College Football has run through the south for many years, and the Southeastern Conference, known as the SEC, has been the best the past two decades. But unfortunately, the SEC is hated by almost every fan that does not have an alliance with the conference, and the bad news is it has only gotten better in 2022.
Last year we witnessed for the second time in the eight years of the College Football Playoff National Championship, two teams from the SEC, Alabama and Georgia, go at it. It was a rematch from the iconic 2017 National Championship game, where Alabama defeated Georgia in overtime. This time Georgia got the better of Alabama, but the SEC still came out on top in the college football world.
The 2022 season is upon us, and the SEC seems much better this year than in 2021; they sent two teams to the National Championship. The second college football playoff poll came out on Tuesday night and featured five teams inside the top eleven. Georgia was ranked as the number one team, with Tennessee coming at number five, LSU ranking seventh, Alabama at nine, and Mississippi coming in at eleven.
With three weeks left in the regular season, it is impressive that five teams from the same conference are still floating around the top of the polls, and there is an excellent chance that the SEC will send two teams to the playoff again this year. It will be the third time in nine years that the SEC will send two teams to the same playoff, and no other conference has ever sent more than one in a season.
The Georgia Bulldogs look to be the best team in college football again this season, and if you want to become the king of the sport, you will have to go through the dawgs. Georgia has a record of nine and zero, and they just came off beating the previous number-one ranked team in the country, the Tennessee Volunteers.
Georgia is still being led by their quarterback Stetson Bennett, and they still have a great running game, and the defense continues to get better week in and week out. Let’s not forget about their talented head coach, Kirby Smart, who has turned this program into a powerhouse.
Georgia will most likely represent the SEC East in the SEC Championship Game on the first weekend of December, and they will look to go back to their third college football playoff and try to defend their title.
Georgia should be the favorite to win the title, and until a team decides to knock them off, it will be tough to pick against this group that seems to want it more than any other team in the country right now.
The surprise story of the season has been the Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee and second-year head coach Josh Heupel has an outstanding record of eight and one after finishing seven and six in 2021. Tennessee also has one of the country’s best offenses. It is led by quarterback and one of the Heisman trophies favorites, Hendon Hooker. The offense finally was put to stop last week against Georgia, but that offense has put up massive games this season.
Tennessee finally can say they have beaten the Alabama Crimson Tide for the first time since 2006. However, Tennessee also put up a field day vs. the now number seven team in the country, LSU beating them 40-13 down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Tennessee might have one loss, but they have positioned themselves well to make their first playoff. They will finish the season playing Missouri, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt and should be a heavy favorite in those games. Tennessee will probably need a little help to get into the playoff, but if Tennessee doesn’t lose again, I bet that help will come, and they will be able to witness their first-ever playoff game.
The LSU Tigers are back after winning the 2019 National Championship and having two down seasons after firing their head coach Ed Orgeron. However, LSU made a massive splash by hiring former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, and it has seemed to pay off.
LSU lost the first game of the Kelly era to Florida State and got destroyed by Tennessee, but other than that, the season has been pretty good. LSU had a massive win over Mississippi a few weeks ago and followed it up by beating Alabama this past weekend.
LSU is now in control of the SEC West, and if they win out in the SEC, they will face the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game. However, it will still be an uphill battle for them to make the playoffs if they win and beat Georgia since they have two losses and have Tennessee, who beat them, still in front of them in the rankings.
Alabama Crimson Tide
The Alabama Crimson Tide has been the sport’s powerhouse for the past two decades and finally has met its match in the SEC. This is the first time in the playoff era that Alabama has had two losses before Thanksgiving, and this will be the second time in nine years that Alabama will not be heading to the playoffs.
Alabama’s two losses on the season both have been on the road and have lost on the game’s last play. Tennessee beat the Crimson Tide on a last-second field goal, and LSU won on a two-point conversion in over time.
It’s impressive to see Alabama not be part of this year’s playoff when they still have the best coach in the sport in Nick Saban, the 2021 Heisman-winning quarterback in Bryce Young, and maybe the best non-quarterback in the sport in edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.
Alabama has not been the same team we have seen the last few years, and they have struggled on the road this season. They went into Texas early in the season, and Bryce Young had to put on his magic cape to survive in a game where Texas lost their starting quarterback Quinn Ewers in the first quarter.
Alabama will head on the road this week to play Mississippi, and there is a good chance that this could be their third loss on the season.
Alabama might have had an off year, but it does seem like the rest of the SEC starting to turn their teams around has made it harder on Alabama, but Saban will adjust and figure things out, and they will still be the team to beat in the 2023 season.
Mississippi Rebels and head coach Lane Kiffin must love where they are going into Week Eleven. Mississippi might be the number eleven team in the country, but the playoffs are within reach for them. They still only have one loss, and if they can find a way to win out and LSU loses another SEC game, the Rebels will find themselves in Atlanta, Georgia, playing for the SEC title.
I thought Mississippi would take a step back this season after losing quarterback Matt Corral, but USC transfer quarterback Jaxson Dart has come in and held the position down.
It would be neat to see Mississippi get into the playoffs, but they will need some help to make that happen, but they will most likely be playing in a big-time bowl game this upcoming bowl season.
Future Of The SEC
The SEC is in good hands moving forward with powerhouses like Georgia, Alabama, and LSU and now with new teams like Tennessee and Mississippi. Kentucky is also in the top 25 now, and they have been a pretty good program for the last few years.
Texas A&M continues to get the best-recruiting classes every year, but they need help finding success on the field. There is a good chance that A&M will not see a bowl game this year, and that will be a massive blow to the program and head coach Jimbo Fisher.
Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi State, and South Carolina look to be trending in the right direction, while Auburn just fired their head coach Bryan Harsin so they will need a new head man to lead them back in the order that they want to go. Missouri and Vanderbilt have seen better days, and I don’t expect much from them in the future.
Let’s add the cherry on top because Texas and Oklahoma will be joining the conference starting in 2025, so we can add two more story franchises in college football to the mix.
The SEC is not going anywhere anytime soon, and you better get used to its dominance because it will stay around for the next handful of years.
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