Each week during the off-season we will be doing this feature that is simply called "This Week In College Football". We will cover the biggest news and stories of the past week and give some opinions and analysis.
In addition to covering the weekly happenings we are more than mid-way through our Pre-Season Previews and we currently have 75 FBS previews up on the site. This week we previewed Arizona St, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico St, and UNC. Next week we will have Auburn, Georgia Tech, Tulsa and Utah among the teams that we will preview. Last week in this column week talked about Jeff Demps, Georgia Tech getting hit with probation, Georgia losing a RB and moving a LB over to fill his spot and Bobby Petrino booting Greg Oden's brother from the team.
This week was SEC Media Days so that feel of college football is really starting to get in the air. Let's talk about the biggest stories this week in college football:
NCAA WON'T DROP HAMMER ON OHIO STATE
Earlier this week, the NCAA shocked everybody who is not an Ohio State grad or fan when they said they didn't find any evidence tOSU failed to properly monitor it's football program and said they did not find any new violations. All of the really good NCAA investigators must have been busy down south and not on this case! On a serious note though, this is pretty shocking and while it looks like this is over for now I would not be surprised at all if more were to come out at a later date. For now it's Jim Tressel that tOSU has labeled as the lone gunman and that defense seems to have worked for them. Ohio State didn't get off scot free but they came out of it as good as they could in my opinion.
Ohio State will overhaul it's compliance office, which I'm not sure why they would be doing if they didn't feel they "failed to properly monitor" it's programs. They also vacate the 2010 season victories, which means nothing except to SEC fans who can still brag that tOSU cannot beat them (tOSU still gets to keep the money paid out from the bowl game). Looks like tOSU comes out of this a lot better than most expected as a program but they will still be hurt on the field by the loss of their coach and several key players.
IS RUSSELL SHEPARD IN TROUBLE?
Some information popped up this week that LSU WR Russell Shepard (who along with Rueben Randle has the most receptions of any returnee for the Tigers) could possibly miss some time this year due to a housing issue. According to Tiger Sports Digest Shepard moved in with a member of the athletic department (who is also his girlfriend). It is believed that the payment for said housing might not be in compliance with NCAA rules.
Last year something like this happened over at South Carolina where players were getting discounted rent at the Whitney Hotel. There were about 10 players involved with this but only three were held out of the first game (Jariel King, Chris Culliver and Weslye Saunders- and Saunders had a lot of other issues with Spurrier). This will be an interesting story to watch as the Tigers open up against Oregon as they cannot afford to lose anybody for that big game.
In other LSU news, the NCAA accepted their proposed penalties for major violations. LSU will serve a one year probation, will limit their recruiting visits by 10% and they had already imposed a two scholarship reduction last season (although oversigning.com has them signing 29 players last year and 24 in 2009). But there is good reason to be happy if you are an LSU fan. LSU branded beer is coming your way and it will be sold during football games this year. Geaux Tigers!
THE LONGHORN NETWORK STARTS UP THE RE-ALIGNMENT DEBATE AGAIN
There was a lot of concern coming out of the Big 12 this week in terms of what games would be shown on the Longhorn Network and if High School games would be shown (which would be a huge recruiting advantage for Texas). Right now, the Longhorn Network's plan to televise High School games is on hold waiting for the NCAA to make a call. One reason Big 12 schools are concerned is because the VP of the Longhorn Network is already calling out recruits by name and actively using his position to help Texas recruit them. Maybe it was an innocent name dropping or miscue but guys in this position don't make these kinds of mistakes on the radio. This was either a calculated move or the guy is an idiot. You make your choice. Because of all the hub-bub around this situation the rumors of Texas A&M to the SEC have once again opened up. SEC czar Mike Slive even made the statement that he could get to 16 teams in 15 minutes. The plot thickens.
GEORGIA SUSPENDS LEADING RUSHER FOR FIRST GAME
The headline sounds worse than it is. On Monday, about 30 minutes before I went on with Michael Felder to record a podcast about Georgia football, the news came down that Carlton Thomas would be suspended for at least the first game of the season (which also happens to be against Boise St). Yes, Thomas is the leading returning rusher for Georgia but he still figured to around third on the depth chart for the game once all was said and done and he is a situational back. Georgia will depend more heavily this year on incoming freshman Isaiah Crowell and RB turned LB turned RB again Richard Samuel to tote the majority of the load this year. Stay tuned to this one folks cause it's going to be a very interesting and fluid situation at RB for Georgia leading up to their Georgia Dome opener with the Broncos of Boise State.
MARC TYLER HITS TMZ
USC RB Marc Tyler was suspended for the season opener after being filmed by TMZ and making some very interesting comments. We will let you watch the clip for yourself and make your own opinions but I think we all agree in that this age of media (where everybody has a cell phone that takes pictures and video and can immediately put them on the internet via facebook, youtube and twitter), college athletes have to be smarter about what they do, when they do it and who is watching then they ever have been in the past.
- Trent Richardson showed up on the internet this week posing for some pictures in a clothing store and signing a helmet. Word is that Bama already looked into this last year and their compliance department said Richardson did not receive discounts or additional benefits. The Alabama fanbase can commence breathing.
