Hol-eee damn it's hot. Like air-piped-in-straight-from-hell's-blast-furnace hot. If this keeps up, may God have mercy on the teams that play in the Jefferson Pilot time slot opening weekend. In an effort to conduct minimal movement as not to have a heat stroke indoors, here are some minimal links.
Robbie Caldwell will now be known as Head Coach Caldwell
Vanderbilt chose to drop the dreaded "interim" descriptor from his title and present the idea of a little more job security. As I've said before, if Vandy was smart (not book smart, but street smart), they'd keep him around for a while, strictly for entertainment purposes. They're going to be terrible so why not make it a fun kind of terrible. Plus, at the next SEC Media Days, we might be given lectures on cracking pigs' skulls with crowbars, cutting off the heads of chickens and other activities of rural South Carolina. I implore you, Vanderbilt, give back to the SEC community (other than losing games to us).
Is Ryan Mallett's arm strength really that blinding?
Count Tony Barnhart as one who has fallen under the magic spell Mallett's arm strength. He has the quarterbacks of the SEC West ranked like this (if you don't want to waste your time clicking that link):
1. Ryan Mallett
2. Greg McElroy
3. Masoli Stanley
4. Cam Newton
5. Chris Relf
6. Jordan Jefferson
While I agree Mallett is the most talented of the group in terms of quarterbacking skill, I present this evidence in favor of McElroy being the top quarterback in the West.
2009 Road Games Stats
53-136 (38.9%), 865 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs
64-109 (58.7%), 705 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs
Mallett just killed Arkansas on the road last year with his horrible completion percentage. McElroy wasn't spectacular but was pretty good, considering road games are brutally difficult in the SEC. However, in Mallett's defense, his road games involved Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama and LSU, while McElroy's were Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Auburn. So there was a higher degree of difficulty for Mallett (and Arkansas didn't have a very good defense), but good quarterbacks don't throw incomplete passes 6 out of every 10 attempts in football games. Until Mallett shows he can play on the road, McElroy is number one in the Belly of the Beast's eyes. And, yes, I know these rankings are stupid.
Also, I know Jordan Jefferson was not good last year, but below Chris Relf? Did Barnhart watch Relf attempt to throw a forward pass? Yes, he has great athletic ability, but one game (Ole Miss) does not make a quarterback. He also played seven other conference games in which he hovered around the poor category.
Damn you, ESPN
In its latest feature to kill time until the season starts, the Leader introduced "House of Pain" yesterday, which is a countdown of the top 50 most painful losses in college football history. And, of course, right there at #49 is Ole Miss' loss to LSU in 2003. It's been almost seven years since this game was played and I still want to smash a Kool-Aid Man-size hole in the wall. Lou Groza missed two easy field goals, defensive backs dropped three interceptions (although they did catch three) and Mike Espy showcased his jump-catch, which was where he unnecessarily jumped to catch a pass, then had the ball hit his pair of hooks for hands and fall to the ground. I did not like Mike Espy. And all of these things added up to us not going to Atlanta even though we pulled off a 7-1 record in the SEC. DAMMIT. But at least our administration was thoughtful enough to put a Western Division Champion banner in the stadium even though we did not win the West that year since we did not represent the West in Atlanta. It's not like I'm filled with rage every time I see that damn thing.