CONCLUSION: For Bear Bryant, winning is as inevitable as the tide. Alabama could remain undefeated through one more season.
With almost a complete turnover from last year's starting team, Auburn either could be good or quite bad. It probably will be good. Coach Ralph Jordan has left Fullback Larry Rawson, the team's most effective ballcarrier (448 rushing yards in 1961), and Jim Burson, a hard-to-shake defensive back who last season intercepted four passes. He also has a big, physically able squad. Tackles George Gross and Joe Baughan, both over 240 pounds, set a large-sized standard for the solid if still unpolished front. Quarterback Mailon Kent has a nice passing touch and a couple of towering targets in Ends Howard Simpson (6 feet 5) and sophomore Bucky Waid (6 feet 3). Should Kent falter or Jordan switch to a running game, then sophomore Jim Sidle will operate the spread T. The man he'll hand off to most is sophomore Tucker Frederickson, a 213-pound former high school All-America and the freshman wonder of the SEC.
CONCLUSION: The Tigers are just too new to win everything, but they'll be troublesome—even for Georgia Tech and Alabama.
For The Citadel and Coach Eddie Teague, both firm believers that tough-minded soldier-students win the tight ball game, 1962 may prove a disappointment. While the team won five of seven games by a total of 18 points last year, few of the current Bulldogs got into the games. There will be 10 new starters in the unbalanced T offense, which will be tailored to long gaining plays rather than grind-it-out football. The reason is Quarterback Sid Mitchell, a senior with an inconsistent past but a talent for touchdown passes (five in 20 completions in 1961), and an abundance of agile receivers. The best are End Charlie Brendle (20 catches for 303 yards and 4 TDs in 1961) and fast, sure-handed Backs Nick DiLoreto, Ed Taylor and LeRoy Brinson. The line, built around the lone returning first-team man, Guard Gene Dice, nevertheless seems weak only at left tackle, where John Evans will start unless a better sophomore comes along.
CONCLUSION: The Kaydets may end as men, but not this season, when patience will prove more valuable than theories.
Like a two-headed monster, Clemson's superb quarterback tandem of Joe Anderson and Jim Parker can upset the most determined defenses. Last year, alternating at quarter, the two accounted for 1,816 yards. Designed to produce quick scores, Coach Frank Howard's version of the split T is loaded with flankers, slots, men in motion and topped by split ends. The offense gains some of its effectiveness from the power running of Mack Matthews (when he is scholastically eligible), and the end sweeps of elusive Elmo Lam. Lam led the team with a 5.4-yard rushing average in 1961, caught 17 passes for 237 yards and returned eight punts for 179 yards and a touchdown. The line as always is big, although not as big as last year's. It is faster, however, and this should be a help. The punting of Ed Werntz is excellent 40.2-yard average, ninth best in the country—but the linebacking is untried and this could be a serious problem.
CONCLUSION: The Tigers should better 1961's record but they are not deep enough to overcome the likes of Maryland and Duke.