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RBR's Pre-Camp Not A Blogpoll Top 25: 19-25

A lot of SEC teams are clustered in this "very good, not great" category.

Alex Collins leads No. 19 Arkansas
Alex Collins leads No. 19 Arkansas
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Last week we kicked off the inaugural Who Needs A Blogpoll looking at some decent teams who will likely make bowls, but just quite won't cut the mustard this season.

Today, we begin with the bottom of our pre-camp ratings, taking Nos. 25-18 (which includes four teams on the Tide's schedule, no less.)


Arkansas Razorbacks



Wisconsin Badgers



Texas A&M Aggies



Oklahoma Sooners



Missouri Tigers



Tennessee Volunteers



Utah Utes


Utah - There is a lot to like here with the Utes finally getting their recruiting and play up to a respectable P5 level. The defense should be especially salty, and the skills players should be among the better ones in the conference. The only hesitations you really have about predicting a bigger year is 1. a road trip to Oregon, and 2. the Utes play in the ridiculously-stacked P12 South, where every team except Colorado will likely be ranked and be very good.

Tennessee - No, Tennessee, you will not win the East this season. However, the Vols will (or should) be markedly improved and a much deeper team than at any point in the past decade. That depth matters in the approximately one billion close games UT has lost since 2007. Josh Dobbs is a very good quarterback for that offense, the running game will be physical with Hurd and Kamara, and UT has a favorable schedule. Still, with Alabama, UGA, Mizzou and OU on tap, I don't see more than 8 wins for the Volunteers. Hell, if they win 9 games with a win over Alabama or Florida, Butch may get a statue in Knoxville.

Missouri Tigers - I am tired of doubting this team. Here is what we do know: Maty Mauk will be back for his third year starting as will RB Hansbrough. On the outside, the Tigers are tall and athletic. The special teams are lights out, and the LB corps is good. Of course, there will be some no-name players magically become All-SEC on the defensive line. If the Tigers can shore up a patchy secondary, and find some answers in the front seven, they'll be in the Eastern mix again.

Oklahoma - Okay, Bob, I'm buying. Talent is not the problem for the Sooners, who have a punishing rushing attack and are stout along both lines. The issue has been a lack of QB, or, specifically, a QB in a vertical offense. OU is moving back to its Air Raid philosophy and I think that makes a difference. Huepel and White were all-world playing that garbage, so pretty much anyone can. Mixon is going to have a monstrous season. Expect the Sooners of old to show up, not the merely very good version that loses baffling games. I still wonder if this team won't knock off a TCU or Baylor (which they very nearly did last season) and then turn around and lose to K-State.

Texas A&M Aggies - Forget recruiting, the Aggies' best offseason pickup was John Chavis. Chief is hands-down the best defensive coordinator in the SEC when it comes to taking apart the HUNH. While that may work against the Auburns of the conference, I don't really see the interior talent in the front-seven for the Aggies to matchup with LSU and Alabama (for the love of god, run away from Myles Garrett.) The offense is going to be ridiculous (again,) although I'm not certain that the OL is up to calibre of 2010-2013. Still, TAMU won 8 games last season, including a night game on the Plains. Forget 59-0, this is an 8-9 win team....again, and a dangerous out for anyone.

Wisconsin - Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss. Chryst returns to again rain hell down on the Big Ten. Scoring points won't be a problem, but, there are several issues for the Badgers this season, chief among them are rebuilding both lines, and trying to get Joel Stave to play 12 competent games. I think the odds of the former are very good, the latter? Not so much. The Badgers play in the farcical B1G-West, so they still seem to be the team to beat. But, the season opener versus Alabama is just far too much of a physical mismatch.

Arkansas - Arkansas returns 16 starters, including Brandon Allen, who was surprisingly competent. Like Dobbs at UT, he is the perfect QB for that offense, and won't beat the Hogs with mistakes. The running game and OL will be its typically physical self - Collins is a monster. While a big season could be on tap, the Hogs will only go as far as a retooled DL (absent Flowers and Philon) can take them. Keon Hatcher is not the answer on the outside. A lack of balance will doom an otherwise very good team to an 8-9 win season, and a 3rd/4th place finish in the West.