Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thoroughbreds of the SEC

On Saturday, the 136th Kentucky Derby will be run at Churchill Downs (I know, I forgot to write it down in my calendar too. It sort of slips up on you. Small aside at the beginning of an introductory paragraph: Do the people in charge of this event randomly select a spring weekend each year or is there a set date, like the last weekend in April? Because I have no idea. I feel like the Kentucky Derby is something that should be embedded in my mental calendar but never is. Additional aside: While I have never been to the Kentucky Derby, I have been to Churchill Downs. It's a long story involving an incredibly insane explanation of our family vacations when I was growing up. And as much as horse racing doesn't really appeal to me, I would thoroughly enjoy attending this thing at least once in my life. Let's see...yes, end of asides.). So, with the spirit of horse racing coursing through my veins, I did some checking around and found that most all of the coaches in the SEC dabble in horse racing, many of them owning multiple horses. Though none of their horses made the field at Churchill Downs, I'm sure many will be appearing in a buggy race at a county fair near you.

(Given the title of this post, you can now rest easy since the following is not a lengthy list of players on which I have a giant man-crush, although that list will come in due time.)

Your coaches and their horses:

Nick Saban
No Sleep in T-Town

Houston Nutt
Controlled Chaos
Awesome Responsibility
Coach Frank Broyles

Dan Mullen
Horse from the School Down South
Cam Newton How Dare You
I'm Available to Talk

Les Miles
Fourth Downs Are Easy

Bobby Petrino
The Hessians Are My People
Forget About Atlanta
Opt Out

Gene Chizik
Left My Losing in Ames
Friend of Jay Jacobs
Gus is Alright

Urban Meyer
Addazio the Figurehead
Fast, Faster, Fastest
Jeremy Fowler Sucks

Derek Dooley
Callin' Ruston
Doctor Coach Speak

Joker Phillips
Old Man Picked Up His Golf Clubs

Steve Spurrier
Gonna Throw It Around
Stephen, What the Hell?
Ain't Got Time for This

Bobby Johnson
("Horse racing is the work of the devil. Get off my football field.")

Mark Richt
(Sold his horses for a quarterback.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Get to Know Your SEC Football Players

In a never-ending quest to seek as much information as my brain can store, it's time to get to know a little bit more (or just anything at all) about one of the Southeastern Conference's football players. Now when this player succeeds, massively fails or is shown milling around in the background of a TV shot, you'll know that his greatest off-the-field accomplishment involves the sale and transportation of hobos. Or something like that.

The team of the player selected is chosen through a super-secret process which I cannot reveal, however, the number of the player is randomly chosen by visiting and using whatever number they give me.

Today's number: 96
Today's team: Kentucky

#96 Collins Ukwu, DE, Kentucky

Also in more active, larger and hidden form, chasing quarterback Morgan Newton:

Some background information: A redshirt sophomore heading into the 2010 season, Collins saw the field on the field in all 13 games last year, starting three of them. Also, his name is pronounced "OOk-woo," which is extremely fun to say. Sort of sounds like an Ewok word if anyone could understand just what the hell those things say.

Greatest on-field accomplishment: I call it a tie: He had one sack against Florida (not the one that knocked out Tim Tebow) and three games in which he had three tackles.

Greatest off-the-field accomplishment: While redshirting his freshman year, he was named scout team player of the week three times. While those performances took place on a field, technically they did not occur on the real field. Plus, I could find nothing else on him.

Way(s) in which he has embarrassed himself, his family, team and school: Collins has walked nothing but the straight and narrow.

Strengths: Athleticism, speed and plays hard according to his coach, Joker Philips. From a spring practice report, "Collins Ukwu is leading with the way he has been playing. He is playing full speed and playing fast..."

Weaknesses: Lack of experience, the rest of the defense isn't very good and from that same spring practice report, "...he is not a communicator or a big talker. We need a guy who is going to step up and be a guy that grabs them by the throat and gets them back in the huddle for us and get them rallied up when things aren’t going good."

What to expect in 2010: From my 10 minutes of research, it appears that Collins will be a major contributor next season. It doesn't sound like he'll start every game, but will play in passing situations and is being counted on for solid depth in Kentucky's defensive end rotation. I know "solid depth" and "Kentucky" probably don't belong in the same sentence without use of the phrase "lack of," but I'll give the Wildcats a break since it's only April. So on the rare occasions Kentucky's defense creates a third and long for their opponent, look for number 96 on your television. And if Kentucky makes it to a 2:30 CBS telecast, be prepared to enjoy the pipes of Verne Lundquist putting forth the sound of "OOk-woo."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Fashions in the SEC

Long gone is the era of college football coaches donning ties and sports coats while stalking the sidelines in 90-degree temperatures and 60% humidity.  A smart decision?  Probably.  A classy one?  Absolutely not.  Instead of coaching 18 to 22-year-olds while looking like their wives dressed them for an engagement party or graduation ceremony, most coaches now opt for the standard "coaches' shirt", which is easily duplicated and sold to the schools' masses for $50.  It's a fast way to make money, but it creates a more soulless and generic sideline.  Different colors, school logo on the left chest and a Nike/Adidas/Under Armour logo stamped somewhere.  It's all the same shirt (What the hell happened to Reebok?  Remember when there was a legitimate question as to who would rule the sports apparel world, Nike or Reebok?  I'm pretty sure the only place you can get Reeboks now is in Radio Shacks.).

But just maybe 2010 will be different. Sure, all the coaches will be wearing a version of the same shirt, but this year's model could have some personality. In order to find out, The Belly of the Beast sent fashion correspondents to all 12 SEC schools' spring games to get a taste of what we might see in the fall. Here's what we found...

Mark Richt

Coach Richt is wearing the latest from Nike. The black stripes on the sleeves are a memorial to the steady stream of quarterbacks that no longer want to play at Georgia.

Derek Dooley

Coach Dooley wears the latest "Trash Bag" shirt from Adidas. It is a constant reminder to him and his coaching staff of exactly where the Tennessee football program lies right now. It also doubles as a motivational tool.

Houston Nutt

Coach Nutt is trying out Nike's latest "Weird, Shirtless Old Guy Walking Down the Beach" straw hat. He also is wearing lightweight windsuit pants from Nike in case he needs to spring into action to offer some hands-on coaching to his untested quarterbacks.

