Alabama has the reigning Heisman winner at quarterback and added a few new pieces to their offense. They added RB Jahmyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech and WR Jermaine Burton from Georgia. Then in the spring, they hit the portal again for speedy WR Tyler Harrell from Louisville and OT Tyler Steen from Vanderbilt. These additions should help them have the best offense in the SEC. Alabama already had a top-ten offense last season, and I think they will improve on that in 2022.
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker was outstanding last season. He threw for nearly 3,000 yards and had 31 touchdowns with only three interceptions. Hooker has one of, if not the best receiver in the SEC in Cedric Tillman. He also has a good running back in Jabari Small. They averaged 39 points per game and 459 yards per game which were good enough for a top 20 offense in the country last season. I expect the offense to improve even more in 2022, especially now that Josh Heupel has a year under his belt.
3. Mississippi State
The Bulldogs might be the most overlooked team in the SEC. Not a soul is talking about them. They had the same record as Tennessee last season, and everyone is hyping up the Volunteers. So, what about Mississippi State? They had a top 25 offense last season, and they should also improve this upcoming season. QB Will Rogers threw for 4,739 yards, which was third in the country. He also had a 36 to 9 touchdown to interception ratio. Head Coach Mike Leach loves to air the ball out, so I can see Mississippi State improve on their 29 ppg number from last year.
The best player in college football is Will Anderson, the Crimson Tide’s outside linebacker. On the other side of Anderson, you have Dallas Turner, and he is no slouch either. With Henry To’oTo’o at MLB and a stacked defensive backfield including Kool-Aid McKinstry, Jordan Battle, Malachi Moore, Brian Branch, and LSU transfer Eli Ricks, you have arguably the deepest and most talented defense in the country. This unit is poised to be great and could have the first defensive Heisman winner since 1997 and the second ever.
Georgia’s defense was historically good last season, one of the best of all time. They lost what seems like 50 defensive players to the NFL, but they do return some key pieces with some key additions as well. Defensive lineman Jalen Carter could be a top-five pick next season, and senior OLB Nolan Smith is set to have a huge season, while Robert Beal is an under the radar guy to keep an eye on across from him. The coaches have raved about MLB Jamon Dumas-Johnson. Their secondary returns Kelee Ringo, Chris Smith, William Poole, and more, and also gets back Tykee Smith after he missed most of last season due to injury. He was one of the best safeties in the country two seasons ago while at West Virginia. They also had the best secondary recruiting class in the Kirby Smart era and look to receive an instant impact in freshman Mykel Williams on the defensive line. This unit should be able to dominate in the SEC once again.
3. Texas A&M
Everyone knows that the Aggies just had the best recruiting class of all time. But they will have to prove it on the field this season. They added five stars Walter Nolan (DL), Shemar Stewart (DL), Lebbeus Overton (DL), Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy (DL), and Denver Harris (CB) to a defense that was already loaded with talent. Safety/nickel back Antonio Johnson is arguably the best defensive back in the entire conference, sophomore Tyreek Chappell has huge breakout potential at corner. Despite losing DeMarvin Leal, there is still a ton of talent on this defensive line, headlined by 2021 five-stars Tunmise Adeleye and Shemar Turner. They'll be able to attack people in waves.