East Division. The other school set to sit in front of the microphones on the final day is Vanderbilt. Each of the head coaches will bring three players to give all the media-types a ton of knowledge about their respective teams.

Auburn Tigers

Who’s Attending: Head coach Gus Malzahn, QB Jarrett Stidham, LB Deshaun Davis and Dontavius Russell

Why Auburn Fans are Optimistic: Why not? The Tigers have some of the best young talent in all of college football, and you add that with continuity within the coaching staff and there’s plenty of optimism on the Plains. Stidham is back for a second season and if he improves from last year when he was second in the SEC with 3,158 yards passing with a league best 66.5 percent - watch out! And, of course, there is the defense under coordinator Kevin Steele, maybe the best in all of CFB, the Tigers could be stingy as ever.

Why Auburn Fans Are Concerned: While Malzahn usually boasts of balanced offense, in 2018 the Tigers head in without a proven running back leading the ground game. Though Auburn does have maybe its deepest talent corp in recent years, the unknown has to generate some worry.

The Schedule: Oh my, let’s just say it starts tough and finishes even harder. This season the Tigers open with Washington in Atlanta and finish with Georgia and Alabama both on the road. Not easy to thing Auburn can win all three of those games, but if Malzahn and company take two of three then there’s a chance the Tigers could find themselves back in the SEC Championship game in early December.

The Skinny: While the road will not be easy for Auburn, the pieces are in place. With a little luck who knows, but as usual the West runs through T-Town and the Iron Bowl in late November.

Vanderbilt Commodores

Who’s Attending: Head coach Derek Mason, QB Kyle Shurmuer, OL Justin Skule and DB LaDarius Wiley

Why Vandy Fans Are Optimistic: I’m not really sure they are, but the question has been asked. Shurmur is one of the conference’s top QBs. He is on a path to break the Commodores career passing record, so that means he has NFL talent in his arm. There are a few pieces in place, but overall the Dores just don’t have as much as most of the teams, but for some reason I see bowl eligibility on the horizon, so that is something for 2018 in Nashville.

Why Vandy Fans Are Concerned: To be honest, it’s Mason. In his five seasons at Vandertbilt, the Commordores have failed to finish anything better than tied for fourth in the East. Also, Mason has not won more than six games in one season, not sure it’s be any different this fall.

The Schedule: While Vandy’s schedule includes a road game in South Bend against Notre Dame I do like how it plays out. Outsie of the Irish, Georgia and South Carolina, Vanderbilt has winnable games. Now I don’t see 9-3, but seven wins are possible with Middle Tennessee, Nevada, Tennessee State, Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee all at home. At Kentucky, Arkansas and Missouri are possible “Ws,” go figure.

The Skinny: Whatever was written or said above in regards to Vanderbilt doesn’t really mean much. It’s still Vandy and if the Commodores get bowl eligible then the fan base is mostly happy.

South Carolina Gamecocks

Who’s Attending: Head coach Will Muschamp, QB Jake Bentley, WR Deebo Samuel and DL D.J. Wonnum

Why USC Fans Are Optimistic: The Gamecocks are coming off a 9-4 season a year ago with a bowl win over Michigan. No question Muschamp has the program going in the right direction. South Carolina has a solid QB in Bentley and he can manage the offense. It doesn’t seem as if the Gamecocks have that superstar athlete, there is talent and lots of payers to give depth on both sides of the ball. The Gamecocks have a slew of running backs and a ton of linebackers on defense. Oh, and there is no Alabama or Auburn on the Schedule.

Why USC Fans Are Concerned: I think the expectations are higher than there are concerns as I think about it, It appears to be a nine or ten win season in Columbia, however with Georgia in the East it may be tough to break through and get to Atlanta.

The Schedule: The Gamecocks schedule is not perfect, but it is not bad. Georgia is early in the season and it’s a home game, so that may be the best news. The schedule does end with the same old same rivalry game against Clemson, but it is what it is. The hardest away opponent in the conference is Florida. The Gamecocks have the Dawgs, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Missouri at home. As I said, the schedule is favorable and I’m predicting 10 wins in the regular season. I said it!

The Skinny: The season boils down to week two on Sept. 8 in Columbia and a game against the Georgia Bulldogs. South Carolina wins that one, they will win the East.

In a nutshell that is the final day of SEC Media Days in Atlanta. After this we are three weeks from Fall camp starting up and seven weeks from games kicking off.  Can’t wait!  Be sure to follow the WBRC FOX6 Sports folks on the WBRC News app, Facebook, Twitter and of course on TV. Are you ready for some Football? I am!

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