Tiers of rage

Bill Connelly posted his preseason SEC power rankings yesterday.

Tier 1

1. Alabama
2. Georgia
3. Auburn

Alabama and Georgia went a combined 2-3 within this tier and 24-0 outside of it. Auburn lost a couple of games to outsiders but went 2-1 against the Crimson Tide and Dawgs. They were the clear class of the SEC last year, and based on returning production and all other factors, they begin 2018 clear from the rest of the field as well.

Tier 2

4. Mississippi State
5. LSU

If the teams in Tier 1 have CFP potential, we’ll say this tier has top-10 potential. It would surprise me if either of these teams won the SEC West, but they have the potential to beat anyone.

Tier 3

6. South Carolina
7. Texas A&M
8. Missouri
9. Ole Miss
10. Florida

We’ll say this tier maxes out at top-15 potential.

South Carolina gets human cheat code Deebo Samuel back, but the 2017 Gamecocks won a few too many games with smoke and mirrors for my taste. I don’t entirely trust them yet. And as I wrote in the preview, teams that play much better as underdogs than favorites sometimes struggle to transition to life as a favorite.

Tier 4

11. Arkansas
12. Kentucky
13. Tennessee
14. Vanderbilt

At least one of these teams will end up playing at a top-40 level — the Hogs perhaps being the most likely to me — but there is clearly more of a mountain to climb here.

I tend to think he’s selling Florida slightly short and overselling Arkansas, but overall, that’s a pretty solid order.  Overall, the SEC doesn’t look too bad going down the first ten spots.

Sliding down further in his post, advanced stats really love Auburn, but advanced stats don’t have to play Georgia and Alabama on the road.  Also, I think I’m sold at this point on Mississippi State being the conference’s most intriguing team of 2018.

23 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

23 responses to “Tiers of rage

  1. Auburn deserves to be Tier 1 based off of last year’s performance. Keep saying they do not have another ‘Johnson’ in the stable and they are replacing all but 1 on the offensive line and he’s a Sophomore. And Auburn has UGA and Bama ‘away’. Four losses…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Derek

      If auburn can replace Keeryon’s production they’ll be good. Solid defense and a solid qb will do that. If Stidham doesn’t have to do it all on his own they’ll be fine. Traditionally neither of those 2 big games have much of a home field advantage.

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      • Auburn hasn’t beaten us in Athens since 2005 if I remember correctly.

        But you are right. If they can find a running game to support Stidham, they will be a tough out even at home.

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        • Russ

          Auburn hasn’t beaten us much anywhere over the past 15 years. They need a transcendent player or a miracle to beat us. They don’t have the former, so it will take the later this year.

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          • SouthGaDawg

            And they can’t pay off the ref’s unless they are at home.

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            • Mayor

              In all fairness, the few times Auburn has beaten the Dawgs in the last 15 years or so bad officiating really hasn’t had much to do with Georgia losing to Auburn–unlike Bama. To beat the Tide we have to beat Bama AND the refs.

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      • ASEF

        Auburn seems like a completely different team at home than they do away. They certainly did last year.

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  2. 92 grad

    I’m kind of struggling with how to act these days. Looking at our roster, coaching, and using last year as a foundation how in the heck do I not look at the schedule and go ahead and buy sec championship game tickets? I mean, really, it’s not right to just think our team can blast through the conference. What are the realistic chances that our team doesn’t play lights out football? When is the team going to struggle?

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    • Some Georgia fans have been buying SECC tickets since its inception. Of course, for a long time, the story was always “I can always sell them and maybe make my money back plus some if we don’t make it”. Certainly no reason to stop buying them now!

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  3. I haven’t studied up on Miss St but have a hard time believing they sniff the Top 10.

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    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      MSU had some solid performances last year, most of their folks are back, and believe it or not, there is some thought that Moorhead might be a better coach than Mullen. It’s not a given – particularly since they are in the West – but it isn’t completely crazy either.

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      • MSU’s starting defensive line is the best in the conference. The offensive backfield is formidable. Depth is going to be the problem for the Bulldogs.

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        • ASEF

          The really intriguing question is whether Moorhead can add explosive plays on top of their efficiency. Their offense last year was near the tops of the conference in efficiency and bottom in explosiveness. Weird.

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      • Mayor

        I’m one who believes Moorhead is a better coach than Mullen, at least about offensive football. How he reacts to being a HC is an open question however.

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        • Mayor

          I take that back. Moorhead has been a HC before, at Fordham, and did well. So the amended statement is: How he reacts to being HC of an SEC West team and having to face top teams on a weekly basis is an open question.

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  4. The other Doug

    I see Auburn finishing 4th in the West behind Bama, MSU, and LSU. Gus needs an elite player to lean on, and with Johnson gone I don’t see it. Things get ugly on the plains.

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  5. UGA '97

    Our dogs play 3 of the top 6 in this group. Florida plays 4 of the top 6. Lamecocks play only 2 of these top 6, avoiding all 4 of AL, Au, Miss St., & AU.

    We really need to win that game in Columbia.

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  6. DawgFlan

    For some reason I feel Kentucky will jump up a tier. They likely lose to MSU, but think they will win 1-2 out of 3 to SC, A&M, and UF.

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  7. Macallanlover

    Just a bias I have against MSU based on how they have performed historically. Maybe this new coach can change their perception but I think they may be overrated. And I don’t think their DL is better than ours, Bama’s or Auburn. I do feel A&M might be a bigger threat and think he nails SC. Doubt we lose an East game again this year, Florida is the bigger worry and it isn’t that high. We will have to just not show up, imo.

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  8. Doug

    South Carolina a third-tier SEC team? Even after CANNON SHOTS FIRED?!? Surely you are mistaken, sir!

    Also, how hilarious would it be if, after Mullen’s jump from MissSt to Flurrda, both teams settle in at a consistent 8–4/9–3 pace.

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