Dan Mullen

Coach Mullen's latest from Adidas screams "Choosing a quarterback is hard! I should just have them wrestle for the starting job!"

Les Miles

Coach Miles has not changed clothes since he arrived in Baton Rouge. Although he has placed a request to Nike to create a hat that sits higher on his head and pants that come up to just below his nipples.

Urban Meyer

Coach Meyer is wearing Nike's 2009 windbreaker, but the 2010 Nike pen (with strap) tied securely around his neck allows him to write thoughts down as they occur faster than ever before.

Joker Philips

Coach Philips is wearing Nike's 2007 line of coaching gear. Kentucky's athletic department decided that all money spent on athletic wear should go directly to the basketball program where it can be used to purchase new uniforms and new players to fill those uniforms. Billy Gillispie only used the money for booze and fish sandwiches from Captain D's. His successor, John Calipari has begun properly using the money.

Bobby Petrino

Coach Petrino enjoys the latest from Nike after Arkansas made the switch from Adidas. He finds Nike products to be more comfortable and less likely to fall apart in key coaching situations.

Bobby Johnson

Coach Johnson is wearing "whatever Nike stuff I found in that big box in my office closet.  Now get off my football field."

Gene Chizik

Coach Chizik is wearing the latest from Under Armour. For the fall of 2010, he hopes to add a tiger tail coming out of the back and some paw prints on the front.

Steve Spurrier

Too. Mesmerized. By. The. Awesomeness.

Nick Saban


Monday, April 26, 2010

Around the SEC: What Didn't Happen Over the Weekend

NFL teams fill their personnel bellies with ACC, Big Ten, Pac-10 and Big 12 players in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Granted, players from these conferences were drafted, but more like in appetizer quantities as compared to the SEC, whose players were inhaled like fried catfish in Jerrell Powe's path. The SEC had 49 players selected out of 255 picks (just about one in every five), 23 of those went in the first three rounds (the Big Ten was second with 34 overall selections and the Pac-10 had 15 players go in the first three rounds) and seven went in the first round. Not that any of these numbers should surprised anyone. 11 out of the last 13 drafts have seen the SEC lead the way in players selected and currently the conference has a streak of four straight drafts of most players selected. And knowing the bloodthirst of SEC fans for complete and total Walmart-like dominance, I can assure you this won't slow down anytime soon. The Big Ten could expand to 40 teams and the SEC would find a way to be more successful and win a category like most players drafted. Although, I don't think they could ever challenge the Big Ten in couch-burning. Mainly because we don't need the heat and, like most people, we prefer to sit on our furniture rather than cover it in lighter fluid and yell as it's consumed by flames.

The NFL loves it some SEC quarterbacks.
We all knew Tim Tebow would be drafted, maybe not exactly where, but we knew he would go in one of the early rounds. After that, I think the only guy anyone thought might have a chance to get drafted was Ole Miss' Jevan Snead, and he probably wasn't going until at least the sixth round.  So I don't think Snead not being drafted was that big of a surprise, but seeing Jonathan Crompton go in the fifth round to the San Diego Chargers certainly classified as a legitimate surprise.

Crompton was the ultimate average quarterback. Good against bad teams, bad against good teams and average against average teams. And I really thought he was setting off on a special journey when he threw eight interceptions in the first four games of the 2009 season. Fortunately for him, he righted the ship and stopped impersonating Jevan Snead and ended up having an average year.  I'm guessing the Chargers, who traded away third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst before the draft, decided to take a shot on a rookie that they could pay 1/3 of whatever they owed Whitehurst. And if you're scoring at home, the last three QBs drafted by the Chargers: Eli Manning, Charlie Whitehurst and Jonathan Crompton.

As for Snead, he did sign a free agent contract with Tampa Bay where he will join another Ole Miss quarterback, Michael Spurlock. Snead won't have to beat out Spurlock for the third-string spot, as Spurlock plays receiver/kick returner (AS HE SHOULD HAVE HIS ENTIRE TIME AT OLE MISS), but he will have to lock horns with such greats as Rudy Carpenter and Josh Johnson. And one final piece of advice for Jevan: Throw the ball to your team.

Other SEC QBs ignored by the NFL: Tyson Lee, Joe Cox and Chris Todd.

Kentucky showcases a defensive orgy in the its spring game.
One team beat the other one 60-25 in front of 9,000 already-missing-John-Wall-DeMarcus-Cousins-Eric-Bledsoe-fans. But more importantly, the early favorite for the 2010 Awww-Shit Trophy (given to the SEC quarterback who throws the most interceptions in season, which might have to be renamed after Jevan Snead and his 20 picks last year) Mike Hartline played well enough that he could be the starter when fall practice starts. Head coach Joker Philips wouldn't declare him the starter, but Hartlines's 11 of 24 for 124 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT clearly bested someone named Ryan Mossakowski (6 of 13, 37 yards) and Morgan Newton (6 of 12, 96 yards). If you recall, Hartline had a strong start (six INTs in first five games) in the battle for the trophy last year before injuring his ankle/foot/something. I hope for a full and healthy season from him so he can take a crack at Jevan's seemingly untouchable 20 INTs.

Ryan Mallett wows Arkansas fans in the Hogs' spring game.
Unfortunately, he didn't play due to his broken foot so there's not a lot to cover here. I'm sure there were good plays, bad plays and other stuff that goes with spring games. I still stand by my decree that if Arkansas can find an average defense before the 2010 season starts, they have a chance to win 10 games. They have to get lucky with injuries and Mallett will have to stop sucking in road games, but they have the offense to win that many. If the 11th or 12th-ranked defense shows up, expect another year of potentially beating anyone before falling painfully short.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Belly of the Beast and Kentrell Lockett Recap the 1st Round of the NFL Draft

I considered yammering on for close to 1,000 words about what many of us watched earlier tonight, but then I realized that would be a little pretentious of me. After all, there are something close to 600,000 NFL Draft recap pieces written or being written as I type this and other than disparagement and a few paragraphs on Chris Berman's suckitude, I have nothing more to offer. So, with that in mind, I enlisted the help of Ole Miss defensive end Kentrell Lockett to help me bring a unique angle to this recap. Most likely Kentrell will hear his name called next season, probably not in the first round, but I feel strongly that he will be drafted.

However, I do not actually know Kentrell nor did I get in touch with him to help me out here. Instead, I relied on his breakdown of the draft on his Twitter page, which is nothing short of spectacular. Let's get to the picks...

