Commentary

Can't wait to see these things this fall

Originally Published: May 16, 2008
By Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

Three Things I Can't Wait To See This Fall In The SEC
Ivan Maisel
Mark Schlabach
1. Even with Ryan Perrilloux lining up for I-AA Jacksonville State, the biggest issue that LSU faces this fall is not finding a quarterback. The Tigers must replace 11 senior starters and another three on the two-deep. Sure, LSU has talent, but that kind of experience can keep the ship steady when things go wrong. That experience is why LSU became the first two-loss national champion.

2. Speaking of maturity, let's see how Georgia comes out of the box to play home games against Georgia Southern and Central Michigan. A team that finished No. 2 and has been told for eight months how good it is, can get a swelled head. Ask coach Mark Richt, a volunteer assistant on the 1988 Florida State team that opened the season with a 31-0 loss to Miami.

Tim Tebow 3. What does Florida coach Urban Meyer have cooked up for Tim Tebow? Does he continue to give him nearly half of the carries (210 of 487, 43.1 percent) as he did in 2007 and hope there's no injury worse than the broken right (non-throwing) hand he suffered against Florida State? Imagine how good Tebow will be if the Gators find a tailback.
Matt Stafford 1. Georgia junior Matthew Stafford is considered a can't-miss NFL quarterback by most pro scouts and general managers. The big Texan has an extraordinarily strong arm and prototypical size. Bulldogs' coaches are so confident in Stafford, they often refer to him as the "truth." But after completing only 55 percent of his passes in 2007, Stafford needs to be more accurate if Georgia is indeed going to contend for a BCS championship.

2. New Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin needed only two weeks to install his spread offense before the Tigers beat Clemson 23-20 in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. With seven months to polish the attack during the offseason, Auburn might be poised to unseat defending BCS national champion LSU in the SEC West. Franklin must first decide whether Kodi Burns or juco transfer Chris Todd will start the season under center.

3. Florida receiver Percy Harvin is one of the fastest players in college football. Gators freshman Chris Rainey might be faster. If Harvin can recover from a heel injury that required surgery during the spring, the Gators might have the swiftest one-two punch in college football. Offensive coordinator Dan Mullen plans to use both players in multiple ways, causing sleepless nights for many SEC defensive coordinators.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball