SEC Football: Way-too-early 2015 Power Rankings

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Jan 1, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Maty Mauk (7) runs the ball as the Missouri Tigers beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 33-17 in the 2015 Citrus Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6: Missouri Tigers

2014 Finish: 11-3, 7-1 SEC, 1st in SEC East
Key Losses: RB Marcus Murphy, WR Bud Sasser, WR Jimmie Hunt, DL Shane Ray, DL Markus Golden, DL Lucas Vincent, DB Braylon Webb, DB Duron Singleton
2015 Recruiting Class: 27th in nation (19 commits)
2015 Prediction: 3rd in SEC East

I’m not sure anyone will ever pick the Tigers to finish last or near the bottom of the division again. Mizzou has proven that they aren’t just a fluke, and will, at the very least, compete in the SEC.

That said, quarterback Maty Mauk is losing his two favorite targets, and there doesn’t appear to be anyone really able to play up to that level and replace them. RB Russell Hansbrough, along with Mauk, are two big reasons this team will stay in the mix in the East.

But on defense, the Tigers are going to have a difficult time making up for the loss of edge pass rushers Shane Ray and Markus Golden. Defensively, that’s a huge hit for the Tigers, as well as the losses in the secondary.

Next: Ole Miss