I can’t believe I’m writing this sentence:
SEC Media Days in Atlanta (July 18-21) are less than a month away.
In less than 30 days, all 14 head coaches, three players from each team, and about a 1,000 of our closest friends from the media will descend on the College Football Hall of Fame for the official start of the 2022 college football season.
Here are just a few SEC football tidbits to whet your appetite until July 18.
Did you know:
**--The SEC enters the 2022 season having won four of the past five and 12 of the past 16 national championships.
Here is what is most impressive about those numbers: Those 12 national championships have been won by FIVE different schools:
Alabama—(6) 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2020
LSU—(2) 2007, 2019
Florida (2) 2006, 2008
Auburn (1): 2010
Georgia (1) 2021
**--The four non-SEC schools to win national championships in that 16-year stretch are: Florida State (2013), Ohio State (2014), and Clemson (2016, 2018).
ONLY FOUR SEC COACHES HAVE BEEN IN PLACE FOR MORE THAN THREE YEARS
Nick Saban is entering his 16th season at Alabama. Mark Stoops is in his 10th year at Kentucky, longer than any coach in school history. Kirby Smart is entering his 7th year at Georgia and Jimbo Fisher is entering his fifth season at Texas A&M.
The other 10 coaches have been in place for three years or fewer:
Third year: Sam Pittman (Arkansas), Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss0, Eli Drinkwitz (Missouri), Mike Leach (Mississippi State).
Second year: Shane Beamer (South Carolina), Josh Heupel (Tennessee), Bryan Harsin (Auburn), Clark Lea (Vanderbilt).
First year: Brian Kelly (LSU), Billy Napier (Florida).
SEC MUSICAL QUARTERBACKS
Thanks to the transfer portal, a lot of SEC quarterbacks—or guys who want to be SEC quarterbacks—have changed locations for 2022. Can’t promise that I didn’t leave somebody out:
Max Johnson transferred from LSU to Texas A&M
Zach Calzada, who beat Alabama last season, transferred from Texas A&M to Auburn
Bo Nix transferred from Auburn to Oregon
Spencer Rattler transferred from Oklahoma to South Carolina
Jayden Daniels, who had 29 starts at Arizona State, transferred to LSU.
Emory Jones transferred from Florida to Arizona State.
Paul Tyson, the great grandson of Bear Bryant, transferred from Alabama to Arizona State.
JT Daniels transferred from Georgia to West Virginia.
Whew!!!! I got tired just writing that.
SOME FUN STUFF TO DISCUSS AT THE BAR
**--Alabama returns the Heisman Trophy winner (Bryce Love) at quarterback and the SEC defensive player of the year in Will Anderson, who could be the first defensive player taken in the 2023 NFL Draft.
**--This is a big year for Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M after going 4-4 in the SEC last season and signing what some believe is the greatest recruiting class—ever. Circle Oct. 8 on your calendars. That’s when the Aggies go to Alabama. After the dust-up between Fisher and Saban this Spring, the Aggies will certainly get a warm welcome to Tuscaloosa.
**--Kirby Smart has won 66 games in his first six seasons as a head coach at Georgia. He needs 34 wins to get to 100. Will he do it over the next three seasons?
**--Nick Saban won 68 games in his first six seasons at Alabama and reached his 100th win during his ninth season. Do keep in mind that Saban had been head coach at Toledo, Michigan State, and LSU before he became head coach at Alabama..
**--Kentucky will be going for its third 10-win season in the past five years under Mark Stoops. Kentucky has had only four 10-win seasons in the history of the school (1951, 1977, 2018, 2021).
**--Think Tennessee’s offense improved in the first year under Josh Heupel in 2021? The year before, when Jeremy Pruitt was head coach, Tennessee’s offense posted only three explosive plays of 40 yards or more. Last season the Vols had 23 plays of 40 yards or more. In 2020 Tennessee was 12th in the SEC in scoring offense, averaging 21.5 points per game. Last season the Vols were second in scoring offense, averaging 39.9 points per game.
So there you go. It's going to be a fast summer.