ESPN’s Football Power Index thinks very highly of the SEC with spring practice in the books.
Eight SEC teams were listed in the top 20 of ESPN’s FPI rankings and LSU, Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss and UGA were all ranked within the top 10. Every SEC team was ranked within the FPI’s top 56.
The Tigers were rated as the No. 2 team in the country and the best team in the SEC on ESPN’s list. They were given a 32.8 percent chance of winning the SEC. Tennessee was ranked fifth with a 28.9 percent chance of winning the conference. The Vols were followed by Alabama with a 12.9 percent chance of winning the SEC and Ole Miss, which was given a 6.5 percent chance of becoming SEC champions. Rounding out the top 10 was UGA, which was given an 11.4 percent chance of earning the SEC crown.
Texas A&M (No. 15), Auburn (No. 18) and Florida (No. 19) all cracked the top 20, but this is where the FPI gets a bit quirky. None of these teams were given better than a three percent chance of winning the SEC, and none were projected to win more than eight games in 2016.
Mississippi State (No. 26) and Arkansas (No. 27) both were ranked inside the top 30, while South Carolina (No. 44) and Vanderbilt (No. 50) both were ranked inside the top 50. Missouri (No. 51) and Kentucky (No. 56) rounded out the rankings for the SEC.
It’s tough to generate conclusions from power rankings in May, but one thing is for certain: The SEC should be very strong again in 2016.