Worst-case scenario

For the Tennessee football team, the best-case scenario for 2007 is pretty obvious:

Quarterback Erik Ainge builds on his 2006 performance. Some unproven receivers emerge. The running backs stay healthy. The blockers win the line of scrimmage. The defensive front seven stuffs the run and mounts a pass rush. The secondary proves capable. Special teams are surprisingly productive. Tennessee goes 12-0, then wins the SEC Championship Game.

That's the best-case scenario. So what's the worst-case scenario? Dennis Dodd of cbs.sportsline.com recently tackled that question – for Tennessee and the rest of his preseason top 25 teams – in a blog entitled "Offseason Top 25: What could go wrong? We'll tell you."

What follows are the SEC teams who made Dodd's top 25, along with his choice as the No. 1 camp issue and worst-case scenario for each one:

2. LSU: Buy, trade or steal for quarterback depth. If Matt Flynn goes down, the Tigers could be in big trouble. Recipe for disaster: Les Miles gets his "wish" and plays USC in the BCS title game. The Trojans wouldn't have any motivation at all.

7. Florida: Tim Tebow inexperienced? The kid had a sore throwing arm in the spring, he was throwing so much in the offseason. Like last year, two QBs will play this season. One of Urban Meyer's biggest fall tasks is to develop a backup quarterback. Recipe for disaster: Tebow isn't the superstar he is projected to be and more of a burden falls on the defense.

11. Auburn: This is a year for the Tigers to surprise. Five of the first six are at home. Never bet against DC Will Muschamp and OC Al Borges. And Tommy T can coach a little, too. Recipe for disaster: An unsettled situation at linebacker doesn't clear itself up in August.

14. Tennessee: A great Tennessee tradition is in danger. Phil Fulmer is short of game-breaking receivers. He wants to use his running backs more as pass catchers to compensate. Recipe for disaster: A 6-6 season. Not likely to happen but Fulmer would really feel the heat then.

16. Arkansas: The best thing that can happen is that the Razorbacks get back on the field. Unfortunately, no amount of fall practice can make QB Casey Dick better. Recipe for disaster: An 8-5 season and a new AD for Houston Nutt.

20. Georgia: Dawgs have to get their minds back on football. Matthew Stafford can lift a keg, but can he lift Georgia to the SEC title? Recipe for disaster: The task of replacing six starters in the front seven proves to be too much.

21. South Carolina: Does it amaze anyone else than in Year 4 of Spur Dog, the Gamecocks are still winning with defense? TB Cory Boyd must have a big senior season. Recipe for disaster: The offensive line doesn't push back. It was dominated in the spring by the D.


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