One underrated and four overrated SEC football teams

The new 16-team SEC is going to be brutal. Check out four overrated SEC football teams and one underrated one.

The new 16-team SEC is going to be brutal. One preseason magazine has five SEC football teams ranked in college football's top nine, 2024 teams. One way to predict how brutal SEC competition will be is to use ESPN's FPI. Nine of the top 10 in the FPI's most difficult schedules belong to SEC teams.

Every season the FPI draws mixed reviews, but the algorithm becomes more accurate as games are played each season. By late October its rankings of teams are fairly accurate. Until then, fans can look at the win projections for each team and speculate what teams might not be rated correctly.

Looking at all 16 SEC football teams, my take is there are four overrated SEC teams and one SEC team that is underrated. The win projections for the other 11 appear to be fairly accurate, although as an Alabama football fan, I can share dissatisfaction the Tide is projected at having 9.3 regular season wins.

SEC Football Overrated Teams

  • Texas A&M Aggies - The Aggies are ranked No. 14 in the FPI which is too high for a team projected to win 7.6 games. A&M has one of the easier schedules for an SEC team at No. 20. But the interior offensive line is a major weakness. 247Sports ranked the A&M O-line as the SEC's ninth-best. That does not equate to an overall No. 14 national ranking.
  • Oklahoma Sooners - Oklahoma is ranked No. 8 in the FPI, with a win projection of 8.2 games. No top 10 team should ever win less than nine games. Brent Venables has no returning starters on the offensive line and the No. 7 ranked schedule makes winning eight games difficult. By late season, when Alabama travels to Norman, Oklahoma could be much improved, but not a top 10 team.
  • Tennessee Vols - The Vols will be a good team, but the FPI No. 9 ranking is too high. The win total is projected at 8.6, with a No. 8 ranked schedule. For the Tennessee defense, James Pearce is a great player. The problem is beside Pearce the defense has few potential game-changers and limited starting experience. If Nico Iamaleava stays healthy Tennessee should score plenty of points, but the defense could put the Vols on the losing end of shootouts. If the redshirt freshman is lost to injury, quarterback depth is a major problem.
  • Auburn Tigers - Auburn has an outstanding running back in Jarquez Hunter; freshmen receivers Cam Coleman and Perry Thompson may be early contributors; and Keionte Scott is a top cornerback. Those strengths are insufficient to compensate for a mediocre quarterback and a suspect offensive line (No. 10 in the SEC, according to 247). Worse for Auburn is college football's fifth-toughest schedule, according to the FPI. A ranking of No. 19 is too high, especially with a win projection of 7.2 games.

SEC Football Underrated Team

  • Ole Miss Rebels - The FPI has Ole Mis ranked No. 16, with a win prediction of 7.9 games. Given Lane Kiffin's team has one of the SEC's easiest schedules (No. 22), Ole Miss' offensive firepower could push the regular season win total to nine or ten wins. Nine wins would boost the Rebels to a top 10 ranking and ten wins might have them in the top six or seven in December.

Tide's toughest regular season game. Tide's toughest regular season game. dark. Next