Is Casey Dick really the quarterback to do what
Arkansas head coach Bobby
Petrino wants, or is this going to be
a year to play for 2009? (Sub-question: If
Ryan Mallett is eligible, how much of a look does
he really get?)
Clay Henry, HawgsIllustrated.com
I think if Ryan Mallett is eligible, he
will get a good look. I also think Nathan Dick, Casey's younger brother,
will be in the mix. He was making a serious push in August when he tore
a hip flexor and missed the rest of August workouts. I believe he would
have pushed Casey for playing time had he been healthy and properly
prepped in the offense.
I am also convinced the offensive problems of the
last year were as much because of a lack of weapons at wide receiver and
tight end as they were the result of problems at QB. Injuries to Monk,
Cleveland and Tuck were blows to an area where there just wasn't much
talent or depth.
Are the pieces really in place at Auburn to run the offense like Tony
Franklin wants to? Realistically, how much of a transition year is this
going to be?
From Mark Murphy, AUTigers.com
From talking to Tony Franklin, I believe he is
excited about the possibilities for the 2008 Auburn offense after a
successful trial run in which he installed as much as possible in nine
practice days leading up to the Chick-fil-A Bowl victory over Clemson.
Auburn returns all five starters on the offensive line and the new
offensive coordinator notes that he likes the athleticism and quickness
of those players, who look to be a good fit for his system that includes
large line splits. Lee Ziemba, Ryan Pugh and Chaz Ramsey were SEC
All-Freshman performers and rising senior Tyronne Green is getting looks
from NFL scouts.
A big plus for Franklin is returning a pair of talented junior tight
ends, Gabe McKenzie and Tommy Trott. Franklin likes to get the football
to the tight ends if he has talented ones, and that is something he
didn't have at Troy.
Another thing missing from the equation at Troy was talented running
backs and with Brad Lester, Ben Tate, Mario Fannin and Tristan Davis
returning, that should be a team strength this fall. Look for Fannin to
be featured in the passing game, too.
A big key to success of Franklin's system will be how the wide receivers
adapt to the new offense. Rod Smith has proven to be a steady performer,
but no player has emerged as an
All-SEC caliber performer from a large group that includes Montez
Billings, Robert Dunn, Chris Slaughter, James, Swinton, Terrell Zachery
and Quindarius Carr, who
was redshirted last fall as a freshman.
Kodi Burns, who played well in the bowl game, looks to be a good fit for
the system at quarterback. JUCO transfer Chris Todd, who ran Franklin's
offense in high
school, will be battling for the starting spot held by Brandon Cox the
past three years. Neil Caudle, who has been set back by a series of
injuries, is finally healthy
going into his redshirt sophomore season.
Georgia expectations out of control? Considering the schedule, a national title
run isn’t a given. Is this the year Matthew Stafford becomes the
next-level player everyone’s expecting him to be?
From Dean Legge,
Expectations are not out of control. This is a big-time program
which has won big-time games. It just happened that the two year
they won the SEC they would not have played in the national
championship anyway because the two teams there were undefeated and
started the season in front of them (2002 Ohio State vs. Miami; 2005
Texas vs. Southern Cal). Georgia has been one of the most
consistent programs in the country over the last seven years – a
national title is all that’s missing.
The schedule is difficult – welcome to the SEC – nothing is new
there. Georgia will have to navigate difficult road games, but
that’s the case pretty much every season. The road hasn’t usually
been the problem, however, so they need to be wary of home games
against Alabama, Tennessee and other upset-minded teams. As always
Florida and Auburn loom late.
Matthew Stafford is an NFL quarterback playing college football for
a team that likes to run the ball, play defense and kick the ball.
He’s not going to put up the numbers to make the national boys
happy; he just wins a lot of football games – that counts for
something. Tim Tebow’s numbers were out of control – Florida
finished third in the East. It’s about winning, and Stafford
With Michael Henig gone at Mississippi State, can Wesley Carroll improve enough to
make the offense more than just along for the ride?
From Gene Swindoll, Publisher of GenesPage/Dawgs'
As a true freshman Wes Carroll helped lead the Mississippi
State Bulldogs to their first winning season in seven years. In his
nine starts, the ‘Dogs record were 6 and 3, which included a 3-2
record in Southeastern Conference play. The Bulldog offense scored 30 or more points in five of their
thirteen games. Four of those five contests were with Wes as the
starting quarterback. And most people don’t know that he did this while recovering
from shoulder surgery and a hamstring injury.
Fast-forward to the spring of 2008 and a new and improved Wes
Carroll is now available. His shoulder and hamstring are 100%
healthy. He has gain significant muscle mass. And he’s got a year’s
worth of SEC experience under his belt. In addition to Wes, add in six returning starters on the
offensive unit as well as two other players who played as much as
the just-graduated starters and you have the makings of a
much-improved Bulldog offense.
What's going to
happen to the Tennessee offense without David Cutcliffe? Is the fan
base rumbling at all after an average recruiting class?
Moore, Inside Tennessee
Tennessee's offense will change as much as Phil Fulmer allows it
to change. Close friend David Cutcliffe essentially had total
freedom over the offense in 2006 and 2007, and Tennessee threw
the ball probably more than Fulmer wanted. Odds are, the Vols
will go back to "pounding the rock" in 2008, whether new
offensive coordinator Dave Clawson wants to or not. Clawson will
bring in some new ideas but don't look for wholesale changes in
a UT offense that hasn't changed significantly since Fulmer was
the offensive coordinator from 1989-92. Probably the biggest
change is that the Vols have a little more mobility at
quarterback, now that Jonathan Crompton will be replacing the
statue-like Erik Ainge.
The fan base is split following an unusually low-ranked
recruiting class. Fulmer's critics are saying this class proves
he can no longer coach OR recruit. Fulmer's apologists are
convinced this class is full of sleepers just waiting to
blossom. The average fan is taking a wait-and-see attitude.