SEC Preseason Power Rankings
Published on Monday, 6/24/19, at 4:15 p.m. Eastern.
1-Alabama – Trips to College Station, Starkville and The Plains are the biggest road blocks to another College Football Playoff appearance. If you didn’t know, QB Tua Tagovailoa and his top three wide receivers, including Jerry Jeudy, are back in 2019.
2-Georgia – UGA has been really close the last two years. However, let’s be clear here: Close doesn’t mean shit. Until the Bulldogs break through and win a national title, they’re still the program that hasn’t done so since 1980.
3-LSU – When was the last time LSU brought back a QB it believed in? If you said Jordan Jefferson, you deserve a knuckle sandwich from Devin White. Joe Burrow is the best the Tigers have had under center in a decade.
4-Florida – Offensive line appears to be the only area of major concern UNLESS you still have your doubts about Feleipe Franks. (If you do, I get it.)
5-Texas A&M – The Aggies have to play at BOTH Death Valleys and between the hedges. They get Alabama at Kyle Field. Jimbo Fisher’s team lost its top six tacklers, its stud RB Trayveon Williams and TE Jace Sternberger, who had 48 receptions for 832 yards and 10 TDs in 2018.
6-Auburn – Auburn heads to Jerry World to face Oregon in Week 1. Gus Malzahn’s club gets Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi State at home, but it has to go to The Swamp, College Station and Baton Rouge. FADE SPOT: 5Dimes has Texas A&M as a three-point home favorite vs. Auburn. Take the Aggies, who will be going against an Auburn QB making his first career road start.
7-Mississippi State – The games against the SEC East — vs. Kentucky and at Tennessee with two weeks to prepare — work just fine. I see seven wins and five swing games for the Bulldogs, who gets LSU and Alabama at Scott Field.
8-South Carolina – Like A&M, South Carolina has to play Alabama and Clemson. The Gamecocks have to play at Texas A&M when the Aggies are coming off an open date. They have to play at Missouri, at Georgia and at Tennessee as well. There’s a lot to like about Will Muschamp’s team, especially QB Jake Bentley, WR Bryan Edwards, LB T.J. Brunson and DT Javon Kinlaw. However, the schedule is a killer and if Muschamp goes 7-5, he should be SEC Coach of the Year.
9-Missouri – Kelly Bryant takes over at QB for Drew Lock. RB Larry Rountree is back along with preseason All-American TE Albert Okwuegbunam and second-team All-SEC LB Cale Garrett. The Tigers won’t be underdogs by much in any of their first eight games.
10-Vanderbilt – Vandy lost four one-possession games and let a 21-3 second-quarter lead over Florida get away. If Ke’Shawn Vaughn doesn’t get injured vs. UF, the Commodores probably win at least eight games. And they had zero business losing to Notre Dame in South Bend. Derek Mason has three of the SEC’s top players in Vaughn, TE Jared Pinkney and WR Kalija Lipscomb. He also has two experienced Power Five transfers set to start in the secondary.
11-Tennessee – The Volunteers are 9-15 in their past 24 games, beating only three Power Five foes in that span. Those wins were 42-41 over Ga. Tech in double overtime, 30-24 at Auburn and 24-7 over Kentucky.
12-Kentucky – Congrats to the ‘Cats on last year’s 10-win breakout campaign. It was a magical season, one that’s unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Benny Snell, Josh Allen, Mike Edwards and lots of other talented players are now gone.
13-Ole Miss – The Rebels went 5-7 last season despite some of the nation’s best offensive talent. All of those players are gone except for RB Scottie Phillips. Rich Rodriguez takes over as OC and Mike MacIntyre is now the DC.
14-Arkansas – A 5-7 record looks like the ceiling for Chad Morris in Year 2 of a massive rebuilding project.