LSU is the defending conference champions and probably the favorites in the West. They will bring Butkus contender Bradie James and the touchdown maker LaBrandon Toefield. It will be interesting to see if the Tigers garner the respect of a champion or one of a team that caught some serious breaks. Replacing Rohan Davey and Josh Reed will be the main topic of conversation as Matt Mauck, who led the SEC title victory over Tennessee, and Michael Clayton, who had a huge freshmen year, will be required to fill those shoes.
Georgia and coach Mark Richt probably carry the second most pressure into this season in that many National Publications are picking the Dogs to be a title contender (National Title). They bring veteran Offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb and Linebacker Boss Bailey. Richt's first year was characterized by great wins and bumbling losses. Georgia WR Fred Gibson (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
With wins over Tennessee and Georgia Tech, Bulldog supporters want some of Florida and a place in the SEC Championship game. Fifteen starters return including dynamic receiver Fred Gibson and Quarterback David Greene.
Georgia WR Fred Gibson (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
South Carolina and Lou Holtz have already generated some attention in Florida with his recent comments about taking down the Gators. Holtz will bring running back Andrew Pinnock and defensive back Rashad Faison. Pinnock had 622 yards a year ago and is a big physical back. Faison is a talented defensive back that must lead a young secondary. How good can this years Gamecock team be? Look to quarterback Corey Jenkins and his development calling the shots for that answer.
Arkansas most certainly will be the low profile team of day one. Coach Houston Nutt has a favorable schedule with eight home games and could make a run at the West title. Nose guard Jermaine Brooks and wide receiver George Wilson will come to Birmingham. The Hogs must improve their offense which ranked 97th nationally a year ago. They must also replace defensive coordinator John Thompson who has since moved to Florida.
The rest of the week schedule is as follows:
Wednesday: Florida with Rex Grossman and Ian Scott; Auburn with Linebacker Dontarrious Thomas and Tight End Lorenzo Diamond; Ole Miss with QB Eli Manning and Linebacker Lanier Goethie; Vanderbilt with corner Rushen Jones and receiver Dan Stricker.
Thursday: Alabama and QB Tyler Watts and defensive tackle Jarret Johnson; Tennessee with QB Casey Clausen and Linebacker Eddie Moore; Mississippi St. with QB Kevin Fant and Linebacker Ronnie Riley; Kentucky with wide receiver Derek Abney and linebacker Ronnie Riley.
Coming tomorrow...Tuesday wrap up and comments along with Day 2 preview...