College Football Conference Contenders: SEC Edition

Written By Jacob Grehl 8-7-20

Although the 2020 College Football season is still at risk of being delayed or even canceled, Several D1 conferences have drawn up plans and procedures that may allow the season to be played. The most popular and most likely plan that will be put into place by the NCAA commission, is the Conference Play Only Schedule. These schedules would greatly affect the College Football Rankings and the College Football Playoff committee, as to whether or not there will be a playoff this year is still in debate. One thing is for sure, writers like myself can still carry on with our pre-season predictions, hoping the issues at hand are taken care of with time. With that being said I’d like to share my top teams that, with the new conference only schedules in place, have the best chance at winning their conference. Let’s start with the SEC.

My 5th pick to win the SEC is a dark horse in the Western division, the Auburn Tigers. The War Eagle remains a contender for the SEC title, as impressive as the Tigers were last year, competing with the reigning National Champions (LSU) as good as anyone, in fact coming up short only 3 points, the Tigers are expected to improve this season with their young gun QB Bo Nix returning for his sophomore campaign, and the fastest player in College Football Anthony Schwartz developing Into a true offensive threat. Not only do the tigers regain their offensive weapons, but the top-ranked defense also reloads once again with Big Kat Bryant (DE) coming back for his senior campaign. Don’t be surprised if Auburn claims the West and makes a run for the title this year.

My 4th pick is a team that just had one of the best seasons in College Football history, the LSU Tigers. Yes, the loss of their star QB Joe Burrow is a huge set back for this offense, but certain returning starters still preserve a little bit of that dominance from the 2019 campaign. One name that everyone should learn is Ja’Marr Chase. Ja’Marr was the second option at receiver for the Tigers last year, yet still sat at the top of the SEC as one of the best deep threats in the game. Now that Justin Jefferson is in the league, the spotlight is on Chase. The Joe Burrow replacement has yet to be officially named, but most likely will be Myles Brennan. Brennan’s situation is very similar to Burrow’s, he’s a seasoned back up with not much playing time, with an opportunity to blow up on to the scene and carry the Tigers to another dominant season. The Tigers are still very much a contender.

My 3rd pick is a team that has been slowly resurfacing onto the SEC contender scene, the Florida Gators. Dan Mullen has done an excellent job of bringing the Swamp back to the former glory of the late 2000s. We’re talking about a team that was tampered with injuries at the QB position and remained in the CFB playoff conversation for the majority of the season last year. The Gators retain their top-ranked defense, more importantly, their defensive line. Kyle Trask is back after an injury, and even with his absence, the Gators played the best teams in the SEC (LSU, Georgia) as good as anyone last year. Florida has a good chance at winning the SEC and an even better chance at winning the SEC East.

My 2nd team has been tinkering on the brink of a National Championship for years, the Georgia Bulldogs. For the past decade the Dawgs have had the best-recruiting classes, stacking up on 5 and 4 stars, yet still have not quite pulled off the ultimate goal. Nothing has changed at the start of this decade, the Dawgs still bring in a top 5 recruiting class and still have elite status in the SEC. Is it time for the Dawgs to finally reclaim the SEC? the talent is there, the coaching is there, the culture is there, all that’s left to do is win.

My number one contender for the SEC title is a team I’ve learned not to count out of anything. In the world of sports there are a select few teams that remain at the top of their league, no matter what they lose, they reload, no matter the decline they resurge. The Alabama Crimson Tide remain the top contender for the SEC title, even after losing their QB (Tua Tagovailoa). Bryce Young takes the reigns of the offense as a true freshman, sound familiar? There are perks that come with racking in several 5 stars every year, the perk of the “Next Man Up” philosophy. Alabama will once again reload and dominate the college football scene until Nick Saban leaves the Tide, I will never count them out.

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