I can’t believe that it’s been almost a year.

On March 12, 2020 we shut the sports world down due to COVID-19. No NCAA basketball tournament. No spring football practice, spring games, or spring sports. And at that time we had no idea whether or not the 2020 college football season would even be played.

Seems like a million years ago.

But here we are, having managed our way through a football season filled with one adjustment after another. And now comes spring practice for 2021. The dates are set. What it is going to look like is anybody’s guess. The No. 1 lesson we learned in the 2020 season was that we had to be flexible.

So let’s do this. Let's don't worry about the virus today. We'll do that later. Let’s just talk ball.

Let’s take a look at Spring Ball in the SEC West today. Next week we’ll look at the SEC East.

Here are the SEC West teams in alphabetical order:


**--Last season: 13-0; beat Florida 52-46 in SEC championship game; beat Notre Dame 31-14 in CFP semifinals; beat Ohio State 52-24 for CFP national championship.

**--Spring practice starts: Friday, March 19.

**--Spring game: Saturday, April 17.

**--Coach: Nick Saban, 15th season at Alabama.

**--First game: Sept. 4 vs. Miami (Atlanta)

**--What to look for: After fielding what was arguably the best offense in school history in 2020, Alabama will rebuild with a new quarterback, Bryce Young, and a new offensive coordinator, NFL veteran Bill O’Brien. Young played five games last season throwing 22 passes. Alabama must also find a replacement for the Tide’s go-to wide receiver DeVonta Smith, the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner. John Metchie III would be a pretty good guess.


**--Last season: 3-7.

**--Spring practice starts: Tuesday, March 9.

**--Spring game: Saturday, April 17.

**--Coach: Sam Pittman, second season at Arkansas.

**--First game: Sept. 4 vs. Rice.

**--What to look for: Quarterback K.J. Jefferson, who is expected to take over for Feleipe Franks. The redshirt freshman has his moment last season in a 50-48 loss to Missouri. Subbing for the injured Franks, Jefferson completed 18 of 33 passes for 274 yards against Mizzou. Also keep an eye on speedy running back Trelon Smith. The Hogs were 3-7 but with a break or two (and one less bad officiating call) the record could have been much better.


**--Last season: 6-5; lost to Northwestern 35-19 in the Citrus Bowl.

**--Spring practice starts: Tuesday, March 16.

**--Spring game: Saturday, April 17.

**--Coach: Bryan Harsin, first season at Auburn.

**--First game: Sept. 4 vs. Akron.

**--What to look for: Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and quarterback Bo Nix. Bobo, the former Georgia OC, has a good track record when it comes to developing quarterbacks. The hope is that he’ll help Nix (2,415 yards, 12 TD, 7 INT), better maximize his potential. It would certainly be easier if receivers Seth Williams and Anthony Swartz were back. But they are not.


**--Last season: 5-5; did not play in bowl game.

**--Spring practice starts: Tuesday, March 16.

**--Spring game: Saturday, April 17.

**--Coach: Ed Orgeron, fifth season at LSU.

**--First game: Sept. 4 at UCLA.

**--What to look for: A new DC and a new OC. Despite the loss of quarterback Myles Brennan three games into the 2020 regular season, the LSU offense turned out okay, finishing No. 5 in the SEC (433.9 ypg). Jake Peetz, the quarterbacks coach of the Carolina Panthers (who worked for former LSU assistant Joe Brady), comes on board. But the real problem at LSU last season was a bad, bad defense that finished 13th—yes 13th—in the SEC (492 yards per game). Say goodbye to Bo Pelini and say hello to Daronte Jones who comes to Baton Rouge after spending the last five years in the NFL. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.


**--Last season: 4-7; beat Tulsa 28-26 in Armed Forces Bowl.

**--Spring practice starts: Thursday, March 18,

**--Spring game: Saturday, April 17.

**--Coach: Mike Leach, second year at Mississippi State.

**--First game: Sept. 4 vs. Louisiana Tech.

**--What to look for: Name tags for everybody. How else will the Bulldogs know each other? Dating back to last season a total of 26 players have opted out or entered the transfer portal at Mississippi State. Leach has found his quarterback in rising sophomore Will Rogers, who finished sixth in the SEC in passing after taking over from K.J. Costello. The offense has to improve after finishing 109th in scoring at 21.4 points per game. The big problem is that the defense, ranked No. 5 in the SEC season, won’t be nearly as good because of losses.


**--Last season: 5-5; beat Indiana 26-20 in Outback Bowl.

**--Spring practice starts: Tuesday, March 23.

**--Spring game: Saturday, April 24.

**--Coach: Lane Kiffin, second year at Ole Miss.

**--First game: Sept. 6 vs. Louisville (Atlanta).

**--What to look for: Matt Carroll’s new go-to guy (s). Elijah Moore led the SEC in receiving yards per game (149.1 ypg). Tight end Kenny Yeboah was ninth in the league with 27 catches 524 yards. Together they had almost half of the team’s receiving yards. But Ole Miss fans should not worry. Lane Kiffin will find plenty of people to catch Carroll’s missiles. The key to going better than5-5 is improving a bad, bad, bad defense that finished last in rushing (206.90 ypg), last in total (519.0 ypg game) and last in scoring (38.3 ypg).


**--Last season: 9-1; beat North Carolina 41-27 in Orange Bowl.

**--Spring practice starts: Monday, March 22.

**--Spring game: Saturday, April 17.

**--Jimbo Fisher: Fourth season at Texas A&M.

**--First game: Sept 4 vs. Kent State.

**--What to look for: Who’s going to replace Kellen Mond? It seems like Mond was Texas A&M’s starting quarterback for 10 years. But now he’s gone after leading the Aggies to a 9-1 season with the only loss to Alabama. Sophomore Haynes King and redshirt freshman Zach Calzada are the leading candidates. King played in 2020, throwing four passes. Calzada played a little in 2019, throwing 24 passes. Fisher and his staff have recruited well. They get Alabama in College Station on Oct. 9.