Thursday morning, rumors emerged and quickly spread all over the Interwebs -- including here at Team Speed Kills -- that Gray would get the start against the Gamecocks. Apparently, the story started on Rivals and quickly spread to ESPN and elsewhere. Georgia coaches -- including Mark Richt -- quickly moved to quell the rumor. Sort of.
"No, Joe is the quarterback. ...
While unequivocal about Cox’s status as the starter, Richt said only this when asked if Cox has a sore arm or shoulder, as has been rumored:
"What we have been doing with Joe is giving him ... off Wednesday as far as throwing the ball. And then Thursday -- today -- he’ll work. But the guy has been here five years. He’s getting old.
"Nah, we want to make sure his arm is as fresh as it could be. And that’s why we do it. ... We want Joe to have as much pop as he can have."
So Logan Gray won't start because Joe Cox has a sore arm. Joe Cox will start despite having a sore arm? Groo points out that the latter possibility is not exactly encouraging.
If Belue is right and Cox is missing practice time to rest his shoulder, that’s not a positive angle to this story considering the problems in execution that plagued the offense last week. If Cox is going to start and play most of the game, the offense needs all of the practice time with him it can get.
Well, at least we know for a fact that Joe Cox will be the sta--
What's that you say, Mayor?
While I am not a journalist and I seldom even play one on the internet, I was able to reach out to someone I know inside the Georgia football program in an effort to clear up any lingering confusion. This individual's first inkling that something was up came by way of a text message from someone on the outside rather than through any internal word. "They haven't made a final decision," I was told. "But Logan is doing very well at practice I will say that."
One thing that does seem crystal clear is that Gray will get more playing time whether he starts or not.
But since we all seem to be speculating anyway, let me throw out another way to look at this. What if the practice rotations for Gray were not the smokescreen, but today's stringent denials from the coaching staff were? Sure, that would be a surprising move for Richt -- but any more surprising than an admittedly desperate Richt inciting his players to draw a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct?
At any rate, the Gamecocks say they're prepared to play whomever takes the field at whatever point in the game.
"We saw (Gray) last week run a couple little special plays," [South Carolina assistant head coach for defense Ellis] Johnson said. "The thing about Logan is you’ve still got to play your total package. He can throw it or run it. I think we’ll see him. And we’ve been kind of worrying about that and running some things that we were concerned about."
The Georgia coaches also have more fundamental questions to answer. Like whether it's better to have high kicks or low kicks and whether the aim of your kicking game should be to "challenge" itself.
CBS announcers chat. Apparently, the CBS broadcasters had a teleconference with some beat reporters Thursday and had choice words for those who would deny a second Heism@n to the Golden Tebow. Danielson, frighteningly, makes good points.
Gary Danielson, who stopped voting for the Heisman after Charles Woodson beat out Peyton Manning for the honor, took a shot at voters in a teleconference to promote CBS' coverage of the UT-UF game.
He called last year's voting "an embarrassment.''[para] Danielson noted that a large group of voters left Tim Tebow off ballots, to try to force him out of the running.
"Tim Tebow as the returning Heisman Trophy winner and out of 904 votes, 154 didn't have him as first, second or third,'' Danielson said of a group of voters mostly from the Southwest, that included Big 12 media (which includes Oklahoma's Sam Bradford and Texas's Colt McCoy). "Clearly people were trying to make their vote count twice by not voting for him and he lost by 151 votes. It's ridiculous.''
I think it's difficult to dispute that, when the player with the most first-place votes doesn't get the award, some people are intentionally docking him points for some reason. Whether it's a nefarious Big XII plot to make sure an SEC player doesn't get it, I don't know. But Tebow has an unlikely ally.
Former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer, now an analyst on the CBS College Sports Network, chimed in:
"Don’t get me started on that subject because we could be here for a while. That was an injustice to Peyton Manning. Do I think it could happen again? Absolutely it could happen again.
"I think right now Tebow may have an advantage because he didn’t win it last year. He’s on the No. 1 ranked team. If he goes through the season, he’s clearly the guy who should win it. McCoy’s numbers were just as good as anybody’s, but right now Tebow would be awful hard to beat."
Meanwhile, Tim Brando's obsession with "flies in the ointment" raises a nightmare scenario for the BCS and potentially the SEC.
"It could come down to an unbeaten BYU vs. a one-loss SEC team. Who do you take? I'm going to tell you if BYU runs the table from this point forward, they have the schedule to give them the credibility that no other non-BCS school has had, not Utah (last year), not Boise, not Hawaii, none of them."
Borrowing trouble? Perhaps. But it's not like its a longshot at this point.
Grade inquiry draws some questions
The ACT flap over Ole Miss WR Patrick Patterson, when added to cases like Derrick Rose and Renardo Sidney (more on both of those below), makes you wonder if the NCAA has decided to launch some sort of crackdown. If they do, expect more ruffled feathers among families and coaches.
'Are The UCLA Bruins Lane Kiffin's Most Important Game?'
Rocky Top Talk's hooper says "yes." He makes some good points, but I'm not sure I agree with him. A good case can be made that Tennessee should have won the game last year, meaning a win this year would be more a statement about the team's luck than about its improvement. Second, I'm not sure a win over Western Kentucky team and a UCLA team of debatable quality "wold place the trend squarely on the path toward relevance again," though it couldn't hurt.
Here's another chance
South Carolina's struggle to get to .500 all-time continues.
Cable company, ESPN will broaden coverage of UK-Louisville
This really isn't significant outside of Kentucky, except that it shows one of the shortcomings of the ESPN-SEC deal: For those with basic cable, the new package is actually worse than the old way of doing things. LSU-Vanderbilt, for example, would almost certainly have been an ESPN, ESPN2 or JP/Lincoln/Raycom game in the past. Now you'll only see it if you have a digital cable package.
LSU-North Carolina 2010 game now official
The only hang-up appears to be the replacement opponent for South Carolina. Anyone but N.C. State -- our nation does not need to face that tragedy again.
'Fortson could face disciplinary action'?
Arkansas' point guard tweeted about the reaction into a rape investigation involving some of the basketball team's players and followed it up with "lol." How exactly is discipline a possibility and not a certainty?
Renardo Sidney 'non-certified due to non-response'
I'm not even sure who's got a better case at this point. It's kind of hard to judge whether the NCAA has any reason to ask for these records when we don't know what their case is based on or whether it's based on anything at all. (No, I'm not taking Sidney's lawyer's word for it.)
'I know nothing'
Sgt. Schultz John Calipari answers questions about the Derrick Rose controversy.