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SEC college football season preview

Take a deep breath. Now, exhale. Last weekend was the last one without football until February. Even then, we’ll mere weeks away from the hidden gems of Spring football. We all know which conference will produce this season’s champion, so let’s stop beating around the bush. Here is your 2022 SEC college football season preview.

THE CHAMPION
We’ve previously reported how we think Alabama and Auburn‘s seasons will end up. Mississippi has an outside lane to win the western division, but it will likely be Alabama again. You don’t earn $100 million from the same school without being a perennial favorite to win your division.

The SEC East holds a similar lack of parity. Florida is still a year or two away from being a serious threat, and Kentucky and Tennessee are adorable for thinking they can win the division. While they lost a record 15 players to the NFL Draft this year, it’ll be Georgia who punches their ticket to the SEC Championship Game.

Predictions: For Alabama fans, it’s easy to forget that their team won the SEC last year. Alabama will repeat and, this year, the runner-up will not receive a second life in the playoffs. Elsewhere in the SEC, Mississippi and South Carolina will build on their programs while Tennessee and Texas A&M are likely to take a step back.

PLAYOFFS? WE’RE TALKING PLAYOFFS?
Your authors and podcast hosts are more united then we’ve been in years on who will make the playoffs in our college football season preview. We have Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and the Pac-12 champion will battling it out. No surprise, it’ll be Ohio State and Alabama facing off on January 9th in Los Angeles. Sadly, Ohio State will win the crown and Ryan Day, their head coach will turn into a real boy.

WHO ELSE ARE YOU ROOTING FOR?
College football fandom isn’t the same without a side piece, right? Typically out of one’s home conference, it’s fun to have a second team to watch and root for. For us, it’s seeing if Texas is truly back in Steve Sarkisian’s second year, or how much further Lane Kiffin can push his Rebels.

There’s also this weird feeling of wanting to see Miami do well. They’re primed to begin a run at the conference crown with Clemson not quite there yet and the rest of the conference looking more like garbage than it has in years.

STRIKING A POSE WITH THE HEISMAN WINNER
Las Vegas and sportsbooks around the nation are pretty bullish on Alabama’s Will Anderson being the first defensive player to win the trophy since 1997 (Charles Woodson). Don’t take the bait. Anderson’s play will likely make him the most deserving of the award, but offensive bias will surface again and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud will take home the title.

ARE WE PAST THE AGE OF BAMA SPECIAL TEAM WOES?
Pappanastos missing against Georgia in the national championship. LSU blocking Jeremy Shelley’s effort in the “Game of the Century”. Ryan Pflueger’s PAT whiff handing an Orange Bowl victory to Michigan. The Kick Six.

The Alabama machine has always featured questionable special teams and its kicking game has always been the largest question mark of all. With a few exceptions, Alabama routinely finds itself ranked anywhere from 50th to 97th in field goal percentage in the Saban era.

We have bad news for you. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme. Alabama’s kicking woes always seem to come when the Tide has all its defensive pieces in place. They’re obviously not connected but with the defense we expect in Tuscaloosa this season, we can anticipate another Pop Warner performance when the kicking unit takes the field.

So that’s it. Your 2022 SEC college football season preview with a few other things to watch outside the conference. What did we get wrong? Let us know on twitter or Instagram and check out Throw the Flag Sports wherever you get your podcasts.

 

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