As the SEC prepares itself for its annual media days, several questions will be asked before the season starts:
Who will be the surprise team in the SEC?
Is Georgia for real this time?
Who will challenge Alabama?
It will be fascinating to see what the SEC coaches and players have to say about this upcoming season.
Who can challenge Alabama?
We already know the Crimson Tide will once again be favored to repeat as SEC champions, but what team or teams have a good shot at knocking them off?
You have to think that the LSU Tigers will bounce back after last year’s disappointing season. They proved at the end of last year after they knocked off the Florida Gators that they are still a threat to any SEC team, including Alabama.
The Tigers have the firepower on offense to give teams headaches, but do they have enough experience on defense to stop anyone? Last year, the LSU defense struggled a lot, according to Sports Illustrated, and was exposed by several teams. If the Tigers are to make a run at Bama, they need to man up on defense.
Another threat to the Tide could be Texas A&M. The Aggies’ only loss was to the Tide, and they were very close to making their first College Football Playoff appearance.
A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher will have to find a replacement for Kellen Mond at quarterback, and if they can do that, they can be a serious threat.
Don’t sleep on Auburn or Mississippi, either. The Iron Bowl is played in Auburn this year, and the Tigers seem to give the Tide fits down on the Plains.
Lane Kiffin might have something up his sleeve to finally get over the hump and defeat the Tide.
Is Georgia for real?
We’ve been hearing for years that this is finally going to be the Bulldogs’ year, and this time the college football experts could be right, according to Sports Illustrated.
Kirby Smart’s team should contend for not only an SEC title but a national championship too.
Smart has finally found his quarterback in JT Daniels. Daniels started the last five games for the Bulldogs — all victories. He ended the season with 10 touchdown passes and over 1,200 yards passing.
Georgia is normally solid on defense as well, so what could be the issue?
The Bulldogs have a tendency to get in their own way when it comes to expectations. All you have to do is look at the 2017 National Championship Game against Alabama and the 2018 SEC Championship Game to understand why Georgia hasn’t been able to get over the hump.
SEC dark horses
If there is one team that everyone continues to be buzzing about, it’s the Mississippi Rebels. Lane Kiffin’s team made a huge impression on the college football world last year with its high-powered offense.
The Rebels can be scary good if they can get it together on defense.
Everyone is also seemingly forgetting about the Florida Gators, the defending SEC East champs.
Although they had a lot of losses on defense and offense, Dan Mullen’s team can still give any opponent on its schedule a hard time.
The SEC can have as many as five or six teams competing for a national championship — in other words, just another normal year in the SEC.