Record: 6-5, 5-3 ACC
Coach: Tommy Bowden, first year (24-9)
Top Off. Player: QB Woodrow Dantzler (1,501 passing yards, 580 rushing)
Top Def. Player: S Robert Carswell (122 tackles, six interceptions)
In another turnaround story, Bowden brought his new-age offense from Tulane over the off-season and led the Tigers to a four-win improvement despite playing all three current unbeaten teams, Marshall, Virginia Tech and Florida State. Dantzler brings unique athleticism to the QB position, and he's found a favorite target in Rod Gardner.
|Aug 22||Ex-Clemson QB to play for Citadel||
Record: 9-2, 6-2 SEC
Coach: Jackie Sherrill, ninth year (58-44-2; 163-89-4 overall)
Top Off. Player: K Scott Westerfield (18 of 24 field goals, two game-winners)
Top Def. Player: S Ashley Cooper (10 pass deflections, 14 tackles for loss)
The "cardiac kids" of college football won with last-second rallies against Auburn, LSU, Kentucky and Mississippi. The Bulldogs' offense wasn't flashy but got the job done, particularly behind backup QB Matt Wyatt, who was often pressed into action. The defense dominated against the run and contained QBs like Kentucky's Dusty Bonner.
|Aug 26||Sherill miffed over Oregon's Nike vests|
|Aug 25||Fant wins QB race at Mississippi State|
|Aug 22||Mississippi State told to silence cowbells|