SEC Rankings: West
This is NOT a prediction of how the teams will finish. They’re the rankings of how good the teams are going into the season.
Please scroll down for the SEC rankings done by total conference, ranking 1 through 14.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Should be ranked here because … it’s a good thing when your worry revolves around the decision between two great quarterbacks. The running back and linebacking talent is phenomenal, and there’s no wrong answer between Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts – really.
Should be ranked lower because … the secondary – even for Alabama – has some concerns after losing special players in Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison and Anthony Averett. There isn’t much concern around the kicking game, but losing punting weapon JK Scott hurts.
2. Auburn Tigers
Should be ranked higher because … the defensive tackle combination of Derrick Brown and Dontavius Russell is great to anchor another fantastic defense. Jarrett Stidham is one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, the receiving corps is in place to light up the passing game, and as always, the running backs are great.
Should be ranked lower because … the offensive line isn’t a negative, but this isn’t going to be a dominant force against the better SEC West D lines, at least early on. The kicking situation isn’t bad, but losing Daniel Carlson is going to hurt at some point this year.
3. LSU Tigers
Should be ranked higher because … shhhhhhhhh, the defensive talent is as good as the any in the SEC. Alabama’s D will end up being statistically better, with linebackers Devin White and K’Lavon Chaisson, along with corner Greedy Williams, are going to be on the short list of the league’s best defensive players.
Should be ranked lower because … it’s starting a guy who couldn’t get the Ohio State starting quarterback gig. Joe Burrow is hardly bad, but this is LSU … it shouldn’t have a problem finding a star quarterback. There isn’t another Derrius Guice at running back or DJ Chark at receiver – at least not yet.
4. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Should be ranked higher because … Joe Moorhead is a special get. His hiring might not have sparked a ton of waves across the coaching carousel world at the time, but he’s just the sort of offensive mind who can take what Dan Mullen did and make it better. The D line has two of the league’s best players in Jeffery Simmons inside and Montez Sweat on the outside.
Should be ranked lower because … the receiving corps isn’t going to be special, at least right away. Is Nick Fitzgerald healthy enough to be back to form? He’s on his way, and Keytaon Thompson is a great option, but for the Bulldogs to be amazing, No. 7 has to be one of the league’s best players again.
5. Texas A&M Aggies
Should be ranked higher because … there’s no more wondering or speculation about the coaching situation. Jimbo Fisher is the man for the next decade, and now everyone can settle in. The pass rush will once again be amazing, and there’s just enough talent on offense to keep up with anyone in the league.
Should be ranked lower because … losing Christian Kirk and Damion Ratley from the receiving corps hurts, and the O line doesn’t have any big stars – at least not yet – especially with OT Koda Martin transferring to Syracuse. The D has to prove it can stop someone’s ground game after a rough back half of the season.
6. Arkansas Razorbacks
Should be ranked higher because … Chad Morris is going to get the passing game going. The focus will be on the offensive side, but the defense should have the top players early on, especially at linebacker and on the line.
Should be ranked lower because … the parts aren’t quite there to do what Morris will want. Cole Kelley and the quarterback situation isn’t settled yet, and the receiving talent isn’t amazing. It would be nice if the special teams were more special.
7. Ole Miss Rebels
Should be ranked higher because … there’s nothing to lose. The team can play loose and free with another season without a bowl game to work towards. This is just enough of a dangerous offense to do some damage, with QB Jordan Ta’amu winging it to star NFL prospect AJ Brown and an amazing receiving corps.
Should be ranked lower because … the defensive front isn’t there. The Rebels will hang with just about everyone in shootouts, but there’s not enough around tackle Josiah Coatney to stop anyone from running the ball.