Athlon’s spring pecking order

If you’re interested – and since it’s mid-March and you’re a college football fan, it’s not like you don’t have the time – Athlon’s punched out its early rankings of all 128 D-1 programs here.

Cutting to the chase, here’s how the publication sees the SEC:

  • 1. Alabama
  • 7. LSU
  • 8. Tennessee
  • 11. Mississippi
  • 19. Georgia
  • 26. Florida
  • 29. Arkansas
  • 33. Auburn
  • 34. Texas A&M
  • 39. Mississippi State
  • 58. Missouri
  • 60. Kentucky
  • 61. Vanderbilt
  • 62. South Carolina

SEC East, baybee!  Again, this is a big reason why Georgia has a better shot to get to Atlanta in 2016 than you might want to think, given the question marks.  You’ve got four schools bringing up the rear there that would love to have Georgia’s questions.



Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

30 responses to “Athlon’s spring pecking order

  1. DawgPhan

    That ranking has me thinking that LSU is the new UGA. Hope that makes us the old LSU, but who knows.

    I can’t see them competing for a playoff spot this year. LSU will probably beat someone they shouldnt and drop a couple they should have won.

    I mean they were going to fire that coach last year until a win against a 8-5 team saved his job.

    Also looks like they have the toughest schedule in the country this year.


    • DP, good comments all. I would add they don’t have a trusted quarterback similar to our situation last year, and we saw what that meant when we ran up against good defenses.


  2. Big Max

    LSU way overrated, again. I’d put Ole Miss higher.



    UT at 8, LMAO


    • Comin' Down The Track

      I agree, PTCD. I still don’t get the UT hype. It is my considered opinion that if either their QB or RB goes down, even briefly (and obviously I would wish the kids no ill will) on that minefield in Knoxville, it’s over for them.


    • Why? They play in a weak ass division and have a veteran QB. They almost beat UF last year and should this year. They did beat us last year and should this year. Other than narrowly losing to Oklahoma, they won out.

      They’re a talented team that could run the table in the East, lose to Bama, then play them again in the champ game.


      • AusDawg85

        Why should they beat us?


        • They beat us last year and their stud qb is returning.

          Why shouldn’t they beat us? If your answer is Nick Chubb, I’ll accept that but it’s speculative and I’d rather wrap him in bubble tape for the whole game, even if it is in Athens.


          • PTC DAWG

            We played’em pretty much dead even on the road in a game Chubb went down in. I think UT loses 3-4 this year.


            • They lose to Bama. tamu is beatable. We don’t know that Chubb will be back and otherwise that game is a repeat of last year. And I think they beat Florida this year (no qb, multiple subpar recruiting classes in a row, attrition on defense).

              I certainly don’t like it but I think UT has to be the team to pick out of the east.


    • yeah way tooooo high I would put them 33rd and drop aubuurn and TAM way down there with mizzou.


  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    Let us bow down to the mighty Orange Juggernaut.


  5. Spike

    For the love of Pete.. Beat Florida!


  6. Bulldog Joe

    Surprised at the SEC East being ranked this high.

    Tennessee hasn’t beaten a SEC West opponent since Derek Dooley’s first year and Florida faded down the stretch after routing Georgia.

    Unlike previous years, I believe the winner of the Mississippi/Alabama game in Oxford goes on to win the championship.

    I give Tennessee the edge in the east as they did a much better job than Florida convincing its juniors to return and they play Florida in Knoxville. The Florida game is make or break for Tennessee, as they get A&M and Alabama from the west and Florida gets Arkansas and LSU.

    I believe 2016 shakes out like this:

    The favorite:

    The contender:


    Lots of returning talent and could surprise:
    Texas A&M
    Mississippi State

    Not as much returning talent:

    Starting over:
    South Carolina

    I want to rank Georgia higher, but the offense and special teams don’t look like SEC quality this year. The returning defense looks soft along the line and in the middle. Like last season, a weak east division will inflate Georgia’s record to look better than it actually is.

    That said, I believe starting over was the right thing for Georgia to do.


    • dawgtired

      I think I would have put Georgia in the “Lots of returning talent and could surprise:” group…but you make good points.


    • mwo

      Jesus dude, I was gonna try to talk you off the ledge, but after giving it some thought I’m coming out there with you.


