In the years since the likes of Urban Meyer, Mark Richt, and Phil Fulmer dominated the division, the SEC East has annually been a wide open affair.

After Tennessee fell short of the media hype last season, Georgia has been the trendy pick to win the East, but CBS’s Tom Fornelli says that three dark horses could contend for the title in 2017.

His picks are Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mizzou, each of which has a shot to pick off the favorites as Florida did to Tennessee last season.

Kentucky benefits from a perfect storm in which their easy schedule is meshing with the talent and experience on their roster. The ‘Cats will face Mississippi State and Ole Miss in the cross-division schedule and get both Tennessee and Florida at home.

Tennessee often does better when exceeding low expectations that trying to meet high ones. That’s why the Vols, and their surprisingly experienced roster, may have a shot. Fornelli writes that only Georgia and Mizzou have more experience on their roster.

Things couldn’t really get much worse for Mizzou after losing their coach and defensive swagger last season. In the process, though, they found their best offense since the Big 12 days and led the SEC in points per game. Fornelli argues that if the defense can get back on track, they could be a real threat.

As always, it’s foolish to anoint a team in July for a game that will take place in December, so it may be smart to scout out these dark horses for what they could do.