- Tennessee self-imposed two years of probation based on the rouge natures of Lane Kiffin and Bruce Pearl. And to think, they almost named Dan Radakovich as their AD (yep the guy who got Georgia Tech put on probation last week).
- Former Florida RB Mike Blakely had his appeal to allow him to play immediately for Auburn denied this week. That's actually one position that Auburn seems like they have a handle on this year with all of the departures from last season.
- We will leave you with the media picks for the SEC. Agree, disagree? Chime in to the discussion.
|TE||Orson Charles, Georgia (71)||6-3||241||Jr.||Tampa, Fla.|
|OL||Barrett Jones, Alabama (148)||6-5||311||Jr.||Memphis, Tenn.|
|OL||Bradley Sowell, Ole Miss (72)||6-7||315||Sr.||Hernando, Miss.|
|OL||Cordy Glenn, Georgia (71)||6-5||348||Sr.||Riverdale, Ga.|
|*OL||Larry Warford, Kentucky (55)||6-3||340||Jr.||Richmond, Ky.|
|*OL||Brandon Mosley, Auburn (55)||6-6||306||Sr.||Jefferson, Ga.|
|C||William Vlachos, Alabama (97)||6-1||294||Sr.||Mountain Brook, Ala.|
|WR||Greg Childs, Arkansas (103)||6-3||217||Sr.||Warren, Ark.|
|WR||Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina (152)||6-4||233||Jr.||St. Matthews, S.C.|
|QB||Aaron Murray, Georgia (117)||6-1||211||So.||Tampa, Fla.|
|RB||Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina (130)||6-0||231||So.||Duncan, S.C.|
|RB||Trent Richardson, Alabama (119)||5-11||224||Jr.||Pensacola, Fla.|
|TE||Phillip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn (57)||6-4||253||Jr.||Marietta, Ga.|
|OL||D.J. Fluker, Alabama (52)||6-6||335||So.||Foley, Ala.|
|OL||Alex Hurst, LSU (33)||6-6||329||Jr.||Bartlett, Tenn.|
|OL||Bobby Massie, Ole Miss (30)||6-6||325||Jr.||Lynchburg, Va.|
|OL||Chance Warmack, Alabama (24)||6-3||320||Jr.||Atlanta, Ga.|
|C||Ben Jones, Georgia (45)||6-3||316||Sr.||Centreville, Ala.|
|WR||Marquis Maze, Alabama (22)||5-10||180||Sr.||Birmingham, Ala.|
|WR||Joe Adams, Arkansas (17)||5-11||190||Sr.||Little Rock, Ark.|
|QB||Stephen Garcia, South Carolina (23)||6-2||230||Sr.||Lutz, Fla.|
|RB||Knile Davis, Arkansas (50)||6-0||230||Jr.||Missouri City, Texas|
|RB||Michael Dyer, Auburn (23)||5-9||206||So.||Little Rock, Ark.|
|*TE||Michael Williams, Alabama (12)||6-6||269||Jr.||Reform, Ala.|
|*TE||Brandon Barden, Vanderbilt (12)||6-5||245||Sr.||Lincolnton, Ga.|
|OL||Grant Cook, Arkansas (21)||6-4||318||Sr.||Jonesboro, Ark.|
|OL||Kyle Nunn, South Carolina (21)||6-5||296||Sr.||Sumter, S.C.|
|OL||Rokevious Watkins, South Carolina (18)||6-4||334||Sr.||Fairburn, Ga.|
|*OL||Alvin Bailey, Arkansas (14)||6-5||319||So.||Broken Arrow, Okla.|
|*OL||Addison Lawrence, Mississippi State (14)||6-4||300||Sr.||Coldwater, Miss.|
|*OL||Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State (14)||6-4||320||So.||Liberty, Miss.|
|C||Travis Swanson, Arkansas (9)||6-5||305||So.||Kingwood, Texas|
|WR||Jarious Wright, Arkansas (8)||5-10||180||Sr.||Warren, Ark.|
|WR||Emory Blake, Auburn (7)||6-1||197||Jr.||Austin, Texas|
|QB||Jordan Jefferson, LSU (12)||6-5||224||Sr.||St. Rose, La.|
|RB||Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss (5)||5-11||221||Sr.||Baton Rouge, La.|
|RB||Tauren Poole, Tennessee (3)||5-10||215||Sr.||Toccoa, Ga.|
|DL||Jake Bequette, Arkansas (100)||6-5||271||Sr.||Little Rock, Ark.|
|DL||Josh Chapman, Alabama (85)||6-1||310||Sr.||Hoover, Ala.|
|DL||Kentrell Lockett, Ole Miss (69)||6-5||248||Sr.||Hahnville, La.|
|DL||Malik Jackson, Tennessee (63)||6-5||270||Sr.||Northridge, Calif.|
