TMG Newsmaker of The Week: SEC

One season is just about over, but another is just beginning and the early exit polls suggest that, once again, all is well in the Southeastern Conference.

This comes after another season in which the SEC had to endure endless chatter of how it was slipping as the premier conference.

Let's take a look at a few facts that we do know.

In the four-team College Football Playoff, the SEC has two teams--Georgia and Alabama.

In the six Playoff bowls--Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta, Rose, and Peach--the SEC has three teams--Georgia (Rose), Alabama (Sugar), Auburn (Peach).

Alabama, which didn't even win the SEC West, is a three point favorite over ACC champion and defending national champion Clemson.

Now let's cut to some trending, which is highlighted this week by the start of the 2018 early college football recruiting period--7 a.m. local time on Wednesday to midnight on Friday.

No, the SEC is not No. 1 according to the Rivals rankings--that belongs to Ohio State. But the SEC has three teams in the Top 10--Georgia (3), Auburn (8) and Alabama (10). The SEC has 5 teams in the Top 14 --LSU (11) and South Carolina (14).

That's the most of any conference.

The early signing date--it still includes the first Wednesday in February as the official signing date--is not popular with the coaches who spend December dealing with playoff games.

'"We're dealing with it,''' said Alabama coach Nick Saban, who is a vocal critic. ""It is what it is. And we manage the best we can.''

Maybe Saban is grousing a bit because Alabama has been No. 1 in recruiting in five of the past six seasons and is back in the ''pack'' at No. 10 right now.

Let's see what the rankings say in February if Bama has won another national championship.

And perhaps Saban is a bit miffed since both Georgia and Auburn are currently ahead of the Tide, which gives recruiting an SEC tinge.

And, there is also a possibility that the national championship game could be an SEC party between Georgia and Alabama.

For all of that, the SEC is TMG's Newsmaker of the Week.