SEC preseason SP+ rankings

As I said before, I don’t pay for ESPN’s subscription service, so Bill Connelly is unfortunately hidden behind a paywall for me.  Fortunately, Saturday Down South has sprung for the cost and posted Bill’s 2021 preseason rankings.

  1. Alabama (30.7, No. 1 overall)
  2. Georgia (24.1, No. 6)
  3. Florida (21.2, No. 12)
  4. Texas A&M (20.9, No. 13)
  5. Ole Miss (14.9, No. 24)
  6. LSU (14.6, No. 26)
  7. Auburn (14.2, No. 28)
  8. Arkansas (8.8, No. 41)
  9. Mississippi State (8.1, No. 44)
  10. Tennessee (6.1, No. 49)
  11. Kentucky (4.8, No. 57)
  12. Mizzou (4.7, No. 58)
  13. South Carolina (-5.3, No. 90)
  14. Vanderbilt (-12.7, No. 108)

I admit to a bit more nervousness accepting SP+ ratings this year because of the outlier 2020 represents, and those results are baked into those 2021 preseason numbers.  So, it will be interesting to follow Bill’s ratings once the season is underway and the 2021 stats are given greater weight in his calculations.

That being said, there are a few eyebrow-raising items there, starting with Ole Miss ranking ahead of LSU.  Maybe it’ll work out like that, but LSU still has a talent advantage (not to mention Bo Pelini is gone) and that Ole Miss defense was gawdawful.  Arkansas moving quickly ahead of several SEC programs is both a surprise and a credit to the job Pittman did last season.

I suspect by season’s end, Bill will have Tennessee lower on the totem pole than either Kentucky or Missouri, too.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

18 responses to “SEC preseason SP+ rankings

  1. Pretty sure UGA is now 5th after Oregon’s QB transferred (thus taking away a large chunk of Oregon’s returning passing production). What’s funny is I think a lot of Oregon fans won’t be too upset about Shough leaving. I think you’re spot on about the skepticism of the 2021 numbers given how much of 2020 goes into them.

    I 100% agree with you on LSU being too low. I think Missouri is too low, too, though perhaps they’ll be one of those teams that wins 8-9 games due largely to a soft schedule.


    • Greg

      Yeah….too much talent at LSU. Also like the HC and QB at MIZZOU. Thinks UF will REALLY miss their QB & TE, they also have Coach “Granthamit”…..too high imo.

      Wouldn’t be surprised to see Missouri challenge for 2nd.


  2. Greg

    BAH, 15 & 0 FWIS….if only Kirby would pass instead of run & run instead of pass in obvious situations.


  3. originaluglydawg

    He’s crazy. Tennessee ain’t sniffing the top 50. That program is in shambles. Mizzo and Kentucky will be better than UTK.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Greg

      Yep, back to Vandy being state champion. Wouldn’t be surprised to see MTSU beat them if they played. If Georgia State could, so could MTSU….especially now.

      UT would have been better off hiring Malzahn.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s possible he ran the numbers a few weeks ago, and who knows how many more players bailed on the Vols since then.


    • So, here I go to look at UT’s schedule


    • Bowling Green – maybe
      Pitt – who knows, they could lose
      Teen Tech – maybe

      They open with 3 cupcakes? lol

      then FL Mizzou – 2 losses
      SC – lol. Pillow fight! it maybe 0-0 OT or something
      OM – lose. Lane is going to unleash the longest streak of 50 yard passes in history.
      Bama – Good bye UT
      UK – lol. loose
      Georgia – hell will rain on you
      South Alabama? just how many fucking cupcakes can they get. This is like Alabama north. Go South Bama – uh, what are y’all? panthers or wildcats or cougars or something.
      Vandy- lol.

      So 4 cupcakes, and SC and Vandy. They have the easiest schedule of ever and are going to be lucky to hit .500

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    It’s things like having Tennessee being ranked ahead of Kentucky and Mizzou why it’s difficult for me to take this particular batch of analytics seriously. I know you like Connolly, Senator, but I dunno. Football is the most difficult sport to try to use advanced analytics to predict outcomes, and CFB is the most difficult subset of the most difficult sport.

    Liked by 2 people

    • His five factors breakdowns and extended box scores (which ESPN I think has locked up entirely, to their detriment) were great stuff. For example, as good as the 2017 offense was, you could see in a lot of the games the rush numbers were buoyed by huge runs (even in the Rose Bowl, where Sony and Nick were either getting stopped after 2-3 yards or getting 50), and the problem was the overall rush success rate wasn’t elite. So the Barn was able to stuff the run in the first game, and Bama stuffed almost everything but Sony on 3rd down and long.

      Liked by 2 people

      • ASEF

        2015 made a believer out of me.

        Clemson’s D looked elite all over – except for a weird outlier were they were 110th in the country. Defensive failure explosiveness, basically – when they gave up an explosive play, they gave it all the way up. And pretty weak special teams.

        Hello, OJ Howard, onside kick, kick return for a TD.

        It’s the best complement to “eye test” I’ve run into, in a sport with limited sample size and very limited connectivity. And a propensity for chaos. But people have a hard time differentiating between per-play predictive algorithms and resume rankings. They just don’t get it.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Derek

    Who are 2 thru 5 nationally?

    Clemson, OSU, Oklahoma and…..Oregon maybe?? Surely not ND.


  6. ASEF

    It amazes me Alabama is that far ahead of the pack given all the production they’re losing. They must make up for it in all the other evaluation categories.

    Tennessee is ahead of Missouri and Kentucky by 1/2 the margin that Georgia is ahead of Florida.

    SP+ basically has UT in coin flip territory with Mizzou and UK, which heading into the season feels about right. I haven’t looked at them at all though, no idea what they’re bringing back.


    • Down Island Way

      Have that feeling CKS is focused, has the UGA staff production focused, UGA football should be focused, not really any positions that scream who is the no.1 starter, though several positions are unsettled…2020 was a bump in the road for many…a sense of calm and normalcy plus a little Ron Courson will help returning to football fun again…


      • tiredofidsearch

        And even though we open against Clem and son, Muschamp has recent experience against them (yeah he got whooped each time but still has already spent a lot of time studying them, surely (dont call me Shirley) that should help us some as we prepare for them.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    “I admit to a bit more nervousness accepting SP+ ratings this year because of the outlier 2020 represents, and those results are baked into those 2021 preseason numbers. “
    Sure, that may make a difference, but it is probably not time to be thinking that all the oddities of the pandemic are going to go away. 2020 may not be that much of an outlier is all I am saying.