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July 19, 2007

Notebook: High expectations for LSU, Mizzou

Louisiana State's defense is expected to be good enough to lead a national championship bid, and apparently Southeastern Conference coaches agree.

Seven Tigers were named to the coaches' three-unit All-SEC football team released Thursday morning.

Defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, linebacker Ali Highsmith and defensive back Chevis Jackson were named to the first team, while defensive end Tyson Jackson, linebacker Darry Beckwith and defensive back Jonathan Zenon were on the second team.

Defensive back Craig Steltz was a third-team selection.

The Tigers return eight defensive starters from a unit which held nine of 13 opponents to 17 points or less and allowed 242.8 yards per game (third nationally).

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, the Heisman Trophy runner-up a year ago, received 11 first-team votes and was the only unanimous selection. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players on their team.

LSU and West Division rival Arkansas each had 12 players named to the team, while defending national champion Florida had six.

Five teams had two players selected to the first-team offense: McFadden and offensive lineman Jonathan Luigs of Arkansas, quarterback Andre' Woodson and tight end Jacob Tamme of Kentucky, offensive lineman Will Arnold and receiver Early Doucet of LSU, offensive lineman Michael Oher and running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis of Ole Miss and offensive lineman Chris Williams and receiver Earl Bennett of Vanderbilt.

Florida offensive lineman Drew Miller is also on the first-team offense.

Joining the LSU trio on the first-team defense are linemen Quentin Groves of Auburn and Derrick Harvey of Florida, linebackers Jonathan Goff of Vanderbilt, Jasper Brinkley of South Carolina and Jerod Mayo of Tennessee, and defensive backs Simeon Castille of Alabama, Jonathan Hefney of Tennessee and Derek Pegues of Mississippi State.

Georgia's Brandon Coutu is the first-team kicker, Tennessee's Britton Colquitt is the punter, and Georgia's Mikey Henderson is the return specialist.

Missouri, Texas Big 12 favorites

The Missouri Tigers, who have not won a conference championship since 1969, were picked to win the Big 12 North Division by media that covers the conference.

Missouri has 15 starters returning from last year's team, which finished 8-5. Among the returnees are quarterback Chase Daniel, who passed for 3,906 yards last season, and running back Tony Temple, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards.

The Tigers received 16 of 24 first-place votes and accumulated 136 points to rank ahead of defending North Division champion Nebraska, which received the other first-place votes. Missouri plays host to Nebraska this season.

Kansas State was picked to finish third in the North Division race followed by Kansas, Colorado and Iowa State.

Texas, with sophomore quarterback Colt McCoy leading a list of 13 starters back from a 10-3 team in 2006, was picked to win the South.

The Longhorns received 16 first-place votes and 135 points to finish ahead of defending South Division champion Oklahoma, which received seven first-place votes and 126 points.

The other first place vote went to Texas A&M, which ranked third with 82 points. Oklahoma State was picked fourth, followed by Texas Tech and Baylor.

Arkansas adds coach

Former Air Force offensive coordinator Tim Horton has been hired as Arkansas running backs coach.

He'll replace Danny Nutt, who resigned recently because of medical concerns.

Danny Nutt is the brother of Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt.

B.C. honoring Bicknell

Former coach Jack Bicknell is among an eight-member class to be inducted into Boston College's Varsity Club Hall of Fame on Oct. 7.

Bicknell compiled a 59-55-1 record during his tenure at Boston College, which ran from 1981-90. That span included the 10-2 finish in 1984 with quarterback Doug Flutie.

Gerard Phelan, who caught Flutie's last-second "Hail Mary" pass to defeat Miami that year, is also in the class.

Olin Buchanan is the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at olin@rivals.com.

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