    • So you’re saying we should lose to Auburn, Vandy & Kentucky and fight like hell to beat Missouri & South Carolina? If that’s the case, we also lose to Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida, and UNC. We struggle to beat tech (similar to Missouri & USCe). Therefore, you expect 5-7 at best and the end to our bowl game appearance streak. Kirby will find he will have a very short honeymoon if the season plays out this way.


      • Bulldog Joe

        We should go to a bowl this year. Even with Mizzou and South Carolina on the road, we should be favored to win those given our returning talent. Aside from North Carolina, we should win the OOC games. Kentucky on the road in November is winnable and we should have a good shot at Vanderbilt and Auburn at home.

        We should be underdogs against the rest and may steal one (hopefully Florida as we improve in the second half of the season).

        Winning a bowl game would likely give us 9-4, 8-5 or 7-6.


        • You just have us starting over like Missouri and USCe at the bottom of the list. I didn’t understand whether you’re saying who knows because of new coaches or that we were at the bottom of the conference.


          • Bulldog Joe

            Our schedule will help us get bowl-eligible this year.

            We play all the other teams at the bottom of the SEC plus Auburn, two OOC cupcakes, and 3-9 Tech at home.


        • PTC DAWG

          I see UGA as an underdog in 1 game….Ole Miss on the road. That said we were dogs in one game last year too.


  7. Macallanlover

    Not enough difference between UGA, TN, and Florida for anyone to predict the East finish with much confidence at this point but the bottom four in the East doesn’t look strong enough to play much of a role. UGA has a tough draw with the Rebels on the road but getting UT at home give us a decent chance to have a tie-breaker edge. Just too close to call, and none of the three contenders will likely have much of a shot against the winner from the West. UGA looks like a 9-3 team at best, mostly because of the weak schedule. Wouldn’t say things are gloomy in Athens but there is less reason for optimism in 2016 than in many years. Let’s hope we find enough positive answers to our questions to allow us to build for 2017.


  8. This is an interesting read – their predictions from last year:

    Bama (good pick)
    Auburn (bwahahahahaha)
    Georgia (sigh)
    Ole Miss (spot on)
    LSU (pretty dang close)
    Arkansas (nope)
    TAMU (nope)
    Miss State (nope)
    Tennessee (nailed this one)

    Can someone explain to me how a prediction service can put every member of a SEC division into the top 25 preseason? They do understand that all these teams play each other, right? If Bama is no. 2 and auburn 4, and you can’t lose more than 4 games and be in the top 25, how do you have all these teams in there?

    Also, from the article:
    SEC coaches rank:
    1. Saban
    2. Malzhan
    3. Spurrier
    4. Richt
    5. Pinkel

    Amazingly, 3 of those coaches are gone now and one is another shitty season away from being out.

    Grain of salt, I guess.


    • weird, it deleted the rankings in front of the sec teams. They went:
      2(bama), 4(auburn), 10 (uga), 11 (ole miss), 15 (lsu), 16 (ark), 20 (tamu), 21 (msu), 22 (tenn), 26 (uf), 27 (mizz), 37 (scar), 55 (uk), 79 (vandy).


    • Sanford222view

      I am guessing the answer to your question about how an entire division can be in the Top 25 is this is not a list predicting how they will finish but rather a ranking on the strength of the teams compared to other rosters. The entire SEC West can be better than any team from the Sun Belt Conference for example. I think this list is simply if “everyone played everyone” how they think they would stack up.


  9. rchris

    We go 9-3 if we beat everyone ranked lower than us on this list. Same result as last year, but I’d take it.


  10. 3rdandGrantham

    Can’t believe how quickly SCU has fallen over the past few years. To actually see in print them ranked dead last in the SEC below Vandy is a real shocker. I don’t see any quick turnaround in their future either, but instead many wilderness years ahead with 5-7/6-6 type records, or worse depending on OOC schedules. Boom will have to haul in several excellent classes just to have a chance of turning that ship around, as the cupboard is empty there. The poor 2016 class certainly didn’t help matters either.


  11. dawgtired

    I see NC is one spot ahead of us. Someone is expecting a good game there. We’ll gain some respect when we win that one…