Head coach: Barry Odom
2019 record: 8-5, 4-4 SEC
Returning starters: 14 (7 offense, 6 defense, 1 special teams)
Hardest question Barry Odom faced: “It’s probably going to be late this month when Missouri’s administration gets their hearing with the NCAA. How often are you guys going to get the postseason ban lifted? What’s it like having to wait for that? What’s it like for you and the players?
Odom’s reply: “The thing I talked about with the momentum I have going in our program, the amount of time we would spend on any of those thoughts, it really it doesn’t do anything for us beneficially to move our program forward. It’s wasted. It’s out of our control, wasted thoughts. Now, you look at the opportunity when that’s going to come about, we don’t know. We anticipate that hopefully we’ll get some closure soon. I am thankful for the way that our administration has approached it. I’m thankful for our legal counsel and the way they’ve helped and assisted and outwise counsel. I also look at, is it a very aggressive approach and also with respect. And the way that the course goes, we’ll find out and come to closure with it one way or the other in the near future and the way I handle that with my team will be just like I have everything else, very direct, open and honest in where we’re going, what the opportuniries are, and how we’re going to move past it.”
You need to know: Missouri is 10-2 in the past three seasons in November and undefeated in the past two seasons.
Best player quote: “No, I never did think about transferring. Because at Missouri they gave me everything I wanted, I couldn’t ask for anything else. Coach Odom put his trust in me and then my teammates put their trust in me. I feel like I just built a great foundation here and made a lot of commitments,” — DeMarkus Acy
Head coach: Dan Mullen
2018 record: 10-3, 5-3 SEC
Returning starters: 16 (6 offense, 7 defense, 3 special teams)
Hardest question Mullen faced: “Commissioner Sankey talked about mental health in his opening remarks and you have mentioned a lot about academics for your players. Is mental health and the stress a player has on and off the field something you talk a lot about in your program?”
Mullen’s reply: “Absolutely. There are a lot of different pressures on them. For some of our players, people look at them as celebrity football stars on Saturdays, but on Monday morning they still have to go to class just like everyone else. We spend a lot of time with our team on developing ever aspect of life. My ultimate responsibility as the head coach is to make sure that they are ready for whatever life is going to throw at them when they leave here.”
You need to know: In 2018, Florida experienced their first 10-win season since 2015.
Best player quote: “I do not really worry about the gap to much. I focus on what our team needs to accomplish to win and get to the playoffs. We are eager for the season to begin and we have a bunch of guys ready to compete.” — Redshirt Junior Quarterback Feleipe Franks on if the gap is closing between Georgia and the rest of the SEC East
Head coach: Ed Orgeron
2018 record: 10-3, 5-3 SEC
Returning starters: 18 (8 offense, 8 defense, 2 special teams)
Hardest question Orgeron faced: “Do you think this will be your best team (at LSU) and do you feel like you guys are ready to challenge Alabama in the West?”
Orgeron’s reply: “Yeah. First of all, last year I felt that we had a good season. We were two plays away from being 12-1. … We did not play well against Alabama, now we have to go on the road and play them again. We have a very tough schedule this year but we have a good football team.”
You need to know: The 2018 season was LSU’s first 10-win season since 2013 and the first of Orgeron’s head coaching career.
Best player quote: “I kind of played corner like a linebacker (in high school), had 10, 15 tackles in some games. … I like hitting people, I don’t know. It’s football, man.” — LSU quarterback Joe Burrow on his physicality, after Orgeron praised his willingness to fight for extra yards
— Compiled by Hunter Jones, Tyler Martin and James Ogletree