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Spring Power Rankings: SEC East

By Southern Pigskin Staff
SouthernPigskin.com
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A spring ranking of the teams in the SEC East.

SEC East

1. Georgia
The defending national champions are one of the clear national favorites. With plenty of returning production and incoming talent, the Bulldogs are ready for more of the same. Quarterback Stetson Bennett is back for a final run after making history and finishing 4th nationally with a passer rating of 176.69. Brock Bowers gives the offense an all-everything tight end. Defensively, Georgia has become the national standard. Stars Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith will lead another dominant front seven.

2. Tennessee
In year one of the Josh Heupel era, the Volunteers slotted in the top ten in the country in both scoring and total offense with 39.3 points and 474.4 yards per game, respectively. Quarterback Hendon Hooker ranked third in the nation with a 181.41 passer rating. He and receiver Cedric Tillman, fresh off 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns, are one of the top tandems in the game. There is improved depth throughout the roster.

3. Florida
Billy Napier takes over in Gainesville after great success at Louisiana. Though there is some youth and inexperience, there is also talent all throughout the roster, including former Ragin' Cajun standout O'Cyrus Torrence along the offensive line. The likes of defensive end Brenton Cox, safety Trey Dean and linebacker Ventrell Miller turned down the NFL for another season for the Gators.

4. South Carolina
Spencer Rattler brings 48 career total touchdowns with him to Columbia as one of the top quarterbacks in all of college football. He made national headlines in joining the Gamecocks after last season. Former Sooner tight end Austin Stogner is now at South Carolina as well. Shane Beamer impressed in his first season with the Gamecocks and South Carolina appears to have some positive traction and momentum.  

5. Kentucky
The Wildcats have positioned themselves well in the SEC East in recent years, with Mark Stoops clearly elevating the status quo in Lexington. Quarterback Will Levis, 33 total touchdowns, returns, along with Chris Rodriguez, 1,379 rushing yards, giving Kentucky one of the nation's most productive offensive backfields. Offensive line has also been a consistent strength for the Wildcats.

6. Missouri
There is some considerable roster turnover for Eli Drinkwitz and the Tigers, who may have more questions than answers at this point. Priority number one will be establishing a solid depth chart at quarterback, competition which may continue well into fall camp, especially if a transfer is added. True freshman Luther Burden is a future star at wide receiver and is ready to make an immediate impact.

7. Vanderbilt     
The foundation is still being laid in Nashville as Clark Lea enters his second season. More consistent production is needed on both sides of the football. Opportunities for future playing time are there this spring. Looking ahead, the Commodores are welcoming in a top 35 recruiting class nationally.