2017 SEC Prespring Rankings & 3 Key Storylines

2017 SEC Prespring Rankings & 3 Key Storylines

Vanderbilt

2017 SEC Prespring Rankings & 3 Key Storylines

SEC Prespring Preview, Rankings, Key Storylines


Ranking and breaking down the SEC teams as the spring football season starts to kick in.


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What does each SEC team have to work on this spring? What are the main storylines? How good are the teams going into the key part of the offseason? Ranking all the SEC teams based on how they look now, and what each team needs to do.

– CFN Prespring Rankings & Lookaheads No. 1 to 130
SEC Schedule Analysis & Top Games

2017 SEC Prespring Rankings & 3 Key Storylines

14. Vanderbilt Commodores

– How real was that? Was Vanderbilt just a good team that did a great job in a weak year for the SEC East, or was last season a stepping-stone moment? It’s been a young team for years, and now it’s loaded with veterans.

– Someday there has to be a passing game. Kyle Shurmur has had a few years to figure out how to play quarterback in the SEC, and now the Commodores have to be far more efficient.

– Can the defense be as nasty without Adam Butler on the nose and Zach Cunningham at one linebacker spot? It’s a veteran defense, but throw in the loss of CB Torren McGaster, and the Commodores need new stars to emerge.
Full Prespring Analysis

13. Kentucky Wildcats

– Attitude-wise, was last year the breakthrough? Kentucky had spent years trying to become relevant, and last year it actually was. Does it matter that head coach Mark Stoops proved he could take the program to a bowl game?

– C Jon Toth has to be replaced. This might not seem like that big a deal, but he was the all-star heart-and-soul quarterback of the offensive front.

– The defensive front has to be more physical. The experience isn’t going to be an issue, but the defense has to be far stronger against the better ground games after giving up 228 yards per game.
Full Prespring Analysis

12. Mississippi State Bulldogs

– The running backs have to step up. Nick Fitzgerald is a terrific quarterback, but he needs help. The Bulldogs have to find backs who can take the heat off.

– The defensive tackles need to be great this spring. The D line overall might be one of the team’s biggest concerns – the linebackers are right there, too – with the interior needing the most work.

– The punt and punt return game need to be stronger. The Bulldogs need to do all the little things right, and that means the woeful punting game needs help.
Full Prespring Analysis

11. South Carolina Gamecocks

– Now it’s time for QB Jake Bentley to go from sensation to steady producer. The offense needs a leader and signature star, and Bentley could be it – this spring needs to be when he takes another big step up.

– How good are the defensive ends? The Gamecocks need to be even better in the backfield and have to find dangerous playmakers on the outside. A main man has to emerge.

– Can the offense be more physical? Will Muschamp teams live on tough defenses and strong running games, but last year’s ground game averaged 134 yards per game.
Full Prespring Analysis

10. Missouri Tigers

– Can the coaching staff make the pass rush great again? Dominant for a few years, the D went bye-bye last season when it came to getting into the backfield, at least when Charles Harris wasn’t producing.

– Where’s the scoring going to come from? Drew Lock is a keeper of a quarterback, but the O that averaged under 14 points per game and failed to hit ten points five times in the last seven games has to find the firepower.

– Where’t the return game? For an offense that struggled so much, getting help from the special teams would’ve been nice. It didn’t happen from the return game.
Full Prespring Analysis

9. Arkansas Razorbacks

– The receiver weapons have to be there for the O to throw like it has over the last few seasons. The Hogs lose a ton of experience and plenty of production.

– The defensive line needs an overhaul. Jeremiah Ledbetter, Deatich Wise, and a slew of starters are gone after an okay year. The ends have to step up.

– The D needs an attitude. The Hogs couldn’t seem to come up with a third down stop. That’s been a big, big problem for Arkansas over the last few years – it has to change.
Full Prespring Analysis

8. Ole Miss Rebels

– Is another shoe about to drop? The program has to try going forward and fighting through the controversy, and do it all knowing there’s no chance for any payoff at the end of the rainbow. The Hugh Freeze hot seat watch will be a distraction all offseason.

