Each year we ask college football coaches to tell us what they really think about the other teams in their conference. But we don't want the cliche'd press conference platitudes, so we ask them to give us their quotes off-the-record and anonymously. Here are this year's quotes in alphabetical order for each team in the SEC.
What SEC Coaches Are Saying About: Alabama
"You have to give (Nick) Saban credit: Other than a stinker at South Carolina, they nearly ran the table again. LSU and Auburn were lucky to beat them, and Alabama finally put it all together in the bowl game, by just annihilating Michigan State."
"They only have to replace four starters on offense, but three of those have been so huge to the program’s success — quarterback Greg McElroy, running back Mark Ingram and wide receiver Julio Jones."
"I know Ingram won the Heisman and Jones had the capability of scoring every time he touched the football, but I think the one they’ll miss the most out of those three is McElroy. The kid was brilliant and just a flat-out winner. He might not have been the strongest, fastest or have the best arm, but he was such a tremendous leader."
"Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy will be just as productive, or more, than Ingram. Also Marquis Maze will fill in nicely for Jones."
"If the offense struggles, the defense should be able to bail them out. They return nearly everyone, including linebacker Dont’a Hightower."
"Their secondary could be one of the nation’s best units with the entire group back intact."
"Even with only 14 seniors, I still would not be surprised if them or LSU ends up playing for the national title."
"They have so much talent. Nick has done such a great job stockpiling talent there. It’s amazing how many good players they have."
What SEC Coaches Are Saying About: Arkansas
"Obviously the big guy, (Ryan) Mallett is gone on offense. Tyler Wilson is slated to be the replacement and was impressive in limited action last year. He had a monster game against Auburn (332 yards, four touchdowns), so he’s proven he’s quite capable of directing the offense. The schedule sets up nicely for him to build his confidence (opening with three home games against Missouri State, New Mexico and Troy) before a killer back-to-back stretch against Alabama and Texas A&M."