The move will cause several changes across the conference, not only will two massive brands be joining, but the conference will be getting rid of divisions and the SEC Championship Game will include the two top teams with the best records.
With 2023 being the last season for some programs to win their first-ever divisional title, it is set to be a fascinating season with several new head coaches as well as some that could soon feel their seats start to heat up if they have another disappointing season.
With the start of the 2023 season just days away, here is a prediction of the final record of every team in the SEC West.
LSU won the West in Brian Kelly’s first season and I’m predicting a repeat performance. They return one of the top quarterbacks in the conference in Jayden Daniels and have surrounded him with talent on offense. On defense, they have Harold Perkins, who can ruin any quarterbacks day. Their week one showdown with Florida State will be a must-watch game and despite losing it, they will have a chance to win the SEC Championship after a perfect 8-0 conference record.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama has plenty of questions that will need to be answered during this season. They have yet to name a starting quarterback and lack a proven No. 1 wide receiver as well as having a new offensive coordinator. They won’t give much time to answer them either as they host Texas in week two. I see them dropping that game as well as their annual showdown with LSU.
They have one of the best players in the conference in running back Quinshon Judkins and we all know an offense designed by Lane Kiffin will put up points, no matter who is the quarterback. Their defense will once again struggle though and losses against LSU, Alabama and Georgia will prevent them from winning the West.
The Razorbacks have one of the best offensive tandems in the conference in quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim Sanders. That duo will lead them to some wins over Texas A&M and Auburn but won’t be enough against Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss.
Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies may be the most interesting team in the conference and it’s impossible to know what they will achieve. They have the talent to win the whole conference or they could once again bottom out. Jimbo Fisher has the hottest seat in the conference and I’m not sure a 6-6 record will be good enough for to cool it off and the six-game stretch against Auburn, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and Ole Miss will likely determine if he keeps his job.
After back-to-back losing seasons under Brian Harsin, Hugh Freeze will get Auburn back to bowl eligibility in his first season. He has done a tremendous job rebuilding the roster but it’s hard to see them beating the more established teams in the conference although he has shown a penchant for knocking off teams before.
The Bulldogs have a first-time head coach in Zach Arnett and it will be interesting to see how they compete. Drawing Kentucky and South Carolina from the East is a tough break but they will look to pull off some upsets. Home games against Ole Miss and the Wildcats will be their best chance to pick up conference wins.