HEAD COACH: Mark Richt
: Quincy Carter-QB, Brett Millican-RB, Jevaris Johnson-TE, Jonas Jennings-OT, Brady Pate-OG, Reggie Stargill-OG
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Marcus Stroud-DT, Richard Seymour-DT, Demetric Evans-DE, Kendrell Bell-MLB, Jamie Henderson-CB

In steps new coach Mark Richt, the offensive coordinator from Florida State. Great news for Coach Richt is that the cupboard will be far from bare in his first season. Rest assured, Bulldog fans are going to see a different kind of offense. One of the top Heisman Candidates from the 2000 preseason, QB Quincy Carter, left early for the NFL. But after spending nearly all of last season with nagging injuries, his lack of play led the way to returning QB Cory Phillips. Along with him, three of the top receivers, and three of the top rushers are all back. Superb wideouts returning include 2001 Heisman Candidate Terrence Edwards, along with LaBrone Mitchell. Some top rushers also return from 2000 in Jasper Sanks and super recruit Musa Smith. The OL will need to find some replacements on the left side of the ball, but with all of the skill people back…Look out! Georgia's defense made a dramatic improvement from 1999. Top tackler and senior, Will Witherspoon from his middle linebacker position, will lead the defense. The Dawg D has an eight-game streak of consecutive games with at least two interceptions. On the year, the defense posted 19 interceptions with a school-record four returned for touchdowns and most of the defensive backfield responsible for that returns. The only key will be finding some replacement tackles to step up. The SEC road will introduce itself quick to Coach Richt and should be a bumpy ride, but there is enough talent to start things off in the right direction.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Cory Phillips-Jr David Greene-Fr
RB Verron Haynes - Sr J.T. Wall-Jr
RB Jasper Sanks-Sr Musa Smith-So
SE Terrence Edwards-Jr Reggie Brown-So
FL LaBrone Mitchell-Sr Damien Gary-Fr
TE Randy McMichael-Jr Jason Rader-So
OT George Foster-Jr Kareem Marshal-Jr
OG Alex Jackson-Jr Randall Kendrick-Jr
C Curt McGill-Sr Ian Knight-Jr
OG Kevin Breedlove-Jr Chris Hewitt-So
OT Jon Stinchcomb-Jr Clint Larkin-Sr
K Billy Bennett-So Brett Kirouac-So
DE Josh Mallard-Sr Terin Smith-Sr
DT David Jacobs-Jr Shed Wynn-So
DT Jon Sullivan-So Ben Lowe-Jr
DE Charles Grant-Jr Bruce Adrine-Sr
SLB Will Witherspoon-Sr Derrick Holloway-Fr
MLB Tony Gilbert-Jr Adrian Hollingshed-Sr
WLB Ryan Flemming-Sr Chris Clemons-So
CB Bruce Thornton-So Decory Bryant-So
CB Tim Wansley-Sr Dantra Clements-So
SS Terreal Bierria-Jr Sean Jones-Fr
FS Jermaine Phillips-Sr Cap Burnett-Jr
P Jonathan Kilgo-Jr ..
