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