Posted 07/30/2008 at 08:41 PM
With my SEC preview getting way on the lengthy side, let's move over to this blog installment for more nuggets.
--As I was figuring out my SEC quarterback rankings, I came to a conclusion that I had previously overlooked: All in all, there aren't many very good QBs in the SEC this year. And that's extremely unusual. Other than Florida and Georgia, there's not a single team that feels great about their QB situation. Personally, I think Alabama is fine with Wilson, but that opinion might be in the minority among 'Bama die-hards (think the aforementioned pick-six in the 'L' at Mississippi St. last year). Without question, he had a horrible day in Starkville, but he was brilliant in a blowout win over Tennessee. In 2008, I say we'll see more of the John Parker against UT rather than the one against ULM and MSU. Ole Miss has to feel good (but not great) about its QB situation with Texas transfer Jevan Snead, who showed off a strong arm in the Rebels' spring game. But everywhere else, there's inexperience galore and a big question mark as to whether or not the starting QB is a championship-caliber player. Anyway, to the QB rankings...
--Ranking the SEC QBs:
1-Tim Tebow (UF)
2-Matthew Stafford (UGA)
3-John Parker Wilson ('Bama)
4-Jevan Snead (Ole Miss)
5-Jonathan Crompton (UT)
6-Wesley Carroll (MSU)
7-Chris Nickson (Vandy)
8-Tommy Beecher (SC)
9-Kodi Burns (AU)
10-Chris Smelley (SC)
11-Curtis Pulley (UK)
12-Mackenzie Adams (Vandy)
--I haven't seen these QBs play yet, so it would be stupid to even attempt to put them in the rankings: UK's Hartline, LSU's Andrew Hatch and Jarrett Lee, Auburn's Chris Todd, 'Bama's Star Jackson and SC's Stephen Garcia.
--I think Star Jackson is one of the best names I've ever heard in sports. Assuming he indeed becomes a star for Alabama, the name is perfect!
Nuggets below were added on 8/4/08
--After being ranked No. 1 in the pre-season ESPN-USA Today/Coaches' poll, it was a rough weekend in Athens for Georgia players. On Sunday, Snapper Jeff Henson and safety Donavon Baldwin were suspended indefinitely for their involvement in incidents that required police involvement. Also, two UGA players were hosptitalized after being hit the head with beer bottles.
--For the second time in the last two weeks, Jim Rome has used his Rome is Burning show on ESPN to blister UGA head coach Mark Richt for his team's off-the-field troubles. Actually, Monday's BBQ of Richt was directed at the off-the-field woes, while the lecture from two weeks ago made reference to how Richt's stunt against Florida last year might have 'won the battle' for the Dawgs, but that Meyer and the Gators would 'win the war.'
--Ever since Steve Spurrier left Duke to take the Florida job in 1990, he has voted for the Blue Devils at No. 25 in every pre-season coaches' poll in an act of appreciation for giving him his first college head coaching job. But Spurrier didn't vote Duke No. 25 this year.
--Here's the latest on the South Carolina squad after three days of practices. Chris Smelley thinks he can unseat Tommy Beecher as the team's starting QB. Stephen Garcia has been reinstated, but he's looked rusty.
--When LVSC sent out its opening numbers for Week 1, it tabbed Florida as a 27-point 'chalk' against Hawaii. I immediately stated that I felt the number should be 33. Now the number has moved to 32, even 32 1/2 at a few offshore spots. One reason is because of the potential absence of Hawaii's fifth-year senior QB Tyler Graunke, who will not practice with the Warriors as camp opens this week.