Sprints Is Still Getting Used to the Phrase "National Champion Gamecocks" // 06.30.10

Congratulations to Ray Tanner, whom I somehow forgot in my immediate post-game recap. He deserves this one as much as anyone else.

South Carolina 2, UCLA 1 (11)
What more can I say? Well, there's quite a bit more to say, actually. But I'm at a loss for right now. And trying very hard not to turn this into a South Carolina baseball blog. It should be noted that this is the second straight College World Series Championship for the SEC, which puts the league at the top of two of the three major men's sports. S! E! C! indeed.

You think we're happy? Yeah, we are
Gamecock Man summarizes the team that won it all.

There's been a feel-good aura around this team all year. Without the luxury of star power, this is a team that's won by playing as a team and getting the right plays at the right time.

Couldn't have said it better.

And this is one of those stories that deserves to be told
I don't know what more to say about Bayler Teal and his family. I'm sure he had a great view of the game; I just wish he'd been a little closer.

Injury a good thing for Mallett?
Ryan Mallett on his throwing post-foot surgery:

In the past, I might not have put it in the exact spot I want. Even with my foot, I'm putting it in the exact spot I want.

As the accompanying chart shows, Arkansas was 7-1 in games in which Mallett completed more than 50 percent of his passes and 1-4 in other games. So add a bit to that Razorback buzz if you want to. (HT: Dr. Saturday)

Chris Walker's surgery was 'just a scope'
You can return to breathing, Tennessee fans. A 22-man roster might still be possible.

Cal gambling with his future?
Recruiting players that turn out to have made it to college through creative academic routes? That's cool. But not making good on Kenutcky head coach and noted humanitarian John Calipari's strategy of winning the national championship with first-year players will not stand.

As much as most Kentucky fans enjoyed last year, at some not-too-distant point, flame-outs in the Elite Eight will begin to cost Calipari, if they happen regularly. What sort of mix of success and failure will keep Kentucky fans happy? I don't know, but writing as one, I would not be happy at all if five years from now UK had not hung banner #8.

It is an interesting experiment, as Tru calls it, and one that football coaches are probably happy that they don't have to consider. You have to wonder if a revolving door of players at one school might make the NCAA and the NBA reconsider the "one-and-done" rule and adopt something more sensible, like the baseball system.

Maybe those players are 'the future' Cal was talking to
Rocky Top Talk points out the noted humanitarian's response to those who pointed out that it's hard to describe Kentucky's draft day as "the biggest day in Kentucky basketball history."

You wouldn't want a bad hair day that lasts forever
The Nick Saban statue is taking longer to complete than necessary. It has to be just right, apparently. And when we say "just right" ...

The first two renditions of the Saban statue -- 3D photos of a clay model, actually -- were rejected in part because the face and hair were not satisfactory, Turnipseed said. A third rendition will be presented soon to Saban, his wife, Terry, and Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore.

"I don't see this third time being 100 percent right," Turnipseed said. "So they'll go back and change it again. So now if you're into the first of August before you've got anything you like, it still has to be cast. It takes four weeks to be cast. That's why I don't like the Aug. 20 date."

Who knew there was that much complexity in Saban's hair? This is getting a bit ridiculous; Daniel Moore would have had this done and already be planning his next piece of art, focusing on the epic win over San Jose State.

Again, the sculptor and others should take all the time they need. The salt mines are a terrible place to work.

How do you really know that you're behind the times?
When Rich Brooks says so.

If Kentucky wants to maintain what we have started there, they’re going to have to get into the 21st century. ... They have to make that commitment.

Brooks particularly complained about the massive lamps used to light the field for night games. "The smell of kerosene was ... " You can guess the rest. (HT: Clay)

Well, yeah
Mark Ingram is the SEC Male Athlete of the Year. This is news?

The Rivalry, Esq. has your Big Ten bowl projections
And because the SEC plays the Big Ten so much, it has some of your SEC bowl projections as well. Best line: "If it's Orlando, it must be Wisconsin." (Some good stuff there; apparently they agree with my take on Connecticut.)

And that's what Larry Scott and Mike Slive are counting on
Give Tommy Tuberville one thing: You never have to ask him twice about what's on his mind.

"I don’t think this conference will last long because there is too much disparity between all the teams," Tuberville told host Bill King. "In the SEC, for instance, Vanderbilt makes as much money in the television contract as Florida. Everybody is good with it. Everybody is on the same page. Everyone gets the same votes.

"That doesn’t happen here in the Big 12. We have some teams that get a little bit more money and have a little it more stroke than some of the other teams. And when that happens, you’re gonna have teams looking for better avenues to leave and reasons to leave. We have a 10-team league right now, but I just don’t know how long that’s gonna last, to be honest with you."

Not that that's really a surprise; as the Sentinel points out, it's really conventional wisdom at this point. But still -- not something you generally say about your own conference.

Three UCLA backpack-snatchers 'dismissed' from the team
And when we say "dismissed," we mean "suspended for a long time."

Paul Richardson, Shaquille Richardson and Joshua Shirley, all 18, were informed Tuesday morning that they would not be allowed to continue summer school or enroll at UCLA for the fall quarter. However, each of the players is still bound by their letter of intent to UCLA, school spokesman Marc Dellins said.[para] If the players meet certain requirements set by Coach Rick Neuheisel, they may be allowed to return to UCLA in January.

That'll show 'em! Sure, it's better than what some teams would have done in this situation. But UCLA appears to want credit for "dismissing" the players ... and the option of bringing them back.

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