There were eight SEC teams listed in Sunday’s Associated Press Preseason Top 25 rankings, the most of any conference in the FBS. However, not every SEC team was pleased with how the initial rankings looked two weeks before the start of the new season.

Here are Sunday’s winners and losers after the Top 25 was released:


  1. Missouri: Although the Tigers are the defending SEC East champs, their spot in the Top 25 came as a surprise to some after they were excluded from the USA Today Coaches’ Poll’s Top 25 earlier this month. Mizzou is one of three SEC East teams on the AP’s list, and their No. 23 ranking indicates expectations remain high for quarterback Maty Mauk and the Tigers.
  2. Alabama: The Crimson Tide worked their way back to No. 2 in the rankings despite ending 2013 on a two-game skid. Their starting quarterback for Week 1 is still up in the air, and earning a ranking that high shows the AP has tremendous respect for the talent Nick Saban has attracted to play in Tuscaloosa.
  3. Texas A&M: The Aggies lost superstars galore after last season, including Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans and Jake Matthews,  but they still earned the No. 21 ranking from the Associated Press. The AP actually ranked A&M lower than the Coaches’ Poll, which slotted the Aggies at No. 2o, but earning a spot in the rankings after losing that kind of talent shows A&M is heading in the right direction.


  1. Auburn: The Tigers are ranked No. 6 on the AP’s list despite coming 13 seconds shy of a national title last season. Auburn has to feel especially sour about finishing behind No. 5 Ohio State, whose loss in last year’s Big 10 title game opened a spot for Auburn in the national championship game. The Buckeyes were ranked behind Auburn in the Coaches’ Poll, and they play just one ranked team this season to Auburn’s seven.
  2. Mississippi State: The Bulldogs knew they’d be a fringe team to reach the AP’s rankings, but MSU was actually nowhere close to cracking the Top 25 when the list came out. The Bulldogs received fewer AP votes than the following teams: UCF, Iowa State, Marshall, Virginia Tech and TCU, and 10 teams in all separated Mississippi State from No. 25 Washington. The AP is practically double-dog daring Dan Mullen to snap his 14-game losing streak to ranked teams before it gives his MSU program any respect.
  3. Florida: It’s not a shock to see Florida missing from this season’s Preseason Top 25, but that’s why the Gators find themselves in the “Losers” column – because it should be shocking The Florida of old was a perennial mainstay in the Top 25, and missing out on the initial rankings shows how far it has fallen after last season’s 4-8 campaign. To be fair, the Gators were just outside the AP Top 25 and the Coaches’ Poll Top 25, showing fans and media members alike want to see what Will Muschamp’s bunch does early in the season before letting them back into the rankings.