Early look at '07 (cont.)
|NCAA Football Power Rankings|
South Carolina Gamecocks (8-5)Who's back: QB Blake Mitchell, RB Cory Boyd, LB Jasper Brinkley.
Who's not: WR Sidney Rice*, CB Fred Bennett.
Skinny: Steve Spurrier's team finished '06 on a roll, starting with a near-upset of Florida. All but four starters return, though go-to receiver Rice will sorely be missed.
California Golden Bears (10-3)Who's back: QB Nate Longshore, RB Justin Forsett, WR DeSean Jackson.
Who's not: RB Marshawn Lynch*, LB Desmond Bishop, CB Daymeion Hughes.
Skinny: Jeff Tedford's powerful offense won't miss a beat even without Lynch, but the defense loses nearly every key starter, including All-America Hughes.
Alabama Crimson Tide (6-7)Who's back: QB John Parker Wilson, WR D.J. Hall, LB Prince Hall.
Who's not: RB Kenneth Darby, LB Juwan Simpson, S Jeffrey Dukes.
Skinny: Last year's team lost four SEC games by a touchdown or less. Enter Nick Saban, who inherits a potentially explosive offense with nine returning starters.
UCLA Bruins (7-6)Who's back: RB Chris Markey, DE Bruce Davis, LB Christian Taylor.
Who's not: DE Justin Hickman, K Justin Medlock.
Skinny: The Bruins showed their potential in a Dec. 2 upset of No. 2 USC. Now, 20 starters return. It's time for Karl Dorell's team to take it to the next level.
South Florida Bulls (9-4)Who's back: QB Matt Grothe, LB Ben Moffit, CB Mike Jenkins.
Who's not: LBs Stephen Nicholas and Pat St. Louis.
Skinny: Sixteen starters return from this unsung Big East squad whose speedy defense shut down West Virginia's Slaton and White in a Nov. 25 upset.
|On the cusp: Hawaii (if QB Colt Brennan returns), Wake Forest, TCU, Clemson, Texas A&M.|