Sprints Remembers Nick Bell // 11.03.10

I hope you all got out an voted yesterday, considering that electing officials is the best way for your voice to be heard at the national, state, and local levels of government. Former Tennessee QB Heath Shuler managed to get himself reelected, so it was a good night for the SEC, I guess. Also, I think I read somewhere that Pennsylvania barely avoided voting a Sleestak in the Congress or something, which might have gotten messy.

R.I.P. NICK BELL

Dan Mullen talks about Bell

It's just heartbreaking to think about a 20-year-old dying of cancer. Unfortunately, Dan Mullen has experience with player deaths from his time at Florida with the passing of Avery Atkins and Michael Guilford. I have no doubt that he'll lead the team forward in the right way. It's also probably best that the team has a bye week right now to deal with the loss.

Mississippi State fans got together for a nice tribute yesterday, showing up outside Scott Field at the Junction to ring their cowbells in Bell's honor at 7:36 PM. Why then? Seven wins for No. 36.

Nick Bell Memorial Fund

Donations to help Bell's family can be made through Mississippi State's Dog Tag system or by calling 662-325-3074.

Grantham is not proud, or apparently sorry.

Mark Richt reported during his media availability yesterday that Todd Grantham was not proud of his choking gesture at the end of the Cocktail Party. When Grantham's time at the podium came, he issued a classic non-apology, saying, "I wish the situation hadn't happened." What situation? You acting like a 12-year-old, or your opponent getting a chance at a game winning field goal in overtime?

Tony Barnhart thinks Georgia should go nuclear on Grantham for the incident. He is also the only person who thinks that.

A portrait of Tennessee's roster woes.

Tennessee can thank Reggie Bush for its most productive defensive tackle this year: Malik Jackson, a transfer from USC who got to play right away. Jackson is a 265-pounder who played defensive end in Los Angeles, and he had a hard time keeping on the field there. Yes, things really are that bad in Knoxville.

Also, Derek Dooley brought Bobby Bowden in to talk to his team, and Grandpa Chuckles finished the thing off by calling Dooley, "Darrell." Precious waved it off, explaining, "We're all young around here, and we're going to be like that, too."

This is how you build a program.

Believe it or not, South Carolina's players set a goal back before the season of winning every home game. They're now just wins over Arkansas and Troy away from pulling it off. The answer, by the way, is 1987. That's when South Carolina last won all its home games.

In the big picture, it's significant that South Carolina is now in position to fulfill its stated goals. When's the last time that happened? The program is in pretty good shape now. So good of shape, in fact, that the Gamecocks won the services of four-star O-lineman Brandon Shell (son of NFL Hall of Famer Art Shell) over pretty much everyone else in the SEC (plus Clemson).

Call him the Heisman Fairy.

In case you missed it, Cameron Newton had a rather fetching costume on this Halloween.

The lost art of defense.

This post from Matt Hinton is largely about Oregon's offense, but something struck me about the table embedded within. It lists all the BCS conference teams since 2005 to average over 500 yards a game. Three of the nine were from that 2005 season: Texas, USC, and Arizona State. Three of them are from this season: Oregon, Oklahoma State, and Michigan. Auburn is not far off at 496.22 YPG. If history does repeat itself (or at least rhyme), then we should be in for a whale of a national title game between Auburn and Oregon.

Do coaches ever listen to themselves talk?

I fear treading old ground here, but it's too funny not to highlight. Nick Saban recently did a Q&A with the Alabama-focused Rivals site. Among the questions was one asking if it was fair that so many teams got bye weeks before playing the Tide. Coach?

"It is something we don't ever complain about. I don't know if having a bye week is a good thing or a bad thing... To have six is a little unusual [six Alabama opponents will have come in off a bye]. I would say that there should be, in fairness, some legislation that says that can't be. I don't think anybody planned it that way. I think it just happened, and it was a little bit of a quirk."

So no biggie, right? Just like he's been saying all along. Not something he ever complains abou.... what's that coach? You weren't done?

"I don't think it's right that last year we played Auburn on a Friday and we had a game the Saturday before, so we had to play them on a short week. And Auburn had a bye before the game. That stuff is not good for the players. It's not fair, but it's not good for the players, either."

So you wouldn't want to complain about teams having a bye week before you. But, you'd like to complain about a team getting a bye before playing you. It's too bad Bama had to get roughed up by... let's see... UT Chattanooga the week before.

Really?

Alabama is holding a Quidditch tournament. Yes, the fake sport from the Harry Potter books. No campus is immune, I guess.

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