– The run defense needs to get nastier, and the team has to get a lot tougher. Two years ago, the scoring D was No. 1 in the nation, and the run defense allowed 127 yards per game in 2015. Last year, the Rebels gave up 246.

– Shea Patterson has to make the team his. The star starting quarterback looked the part late in the year, and now he has to be the one who gets the program through the storm and create a buzz for 2018.
Full Prespring Analysis

7. Texas A&M Aggies

– Quarterback, quarterback, quarterback. After years of Manziel, and Knight, and Allen, and Murray, and a whole bunch of hype at the position, is Hubenak really the answer? It’ll be an interesting offseason to see if he takes over.

– The receiving corps needs options. Christian Kirk is a special talent, but after him there are a whole bunch of big position battles coming.

– Where are the pass rushers? You don’t replace Myles Garrett, and Daeshon Hall is gone on the other side. There has to be one guy who creates a buzz.
Full Prespring Analysis

6. Georgia Bulldogs

– Jacob Eason has to look and play better. Solid as a true freshman, the franchise-caliber quarterback now has to look like a future NFL starter. Along with that …

– The passing game has to be far more efficient. Eason had his moments, and he was great at times late, but Georgia was 97th in the nation in passing and 98th in efficiency. That can’t happen again.

– It’s all about the offensive line. The rest of the team seems to be in place – or close to it – but finding the right starting five up front has to happen early on.
Full Prespring Analysis

5. Auburn Tigers

– Is Jarret Stidham the real deal? The quarterback situation is supposedly going to be open throughout the offseason. Spring is when one of the options has to all but shut it. Along with that …

– The passing game has to be better. The offense will roll on the ground – and it should be devastating again – but it would be nice to be more efficient throwing the ball. Big yards don’t necessarily matter, but efficiency does.

– New pass rushers have to emerge. Losing Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams off the line is a big problem, and now the D has to try being more dangerous without them.
Full Prespring Analysis

4. Tennessee Volunteers

– The quarterback battle. Replacing Joshua Dobbs will be tough, and now the spotlight will be on Quinten Dormady to see what he can do.

– What’s the team’s attitude after the disappointment of last year? The expectations will still be there, but there might be even more of a sense of urgency.

– The defensive front has to be more physical. The tackles are there and experience isn’t an issue, but the Vols can’t be that bad against the run again.
Full Prespring Analysis

3. LSU Tigers

– Now that Ed Orgeron is the main man, how’s he going to make LSU national title good? He might be the right guy, and everyone might like him, but now he has to win the SEC West.

– The passing game has to figure it out. Danny Etling might be the quarterback going into spring ball, but is there a more dynamic option? Which receivers will step up?

– Time to get more physical. Want the one thing the coaching staff can use to work out? 1-of-8 – that’s what worst-in-the-nation LSU was on fourth down conversions, including a few very, very big misses against Florida.
Full Prespring Analysis

2. Florida Gators

– The quarterback competition. Luke Del Rio is back, but Feleipe Franks might be too good to keep out of the starting spot.

– Reloading the defensive front – can the new guys step up? Florida is a factory for defensive linemen, but losing three good ones is a problem.

– Reloading the secondary – can the new guys step up? Who has lost as many defensive back stars over the last few years? Now the Gators have to replace Quincy Wilson, Marcus Maye, and Teez Tabor. Good luck.
Full Prespring Analysis

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

– What will Brian Daboll do with the offense? The new OC won’t be Lane Kiffin or Steve Sarkisian in terms of stature, so what will he tinker with?

– How quickly can the defensive front reload? It’s always assumed Bama simply finds new amazing parts for the D, but this year’s front seven really, really needs an overhaul.

– Can Jalen Hurts improve as a passer? Will there be any sort of a quarterback competition if there’s not more of a downfield passing game?
Full Prespring Analysis

CFN Prespring Rankings & Lookaheads No. 1 to 130

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