By the time November rolls around, the teams still in the hunt for the SEC East and West division titles all have something in common.
It’s not so much the top-end talent that those teams possess, but the overall strength of the team – or rather the lack of glaring weaknesses – that separates it from the rest of the pack.
With so many teams facing multiple question marks heading into the fall, you’d be hard-pressed to find a team with no weaknesses. But let’s take a look at which teams have the fewest to fix when fall camp finally opens up:
There’s no denying that Tennessee faces its highest expectations of the Butch Jones era, and a lack of weaknesses is a big reason why. Although the Vols don’t have as many elite players as some other SEC schools, there’s no one area that jumps off the page as a major problem area heading into 2016.
Tennessee ranked in the top nine in all major team categories on both offense and defense last season, and with key players like Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Cam Sutton electing to return for their senior seasons, there’s reason to feel optimistic about what’s brewing in Knoxville.
It’s hard to find a more talented team from top to bottom than LSU, so it’s easy to see why the Tigers are among the SEC teams with the least weaknesses. LSU’s most obvious weakness is Brandon Harris at quarterback, but despite his shortcomings as a passer, Harris brings plenty of experience to the most important position on the field.
With a stacked defense and an offense that can still punish teams with its ground game, LSU doesn’t need great play at quarterback. But if Harris can find a way to become a steady play-maker, it’s hard to say what could prevent LSU from rolling through the SEC.
Alabama Crimson Tide
There’s no doubt that Alabama has plenty of elite players to replace its departed talent. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Nick Saban-coach Crimson Tide teams, it’s to not worry about the depth of the roster. Alabama recruits better than anyone in the country, so the next man up approach works quite nicely in Tuscaloosa.
The biggest question mark is at quarterback, but the same questions were being asked at this point the past two seasons, and the Crimson Tide won the SEC and made the College Football Playoff both times. If history holds true, Alabama won’t have many weaknesses in 2016, either.
Texas A&M Aggies
One of the more underrated teams in the SEC should be Texas A&M. After relying on a high-powered offense throughout Kevin Sumlin’s tenure in College Station, the Aggies have a chance to be among the league’s best defensive teams this fall.
In addition to the hype surrounding Texas A&M’s defense, the Aggies will fiield one of the nation’s best wide receiver units, a solid offensive line that should open things up in the run game and a quarterback in Trevor Knight that brings a little more stability to a position that has been all over the place the past two seasons.