Team most likely to surprise: South Carolina. Lou Holtz
NEVER hypes up his team, and after last season's collapse, nobody
else will either. But ole Lou is also a GREAT motivator when
everyone is against him/them. The Gamecocks have a dynamic passer,
a super frosh RB, an improved defense and a reasonable schedule.
If anyone is to turn heads and win more than they should, it'll
be the boys from Columbia. In fact, do NOT be surprised if these
young men take advantage of a "down" year in the East
and punch a ticket to Atlanta.
Team most likely to disappoint: LSU. This is relatively
speaking. There are a lot of people expecting the Bayou Bengals
to win the West or at least be the second best team in the
SEC. Not so. The two QB system wont work in their favor, they
don't have an SEC back to carry them, and they lose a good
amount of leadership on defense. I think it will be a year
to find their identity and pose for next season.
2. South Carolina
5. Ole Miss
4. South Carolina
Auburn (QB Campbell, RB C.Williams, RB Jacobs... backups-
RB R.Brown, RB T.Smith, FB B.Johnson, QB Cox)
Ole Miss (WR Collins, WR Espy, TE Lilly... backups- WR Flowers,
WR Biddle, WR Hill, TE Rice)
Tennessee (OT Munoz, OG Respert, C Wells, OG C.Smith, OT S.Young...
backups- OG R.Smith, OG Herrera, OT Douglas)
Georgia (DE W.Thompson, DT Golston, DT Veal, DE Pollack...
backups DE Geathers, DT Swain, DT G.Anderson, DE Wynn)
Alabama (OLB Daniels, MLB Roach, OLB Wortham... backups- OLB
Ryans, ILB Pope)
BACKS: Florida (CB Carter, CB Ratliff, SS G.Scott, FS Bailey...
backups- FS Dixon, CB M.Jackson, CB R.Hill, SAF Herring)
TEAMS: Mississippi State (PK B.Smith, P J.Cook, KR Reid, KR/PR
Norwood, PR Turner)
Chappy's 2003 All-SEC Team
QB Eli Manning (sr)- OLE MISS
RB Jabari Davis (jr)- TENNESEE
RB Brandon Jacobs (jr)- AUBURN
FB Mark Pierce (jr)- ARKANSAS
TE Jeremiah Drobney (so)- KENTUCKY
WR Troy Williamson (so)- S.CAROLINA
WR Michael Clayton (jr)- LSU
OT Shawn Andrews (jr)- ARKANSAS
OG Shannon Snell (sr)- FLORIDA
C Scott Wells (sr)- TENNESSEE
OG Justin Smiley (jr)- ALABAMA
OT Wesley Britt (jr)- ALABAMA
DE David Pollack (jr)- GEORGIA
DT DeMarco McNeil (sr)- AUBURN
DT Chad Lavalais (sr)- LSU
DE Jeb Huckeba (jr)- ARKANSAS
OLB Brooks Daniels (sr)- ALABAMA
ILB T.J. Mawhinney (sr)- MISS ST
ILB Marcus Lawrence (jr)- S.CAROLINA
OLB Karlos Dansby (sr)- AUBURN
CB Dunta Robinson (sr)- S.CAROLINA
CB Corey Webster (sr)- LSU
FS Eric Oliver (jr)- OLE MISS
SS Gus Scott (sr)- FLORIDA
Piotrowicz (jr)- FLORIDA
PK Billy Bennett (sr)- GEORGIA
P Dustin Colquitt (jr)- TENNESSEE
KR Devery Henderson (sr)- LSU
PR Derek Abney (sr)- KENTUCKY
MVP AWARDS AND TOP NEWCOMERS
OFF MVP: OLE MISS QB Eli Manning
DEF MVP: ARKANSAS DE Jeb Huckeba
ST MVP: Tie ALABAMA RS Shaud Williams and FLORIDA RS Keiwan
OFF NEWCOMER: RB Demetris Summers (fr)- S.CAROLINA
DEF NEWCOMER: LB Marcus Lawrence (jr)- S.CAROLINA
TOUGHEST SCHEDULE: Alabama. The Tide must try and roll
through a 13 game slate that includes S.Florida, Oklahoma,
Northern Illinois, Southern Miss and Hawaii (each won at least
7 games last year) in non-conf. games, with road conference
tilts at Georgia, at Ole Miss, and at Auburn. All-in-all,
the Tide play nine teams that went to bowls last year and
3 more who were bowl eligible. Wow.
WEAKEST SCHEDULE: Kentucky. Rich Brooks has it nice and
easy in his "break-in" year, playing (a rebuilding)
Louisville, D-IAA Murray State, at Indiana, and Ohio in non-confs
and home SEC bouts against Florida, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
BEST COACHING STAFF: Although it may not seem like it
at times, Ron Zook has a great staff working for him. Ed Zaunbrecher
is the OC and former Gamecock-staffer Charlie Strong comes
over as the new DC. Mamas, don't worry- you're boys are good
hands in Gainesville. Not to mention, Zook's denial to take
a contract extension (just yet) was a bold move, but proved
that his job here is to win and produce. It also showed that
he truly cares about his players and believes in what he and
his staff can accomplish. Good enough for me.
MOST TO PROVE: Florida Freshman QB Chris Leak. Josh Booty,
Ron Powlus, Brock Berlin- these are all guys who were supposed
to be high stakes studs, who, at least as of this day, have
not really proven their weight in gold (although Berlin still
has a chance at Miami). I'm not jumping on the doubt train
just yet, but with all that media hype and fan expectation,
I am making my way to the ticket line.
MOST TO GAIN: South Carolina QB Dondrial Pinkins. He is
a new QB, his team did poorly last season, not many think
they will contend this season. Sounds like Pinky's got it
right where he wants it. With a great arm and comparisons
being made to "a quicker Daunte Culpepper", Dondrial
might just sneak up on some peeps this season.
OVERRATED: Tennessee RB Cedric Houston. I noticed his
name sprinkling some All-SEC charts- why? He has not really
proven (to me) that he is an All-Conference caliber back.
In fact, some people (even in Knoxville) are saying he is
the THIRD best back on the team this year. Even if he stays
healthy, I don't put him ahead of Jabari Davis.
UNDERRATED: Alabama RB/WR/RS Shaud Williams. The man may
be the most valuable player on the Alabama team- and he's
going to need to be this year. When Mike Price was fired,
he stood up at the podium, in tears, wondering what might
have been- or still could be. He's got a likable guy in Mike
Shula (as the new coach) and he can do everything. Look for
him to gain some national attention this season, as he is
the Tide's BEST Heisman candidate- yes, even over Brodie!
BEST PLAYER NOBODY KNOWS: Vanderbilt RB/KR Kwane Doster.
He lead the 'Dores in rushing, averaging 5 yards per carry,
he is an admirable receiver, great in the open field, and
was one of the SEC's best kick returners as well. Not to worry
gang- he's only a sophomore.
TOP GAMES OF THE YEAR:
1. Sept. 13th South Carolina at GEORGIA
2. Nov. 8th OLE MISS at Auburn
3. Nov. 22nd Alabama at AUBURN
4. Oct. 4th LSU at SOUTH CAROLINA
5. Sept. 27th SOUTH CAROLINA at Tennessee
(team in caps is Chappy's pick to win)