The Georgia Bulldogs have won the SEC East for the second consecutive season. Georgia was voted to win the SEC East in the preseason.
How did the rest of the SEC East teams perform when compared to preseason expectations?
Not many folks saw Tennessee’s fantastic start to the season coming. Additionally, South Carolina’s finish to the regular season could give the Gamecocks a great deal of momentum moving forward.
Georgia Bulldogs (12-0, 8-0)
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Preseason projected finish: No. 1
172 of 181 media members projected Georgia to win the SEC East before the 2022 college football season. Georgia met the lofty preseason expectations after winning a national championship. The Bulldogs play in the SEC championship game against LSU.
This preseason, only 18 media members voted Georgia to be the SEC champion. Alabama received 158 votes.
Tennessee Volunteers (10-2, 6-2)
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Preseason projected finish: No. 3
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker surprised many folks with his incredible 2022 college football season. Nobody expected Tennessee to be a College Football Playoff contender. However, head coach Josh Heupel is kicking himself after the Volunteers lost a second game late in the season to South Carolina.
South Carolina Gamecocks (8-4, 4-4)
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Preseason projected finish: No. 5
South Carolina exceeded preseason expectations thanks to back-to-back wins over playoff contenders to end the season. The Gamecocks have a lot to be excited about and look to continue their momentum in a bowl game and in 2023.
Kentucky Wildcats (7-5, 3-5)
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Preseason projected finish: No. 2
Kentucky entered the 2022 college football season with fairly high expectations. The Wildcats played an easy schedule and managed only seven wins. Mark Stoops and Kentucky have a stable program, but quarterback Will Levis and company did not get many big wins this year.
Florida Gators (6-6, 3-5)
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Preseason projected finish: No. 4
Florida’s season started win a massive upset win over Utah. The Gators floundered after that victory. Florida went 3-3 in one possession games and was one of the most inconsistent teams in the SEC. Florida finishes the regular season with wins over Texas A&M, South Carolina and Utah. Somehow, the same football team lost to Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
Missouri Tigers (6-6, 3-5)
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Preseason projected finish: No. 6
Missouri’s defense surprised several teams this season. The Tigers have finished the regular season winning exactly half of their games for the fourth consecutive season. Missouri needs better quarterback play to break that streak.
Vanderbilt Commodores (5-7, 2-6)
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Preseason projected finish: No. 7
Despite finishing last in the SEC East, 2022 was a successful season for Vanderbilt. The Commodores and second year head coach Clark Lea earned a pair of SEC wins for the first time since 2018.