I'm personally of the opinion that it's never too early to talk about what teams will be like next season. "But, Juco, national signing day hasn't even happened yet," you may exclaim. Well I say fie on national signing day. Let's just pretend that's not happening (since it looks like at least a few members of the Ole Miss coaching staff are taking that approach).
1. Auburn - Auburn returns a loaded roster and hands the keys to Jeremy Johnson who, as a sophomore backup, completed 76% of his passes this season. Sure, Sammie Coates and some others will be gone, but this team is in great shape moving forward.
2. Georgia - Georgia's only question mark is at quarterback, the most important position on the field. I theorize they will figure out multiple ways to keep all quarterbacks on the sidelines and have Nick Chubb throw to Jeb Blazevich while both are running wheel routes.
3. Alabama - Alabama loses some players, but it just doesn't matter. When you continue to sign top five recruiting classes, there's little drop-off from year to year.
4. Missouri - I should probably put Missouri lower since they lose so much, but I'm done counting them out. Plus, Maty Mauk is a fun quarterback to watch.
5. Arkansas - I made so much fun of Bret Bielema last offseason. No more. The defense is salty, the running backs are quick, and the offensive linemen are fat. That's a recipe for success in his system.
6. Old Piss - I'd put our beloved Rebels higher on this list if I felt any confidence about the offensive line. The defense should be wonderful again, but can the offense move the ball any without Bo Wallace?
7. Tennessee - Let's just say I'm glad Ole Miss probably doesn't have to play Tennessee for another six years. Jalen Hurd is exceptional, and they're bringing a ton of talent to Knoxville.
8. Mississippi State - Dak's decision to return likely saved the season for the Bulldogs. They were going to be hurting through a transition year without him. With him, however, they have a player who can make things happen when nothing else is going right. I will say though that Mississippi State only returns seven total starters. Seven.
9. Texas A&M - Hiring John Chavis away from LSU to be the defensive coordinator was a big move. Major props to A&M for that. Ole Miss fans just have to hope that Kyle Allen's 300 yards and 4 touchdowns against West Virginia was an aberration and not the new standard for him. Also, their defense could possibly continue to suck.
10. LSU - What Les Miles wouldn't give for Bo Wallace. Seriously, if the Tigers had any quarterback play at all, they'd be much higher on this list. It just doesn't seem likely that they will. Anthony Jennings played horribly as a sophomore, and Brandon Harris did nothing to beat him out.
11. South Carolina - South Carolina loses most of their skill players from a team that already fell short. It could be pretty bad for Spurrier next season.
12. Florida - Florida has some talent, but I don't think Jim McElwain will be a Malzahnian miracle worker in year one. There's just too little to work with on offense.
13. Kentucky - Mark Stoops' recruiting has fallen back to earth. Wildcat fans have to hope that he got enough talent on campus during his early window to make a difference for the future.
14. Vanderbilt - Derek Mason fired everyone this offseason because everyone else was the problem.