Sprints Is Analyzing Ohio State Apologies, Evaluating Meyer's Analysis and Back on Malzahn Watch // 12.29.10

SEC BOWLNANZA 2010

Well, at least the apologies were heartfelt
The Ohio State players suspended for all of the next several games, except the most important one, are sorry. You must understand, this is the kind of apology that isn't written by a public relations specialist. What's that you were saying, Columbus Dispatch?

There were some similarities in all their remarks, suggesting they were given a checklist of things to say. All expressed remorse, most said they were embarrassed and all asked for forgiveness from fans and OSU alums.

Ah. Well. So much for all that. Tellingly, at least two of the players "partially read from written statements," sort of like one of those staged confessions aired by third-world communist dictatorships just before several of the comrades were shot for plotting against the regime. More tellingly, only two seemed to be willing to say or suggest that they'll be back in 2011, when they would actually have to serve the suspensions.

Along The Olentangy explains the NCAA's 'logic'
Surprise, there are more dumb exceptions to the rules on the part of the NCAA. Can we metaphorically blow the whole thing up and start over?

Michigan State quarterback a 'go'
Kirk Cousins is apparently over some nagging injuries and ready for the Capital One Bowl against Alabama.

To Florida State fans, players and coaches: Ron Morris does not speak for South Carolina fans
In fact, he is one of the most unpopular sports columnists in America about the college team he covers -- and I know just how unpopular all the other sports columnists are. Here is a pointless diatribe against the Seminole mascot that gets some basic things wrong -- it was not, for instance, clear that the Seminole Tribe needed the Florida Legislature's approval for its gambling operations until after the NCAA's crusade against American Indian mascots, so the idea that the two are tied together is a laughable conspiracy theory in need of a peg.

And the Seminoles have given Florida State permission to use the nickname. That might be inconvenient for Morris' little bit about the rampant racism in Tallahassee, but that doesn't mean he can dismiss it by bashing the Seminoles. Who apparently are part of this great racist plot against American Indians, just because.

I am part American Indian myself, though I've certainly never suffered any of the racism that Russell Means has and some of my ancestors likely did. But I've got no problem with Florida State having a Seminole as a mascot, and I certainly don't see the column as anything more than an attempt to provide bulletin board material for a program facing a team from Morris' own town that Morris has made clear he doesn't really like. And I think of all the issues that either advocates for American Indians or the college-football world could focus on to try and advance their goals, this has to be one of the dumbest.

This was not the news South Carolina's secondary wanted to hear
It seems that Christian Ponder is "ready to go" for the Game Formerly Known as the Peach Bowl. Great.

Nick Bell will be honored at Gator Bowl
Chris Relf will wear the No. 36 for Mississippi State's fallen team member. You might remember Bell's death last month from cancer.

Joe Paterno says he's okay -- BUT HE WAS REALLY IN THE HOSPITAL
Unless JoePa has a great doppelganger, he was most certainly not in the hospital on Tuesday, and reiterated that he plans to be back next year.

People think I’m going to quit this year or next year. I haven’t even thought of it. I honest to goodness have not thought of it.

The situation around me is very stable … We’ve had a lot of fun together. I don’t see any reason to get out of it yet. I feel great.

Of course, we all know that this is merely an elaborate ruse. Paterno will check himself into a hospital once the game is over, turn the program over to Jay Paterno, and watch from his nursing home as the powerhouse that he built implodes.

I know, because I read it on a message board. Or just made it up.

JoePa is right about that
The headline, of course, is that Urban Meyer is now openly saying that he's likely to be an analyst for ESPN. Again, the controlled studio environment seems like the kind of place Meyer might be able to share some of his football knowledge without turning into Mr. Press Conference.

"What I found out, what a place, what great people. I have no idea, I'm concerned about that until after (the Outback Bowl). But I'll have to do something and if Coach (Joe) Paterno doesn 't hire me I'm going to have to (find something else).''

As for Paterno, he spoke for us all when he talked about the possibility of a Meyer TV gig.

"I hope he never becomes Dr. Urban. We can only handle one doctor at a time."

Well, I'm not sure about that. But we certainly don't need another one.

Then again, that analyst gig might not work out so well
This is what Urban Meyer said about Will Muschamp.

The guy we hired is fantastic so I think that eased a lot of the burden.

Of course, this is what Urban Meyer said about Steve Addazio.

I think he's one of the finest coaches in America. I don't think, I know he is, so it's great to see that there is going to be some stability in our coaches' lives.

Florida fans hope he is more accurate in the former assessment than the latter.

Maybe it's something in the food in Gainesville
Teryl Austin was hospitalized for gastritis -- a stomach illness. What do they feed the coaches down there?

Labrum and limbo
Janoris Jenkins apparently played with a labrum problem all year, and still has not decided whether he'll put his name in the NFL Draft this year. The labor problems have something to do with that.

Muschamp 'lying low'
Which is the classy thing to do in a case like this.

How good is Aaron Murray going to be?
He could break several Georgia quarterbacking single-season records this year with a good bowl game. Not for a freshman quarterback, mind you.

OTHER NEWS

This is one of the most cryptic quotes I've ever read
Gene Chizik was asked about whether newly minted million-dollar offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has talked with Maryland despite no one asking for Chizik's go-ahead. The response:

"To the best of my knowledge, there are possibilities of contact," Chizik said. "I have not talked to anybody personally but there is a possibility of contact. Again, without me giving any details, because I don't have any, I'll kind of say the same thing I did about academics: when I know more, I'll let you know."

And when I figure out what that means, I'll let you know.

June Jones is now out of the running for Ralph Friedgen's imminently former job. Mike Leach is apparently still in. But the fact that Malzahn could be one of the top two for the job has to make Auburn fans at least a bit nervous; it's a better set-up than Vanderbilt would be, and Malzahn would not be as controversial a hire as Leach.

But think about what Vanderbilt fans would be saying if this happens. After all, it was Malzahn turning down the Commodores that caused them to make sure that they got their second choice, James Franklin. That apparently helped lead to the firing of Friedgen, and could lead to Maryland getting Malzahn.

Or, just another day as Vanderbilt fan.

This would be unbelievably good news for Alabama fans
You still have to think it would be a long shot for Julio Jones to return, unless it is even more clear in the next few weeks that no labor deal is forthcoming, but he seems to honestly be considering going back to Tuscaloosa.

"(I could maybe) win the Heisman or go up in the (NFL) draft," Jones said of the incentives of a return. "Possibly win another national championship."

The first is a hard thing for any wide receiver to do, for some reason, and the last is going to be an outside chance with a new quarterback starting for the Tide. But if there's a guy who can make the sell to Jones, it would be Nick Saban.

Some good news for Ole Miss fans
Despite having asked for NFL Draft evaluation, Brandon Bolden will return for his senior season, per Houston Nutt.

Just enjoy your matches with Samford until then
Greg McGarity isn't about to start putting together four quality nonconference games for Georgia, but he's also apparently not going to go all Rich Brooks on us.

"I know that's a long time away, but the bottom line is you've got to have some of those things in place," McGarity said. "I think those are the kind of games you'd like to schedule periodically."

And by periodically, he means once a decade. Which is not what Georgia once was, but is still better than Kentucky some teams.

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