SEC Championship Preview

By | December 1, 2017

SEC Championship: #2 Auburn (10-2) vs #6 Georgia (11-1); Atlanta; 4 PM ET; CBS …

Fans turning into the SEC championship game expecting to see Alabama will of course be sorely disappointed as the Crimson Tide were knocked out of the SEC East division lead last week when they were upset by cross-state rival Auburn. However, Alabama still has a shot at making the CFP; the 5th ranked Tide has only one loss and would appear to be the first option if any of the favorites in the conference title games – Auburn, Wisconsin, Clemson and Oklahoma – are upset on Saturday. On the other hand, if those 4 all win and Alabama still gets in there could be heck to play in college football.

While Auburn has two losses, there was nothing fluky about their upset win over Alabama to make it to the SEC title game. In fact, this is a good football team. Their two road losses were at Clemson and at LSU and they have won their past 5 games by at least two TDs including wins over Georgia and Alabama. Auburn is led by emerging redshirt sophomore QB Jarrett Stidham (#8, 6-2, 215), a dark-horse second-day candidate for the 2018 draft if he opts to enter this year’s draft. Stidham has completed 69% of his pass attempts for almost 2,700 yards and 16 TDs while throwing just 4 picks. Stidham is supported by junior RB Kerryon Johnson (#21, 5-11, 215), a rising slasher with a burst who has run for almost 1,300 yards and 16 scores in just 10 games after taking over as the Auburn starter earlier in the year who  is another Tiger with second-day potential. Same for junior CB Carlton Davis (#6, 6-0, 205), veteran All-America OG Braden Smith and rising junior ER Jeff Holland (#4, 6-2, 250), who leads the team with 9 sacks this fall. Meanwhile, other Auburn seniors with later round or free agent potential include OT Darius James (#78, 6-4, 325), C Austin Golson (#73, 6-4, 315), safeties Tray Matthews (#28, 6-0, 210) and Stephen Roberts (#14, 5-10, 190) and PK Daniel Carlson (#38, 6-3, 225).

The best prospect on the field in the SEC championship game, though, is likely Georgia junior OLB Roaquan Smith (#3, 6-0, 225), who is starting to generate some top 10-20 buzz. Smith isn’t all that big, but he can really run and is an explosive hitter when he gets there. Meanwhile, UGA has arguably the best 1-2 punch at RB in the country in seniors Nick Chubb (#27, 5-9, 225) and Sony Michel (#1, 5-10, 215) who have combined for over 2,000 rushing yards and 26 TDs this fall. Along the way, Chubb, who has bounced back nicely from a devastating leg injury two years ago, has averaged 6.2 yards per carry, while Michel has been even better with a 7.3 figure per pop. They run behind a solid offensive front led by rising G/T Isaiah Wynn (#77, 6-2, 305), who will play LT against Auburn, but is a second-day prospect at OG for the upcoming draft. The Dawgs also have an aggressive defensive front anchored by rugged NT John Atkins (#97, 6-3, 305), while rangy OLBs Lorenzo Carter (#7, 6-5, 245) and Davin Bellamy (#17, 6-5, 245) provide the speed coming off the edge.