Alabama is the SEC champion after an impressive 41-24 victory over Georgia in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game. The Crimson Tide outscored Georgia 41-14 over the game’s final 44 minutes, paced by a Heisman worthy performance from quarterback Bryce Young (more below).

All is not lost for Georgia. The Dawgs close the regular season 12-1 and advance to their second College Football Playoff under coach Kirby Smart. All that stands between Georgia and the end of 1980 jokes forever is 120 minutes of winning football. Considering Georgia has trailed all of an hour this entire season, you have to like those odds if you are a Georgia fan.

Thirteen SEC teams advanced to bowl games in 2021, a conference record. SEC bowl season will get underway when Missouri faces Army in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 22 (8 p.m., ESPN). From there, it will be a 2-week bowl sprint that includes SEC teams in both College Football Playoff Semifinals, Ole Miss in the New Year’s 6, and LSU closing matters in the Texas Bowl on Jan, 4, unless, of course, 1 of the 2 SEC semifinalists (or both) advance to the College Football Playoff Championship on Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

Here are the top 10 players in the SEC ahead of the bowls. Last week’s list is here.

The list does not reflect any opt-outs. Honorable mentions are limited to 2 per school.

Honorable Mentions:  Evan Neal, OT (Alabama); Jordan Battle, DB (Alabama); Grant Morgan, LB (Arkansas); KJ Jefferson, QB (Arkansas); Zakoby McClain, LB (Auburn); TD Moultry, DL (Auburn); Dameon Pierce, RB (Florida); Zachary Carter, DE (Florida); Brock Bowers, TE (Georgia); Lewis Cine, S (Georgia); Darian Kinnard, OT (Kentucky); Josh Paschal, DL (Kentucky); Micah Baskerville, LB (LSU); BJ Ojulari, Edge (LSU); Jett Johnson, LB (Mississippi State); Will Rogers III, QB (Mississippi State); Tyler Badie, RB (Missouri); Michael Maietti, C (Missouri); Chance Campbell, LB (Ole Miss); Sam Williams, DE (Ole Miss); Jaylan Foster, DB (South Carolina); Kingsley Enagbare, DE (South Carolina); Jeremy Banks, LB (Tennessee); Hendon Hooker, QB (Tennessee); DeMarvin Leal, DL (Texas A&M); Antonio Johnson, CB (Texas A&M); Will Sheppard, WR (Vanderbilt).

10. Matt Corral, QB (Ole Miss)

Corral, who is expected to play in the Sugar Bowl, cemented a legacy as one of the best Ole Miss quarterbacks in history with his win in the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving. Now, he’ll have the chance to lead Ole Miss to 11 wins. On the season, Corral produced 31 touchdowns (20 passing, 11 rushing) in leading an Ole Miss offense that finished the regular season ranked 1st in the SEC in scoring offense (4th nationally). Baylor’s defense will be a stiff final test, and one that will give Corral a nice platform as he readies for the NFL Draft.

9. Jameson Williams, WR (Alabama)

A week after committing a silly targeting penalty and getting ejected from the Iron Bowl, Williams was back with a vengeance, lighting up the best defense in America for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns. Williams shattered the myth that he’s just a vertical guy too, using his hands to beat press coverage and running routes this good to get this open:

With the unfortunate injury to John Metchie, Williams will be the Crimson Tide’s key piece in their Playoff run. But if he can light up Georgia, he has the goods to do it without Metchie over the next month.

8. Roger McCreary, CB (Auburn)

The nation’s top corner in 2021, per Pro Football Focus, McCreary wasn’t even first or second team All-SEC when the season began. That’s why they play the games, y’all. McCreary moves up a spot without even playing because after watching Alabama Saturday, his performance in the Iron Bowl became even more legendary.

The Tigers, led by the 4 players mentioned above, all of whom have appeared on this list this season in one capacity or another, have plenty to be proud of defensively in 2021, and the fact they are bowling in Year 1 under Bryan Harsin is largely due to McCreary and his defensive teammates.