  HEAD COACH: Jackie Sherrill
Michael Fair-C, Pork Chop Womack-OT, Larry Huntington-FL, Scott Westerfield-K
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Toby Golliday-NG, Ellis Wyms-DT, Willie Blade-DT, Rob Knight-DE, Edward Yeates-LB, Kendall Roberson-CB, Eugene Clinton-FS, Fred Smoot-CB

Over the past four football seasons, Mississippi State has been the most dominant team in the SEC's Western Division with three straight 8 win seasons. Last season the team dropped two overtime games and lost another by just four points, but rebounded and closed the season in an amazing snow storm at the Independence Bowl, knocking off Texas A&M. The Bulldogs bring back 13 starters from last fall's team, the largest number of regulars coming back to a Bulldog team since that SEC West-winning squad of 1998. Senior Wayne Madkin is back at QB directing an offense that threw for 2,118 yards and ran for 2,132 yards in 2000. The entire backfield unit responsible for those numbers returns and will easily be projected as the best set of runners and throwers in all of the SEC if not the nation. 1000 yard rusher and senior Dicenzo Miller comes back at the tailback spot and should be able to maintain fresh legs for four quarters as Dontae Walker gets plenty of reps from the same position. The offensive line does lose two three-year starters at tackle and center, but three fifths of the line returns. The defensive numbers are a little low as 6 starters leave Starkville, including All-American corner back Fred Smoot. Two names coaches hope to fill the void with will be BIG Mario Haggan at linebacker. At 253 pounds, he led all tacklers in 2000 averaging 12 a game. The other is senior DB Pig Prather, who must return from off-season knee surgery. If there is a weakness, all signs point to the kicking game. That may be MSU's biggest need, as both a new punter and kicker must be found. Fans and alumni are extremely excited for what the new season holds, and Coach Jackie Sherrill is the right man for the job. If Mississippi State doesn't at minimum push for the SEC West crown in the late season, it will be a huge disappointment.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Wayne Madkin-Sr Kevin Fant-So
FB Justin Griffith-Jr Darnell Jones-Fr
TB Dicenzo Miller-Sr Dontae Walker-Jr
SE Terrell Grindle-Jr Clarence Parker-Sr
FL Justin Jenkins-So Darius Tubbs-Jr
TE Donald Lee-Jr Aaron Lumpkin-So
OT Kenric Fairchild-Sr Carl Hutchins-Jr
OG Courtney Lee-Sr Kyle Wallace-Jr
C Blake Jones-So Kevin Sijansky-Jr
OG Tommy Watson-Sr Brad Weathers-Fr
OT Derrick Thompson-So Donald Tucker-So
K John Michael Marlin-So ..
DE Conner Stephens-Sr Ivan Billie-Jr
DT Dorsett Davis-Sr Jadice Moore-Fr
NG Demotto Youngblood-Fr Greg Jack-Jr
DT Lennie Day-So Ifem Ezekwe-Jr
DE Dwayne Robertson-Sr Robert Spivey-Fr
LB Mario Haggan-Jr Jason Clark-So
LDS Pig Prather-Sr Bryan Shumaker-So
RDS Shawn Byrdsong-Sr Anthony Bryant-Sr
CB Korey Banks-Jr Jonathan Bell-Fr
CB Marco Minor-Sr Slovakia Griffith-Fr
FS Josh Morgan-Jr David Mooneyham-So
P Jared Cook-Fr ..
  HEAD COACH: John L. Smith
: Arnold Jackson-WR, Joe O'Shaughnessy-OG, Jason Padget-C
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Donovan Arp-DT, Derrick Kennedy-DT, Rashad Harris-LB, Rashad Holman-CB, Antonio Roundtree-CB

The 2000 Conference USA Trophy rests in Louisville and head coach John L. Smith knows what it takes to keep it there. It is now three years and three bowl games later since Coach Smith has taken over the reigns and 2001 may be his most promising. There are so many preseason award candidates dotting the roster it may take up too much time naming them all. Offensively, the Cardinals welcome back eight starters to a unit that scored 35 or more points in eight of 12 games a year ago. C-USA Offensive Player of the Year Dave Ragone is a big time quarterback with a cannon for an arm. Not only that, but he has some incredible talent running patters for him. NationalChamps.net 2001 All-American Deion Branch will be at one spot and Zek Parker, one of the nation's premier kick returners, will be at another. Three returning letterwinners will fight for the running back spot in the Cards' one-back set and tight end Ronnie Ghent really put up some lofty numbers last season as a sophmore. On defense, any type of repeat from last season would be just fine as the Cardinals finished fourth nationally against the run and 15th overall. Leading the defense from his