The meat grinder that is the Southeastern Conference is gearing up for yet another fall full of games that will have major national implications. Throw in some personal animosity between these warring coaching staffs and you get a handful of showdowns that will be must watch.
We’ll go over a few conference games in the SEC you should have circled on your calendar.
Georgia vs. South Carolina, September 17, Noon ET, ESPN
Georgia will begin its national title defense against Oregon in Week 1 but will jump into SEC play when visiting South Carolina two weeks later. The Bulldogs have mostly had a handle on the Gamecocks during the Kirby Smart era but consider a few factors for why they may be on upset alert.
For starters, UGA will be replacing a gargantuan amount of NFL talent from last year’s title team and even though they’re swapping out five stars for more five stars, the latter will still need time to get in sync. On the other side, South Carolina has positive vibes heading into year two of the Shane Beamer era and with former Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler running the offense, the team could be a sleeper in the SEC East. These sweltering games against SCar in mid-September used to trip up Mark Richt’s UGA teams all the time and that may be the case in Columbia this year.
Texas A&M vs. Alabama, October 8, TIME/TV TBA
The May controversy surrounding Nick Saban’s comments about Texas A&M “buying” their recruiting class may have cooled down, but it is for sure going to be kicked back up when these two teams meet in early October. And folks, the tension in the air will be palpable.
Jimbo Fisher let his disdain for Saban be known in a press conference during their public beef, and he’s going to dwell on that rage until its time to go toe-to-toe in Tuscaloosa. The Aggies have been considered a sleeper College Football Playoff contender for this upcoming season and the hype began with them upsetting the Crimson Tide in College Station last year. Fisher knows that in order for his program to take the next step into the elite, he has to go through Bama again.
On the flip side, Alabama normally doesn’t need much motivation to maul their opponents on a weekly basis but the message will be loud and clear from the coaching staff that week. Saban will never let it be known publicly but this personal feud between him and his offensive coordinator is going to fire him up more than any other game on the Tide’s calendar this season.
Get your popcorn ready, this will be good.
Alabama vs. LSU, November 5, TIME/TV TBA
The annual Alabama-LSU showdown will take place in Baton Rouge, LA, at Tiger Stadium this year and new LSU head coach Brian Kelly will get his first taste of what this rivalry is about.
By this point in the year, Kelly will be a full two months into his first season in Death Valley but facing Alabama will serve as a proverbial measuring stick game for the veteran head coach. Time and time again, Kelly’s Notre Dame teams couldn’t quite match up with the Alabama’s of the world during the College Football Playoff but now he’ll have comparable talent to that of the Crimson Tide. It will interesting to see how he matches up against Saban in this hated divisional rivalry.
Once we have the final two teams, the SEC Championship Game will be held on December 3 at 4 p.m. ET from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Here are the latest odds to win the 2022 SEC Conference Championship Game from DraftKings Sportsbook:
2022 SEC Championship Odds