#1 Rams, Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Gray: Call me crazy, but I don't remember Sam Bradford doing anything that really amazed me. Yes, he put up some crazy numbers in college but mainly against some of the craptastic defenses so readily available in the Big 12. His one game against a real defense (in the BCS title game against Florida) saw him go 26 of 41, 256 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs. Not bad, but not great. If I were able to wager on his success in the NFL (and I have nothing against him), I would not bet on him.

Kentrell: Looking for the closest krispy kreme in phili!!!
(Note: He had not started watching the draft yet. Nor do I know why he is in Philadelphia.)

#2 Lions, Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Gray: The man almost single-handedly kept Texas out of the BCS title game this year and he plays DEFENSIVE TACKLE. Everyone (including fans and media) was ready to get an apartment with him for like a month after that game. Why was he not taken first again?

Kentrell: The damn vending machine prices are insane $1 for a small bag of chips $175 for a drink!! They tripping.

#3 Buccaneers, Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Gray: I seem to recall Mel Kiper thinking highly of him.

Kentrell: I'm gonna be on that draft stage a year from today!!!

#4 Redskins, Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Gray: Three of the top four picks and what bowl did the Sooners play in this year? Ah, yes, THE SUN BOWL. Granted, one of those didn't play most of the year, but Bob Stoops, that's a little embarrassing.

Kentrell: not ready for what Ima do when I get on that stage!!!

#5 Chiefs, Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Gray: A strong to quite strong player. Although in all his awesomeness, he couldn't prevent this from happening:

Kentrell: stage better get ready cause me n my family going to have a revival on that stage!!!

#6 Seahawks, Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Gray: I remember watching him in the Cotton Bowl against Ole Miss and being mildly impressed. Or maybe very impressed. I forget which. Mainly because I was blinded with rage watching Jevan Snead shit away another game in which Ole Miss should easily win.

Kentrell: Joe Haden ears look like a brown ipad!!

#7 Browns, Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Gray: According to Urban Meyer's fake 40 times, he's the fastest man alive on the fastest team alive. Only he's not that fast with his 4.5-ish in the 40 at the combine. Regardless, he's very athletic and has a chance to be a good NFL corner.

Kentrell: Joe Hayden needs to kill them sideburns!!

#8 Raiders, Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
Gray: Perhaps only Rolando came close to matching my man crush for Tim Tebow (Not to worry, I too am horribly annoyed at all the puff pieces put forth by middle-aged white sportswriters in search of a great white hope from which to cling, but the guy is a fantastic player.). The dude was a human wrecking ball and usually knew what opposing offenses were going to do before the offenses did. Watching him play in person was one of the highlights of the 2009 season for me and I hate Alabama.

Kentrell: Rolando Mcclain needs to kill his self for all them white girls around them!!

#9 Bills, C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson

Kentrell: Cj Spiller look like Macki Phifer!!

#10 Jaguars, Tyson Alualu, DT, California
Gray: Apparently stock in defensive tackles has never been higher. Three in the top 10.

Kentrell: I still can't get over Rolando Mcclain with all them damn #snowbunnies

#11 49ers, Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Gray: I can truthfully say I saw less than five minutes of Rutgers football in 2009.

Kentrell: I'm going have my draft party at the Library do when they announce my name we gonna take shots till we drop!!
(Note: I would pay top dollar to be there.)

#12 Chargers, Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
Gray: I shall defer to Kentrell on this one.

Kentrell: Who the he'll is Ryan Mathews!!

#13 Eagles, Brandon Graham, OLB, Michigan
Gray: Other than the "Eagles Suck" chant that started right before this pick, Kentrell, anything interesting here?

Kentrell: Dwion Sanders must have sent up a special prayer for them straight ass teeth!!

#14 Seahawks, Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Gray: I feel like Kentrell is on fire right now so I'll go back to him.

Kentrell: I bet Michael Irvin could snort a whole butter finger through them cocaine abused nostirls!!!

#15 Giants, Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Gray: I would assume someone this athletic can succeed in the NFL.

Kentrell: Jason Pierre-Paul and Rudy Wilson must be brothers!!!

#16 Titans, Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Gray: Yet another freakishly athletic defensive end. I vaguely recall several Thursday night games (home of mediocre ACC football matchups) in which Morgan made me wonder just who the hell he was. I don't know what that means in terms of NFL ability, but he caught my attention in the 12 minutes I watched before becoming bored.

Kentrell: What the hell did that manin the Pittsburg jersey do to his moustache!!!

#17 49ers, Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
Gray: I enjoyed his dad (maybe grandfather) wearing a burgundy blazer at the draft party at his house. Thought he nailed the occasion.

Kentrell: There is a homeless shelter right next to the hotel!! Scary!!!

#18 Steelers, Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
Gray: Ignoring his physical capabilities, which are strong, I was mesmerized by the giant silver/diamond/gold medallion hanging from his neck when ESPN's cameras showed his draft party which very well could have been a rap video.

Kentrell: Man the pouncey twins gay!!
(Note: Considering he's played against them, Kentrell could have an expert opinion on this.)

#19 Falcons, Sean Witherspoon, OLB, Missouri
Gray: A defensive player from a bad Big 12 defense is an interesting choice. By interesting, I don't know what that means.

Kentrell: I wonder how many cleat chasers are watching the #NFLdraft waiting for their jumpoffs name to be called!!

#20 Texans, Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
Gray: I can always get behind one of the better players on one of the best (if not the best) defenses I've ever seen in person. I also thoroughly enjoyed the highlight of his interception against Ole Miss that happened right in front of me. I remember cursing and wishing I could never see Jevan Snead throw another pass.

Kentrell: They would show an highlight of a interception from Jevan ass!!!

#21 Bengals, Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Gray: I always thought he was a pretty solid tight end. Athletic and good hands. But on the downside he did all of his damage against Big 12 defenses, which as we all know STINK.

Kentrell: Waiting for anybody from #olemiss to be called!!
(Note: Keep waiting.)

#22 Broncos, Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
Gray: Brandon Marshall's replacement that was a receiver in a flexbone offense and ran nothing but stop and go and jet routes. I haven't seen all the film (or maybe any), but did anyone ever see him inside the hash marks?

Kentrell: #random does anybody know where @MsLeiLo ass at!!!
(Note: Perhaps a shoutout to someone else on Twitter?)

