Biggest Questions for each SEC Football Team Heading into the Summer

Sep 9, 2017; South Bend, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart and Notre Dame Fighting
Sep 9, 2017; South Bend, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart and Notre Dame Fighting / Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4

Mississippi State Bulldogs

What does the Jeff Lebby led team look like in year one?

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are entering the first of the Jeff Lebby era after a disastrous 2023 season. Jeff Lebby and his playstyle is more suited to be the heir to Mike Leach than Zach Arnett was. The Bulldogs will be rebuilt with a new playstyle turning back to the passing attack they had under Leach.

Lebby found his quarterback in Baylor transfer Blake Shapen but, the team will need a year or so to rebuild fully. The Bulldogs saw 25 players enter the transfer portal and once Lebby showcases his high-powered offense they'll likely become an attractive landing spot for transfers. If the offense can be as explosive as Lebby likes in year one then this rebuild may go quicker than planned while they may not have the talent in year one to compete in this loaded SEC.

Missouri Tigers

How does the offense replace Cody Schrader?

The Missouri Tigers had one of the Nation's best running backs last season in Cody Schrader. The back carried a massive load for the Missouri offense rushing for 1,627 yards and 14 touchdowns becoming a Heisman contender and a massive reason for the team's success. Schrader is now on the 49ers and the team needs to look for a replacement in the backfield.

The team's next leading rusher was Nathaniel Peak who's off to the NFL as well meaning the team will look to a newcomer. The team added a potential bell cow back in Marcus Carroll via the transfer portal after he rushed for 1,350 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2023. The Tigers double-dipped from the Sun Belt in the transfer portal bringing in Appalachian State back Nate Noel who's rushed for 3,076 yards in his career.

The Missouri Tigers have National Championship hopes with a quarterback and a receiver good enough to lead the offense. The team however, lacks the true rushing threat to keep this offense at the elite level it was at in 2023. If Noel or Carroll can step up and fill the shoes of Schrader then this offense has a chance of being one of the nation's elite while without a true rushing threat the team may have a serious issue.

Oklahoma Sooners

Will the offensive line be SEC Caliber?

The Oklahoma Sooners will undergo massive changes on the offensive line after sending three players into the NFL off the offensive line. The Sooners return just one starter on the offensive line in center Troy Everett while tackle Jacob Sexton has experience yet will likely move to left tackle from the right side. The Sooners bring in four transfers with the potential of starting in 2024 but, the team has little experience returning. Three of the starters come from Power Five schools but, we won't truly know the strength of the offensive line until we see them face SEC opponents.

Ole Miss Rebels

Do the pieces all fit together to become a playoff team?

The Ole Miss Rebels have become one of the biggest buyers in the transfer portal year over year adding the pieces via the portal to supplement solid recruiting classes. Coming off of the first 11-win season in program history this has to be the season that the Rebels make the playoffs. The Rebels have an incredibly winnable schedule with one tough game against Georgia.

What Lane Kiffin needs the most is for the transfer pieces to gel well enough with the returning pieces. Henry Parrish, Logan Diggs, and Jacory Croskey-Merritt will need to replace the production of Quinshon Judkins while Kiffin has brought in the pieces to build up the offensive line. Defensively Walter Nolen and Trey Amos bring SEC experience and a talent level that can transform the defense.

If the pieces fit well enough, Kiffin has the talent on this roster to go on a run for the National Championship. The team, however, if the pieces don't fit right will still be highly competitive but, the question will be if they can make the playoffs. On paper, this roster is good enough to make the playoffs if the pieces don't fit as long as Jaxson Dart continues to be one of the nation's best quarterbacks.