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SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE
September 23, 1957
HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS: Year in and year out the enthusiastic fans of the SEC territory see some of the best football in the country. This is going to be the hardest year of all to pick the top teams, as the conference seems to have the best balance in years. Perhaps they should be rated in groups. Top group of championship caliber: Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Mississippi, Auburn and Kentucky. At least a couple of these teams could emerge as national powers the way Tennessee did last year. Tough middle group: Florida, LSU, Vanderbilt, and Georgia. Upset crew: Mississippi State, Tulane and Alabama.
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September 23, 1957

Southeast Conference

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Mississippi State has the classiest quarterback in the conference in Billy Stacy, but doesn't look deep enough for its tough schedule.

Tulane is a sure bet to be well coached, getting every bit of mileage out of its material, and the Green Wave could cost Mississippi the championship with an upset. However, the team is not deep enough or good enough to win consistently in this conference.

Alabama had some good sophomores last year and played well for two quarters in every game. Still, the team wound up beating itself. Morale problems still exist, so 'Bama rates at the bottom spot in everybody's book. It seems strange to see the once-terrible Crimson Tide in this position.

ALABAMA
Tuscaloosa, Ala.

COLORS: Crimson and white
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1956 RECORD: Won 2, lost 7, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 19 of 33
WATCH FOR: Soph sensation Gary O'Steen, triple threat at left halfback

THE DOPE: The Crimson Tide is about to come on the prosperity that hit the rest of the New South long ago, and about time. In the last two years under Coach J. B. (Ears) Whitworth, Alabama has been able to buy but two wins and a tie while losing 17. This year the picture should change, and 'Bama should climb from the cellar. Nineteen lettermen return, and, though most of them are juniors, they received invaluable experience last year and have the lumps to prove it. "This is the best group I've had to work with since I took over the job in 1955," says Coach Whitworth. Much reliance will be placed on sophomores. The youngsters are an exceptionally talented group and several will probably earn starting roles. Top prospect among the newcomers is Gary O'Steen, 172-pound halfback who may see quarterback duty as well. Whitworth calls him "the best back to hit the 'Bama campus in years." Fullback Jim Loftin is expected to be another big gun in the 'Bama barrage. This 201-pound senior averaged 4.1 yards per carry last year and was the team's second best rusher even though hampered by injuries. Though the schedule is tough, Whitworth could have a winning season, with luck.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 28 at LSU, N (no game)
OCT. 5 at Vanderbilt, N (7-32)
OCT. 12 at Texas Christian, N (6-23)
OCT. 19 Tennessee at Birmingham (0-24)
OCT. 26 Miss. State (13-12)
NOV. 2 at Georgia (13-16)
NOV. 9 Tulane at Mobile (13-7)
NOV. 16 Georgia Tech at Birmingham (0-27)
NOV. 23 Miss. Southern (13-13)
NOV. 30 Auburn at Birmingham (7-34)

AUBURN
Auburn, Ala.

COLORS: Orange and blue
BASIC OFFENSE: Spread T
1956 RECORD: Won 7, lost 3
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 19 of 33
WATCH FOR: The running of halfbacks Tommy Lorino and Bobby Hoppe

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