Each week Wayne and I will collaborate to bring you the SEC Power Rankings. Most of these rankings will determined by last year’s merits, but there was an SEC game last night. Find out where the Wildcats rank among the best in the SEC.
1. #2 Alabama Crimson Tide: (12-1, 7-1 in 2011)- The Crimson Tide can be compared to the Wildcats in basketball. Every season they lose a group of players to the pros only to replace them the next season. Trent Richardson along with four other offensive players are gone as well as six players on the defense. But the Tide offensive line is comparable to an NFL unit. Until another team knocks them off of their SEC pedestal, expect them to stay near the top for most of the season. Next Game: vs. #7 Michigan in Arlington Texas on Saturday, September 1st 8:00 PM
2. #6 Georgia Bulldogs: (10-4, 7-1 in 2011)- Mark Richt has been under heavy scrutiny down in Athens these past few years because his teams have underachieved in the brutish SEC East even though they’ve had the likes of Matthew Stafford, AJ Green and Knoshown Moreno driving their offense. However they rebounded strong in 2011 and represented the East in the SEC Championship against the eventual National Champion, Alabama Crimson Tide. QB Aaron Murray returns to lead their while LB Jarvis Jones anchors their D with Baccari Rambo and Alec Ogletree suspended for at least the first game of 2012. The running game is questionable with Ken Malcome listed as #1 on their depth chart with 174 yds on 42 attempts and 0 TD in 2011. Murray better watch his blindside because Kenarious Gates has never started a game. Next Game: Buffalo, Saturday September 1st at 12:21 PM.
3. #3 LSU Tigers: (13-1, 8-0 in 2011)- The Tigers are used to turmoil in the off season, and this year was no different that the rest. LSU’s best player, Tyrann Matthieu, was dismissed from the team and from the school for an alleged failed drug test. The Honey Badger is now in rehab and is eyeing a return to college football in 2013. For now, there are a lot of questions for the Tigers with the loss of both quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson. Fabulous running back Spencer Ware is back and Les Miles is looking to avenge the loss of the BCS title game against Alabama. Next Game: vs. North Texas, Saturday, September 1st 7:00 PM
4. #9 South Carolina Gamecocks: (1-0, 0-1)- The departure of Stephen Garcia allows Spurrier to focus on Connor Shaw and from what he showed against Vandy in their season opener on Thursday night (7/11, 67yds, 0 TD and 1 INT), there is much work left to do. Fortunately for Shaw he rushed for 92 yards. The loss of Alshon Jeffery to the NFL has crippled their WR core and it was evident. The lone bright spot for Spurrier was having Marcus Lattimore back after last year’s devastating knee injury. He is a threat to every SEC defense, likely the nation’s top RB and a potential Heisman finalist. They must improve their passing game (67 yards, Third down efficiency (3-12 against Vandy) and Special Teams (0 Kickoff Return yards and 15 Punt Return yards). Jadeveon Clowney is poised for a big year and will hunt QB’s down like a rabid dog. The Gamecocks are already on the right track, winning a sloppy, injury ridden game in Nashville against Vanderbilt. Next Game: vs. East Carolina, Saturday September 8th, 12:21 PM.
5. Auburn Tigers: (8-5, 4-4 in 2011)- Auburn experienced an expected let down after the departure of Cam Newton. The only big win on their schedule last season was against then ranked #10 South Carolina. Besides that, they lost to all the big boys and defeated all the teams they were supposed to. Many are predicting a resurrection of sorts from the Tigers, but that will be hard to do in the mighty SEC West. Still, Auburn is returning quarterback Clint Mosely, a player that saw some major minutes in 2011. Next Game: vs. #14 Clemson, Saturday September 1st, 7:00 PM.