ESPN released its preseason Top 25 on Monday. Seven SEC teams made the list, including Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Missouri was not included.

Travis Haney, whom I believe is one of, if not the, best college football writer in the country in terms of analysis, made a case for four teams left off the Top 25. It included Mississippi State and Florida.

Missouri, meanwhile, had to settle for eighth in the four-letter network’s conference power poll as voted on by seven of the site’s writers.

ESPN did rank Missouri ahead of Florida (ninth). Here’s what the post said about Missouri:

The defending SEC East champs aren’t getting a lot of respect after losing a lot of talent. Their top three receivers are gone, including rising star Dorial Green-Beckham, who was dismissed. But the Tigers have strength where it counts — in the trenches and at quarterback.

For the record, the SEC power poll ranked the fifth SEC West team (Mississippi State) ahead of the third SEC East team (Missouri). And ESPN’s national Top 25 also includes Texas A&M, as previously mentioned. In other words, ESPN thinks Missouri would finish fifth or sixth in the SEC West this season.

Granted, the SEC West has the toughest division in the country for several years, with Alabama, Auburn and LSU collecting national championships and Texas A&M producing one of the nation’s most electrifying quarterbacks. But Missouri — located West of the Mississippi River, ironically — is better than a sixth-place projection in the SEC West.

Luckily for the Tigers, they are planted firmly in the SEC East, and face Texas A&M (No. 10 according to ESPN’s SEC panel) and Arkansas (No. 13) out of the West. Tennessee (No. 11), Vanderbilt (No. 12) and Kentucky (No. 14), all SEC East members (and Missouri opponents), populate the bottom of ESPN’s power poll.

Missouri faces all six programs rated lower in ESPN’s SEC power poll, while avoiding No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Auburn.

At least on paper, as far as SEC schedules are concerned, Missouri faces a favorable schedule.