Posted 08/12/2010 at 05:41 PM
--Almost ready to unveil my preseason Top 25 for college football. I've narrowed my legit national-title contenders down to eight schools: Alabama, Florida, Boise St., Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio St. and Va. Tech. My two sleepers are TCU and Ga. Tech. I only mention the Horned Frogs because their schedule is softer than usual (only Big 12 foe is Baylor at home). I'll also touch on three other schools that are dangerous: North Carolina, Texas and LSU. I just think Oklahoma and Nebraska are a tad better than the Longhorns this year, but Mack Brown's bunch is certainly a fringe Top-10 squad. I have plenty of doubts about UNC (mostly if DE Marvin Austin will play at all this year) and LSU (never know what's going on inside The Hat), but the winner of their showdown at the Georgia Dome in Week 1 will be off to a blazing start.
--I have three NFL season win totals that I like: Atlanta 'over,' Tampa Bay 'under' and New Orleans 'under.' Case Keefer of the Las Vegas Sun explains my reasoning in his latest column that can be found here.
--Chipper out for the year -- ouch!
--In preparation for his heavyeweight title defense against Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, champion Brock Lesnar has employed the services of Pat Barry as a training partner. Good move for both guys. Working with Lesnar will help Barry, who has the short(er) and stocky frame similar to Velasquez. Barry is also a kickboxer and Velasquez has wicked leg kicks that could pose problems for Lesnar. However, I just don't that you can prepare for the speed Velasquez has (particularly for heavyweight standards). The current number at BoDog is Lesnar minus-170 with Velasquez at plus-140 (risk $100 to win $140 on the unbeaten challenger).
--Chael Sonnen will be one of the analysts on tonight's MMA Live on ESPN2 at 1:00 a.m. Eastern.
--Lame Chafin' claims he and his staff did nothing wrong in their 14 months at Tennessee. However, the NCAA is investigating the Orange Pride hostesses that went all the way to South Carolina to support UT recruits during their high school games. The Orange Pride hostesses include Lacey Pearl.
--By most accounts, including this one from Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray is looking good at preseason practice in Athens. Murray was a highly-coveted recruit coming out of Tampa Plant High School. The future of Mark Richt's tenure is tied to Murray's right arm.
--The word on the street is that Dylan Favre, Brett's nephew, is very much in the competition for the starting quarterback job at Mississippi State. Favre is a true freshman for the Bulldogs.