Well fans of the Alliance Killer, we have reached the end of the 2021 SEC football season. A season that was filled with family staples like domination, upsets, fired and hired coaches, and big-time plays by big-time players.
You know, the good stuff.
Our champion has been crowned in Atlanta by doing what no one thought possible outside their most ardent of fans, and we got not one chance, but two, to win the National Championship.
Again. Good stuff.
We also know where 13 of the SEC programs will be spending their holidays (again, sorry Vanderbilt.)
Did I say good stuff?
Let’s crack open the best time of the year and talk SEC football one more time.
You know, the good stuff.
Alabama 41, Georgia 24
Moment of truth. Raise your hand if you thought the Bulldogs would thump the Crimson Tide and stride into the College Football Playoffs and claim the National Championship as the unquestioned number one seed? Be honest.
I did. I bought into that one pretty easily. I had heard all about how the Tide would wilt under the UGA defensive pressure. I had read where the UGA offense would run the ball down the throat of the Tide. I had already readied myself to anoint UGA coach Kirby Smart as the King of the SEC coaches.
I did. And be honest, many of you did too.
But we forgot one thing.
Nick Saban is still the GOAT of college football coaches for a reason.
And we helped him and the Tide win the SEC again.
We gave Saban the underdog role coming into Atlanta. We gave the Tide the fuel to win by saying they were done. We gave Alabama the right “rat poison” that didn’t take the Tide out but made them the monster they always have been.
I’ll never bet against Saban again. And you can’t make me.
SEC Bowl Predictions
If getting ALL of your schools to save one into a bowl doesn’t spell out domination, I’m not sure what does. And it’s not lower-tier bowls either. Of the two National Semifinals and the New Year’s Six Bowls and New Year’s Day games, the SEC will have five teams participating in them.
Five. That is domination, my friends.
Let’s take a look at where the SEC will be this bowl season, shall we?
- Cotton (CFP Semi)- 1 Alabama v 4 Cincinnati
- Orange (CFP Semi)- 2 Michigan v 3 Georgia
- Sugar- Ole Miss v Baylor
- Texas- Kansas State v LSU
- Citrus- Iowa v Kentucky
- Outback- Penn State v Arkansas
- TaxSlayer- Wake Forest v Texas A&M
- Music City- Purdue v Tennessee
- Duke’s Mayo- North Carolina v South Carolina
- Liberty- Texas Tech v Mississippi State
- Birmingham- Houston v Auburn
- Gasparilla- Florida v UCF
- Armed Forces- Army v Missouri
SEC Coaching Hires
The coaching vacancies at Florida and LSU have been filled, both with quality coaches and millions of dollars. Let’s look at the new Head Ball Coaches in Gainesville and Baton Rouge.
Florida: The Gators made a very sensible and smart hire, choosing Louisiana coach Billy Napier to replace Dan Mullen in the captain’s chair. Napier comes from the Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney coaching trees with a focus on player development and building team culture. He also is an excellent recruiter, something Mullen struggled with while in Gainesville.
LSU: The Bayou Bengals landed one of the biggest names in coaching by poaching Brian Kelly from Notre Dame to replace Ed Orgeron. Kelly is a well-respected winner who has had big success at each of his coaching stops. His task is simple at LSU- win the SEC and the National Championship. He has the resources to do it, but he has to produce in a hurry.
Final SEC Team Rankings
- Alabama- The monster might have awakened in Tuscaloosa.
- Georgia- The Dawgs got blistered. How will they respond?
- Ole Miss- A season for the ages in in Oxford.
- Kentucky- The Cats could win 10 games twice in four years. Wow.
- Arkansas- The Hogs are building a powerhouse.
- Texas A&M- A season of promise and frustration in College Station.
- Mississippi State- Could easily have won nine or ten games this season.
- Tennessee- Great season on Rocky Top.
- LSU- The Tigers didn’t quit, and they’re bowling.
- Auburn- Another so close but so far.
- Missouri- The Tigers were a disappointment, except for Tyler Badie.
- South Carolina- Nice rebuild going on in Columbia.
- Florida- Billy Napier can lead them back.
- Vanderbilt- Vandy was playing hard all season. Something to build on.
Shane Shackleford is a regional sportswriter from Speedwell, TN. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the United States Basketball Writers of America. Shane is also a football color analyst for WRIL-FM 106.3 Sports in Pineville, KY, and is a member of the 13th Region Sports Media Network. He has written and published his first book “Bounce: A Basketball Love Story” which can be found on Amazon currently. You can find Shane on KySportsStyle.com, A Sea of Blue, The London Sentinel-Echo, The Corbin Times-Tribune, The Mountain Advocate, Harlan County Sports, and The Mountain Eagle. Contact Shane by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.