|LB||Dont'a Hightower, Alabama (144)||6-4||260||Jr.||Lewisburg, Tenn.|
|LB||Courtney Upshaw, Alabama (82)||6-2||265||Sr.||Eufala, Ala.|
|LB||Danny Trevathan, Kentucky (69)||6-1||230||Sr.||Leesburg, Fla.|
|DB||Mark Barron, Alabama (140)||6-2||218||Sr.||Mobile, Ala.|
|DB||Robert Lester, Alabama (79)||6-2||210||Jr.||Foley, Ala.|
|DB||Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina (64)||6-1||194||Jr.||Rock Hill, S.C.|
|DB||Morris Claiborne, LSU (163)||6-0||177||Jr.||Shreveport, La.|
|DL||Devin Taylor, South Carolina (56)||6-7||248||Jr.||Beaufort, S.C.|
|DL||Nosa Eguae, Auburn (37)||6-2||261||So.||Mansfield, Texas|
|DL||DeAngelo Tyson, Georgia (30)||6-2||306||Sr.||Statesboro, Ga.|
|*DL||Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State (26)||6-4||295||Jr.||Yazoo City, Miss.|
|*DL||Travian Robertson, South Carolina (26)||6-4||298||Sr.||Laurinburg, N.C.|
|LB||Chris Marve, Vanderbilt (61)||6-0||235||Sr.||Memphis, Tenn.|
|LB||Jerry Franklin, Arkansas (35)||6-1||245||Sr.||Marion, Ark.|
|LB||Ryan Baker, LSU (22)||6-0||227||Sr.||Grand Ridge, Fla.|
|DB||Dre' Kirkpatrick, Alabama (50)||6-3||192||Jr.||Gadsden, Ala.|
|DB||Brandon Boykin, Georgia (43)||5-10||183||Sr.||Fayetteville, Ga.|
|DB||Janzen Jackson, Tennessee (34)||6-0||187||Jr.||Lake Charles, La.|
|DB||Neiko Thorpe, Auburn (31)||6-2||185||Sr.||Tucker, Ga.|
|DL||Melvin Ingram, South Carolina (21)||6-2||271||Sr.||Hamlet, N.C.|
|DL||Barkevious Mingo, LSU (21)||6-5||240||So.||West Monroe, La.|
|DL||Sam Montgomery, LSU (20)||6-4||250||So.||Greenwood, S.C.|
|*DL||Tenarius Wright, Arkansas (15)||6-2||252||Jr.||Memphis, Tenn.|
|*DL||Dominique Easley, Florida (15)||6-1||285||So.||Staten Island, N.Y.|
|LB||Shaq Wilson, South Carolina (18)||5-11||233||Jr.||Jacksonville, Fla.|
|LB||C.J. Mosley, Alabama (17)||6-2||234||So.||Theodore, Ala.|
|*LB||Jon Bostic (12)||6-1||238||Jr.||Wellington, Fla.|
|*LB||Jerico Nelson, Arkansas (12)||5-10||216||Sr.||Destrehan, La.|
|DB||Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt (18)||5-11||188||Sr.||Perry, Ga.|
|DB||T'Sharvan Bell, Auburn (18)||6-0||180||Jr.||Kissimmee, Fla.|
|DB||Tyrann Mathieu, LSU (17)||5-9||180||Sr.||New Orleans, La.|
|DB||Tramain Thomas, Arkansas (16)||6-0||198||Sr.||Winnie, Texas|
|PK||Blair Walsh, Georgia (110)||5-10||192||Sr.||Boca Raton, Fla.|
|P||Drew Butler, Georgia (118)||6-2||214||Sr.||Duluth, Ga.|
|RS||Brandon Boykin, Georgia (53)||5-10||183||Sr.||Fayetteville, Ga.|
|AP||Trent Richardson, Alabama (71)||5-11||224||Jr.||Pensacola, Fla.|
|PK||Caleb Stugis, Floirda (24)||5-10||192||Jr.||St. Augustine, Fla.|
|P||Tyler Campbell, Ole Miss (21)||6-2||227||Jr.||Little Rock, Ark.|
|RS||Onterrio McCalebb, Auburn (29)||5-10||170||Jr.||Fort Meade, Fla.|
|AP||Joe Adams, Arkansas (42)||5-11||190||Sr.||Little Rock, Ark.|
|*PK||Zach Hocker, Arkansas (10)||6-0||180||So.||Russellville, Ark.|
|*PK||Bryon Rose, Ole Miss (10)||5-11||197||Jr.||Raleigh, N.C.|
|P||Ryan Tydlacka, Kentucky (13)||6-1||185||Sr.||Louisville, Ky.|
|RS||Marquis Maze, Alabama (28)||5-10||180||Sr.||Birmingham, Ala.|
|AP||Trey Burton, Florida (22)||6-2||222||So.||Venice, Fla.|
|SEC Predicted Order of Finish|
|SEC CHAMPION - Alabama (98), LSU (29), Arkansas (18), South Carolina (14), Georgia (4), Florida (2), Ole Miss (2)|
|Eastern Division (First Place Votes)||Team||Points|
|1.||South Carolina (114)||931|
|Western Division (First Place Votes)||Team||Points|
|4.||Mississippi State (1)||455|
|6.||Ole Miss (2)||214|