1. The road Alabama faces. No team has won back-to-back SEC titles since Tennessee in 1997-98. Since then 12 of 14 SEC champions have lost at least two games the next season. But Crimson Tide still the favorite.
2. Alabama receiver Kenny Bell on the Crimson Tide’s offense: “This offense can be very explosive. It can be the best.”
3. The goal at Georgia? “We want to be in the national championship game.”
4. Uncertainty at Georgia over the health of safety Tray Matthews and his availability for the Clemson game: Mark Richt: ”It’ll be hard to say what his role is going to be.” Looking more and more like kicker Marshall Morgan won’t play in the opener.
5. Estimated 500 fans get Johnny Manziel’s autograph Saturday. Uncertainty over status keeps Manziel off Kirk Herbstreit’s “Herbie” Awards list. But “no plans” to sit him against Rice.
6. South Carolina receiver Bruce Ellington was asked if playing two sports has hurt his development: “Probably a little bit. To be really good at this level you have to play a sport year-round.”
8. Georgia coach Mark Richt was asked about his former player, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall: ”I like Nick, and I hope he has success other than our game.”
9. View of Tennessee coach Butch Jones: “Even if the Vols are tougher and more disciplined under Jones, they likely will be 3-5 two-thirds through the season.”
10. Must win games on the Kentucky schedule? Western Kentucky and Missouri.
11. Maryland transfer Max Garcia will start at guard for Florida.
12. Is LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson on the verge of stardom?
13. Some not-so-obvious names we’ll be talking about this year in the SEC.
14. The instability of life as an assistant coach: “Since 2009, only three SEC schools have had the same coordinator on one side of the ball.”
15. LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Zach Mettenberger: ”I don’t like to make comparisons, but he throws a football a lot like Joe Flacco.”
16. Big shoes to fill at the wide receiver spot at Mississippi State haven’t reduced expectations for quarterback Tyler Russell. In fact, they’re higher than ever.
17. Big focus for Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace - cutting down interceptions: “The biggest thing is my decision-making.”
18. You can probably guess the three SEC quarterbacks in the top tier - but there are also six SEC quarterbacks ranked in the second tier, including Missouri quarterback James Franklin. ”I have questions about his mental toughness.”
19. Franklin: “I’d like to run less and pass more.”
20. One position still undecided at Arkansas – cornerback.
21. Alabama practiced indoors and in full pads Saturday.
23. Concern coming out Florida’s preseason camp – lack of depth in the offensive backfield.
24. Missouri found out that a less physical camp apparently meant fewer injuries.
25. Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes on being coached over the summer by Florida’s Billy Donovan: “Since he knows me more, he was harder on me this year.”
26. If you’re going to watch an Ohio State practice - don’t wear blue.