safety position is a unanimous choice for All-American, Anthony Floyd, who had an amazing ten interceptions last year. If there is a concern for coaches, it may be replacing a few graduated All-Conference players from last season on defense. Both inside tackles and both cornerbacks will have new faces lining up there this coming fall. The bottom line is that Louisville has so much quality talent spread about the field, that it will be next to impossible for the Cards to miss a bowl game. So make that four in a row for Coach Smith. Card fans seriously have to be excited about the future, and with a little luck in 2001, you may find Louisville knocking on the door New Year's Day.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Dave Ragone-Jr Stefan LeFors-Fr
RB Tony Stallings-Sr T.J. Patterson-So
WR Zek Parker-Sr Victor Glenn-So
WR Deion Branch-Sr J.R. Russell-Fr
WR Damien Dorsey-Jr Antoine Harris-Fr
TE Ronnie Ghent-Jr Richard Owens-So
OT Jonta' Woodard-Jr Buster Ashley-Fr
OG Aaron Dardzinski-Sr Chris Thigpen-Jr
C Michael Bowers-Sr Ariel Rodriguez-Jr
OG Antoine Sims-Jr Jason Hilliard-So
OT Rob Eble-Sr Jason Weathers-So
K Nathan Smith-So Wade Tydlacka-So
DE Dewayne White-So Devon Thomas-Jr
DT Bobby Leffew-Fr Koby Clark-Sr
DT Scott Lopez-So Tyrone Saterfield-Fr
DE Michael Josiah-Jr Chad Lee-Jr
LB Jeremy Collins-Jr B.J. Steele-Jr
LB Jeromy Freitag-Sr Rod Day-So
BAN Michael Brown-Jr Michael Everett-So
CB Josh Minkins-So Laroni Gallishaw-Fr
CB J.T. Haskins-Fr Wilbur Benson-Jr
SS Curry Burns-Jr Ray Childs-Fr
FS Anthony Floyd-Jr Brian Gaines-Sr
P Chris Sivori-Jr Wade Tydlacka-So
  HEAD COACH: Gary Barnett
Javon Green-WR, Eric McCready-WR, Tom Ashworth-OT
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Anwawn Jones-DE, Sean Jarne-DT, Brady McDonnell-DE, Ty Gregorak-ILB, Albus Brooks-SS

The Buffaloes struggled through a 3-8 season last year in just Coach Gary Barnett's second season. A brutal schedule containing seven bowl teams, and blown opportunities haunted this extremely young team. Watch out, the numbers point to a complete turn around for 2001. To begin with, 17 starters are returning. Colorado played 10 true freshman last year, the most in Colorado history. One of them was quarterback Craig Ochs, who set a school record for freshman passing yards. Daniel Graham led all Big 12 tight ends in receptions and yards. There is a great one-two punch at tailback. Leading rusher Cortlen Johnson and recruiting sensation Marcus Houston can give opponents fits. The defense brings back eight and is led by seniors Jashon Sykes, an All-American linebacker, and Michael Lewis, a premier defensive back. Both have combined for 521 career tackles. The entire defensive backfield is loaded with proven talent and will make it difficult for opponents to move the ball through the air. The key will be filling in some holes up front on the defensive line. The 2001 schedule is a little less intimidating. A 12 game schedule moved in as Colorado agreed to play in a preseason classic versus Fresno State and the second week the Buffs look for revenge against in-state rival CSU in the first game ever at the new Invesco Field at Mile High. The Big 12 will be nothing to laugh about in toughness, but Colorado's upcoming season looks extremely bright. Don't look for Coach Barnett to take away the helmet logos again. You can definitely count on a bowl game, and don't be surprised to see the Buffs do some of the pushing of their own this year, just too many quality players wearing the black and gold in 2001.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Craig Ochs-So Bobby Pesavento-Sr
FB Scott Nemeth-Sr Brandon Drumm-Jr
TB Cortlen Johnson-Sr Marcus Houston-Fr
WR John Minardi-Sr Cedric Cormier-Sr
WR Roman Hollowell-Sr Derek McCoy-So
TE Daniel Graham-Sr Quinn Sypniewski-So
OT Justin Bates-Jr Dan Major-So
OG Marwan Hage-So Rawle King-Jr
C Ryan Gray-Jr Wayne Lucier-Jr
OG Andre Gurode-Sr Karl Allis-So
OT Victor Rogers-Sr Jordan Gehring-So
K Mark Mariscal-Jr Jeremy Flores-Sr
DE Marques Harris-So Matt McChesney-So
DT Justin Bannan-Sr Brandon Dabdoub-Fr
DT Sam Taulealea-Jr Brandon Boswell-Jr
DE Tyler Brayton-Jr Sam Wilder-Fr
ILB Aaron Killion-Jr Andy Peeke-Sr
ILB Jashon Sykes-Sr Joey Johnson-Jr
OLB Kory Mossoni-Jr Drew Wahlroos-Jr
CB Donald Strickland-Jr Roderick Sneed-Sr
CB Phil Jackson-So Terrence Wood-Sr
SS Michael Lewis-Sr Matt Duren-Sr
FS Robbie Robinson-Sr Jeff Brunson-Sr
P Jeremy Flores-Sr ..
