Texas A&M has already kicked off spring practice, and South Carolina and Ole Miss are up next on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Yes, it’s just March, but we’ve already suffered through almost two months of no football…and the great news is you’re alive. July’s SEC Media Days will be here before we know it, and there may be some actual football news to report during spring practice. Crazy, I know.
Let’s take a look at how each SEC team stacks up ahead of spring practice, in a slightly different style of power rankings:
Top shelf: Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, LSU
Six teams enter spring practice as top-shelf teams, but each team has questions entering 2014. Five of the six have to replace their starting quarterback, as only Auburn returns its starter in Nick Marshall. Alabama has the best overall roster, but key losses at quarterback, defensive line and the secondary are concerning. Georgia, South Carolina and Missouri will all wage battle on the SEC East division, which should become an epic storyline leading into 2014. LSU is the one top-shelf team that has the most questions, particularly on offense, although their roster is stacked with talent.
Next level: Mississippi State, Ole Miss
It’s an All-Egg Bowl next-level battle. Both teams return their starting quarterback, and Ole Miss has the best overall roster of the two. However, Mississippi State could have the best overall player in quarterback Dak Prescott. Both teams are primed for big 2014 seasons.
Middle of the pack: Florida, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Entering spring, both Mississippi State and Ole Miss are a cut above Florida, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Florida is installing a new offense and will get a slew of returning starters back on both sides of the ball who suffered season-ending injuries. Texas A&M returns several pieces from the league’s worst and youngest defense. Tennessee replaces every starter on both lines of scrimmage, and the Vols are the only team in the country to do so. Vanderbilt has the most questions of the four, starting with the new coaching staff and filtering down to the players lost. There’s talent to win now in Nashville, but it usually takes a new head coach a year or two to settle in…coaches who aren’t named Gus Malzahn, that is.
RELATED: 2014 SEC Strength of Schedule
Most questions: Arkansas, Kentucky
Arkansas and Kentucky have the biggest questions entering spring. Arkansas lost nine straight to end 2013, and Kentucky won just two games during the season. There’s nowhere to go but up for both programs, and building towards a better 2014 starts this spring.