#23 Packers, Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Gray: This guy looked like he's done nothing but lift tractors over his head since the age of eight. I'm pretty sure he could harvest an entire field of wheat by himself in less than 45 seconds.

Kentrell: They getting on this Bulaga guy head! No homo!!
(Note: ?)

#24 Cowboys, Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Gray: An interesting selection since it was a former Cowboy (Deion Sanders) that helped end Bryant's collegiate career.

Kentrell: @MRMarcusTillman boy I bet your name will never be called fir this draft you gonna be found #dead!!
(Note: Again, ?)

#25 Broncos, Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Gray: I have no idea if Tebow can play quarterback in the NFL, but I would never bet against him. He's way too physically gifted, has a crazy work ethic and strikes me as one of these people that goes out of his way to prove people wrong (making all of us underachievers look even worse). As I said before, I grow tired of the Tebow love-fest, but there's something very special about him that keeps me from saying he can't do it.

(Note: It was about this time Kentrell apparently stopped watching the draft. So we'll just have to rely on his previous Twitter posts for commentary from here on out.)
Kentrell: If I don't make it to the league I want commisioner Gaddels job!!!

#26 Cardinals, Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Gray: Did Ed Orgeron cry? Surely he at least texted.

Kentrell: Rolondo Mcclain going to get him some Becky tonight!! Well alot of Becky

#27 Patriots, Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
Gray: See my earlier comment about Rutgers. Also, when was the last time Rutgers had two guys go in the first round?

Kentrell: Evrybody in philadelphia smells the same!! They smell like inscents and body oils!!!

#28 Dolphins, Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
Gray: Another defensive tackle!

Kentrell: #watif one of the players had a tuxedo with a cumberbun on!!!

#29 Jets, Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Gray: How about the jackass at Tebow's draft party that wore the same color shirt as him? I don't think it would be a big deal except the shirt were both pale green, an unusual color. What's that? DON'T JUDGE ME, IT'S THE 29TH DAMN PICK IN THE DRAFT. I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO SAY.

Kentrell:  Cj Spiller should have combs his daughters hair too!!!

#30 Lions, Jahvid Best, RB, California
Gray: I still get chills watching this. And that would be the bad kind of chills.

Kentrell: Marshall Faulk looks like the dude of Bay Bays kids!!!
(Note: I'm lost.)

#31 Colts, Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU
Gray: Sure, Jerry Hughes. We all remember that crazy bastard.

Kentrell: Joe Haden ears look like Manila folders!!

#32 Saints, Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
Gray: Probably the first time the Saints have ever had the last pick of the first round.

Kentrell: Joe Haden was on that movie grimlins right!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Get to Know Your SEC Football Players

In a never-ending quest to seek as much information as my brain can store, it's time to get to know a little bit more (or just anything at all) about one of the Southeastern Conference's football players. Now when this player succeeds, massively fails or is shown milling around in the background of a TV shot, you'll know that his greatest off-the-field accomplishment involves the sale and transportation of hobos. Or something like that.

The team of the player selected is chosen through a super-secret process which I cannot reveal, however, the number of the player is randomly chosen by visiting and using whatever they give me.

Today's number: 89
Today's team: LSU

(EDIT: The first number I got was 67, but alas, there is no number 67 on LSU's roster. The second number was 89 and two players actually wear this number. Unfortunately for redshirt freshman TE Greg Ostrom out of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, he will not be profiled here today. But in good news, I have just given you all the information the Internet has to offer on Greg Ostrom.)

#89 Lavar Edwards, DE, LSU

Some background information: Lavar came to LSU from Desire Street Academy, which is the high school started by Desire Street Ministries presently headed by Danny Wuerffel. He played in 11 games last season and started against Louisiana Tech, collecting one sack. I have no idea if he and Greg Ostrom are friends since they share the same number. Also, here's a picture of that sack against Tech.

Greatest on-field accomplishment: In LSU's 13-3 loss to Florida last fall, Lavar had five tackles, including one solo. In a close second, he caught 12 touchdowns as a tight end his senior year in high school. And he also keeps a straight face when Les Miles opens his mouth.

Greatest off-the-field accomplishment: In at least two spring practice reports, Les Miles mentioned Lavar by name to reporters. And in a complete sentence and not a random incoherent thought or shout. Also, he narrowly avoided being confused with former BYU coach LaVell Edwards. I'm sure there's something better than this, but I can only look through so many Google search pages (meaning:  five, tops).

Way(s) in which he has embarrassed himself, his family, team and school:  So far, Lavar has been walking the straight and narrow.

Strengths:  Athleticism, speed, game experience, defensive line coach's name is Brick Haley.  I have no idea if Haley is a good coach, but his name indicates he could have been a veteran linebacker in Any Given Sunday or the Yankees' closer in Major League.

Weaknesses:  Les Miles' hands hold his college career.  At least for another year.

What to expect in 2010:  Lavar should be a key figure in LSU's defensive line rotation, perhaps even drawing a few starts.  This means when you see him this fall, he'll be on the field participating in the game and not be one of the guys crowded around the other defensive players on the sidelines as the coaches scream at them and point angrily at a white grease board that's filled with sloppily drawn x's and o's.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Steve Spurrier Workout Program

At 65 years old, Steve Spurrier is still coachin' 'em up with the same smirks, visor-tossing and general disbelief that his plays were not properly executed as he was 20 years ago at Florida. He may have lost a little heat off his visor fastball, but the reaction time from failed play to visor-in-hand is just as quick as it ever was. In the age of 18-hour work days in college football, that sort of longevity in solid physical fitness is hard to maintain. Even the cyborg-ish, freight train of intensity that is Urban Meyer came crashing to a halt in December with stress and fatigue issues.

So just how does Spurrier do it? Well, step one includes not working 18 hours a day, which I feel is an excellent choice. Step two involves a healthy diet and step three calls for working out five to six days a week. And the plan seems to be working. Spurrier is still trucking along, consistently winning at a place that's never really won before. In fact, according to this article, Spurrier says that he's in better shape than he was when he was 25. And luckily for us, a photographer was there to document the Spurrier workout regimen.


Pound Kentucky and Vanderbilt into submission push-ups with core-strengthening.


Avoid the Phil Fulmer figure side crunches.


Practice demotion speech to Garcia free weight lifts.

Back and Triceps

Carrying the Carolina nation lifts.

Cool Down

20 minute not think about Stephen Garcia or any other quarterback except the good times with Danny Wuerffel walk.