HEAD COACH: Bobby Wallace
Mathias Nkwenti-OT

All right, so most viewers feel INSIDE99 is crazy for claiming the Owls as part of the Top 25 Preseason. Admittedly, this is my dark horse pick as we do with one team every season, but it is an educated selection. Take a look and then make your own judgment. Start with the fact Temple loses just two seniors from the 2000 squad, the least of any team in the nation. And that squad managed to finish with a 4-7 record with three of those losses coming by a touchdown or less. It all starts on defense where the Owls finished ranked 33rd overall, and finished ranked in the Top 5 in six of the Big East defensive categories. A big loss comes in the way of departing senior linebacker LeVar Talley, who accumulated 135 tackles last season, and was one of the best to ever play at Temple. But, his co-captain partner Taylor Suman returns as one of the leading candidates for the Butkus Award. Suman was the Big East's leading tackler in 1999 and has already recorded 338 tackles in his career. Junior free safety, Jamal Wallace, has also asserted himself as one of the leaders for next season and hopes are that senior DE Raheem Brock will be back for an extra year assuming he graduates this summer. Throw in interception leader Terrance Leftwich, and you have the makings of a solid nucleus. The offense brings back all but one starter. The biggest key for Coach Bobby Wallace, will be improving the play of the offensive line and quarterback, but he does have a 1000-yard rusher back in Tanardo Sharps, the Owl's first since 1987. He also has leading receiver Greg Muckerson returning on the roster. In theory, it is not inconceivable that Temple could come in undefeated at 6-0 on October 20th as the first six games are Navy, Toledo, Uconn, and Rutgers at home with two road dates at Bowling Green and Boston College. At least five wins could elevate enough confidence to get the Owls thinking bowl bid and bring in some more exposure. Get this team from Philly to a bowl game and the rest would be history.

Returning Staters in Bold
QB Devin Scott-Sr Mike Frost-Sr
FB Jason McKie-Sr Harold Jackson-Sr
RB Tanardo Sharps-Jr Lester Trammer-Jr
WR Greg Muckerson-Sr Terrence Stubbs-Jr
WR Sean Dillard-Jr Charles Cobb-Jr
TE Tyrone Ditzel-Sr Kelly Nead-Jr
OT Dave Yovanovits-Jr John Maxim-So
OG Donny Klein-Jr Vincent Gabriele-Jr
C Vincent Gabriele-Jr Jason Heilman-Jr
OG Joe Laudano-So ..
OT Damian Hendricks-Jr Jose Portillo-So
K Cap Poklemba-Jr Jared Davis-Jr
DE Raheem Brock-Sr Jason Davis-Sr
NT Russell Newman-Sr Taso Apostolidis-So
DT Dan Klecko-Jr Rob Sack-Jr
DE Akeiff Staples-Sr J.D. Stanley-So
SLB Taylor Suman-Sr Terrance Belvin-Jr
WLB J.D. Nichols-Jr Leon Gray-So
OLB Chonn Lacey-Sr Brian West-Sr
CB Terrance Leftwich-Jr Donnie Coleman-So
CB Yazid Jackson-So Dante Coles-Sr
SS Lafton Thompson-Sr Shawn Walker-Jr
FS Jamal Wallace-Sr Philip Shepard-Sr
P Garvin Ringwelski-Jr ..
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