Posted on: October 26, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 1:43 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The biggest story in the NFL over the past couple of weeks -- and as many would argue as the health risks become clearer and clearer, the league's biggest story for the coming decade -- has been the sudden rash of vicious helmet-to-helmet hits and Roger Goodell 's subsequent crackdown on the perpetrators via suspension.
As connected at the hip as major college football and the NFL have been for years, it's no wonder that it's only taken a matter of days for the anti-helmet-to-helmet crusade to trickle down to the college ranks. First conference up is the SEC , and the first (Second, rather; see below--ed. ) player suspended is ... drumroll please ... courtesy of the Clarion-Ledger 's Brandon Marcello ...
Mississippi State 's Chris Hughes ! It's not exactly a blow to the Bulldogs' chances against Kentucky this weekend (Hughes is a freshman backup who ranks 26th on State's roster in tackles this season) but that the SEC stepped in this quickly, and following a game where State's opponent came from outside the conference, shows that the league is making some level of commitment to cleaning up any wayward headhunting.
Of course, it's also easy to make that commitment in the wake of the NFL's high-profile decisions, and even easier to pick out an obscure backup linebacker at Mississippi State for punishment. When the SEC suspends one if its all-conference performers for a game with a divisonal title on the line, that's when we'll know their statement on player safety is serious.
UPDATE: Hughes is actually the second player suspended by the SEC in the past four days; South Carolina 's Rodney Paulk missed the first half of the Gamecocks' win over Vanderbilt after a last-minute decision from the league office.
Posted on: October 26, 2010 11:05 am
Edited on: October 26, 2010 12:18 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The fine folks of Starkville, Mississippi have had that fever for a long time as well. One they've only been able to cure through the mysterious healing powers of the cowbell, but now it seems that the SEC wants the afflicted fans of Mississippi State to either die of this fever, or just die broke. You see, the SEC placed restrictions on when Mississippi State fans can medicate themselves during a football game over the summer.
Before the game, after the game, and during timeouts are permissible.
Of course, for those who have needed the cowbell to soothe their soul over the years, it's hard to place such limitations on healing. Which is fine, according to the SEC. Fans can use their cowbells whenever they like, it's just going to cost you a hell of a lot of money. Well, not you, but the school.
The SEC has let Mississippi State know that the school has violated these cowbell rules, and that they plan on fining the school for each violation at the end of the year. Those violations cost $5,000 for the first offense, $25,000 for the second and $50,000 for the third and any violation after that. Which, over an eight-game conference schedule that includes four games, would end up costing the school $130,000 should Mississippi State be found to have violated the rules in each home game.
Along with the fines, the SEC is considering just abandoning the new "Cowbell Rules" and just banning them once again. Which may be the best route for Mississippi State fans to take, actually. After all, having the cowbells banned before never stopped fans from ringing them.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 8:38 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 8:40 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Florida may have been hoping to end its two-game losing streak this week, but so far that's the only thing the Gators have done: hope. It's halftime in Gainesville and Mississippi State has a 10-0 lead. Though it's really not as bad as it sounds, and, yes, being down ten to Mississippi State at home does sound really, really bad.
The truth is, though, that Florida has an edge in just about every meaningful stat. They've outgained the Bulldogs 138-to-126, and have had the ball three minutes longer. The problem has been putting points on the board and keeping John Brantley off of his back. Oh, and if Florida could start getting more than one yard a carry in the second half, that would probably help too.
The Gators had a nice chance to get some points in the second quarter, putting together a 15-play 59-yard drive, but Chas Henry missed a 33-yard field goal that would have cut the lead to 10-3.
Still, even though they haven't played well in the first half, the Gators still only trail by ten points and Mississippi State hasn't exactly been playing magnificent football either. Though if the Gators don't find a way to get a ground game going in the second half, the ten point deficit may be too much to overcome. And if the Gators lose this one, well, hello, Cotton Bowl.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:54 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:16 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. It's another gorgeous day across the country, but it's starting to get just a little bit chilly. You should still bring the sunscreen. All times are Eastern.
Boston College at No. 16 Florida State , 12:00, Tallahassee, FL: Low 70s, clear
Illinois at No. 13 Michigan State, 12:00 , East Lansing, MI: Mid 50s, partly cloudy
Missouri at No. 21 Texas A&M, 12:00 , College Station, TX: Low 70s, clear
No. 15 Iowa at Michigan , 3:30, Ann Arbor, MI: Low 60s, partly cloudy
No. 12 Arkansas at No. 7 Auburn , 3:30, Auburn, AL: Low 70s, clear
Texas at No. 5 Nebraska , 3:30, Lincoln, NE: Low 70s, clear
No. 10 South Carolina at Kentucky , 6:00, Lexington, KY: Low 60s, clear
No. 1 Ohio State at No. 18 Wisconsin , 7:00, Madison, WI: Mid 50s, partly cloudy
Mississippi State at No. 22 Florida , 7:00, Gainesville, FL: Low 60s, clear
Late night kickoffs
Ole Miss at No. 8 Alabama , 9:00, Tuscaloosa, AL: Low 50s, clear
No. 24 Oregon State at Washington , 10:15, Seattle, WA: Mid 40s, partly cloudy
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Big 12, Big Ten, Boston College, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Kickoff Weather, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Oregon State, Pac-10, SEC, South Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M, Washington, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 15, 2010 3:51 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet. Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.
