2021 CFN SEC Preseason Rankings: West
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Quick Take: Defense, defense, defense. A whole lot will be made out of an offense that loses a historic group of talents, but more big-time players are ready to fill in. Until the new guys are up to snuff, the defense – the linebacking corps is special – will take care of everything.
Alabama Preview | Schedule
2. Texas A&M Aggies
Quick Take: It’s all about the quarterback. The Aggies have everything in place to take that big step up and become a College Football Playoff-caliber team, but replacing Kellen Mond matters. Whether it’s Haynes King or Zach Calzada, if there’s production and consistency at the position, look out.
Texas A&M Preview | Schedule
3. LSU Tigers
Quick Take: Here’s the regression to the mean. The Tigers have a ton of talent, and they’ve got the ability to make a push to get to the College Football Playoff. They’re not 2019, and they’re not 2020. They’ll be back among the elite, but that might not be enough in a division with Bama and A&M.
LSU Preview | Schedule
4. Auburn Tigers
Quick Take: There’s a whole lot to like under new head coach Bryan Harsin. The defensive back seven should make up for a few concerns, the running backs are great, and if the receiving corps can reload, there’s reason to think this can be a very, very good team … with a mediocre record. The schedule is brutal.
Auburn Preview | Schedule
5. Ole Miss Rebels
Quick Take: Be very, very afraid. Ole Miss will be that proverbial team that can beat anyone thanks to an unstoppable offense, but could lose to just about anyone with a questionable defense. If that D can do anything consistently well, the Rebels will be a pain in everyone’s behind.
Ole Miss Preview | Schedule
6. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Quick Take: The offense is going to work. Mike Leach – for all his flaws – knows how to get an O rocking, and now he had a year to get the thing to start producing. Lost in the pain of 2020 was a terrific defense that should continue to be solid.
Miss State Preview | Schedule
7. Arkansas Razorbacks
Quick Take: Stick this team in any other division in college football and it’s a factor. Sam Pittman turned things around in his first year – yeah, even with a 3-7 record – and now he should have a better defense and even more explosion on O.
Arkansas Preview | Schedule