Nobody asked me but:
1. I know it’s early, but it’s starting to look like 2004 again: Remember 2004? Well Auburn sure does. That was the year that USC and Oklahoma started 1-2 in the polls and never lost. Auburn started at No. 17, got to be No. 2 for a week, but in the end it was USC and Oklahoma playing for the championship with Auburn playing the odd man out.
Have you looked at the gap between Alabama, Ohio State, and everybody else in the coaches poll? Alabama got 55 first-place votes after its impressive win over Penn State. Ohio State handled Miami easily and got the other four first-place votes. There are 132 points between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Boise State. That is a very wide gap.
Here is the point: If Alabama and Ohio State win out, I don’t think anybody, including Boise, cracks the top two.
Again, I know it’s early. It’s just something to think about.
2. It’s time for LSU to bring back Jarrett Lee: I like Jordan Jefferson. He’s a nice kid with good athletic ability. But the fact is that LSU is not going to go where it needs to go with him at quarterback. Jefferson completed only eight of 20 passes for 96 yards and no touchdowns in last Saturday’s win over Vanderbilt. Even Les Miles, who has been very patient with Jefferson, knows he has to get more from his quarterback if the Tigers are going to think about competing for the SEC West title. Miles said the coaches would evaluate the quarterback position this week. “Frankly we’re going to expect more out of the position, period,” he said. By Tuesday he had sort of backed away from that statement. Jefferson is his guy–for now.
Lee had a nightmare of a season in 2008 when he had six interceptions returned for touchdowns and 16 interceptions total. But the fact is the kid has a good arm and just needs help rebuilding his confidence. That is what coaches are for. Lee needs to see the field Saturday against Mississippi State.
3. Florida just needs to get the ball to No. 2: Florida may have found its offensive identity post-Tim Tebow in last week’s win over South Florida. Jeff Demps averaged 12.6 yards every time he touched the ball against the Bulls and had 255 all-purpose yards. Florida had 251 yards rushing and 172 passing. Rather than ask John Brantley to throw it all over the ballpark, the Gators probably just need to get the ball to Demps a whole lot.
You have to get the ball to Demps because it looks like Chris Rainey is not going to be around. Rainey was arrested on felony stalking charges early Tuesday morning. According to arrest records, Rainey texted the message “Time to Die” to a female who he has been dating, according to reports in the Gainesville Sun and the Orlando Sentinel. That arrest report is a matter of public record.
I’m going to see how this plays out and so I’m only going to say this:
IF the arrest record is completely accurate and Rainey did send that message to the female, regardless of their relationship, he should be done as a college football player. Period. If I’m the father of that girl, and some harm comes to my daughter because this is not handled properly, I will soon own a big chunk of the University of Florida. I have zero tolerance for men threatening women. And if some yahoo calls to harrass and intimidate the woman because he’s worried about his precious football team, then that person is going to be tracked down and prosecuted as well.
And I sure as hell don’t want to hear from Rainey’s lawyer, Huntley Johnson, Jr., who told the Orlando Sentinel : “I think he’s a hell of a nice young man and I assure you that he wold never hurt this woman.”
I hope you’ll understand, Mr. Johnson, if we’re not quite willing to take your word on that.
4. The 102 points scored in Wake Forest’s 54-48 win over Duke last Saturday in Winston-Salem was the SECOND highest total ever in an ACC game. The highest scoring ACC game ever came in 1981 when Clemson beat Wake Forest 82-24 in Death Valley. I was there.
That was Clemson’s national championship season. Al Groh, now the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, was the head coach at Wake Forest. What I remember was Clemson’s mascot, dressed in a Tiger suit, who would do pushups to match the home team’s points every time they scored. His name was Ricky Capps and as the score kept growing he was getting pretty gassed. When Clemson got to 76 points the Demon Deacon mascot of Wake Forest gave Capps a break and did the 76 for him. Capps did 435 pushups that day.
5. Kudos to Duke for keeping Bama game in Durham: After playing Duke at home in 2006, Alabama is returning the game this Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, which seats 33,941. Duke had the option of moving the game to Charlotte and a 73,000 seat NFL Stadium. It would have been a nice payday because the place would have been full with Alabama fans. But Duke head coach David Cutliffe, a 1976 graduate of Alabama who was a graduate assistant to Bear Bryant, realized how important this game was to the building of his program. “Some things,” said Cutcliffe, “are more important than money.”
An extra 3,900 seats will be brought in for Saturday’s game. Alabama fans will get another nostalgia trip as Duke’s Stadium is named after the man who won three national championships as the Crimson Tide’s head coach from 1923-30. Wade left Alabama for Duke in 1931.
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Programming note: Today’s guests on the “Barnhart and Durham Show” include Knoxville radio reporter Jimmy Hyams and Wally Hall, columnist from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to give us the Razorbacks perspective of the game with Georgia. We crank it up at 10 a.m. on 790 The Zone. www.790thezone.com.