SEC Two-Deep Talent: Combined O and D

Sam Greenwood

Let's put it all together.

Over the last couple days, we've looked at the pre-fall camp two-deep depth charts (with a few updates here and there for injuries and position changes) in the SEC and the talent contained therein. First offense, then defense.

A few caveats obviously apply. Going by recruiting stars is limited, as some guys' actual play doesn't correlate with their recruiting rankings (though in aggregate, the rankings are pretty good). Depth charts are fluid right now, as players compete and some get injured. True freshmen who didn't enroll early won't show up either.

Anyway, the averages are based on Rivals ratings, and backups are weighted 75% of what starters are. Here goes nuthin'.

School Offense Defense Combined
Florida 3.65 4.16 3.90
Alabama 3.83 3.90 3.86
Auburn 3.73 3.57 3.65
LSU 3.64 3.57 3.60
Georgia 3.32 3.71 3.52
Tennessee 3.35 3.38 3.36
Texas A&M 3.32 3.23 3.28
South Carolina 3.14 3.32 3.23
Miss State 2.92 3.16 3.04
Missouri 3.10 2.82 2.96
Ole Miss 2.79 3.09 2.94
Arkansas 2.81 2.99 2.90
Vanderbilt 2.83 2.75 2.79
Kentucky 2.51 2.81 2.66

Florida was the top team for defense, and Alabama was the top team for offense. Hence, it should come as no surprise that they are on top. It's also interesting to see the tiers implied by these numbers: UF and Bama at the top, then Auburn-LSU-Georgia, then Tennessee-A&M-South Carolina, then Miss State-Missouri-Ole Miss-Arkansas, and finally Vandy and Kentucky at the bottom. It feels mostly true with one big exception.

That is no misprint in having Auburn third. Recruiting ratings didn't drop off during Gene Chizik's tenure. Things like this are why I am so convinced that last year's 3-9 season was a result largely of players quitting on the coach. The talent is there. It just needs to be used properly, and there's a good chance that the new regime will get a pretty good bounce back season this fall.

That potential is less readily believable for two outfits that definitely (Arkansas) and possibly (Kentucky) gave up at some point last fall. UK especially is hurting for players, and it's going to take a lot of convincing on Mike Stoops's part to keep his current commitments from believing it's a lost cause in Lexington. Arkansas is in a bit better shape, but it's going to take every one of Bret Bielema's tricks for over-performing talent level that he honed in Wisconsin to get significantly better soon.

Once fall camps are over, I'll try to carve out some time to update these to reflect all of the changes that come about over the course of the month. Hopefully that will give us a decent talent rating system to go on this fall.

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