Monday, August 21, 2006

SEC Team Previews

Tennessee (5-6,3-5)
Offensive Starters Returning: 7
Defensive Starters Returning: 6
Last 5 Years Win Totals: 11-8-10-10-5

For the first time in 13 years, the Vols found themselves to be very bored at Christmas time. The biggest return this off season may be that of former offensive coodinator David Cutcliffe to his old post in Knoxville. Tennessee will have more stability at QB this year and a reliable back in Arian Foster, but the loss of four o-linemen means defense may have to carry the Vols early.

Key Players:
QB Erik Ainge
RB Arian Fosters
WR Robert Meacham
OT Arron Sears
DT Justin Harrell
LB Marvin Mitchell
CB Inky Johnson

Schedule:

Sep2CalL
Sep9Air ForceW
Sep16FloridaW
Sep23MarshallW
Sep30@MemphisW
Oct7@GeorgiaL
Oct21AlabamaW
Oct28@South CarolinaW
Nov4LSUL
Nov11@ArkansasL
Nov18@VanderbiltW
Nov25KentuckyW


Prediction: 8-4,5-3

Alabama (10-2,6-2)
Offensive Starters Returning: 9
Defensive Starters Returning: 4
Last 5 Years Win Totals: 7-10-4-6-10

Gone is Brodie Croyle and so may be the hopes of competing for the SEC crown. Though the Crimson Tide have nine starters back on offense, they have very little experience at QB. Kenneth Darby returns also needing only 1,077 yards to pass Shaun Alexander on the all-time rushing list. The defense was gutted by the NFL and will need to replace all three linebackers. The Tide will play 12 straight weeks so injuries could play a big part down the stretch.

Key Players:
QB John Parker Wilson
RB Ken Darby
WR DJ Hall
WR Tyrone Prothro
C Antoine Caldwell
LB Juwan Simpson
CB Ramzee Robinson
K Jamie Christensen


Schedule:
Sep2HawaiiW
Sep9VanderbiltW
Sep16La-MonroeW
Sep23@ArkansasL
Sep30@FloridaL
Oct7DukeW
Oct14Ole MissW
Oct21@TennesseeL
Oct28Fla-IntlW
Nov4Miss StW
Nov11@LSUL
Nov18AuburnL


Prediction: 7-5,3-5

Mississippi St (3-8,1-7)
Offensive Starters Returning: 8
Defensive Starters Returning:9
Last 5 Years Win Totals: 3-3-2-3-3

Sylvester Croom's hiring was a monumental one for the SEC, but after three seasons at the helm with only 8 wins to show for it Croom may be feeling some heat. This would be the year to make a move with 17 starters coming back, including 9 from the defense. Still, with Arkansas and Ole Miss looking to be improved from last year, it will be a tough road for the Bulldogs.

Key Players:
QB - Michael Henig
QB - Ty Evans
RB - Brandon Thornton
RB - Derek Ambrose
WR - Will Prosser
OT - Brian Anderson
DT - Deljuan Robinson
LB - Quinton Culberson
CB - Jeramie Johnson
CB - David Heard
K - Keith Andrews


Schedule
Aug31South CarolinaLoss
Sep9AuburnLoss
Sep16TulaneWin
Sep23@UABLoss
Sep30@LSULoss
Oct7West VirginiaLoss
Oct14Jacksonville StWin
Oct21@GeorgiaLoss
Oct28KentuckyWin
Nov4@AlabamaLoss
Nov18ArkansasLoss
Nov25Ole MissLoss


Prediction: 3-9, 1-7


Ole Miss (3-8,1-7)
Offensive Starters Returning: 5
Defensive Starters Returning: 5
Last 5 Years Win Totals: 7-7-10-4-3

Last years three wins were disappointed to the Rebels who fired David Cutcliffe one year removed from a 10 win season and hired Ed Ogeron from USC. Ogeron brought in an impressive haul of recruits in the off season, including former Tennessee QB Brent Schaeffer. Rebel fans want to see their team back near the top of the West sooner rather than later though and that will be tough in the West with only 5 returning starters. Ole Miss will rely heavily on their defense again this year while Schaeffer gets accustomed to his new teammates.

Key Players:
QB Brent Schaeffer
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
WR Robert Hough
OL Michael Oher
DE Peria Jerry
LB Patrick Willis
LB Garry Pack
SS Jamarca Sanford
FS Charles Clark



Schedule:
Sep3MemphisWin
Sep9@MissouriLoss
Sep16@KentuckyWin
Sep23Wake ForestWin
Sep30GeorgiaLoss
Oct7VanderbiltWin
Oct14@AlabamaLoss
Oct21@ArkansasLoss
Oct28AuburnLoss
Nov4NW StateWin
Nov18@LSULoss
Nov25Miss StWin


Prediction: 6-6,3-5

Arkansas (4-7,2-6)
Offensive Starters Returning: 10
Defensive Starters Returning: 9
Last 5 Years Win Totals: 7-9-9-5-4

The Razorbacks flirted with the idea of releasing Houston Nutt after last year, but they may be glad they did not with 19 starters returning to Fayetteville. Arkansas has a stable of running backs and will most likely lead the SEC in rushing. The passing game is another story, but heralded freshman Mitch Mustain may bring some needed help as early as this year. The defense was pretty solid last year and returns nine starters from a year ago. The Razorbacks open with USC who beat them 70-17 last year.

Key Players:
QB Casey Dick
QB Mitch Mustain
RB Darren McFadden
RB Felix Jones
WR Marcus Monk
OT Zac Tubbs
DE Jamaal Anderson
LB Desmond Sims
LB Sam Olajubutu
SS Randy Kelly


Schedule:
Sep2USCL
Sep9Utah StW
Sep16@VanderbiltW
Sep23AlabamaW
Oct7@AuburnL
Oct14SE Missouri StW
Oct21Ole MissW
Oct28La-MonoreW
Nov4@South CarolinaL
Nov11TennesseeW
Nov18@Miss StW
Nov24LSUL
Prediction: 8-4,5-3

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