Record: 8-3, 6-2 Big Ten
Coach: Lloyd Carr (sixth season, 57-16)
Key players: RB Anthony Thomas (1,551 yards, 16 TDs), WR David Terrell (994 yards, 13 TDs), QB Drew Henson (60.4 percent completions, 16 TDs)
Season summary: The Wolverines fell short of their preseason Orange or Rose Bowl aspirations, but they did still share the Big Ten title. Their powerful offense can do you in both ways, either with the workhorse Thomas up the gut or with the impressive Henson spreading the field and finding playmakers like Terrell. Michigan's defense, however, has been the weakness, surrendering 28-10 leads in losses to both Purdue and Northwestern.
Record: 9-3, 6-3 SEC
Coach: Tommy Tuberville (second season, 14-9; 47-31 overall)
Key players: RB Rudi Johnson (1,567 yards, 13 TDs), QB Ben
Leard (60.5 percent, 2,158 yards), LB Alex Lincoln (75 tackles)
Season summary: The Tigers' return to prominence following
two years of mediocrity can be traced almost entirely to the arrival of
juco transfer Johnson. Suddenly one of the country's worst rushing teams
a year ago was eating clock and dominating on the ground. The tradeoff,
though, is Leard and WR Ronney Daniels have fallen off
considerably from their '99 form. An easy schedule also helped the
Tigers, who lost quite soundly in their biggest games, against Florida
twice and Mississippi State.