"This close to the end of my career without getting fired and making an enormous amount as a commentator or analyst. Also, the golfing will be nice."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Around the SEC: What Didn't Happen Over the Weekend

Tyler Russell pummels Chris Relf's starting quarterback candidacy into submission.
The once-labled "Savior" of Mississippi State football under Dan Mullen (although he briefly lost this title and was declared a solid back-up option when junior college recruit Cam Newton showed some interest in the Bulldogs) took no steps, and possibly even a backwards one or two, in the Bulldogs' spring game to show that it is he who deserves to be MSU's starter going into fall practice. Normally, I don't put any stock in stats in spring games unless those stats are truly awful and Russell's 12 of 27 for 125 yards with no TDs and two picks qualify as awful. I realize he's a redshirt freshman and still learning/growing/otherclichesusedinasentencelikethis, but one would think he'd be a little more familiar with offensive friendly numbers by now. I even had a State friend send me a text which included the dreaded word "bust" with Russell's name.

So this should be good news for Chris Relf, no? While he put up a versus-Jacksonville-State-like performance (13 of 24, 184 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT), Mullen did not declare him the starter for the fall, probably recalling some of Relf's performances against teams not named Ole Miss. So while Tyler Russell is most likely behind Relf in the quarterback pecking order, Mullen is telling him he's got a chance. It's probably not a good chance, maybe something like a gal like Lloyd Christmas and a guy like Mary Swanson getting together, but it's a chance.

Ole Miss' spring game conducted in an extremely efficient and understandable format.
Only Houston Nutt would devise a set of rules that include points being added to one team's score at the end of every quarter, quarterbacks changing teams in mid-game and a seven-on-seven scrimmage, which determined the color of the jerseys for the first home game, taking place between the 15 and 30-yard lines while the spring game was being played (that one may not have happened). Regardless of the controlled chaos, no one was injured and Nathan Stanley (11 of 16, 166 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) and Raymon Cotton (5 of 7, 178 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) did not look awful in their quest to replace Jevan Snead and his 20 interceptions at quarterback.

Stanley is clearly the starter coming out of spring football, but Cotton, who is playing with a partially torn labrum in his shoulder, will get to see the field in certain situations, assuming his shoulder holds up. Cotton will have his shoulder examined again in a few weeks at which time it will be decided if he'll need surgery or can keep playing. If he needs surgery, junior college transfer Randall Mackey and someone named Richard Absher move up the depth chart. Let's hope that shoulder stops tearing.

Gene Chizik finds a quarterback that lives up to the mediocrity set forth by Chris Todd.
There are roughly 24,000 students eligible to play football on Auburn's campus and Chizik has managed to reduce that number all the way to four in his search for a starting quarterback. All four players (Barrett Trotter, Cam Newton, Neil Caudle and Clint Moseley) saw action during Saturday's spring game and all four did nothing to make Chizik's mind lean one way. According to the demolition expert of Iowa State football, the competition will last into fall practice. Personally, I'd like to see all four rotate throughout the season if only to make Steve Spurrier angry that someone is trying to show him up, which could then result in the first ever nine-man quarterback rotation when South Carolina takes the field.

Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson earn stupid sportswriter-created nickname.
But they will soon enough. I'm sure they'll eventually settle on something along the lines of "Thunder and Lightning" or "Heisman One and Heisman Two" (since Richardson will clearly win a Heisman before leaving Tuscaloosa according to Alabama fans. I also like the idea of SEC sponsor-generated nicknames. "Golden Flake and Texas Pete," "The Purple Pill and Bryan Sausage" and "Regions and Morgan Keegan." All solid options.). Whatever they end up being called, look for it on a t-shirt at Walmart and other carriers of non-licensed Alabama products where it will be bought in metric ton quantities.

Derek Dooley enjoys a relaxing weekend.
His top choices at starting quarterback went 30 of 66 with 2 TDs and 3 INTs and one of his starting safeties was arrested for a potpourri of offenses related to being hammered drunk at 2:00 AM in a parking lot in Knoxville. The good news for Dooley is that the arrest of safety Darren Myles will temporarily distract Vol fans from thinking about a five-win season in 2010.

Please Stand By

Normally I wouldn't bother explaining why there is no new post here and leave you to angrily wonder why is this guy so lazy. But new Gray is making an effort to be more informative, fan-friendly and industrious. Or something like that. Anyway, the weekend recap is not present and accounted for right now because I was out of town all weekend and have no idea what happened. Compound that with very little sleep and the decision to drive from Austin to New Orleans, which I immediately regretted in the ninth hour of a 16-hour round trip, and I've got nothing left in a tank that holds very little anyway (Also, I might have mild bed sore-like things on my butt cheeks from the excessive car-riding/driving.). So after I dream and spend some time in thought about not being inside of a car, I'll find out what I missed and put the recap up this afternoon. Until then, I suggest entertaining yourself here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

NCAA Coaches' Rule Submissions: Helping Rein in the Chaos

Yesterday, the NCAA's Bureaucraticly-Named Rules Committee Taskforce Coalition Reform Alliance passed three rules changes for the 2011 season in an effort to smash chaos in college football in the face with an iron fist. Players will no longer be allowed to have personal messages written on their eye black (HOW DARE COLLEGE STUDENTS SHOW PERSONALITY. THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW THEY'LL THINK THEY SHOULD GET A SLICE OF THE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THEY GENERATE EVERY YEAR FOR THE NCAA. THE NERVE OF THESE YOUNG WHIPPERSNAPPERS.) as made popular by Tim Tebow and Reggie Bush, wedge blocking on kickoffs will result in a 15-yard penalty and players flagged for taunting on their way into the endzone will cost their team a touchdown. Officials will now be required to penalize the offending team 15 yards from the spot of the foul and take away the touchdown instead of enforcing the penalty on the extra point or ensuing kickoff.

Luckily, players and coaches will have almost 17 months to prepare for these changes because no one could get them figured out in the five months between now and the start of the season. That would be asking a bit too much of men paid to coach football and play it (allegedly, of course). But, had additional rules been passed, the enforcement year might have been pushed back even further.

