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Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Bama's OL hot, Vols' coaching not


Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Here's a look at our first installment of "Hot and Not" in the SEC. We'll do this every week throughout the season after all of the games are played. We'll top it with that week's "En Fuego" award and end it with the dubious "Ice, Ice Baby" award:

EN FUEGO
Alabama's offensive line:
Even without star left tackle Andre Smith for much of the second half, the Crimson Tide offensive line controlled the game and reminded us all what being physical is all about. Clemson's fannies are probably still smarting.

HOT
Vanderbilt quarterback Chris Nickson:
He brings a dimension with his ability to run the ball (166 yards in the opener) that's critical to the Vanderbilt offense.

NOT
The Auburn passing game:
The Tigers had just 28 yards passing at the end of the third quarter last Saturday in their 34-0 rout of Louisiana-Monroe.

HOT
Ole Miss running back/receiver Dexter McCluster:
He's the Rebels' version of "Slash" and he had 125 total yards last weekend. Gotta love the Wild Rebel formation.

NOT
Mississippi State's offense:
The Bulldogs' five turnovers were bad enough. But the real clincher: They didn't have a first down in the fourth quarter.

HOT
LSU's composure: The game was moved up to a 10 a.m. start and a deadly hurricane was bearing down on the Gulf Coast, but LSU never blinked and went out and took care of business.

NOT
Tommy Beecher's debut: In his first start as South Carolina's quarterback, Beecher threw three interceptions and got knocked around. He'll give way to Chris Smelley against Vanderbilt.

HOT
Kentucky's defense:
We knew the Wildcats would be stout up front defensively, but they're as talented and deep across the board on defense as they've ever been under Rich Brooks.

NOT
Georgia's luck:
The Bulldogs have already lost two of their best linemen for the season (Trinton Sturdivant and Jeff Owens) and have yet to play a game that counts.

HOT
Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson:
He played exactly the way the Tide needs him to in the opener. He managed the offense, didn't force things and made plays when they were there.

NOT
Tennessee tailback Arian Foster:
Crippling fumbles will tarnish an otherwise stellar career. He had another one against UCLA that totally changed the complexion of that game.

ICE, ICE BABY
Tennessee's coaching staff:
Not the best start for Phillip Fulmer & Co. New offensive coordinator Dave Clawson had first-year starter Jonathan Crompton throw the ball 41 times. The defense played soft in coverage and never adjusted to UCLA's short passing game in the second half. How many touchdowns do the Vols need to give up on special teams before they hire a full-time coordinator?