Depth is Growing in the SEC East

Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Depth is Growing in the SEC East

NCAA

Depth is Growing in the SEC East

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Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

For years the SEC West has been known for its incredible depth, making the east more of an after-thought at times it seemed. However, the perception that it’s just Georgia and everybody else could soon be changing. Between programs rising in prominence and programs coming back into prominence, the field is definitely becoming increasingly more competitive.

At one time, the east was just a battle between Georgia and Florida with Tennessee occasionally peaking its head through the door. However, the landscape has changed in recent times. Florida, though usually good most years, wasn’t the threat it used to be and Tennessee had simply struggled for a few years.

Kentucky has become a bright spot for the division, however, hasn’t been able to get over the hump against the Bulldogs. Outside of that, however, there hasn’t been a lot to write home about. South Carolina and Missouri have just been kind of meh, and Vanderbilt has just simply been around.

Times are swiftly changing, however. Billy Napier seems to have Florida heading back in the right direction after a less than stellar run by Dan Mullen that culminated with a losing record in 2021. Jeremy Pruitt has put Tennessee back on the map and has finally given stability to the Volunteers. Looking at the recruiting ranking, both programs could soon be major players again.

The biggest difference-maker in the division, historically speaking is Kentucky. Back in the days when the east was a three-team race, the Wildcats were often an after-thought. However, Mark Stoops has evened the playing field over recent years and made the big blue prominent fixtures in the division now and for years to come.

Add in South Carolina who may have found something in head coach Shane Beamer. The Gamecocks caught everyone off-guard in 2021 finishing 7-6 seemingly out of nowhere. With quarterback Spencer Rattler among others transferring in, the future looks very bright in Columbia, S.C.

Missouri is a young but very interesting team to watch going forward, especially with the recruiting class they have coming in. Freshman wide receiver Luther Burden could be one of, if not the best playmakers in the SEC by the time his college career is done. If they can keep that momentum going on the recruiting trail, it could end up paying big dividends on the field.

Even Vanderbilt is a program heading in the right direction as they boast their own top forty recruiting class coming into 2022. The SEC East is chalked full of young coaches and programs on the rise. Recruiting is at an all-time high all the way up and down the board in the east. Momentum is arguably as strong as it has ever been from top to bottom.

What was once a one to two-team show could soon boast enough depth to even rival the west. Only time will tell as we push towards the 2022 season and beyond. However, the SEC East looks to be as strong as it has ever been.

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