In case you didn't know, the NCAA asked coaches across the country to submit ideas for new rules to help control a game that is wildly out of hand and requires yearly updates filled with minutiae and whatever stamps out fun. While none of the coaches' submissions made it to the voting stage, they were recording for historical/ass-covering purposes. A small selection is listed below:

-Ed Orgeron requests that all coaches be allowed to sleep only 45 minutes a night during recruiting season. Other than being of the lunatic variety, we feel this rule would benefit only Mr. Orgeron as he does not need sleep to function, relying on an energy drink called Red Bull to fuel his daily activities. Therefore, no further action will be taken on this rule proposal.

-Nick Saban submits that all high school recruits be assigned a code rather than be called by their name (for example, recruit "John Smith" would be known as A4-3539). He argues that a code is more efficient and machine-like, which removes the need for personal touch and getting involved with another cog in the machine. Mr. Saban's idea is certainly interesting, but ultimately we feel that a coach should know his players' names (If Coach Bowden were still coaching, he would be exempt) so we move to take no further action on this proposal.

-Ron Zook wants to see his teams (Illinois and whatever school talks themselves into hiring him after the Illini fire him) be allowed to play with 16 players on the field on offense and defense and 37 on special teams. Mr. Zook desperately wants to keep his job and all future jobs and believes he is at a coaching disadvantage due to his inability to coach properly. We take no pity on him. DENIED.

-Les Miles seeks an additional eight timeouts added to a team's allotment of three, clock stoppages every seven seconds and a personal consultant by his side at all times to slowly and clearly explain his options (starting with the most logical and moving to least logical). Mr. Miles also submitted his request in crayon and there was an additional paragraph that was what we deemed to be nothing more than indecipherable jibberish. And there also appears to be a picture of a wolf at the bottom of the page. We feel it best to move on without further comment.

-Lane Kiffin asks that only beautiful people be allowed to participate in recruiting. Mr. Kiffin, still high on his recent success in Esquire magazine's "Sexiest Woman Alive" poll, believes that as a beautiful person he is giving recruits a true sense of being the most special person alive because if someone as beautiful as he is paying attention to them, they must be special. Not beautiful people tend to disorient the recruits. We wish Mr. Kiffin best of luck in the second round against Danica Patrick. When are these going to be over?

-Dan Mullen proposes what he calls the "Tyson Lee" rule. This would prevent coaches from playing quarterbacks with a height lower than 5'8"-ish in games. Mr. Mullen cites Lee's height as the determining factor in his incomplete pass on third and goal against LSU in 2009, which if completed would have most certainly given the Bulldogs the upset win and made them bowl eligible. Other ways to have beaten LSU included handing the ball off four straight times to your 240-pound running back who had run for 106 yards and two touchdowns. We recommend better decisions on the goal line and deny this request.

-Houston Nutt believes the forward pass should be eliminated from the college game. We believe Mr. Nutt is still shell-shocked from watching his pre-season Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback throw a mind-blowing 20 interceptions in a single college football season. And given that he has no experienced quarterback on his 2010 roster, he is most likely making a preemptive strike against all future disasters. We advise calling nothing but running plays and also strike this submission from any further consideration.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Get to Know Your SEC Football Players

In a never-ending quest to seek as much information as my brain can store, it's time to get to know a little bit more (or just anything at all) about one of the Southeastern Conference's football players. Now when this player succeeds, massively fails or is shown milling around in the background of a TV shot, you'll know that his greatest off-the-field accomplishment involves the sale and transportation of hobos. Or something like that.

Today's number from 6
Today's team: Tennessee

#6 Denarius Moore, WR, Tennessee

Some background information: An infinitely more exciting profile this week as Denarius actually sees the field while standing on it and not from the sidelines. Denarius lead Tennessee's receivers last year with seven touchdown receptions and was second on the team in yards per reception with 13.5. A former high school sprinter, the speedy Moore figures to be one of the Vols top offensive threats on a team that won't have many threats. And if Tennessee finds a quarterback that can competently throw forward passes in a D-I game, one would assume Moore will be targeted often.

Greatest on-field accomplishment: In 2008, he caught a 63-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Crompton against Kentucky, which was the longest pass play of the season. Also needed to be listed: running routes for three years for passes that had very little chance of being completed.

Greatest off-the-field accomplishment: Without question his dance duet with Gerald Jones (1:55 mark). Ladies of Knoxville drinking and dancing establishments, you CANNOT RESIST THE COORDINATED SLOW DANCE CHARM OF JONES AND MOORE.

Way(s) in which he has embarrassed himself, his family, team and school: Interestingly enough, the dance duet also falls into this category. I need to see more shoulder action if you want to be taken seriously.

Strengths: Speed, boldness (he did agree to do the dance on camera), Twitter page, $ Da Franchise $ and outlasted Ed Orgeron.

Weaknesses: Unsure what accurate passes look like, spent a year with Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron, Tyler Bray, younger Simms and any other Tennessee quarterback.

What to expect in 2010: Lots of shots of a frustrated Moore on the sidelines after another pass has sailed over his head or fallen at his feet. Last year he caught 40 passes for 540 yards and anything more than that this year would be hard to believe. So yes, that does mean Tennessee actually downgraded at quarterback from the 2009 season to the upcoming 2010 season.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Around the SEC: What Didn't Happen Over the Weekend

John Brantley's awesomeness makes everyone forget about the guy who will not play at Florida next year.
Now that's just silly. Of course that didn't happen. The good news for Florida fans concerned about next year is that Brantley played well enough in the spring game that Tebow's name wasn't mentioned until the middle of the second sentence in this ESPN article. Usually an ESPN article about Florida mentions Tebow within the first five words or at the very least has the first sentence constructed around him. It's also followed by a statement of fondness from Urban Meyer.

Even though Tebow was mentioned twice in three sentences to start the spring game recap, the statement of fondness from Meyer was about Brantley and not a quarterback who doesn't play for Florida anymore. So nice job there, John Brantley. Maybe by your senior year these articles will only mention Tebow at the end.

Nick Saban declares his offense to be a "shitstorm" of inefficiency and stupidity.
Believe it or not, Saban actually praised his offense saying, "I feel really good about the way we're going on offense." He mentioned strong quarterback play and an improved passing game just moments before he ran out of his allotted compliments for the day and unleashed a verbal assault on a pylon that was clearly not set at the proper 90 degree angle. A student manager was later made to run a gauntlet in which he was beaten with pylons.

