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:

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