SEC Football: Record conference predictions ahead of 2022 season

It just means more when it comes to college football in the SEC.

Many teams in the conference have been revamped during the offseason, and the overall landscape of college football is undergoing major changes. Various conferences across the country are experiencing major upheaval, as sports programs try to find different opportunities. The SEC will feature two new teams in the coming years as Texas and Oklahoma hope to prove they can compete in the toughest conference in the nation.

Until then, here’s what the SEC could look like in 2022:

SEC West

1. Alabama (12-0)

What more needs to be said about the Crimson Tide? Alabama is returning the majority of their talent from the 2021 season, and with an elite quarterback at the helm in Bryce Young, the Tide should get through their opponents this season. Other SEC West teams are hoping to dethrone the storied program this season, but Bama’s wins are likely to continue.

2. Arkansas (10-2)

Sam Pittman accomplished great things in his first season as head coach of the Razorbacks and hopes to continue his success in 2022. The Hogs are returning talented starters to accompany some impressive transfers this season. One of the best returning players is elite dual-threat quarterback KJ Jefferson. With Jefferson’s talented cast and a great head coach, the Razorbacks could shock the country.

3. Texas A&M (9-3)

Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies enter the 2022 season with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation. Texas A&M also racked up talented transfers in the offseason, including former LSU quarterback Max Johnson. Can the Aggies muster this talent to fight for the top spot in SEC West?

4. Mississippi State (8-4)

Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense appears to be a dormant team in 2022. The Bulldogs are returning impressive starters such as quarterback Will Rogers, receiver Jaden Walley and cornerback Emmanuel Forbes. Mississippi State is looking to prove it can compete with anyone despite having one of the toughest schedules in the country.

5. Ole Miss (8-4)

Head coach Lane Kiffin has done a great job on the transfer portal, signing talented student-athletes such as former USC quarterback Jaxson Dart and former TCU running back Zach Evans. . The Rebels have a manageable schedule this season, but face some tough road tests at Arkansas and Texas A&M. Kiffin and the Rebs should have a successful 2022 campaign but will likely take a small step back from last year.

6. USL (6-6)

The LSU Tigers are seeing major changes in 2022, as former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly hopes to get the Tigers back on their way to victory. However, the team is competing in the grueling SEC West in the midst of a rebuilding year. The division is brimming with elite talent, so Kelly could face some hurdles in his first year as the program’s coach.

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7. Auburn (4-8)

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Auburn Tigers this season. The team has lost many talented players in 2021, including former starting quarterback Bo Nix. The Tigers have their work cut out for them as they face a grueling stretch in which they face LSU, Georgia, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Texas A&M. The Tigers have too many unknowns this season and will likely finish bottom of the SEC West.

SEC East

1. Georgia (11-1)

Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs are the defending national champions and are looking to continue their success in 2022. The Bulldogs return a talented signalman in Stetson Bennett who hopes to lead his team to a successful campaign once again. Georgia have a huge target on their back and have lost much of their defensive talent, which means a tough loss in a road game is possible.

2. Tennessee (9-3)

The Vols enter the season with high hopes and elite talent that could change the landscape of Rocky Top. Signalman Hendon Hooker is one of the best quarterbacks in the country and could light up the scoreboard. Tennessee is very talented and could end 2022 as one of the best teams in the SEC.

3. Kentucky (8-4)

One of the dark horse teams in the SEC East is Kentucky. The Wildcats return an elite quarterback in Will Levis — who continues to climb the 2023 draft boards — and star running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. Kentucky has a tough SEC schedule, but 2022 could be another impressive year for the program.

4. South Carolina (7-5)

South Carolina could also be a sleeper team in 2022. Led by second-year head coach Shane Beamer, the Gamecocks feature former Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler – one of the most coveted players to enter the transfer portal. Beamer led South Carolina to its first bowling game in three seasons last year and hopes to repeat it once again.

5. Florida (6-6)

The Gators are looking to rebuild their team from the ground up with new head coach Billy Napier. Florida lost a lot of their talent to the transfer portal this offseason, but they’re returning a talented quarterback in Anthony Richardson. The 2022 campaign will be intriguing in the swamp.

6. Missouri (5-7)

Missouri has a lot of unknowns heading into the upcoming season. The Tigers have talented defensive players but face a schedule that may be too much to overcome. The 2022 campaign could be disappointing in Colombia.

7. Vanderbilt (2-10)

Vanderbilt finished last season with a 2-10 record, and 2022 will be much the same. Aside from a few skilled linebackers, Vandy doesn’t have enough talent to compete with other SEC teams. The Commodores continue to finish at the bottom of the conference standings every year, and that will be the case until the culture surrounding the program changes.

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