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No pity for the SEC
SEC Preview Football Heal
Alabama coach Nick Saban leads his team onto the field prior to an game against Georgia State at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. in this Nov. 18, 2010 file photo, - photo by Associated Press

    The Southeastern Conference must carry on without the last two Heisman Trophy winners, 10 first-round draft picks and a coach with two national titles.
    Still, it's hard to count out what Alabama's Nick Saban calls "the national league of college football" after a five-year reign over college football.
    "I just think it's a very challenging league to play in," Saban said. "I think it's very difficult to have that kind of standard of excellence. But with the quality of players, coaches and programs that we have, it would not surprise me if we can continue to at least have someone in a position to have an opportunity to be in the championship game again."
    It might be his Crimson Tide. Or LSU. Maybe Arkansas. And what about South Carolina? Seriously.
    First, all four of those would-be contenders must overcome quarterback questions.
    Still, the Razorbacks and Gamecocks are no more of a long shot than Auburn was in becoming the fourth SEC team to win it all during the streak. One team that's not in that conversation: Auburn, which must replace Heisman winner Cam Newton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley — and 14 other starters.
    Alabama replaces four first-round picks, including 2009 Heisman winner tailback Mark Ingram. LSU is hoping up-and-down quarterback Jordan Jefferson finishes on a high note.
    Arkansas inserts Tyler Wilson in place of Ryan Mallett, and South Carolina's Stephen Garcia might have competition.
    Meanwhile, two-time national champ Urban Meyer has gone from Florida's sidelines to the TV booth.