SEC Power Rankings Week One: Champs on top


Alabama beats Vanderbilt 59-0. Photo by Bruce Brookshire.

Davison Thompson

Football is back.  Those three words should make everybody want to wake up, throw on a jersey, and run through a brick wall.  That’s how all 14 teams in the SEC are probably feeling with opening kickoff just days away, but only some of them will be in as good of a mood as the season ends.  Here are our preseason SEC power rankings:


1 – Alabama Crimson Tide (#1)

If you know anything about college football, you know never to bet against the Tide. That is about all we have to say about this powerhouse. Carry on reading.

P.S. – We still want ‘Bama.


2 – Georgia Bulldogs (#3)

After a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Tide last year, this Bulldog team is poised to bounce back and make another run at this year’s national championship in Santa Clara. Even though the Bulldog defense lost one of the best linebackers in the country in Roquan Smith and the offense lost its two-headed monster of a backfield in Sony Michel and Nick Chubb, NFL-caliber quarterback Jake Fromm returns under center to direct this offense. Do not be surprised if this Georgia team returns to another national championship, and especially do not be surprised if this team successfully hoists the trophy in January. But we would be remiss not to say that the Bulldogs are already on upset alert for October 6th when the mighty Commodores stroll into Athens. Remember 2016? Sorry for your homecoming, Georgia fans.


3 – Auburn Tigers (#9)

Led by its Heisman potential quarterback, Jarrett Stidham, Auburn comes in at number three in our power rankings. Auburn comes off of a successful, yet disappointing 2017, where the Tigers peaked at #2 in the country only to see themselves handedly defeated by Georgia in the SEC Championship game. Mark your calendars for November 10th, as the Tigers march into Athens to take the Bulldogs on again. This will be one of many challenging games for Auburn, who might have the toughest schedule of all the SEC teams.


4 – Mississippi State Bulldogs (#18)

With the departure of Dan Mullen, new Bulldogs head coach Jim Moorhead has some big shoes to fill in Starkville. Mullen boasts one of the most successful tenures as a Bulldog head coach, but Moorhead inherits one of the most talented quarterback in the whole conference, Nick Fitzgerald. In the last two years, Fitzgerald has thrown for just at 4,165 yards and 36 touchdowns. Look for him to continue to his SEC dominance this year and potentially sneak into New York as a Heisman finalist.


5 – South Carolina Gamecocks (NR)

It is hard to remember a South Carolina football highlight since Jadeveon Clowney’s infamous hit vs Michigan in the 2013 Outback Bowl. However, that could change this year as the Gamecocks field an impressive team led by quarterback Jake Bentley and star receiver Deebo Samuels. Will Muschamp’s seat could get pretty hot in Columbia if his team disappoints again but if his team prevails in tough games against Georgia and Clemson things could get interesting.


6 – LSU Tigers (#25)

Without a Leonard Fournette or Derrius Guice caliber running back in the LSU backfield this year, Coach O will have to rely on his outside weapons at wide receiver. Expect Texas Tech transfer Jonathan Giles to put up big numbers as the Tigers’ primary outside threat this year. It has been a long time since the Tigers have been relevant at the top of the SEC standings, and if all of their pieces fall into place this year, you can potentially see this LSU team finish atop the SEC West. But don’t bet on it for a couple more years.


7- Florida Gators (NR)

Similar to LSU, the Florida Gators have not really seen the national spotlight in years.  You have to go back to the days of Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow to find the last truly great Florida squad. In the last 8 years, the Gators have gone 60-41, which is quite a difference from their two national championships in three years in ‘06 and ‘08. However, in the next five years, it’s possible that you might see them return to national prominence. Why? Because this is the first year of head coach Dan Mullen in Gainesville. We all saw just how dangerous he was at Mississippi State, leading them to a #1 overall ranking in 2014. It might take a few years for this program to adopt his systems, but be on the lookout for the Gators to rise from the ashes sometime soon.


8 – Texas A&M Aggies

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and in College Station, that’s definitely true. From new head coach Jimbo Fisher’s 10 year, $75 million contract, to Kyle Field’s massive 102,000+ capacity, Texas A&M does it big. Kicking off the season this Thursday, the Aggies also have big expectations to fill. Unfortunately, A&M might have to wait another year to restore college football glory to College Station, as the Aggies play both Clemson and Alabama in the first half of their schedule.


9 – Missouri Tigers

Drew Lock. Remember that name. He is the signal-caller for this Tiger offense, and he looks ready to deliver another outstanding year to the Missouri faithful. Boasting the best offense in the SEC last year, Lock must remain consistent in an extremely tough league. After finishing with a 7-6 record last year, don’t look for a gigantic improvement in the Tigers’ final record this year. However, do look for them to continue lighting up the scoreboard and maybe pull off an exciting upset against either Georgia or Auburn.


10 – Kentucky Wildcats

Led by John Calipari, this year the Wildcats… oh wait, wrong sport. Kentucky football has actually been remotely successfully the past couple of years, making two straight bowl games, and Mark Stoops is finding his groove in Lexington. Just yesterday, former junior college standout, Terry Wilson, was named the Week 1 starter after a tough quarterback battle with Gunnar Hoak. Star running back Benny Snell promised Big Blue Nation more wins this year, but we aren’t too sure the Wildcats will do better than their 7-6 record from last year.


11 – Ole Miss Rebels

Ole Miss actually looks pretty good on offense. And not just for Ole Miss, for the SEC. With All-American wideout AJ Brown snagging dimes from Jordan Ta’amu behind a great offensive line, the Rebels will score a lot of points. The question remains, however, can the defense be productive? In short, our answer is no. In the stacked SEC West, Ole Miss fans will have to keep waiting for relevancy again.


12 – Vanderbilt Commodores

We want to say that Kyle Shurmur wins the Heisman and the ‘Dores go to Santa Clara. But, we know football and we know Vanderbilt, and those two do not go hand-in-hand. After a promising start to the 2017 campaign, all hell broke loose after taunting Alabama, winning only two more games after a 3-0 start. Last year, the Commodore defense surrendered the most points ever recorded by an SEC defense, not something to be proud of in such a storied conference. With new defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, don’t be completely surprised if the Commodores sneak into a bowl game, but also don’t be surprised at all if they’re are on the outside looking in.


13- Arkansas Razorbacks

All of the Arkansas fans out there reading this article might be excited to see their team not ranked last. That being said, however, coming out of an incredibly disappointing 2017 football and recruiting season, the Razorbacks don’t figure to be any better this year. Chad Morris is a good coach, though, so things in Fayetteville shouldn’t be terrible for too much longer.


14 – Tennessee Volunteers

Well, Tennessee is a disaster. It’s as simple as that. After a head coach hiring catastrophe, the Volunteers look poised to sit at the bottom of the SEC rankings once again. There isn’t much to be said about this team because there isn’t anybody to say anything about. After losing the past two years to the mighty ‘Dores, you can expect this Volunteer team to come hungry to one game and one game only: Their rematch against Vanderbilt on November 24th.