Predicted order of finish according to the Southeastern Conference preseason media poll:

1. Georgia

Not since Herschel Walker led the Bulldogs to the 1980 national championship have Georgia fans been this excited about a season. But Georgia will have to defeat LSU, which won two meetings last season, and Florida, which has won 13 of the past 14 games in the series, to see its lofty goals come to fruition.

2. Florida

Coach Ron Zook will be looking over his shoulder now that Steve Spurrier is unemployed, but Zook can take comfort in having quarterback Chris Leak, who threw for 2,435 yards and 16 touchdowns as a freshman.

3. Tennessee

Coach Phillip Fulmer's job isn't in jeopardy, but the Volunteers need to show marked improvement after back-to-back blowout losses in the Peach Bowl, and that won't be easy without a seasoned replacement for quarterback Casey Clausen.

4. South Carolina

Coach Lou Holtz's charm has worn thin in Columbia after consecutive 5-7 seasons, and the Gamecocks' immediate future doesn't seem that rosy with quarterback Dondrial Pinkins back under center.

5. Vanderbilt

The Commodores, long the cellar dwellers in the SEC East, might be headed to their first winning season since 1982 with 22 starters back, including strong-armed quarterback Jay Cutler and underrated defensive end Jovan Haye.

6. Kentucky

The Wildcats paid big money to bring former St. Louis Rams coach Rich Brooks out of retirement, and he seemed to be hibernating during last season's abysmal 4-8 campaign.

1. LSU

The defending co-national champion should be as stout as last season on defense, but the offense could sputter behind quarterback Marcus Randall -- who had a 2-4 record as a starter in 2002 -- and without receivers Michael Clayton and Devery Henderson, who left for the NFL.

2. Auburn

The Tigers flopped as preseason SEC favorites in 2003, but they could surprise the league this year with running backs Carnell "Cadillac" Williams and Ronnie Brown back in school.

3. Mississippi

Micheal Spurlock has the unenviable task of replacing quarterback Eli Manning, the school's career leading passer and the No. 1 overall pick in April's NFL draft.

4. Alabama

The Crimson Tide is eligible for a bowl game after a two-year ban, but after a 4-9 record in 2003 -- the Tide's worst season since going 0-10 in 1955 -- the postseason seems unlikely.

5. Arkansas

The Razorbacks return only quarterback Matt Jones on offense and three starters on defense after five underclassmen left early for the NFL, including all-American tackle Shawn Andrews.

6. Mississippi State

Coach Sylvester Croom, the first black football coach in the SEC, faces a daunting task in rebuilding the Bulldogs, who have won eight games (only three in the SEC) the past three seasons combined.