SEC Power Rankings going into spring practice

  • How will the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns factor into their new league?
  • What SEC teams have a realistic shot of making it into the College Football Playoff?
  • What programs will be scraping for wins to hopefully achieve bowl eligibility this year?

Jonathon Brooks, Texas Longhorns, Alabama Crimson Tide
Jonathon Brooks, Texas Longhorns, Alabama Crimson Tide / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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10. Kentucky Wildcats will be the epitome of good, but not great in 2024

I don't know what exactly the Kentucky Wildcats are trying to do this year, but I don't hate the product. For as long as Mark Stoops stays in Lexington, I will have positive things to say about his program, outside of trying to score garbage-time touchdowns on Kirby Smart's defense in lopsided defeats. Regardless, Kentucky will be the epitome of good, but not great this year. They will win eight games.

While I am interested to see how Georgia transfer Brock Vandagriff does in his first season as the starter, the fact Bush Hamdan is the Wildcats' new offensive coordinator only slightly covers up the fact that Liam Coen is gone. Hamdan knows what he is doing with quarterbacks, but Vandagriff is a bucking bronco. He has so much talent, but his play needs to be refined like Coen did for Will Levis.

UK could be a ranked team this year, but it is hard to see them pushing for an at-large playoff spot.

9. Texas A&M Aggies will be sneaky-good with Mike Elko, weak schedule

Last year, I said the Dallas Cowboys would be something special in the NFL. I was wrong, and will never pick them to get to the Super Bowl again. This year, I am swallowing my pride and will actually have good things to say about the Texas A&M Aggies. Hiring Mike Elko as Jimbo Fisher's replacement was Good Bull. Not only getting him back to College Station was huge, but so is this soft schedule.

All of Texas A&M's hardest games are at home. If they were to upend Notre Dame in the non-conference and then steal a game vs. Missouri, LSU or Texas, that might be good enough to go 10-2 and make the playoff. To me, that should be the goal, but it is a slightly unattainable one, strictly because of the groundwork Elko has to lay in resetting the football foundation that had cracks in it.

As I fade the Jeff Lebby hire by Mississippi State more and more, I grow more bullish on Elko to A&M.