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SEC overview

Alabama looks to roll on; Georgia should prevail in East

By Chris Low, Special to CNNSI.com

Freddie Milons Freddie Milons does everything for SEC favorite Alabama. Scott Halleran/Allsport

Order of Finish
East
1. Georgia
2. Florida
3. Tennessee
4. Kentucky
5. Vanderbilt
6. South Carolina
West
1. Alabama
2. Mississippi
3. LSU
4. Auburn
5. Mississippi State
6. Arkansas

Top Storylines
In the dreary aftermath of Alabama's embarrassing loss to Louisiana Tech early last season, the only real suspense in Tuscaloosa was whether or not Mike DuBose would make it through the season. Not only did he survive his off-the-field problems, but the Crimson Tide came storming back to win the SEC championship and should be even better this season.

In the East, Georgia has comparable talent and a new defensive coordinator (Gary Gibbs), but the Bulldogs have to prove they can beat Florida and Tennessee. The Vols lost enough players to the NFL to start an expansion team, while Ole Miss' Deuce McAllister will make one more jaunt through the league before taking his act to the NFL.

Where They'll Be for the Holidays
BCS Blessed Dot-Com Doomed Confined to Couch
Alabama
Georgia
Florida
Tennessee
Mississippi
Auburn
LSU
Miss. State
Vanderbilt
South Carolina
Kentucky
Arkansas

Best of All Worlds
Quarterback
Georgia
Quincy Carter
Running Backs
Mississippi
Deuce McAllister, Joe Gunn
Ends
Georgia
Terrence Edwards, Durell Robinson, Jevaris Johnson
Offensive Line
Alabama
Dante Ellington, Paul Hogan
Defensive Line
Florida
Alex Brown, Gerard Warren
Linebackers
Georgia
Kendrell Bell, Boss Bailey, Will Witherspoon
Secondary
Mississippi State
Fred Smoot, Pig Prather
Special Teams
Mississippi
Les Binkley, Deuce McAllister
Coaching
Florida
Steve Spurrier, Jon Hoke, Jimmy Ray Stephens

Status Report
Set to Go Skygliding
Georgia
Quincy Carter has plenty of weapons, and the defense should be dramatically improved.
Set to Go Cliffdiving
Mississippi State
Jackie Sherrill just keeps finding ways to win. This year could be the exception.
About to Step Up
Jared Lorenzen, QB, Kentucky
He's got the size, the arm and Hal Mumme's pass-happy offense to put up gaudy numbers.
Hasn't Stepped Up Yet
Jesse Palmer, QB, Florida
The Gators need a big year from Palmer. If he stumbles, freshman Brock Berlin will be on his heels.

Schedules
Brutal Schedule
South Carolina
In addition to the SEC gauntlet of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, the Gamecocks close the season at Clemson.
Breather Schedule
Mississippi
The Rebels avoid Florida and Tennessee and play four of their first five games at home.

Mark Your Calendar
Alabama at UCLA, Sept. 2
How good is the Crimson Tide? The opening weekend should provide more than a few answers.
Florida at Tennessee, Sept. 16
The tone in the East is established right away. The Gators have won six of the last seven meetings.
Florida vs. Georgia, Oct. 28
Don't be surprised if both teams are unbeaten when they collide in the annual Cocktail Party.

Chris Low covers the SEC for The Tennesseean and will write a weekly CNNSI.com conference insider this season.


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