SEC football: Early conference power rankings for 2020

DeVonta Smith, Alabama football (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
DeVonta Smith, Alabama football (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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SEC power rankings
SEC football (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

9. Missouri Tigers

Going 13-1 at Appalachian State brings a lot of hope for what new Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz can do with the Tigers as he takes over the program. Unfortunately, while he has some talented pieces, led by linebacker Nick Bolton who’s one of the best at the position in the country, this team simply has a lot of uncertainty.

Whether it’s Shawn Robinson — or someone else — taking over at quarterback, a completely new cast of skill position players on offense or even an offensive line that needs to improve, Missouri has a path to success but also a path to a letdown debut for Drinkwitz.

8. Ole Miss Rebels

Lane Kiffin takes over at Ole Miss and the entertainment should not be in short supply with the Rebels — and that’s not just in reference to the head coach’s polarizing personality. This team could be one of the most entertaining in the SEC for the 2020 season. Kiffin has proven himself an elite offensive mind in college football and has weapons with John Rhys Plumlee and Jerrion Ealy.

The Rebels defense remains a concern and that will likely limit just how good this club can be in Kiffin’s first year. But you’ll still want to be tuned in for every matchup Ole Miss is in.

7. Tennessee Volunteers

Anyone denying that Jeremy Pruitt has started a legitimate turnaround with the Tennessee Volunteers is watching with their head in the sand. The Vols should enter the 2020 season with one of the better offensive lines in the country and plenty of weapons on offense and playmakers on defense to make splashes.

What the upside of Tennessee may come down to is quarterback as Jarrett Guarantano is experienced but problematic at the same time. If he’s able to be steady and some favorites in the SEC East falter, the Volunteers have enough juice to make a little run.