7 in a row. That’s what is likely to come to pass as the SEC is ready to extend its national title winning streak to seven straight years. Until another team/conference comes along and actually knocks an SEC team off, you can pretty much assume a team from this conference will win it all. When the playoff system kicks in, you can be sure there will be a minimum of 2 teams involved in the 4 team format. The conference’s dominance is well-documented and its prestige was major factor in getting Missouri and Texas A&M to jump ship from the Big 12. While the Tigers and Aggies may feel it was a good move for their programs, maybe they’ll be thinking twice once they experience the reality of the punishing and unforgiving SEC defenses.

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1) LSU
All that was missing was the hint of a coherent passing game. Zach Mettenberger takes over for the insufferable Jordan Jefferson and should bring more downfield throws. They’ll still be pounding away on the ground with a stable of backs behind an O-line that is full of NFL talent. The defense will continue to dominate as no one will be able to run on them. DEs Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery are both top 5 Draft pick material and the secondary will fine despite some losing Morris Claiborne and The Honey Badger. If the LBs can play on a similar level, then the defense will deliver them to the BCS title game.

2) Alabama
LSU might have the SEC glory, but Nick Lou and the Tide had the last laugh and it will be close yet again this year. QB AJ McCarron doesn’t have to do much with the Bama D doing its thing, but should run a good enough offense with a deep collection of RBs and some talent at WR. Barrett Jones was a stud at LT last season and takes his dominance to C this year. The defense might take a minor step back with the loss of so much talent, but will find a way to be among the best in the country.

3) Arkansas
In a conference known for the defenses, Arkansas stands out with a high-powered offense. Tyler Wilson is one of the best QBs in the country and RB Knile Davis will be all-SEC, while WR Cobi Hamilton and TE Chris Gregg will fill the void left by the departure of several receivers. The defense is not sub-par by any means, but when compared with the rest of the SEC it looks merely great. Still, the Hogs have a pair of talented LBs in Alonzo Highsmith and Tenarius Wright, who is moving from DE.

4) Texas A&M
Kevin Sumlin will hope his spread offense will work against some tough Ds. Johnny Manziel was named the QB and he’ll be throwing balls all season long to a very deep receiving corps. RB Christine Michael is coming back from an injury, but the O-line could be as good as any in the SEC. The strong play of the front seven and pass rush last season was balanced out by the ineffectiveness of the secondary and that looks to continue this season as well.

5) Auburn
Kiehl Frazier is no Cam Newton, but he does have the talent to succeed as QB and big weapons in WR Emory Blake and TE Philip Lutzenkirchen. Onterio McCaleb takes over for Michael Dyer at RB, but the biggest loss may be former OC Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State. The defense has nowhere to og but up after being one of the worst in the conference last season. The unit needs more production from everyone as a whole.

6) Mississippi State
Gone are QB Chris Relf and RB Vick Ballard and in their places are Tyler Russell and a committee of runners. The receiving corps has potential, though there is some concern on the O-line with new starters at both tackles. The front even of the defense is solid with a potential breakout start in LB Cameron Lawrence, but the strength is undoubtedly the loaded secondary, led by All-America candidate CB Johnthan Banks.

7) Ole Miss
Life is tough for Ole Miss as the bottom team in the SEC West. Bo Wallace emerged as QB, but he doesn’t have much in the way of proven skill players beyond RB Jeff Scott, so the offense will struggle. The defense will be at least a little better with guys like LB DJ Shackelford and S Charles Sawyer, but the line will be a huge problem all season long.

1) South Carolina
The Gamecock’s success on offense is tied squarely to RB Marcus Lattimore’s return from a knee injury and his performance against Vandy is encouraging. Connor Shaw is settled in as the QB and has some talented receivers, despite losing Alshon Jeffery. The defense was surprisingly among the best in the nation and should continue that trend with guys like Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor who form a dominant DE duo.

2) Georgia
QB Aaron Murray leads an offense that won’t be explosive, but should be effective. The receiver depth is good and the loss of RB Isaiah Crowell would have been bigger is not for the arrival of mega recruit Keith Marshall. The defense finished right up there in rankings with the likes of LSU and Alabama. There will be some adjustment for the secondary, but the front seven will be as good as any, led by pass rushing machine LB Jarvis Jones.

3) Florida
The offense was a bust in a big way last season. Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett will probably battle for the QB position all season, despite Driskel the current starter. Mike Gillislee is the best of a group of talents RBs, while Quinton Dunbar is the same for the WRs. The defense wasn’t bad last season, it just didn’t play up to its full potential, but there’s too much talent for that to happen this year.

4) Missouri
The Tiger ground game will have some problems adjusting to SEC defenses, not to mention losing leading rusher Henry Josey. QB James Franklin is mobile, however he has mega recruit WR Dorial Green-Beckham as a target. The O-line will have to prove it can hold up against the stiffer competition. The defense is solid and should actually be better, given that they’re leaving the shootouts of the Big 12 behind.

5) Tennessee
QB Tyler Bray has first round NFL potential and he’ll big targets in WRs Justin Hunter and Da’Rick Rogers and TE Mychal Rivera to form a top SEC passing attack. That’s also due to an O-line that is great at pass protection, but not so much in the run game, which will struggle as a result. The defense should be better with several young players getting playing time last season, but it must come up with more big plays.

6) Vanderbilt
The Vandy offense will revolve around the running game and the duo of Zac Stacy and Warren Norman. QB Jordan Rodgers has the talent to succeed, but must be more consistent. He’ll have a pair emerging WRs in Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd as targets. The defense actually finished high in the rankings despite inconsistency. This season will be tough as they must replace several key contributors from last season.

7) Kentucky
The Wildcats had one of the worst offenses in the nation last season and weren’t able to put up that many points against tougher teams. QB Maxwell Smith and WR La’Rod King have talent, but there’s just not enough to go around. The defense was decent without any real help from the offense, but they lose their two best players, so there will be struggles.