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Ranking the SEC's Offensive Triplets for 2015

Gus Malzahn

Gus Malzahn

Proven offensive talent is plentiful in the SEC this year. Quarterback Dak Prescott should be among the frontrunners to earn first-team All-America honors, while running back Nick Chubb is one of the leading candidates to win the Heisman. Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell should be back at 100 percent after a leg injury ended his 2014 season.

Ranking the best quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers by conference is a key part of any offseason preview. But what happens when you combine those three positions to form a trio? Of course, this is a fictional argument since there’s no game that compares the trios of any team. But it’s an interesting offseason question to debate.

To help pick the top offensive triplets in each of the Power 5 leagues, we devised a simple formula. We ranked the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers and assigned a 14 to the No. 1 player, with the point total decreasing to just one point to the No. 14 ranked player at each position. Only one player from each team was ranked per position. 

Ranking the SEC’s Offensive Triplets for 2015

1. Auburn

Total Points: 31

QB: Jeremy Johnson (2)

RB: Jovon Robinson (9)

WR: Duke Williams (3)

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Gus Malzahn’s offense has averaged over 30 points per game in back-to-back seasons in SEC contests. The 2015 version of Auburn’s offense will be just as explosive, as quarterback Jeremy Johnson is a rising star, and there’s no shortage of skill talent, including All-America candidate at receiver Duke Williams.

Related: Auburn's Gus Malzahn Ranks as the SEC's No. 2 Coach in 2015

2. Tennessee

Total Points: 29

QB: Joshua Dobbs (3)

RB: Jalen Hurd (6)

WR: Marquez North (7)

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Tennessee is on its way back into SEC East title contention under third-year coach Butch Jones. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs shined in the second half of 2014, and the junior will be surrounded by a young and talented group of skill players. Hurd leads the way in the Volunteers’ backfield, but junior college recruit (and former Alabama running back) Alvin Kamara is a player to watch in 2015. Receiver Marquez North was limited by injuries last season.

Related: Tennessee Ranks No. 22 in the 2015 College Football Top 25

3. Mississippi State

Total Points: 27

QB: Dak Prescott (1)

RB: Ashton Shumpert (13)

WR: De’Runnya Wilson (4)

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Mississippi State and Arkansas tied for the third spot on this list, but let’s give the edge to the Bulldogs with the SEC’s No. 1 quarterback in senior Dak Prescott. While running back Josh Robinson will be missed, there’s talent in place with Ashton Shumpert and Aeris Williams battling for carries. Wilson averaged 15.3 yards per catch in SEC games last year.

Related: Mississippi State Ranks No. 21 in the 2015 College Football Top 25

4. Arkansas

Total Points: 27

QB: Brandon Allen (6)

RB: Alex Collins/Jonathan Williams (4)

WR: Keon Hatcher (8)

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The Razorbacks improved their scoring average by 11.2 points per game from 2013 to 2014. Expect this unit to take another step forward under new coordinator Dan Enos, as Arkansas returns an experienced quarterback in Brandon Allen and the nation’s top running back duo in Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams.

Related: Arkansas Ranks No. 16 in the 2015 College Football Top 25

5. Georgia

Total Points: 25

QB: Brice Ramsey (9)

RB: Nick Chubb (1)

WR: Malcolm Mitchell (10)

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New coordinator Brian Schottenheimer doesn’t plan to alter the strength of Georgia’s offense, but the passing attack needs some work with a new quarterback and uncertainty at receiver. Running back Nick Chubb is one of the nation’s best, while the Bulldogs need a healthy year from receiver Malcolm Mitchell.

Related: Georgia's Nick Chubb is the SEC's No. 1 RB for 2015

6. Texas A&M

Total Points: 24

QB: Kyle Allen (4)

RB: Tra Carson (11)

WR: Josh Reynolds (6)

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The Aggies will have an explosive offense once again. Coach Kevin Sumlin’s team is loaded with talent at running back and receiver, while quarterback Kyle Allen should thrive in his first full season as the starter.

