Following a once-in-a-lifetime season during the COVID-19 pandemic, college football in the SEC hopes to return to a sense of normalcy this spring. That should be the case for the most part with spring ball getting underway. There will be a few tweaks; Florida and Kentucky, for example, will not host fan-attended spring games out of caution. But each of the conference’s 14 schools are either already underway with spring practices or about to get started.
Below, we have each team’s schedule along with the storylines to watch:
Alabama’s spring drills are always the talk of the SEC. Once again, coach Nick Saban will be tasked with reloading a roster that lost Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith, quarterback Mac Jones, running back Najee Harris and a number of other key players that are moving on to the NFL. New faces will be the storyline and all eyes will be on Bryce Young as he looks to succeed Jones as the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback. Speaking of new faces, coaching turnover is always a storyline in the SEC. Four programs — Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt — are breaking in new coaches. Bryan Harsin takes over at Auburn after Gus Malzahn was finally given the boot. Josh Heupel inherits a mess at Tennessee, and Shane Beamer and Clark Lea will begin massive rebuilds at South Carolina and Vanderbilt. Two coaches in desperate need of bounce-back seasons are Ed Orgeron at LSU and Mike Leach at Mississippi State. The Tigers entered 2020 as defending national champs, but NFL draft turnover and various departures depleted the roster. Leach hopes his Bulldogs are better equipped to handle his style of offense in 2021 after varied results in Year 1. Can Georgia finally steal the SEC crown away from Alabama? The Bulldogs didn’t even make it out of the SEC East in 2020, but with JT Daniels now firmly entrenched as the starter, perhaps Todd Monken’s more wide-open offense will take over. The spring practices will be the first taste of what that offense might look like.
Published: 2021-03-17 18:13:14
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