The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

August 1, 2013

Manziel, Clowney headliners in SEC's bid for No. 8

(Continued)

5 THINGS TO WATCH

1: CHASING THE TIDE: Alabama might be the team to beat nationally after claiming three of the past four championships, but navigating the competitive SEC is a challenge for any team. Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M are in pursuit, and so are Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. All four finished last season among the nation's top nine teams. It's hard to count out still-talented LSU, even after 11 underclassmen departed for the NFL. The Crimson Tide, though, remains loaded with talent and has a talented group of tailbacks and receivers to go with the always sturdy defense led by the All-America linebacker Mosley.

2. MADE-FOR-TV GAMES: This list clearly begins with the Sept. 14 rematch in College Station between Alabama and Texas A&M, the only team to beat the Tide last season. That game was a Heisman moment for Manziel. Alabama gets a bye week to change gears for the no-huddle offense. A week earlier, defending East champion Georgia tries to avenge a 35-7 loss to South Carolina. Florida and LSU, perhaps somewhat overlooked in the preseason, meet on Oct. 12 a year after Will Muschamp's team managed to end the Tigers' 18-game regular-season win streak, 14-6. The season gets started Aug. 29 with Mississippi visiting Vanderbilt, not ordinarily a scintillating matchup but a chance for both to make an early statement.

3. SEC NEWBIES: Arkansas nabbed a proven winner in Bret Bielemma, Auburn landed offensive whiz Gus Malzahn, Kentucky got a spark with Mark Stoops and Tennessee turned to Butch Jones, who is already making waves on the recruiting trail. Now, if only all four of the league's new head coaches can find a starting quarterback. In the meantime, it's no coincidence that those teams had the SEC's four most generous defenses before the bosses made changes at the top. The result: A combined mark of 3-29 in league play, $15 million in buyouts and fresh starts.

Text Only
Sports
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee