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SEC Storylines of Bowl Season

(Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports)

The college football season gets another week older, and many eyes will be focused on the SEC. Here is a rundown of the key storylines from the conference’s performance through bowl season so far.

1. Alabama Solidifies Their Greatness

Everyone knows Nick Saban’s squad is a great team, but they still must take care of business in the playoff in order to go down as one of the best teams ever. As expected, the Crimson Tide did just that on Saturday night as they defeated Oklahoma with relative ease.

Just like every other game this season, Alabama got off to a fast start. In fact, their first quarter was so dominant that it immediately got the meme treatment from the internet.

The game did turn into a bit of a shootout in the second half which was expected considering the talent each team has a quarterback. But Tua Tagovailoa outdueled Kyler Murray as the Hawaiian threw for more touchdowns then incompletions.

Now the Crimson Tide have yet another date with the Clemson Tigers in the Championship Game. I’m expecting a much better game between these two teams than what we got last year as the defensive line for the Tigers could cause a lot of problems for Tua. Plus, if freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence plays like he did against Notre Dame, then Clemson should win.

That is of course easier said than done. No matter who wins the championship one thing is for certain: Alabama and Clemson dominate college football and everyone else is just a pretender.

2. Florida Is Back

Just about all of Big Blue Nation is upset that Florida is ranked higher than the Wildcats despite both teams having the same record and Kentucky won the head-to-head matchup. However, Florida proved their worth on Saturday by absolutely thrashing Michigan.

Some context is key here. Arguably Michigan’s three best players all sat out this bowl game and another talented player was out with an injury. However, even with the Wolverines not being 100% a thrashing is still a thrashing.

The SEC has completely dominated the Big Ten so far this bowl season which isn’t the biggest surprise. All eyes will be on Kentucky on New Year’s Day to see if they can keep that trend going against Penn State.

Also, do not underestimate just how good of a coach Dan Mullen really is. Just look at the work he did with Feleipe Franks this year. It’s nothing short of amazing.

Mullen has completely turned around Florida and I think they will be the favorite to challenge Georgia next year for the SEC East title.

3. Someone Might Need to Check on Purdue

Yikes. What’s even scarier than getting beat 63-14 you may ask? How about losing at halftime by a score of 56-7? That’s exactly what happened in the Music City Bowl where Auburn absolutely annihilated the Boilermakers in the worst beat down of the year in college football.

I already covered just how bad the Big Ten has gotten stomped by the SEC so far, but it needs to be pointed out again considering this final score here really plays into it a lot.

While it is true that Auburn had an incredibly disappointing season, this ended their year on an extremely high note. Head Coach Gus Malzahn will enter 2019 on the hot seat, and with their first game coming against Oregon things could get ugly in a hurry especially considering that Jarrett Stidham is going to the NFL.

Auburn fans will undoubtedly mark this as a season to forget, but their performance against Purdue reminds us that the talent to be great is there. The Tigers just have to figure out a way to consistently be great.

4. South Carolina Forgets How to Play Football

Not everything has been sunshine and roses for the SEC so far this bowl season. South Carolina got embarrassed by Virginia of all teams as the Gamecocks were shutout in a 28-0 beatdown.

Does anyone else remember when South Carolina was the darling of the media in the preseason? I think it’s safe to say that besides Auburn, the Gamecocks were easily the most overrated team this year in the SEC.

The only decent team that South Carolina beat this season was Missouri. The rest of their victories were against bad mid-major squads, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee. Now add in this embarrassment at the hands of an incredibly mediocre ACC team and you get a football team that is simply not good.

As for next season, I expect much of the same for the Gamecocks. They will probably be mediocre once again and somehow still get into a bowl game. This is just a really strange program that can’t get away from the painful state of being nowhere close to terrible and nowhere close to good.

5. What the SEC Needs to Do Next

The conference still has seven games left this bowl season so there is a lot of work to do. In order to maintain its position as the best conference in college football the SEC needs to go at worst 5-2 in these matchups with Alabama winning the championship.

That would have the conference’s bowl record at 8-4 with a National Championship. That would easily put the SEC as this season’s best conference without a close second in sight.

In my opinion, I think that will be a pretty easy finish for the SEC to achieve considering that the conference is favored in all their remaining bowl games with the exception of the Penn State-Kentucky matchup.

The only other slipups I can foresee would be Missouri against Oklahoma State and Alabama against Clemson. Even if the worst happens for the SEC and they lose all three of the previously mentioned games, the SEC still has a strong case for the best conference as everyone else has just been lacking this season. Either way, this should turn out to be another great bowl season for the SEC.

Article written by John Reecer

10 responses to “SEC Storylines of Bowl Season”

  1. cats646

    I don’t think Florida is “back” as much as Michigan is just very overrated and sucks

  2. KYCat4EVER

    The BIGGEST “Point made” in this Bowl Season so far???

    Way to easy…. the BCS BOWL COMMITTEE still does not have a process that works to ensure the four best teams reach the playoff…

    GEORGIA should have been playing in either of those games last night instead of Notre Dame or Oklahoma…

    1. Bobbum Man

      Right… I think we can stop the expansion talk now. We don’t need more games like yesterday, committee was exposed as it clearly wasn’t the best teams playing

    2. KYCat4EVER

      Not sure if you felt this way Bobbum Man, but while watching the Clemson massacre of Notre Dame, I kept hearing Herbstreit and Galloway touting how great Michigan and Notre Dame were.

      It seems the BIG TEN announcers are ALWAYS promoting teams to make the playoffs that have no business getting in.

      Herbstreit even tried to promote Oklahoma last night during the pregame… and got shut down after the first 10-minutes! LOL

      Got to be a better process for the BCS to utilize!

    3. J. Did

      I disagree.
      I’m a KENTUCKY fan always. But I follow the DAWGS as well.
      First, UGA lost to LSU in the regular season.
      Then, UGA then lost to BAMA in the SEC championship.
      Two loses.
      Even though the SEC has been and is the most dominant conference, it is 2 losses.
      They could have beaten BAMA in the championship last JAN and failed; they could have beaten LSU this year and failed. They could have beaten BAMA in this year’s SEC championship – yet didn’t.
      Two losses this season.
      Case closed.
      You may want to turn your argument on why Brian Kelly at ND let Ian Book remain QB and complain about the OC job; they shtunk – but we didn’t know it until the game was played.

      It is the IRISH who played no one of substance and barely beat some – you could argue – did not belong.
      And OK looked not OK against BAMA – but rebounded and made semi-respectable.

      At the end of the day, it panned out as planned out: CLEMSON should be playing BAMA for the National Championship. And CLEMSON is.
      Although BAMA is unbelievable once again, so is CLEMSON (Trevor Lawrence is the real deal).
      CLEMSON is actually good enough to beat BAMA.
      While I am an SEC fan, this will be a challenge for BAMA.

    4. runningunnin.454

      You are correct, J.Did. Alabama was more undisciplined in the last game than I’ve ever seen them.
      Offside penalties, false starts, unsportsmanslike conduct, and unnecessary roughness penalties.
      I hope ‘Bama wins; but, Saban will have to get them under control to beat Clemson.

  3. madarchitect

    …more touchdowns than interceptions.

    1. ready4nineNOW

      I love it when people like you think you know it all and have to correct people, when they were right in the first place and YOU are wrong. He went 24-27, 4 td. Hence the comment. Genius!

  4. clarks

    Notre dame regular season schedule was tougher than clemsons

  5. JASUN74

    When you said if Lawrence plays good, Clemson should beat Alabama, You just sound really dumb!! Almost quit reading, but I thought,’ I’d. Give you another chance’, We’ll it didn’t take long for you to say Florida, and Not Kentucky Wildcats will be challenging for the East.

    We’re just as close to Georgia as Florida, kid. We did beat them this year, and we’re not going anywhere. When you write for a Ky site, maybe say something positive about our Cats occasionally. If you’re a Florida an Clemson fan, that’s fine, but this isn’t Florida Sports Radio!!!

    Just trying to help you out! May help with your career if this is something you’re thinking about getting into. Keep your options open though! Go Cats