SEC football is often dominated by Alabama, but plenty of teams have pieced together great runs in recent memory. Who has the most to prove in 2020?
Alabama football has been the standard of the SEC — and college football in general — for over a decade under the tutelage of head coach Nick Saban. He’s coached the Crimson Tide to 157 wins in 13 seasons, including two BCS National Championships and two College Football Playoff National Championships. But for the first time since transitioning from the BCS to the CFP, Alabama wasn’t awarded a top-four seed and had to watch their peers battle it out for the title.
It was the LSU Tigers who dominated instead, going 15-0 on the season and outscoring their postseason opponents 142 to 63. Those opponents? Georgia, Oklahoma, and Clemson — three of college football’s best programs. The Tigers, of course, had Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow under center, but his departure to the NFL leaves a gaping hole at the position.
The Florida Gators (11-2) and Georgia Bulldogs (12-2) were competitive as well, both climbing into the top six of the Associated Press rankings at one time or another, and both expect big things in 2020. But there are other teams who aren’t always in the thick of things that could make noise this fall.
Four other teams — Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas A&M — all finished 8-5 or better a season ago with skilled players returning while also touting solid recruiting classes. Can one or more of these teams reach the top of the standings and compete for the SEC championship? Or will the usual suspects prove to simply have the upper hand?
All of them have something to prove, though. While some would like to feel a sense of belonging to the conference, others are desperate for CFP success. Who’s got the most to prove in 2020?