7. Treylon Burks, WR (Arkansas)

Burks drops a spot because Damone Clark is another defender that gets a “How did he play that well against Alabama?” bump. Burks is still perhaps the best wide receiver NFL prospect in the upcoming draft, and he had a massive junior campaign with the Hogs, finishing 4th in the SEC in yards receiving (1,104), 7th in receptions (66) and 3rd in the SEC in yards per reception (16.7, minimum 25 receptions). Burks, like Corral, is expected to play in his bowl game, with Arkansas headed to the Outback Bowl.

6. Damone Clark, LB (LSU)

Clark easily claimed the SEC tackling title with 136 tackles, 16 more than his closest competitor (Bumper Pool of Arkansas). He saved his best play for late in the season, with all 5.5 of his sacks coming after Ed Orgeron was fired in mid-October. Clark also added a forced fumble and 23 quarterback pressures in that span. Clark told the media last week he wants to play 1 last game in a LSU uniform, so he’ll be suited up for the Texas Bowl against Kansas State.

5. Wan’Dale Robinson, WR (Kentucky)

Robinson wins the “not on Georgia or Alabama” competition on this list. Robinson finished the regular season 2nd in the SEC in receptions (94) and yards receiving (1,164) and he grades out as the best wide receiver in the SEC and a top 5 wide receiver in all of college football, per Pro Football Focus. The big question now is whether the Rondale Moore clone is just a 1-year rental or if he’ll return for an encore in Lexington in 2022. He still has a shot at the single-season Kentucky receiving yards record as well, though he’d have to have a huge Citrus Bowl against Iowa to break the nearly 25-year old mark.

4. Jordan Davis, DT (Georgia)

Davis collected 4 tackles in the SEC Championship, playing a season-high in snaps. But you have to credit Alabama — they weren’t afraid of Davis, running right at him a few times and refusing to double him with more than running back help at other times. The thing scouts will notice from Saturday? The higher number of snaps made life tougher on Davis, who looked gas on a number of plays, including Alabama’s go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter.

Davis is still a schematic nightmare, and he was No. 1 on my Bednarik Award ballot for that reason. But the 3 players who he’s been in the top 4 with all season were better in the SEC Championship Game, and as a result, Davis falls to 4th on this list.

3. Nakobe Dean, LB (Georgia)

Let’s be clear: Georgia’s defense is generationally good. Even after surrendering 41 points and 536 yards to the Crimson Tide, Georgia finished the season allowing 7 fewer touchdowns (in an extra game!) than anyone else in the country defensively. They still finished No. 1 in the country in yards allowed per play as well, and No. 1 in opponent success rate against (success rate measures the success of an opposing team’s play given down and distance).

At the heart of this was Dean, who was one of few Georgia defenders to play well Saturday evening. Dean finished the game with 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 5 quarterback pressures (a team high), and 2 passes defended. Dean deserved the Butkus Award, and his top 3 spot on this list.

2. Bryce Young, QB (Alabama)

Can we discuss what Bryce Young has done in the last 62 minutes of college football he’s played, please?

First, he saves Alabama’s College Football Playoff skin by leading the Crimson Tide on a 97-yard touchdown drive to tie the Iron Bowl, despite having just 92 seconds to move the team and zero timeouts to play with!

Then there was Saturday, where he shredded the best defense in college football for 421 yards and 3 touchdowns. As icing on the cake, he added 40 yards with his legs, including this touchdown run that gave the Crimson Tide the lead for good.

Young is going to win the Heisman Trophy, and even though he’s not the best football player on his own team — he’s the most important, having proven that again and again over the last two weeks.

1. Will Anderson Jr., Edge (Alabama)

Will Anderson Jr. wasn’t dominant Saturday, but he was plenty good enough to help Alabama win the game. Anderson collected 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and added 2 quarterback pressures in the Alabama win. He’s played his best, most dominant football down the stretch:

He’s also had statistical dominance the likes of which we’ve never seen before in this sport. Not even Chase Young (a Heisman finalist) led the NCAA in sacks and tackles for loss and quarterback pressures in the same season. Anderson Jr. has done that, and it’s not terribly close. His 31.5 tackles for loss are the most by a collegiate defender in nearly a decade, and the most by a Power 5 defender in over a decade. He’s the best player in the country, and stays at the top of this list as we enter bowl season.