The Russell Report: A pre-season look at some of the SEC’s football teams

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -SEC football media days start soon and Gator coach Dan Mullen is one of the first to speak about his team and the upcoming season. So with that in mind, let’s talk somes SEC football!

Georgia will be picked to finish first in the SEC East and Alabama the West by the so-called media experts. No surprises here. Georgia should be the pick because they’re loaded with talent on both sides of the ball - especially on defense. However, there will be lots of pressure on coach Kirby Smart to at least get to the playoff. He gets a ton of five-star talent but for some, he doesn’t do enough with that talent. The Clemson game early should be great!

Alabama has to break in a new, young quarterback but I’ve been told by people who saw him last year behind Mac Jones that Bryce Young is the real deal. And there is talent galore here even after losing all those great players to the NFL Draft. Still, the Gators get a great chance to catch them early and at home in one of the most anticipated games in Gainesville in a long time.

Fans always talk about pressure on coaches and this year in the SEC the pressure is light, as I don’t see any coaches on a firing-type hot seat unless things just go south for LSU’s Ed Orgeron. If LSU is looking for an excuse to get rid of a coach two years removed from a national title but one mired in scandal and questionable tactics, a losing season might do the trick. But the Tigers return a lot of players and should be good again.

The most improved team will be Ole Miss. They have a chance to really scare people if they can just get a pulse on defense because their offense could be spectacular with Lane Kiffin calling plays and Matt Corral at quarterback. On the other side of the coin, Tennessee fans, brace yourself for a bad year. It will take some time for the Vols to become relevant again. And Florida? We’ll save that for when the season gets closer!

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