Main Course - #13 Michigan State vs. Illinois - Noon - Big Ten Network
Yes, the morning menu is still incredibly light this week. You'd think I'd be beyond complaining about it at this point since it's been this way all season, but I assure you, I am not above complaining about anything . Though this Michigan State and Illinois game isn't as unfulfilling as it may seem at first glance.
Michigan State is 6-0, after all, and coming off of a very big win against Michigan. Illinois has also played well lately, with a win not many saw coming on the road against Penn State last week. Also, let's not forget that the Illini gave Ohio State a very tough time in Champaign a few weeks ago.
There's enough cause to believe that another upset may be in the works this weekend. First of all, Michigan State is coming off that Michigan win, and there could be a letdown this weekend. Second, it is Michigan State. Completely unexpected losses at home against teams they should beat after getting off to a good start to the season wouldn't exactly be a new phenomenon for the Spartans.
Side Orders: If you don't get the Big Ten Network, and don't have the choice of watching Michigan State and Illinois between Ro-Tel and Velveeta commercials, there are other options. Florida State and Boston College square off in Tallahassee, or you could tune in to what could be Tim Brewster's last game when Minnesota takes on Purdue. Of course, if you want to watch that game I'd suggest spending three hours talking to some sort of counselor instead. Maybe you should watch Syracuse and Pitt instead, just to see if you should actually take this Syracuse team seriously.
Main Course - #7 Auburn vs. #12 Arkansas - 3:30pn - CBS
Now that Alabama has lost, it leaves the door open to a couple of teams in the SEC West. Auburn is one of them. Arkansas, who has already lost to Alabama, has an outside chance, but to make the most of it, a win over Auburn is a must have.
Of course, even if there wasn't so much on the line for both teams in this game, I'd recommend tuning in just to watch Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett face off. In other words, expect a lot of points, and what could turn out to be a very exciting, back and forth affair.
Auburn's pass defense left a bit to be desired against Kentucky last week, and don't think that Bobby Petrino didn't pick up on a few things when watching the game tape. The Auburn defense is going to need to play very well if the Tigers want to leave this one with their perfect record still intact.
Side Orders: There are a couple of other dishes available in the afternoon, including the one that's often best-served cold, which Nebraska is hoping to give Texas tomorrow afternoon. There's also Michigan and Iowa in the Big House, which will be a defining game for the Wolverines. We find out if Michigan is either a good team that lost a tough game against a rival last week, or it's still the same old Michigan we've grown accustomed to the last few years.
Main Course - #18 Wisconsin vs. #1 Ohio State - 7pm - ESPN
It's been a while since the Buckeyes found themselves ranked as the best team in the country, but if they're not careful, it's not going to last long. The Buckeyes have gotten off to a 6-0 start this season, but this is the first real test they'll have faced. Yes, Miami was a tough game, but that was at home and Miami has proven to be pretty average this season.
This is the road, at night, at Camp Randall Stadium. Ohio State's defense hasn't faced a punishing ground game like it'll be seeing against Wisconsin with John Clay and company. Ohio State has only ventured outside of Columbus once this season, and that was what turned out to be their worst game of the season against Illinois.
And trust me, it's a lot easier to win in Champaign than it is in Madison.
Side Orders: Kentucky nearly knocked off Auburn at home last week, and it will try to do this same this week when it hosts South Carolina. The Gamecocks are coming off their biggest win ever, so a let down could be in order. There's also Florida looking to end its two-game losing streak taking on Mississippi State and old friend Dan Mullen, and the Crimson Tide look to take out their frustrations from last week against Ole Miss and its new mascot.
Late Night Snack
Oregon State may have had some troubles with non-conference foes like TCU and Boise State, but it's off to a nice start in conference play. They look to improve to 3-0 in the Pac-10 when they head to Washington to take on the Huskies Saturday night on ESPN.
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Bobby Petrino, Boston College, Cam Newton, Dan Mullen, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, John Clay, Kentucky, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Ryan Mallett, Saturday Meal Plan, South Carolina, Syracuse, Texas, Tim Brewster, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 12, 2010 1:01 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 1:01 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey hasn't been with the team since his arrest following a threatening text to a woman he used to date. Rainey has since reached a settlement in the case, but had not returned to practice.
That has changed.
Rainey is back practicing with the Gators though he is yet to be fully reinstated to the team. According to Urban Meyer, Rainey will have to meet certain conditions -- which the coach wouldn't state -- before he's allowed to play again for the Gators. He will not be allowed to play for the team's game against Mississippi State this weekend.
“Chris Rainey is working towards being part of our football team again,” Meyer said in a statement. “I’m disappointed that he violated a core value of our program, but he continues to pay a price for his actions. Chris will have to meet a set of conditions to become a part of our team again and although he is practicing, he will not play this weekend. The timetable for his return will depend on his ability to follow the guidelines we have laid out for him.”
No word on whether Meyer informed Rainey through a text message saying "time to practice."
Rainey also released a statement on Tuesday morning, the first time he's spoken publicly since his arrest.
“I am embarrassed and sorry for my actions and I apologize to everyone that I affected by my behavior,” said Rainey. “I’m working towards being a part of the Florida football program again and I realize that representing this University is a privilege. I have spent the last several weeks reflecting on my actions and realized that is not who I want to be.”
The Mississippi State game will be the fifth game Rainey misses thanks to his arrest, and while we can't know for sure when he'll be back, considering that Florida has a bye next week before facing Georgia on October 30, I'd bet that's the game Rainey makes his return.