THE DOPE: The Yellowjackets, despite rumors that they might soon drop big-time football, are apparently headed for another era of southern supremacy. Having played more bowl games (13) and won more (11) than any other college, Tech expects to pull itself out of eighth place and again challenge the SEC leaders. But it may take another year for this virtually all-junior team to jell into a championship unit. "We must cut down on the number of mistakes and develop a good kicking game before we can even improve on last year's record," says Coach Bobby Dodd. The Engineers' 28 returning lettermen include Maxie Baughan, an outstanding linebacker, who is hailed as an even greater center than graduated All-America Don Stephenson. End Jack Rudolph is another defensive star. The Rambling Wreck had the best pass defense in the country last year and will again be rugged defensively. Dodd's running game features Halfback Floyd Fau-cette, with Fred Braselton calling signals Tech fans have been cautioned against overoptimism, but in Dodd they trust.
COLORS: Blue and white
BASIC OFFENSE: Multiple T
1957 RECORD: Won 3, lost 7
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 23 of 35
WATCH FOR: The power running of Halfback Bobby Cravens
THE DOPE: The Wildcats expect to claw their way out of the Southeastern Conference cellar but just how far out depends upon a litter of 42 sophomores. Coach Blanton Collier still has one of the league's finest halfbacks in Bobby Cravens, but All-America Tackle Lou Michaels and too many other experienced men have left to make Kentucky a serious contender for the SEC title. Few of the 23 returning lettermen saw much service last year, and the 'Cats will be relying heavily on such sophomore prospects as Backs Calvin Bird, Charles Sturgeon and Lloyd Hodge. Cravens is easily one of the South's best backs, a reckless line buster who was the conference's No. 2 ground-gainer. Collier's quarterback is Lowell Hughes, a good runner and the fourth best passer in the SEC his sophomore year. Glenn Shaw and Fullback Waymond Morris round out the starting backfield, which is extremely shallow. The top lineman is Guard Jim Miller, with Tackle George Boone another sturdy hope. This is a hustling young team which could upset one of the favorites.
COLORS: Purple and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: Variable T
1957 RECORD: Won 5, lost 5
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 16 of 26
WATCH FOR: The broken-field running of Billy Cannon
THE DOPE: The Bayou Bengals are definitely on the rise with a fast and powerful running attack built around Billy Cannon and J. W. Brodnax. Cannon, a 195-pound junior was the SEC leader in kickoff returns last season, helps make Coach Paul Dietzel's club one of the fastest in the conference. Brodnax, a real toughy, has played right half for two years but will shift to fullback to replace the graduated Jimmy Taylor. While LSU has high hopes of landing up in the first division, the team must fill Win Turner's capable shoes at quarterback and strengthen the right side of the line in order to do so. Warren Rabb is the only experienced signal caller left, and he will be backed up by Sophomore Darryl Jenkins. LSU is noticeably short of experienced linemen. Duane Leopard has been shifted from center to tackle in order to bolster the right side, and Max Fugler, an excellent linebacker, will start at center. End Billy Hendrix is another key lineman. Yet this team still has too many ifs to rank as a serious contender in such stiff competition as the SEC.
College Park, Md.
COLORS: Red and white
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1957 RECORD: Won 5, lost 5
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 23 of 38
WATCH FOR: The speed and maneuverability of Guard Rodney Breedlove
THE DOPE: The Terrapins will be "considerably stronger this season," says Coach Tommy Mont, and he has in mind eight returning starters from last year's team along with a wealth of reserves unseen on the campus since Jim Tatum departed in 1956. The Terps have a standout offensive line with Rodney Breedlove and Tom Gunderman at the guards, Fred Cole and Kurt Schwarz at tackle, converted Guard Vic Schwartz at center and Ron Shaffer and Ben Scotti at end. The pros are drooling over Breedlove, who is rated on a par with former Terp All-America Bob Pellegrini. Maryland will pass more this season, and its running game will be improved even with the defection of Fullback Phil Perlo to the Washington Redskins. Mont has a connoisseur's collection of signal callers and ball carriers, including last year's regular quarterbacks, Bob Rusevlyan and Dickie Lewis. Watch for Soph Halfback Dwayne Fletcher, who is being compared with such alltime Terp runners as Chet Hanulak and Ronnie Walker. An outside chance here for top conference honors.