If you’re on this list, you’d better not let me down.

I’m giving my vote of confidence to a handful of groups in the conference of champions.

Sorry, Bill Walton. “The conference of champions” claim can come back to the Pac-12 when the conference wins a football or men’s basketball title for the first time since 2004.

For now, that refers to the SEC, where there are no shortage of loaded position groups. To be clear, we’re talking about “position groups” in a more general sense. I can be high on the Georgia pass-catchers and include tight ends. Let’s not get too rigid here.

So in no specific order, here are the 7 SEC position groups that I have the most confidence in entering 2023:

Arkansas offensive line

Sam Pittman is giddy about this group. Even with a scheme change, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that this is a Year 4 Pittman offensive line. Of all the redeeming qualities of the Arkansas coach, knowing how to develop that group might be the best. Brady Latham and Beaux Limmer should be preseason All-SEC guys as multi-year starters for ground attacks that finished 7th in each of the past 2 seasons. Those are the only 2 returning starters, but the depth around those 2 versatile anchors is promising.

Joshua Braun came in from Florida, where he started until the coaching change. He’s 1 of 6 guys competing for 3 open spots, as is second-year player E’Marion Harris, who showed major potential in his first career start in the bowl game at right guard. The Hogs might not run the ball with the same volume that we’re used to seeing, but with Pittman, this has quickly become one of the most reliable units in the SEC. They’ll be busting open plenty of holes for Rocket Sanders … again.

Ole Miss running backs

Yeah, Quinshon Judkins is the headliner. You knew this. Judkins was a revelation as a true freshman last year, and if he’s not starting off as a preseason All-American, he’s darn close.

But this goes beyond Judkins to my renewed love for Ulysses Bentley IV. I was buying the SMU transfer last year, but an early-season injury and the subsequent emergence of Judkins limited his reps. Bentley also had to learn some of the north-south concepts necessary when playing in an SEC backfield. This year, though, I’m back in on a healthy Bentley, who had an excellent spring and is in line to shine with Zach Evans off to the NFL.

Ole Miss had the No. 1 non-service academy rushing attack in America last year, and in the Lane Kiffin era, 211 rushing yards per game is the floor. Always bank on those backs being elite.

MSU linebackers

MSU fans get this, but I’m not sure the rest of the SEC realizes how good Zach Arnett and Matt Brock have been at developing linebackers. Jett Johnson and Nathaniel “Bookie” Watson are the best linebackers in the SEC that nobody talks about, despite the fact that they’re so old that they committed to MSU when Dan Mullen was the head coach. They know that 3-3-5 inside and out, which is why they’ll anchor a defense with pretty significant turnover with 43% of last year’s production back. The Bulldogs ranked No. 3 in the SEC in yards/play allowed and No. 5 in the SEC against the run.

Johnson, Watson and DeShawn Page, who should be in a more prominent role after a promising 2022, should quietly lead one of the best linebacker groups in the SEC.

Tennessee receivers

Wait a minute. Didn’t Tennessee just have 2 receivers drafted on Day 2, including the Biletnikoff Award winner? Yes and yes.

Sign me up for an even heavier dose of Bru McCoy, who was exactly what that offense needed as that tough, move-the-chains outside receiver who developed trust with Hendon Hooker. With Joe Milton, I expect that to be there, but I also expect Squirrel White to be a sneaky candidate to lead the SEC in receiving. He was a big play waiting to happen down the stretch. Even as a backup, Jalin Hyatt was the only SEC receiver who had more 40-yard catches than White. Plus, if we know anything about the Josh Heupel offense, it’s that he knows how to scheme open those slot receivers.

That duo could end up being the top in the SEC, and who knows? Maybe we’re talking about a trio of Dont’e Thornton follows up a buzzy spring with a breakthrough fall after transferring from Oregon.

Georgia pass-catchers

It’s weird to say that about a group with 1 top-40 passing offense in the Playoff era (2022) and 1 1,000-yard receiver in program history (Terrence Edwards, 1,004 yards in 2002). But yeah, it helps that Todd Monken modernized the Georgia offense and we saw the passing game take off. It also helps when your new quarterback gets to throw passes to Brock Bowers, who is already one of the best tight ends in college football history entering his junior season. It really, really helps when you add the prolific RaRa Thomas from Mississippi State, as well as Mizzou All-SEC receiver Dominic Lovett to a group that already included 2022 All-SEC receiver Ladd McConkey.

It feels like Georgia is finally in a place where it doesn’t necessarily need Arian Smith or Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint to break through in order to have one of the SEC’s best passing attacks … but don’t rule that out.

LSU quarterbacks

Picture this: I expect LSU to start the season with an All-SEC quarterback in Jayden Daniels. If at any point Daniels gets hurt — he did lead FBS quarterbacks in carries in 2022 — Brian Kelly could turn to Garrett Nussmeier. As in, the dude who threw for 294 yards against Georgia in the SEC Championship … despite the fact that he only played a half. LSU has a draft-eligible backup who delivered the 2nd-best game of any quarterback against Georgia last year. That’s an embarrassment of riches.

I don’t mean this as disrespect to Daniels, who is absolutely worthy of being the unquestioned QB1 entering 2023, but LSU is the rare contender that could have its starter go down and have the offense open up a bit more. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s needed or if Nussmeier is going to see limited reps in meaningful minutes in 2023.

Alabama cornerbacks

I realize that everyone is burying Alabama and claiming that this is the end of the Nick Saban dynasty. Maybe it is. I know this isn’t the time to bury what should be a vintage Saban secondary, specifically because of the corners. Kool-Aid McKinstry is a shutdown corner who’ll be all over the preseason All-America teams. Between McKinstry and returning starter Terrion Arnold, you could argue that Alabama has the best returning outside duo in America. Malachi Moore didn’t have the junior year he (and everyone) hoped for, but all reports out of spring camp were that he’s back to his freshman All-American self as a game-changing slot corner. He was excellent at A-Day en route to game MVP honors.

I nearly put the Alabama secondary on here, but I think that’d be doing a disservice to just how good Brian Branch and Jordan Battle were. Plus, while I believe DeMarcco Hellams will be one of the conference’s best safeties, I can’t say I have blind confidence in him after what Jalin Hyatt did to him in Knoxville. Maybe that’ll change by season’s end. It helped that the Tide went out and got coveted safety transfer Jaylen Key in the post-spring window.

All I know is, if you’re expecting to throw on Alabama, you’d better think twice.