Preseason SEC Power Rankings for the 2020 football season

Cecil Hurt
The Tuscaloosa News

A season with more SEC conference games than ever, COVID-19 permitting, means the Weekly SEC Power Rankings, a totally subjective ranking of the league’s 14 teams, is crucial. Or at least entertaining. Here they are, with last year’s final record in parentheses:

1. Alabama (11-2): Everyone has questions this fall. Alabama doesn’t have all the answers, but it may have more than anyone else, especially on offense. 

2. LSU (15-0): I had initially ranked LSU, with plenty of new faces on the field and coaching staff, lower than this. Now I’m not sure that anyone can overcome the power of Ed Orgeron’s mom.

3. Georgia (12-2): Florida is the trendy pick in the East, but I’m not going to be lulled into that, at least not until I see how the Bulldogs’ quarterback situation (non-Ohio State branch) plays out.

4. Florida (11-2): Will Dan Mullen finally get to see Atlanta in December? As noted, I’m sticking with Georgia in the early going, but there will be intrigue.

5. Auburn (9-4): Predictably unpredictable. Nothing from an SEC championship to a 5-5 season would shock me about the Tigers, who do have a proven quarterback with the shortest name in college football, Bo Nix.

6. Tennessee (8-5): A dark horse? Might as well be the Volunteers, who have assembled a strong roster but need to start out better than they did in 2019.

7.Texas A&M (8-5): The Aggies could be good. Heck, the Aggies should be good. But there seemed to be a weird offseason vibe out of College Station.

8. Kentucky (8-5): The Wildcats were overlooked in a pretty good year in 2019. I’ll miss the Lynn Bowden no-pass magic and may regret having them at No. 8

9. South Carolina (4-8): Maybe a giant chicken statue will be just the thing that South Carolina has needed all along. They’ve tried everything else.

10. Mississippi State (6-7): Never In history has so much happened because one man hiked one leg in one end zone. Mike Leach will cause headaches in Starkville, possibly for opponents and his own administration in equal measure. 

11. Ole Miss (4-8): These are uncertain times but the state of Mississippi — with Lane Kiffin, Mike Leach and Deion Sanders — is certain to be the nation’s leading exporter of colorful coaches’ quotes. Southern Miss may have to hire Chris Rock to keep up.

12. Missouri (6-6): Eli Drinkwitz did good work at Appalachian State. This is a different animal. The opener with Alabama, presuming it happens, may be an eye-opener. 

13. Arkansas (2-10): The SEC should really have scheduled Arkansas and Vanderbilt in the remix, for hope’s sake. Joke or no joke, there is no fun in a winless season.

14. Vanderbilt (3-9): Surely Commodore coach Derek Mason gets a pass to 2021. No one should have to be socially distant on a hot seat.

Reach Cecil Hurt at or via Twitter @cecilhurt