Sprints // 04.20.09

Doc Blanchard, RIP. Normally, Sprints keeps to SEC news or only the biggest college football news. But a moment at the passing of Doc Blanchard.

Blanchard wasn't just any college football player. He was the first junior to win the Heisman and helped lead Army to two consecutive national titles. Army. Two consecutive national titles.

Of course, if Blanchard were alive today, chances are he wouldn't have gone to Army. Future Heisman candidates don't tend to go to military academies any more, for the obvious career-related difficulties. Then again, they also don't tend to also play defense and special teams as well as their offensive duties.

Farwell, Doc. It might be a cliche, but they really don't make them like you any more.

As always, thoughts and prayers to the family.

Around the Bases comes along this evening, as usual. But one huge headline out of the weekend. No 1 LSU vs. lousy Tennessee = MASSIVE FAIL.

Bummed about the end of spring practice? Razorback Expats has some tips for you on how to fight those offseason blues.

Hungry for stadium food? Then just find the nearest vending machine and put money in for your items, collect them, then put in the same amount of money, but then just walk away without collecting.

Or, you could just start cheering for Kentucky, which has embarked on what has to be the latest and longest spring practice period in SEC history. The Wildcats are still about a week away from their spring game. But hey, the defense is going to be good -- no, really. They mean it this time.

Finally, you could just be a football player, and never really quit practicing.

Why aren't the Red Wolves good enough for ESPN? Auburn will pass on playing UCLA next year and opening the college football season for ABC because --

No, really what's the reason?

That's it?

Oh. Well, because they have a game against Arkansas State, of course. Wha? Cue outrage from Track Em Tigers, which might have just been looking for an opportunity to use a photo of UCLA cheerleaders, who are almost as good looking as South Carolina cheerleaders.

The ineptness of this athletic department becomes more mind-boggling by the minute. ...

Do you honestly believe that Arkansas State would have a problem rescheduling its game with Auburn for the following season if they were guaranteed nearly $1 million? Why not throw them a bone and offer to play them for two years if they agree to the change?

It hurts to say it, but simply put, Auburn officials wimped out.

That seems a fair read on it, but sadly this seems to be the way interconference scheduling in the SEC is going: Fewer marquee matchups, more cupcakes. Only Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt had the guts last year to have more than one BCS-league team on their interconference slate, and one team that will go unnamed (coughcoughlsucoughcough) failed to play a single BCS-league team not in the SEC during the regular season.

As good as it got. Fascinating "what might have been" story about the 2007-08 Gamecocks. Six players who were significant pieces of those two teams are expected to be drafted this weekend, but those two teams went 13-12. How does a team with at least seven draft-caliber players (Cory Boyd went late last year) -- and potentially more when additional players leave school in the next few years -- end up barely breaking .500?

For our Florida basketball fans: How bad is it for Billy D? I ask this because I was unaware of the late unpleasantness in Gainesville (HT: John Clay) until after F Alex Tyus decided to cut bait. Or is Dooley just drawing up a scarecrow for column fodder? At least now Donovan has Pitino on his staff -- no, not that Pitino. His son, though.

'I'm going to try to Twit.' Give Les Miles credit -- at least he wants to get in on the Web 2.0 fad. Sure he uses the wrong verb, but on the list of Les-isms, this one ranks pretty low.

The only time I will ever write about women's gymnastics. But here's to Suzanne Yoculan, who retires after winning her tenth national title, including five in a row. Anyone in any sport who displays that kind of dominance deserves a round of applause. Well played, ma'am. Well played.

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