Six Bold Predictions for the SEC in 2022

Via CNN.com

Six Bold Predictions for the SEC in 2022

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Six Bold Predictions for the SEC in 2022

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Via CNN.com

SEC media days are wrapping up as we prepare for programs to enter into fall camp. The 2022 college football season is finally right around the corner. With football season comes expectations, as every team in the Southeastern Conference hopes to punch their ticket to Atlanta to play for a conference title as well as a playoff spot. With that said, here are six things I expect to see in the SEC in 2022:

Florida will get some bite back in that ‘Gator Chomp’:

Let’s be real, it’s not like the Gators have been on a long drought of success. However, last year was certainly a disappointment for the Florida faithful. I expect new head coach Billy Napier to turn the ship in the right direction pretty quickly. Quarterback Anthony Richardson has a chance to be special thanks to his athleticism as well his potential which is through the roof.

This new Gator staff is already making some serious noise on the recruiting trail, already finding more success than the Dan Mullen regime, in just one off-season. This early off-season success should give the program a jolt going into the regular season. Players have already bought into Napier and the culture he is trying to build. Expect Florida to be much improved in 2022.

Arkansas will prove last year was no fluke:

The Razorbacks came out of nowhere last season winning nine games. Quarterback KJ Jefferson was absolutely electric last season throwing for 2,676 yards and 21 touchdowns while also rushing for over 600 yards. Jefferson is one of the best offensive players not only in the conference, but the entire nation.

That being said, this Razorback offense is far more than just a one man show. Running backs Raheim Sanders both ran for over 500 yards in their own rights and will help provide one the most prolific ground games playing on Saturdays this fall. Wide receiver Jadon Haselwood will add some pop out on the perimeter and the offensive line looks to be a stout one. As long as the defense can hold their own, Arkansas could be a major player in the west division this season.

Kentucky will prove they were no fluke either:

The Wildcats won ten games last season, including a win in the Citrus Bowl over Iowa. Mark Stoops finally has a face of the program at the quarterback position in Will Levis. They will also have continuity on offense, even with a new coordinator in Rich Scangarello, who is coming in from the 49ers under the Shanahan/McVey coaching tree.

The defense boasts one the best linebacker units in the conference along with a formidable defensive line. What gives Kentucky their best chance, however, is their culture. This team now believes they can play with anybody which is something that wasn’t always the case in Lexington. The big blue nation has plenty to be excited about this season.

The west will be deep in quality:

Alabama, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and LSU will all finish the season bowl eligible by Thanksgiving. That is a lot of teams in one division to play high level football. It is unfortunately possible that Auburn may struggle to win at least six games in the west, however, outside of them, everyone else should be playing in the post-season.

The Tide and Razorbacks are legit contenders, and the Aggies could be as well. Ole Miss is much more difficult to peg, but at the very least should finish anywhere between eight to ten wins. Mississippi State and LSU may not contend for division title, but neither will be easy wins and should garner anywhere between six to eight wins each, respectfully.

The east will be a dogfight for the Bulldogs:

Georgia is returning as not only the division champs, but the national champs as well. However, they will have their work cut out for them this season. Their roster was gutted by the NFL Draft and even though they will still be loaded with talent, they have to replace a lot. They will also have a couple of hungry teams coming to take their spot atop of the mountain.

Both the aforementioned Kentucky Wildcats as well as the surging Tennessee Volunteers will be nipping at the heels of the champs and both have the pieces to possibly dethrone them. Add in another previously mentioned Florida squad hungry to throw their name back in the ring as well as an up-and-coming South Carolina program and Georgia may find their biggest challenge for supremacy in a while.

Alabama will still be Alabama:

This is not exactly a hot-take, is it? It is, however, the harsh reality for the rest of the Southeastern Conference. Nick Saban has the reigning Heisman trophy winner in Bryce Young at quarterback as well as Will Anderson Jr at edge-rusher, who might actually be the best player in the country, even over Young.

Add to that a slew of five-star talent all over the field as well as an impressive group of transfers and the Crimson Tide will once again boast what is maybe the best roster in the nation. When you are arguably the greatest coach in the history of the game, what else do you expect. Alabama will continue to be the alpha in the SEC, until proven otherwise.

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