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SEC in the headlines: Has 'next year' arrived for South Carolina?

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

One of the SEC's quarterback battles was cleared up, as Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said that senior Chris Nickson would be his starter in the Commodores' opener on Thursday against Miami (Ohio). Meanwhile, Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said he would go right up until game time on Saturday before announcing his starter between Kodi Burns and Chris Todd. Here's what else is going on around the league:

* Columnist Ron Morris of The State newspaper in Columbia thinks "next year" has finally arrived for South Carolina and that the Gamecocks will turn the disappointment of last season's collapse into a nine-win season in 2008, including a bowl victory.

* The status of Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes remains iffy as Florida gets closer to its Saturday opener against Hawaii.

* Caleb King is listed No. 2 behind Knowshon Moreno on Georgia's depth chart at tailback, but coach Mark Richt said both King and Richard Samuel would play.

* Success hasn't changed LSU's Les Miles. He's still the same guy he was before the Tigers won the national title a year ago, writes Glenn Guilbeau of Gannett Louisiana Newspapers.

* The latest depth chart at Arkansas features 20 freshmen at the first- and second-team positions, and 15 of those are true freshmen. Will anybody in the conference play more freshmen than the Hogs this season?

* Raven Gray, the junior-college defensive lineman that Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville had raved about, will not play this season. Gray will instead redshirt after his surgically repaired knee was slow to come around.

* Kentucky's Rich Brooks is warming up to the Louisville rivalry. He'll probably warm up to it even more if the Wildcats can beat the Cardinals for a second straight year. Last year's Kentucky win snapped a four-game losing streak in the series.

* Jerrell Powe's long wait is over. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said Powe may see some action in the opener against Memphis.