The heat, humidity and lazy days of summer are coming, which means players in the SEC will be spending a lot of time getting their bodies right over the next three months before camps start.
They made it through the spring and most of them know where they will be playing this season (with some still dangling in the portal) and our minds are starting to shift to the images we will see in the fall.
This brings more questions than answers, like whether Greg Sankey can get this whole NIL thing under control.
But that’s for a different day. Today, we want to look at the questions surrounding some of the teams in America’s Conference. Of course, football is unscripted so everything can change, then change again.
We do know that no matter how the sport screws things up, we are still going to be there watching. College football is idiot-proof. I think. They sure have been trying lately to mess it up.
Is Texas A&M ready for its close-up?
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
The No. 1 recruiting class… a coach who is expected to win national titles… a win over Alabama under the giant belt buckles Aggies wear…
What’s not to like?
Jimbo Fisher has not won more than nine games in four years at A&M and he has already cautioned fans about lofty expectations for this season. It may be a year away. Or never come at all. Who knows?
But the pressure will be palpable in College Station.
Is Anthony Richardson the real deal?
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
The talent is there but we still aren’t sure if he’s ready to be a leader. And there really isn’t much of a sample size to go on.
But if [autotag]Billy Napier[/autotag] can get the best out of him and if he can start to show some maturity —and if he can stay healthy — AR-15 could live up to Todd McShay’s prediction of being a top-10 pick in the NFL draft.
A lot of “ifs” there, though.
Can Georgia lose 15 players to the NFL draft and not flinch?
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Oh, the Bulldogs will flinch a little. You can’t lose the guts of a generational defense and plug-and-play as if nothing changed.
But Kirby Smart has players. Georgia also has a bullseye on its back that they haven’t felt since Herschel Walker was rumbling between the hedges.
Georgia will be really good. Elite? That is truly the question.
Is Bryan Harsin still in trouble at Auburn?
Jake Crandall-USA TODAY NETWORK
The attempted coup failed and Harsin is back for a second season after his first losing season as a head coach (6-7).
He has made some changes and Auburn has to be a little embarrassed about the way it consumes its head football coaches. But the bottom line is that he has to win.
That has not changed.
Does Nick Saban get fed up with NIL and transfer portal and hang it up if he wins it all this season?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Well, some people think so. He has shown his displeasure with the direction college football is going and might want to ride off to the lake and enjoy the rest of his life.
He has a Heisman-winning quarterback and a team loaded with talent so there is no doubt Alabama is one of a handful of teams who could win it all.
It will be interesting.
Can Arkansas thrive despite another killer schedule?
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Every team in the SEC West has a tough schedule and Arkansas seems to find a way to make its schedule brutal. Cincinnati and BYU as non-cons? Were the Chiefs unavailable?
Sam Pittman won nine games last year with a schedule that was considered one of the two or three most difficult in the country. He can handle it.
What will LSU look like?
Andre Broussard/The Daily Advertiser
Brian Kelly’s hire was both a blockbuster and bewildering at the same time and his fake Cajun accent only made it more confusing.
He has players, but does he have enough and can they get to where he wants them in time for the biggest games?
The truth is that most people have no idea what these Tigers will look like.
Can Spencer Rattler really be a Heisman contender?
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s look at the facts – he lost his job at Oklahoma, transferred to a school in a conference that plays way better defense, and doesn’t have the skill players around him at South Carolina that he did with the Sooners.
It seems unlikely. Remember, he was a Heisman contender going into last season, too.
Will Tennessee be more dangerous than last year?
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
One would think so with Josh Heupel and Hendon Hooker way more comfortable in Knoxville.
We should know at the end of the stretch where the Vols face Florida, LSU and Alabama before the midway point just how dangerous this team can be.
Can anybody in their right mind at SEC Media Days pick any teams to win their divisions other than the obvious two?
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
This is the question everyone needs an answer to.
Right minds? You mean, other than the guys who vote for their hometown teams every year?
It’s difficult to see a path for another team to win either division. This isn’t parity, but it is the SEC.
There is not a team in the East with anywhere near the talent of Georgia. And Alabama is still Alabama and likely the preseason No. 1 team in the country.
So, I guess we saved the easiest question for last.
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