Coral Gables, Fla.
COLORS: Orange, green and white
BASIC OFFENSE: T
1957 RECORD: Won 5, lost 4, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 17 of 22
WATCH FOR: Fran Curci, fine ball handler, excellent on option play
THE DOPE: The Hurricanes, with Oregon, Wisconsin, Boston College and Houston on the schedule, will play as truly national a schedule as any major college. Coach Andy Gustafson retains nine of his 11 starters, including All-America prospects Fran Curci and Gary Greaves. Quarterback Curci's southpaw passing (41 completions in 85 tries for 376 yards and six touchdowns) and his running of the option (439 yards) make him extremely dangerous. Curci's backfield mates are Captain Joe Plevel, the team's leading scorer and an excellent pass receiver, Byron Blasko and Fullback Jim Stevens. Vester Newcomb is the only lineman missing from the stone wall that last year held foes to under 100 yards per game, a ground defense second only to Auburn's. Jim Otto replaces Newcomb, Doug Hildebrandt and Phil Geatz are back at ends, Don Wallace and Bill Hayes at guards and Greaves and Charley Diamond at tackles. Greaves is rated the best tackle in Miami history. The Hurricanes are definitely improved, with depth, and will enjoy a winning season.
COLORS: Red and blue
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1957 RECORD: Won 9, lost 1, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 24 of 37
WATCH FOR: Fullback Charles Flowers, who averaged 7.4 yards in '57
THE DOPE: The Rebels have a couple dozen lettermen but only two starters-Center Milt Crain and End Bill Templeton—from the squad that finished second in the Southeast and plastered Texas 39-7 in the Sugar Bowl. Still, Coach Johnny Vaught should field another strong contender, powered by Fullback Charles Flowers and guided by nimble Quarterback Bobby Franklin. Vaught will miss Ray Brown's power running and defensive play, but what the 169-pound Franklin lacks in size he should make up in finesse. Flowers and Halfbacks Cowboy Woodruff and Kent Lovelace are dangerous runners. Flowers' 7.4-yard average last season was tops in the conference. Although the 6-foot 5-inch Crain is impressive on offense and an effective pass defender, he may lose the starting assignment at center to Ken Kirk. "We haven't had one like him before," beams Vaught. End Larry Grantham, Guard Hal Cooper and Tackle Aubrey Sanders are other line stalwarts. The championship of the SEC may well hang on the game between the Rebels and Mississippi State at season's end.
State College, Miss.
COLORS: Maroon and white
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1957 RECORD: Won 6, lost 2, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 21 of 34
WATCH FOR: A strong running attack sparked by Billy Stacy
THE DOPE: The Maroons may not be the strongest of the strong in this rugged Southeastern Conference, but they should finish somewhere close to the top again. Coach Wade Walker still has two-time All-Conference Quarterback Billy Stacy, who made most of the preseason All-America teams. He also has 20 other let-termen to give him a solid first unit and the nucleus of a second. Stacy's chief running companion is Bubber Trammell, a nifty broken-field specialist. Three other lettermen are available at halfback. Bill Schoenrock is the fullback. Passing, a weak spot last year, is expected to perk up with Stacy and his reliever, Tom Miller, tossing mostly to Trammell and Gil Peterson. The Maroons are strong at guard with Jack Benson, the best linebacker, and J. E. Logan. Bobby Tribble heads the tackles and Chuck Weatherly is probably the best of five lettermen at the ends. Jim Poteete is the only experienced center available. State starts the season with two major hurdles—Florida and Tennessee. If it gets over those, the season should almost surely turn out successfully.
Chapel Hill, N.C.