A look around the SEC

Originally Published: September 8, 2004
By Chris Low | Special to ESPN.com
Will a healthy Brodie Croyle lead Alabama back to a bowl game? Can South Carolina's offensive line power the Gamecocks past Georgia? Our SEC notebook addresses those questions, along with looks at dynamic Arkansas QB Matt Jones, LSU's redshirt freshman sensation JaMarcus Russell and more.

Utah State offered the perfect stage last weekend for Alabama to get a glimpse of its future. The Crimson Tide, in breezing to a 48-17 rout, was able to play 26 newcomers -- including nine true freshmen. How quickly some of those guys develop will go a long way toward determining if Alabama can get back to a bowl game in its first season of being eligible for the postseason after two years of NCAA sanctions.

  • Quarterback Brodie Croyle didn't show any ill effects in the opener from offseason shoulder surgery. He completed passes to nine different receivers and was 16-of-22 for 205 yards and two touchdowns. If you're looking for comeback player of the year candidates, Croyle might be your guy. He looks healthy, confident and primed for a big year.

    Chris Low | email

    ESPN Senior Staff Writer