SEC Football: Bama Hammer Week Zero SEC Power Rankings

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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SEC Football
OXFORD, MS – OCTOBER 20: Cheerleaders with the Mississippi Rebels run out on to the field prior to their game against the Auburn Tigers at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /

No. 12 – Ole Miss – AP Preseason Ranking, Unranked

Matt Luke is either a genius or a dolt signing his own pink slip. The offseason hires of two former Power 5 head coaches make Luke seem like a guy willing to what he needs to do to win some games. However, when those two coaches are Rich Rodriguez and Mike McIntyre, are you setting yourself up for a Shakespearean fall from the throne?

It’s not like either side of the ball has a ton of experience to work with, either. Yes, you get back RB Scottie Montgomery and have a bevy of talented QBs from which to choose, but you don’t lose your top three wideouts without feeling the effect. The defense has nowhere to go but up, but a lack of recruiting on that side of the ball will be an uphill battle for McIntyre. With a surging Cal program and a tricky opener against Memphis, this Rebel team may find it difficult to make it to .500 in 2019.

No. 13 – Vanderbilt Commodores – AP Preseason Ranking, Unranked

One thing that can be said about Vanderbilt football is that since the Bobby Johnson era they’ve been relatively solid. With a couple of hiccups along the way (academic restrictions hurt recruiting) Derek Mason has done a good job of at least trying to make people forget James Franklin was their coach at one point. It hasn’t been easy, but they play “fly in the ointment” better than about any doormat in the Power 5.

While they lose QB Kyle Shurmur, the Commodores do return one of the top RBs in the league in Ke’Shawn Vaughn and plenty of firepower on the offense. There’s a tricky non-conference game against Purdue this year and they draw LSU from the West, but if the ‘Dores defense can build upon an improved season in 2018, there’s no reason to think that they can’t eke out enough victories to go bowling.

No. 14 – Arkansas Razorbacks

How bad will the Razorbacks be in 2019? Start with this fact. The Razorbacks will have the least experienced team in the SEC. The Hogs could double last season’s win total to four and still be the SEC football doormat.

Chad Morris will gradually populate his team with skills able to run his offense. Too much improvement too soon should not be expected. The defense was not the weakest link last season and it should be better this season.

It will be another tough SEC football season in Fayetteville bit not quite as tough as last season when Vanderbilt was two touchdowns better than the Hogs.

dark. Next. Some perspective heading into the season

Check back with the Bama Hammer staff each Monday. We will update the SEC Football Power Rankings each week.