College Football Betting: 2014 SEC Power Rankings

Friday, May 30, 2014 3:13 PM UTC

Friday, May. 30, 2014 3:13 PM UTC

The Southeastern Conference is hoping to land two spots in the first year of the new college football playoff format, as it previously dominated the BCS era. Let’s take a closer look at my personal power rankings for the conference that many believe is the best in the country.
<p><b>1.  Alabama Crimson Tide</b><br /><span style="font-size:1em;">NCAA football experts are too concerned about who’ll be under center when the season opens, as <a href="/college-football/news/ncaaf-gossip-can-saban-bring-bama-back-top-ranks-a-39846/" title="Can Saban Bring 'Bama Back to Top Ranks?" target="_blank">head coach Nick Saban</a> has recruited an abundance of talent in Tuscaloosa. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">The Crimson Tide have the best trio of running backs in the country, which will lead directly to one of four spots in the playoffs.</span></p> <p><br /><b><span style="font-size:1em;">2.  South Carolina Gamecocks<br /></span></b><span style="font-size:1em;">Head coach Steve Spurrier lost some big names in Columbia, but he’ll have a smile on his face when calling running back Mike Davis’ number, while quarterback Dylan Thompson is capable of filling the role that Connor Shaw left behind. </span><a href="/picks/college-football/college-football-picks-south-carolina-gamecocks-future-odds/39804/" title="Check out our South Carolina Gamecocks Future Odds" target="_blank" style="font-size:1em;">The Gamecocks main question mark</a><span style="font-size:1em;"> is replacing defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, but the defense has been a solid unit for years.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">3.  LSU Tigers<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;">Few teams will be more athletic on the football field as <a href="/picks/college-football/college-football-betting-lsu-preseason-predictions/39654/" title="What do you think about our LSU Preseason Predictions?" target="_blank">the LSU Tigers</a>, as head coach Les Miles has welcomed in a ton of talent to Baton Rouge. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">LSU will be written off due to the need of replacing six NFL draft picks, but I’m confident that young stars will emerge in a big way this season—none bigger than true freshman running back Leonard Fournette.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">4.  Auburn Tigers<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;">The classic case of being overvalued, as the program enjoyed a dream season due to miraculous plays against Alabama and Georgia. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">The Tigers will be backed heavily by the betting public due to the return of quarterback Nick Marshall, but I think </span><span style="font-size:1em;">the program is destined for a middle-of-the-pack</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> finish.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">5.  Ole Miss Rebels<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;"><img src="" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" alt="Image preview" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" />I’m already hearing a lot of chatter about this squad in the national media, which has caused me to temper my expectations a bit, but this could be a championship season in Oxford. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">The Rebels return nine starters on defense, while playmakers abound on the offensive side of the football—just <a href="/picks/college-football/ncaa-football-picks-quarterback-power-rankings/39831/" title="Here's my Quarterback Power Rankings" target="_blank">need a quarterback to play consistent football</a> on a weekly basis.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">6.  Florida Gators<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;">There’s no hotter seat in the country than in Gainesville, which I believe will cause the locker room to rally around head coach Will Muschamp. </span><a href="/college-football/news/college-football-picks-florida-gators-future-betting-odds-a-37346/" title="Reflect on the Florida Gators Future Betting Odds" target="_blank" style="font-size:1em;">Florida Gators</a><span style="font-size:1em;"> signal-caller Jeff Driskell has worked his way back to 100% health, and will now be running a new system under offensive coordinator Kurt Roper.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">7.  Mississippi State Bulldogs<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;">The Bulldogs return 18 starters from last year’s team, but all eyes will be on dual-threat quarterback Dak Prescott. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">If Prescott stays healthy—the program will take a big step forward.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">8.  Texas A&amp;M Aggies<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;">College football handicappers will need to keep an eye on the Aggies early on, as everyone’s expecting a rebuilding year in College Station. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">Texas A&amp;M head coach Kevin Sumlin begins life without Johnny Football, which could lead to a first-year player taking over under center.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">9.  Missouri Tigers<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;">The Tigers made a surprise run to the <a href="" title="CBS's College FB Final 4 are out. Who are yours?" target="_blank">SEC Championship Game </a>a season ago, which could lead to them being overvalued by the betting public. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">Missouri will score points with quarterback Maty Mauk leading the way, but the unit will miss talented wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham on the outside.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">10.  Tennessee Volunteers<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;">I’m a big fan of head coach Butch Jones, but I’m going to temper my expectations of this program taking a step forward until the end of non-conference play. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">The Volunteers welcome back plenty of playmakers on offense, while the defense will be led by a talented group of linebackers.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">11.  Georgia Bulldogs<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;"><img src="" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" alt="Image preview" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" />Fans in Athens said goodbye to four-year starter Aaron Murray under center—a player who was instrumental in leading the program to a ton of victories late in games. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">Georgia has a talented backfield and nine defensive starters coming back, but I’m not sold on quarterback Hunter Mason taking over.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">12.  Kentucky Wildcats<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;">Second-year head coach Mark Stoops was able to land a top 20 recruiting class, but the Wildcats have a long way to go after finishing 13th in both total offense and defense in 2013. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">Kentucky’s offense will likely be inconsistent, considering the group will likely be led by a player that has never thrown a pass at the collegiate level.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">13.  Arkansas Razorbacks<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;">The pressure is on for second-year head coach Bret Bielema, as his staff struggled mightily in moving from the Big Ten to the premier conference in the nation. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">Arkansas won’t go 0-8 in SEC play, but the program is missing playmakers outside of the running back position.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em;">14.  Vanderbilt Commodores<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em;">James Franklin orchestrated a major turnaround for the program, but he landed the head coaching position at Penn State during the offseason. I recommend paying more attention to them this year, than last, when <a href="/picks/college-football/" title="Your one-stop-shop for college football betting advice" target="_blank">making your college football picks</a>. </span></p> <p style="text-align:center;"><span style="font-size:1em;"><br /><em><a href="/picks/college-football/2014-15-college-football-future-odds-update/39671/" title="My NCAA Football Futures for this season" target="_blank">Take a look at the big picture with 2014-15 College Football Future Odds Update</a></em></span></p>
comment here