The SEC won over the hearts of countless college football fans on Friday when it voted to re-open its athletic facilities on June 8. Football players will be cleared to report to campus where they can begin voluntary training for the 2020 season. It remains unclear if things will start on time, but this news certainly makes playing in the Fall more feasible than previously assumed.
Before we learn more of the fate of the 2020 campaign, let's dive into three SEC teams that will benefit most from the conference's uplifting settlement.
For the first time since 2016 -- which was Jalen Hurts' first year in Tuscaloosa -- Alabama headed into the offseason with a question mark at the quarterback position. Tua Tagovailoa left for the NFL (and his brother, Taulia, transferred), which leaves Mac Jones and Bryce Young to slug it out for the starting job. Though Jones has the upper hand after a dominant showing in the Citrus Bowl against Michigan, a coach as meticulous as Nick Saban will need as much time as possible to come to a decision. Being able to report to campus in the second week of June is huge news for the Crimson Tide.
Georgia's starting quarterback for the last three years, Jake Fromm, decided forgo his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft, which means there will be a true battle for the QB1 job for the first time since head coach Kirby Smart's debut campaign in Athens back in 2016. The likes of former Wake Forest starter Jamie Newman, sophomore Stetson Bennett, who attempted 27 passes in 2019, and 2020 4-star recruit Carson Beck will fight to win over Smart and the rest of the Bulldogs' coaching staff. Newman is heavily favored, of course. Georgia, which also has to replace star running back D'Andre Swift, needs all the time the SEC will allow to prepare for the upcoming season. Friday's vote couldn't have come at a better time for the Dawgs.
We really don't see how a team other than LSU could possibly qualify for the No. 1 spot on this list. Though head coach Ed Orgeron is still holding his post, a plethora of his most trusted assistants are no longer around. On top of that, every draft-eligible player on the Tigers offense was either selected in the NFL Draft or signed as an undrafted free agent. That includes superstars like quarterback Joe Burrow, wideout Justin Jefferson and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. LSU will literally field a new-look offense in 2020, and that burden has become considerably more pressing after the overhaul its coaching staff underwent this offseason. You better believe that the Tigers will hit the ground running come June 8.