Record: 7-4, 4-4 Big Ten
Coach: Joe Tiller, third year (25-11; 64-41-1 overall)
Top Off. Player: QB Drew Brees (60.9 completion percentage, 3,531 yards)
Top Def. Player: DE Akin Ayodele (10 sacks, 18 tackles for loss)
The Boilers may be the best four-loss team in America, with three of their losses coming to Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State, each by less than a touchdown. Bress is obviously the man in Tiller's "basketball on grass" offense, but one can't overlook the efforts of recivers Chris Daniels and Vinny Sutherland, as well as young running back Montrell Lowe. Defensively, Purdue is decent against the run but ranked last in the Big Ten against the pass.
||Purdue's leading rusher ruled academically ineligible|
||Big Ten to experiment with instant replay for 2003||
Record: 7-4, 5-3 SEC
Coach: Jim Donnan, third year (26-9)
Top Off. Player: QB Quincy Carter (2,713 yards, 17 TDs, 6 INTs)
Top Def. Player: DE Jamie Henderson (five interceptions, 15 deflections)
The Bulldogs are still fuming about a controversial fumble call that helped cost them the Georgia Tech game to finish the year. Before that, Georgia's season had been up-and-down, with a 6-1 start negated by losing three of the final four, not only to Tech but Auburn. Carter was still a decent quarterback and Jasper Sanks emerged as a potential star at running back, but the 'Dawgs secondary was consistently victimized by good passers, including a 416-yard day from Auburn's Ben Leard.
|Aug 20||Injuries piling up as No. 11 Georgia prepares for opener|
|Aug 20||Georgia DE Thompson out for season|