For those of you who can't remember, Tennessee and Florida has not ALWAYS dominated the SEC. Heck, just a couple of decades ago, Bama, LSU, and Ole Miss wreaked havoc on their SEC brethren.
In 2003, I expect the swing to tilt back to the SEC West. That is not to say that the SEC East may not be strong. Strong is a relative word in SEC football. The SEC is always strong.
Tennessee will represent the East in Atlanta. Take it to the bank. 8-5 seasons in Knoxville are not looked kindly upon. Krispy Kreme Phil will have his orange-clad Volunteers biting at the bit...and has the offensive weapons to win this thing. Prediction: SEC East Champions.
The defending 2002 SEC Champion Georgia Bulldogs will field a quality squad down between the hedges. They lost plenty from last year, and are relatively inexperienced at some key positions. But, Richt has proven his weight in salt and will have the Dawgs in position to repeat. Prediction: SEC East #2.
Speaking of 8-5 seasons, the Florida Gators look to rebound from that debacle. Improving in number of wins, however, may be tough. Zook is no Spurrier. Recruiting suffered last year, and Zook has not proven the X's and O's coach his predecessor was. This is a big year for this coaching staff, and the pressure to win will be huge. If there is a decline in the number of wins, Zook will be on a very hot seat. Prediction: SEC East #3.
The "Cocks" are talented, but very young. They may be a year away from competing for the East crown, but they will come to play. Holtz is a master motivator, and the time has come for him to put some wins up on the scoreboard. Prediction: SEC East #4, but may leapfrog Florida if this young team matures.
Vandy, as usual, will have trouble winning games. They will, however, put a couple of W's on the board this year. They have key personell returning, and are hungry. This team does not have the overall talent to compete week-in and week-out in the SEC, but occassionally will give a team fits. Prediction: SEC East #5.
Kentucky, like Alabama, will not be playing for an SEC crown due to their probationary status. They will, however, be fun to watch. I love this Lorenzen kid. Probation, a new Head Coach, and a tough schedule may be too much to overcome, but I see another 7 win season as not out of the question.