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Pre Spring Power Rankings: SEC West

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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An early look at the SEC West.

1. Alabama -- There still isn't a more talented team in the country. Get ready to learn a lot more about players like quarterback Bryce Young, running back Brian Robinson, Jr., tackle Evan Neal, linebacker Will Anderson and cornerback Malachi Moore. Former NFL head coach Bill O'Brien takes over as offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide. Another former NFL head coach, Doug Marrone, is now Alabama's new offensive line coach.

2. Texas A&M -- The skill position talent for Jimbo Fisher is very impressive. At running back, Isaiah Spiller just had 1,000 yards and Devon Achane had 100 yards in the bowl game. Out wide, do-it-all Ainias Smith and Chase Lane are a great combination. There are two talented tight ends for the Aggies in Jalen Wydermyer and now-healthy Baylor Cupp. Guard Kenyon Green is a true front line anchor. Tackle DeMarvin Leal is ready to lead the way defensively.

3. LSU -- It's hard to get a feel for the Tigers, who disappointed last season but did rally to win two straight to finish the year. The Max Johnson-to-Kayshon Boutte combination in the passing game is already a prolific one. Notably, all five starters are set to return along the offensive line. All-everything cover corner Derek Stingley, Jr. is back for another year. Kicker Cade York is as good as it gets.

4. Ole Miss -- The Rebels return the best quarterback in the SEC in Matt Corral, fresh off 29 touchdown passes and over 339 passing yards per game. Don't forget that it was Ole Miss who led the league in rushing a year ago,too, and the versatile Jerrion Ealy is back for even more production. Lane Kiffin's offense will be amongst college football's best. Progress will need to be made defensively.

5. Auburn -- Bryan Harsin comes in with an impressive resume from Boise State. High expectations are in place. The Tigers will need improved proficiency from talented quarterback Bo Nix, who will be entering his third season as starter. Tank Bigsby, with 834 yards at over six yards per carry as a freshman, is the latest star running back on the Plains and is poised for a banner year. Auburn needs better overall consistency to compete.

6. Arkansas -- Some successful building blocks were laid in year one of the Sam Pittman era for the Razorbacks. The defense has proven playmakers in the likes of safety Jalen Catalon and linebackers Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool, last season's two SEC leaders in tackles per game. Though a new quarterback will have to emerge, there are playmakers out wide in with Treylon Burks and Mike Woods.

7. Mississippi State -- There were ups and downs in Mike Leach's debut. Through it all it looks like quarterback Will Rogers will be the go-to guy and he can throw it around. A number of playmakers return. How Rogers progresses in year two will be key. The Bulldogs will have to limit turnovers and protect the passer better. Mississippi State was strong defensively last year and a good core returns.