Five things you need to know about the SEC...
1. The East is a toss-up between Georgia and Florida: It's always a problem when the two best SEC teams are from the same division. The conference title and national championship could come down to the Nov. 1 Cocktail Party in Jacksonville.
2. So why is Georgia No. 1? A seven-game winning streak helps. So does having the quarterback that the NFL might consider the best in next year's draft, Matthew Stafford. Throw in tailback Knowshon Moreno and a stout defense and Bulldogs are having an easy time getting over the death of UGA VI.
3. There's absolutely nothing wrong with Tim Tebow. Really. The kid was the first sophomore to win a Heisman. He helped perform circumcision during a missionary trip to the Phillipines. During a trip to Europe some guy who couldn't speak English recognized him. The kid has never so much as sneaked a cigarette in high school. Believe me, someone asked him at the media days.
"There are a lot of leaders out there," Tebow said. "Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of good ones."
4. Fail and you die. There's pressure and then there's SEC pressure. Change is a constant. There are two new head coaches (Ole Miss, Arkansas), but almost half of the league's 24 coordinators (11) have been replaced.
5. The national champion formerly known as LSU is alive and well, kind of.: The Tigers figure to drop a notch or two after being the lucky recipients of a national championship berth despite a two-loss regular season. Quarterback Ryan Perrilloux is gone (thank goodness). Consider it addition by subtraction. There's no way LSU can defend the West, much less the national championship, while breaking in either redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee or Harvard transfer Andrew Hatch.
But the Tigers will make another run at it in '09.