For anyone who thought the SEC might be losing its grip on being college football’s best conference, all you have to do is look at its results in bowl games to correct that myth.
The conference currently holds an 8-2 record with Alabama still having one game left to play in the CFP championship game.
The West Division teams went 6-1, alone. The league’s bowl winners: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee. The losers were Florida and Texas A&M.
There had been some talk that the Big Ten, with Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa all within the top 12 in rankings, had overtaken the SEC as the conference to beat, but watching both the Spartans and Iowa get rolled in the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl, respectively, proved just how good the SEC has been this postseason.
According to Mike Huguenin of Gridiron Now, the SEC had won seven bowls in each of the past two seasons, and the 15 wins in two seasons and the 22 in three seasons also are bowl records.
With Alabama meeting Clemson in the January 11 national championship game, a Tide victory would give the SEC eight national titles in 10 seasons.
Alabama continues to be the cream of the crop in a very dominant league for more than a decade.
MORE SEC DOMINANCE
Once again, the SEC will be well represented in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
It is possible offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss could be the first overall pick. There are many teams in the top 10 in need of an anchoring left tackle. This is a draft that is defensive heavy, with a smattering of offensive weapons mixed in. Tunsil is not the only Rebels player who figures to hear his named called in the first 10 picks as Laquon Treadwell, the best receiver in the draft and Robert, Mkemdiche, a troubled but bruising defense tackle also figure to hear their names early in Chicago.
Mississippi isn’t the only school that will place multiple players in the first round as round defensive stars could be plucked off Alabama’s roster and there is a good chance Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, should he come out, could be a late first round pick.
Florida figures to see All-American defensive back Vernon Hargreaves and defensive end Jonathan Bullard will be gone in the first 20 selections.
There will be other SEC talents chosen in the first 32 picks, but these players figure to be the ones everyone is talking about at the top half of the draft.
HACKENBERG TO GO PRO
Despite the fact he was injured in the first half of the TaxSlayer Bowl on Saturday, Penn State Christian Hackenberg announced following the game he would enter the 2016 NFL Draft. In his announcement, the junior quarterback thanked everyone with the Nittany Lions program, except his current head coach James Franklin.
Hackenberg was successful under Bill O’Brien in Happy Valley before the former head coach moved on to coach the Houston Texans. It’s ironic the Texans have a need at quarterback. Could the two be reunited again in the NFL?
Jared Shanker of ESPN.com broke the story.
Hackenberg suffered a sprained right shoulder during the second quarter and did not return, but he said it is not believed to be serious. ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both have listed the 6-foot-4, 228-pound Hackenberg as fifth-best among draft-eligible quarterbacks and third among underclassmen.
Hackenberg’s best season was his freshman year at Penn State, but since Franklin took over for O’Brien, he has not shown the same kind of productivity.