Who will end up in the SEC Championship?

Published 4:02 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Nothing is certain, but there appears to be four teams in the SEC, two in the East and two in the West, that have a real shot at the conference championship in December.

The East

Georgia is rolling. It’s refreshing, exciting and frightening all at the same time. The team hasn’t gone 5-0 since 2012, when they got demolished by South Carolina and lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship. This year’s team looks to be better in some ways, but worse in others.

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As a Georgia fan, I’m always expecting to get my heart broken at some point during the season. I hate that the fans have been conditioned to accept that, but for the last 16 years it has been true. Finally, it looks like the Dawgs are a threat, a team that wins the games they are supposed to win. But the 2017 Bulldogs haven’t just won, they have dominated. The only close game was against a Notre Dame team that’s shaping up to look pretty solid. Back-to-back SEC blowouts against Mississippi State and Tennessee is a great start to the conference schedule, and I hope the Dawgs continue to bulldoze their way to Atlanta.

Except the Gators stand in their way. With the sheer amount of luck Florida has shown the past few weeks, it’s a wonder the Gators are even in the SEC East conversation. But they find ways to win, and if Georgia slips up and underestimates them for a second,

Florida will get to Atlanta first.

Outside of the Bulldogs, I don’t see a team on Florida’s schedule that even poses a real threat to its conference record. LSU is abysmal, Texas A&M is quietly winning games but still clinging to stability, Missouri barely has a football team and South Carolina doesn’t look to be improving. I believe the East will come down to the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on Oct. 28.

Can the Dawgs finally put them away, or will Florida once again find a way to win?

The West

Alabama. ‘Nuff said.

But really, this looks to be one of the strongest team’s Saban has fielded yet. They like to score points, and they don’t let their opponents put many on the board. However, it doesn’t look like they will play a Top 25 team until Nov. 25 against Auburn. I could see them coasting their way against the likes of LSU, Tennessee and Miss. State before facing their first real challenge.

Which leads me to the Tigers.

I don’t like this team. No, I don’t mean on a personal level, at least in this context.

I don’t like them because I think they’re actually pretty dang good. The start to their season was pretty awkward, but Auburn seems to be finding its footing and will likely roll over opponents until the Georgia game on Nov. 11, which will most likely be a Top 10 matchup.

Then, the Tigers get a small game the following week before hosting Bama. That’s a tough way to end the season. But if Auburn beats the Dawgs, they might find themselves believing they can beat the Crimson Tide too.

And we all know what happened the last time the Tigers believed hard enough—they found themselves in the National Championship.

Plenty of speculation can be made and plenty more can happen between now and the SEC Championship game, but these four teams are what I think this conference will come down to.