Georgia's quarterbacks erase all memories of the Joe Cox era.
Unfortunately for Georgia fans, the thrilling 17-7 spring game probably had them wishing for a return of the Ginger Ninja. When your offense can't score more than 17 points in a spring game, there are issues that warrant discussion. Mainly which of the three underwhelming quarterbacks seems to be the least underwhelming. Right now, that distinction might go to Zach Mettenberger, who lit up the Bulldogs defense for 150 yards and two TDs on 6 of 10 passing. Unfortunately for young Zach, he will not be the starter on opening day thanks to an arrest for charges related to underage drinking over spring break at a bar called Flip Flops, which, amazingly, is not at the beach but in scenic south Georgia. Mark Richt's other choices for quarterback include Logan Gray, Aaron Murray, a broom with a cracked handle and an old office fan he found while cleaning out a storage room.

Derek Dooley finally puts a plug in the giant leak of attrition.
Well, not quite. One more got away when quarterback Nick Stephens decided he'd take his less-than-average skills to another school in hopes to see the field for an entire season. Stephens joins running back Bryce Brown and offensive lineman Aaron Brown in the group that decided they'd just rather not play for some guy from Louisiana Tech. If you recall, Stephens was locked in a battle with Jonathan Crompton in 2008 to see who could lead Phil Fulmer's offense from putrid to awful during the season. After losing that battle, Stephens spent most of his remaining time with the Vols on the sidelines. With the defection, Dooley loses a quarterback who went 3 of 9 for 6 yards in the first spring scrimmage.

The Ole Miss offense finds third gear.
Even though that didn't happen, they did apparently find second gear during Saturday's scrimmage, which is a solid improvement over cruising around at eight miles-an-hour. Quarterback Nathan Stanley still found a way to throw it to the defense twice, but also pulled three touchdown passes out of nowhere. This is good news for those of us concerned that Ole Miss is going to struggle to win six games. Now I have full confidence in six and a half wins. But, whatever happens, surely we won't trot out another quarterback who throws 20 interceptions in a single season. Right? I think that's not too much to ask.

Chris Relf and Tyler Russell make Dan Mullen's choice easy.
The pair of quarterbacks has refused to become individuals, instead each insists on not excelling but not really falling behind the other, leaving Dan Mullen with no real choice at quarterback. Next Saturday's spring game will be a big test for both Relf and Russell to determine which one has the lead at the position headed into the fall. And it's a test where the best grade will be a B-minus.

Vanderbilt's spring game more exciting than Georgia's.
In a spring game that was right in Sylvester Croom's wheelhouse, one of Vandy's teams beat the other by scoring on the last play of the scrimmage, which was the only touchdown of the game. I don't know if it was actually the last play according to the time remaining or if the coaches just wanted to shut it down on a positive note (and the only positive note). Looks to be another exciting year in Nashville.

And finally, just so we all know what he looks like, here is a picture of Joker Phillips:

Thursday, April 08, 2010

1st Annual Green Jacket Money Maker

Augusta, Georgia - Of course Steve Spurrier wasn't happy, but in the end he got the win he wanted. Spurrier survived the early push, then collapse, followed by a slight resurgence and one last collapse by Houston Nutt to win the first annual SEC Coaches Green Jacket Money Maker held at the Augusta National Golf Club. The event, designed to raise money to help raise awareness as to just how awesome the Southeastern Conference is, was created by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

"We couldn't be more thrilled with how successful this event was," Slive said. "We helped raise a lot of money and gave the fans something to be interested in while waiting for football season to start. And with the money we made today, even more of the country will know of our commitment to domination, including those who don't care about sports. I can't wait for next year, and I know Steve can't either."

Spurrier lead from start to finish despite changing his caddy every three holes. "I just thought I wasn't getting the reads and yardage I needed in order to win this thing, so I made some changes. I felt like I had to do it. There can't be any guessing in this sport. Either you know it or I'll find someone else who does," he said. When asked if he thought he held an advantage over the other coaches because of his membership at Augusta, he said, "Nah, I don't get to come out and hit it around as much as I'd like. I've been to busy figuring out who's going to start at quarterback in the fall. Lots of choices, none of them that great."

Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt seemed poised to give the heavily favored Spurrier a good challenge with an outstanding front nine. He went through the first six holes with three eagles and three birdies, but after making the turn things began to fall apart. Five straight double bogeys nearly ended his chances until back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 gave him a chance heading into 18. Unfortunately for Nutt, he exploded for with 12 on the final hole, earning a second place finish.

"Tough day out there. Had a great start, but didn't finish. Got to find a way to sustain," Nutt said. "All about maximum effort all the time. Just didn't have it at the end. Loved the course though. So much green. Beautiful. Flowers everywhere. Can't wait to be back."

The day wasn't completely void of drama as Nick Saban and some Augusta officials had a disagreement over the coach's language and belittlement of staff members. Saban was asked to leave the course for "general abrasiveness" according to one official. The official would not comment further and anyone associated with Alabama was too afraid to comment on the situation.

Outside of the Saban incident, everyone who played enjoyed themselves. "I can't wait to do it again," Dan Mullen said. "Even though I always wear a visor, it does nothing to help my golf game. Last time I checked a 132 isn't very good. But I just hope I'm here next year to take advantage of this opportunity."

"The pace was a little slow for my taste," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. "I generally like to get in a round of 18 in about 47 minutes. All of this standing around probably hurt my score (129), but I'm all for helping promote the SEC. I mean, this is the same conference that gave me a head coaching job when I only had five career wins in 24 games, so I'll do anything for the SEC and Auburn."

Part of the slow play issue can be attributed to Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson, who averaged only 29 yards per drive and hit two consecutive airborne shots just once during 18 holes on his way to a 214 and a last place finish. "It's tough playing with wooden irons and woods, no putter and only seven clubs, but you've got to make do with what you have," he said.

"I heard about Gene's complaint that we were playing too slow and some of that could be my fault," Derek Dooley of Tennessee admitted. "I had a problem choosing a caddy with any skill and experience. There just weren't any left in the clubhouse, so I had to go with a guy who had never done this before or was any good."

"I really, really hope I'm around next year for this," Georgia's Mark Richt said. "I mean really, really, really hope so. Make sure you write down all of those 'reallys.' I need this."

