SEC Football: An early look at four potential SEC surprises

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Every season, surprises happen with SEC football teams. The 2022 season will bring on more. If they could be predicted, they would not be surprises. So the best we can do is guess what can potentially occur that if they happen, would not be shocking.

It is too far out from the 2022 college football season to offer predictions that any events of the four listed below will actually happen. But any of them might and the odds are one or more of them will.

Four Potential 2022 SEC Football Surprises

  • Auburn football head coach, Bryan Harsin shocks the college football world and is not fired. A group of Auburn powerbrokers so misplayed an effort to fire Harsin, it will be harder to justify the cost of firing him during or after the 2022 season. On paper, it appears the Tigers will have a dreadful year, possibly losing seven games in the regular season. But from the most bizarre environs of college football, seven wins and a still hefty buyout might give Harsin another season. That is unless he finds another job first.
  • Cincinnati gets some revenge on the SEC by beating Arkansas. The Bearcats visit Fayetteville on college football’s opening weekend. The Hogs will be favored and Arkansas fans will still be celebrating a 9-4 season with a closing Outback Bowl win over Penn State. Luke Fickell has key starter roles to fill at quarterback and cornerback. Arkansas returns KJ Jefferson and most of its offensive line but has many defensive holes to fill. Sam Pittman made remarkable progress in the 2021 season and losing to a Group of Five team at home should not happen – but it might.
  • South Carolina beats the defending Champion, Georgia Bulldogs in Columbia. The Bulldogs should not lose this game. Even with the considerable attrition on the defensive side of the ball, Kirby Smart’s excellent recruiting allows him to reload. That does not mean he can reload the defense to match last season or that a rebuild will be finished early in the season. Shane Beamer has gained a significant talent boost through the Portal. It is a boost that far exceeds adding QB Spencer Rattler. In addition, Beamer returns considerable roster experience. The Gamecocks will be sky-high for an upset. Beamer would be wise to not show much offense in games against Georgia State and Arkansas. If the Dawgs get behind, they may not have enough offense to catch up.
  • Mike Leach is fired by Mississippi State. On par for Leach, his Bulldogs will challenge most defenses. But there is no assurance of when the Bullies will win. Joe Moorhead won 14 games in two seasons and was fired. In two seasons, Leach has won just 11 games. He has lost the Egg Bowl twice and finished last season with an embarrassing 34-7 loss to Texas Tech in the Liberty Bowl. Seven wins will not save him in 2022.

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Will any of these surprises occur? Maybe not, but make no mistake when as the 2022 SEC football season unfolds there will be surprises – of that we can be sure.