THE TOP THREE
It’s finally football week! Alabama will lead the conference until we are proved otherwise. The Crimson Tide lose a lot on offense from a team that was dubbed “best ever” on the SEC Network. They lose three offensive lineman, quarterback, two receivers and a running back. All of them were drafted so there are plenty of holes to fill. They do return one of the better receivers in the SEC in John Metchie and defensive starts Christian Harris and Christopher Allen.
Georgia looked promising once JT Daniels started at quarterback late in the 2020 season. Boy, was he impressive down the stretch going 80-119, 67% completion percentage, 1231 yards and 10 touchdowns to two interceptions.
Zamir White returns at running back after leading the Bulldogs in rushing with 779 yards and 11 touchdowns. Their most talented receiver George Pickens is still recovering with an ACL injury during spring practice. During SEC Media Days, Bulldog head coach Kirby Smart said he was ““running straight lines.” That is definite good news but his status for the season is still unknown.
Texas A&M replaced a lot on the offensive line and quarterback but have returnees at other key skill positions. Quarterback Haynes King is an entirely different type of passer than he has really ever started. Annias Smith can play any position on the field and gain chunk yardage. He will certainly be the x-factor for the team this season. Tight end Jalen Wydermyer led the team with 46 catches and he returns to the Aggies and could possibly be one of the best at his position in the country.
Texas A&M returns nine starters from the number one defense in the SEC from 2020. The Aggies allowed only 317 yards and 22 points per game last season and should be just as good or better than a season ago. They return their second leading tackler from 2020 Aaron Hansford. He recorded 49 tackles from the weakside of the defensive line.
Week One Power Rankings
- Texas A&M
- Florida: The Gators should have no issue climbing back into contention for an SEC Eastern Division title. New quarterback Emory Jones is a good athlete and will be fun to watch.
- LSU: The Tiger’s look to bounce back after a letdown 2020 campaign. This is a big year for Ed Orgeron, too. It’s a “what have you done for me lately kind of thing in Baton Rogue. So, it’ll be interesting to see if they can right the ship.
- Kentucky: Coach Stoops looks to rebound after a 5-6 campaign in 2020. The Wildcat defense should be fine again but need adequate quarterback play. Can Will Lewis provide that?
- Ole Miss: Matt Corral returns to Ole Miss for a darkhorse run at the Heisman. Will the Rebels’ defense be good enough to not have to win in shootout fashion every week?
- Missouri: Tigers offense should be fine being led by head coach Eli Drinkwitz. The second year coach is also recruiting at an elite level. There’s a feeling around Columbia that they have something special brewing in the football program.
- Arkansas: The Razorbacks look to rise and take the next step in the SEC. Arkansas is coached well, return a lot of experience and added a lot of talent at positions of need. The Hogs will have enough depth this year to close out and win close games in the fourth quarter.
- Mississippi State: The Pirate has usually produced solid results in year two. Will it be good enough in an ultra competitive western division?
- Auburn: What will the absence of head coach Bryan Harsin mean to his Tigers’ team as they prepare to open the 2021 season.
12. Tennessee: Who knows what to expect from these guys. So much turnover on the roster and a new coaching staff spells disaster out on Rocky Top.
13. South Carolina: Shane Beamer has surrounded himself with an ok staff in Columbia. There are a lot of unknowns with this team. Especially with so many defensive stars gone.
14. Vanderbilt: Sorry, Clark Lea. You are facing an uphill battle in Nashville. Good luck!
WEEK ONE SCHEDULE
All times EST
9/2 at 8 PM: Tennessee vs. Bowling Green. TV: SEC Network
9/4 at 12 PM: Kentucky vs UL Monroe. TV: SEC Network
9/4 at 2 PM: Arkansas vs. Rice. TV: ESPN+
9/4 at 3:30: 1 Alabama vs. 14 Miami (Fla.) TV: ABC
9/4 at 4 PM: Mississippi State vs. Louisiana Tech. TV: ESPNU
9/4 at 4 PM: Missouri vs. Central Michigan. TV: SEC Network
9/4 at 7 PM: Auburn vs. Akron TV: ESPN+.
9/4 at 7 PM: South Carolina vs. Eastern Illinois. TV: ESPN+.
9/4 at 7:30 PM: 5 Georgia vs. 3 Clemson. TV: ABC.
9/4 at 7:30 PM: 13 Florida vs. FAU. TV: SEC Network
9/4 at 8 PM: 6 Texas A&M vs Kent State. TV: ESPNU
9/4 at 8:30 PM: Vanderbilt vs ETSU. TV: ESPN+.
9/4 at 8:30 PM: 16 LSU vs UCLA. TV: FOX
9/6 at 8 PM: 25 Ole Miss vs. Louisville. TV: ESPN