One question for every SEC team heading into media days

SEC media days are less than a week away, which means the college football season is that much closer.

And you thought you'd have to force yourself to care about baseball this month.

Media days also bring us closer to figuring out a little bit more about all 14 of the league's programs. We think we know who will win it all, but we'll probably miss the sleeper(s). Business as usual, really.

Before we get to Hoover, Alabama, we'll take plenty of time to poke and prod all 14 teams. It's time to look at one burning question we have for every SEC team heading into next week's fancy circus act.


How much have the off-field distractions weighed on this team, and Nick Saban?

Saban is all about avoiding complacency and sticking to "The Process," but even he has had to step back and sigh at this offseason. Offensive lineman Charles Baldwin was dismissed from the team, star left tackle Cam Robinson and defensive back Hootie Jones were arrested on felony charges, and defensive line coach Bo Davis resigned because of a potential NCAA violation. Not the best offseason for a defending champs.


How confident is Bret Bielema in this group of running backs?

The offense could actually run through the passing game after the Hogs worked with a banged-up running backs corps this spring. Rawleigh Williams III and Kody Walker have rushed for a combined 898 career yards.


Is Gus Malzahn getting closer to seeing his actual offense again?

During Malzahn's first two years as Auburn's head coach, the Tigers averaged at least 485.2 yards and 34.4 points per game in SEC play. Last year, Auburn averaged just 22.1 points and 359.8 yards per game. Auburn won just seven games, and Malzahn's seat is heating up on the Plains.


Are Antonio Callaway and Treon Harris going to play a down for the Gators this fall?

Both were suspended from the team in January and didn't go through spring practice. Callaway, Florida's top receiver, was allowed back on campus to take classes and use facilities this summer. There has been no official word on if he'd be allowed to play if the Gators had a game soon, and we've heard absolutely nothing about Harris.


How is Nick Chubb's rehab coming?

Kirby Smart has talked about Chubb being ahead of schedule and absolutely crushing gym workouts after last year's horrendous knee injury, but there also has been some apprehension about commenting on when Chubb will play again. Will he be healthy enough for Week 1 or take contact during fall practice?


How confident is Mark Stoops in this offense?

Eddie Gran is Kentucky's third offensive coordinator in as many years. That doesn't exactly mean there's a ton of continuity with the offense, but the hope is that with veteran skill position players and stability at quarterback, there's more confidence in Gran's plan. Kentucky has ranked in the bottom half of the SEC in total offense in Stoops' three years as head coach.


What changes has Cam Cameron made to the offense to help Brandon Harris?

So, we've heard that the enigmatic Harris looked better and more composed this spring, but why? What real changes were made, and will Les Miles give any hint as to whether we'll see more zone read with the mobile Harris?


What real steps will the university take to deal with the Jeffery Simmons issue?

Mississippi State's 2016 issues extend beyond the football field after Simmons, who was seen on video repeatedly striking a woman who was on the ground, was allowed to enroll. He will serve a one-game suspension, but there are stipulations to his enrollment. Well, what are they exactly, and how seriously will he be monitored?


How has the team responded to life without Gary Pinkel?

This program is going through a makeover now that legendary coach Pinkel is gone. Barry Odom is very familiar with the program, but he also has to get this team mentally prepared for 2016. Last year was a disaster, and Odom has an uphill battle with this group, especially on offense.


Where is the university with its investigation into Laremy Tunsil's draft night allegations?

As much as Ole Miss officials want to stay away from this topic, it isn't leaving anytime soon -- not with the university and NCAA still looking into Tunsil's comments about allegedly taking money from an Ole Miss coach while enrolled.


What's the outlook at quarterback shaping up to be after some offseason workouts?

Spring ended with most people crowning freshman Brandon McIlwain the eventual starter. Now, former starter Connor Mitch has transferred, leaving McIlwain, Perry Orth, Lorenzo Nunez and incoming freshman Jake Bentley to compete for the starting job this fall.


How does Butch Jones feel about the defensive tackle spot?

The Vols should be fine on the outside of their line, but the interior has plenty of questions. Sophomore Kahlil McKenzie has major expectations to live up to and inconsistency to overcome. Kendal Vickers and Danny O'Brien provide experience, but there's little depth here.


Is Keith Ford going to be the answer at running back?

Quietly, Tra Carson rushed for 1,165 yards last year. But with all the questions at running back now that he's gone, all eyes are on Oklahoma transfer Keith Ford. He's supposed to be a big-play back and could be a huge weapon for this offense.


How is quarterback Kyle Shurmur's development coming along?

Derek Mason feels very confident that this will be a much-improved Vandy team in 2016. For that to happen, the offense has to have some sort of pulse in the passing game. Mason really likes Shurmur and thinks he'll have a long, strong career as the Dores' starter.