Related: Texas A&M Ranks No. 20 in the 2015 College Football Top 25

7. Alabama

Total Points: 23

QB: Jacob Coker (8)

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RB: Derrick Henry (3)

WR: Robert Foster (11)

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It wouldn’t be a surprise if Alabama finishes higher on this list in 2015. But ranking higher than No. 7 in the postseason largely depends on how far the Crimson Tide’s passing attack develops. Jacob Coker is the projected starter here, but David Cornwell is still in the mix. There’s talent at receiver. But who steps up to replace Amari Cooper?

Related: Alabama's Nick Saban is the SEC's No. 1 Coach

8. LSU

Total Points: 22

QB: Brandon Harris (12)

RB: Leonard Fournette (2)

WR: Travin Dural (6)

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Quarterback remains a question mark for coach Les Miles, but LSU has one of the nation’s top running backs in sophomore Leonard Fournette, along with a cast of talented receivers. Travin Dural ranked third among SEC receivers with eight catches for 30 yards or more in 2015.

9. Missouri

Total Points: 22

QB: Maty Mauk (5)

RB: Russell Hansbrough (5)

WR: Nate Brown (13)

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Ranking Missouri ninth in the SEC in offensive triplets seems low considering the success this team has had in finding new receivers under coach Gary Pinkel. Nate Brown appears to be the next standout receiver for the Tigers, but the offense also needs better play from quarterback Maty Mauk in SEC games (48.9 percent in league games last year). Russell Hansbrough might be the league’s most underrated running back.

10. Ole Miss

Total Points: 20

QB: Chad Kelly (10)

RB: Jaylen Walton (14)

WR: Laquon Treadwell (1)

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The Rebels have the SEC’s No. 1 receiver in Laquon Treadwell, but question marks remain at quarterback and at running back. Junior college (and former Clemson) quarterback Chad Kelly is the frontrunner to replace Bo Wallace, while Jaylen Walton, Akeem Judd and Eugene Brazley all could share carries at running back.

11. Kentucky

Total Points: 19

QB: Patrick Towles (7)

RB: Boom Williams (7)

WR: Ryan Timmons (12)

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Kentucky has work to do on defense, but the offense returns nearly intact after averaging 29.2 points per game in 2014. Quarterback Patrick Towles ranked fifth in the SEC with 226.5 passing yards per contest, and receiver Ryan Timmons led the team with 45 catches last year. Boom Williams is one of the SEC’s top breakout candidates in 2015.

12. Florida

Total Points: 19

QB: Will Grier (11)

RB: Kelvin Taylor (10)

WR: Demarcus Robinson (5)

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The pieces are in place for Florida’s offense to improve under first-year coach Jim McElwain. Will Grier edged Treon Harris for the starting quarterback job in the spring, and Kelvin Taylor and Demarcus Robinson should push for All-SEC honors. Offensive line isn’t a factor here, but the Gators have major concerns about their starting five.

13. South Carolina

Total Points: 18

QB: Connor Mitch (13)

RB: David Williams (12)

WR: Pharoh Cooper (2)

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Pharoh Cooper was all-purpose threat for the Gamecocks last year, and the North Carolina native is also one of the SEC’s top receivers. David Williams and Brandon Wilds are expected to share carries in replacing Mike Davis. Both players averaged over five yards per carry in limited action last year. Connor Mitch is the frontrunner to replace Dylan Thompson and has only six career pass attempts.

Related: South Carolina's Steve Spurrier Ranks as the SEC's No. 3 Coach

14. Vanderbilt

Total Points: 9

QB: Johnny McCrary (14)

RB: Ralph Webb (8)

WR: C.J. Duncan (14)

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New play-caller Andy Ludwig has a lot of work to do this offseason. The Commodores averaged only 12.8 points per game in SEC contests last season. Quarterback play remains a concern, but Ludwig has a promising running back to build around in sophomore Ralph Webb.