Originally created 11/25/03

Tuesday morning quarterback



A look back and ahead in the SEC, ACC and elsewhere:

WHO'S HOT

Charlie Whitehurst. Clemson's sophomore quarterback will be regarded as the best quarterback in the ACC next year. He's pretty close right now.

WHO'S NOT

South Carolina's defense. The Gamecocks were fleeced during the second half of the season.

STAT OF THE WEEK

Clemson scored nine touchdowns in its 63-17 trouncing of South Carolina.

RANKING THE BIG FOUR

1. Georgia (9-2, 6-2 SEC) ... The Bulldogs have beaten Georgia Tech by a combined score of 82-24 in their past two meetings with the Yellow Jackets.

2. Clemson (8-4, 5-3 ACC) ... So much for the Tigers being soft up front. They manhandled South Carolina in the trenches.

3. Georgia Tech (6-5, 4-4 ACC) ... Losing two out of three entering the Georgia game isn't the kind of momentum the Yellow Jackets were hoping for.

4. South Carolina (5-7, 2-6 SEC) ... Coach Lou Holtz and his son, offensive coordinator Skip Holtz, have made horrible preseason evaluations of their quarterbacks the past two seasons.

RANKING THE POWER CONFERENCES

1. SEC ... Louisiana State still has a remote shot at playing for the national title.

2. Big 12 ... Nebraska's Frank Solich could soon go the way of Ray Goff, Ray Perkins, Ken Hatfield and other coaches who have unsuccessfully tried to follow legends.

3. Big Ten ... Michigan coach Lloyd Carr got the monkey off his back against Ohio State.

4. Pac-10 ... Southern Cal can compete with Oklahoma.

5. Big East ... Virginia Tech is sinking into a familiar November slump.

6. ACC... Who would have thought Duke would win not one, but two ACC games?

RANKING THE SEC, TOP AND BOTTOM

1. LSU ... The Tigers need to take care of business against Arkansas.

12. Mississippi State ... The Bulldogs could give coach Jackie Sherrill a nice parting gift by beating Mississippi. But they won't.

RANKING THE ACC, TOP AND BOTTOM

1. Clemson ... The Tigers are playing better than anyone else in the league right now, so why not?

9. North Carolina ... John Bunting committed an unpardonable sin by losing to Duke.

VIEW FROM THE SIDELINES

"I'm sure there will be coaching changes after this year. ... There's always coaching changes after a year like this." - South Carolina coach Lou Holtz, whose team finished 5-7 in consecutive seasons

WHAT'S NEXT

Georgia Tech plays Georgia at home on Saturday at 1 p.m.

THIS WEEK'S BIG STORY LINE

The Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs clash in a game that has interesting story lines. The most intriguing theme has Georgia needing a victory to maintain its high standing in the Bowl Championship Series. If the Bulldogs win Saturday, they'll likely head to the SEC title game for the second straight season.

- Larry Williams