Strap in for this one.
CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee went on The Paul Finebaum Show on Tuesday and dropped the prediction that Auburn — not Alabama — will win the SEC West this season. Yes, that’s right. Sallee likes the Tigers to unseat the Crimson Tide and make the trek to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game.
This is a different — brave? — take as we near the start of the season. It’s hard to find anyone who has picked someone other than Alabama to roll to another SEC title.
Sure, Auburn should be improved after finishing 8-5 with a Sugar Bowl berth last year. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham’s arrival is the main source of optimism, and it will be fascinating to see if he can live up to the hype in the coming months.
Still, it seems like a stretch that Auburn will elbow its way past Alabama in the SEC West standings by season’s end. The Crimson Tide is reloading after appearing in the national championship game. And Alabama likely will be motivated to rebound after losing to Clemson in dramatic fashion.
However, if Auburn wins the SEC West, you know where you heard it first.
To check out Sallee’s complete SEC predictions for CBS Sports, click here.
"I've got Auburn winning the SEC West" – @BarrettSallee
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) July 18, 2017