It's not easy getting college football coaches to honestly comment on another coach, player or team. Most coaches don't want to give opposing teams billboard material, which is why there is a lot of coach speak or overused cliches used during the year.
In order to get an accurate assessment of teams heading into 2014, Athlon asked coaches in the SEC to talk anonymously about their opponents.
The SEC was home to some of college football’s top quarterbacks in the nation last year. However, one offseason later, and the conference is essentially rebuilding from scratch at the quarterback spot.
The list of names departing is heavy: Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Alabama’s AJ McCarron, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, Missouri’s James Franklin, South Carolina’s Connor Shaw and Georgia’s Aaron Murray.
Spring practice is underway for nearly all 128 college football teams, and the countdown to the 2014 season has officially started. There’s still a long way to go before August and the start of next year, but it’s never too early to start thinking about which players are ready for a big jump in production.
When we sit down to iron out our Top 25 Poll each year at Athlon Sports, we are trying to project the final year-end standings not build a preseason power poll. It might be a small and subtle difference but an important one to acknowledge.
Another season, another loaded year for returning talent in the SEC. While the league is short on proven quarterbacks, there’s plenty of depth at defensive end, receiver and linebacker. LSU running back Leonard Fournette leads the way for Athlon’s projected top 40 SEC players for 2016, followed by Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett.