Monday, August 09, 2010

Since We Last Met

Jeremiah Masoli survives first practice in Mississippi heat; later walks on water and Ole Miss receives bids from Independence Bowl and Music City Bowl
Not yet at least.  But Masoli did live to tell the tale of him running around in football equipment in an environment that produced a heat index of 608.  Unfortunately, he has yet to experience such heat while wearing full pads.  That day of reckoning will come later this week.  From all accounts of his first practice, he at least looked like he knew what he was doing while running drills and whatever else you can do while not wearing pads and simulating a game.

While I appreciate these practice reports and readily consume them with the same spirit with which I do a Chinese buffet, attending a football practice is unbelievably boring.  First and foremost, it's hot.  Second, there's no where to sit while being able to see and not get crushed by a player involved in practice.  And third, no one knows what the hell is going on.  "Hey, look, another drill where everyone runs sideways then sprints ten yards.  OUR LINEBACKERS ARE AWESOME."  The only enjoyable parts are the 7-on-7 passing periods and the times offense and defense go head-to-head.  But usually by then you're on the verge of a heat stroke or really depressed at how crappy some aspect of your team is.  The lone exception to all of these points is practice conducted by Ed Orgeron.  Large quantities of yelling, confusion, and random sprinting abound.  Everyone is terrified, including Orgeron (somehow terrified of himself), and despite all the movement, nothing productive is taking place (10-25 in three seasons).  Basically, it looked like this:

(stolen from Smart Football)

However, if you do attend practices, you better damn well take good notes and post them on the internet.  If I don't know how the battle for the third position in the running back depth chart is going, I'm going to be pissed.  PISSED I tell you.

Tennessee loses two defensive linemen for the season and it's not due to fighting fans or off-duty cops
Project starters Ben Martin, a defensive end, and Marlon Walls (who was involved in the Bar Knoxville rumble), a defensive tackle, both injured an Achilles tendon in practice and are expected to miss the entire season.  This leaves Tennessee with one player that has seen real playing time at defensive tackle.  And the news comes after the football program learned the NCAA is interested in setting up a satellite office in Knoxville for activities related to the Lane Kiffin era.  Kiffin has publicly said the NCAA will find no wrongdoing, but let us also remember that Lane Kiffin is an idiot.

If the NCAA does find that Kiffin was up to what everyone thinks he was up to, how severely will Tennessee be punished?  I'm of the belief that this investigation is more of a hunting of Lane Kiffin rather than Tennessee.  Now, Tennessee should be punished for hiring Kiffin (perhaps along the lines of AD Mike Hamilton being forced to wear a sackcloth for the duration of 2010-11), but I wouldn't be surprised if the NCAA just slaps Tennessee around with some velvet gloves (as all NCAA administrators already wear them anyway) and finds a way (i.e. makes some shit up) to punish Kiffin further than natural disposition already has.

Urban Meyer is actually 91 years old
Meyer has closed practices to the public because he wants to protect his players from "internet people" and "scumbags."  And yes, as he made this announcement, he was standing in his front yard, wearing a bathrobe and wildly waving a rolled-up newspaper.  Tasks for the scout team this week:  Water tomato garden and record the temperature every 25 minutes.

Boise State coach Chris Peterson has banned his players from using Twitter during football season
I think I'm okay with this because I already know what goes on in Boise, Idaho:  NOTHING.

The NCAA investigatory bell tolls for Miami
Yet another team now under the scrutiny of NCAA investigators.  To be fair, at least this investigation does not involve the party in South Beach that nearly every athlete in the Southeast attended.  This investigation involves improper text messages and phone calls.  BORING.  Come on, Uncle Luke, give us something we can enjoy.  Strip clubs, jet skis, white tigers, white tigers on jet skis.  You're getting a little sloppy down there.  We know you're better than that.

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