Thursday, April 21, 2011

Talking land-fill quality trash about the SEC

The article from Bill King's Junkyard Blog is fairly run-of-the-mill: Is Mark Richt under the gun?

Given that he's coming off two mediocre years -- and given that Georgia fans have the most inflated sense of place in the entire self-inflated SEC -- of course he is.

Yet the real fun here is the responses on Pick any subject, anyone at all that's related to college football, then find a safe vantage point to watch. Georgia fans pile in all over themselves. Ga. Tech fans move in like heckling hyenas. The racket draws in big-mouths from Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee. Even a few Big 10 folks, who are always more than willing to set the Southerners straight, join in.

Some of it's civil. Most of it is not. And there's not a better place online to read all that's wrong and right with the SEC. See what you think.

Cam Debate: The supposed experts remain divided

Maybe Cam Newton will be the Panthers' top pick, but he remains in the middle of a raging NFL debate on whether he's a star in the making or a bum.

The Milwaukee Journal surveyed 24 league executives, mostly GMs or scouting directors, and well ... they just don't know what to make of Auburn's Heisman Trophy winner.

Talented? Hugely so.

Baggage? Oversized.

Propects? All over the map.

There are those in the survey who think he'll be a star. There are those who think he's kryptonite. And there are those who believe he'll fall somewhere in between.

One point of common ground: Everyone interviewed has a highly emotional opinion of Newton, which tracks right along with his college experience as his sport's biggest and most magnetic lightning rod. (Be sure to check out the comments of the scout at the bottom of the Journal's story, who believes Newton is being held to a different standards.)

Punch here for more.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Attorney: accused oak poisoner attacked

Harvey Updyke, the Alabama fan accused of trying to kill the historic oaks at Toomer's Corner in Auburn, had a really bad Wednesday.

First, his attorney announced that prosecutors have rejected a plea in which Updyke would avoid additional jail time.

Then later in the day, a TV station reported, the attorney says his client was attacked in an Opelika, Ala., convenience store and needed hospital treatment for the resulting head wound.

For more than 40 years, the trees have been the traditional celebration spot for Auburn students after big victories. Reports have said that Updyke, a former Texas state trooper who moved to Alabama in 1983, poisoned the oaks because he believed Auburn students rolled them in toilet paper to celebrate the death of legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

There's no proof such a celebration took place.

Here's the latest

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Never on Sunday: Slive speaks out about oversigning, ethics and controlling agents

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive sat down with the Mobile Press-Register for a Q&A on the issues facing college football and the SEC.

Among Slive's comments:

The league is studying the oversigning controversy from all sides.

Players shouldn't be paid a salary but maybe the "full cost of a college education" needs redefining.

The SEC hasn't considered moving to Sunday, should the NFL lose games to its lockout.

Read the transcript here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

UPDATED Locker room thefts at Georgia -- major national recruit among those arrested

For starter's, let's all agree to allow the justice system to work before the snideness begins. But if the Athens, Ga., police have it right, what in the world was Deion Bonner thinking?

Bonner is from Carver High in Columbus, Ga., and one of the most sought-after high school players in the Southeast. He and a couple of companions now stand accused of stealing iphones and ipods from the Georgia locker room during a recruiting visit.

Yeah, that's right. While the guest of a major university more than willing to provide him a full college scholarship and a stage on which to audition for a future pro career, police say Mr. Bonner chose to pilfer the lockers of his potential future teammates, then advertised the loot by tweeting.

Again, IF the charges are true, young Mr. Bonner seems to be a leading candidate for intensive training in impulse control. For the sake of a few electronic trinkets, Bonner has jeopardized his future. As good as he is, his home state school now can't get within a time zone of him, given Georgia's off-the-field problems from a year ago and coach Mark Richt's recent promise to run a far tighter ship.

Granted, Bonner is good enough to get offers to play somewhere. After all, Zack Mettenberger still could pick from the likes of Alabama and LSU when he was thrown off the Georgia team following his arrest on a sexual-assault charge.

Bonner now has been thrown off his high school team, though his coach adds that he and other suspects from Carver High have never been in trouble before.

Still, coaches across the country must be weighing the devil's bargain the kid now poses. He had offers from Georgia, Auburn and Alabama, among many others. Who will back away knowing they might have to play against him? How many will fall back on the Pragmatist's Creed, that a good kid who made a mistake deserves a second chance?


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Death Race 2011

At the risk of carbon-dating myself ... again ... Does anyone remember that weird Star Trek episode with those two guys in mirror-twin harlequin costumes battling through the centuries?

Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News picks up that thread and applies it, of course, to Alabama and Auburn.

It's been a stormy offseason in the 100 Years War between the last two national champions, with bloody recruiting battles and back-and-forths over real and imagine NCAA violations.

The whole thing has gotten a little old -- which was the point Gene Roddenbery was trying to make more than 40 years ago. Solomon takes it from there.


Fulmer Cup winner doesn't rebuild, it reloads

The Georgia Bulldogs, who last year had far more success breaking the law than they did the goal line, provided a little insight in how they ran away with the prestigious Fulmer Cup: They apparently recruit for that just as hard as they do for their team.

Consider this little gem on Seven UGA players reported items stolen out of their lockers this week. The Athens, Ga., police chief says three warrants have been issued for the suspects whom he says were on a RECRUITING TRIP!! to the Georgia campus when the thefts allegedly occurred.

The Fulmer Cup, named after former Tennessee head coach and practicing bail bondsman Phil Fulmer, is awarded each year to the team with the most arrests. Auburn is the early leader for 2011, with four of its players arrested this spring on armed robbery charges.

But as with all champions, Georgia sent out signs this week that it doesn't intend to simply hand the cup over to anyone -- unless a pawn shop offers the right price, that is.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

It wasn't THAT good of a game

Once, in a weak moment that has become family lore, my twin brother and I -- joined by another bro and my old man-- put my late mom under bathroom arrest for several hours because when she entered the WC, the fortunes of the 1975 Sugar Bowl swung decidedly in Alabama's favor.

We can laugh about that now, sort of, based on what transpired in Texas.

A point of twin clarity: When Alabama beat Penn State in '75, my mother was freed, greeted with a glass of wine and given full credit for her role in the win.

Maybe the Texas duo had money on Oregon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stephen Garcia suspended from USC

Our friends at The State in Columbia have got the story.

Garcia has done some great things for the Gamecocks, including leading USC to its first SEC title game ever. But he's always seemed right on the edge of getting pulled from the game, or pulled from the team. From USC AD Eric Hyman:

"Stephen has exhibited behavior that is unacceptable for one of our student-athletes. Therefore, he has forfeited the privilege to participate in any football related activity until further notice.”

As of now, no specifics on "behavior that is unacceptable."

Of course, it's a long time before the games start. But Connor Shaw, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

-- Tommy T.