Nick Saban wasn't the only coach who didn't finish all 18 holes. Les Miles started the round, but between holes 11 and 12 he fell in Rae's Creek and later disappeared before reaching the 13th tee box. He is still missing (please contact the LSU Athletic Department if you have any information on his whereabouts). Urban Meyer began play, but stopped after seven holes to rest and recharge. He then tried to restart play on number 11, but was told by an official he needed to return to the eighth hole. Meyer began shouting that the official was a "bad guy" and that if this was his home course, they'd "go at it right now." He was last seen walking off the course with his daughter.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino did not tee off at his scheduled time or at all. After Lou Holtz was found milling around the 1st tee, it was discovered that Petrino had sold his coach's pass to Holtz for $6.18 and four pieces of gum. And Kentucky's Joker Phillips never made it on the course either. He was stopped at the coach's gate and told he could not enter. Not because he is black, but because no one knows what the hell Joker Phillips looks like.

Mike Slive, already planning for the next visit to Augusta to be even better, cracked one last smile and said, "Next year I hope we can get 100% participation. We've got some kinks to work out, but for the first year I thought things went really well. We'll eventually get to a point where the cursing, excessive celebration and cheating are completely stamped out."

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Get to Know Your SEC Football Players

In an effort to be more prepared and educated for the 2010 football season, I'm starting a new feature here that will introduce a player from one of the 12 teams in the Southeastern Conference. Each week, or really whenever I feel like it, a number from 1-99 and team will be randomly chosen, and we'll all get to know the individual with that number on that particular team. That way when one of these players does something to help his team succeed, fail or just gets in a random shot of the sidelines, we can all say, "Hey, there's that backup offensive lineman from Kentucky that I read about in April and immediately forgot all about him." So it should be a good time.

Here's how the selection process works. I had an associate/acquaintance/correspondent/whatever select a number between 0 and 10, followed by a number between 1-9 (if he had picked 10 that would have been the number). After that unnecessary communication with another human being, I decided that all future numbers will be pulled from one of those random number generator websites. Much less personal. And finally, the team he chose was probably the first one that popped in his head. However, each team will only be used once until all 12 have been selected, then we'll start over again. So, after that incredibly long explanation, our very first selection in this one-way meet and greet is none other than...

#49 Ryan Wilbourn, P, Arkansas Razorbacks

Some background information: A junior and transfer from Arkansas State, Ryan will not be playing in the 2010 season, which is a fitting start to this feature. So don't even bother looking for him next year unless Arkansas dresses everyone for home games. Maybe he'll see the sidelines for the homecoming game. Who knows.  Also, given the state of the Arkansas State football website, this may not actually be a picture of Ryan.

Greatest on-field accomplishment:  He played well enough on November 28, 2009 against North Texas to win the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week.

Greatest off-the-field accomplishment:  According to my research, he received an academic scholarship to A-State.  And let's go ahead and award him bravery points for going with the "comb-forward" hair style.

Way(s) in which he has embarrassed himself, his family, team and school:  Even though he walked the mean streets of Searcy, Arkansas, Ryan has avoided any activities that would allow him to fit right in with the Georgia Bulldogs or Florida Gators.

Strengths:  Swinging his leg really high in the air, throwing a football into the ground only to have it bounce right back to him, standing in one spot on the sideline for long periods of time and conversing with punters and kickers.

Weaknesses:  Tackling, running and sideline interactions with non-punters and kickers.

What to expect in 2010:  Ryan should receive plenty of work in practice, especially if Arkansas uses scout team punters (if that even exists).  If you want to get a look at him, I suggest scanning the background or edges of any camera shot that includes Dylan Breeding and/or Alex Tejada.  Punters and kickers tend to travel in packs.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Around the SEC: What Didn't Happen Over the Weekend

Mark Richt dismissed his entire second team defense.
I'm sure that day is coming soon, but for now he's only told one of them not to come back to Athens. Linebacker Montez Robinson was booted from the team for an assortment of dumb decisions followed by even dumber actions. Look for him in 2011 at an SEC school near you.

Derek Dooley smiled, gave an insightful interview.
In Dooley's defense, his top three quarterbacks, the esteemed Nick Stephens, Matt Simms and Tyler Bray, were a combined 17 of 42 in the Vols' first scrimmage (Bray was a Brent Schaeffer-like 6 of 20).

Bobby Petrino followed through on a commitment to go to the grocery store.
He needed some Diet Coke, but elected to go with the Coke Zero at the gas station just down the street.

Houston Nutt declared the Wild Rebel to be the Rebels' base offense in the fall.
From the reports I've read, punting may be the most valuable offensive weapon. Granted it's only a few practices into the spring, but words that describe the offensive line include "overwhelmed," "struggling" and "12 million miles away from being average." A leaky or, perhaps more accurately, collapsed levee offensive line is not the best situation for breaking in a new quarterback.

Gene Chizik refrained from pacing non-stop between the 35-yard lines at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Even Chizik is using spring practice to wear a groove in the grass that will be nice and flat come August.

Orlando Sentinel kicked Urban Meyer off Page One of the sports section, citing his remarks about the copy editor's nephew.
Urban Meyer is probably pulling for Duke. LET'S GO BUTLER!!! NO ONE WITH A SOUL WANTS TO SEE DUKE WIN.

Dan Mullen, seeking a three-way quarterback battle with no real winner, spoke with Tyson Lee about applying for a sixth year of eligibility.
If Tyler Russell doesn't win the starting job, can we begin to question whether he'll ever play significant downs in Starkville? Chris Relf is a nice athlete, but let us remember he that is awful. And yes, I say that with his performance against Ole Miss still on my mind. A game like that won't happen again. Until November 2010.

Bobby Johnson thought he had fun.
After further review, he decided that "fun" was a little strong and downgraded his weekend to "nice."

Steve Spurrier broke down the spring film of all his quarterbacks in an effort to determine the depth chart for fall practice.
So does Spurrier have to call someone at Augusta to get tickets this weekend? Or does he already have tickets? Or does the act of watching someone else play golf bring him as much pain and anguish as watching someone else play quarterback for his team?

Joker Phillips admitted that his favorite playing card is actually the nine of hearts.
I don't know about Joker, but I have a suspicion that Rich Brooks is a hell of a Gin player.

In order to help deaf football fans understand Les Miles' "YYYYYYYAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH" scream, LSU hired a signer to follow him on the sidelines of games and be present at all press conferences.
Actually, this is an awesome idea.

Nick Saban went out of his way to get annoyed with someone else's shortcomings so that he could truly enjoy his Easter Sunday.
I think this one has a pretty decent chance of being true. If he's not correcting failures, he's not happy.