College Football Rankings, Season Predictions: SEC Spring Version 2022

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Rankings, Season Predictions: SEC Spring Version 2022

College Football Features

College Football Rankings, Season Predictions: SEC Spring Version 2022


SEC college football rankings and predictions with the realistic best and worst case records and quick analysis – the 2022 spring version.

As always, the SEC is going to be loaded with talent, full of teams in the College Football Playoff chase, and there’s a shot at least 12 of the 14 teams end up going bowling.

And then Alabama and Georgia will show off how awesome they are – again.

However, Tennessee has improved. Florida will be better. Texas A&M is terrific, Ole Miss reloaded through the transfer portal, and whatever team really is 7th-best in the SEC West could probably fight for most other division titles in college football.

There will be more transfers, more big personnel changes, and several other parts to the SEC puzzle, but for now, this 2022 looks even better than 2021.

The rankings are based on how good the teams should be and not the final projected records. Keeping in mind that this all could/might/will change when we make the final calls in August …

2022 College Football Schedules By Teams: All 131 Schools

SEC East Rankings: Spring Version

1. Georgia Bulldogs

2020: 8-2 2019: 12-2 2018: 11-3

No, this won’t be 2020 LSU falling off the map after a historic national championship season, but no one loses that much NFL talent – especially off the defense – and gets better. However, there’s still more than enough talent coming back to be in the national championship mix.

The Dawgs should be favored in every game with no Alabama or Texas A&M to face from the West. They have to deal with Oregon to start the season, and there should be a slip somewhere along the way, but it’s going to take something major to beat this team twice with this slate.

Realistic Best Case Record: 12-0
Realistic Worst Case Record: 8-4
2022 Georgia Prediction, Spring Football Version: 11-1
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 11-1
Georgia 2021 Final Record: 14-1
Georgia 2022 Schedule & Analysis

2. Florida Gators

2020: 8-4 2019: 11-2 2018: 10-3

How fast can Billy Napier get this whole thing going? He was always the next IT head coach in college football, and now he gets to finally crank it all up with his amazing rushing offense that puts up big, efficient numbers.

All the work done last year as the Gator offense pivoted styles should pay off with QB Anthony Richardson and Louisiana transfer RB Montrell Johnson about to blow up. The O line should be fine, but the defense that loses seven key starters will need some time. It’s Florida – the athletes are there, and the overall production can’t be less consistent than 2021.

The schedule doesn’t have enough early layups with Utah to start and Kentucky and at Tennessee in September. On the plus side, the team only leaves Florida once before going to Texas A&M in early November, and leaves the state just three times overall.

Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Realistic Worst Case Record: 5-7
2022 Florida Prediction, Spring Football Version: 9-3
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 9-3
Florida 2021 Final Record: 6-7
Florida 2022 Schedule & Analysis

3. Tennessee Volunteers

2020: 3-7 2019: 8-5 2018: 5-7

Is this finally when Tennessee turns the corner and becomes something fantastic? There aren’t a ton of personnel losses, getting QB Hendon Hooker back for another year was huge, and now everyone knows how to work the Josh Heupel offense.

The schedule helps with a manageable start before dealing with Florida, at LSU, and Alabama. Going to Georgia doesn’t help, and sneaky-tough dates at South Carolina and Pitt will make this a bit of a challenge, but anything less than eight wins and a step forward will feel like a disappointment with this team.

Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Realistic Worst Case Record: 6-6
2022 Tennessee Prediction, Spring Football Version: 8-4
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 6-6
Tennessee 2021 Final Record: 7-6
Tennessee 2022 Schedule & Analysis

4. Kentucky Wildcats

2020: 5-6 2019: 8-5 2018: 10-3

The Wildcats didn’t have massive personnel losses, but the ones who are gone were big. The offensive backfield is loaded, a few transfers will help to fill the holes across the attack, and seven starters should be back on defense. Again, though, it’s going to be partly about quality of returning talent as much as quantity.

The schedule gets a tune-up against Miami University before going to Florida. The non-conference schedule is a relative breeze – Louisville makes the trip over to Lexington – there’s no Alabama, Texas A&M, or LSU from the West, and the Georgia game is at home.

Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Realistic Worst Case Record: 5-7
2022 Kentucky Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-5
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 7-5
Kentucky 2021 Final Record: 10-3
Kentucky 2022 Schedule & Analysis

5. South Carolina Gamecocks

2020: 2-8 2019: 4-8 2018: 7-6

This just got interesting after a great first season under Shane Beamer. Now the Gamecocks return relatively strong on offense with Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler stepping in behind a veteran line and strong group of targets. The D is another story with several big pieces of the front six gone, but the line should be a positive.

It’s going to be a grind, though, with road games at Clemson, Florida, Kentucky, and Arkansas to go along with home dates against Georgia, Texas A&M and Tennessee. November ends with a brutal kick – at Florida, Tennessee, at Clemson – so there’s no margin for error early on.

Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Realistic Worst Case Record: 4-8
2022 South Carolina Prediction, Spring Football Version: 6-6
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 5-7
South Carolina 2021 Final Record: 7-6
South Carolina 2022 Schedule & Analysis

6. Missouri Tigers

2020: 5-5 2019: 6-6 2018: 8-5

Someone apparently likes to use the transfer portal. The Tigers might have lost a slew of parts on both sides of the ball – 13 starters are done – but they filled in the gaps fast, had decent depth to rely on, and they should be okay as long as the lines come together fast.

There’s Louisiana Tech and Abilene Christian early on to tune up. and there are more than enough winnable games to at least get to six wins and a bowl. Throw in the break of not having to face Alabama, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, or LSU – and with Georgia coming to Columbia – and this needs to be a step-up season for head coach Eliah Drinkwitz.

Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Realistic Worst Case Record: 4-8
2022 Missouri Prediction, Spring Football Version: 6-6
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 7-5
Missouri 2021 Final Record: 6-7
Missouri 2022 Schedule & Analysis

7. Vanderbilt Commodores

2020: 0-9 2019: 3-9 2018: 6-7

Second year head coach Clark Lea still has a whole lot of work to do, but at least the team returns with plenty of veterans. The 2021 team took its usual lumps, but the positive part is all the experience returning back on both sides of the ball. Now the team needs to find more steady playmakers – and find an offense.

Getting to start out the season at Hawaii will at least be a nice way to enjoy a late August Saturday, and there should be enough winnable games to get past the two victories of last season. However, it’s going to take a massive upset for the Commodores to get an SEC win.

Realistic Best Case Record: 5-7
Realistic Worst Case Record: 1-11
2022 Vanderbilt Prediction, Spring Football Version: 3-9
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 2-10
Vanderbilt 2021 Final Record: 2-10
Vanderbilt 2022 Schedule & Analysis

SEC West Rankings Spring Version: NEXT


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