Conference realignment and expansion has dominated the news over the last few weeks, and it’s the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences that will be expanding the most. The Pac-12 Conference is currently on life support due to all of the movement, but it’s going to create some added drama and excitement to college sports.
It was the SEC that really kicked things off when it came to this topic as they announced that they were adding Oklahoma and Texas. That move was met with some jeers from many, but adding those two legendary college football programs is needed in this league.
A quick look at the SEC futures betting odds heading into the 2023 college football season will show you exactly why more competition is needed. Once again, there are two schools that are favored in a big way to win the SEC, and it’s time to get some other teams in the mix.
Bulldogs Run the East
The East Division in the SEC has always been considered the weaker division in this league, even if it has produced back-to-back College Playoff winners. There are actually some competitive matchups in this division, but it’s usually between teams that are near the bottom of the conference.
The betting odds to win the SEC East Division are almost impossible to believe, as the Georgia Bulldogs are the massive favorites at -750. Those odds would suggest that Georgia is a lock to win the division and that the rest of the teams don’t even have a chance.
Here are the betting odds for the rest of the teams in the East Division:
- Tennessee Volunteers +500
- South Carolina Gamecocks +3300
- Florida Gators +3300
- Kentucky Wildcats +4000
- Missouri Tigers +5000
- Vanderbilt Commodores +30000
The Tennessee Volunteers were one of the best teams in the country a season ago, but they still weren’t able to take down the Bulldogs. The rest of the teams in this division have all gotten worse in a big way, and Georgia might not even face a close game during the regular season.
Can Anyone Beat Bama?
The Alabama Crimson Tide have been one of the best college football programs over the last two decades, but they actually do have some competition in the West Division.
Alabama has similar odds to Georgia when it comes to winning the conference, but they are going to face some tests during divisional play.
Here are the odds to win the West Division of the SEC:
- Alabama Crimson Tide +100
- LSU Tigers +175
- Texas A&M Aggies +500
- Ole Miss Rebels +2000
- Auburn Tigers +2500
- Arkansas Razorbacks +4500
- Mississippi State Bulldogs +6600
The LSU Tigers look to be the biggest challenger to Alabama this season, and these two schools have built up a nice rivalry over the last few years. LSU had a great season a year ago, but getting past Alabama is not going to be easy.
Even the Mississippi State Bulldogs are expected to have a nice season in 2023, and that team could be one of the top three schools in the East Division. There will be much better games played in the West, and Alabama will have to battle it out in order to win the division.
When Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC after this year, the league is going to have to take a hard look at the divisional breakdown. Both of those schools would seem to fit in better with the West in terms of geography, but that would make the divisions even more lopsided.
Expect Alabama and Georgia to be battling it out in Atlanta once again for the right to win the SEC Conference in 2023.