Sprints Finds Itself More Confused About Tyrann Mathieu the More People Talk // 08.16.12

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 15: Tyrann Mathieu #7 of the LSU Tigers warms up prior to facing the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 15, 2011 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

14 Days Until SEC Football

THE CURIOUS CASE OF TYRANN MATHIEU

What are they not saying? And why aren't they saying it?
The one thing that still strikes me as slightly bizarre about the Tyrann Mathieu situation is the continuing insistence of LSU that it won't talk about when Mathieu would be able to return to the LSU football team. Not that they're saying he could return to the LSU football team. But not that they're saying that he couldn't return to the LSU football team.

"We can only state that he is eligible to continue his academic career at LSU and that he will not be a member of the LSU football team for the 2012 season," Vincent said. "Any other comments on his future at LSU will be made at the appropriate time if necessary."

One of the things you learn as a reporter is that when statements are frequently repeated with similar phrases, the reason is likely because it's carefully crafted to say some things but not others. So LSU is being very careful not to say that Tyrann Mathieu couldn't play in 2013 if he were to come back. And they're being very careful to not exclude the possibility that such an announcement could be necessary "at the appropriate time."

At the same time, about 20 teams have purportedly called Baton Rouge to try to find out whether they can try to recruit Mathieu. So you also have to take into account that there is at least some movement on that front as well.

I'm still not sure that Tyrann Mathieu knows what he wants to do. And until Tyrann Mathieu knows what he wants to do, nobody else can know what's going to happen.

And then there's this
At this point, I'm disinclined to believe anything other than Mathieu declaring he's going to transfer to institution x or Les Miles stepping to the podium and announcing Honey Badger's return.

OTHER NEWS

Well, we screwed that one up
Johnny Manziel is going to be the starting quarterback for Texas A&M. Kevin Sumlin tells us why.

My policy is simple really; the best player plays.

Oh, okay, well if that's the reason. And, no, I didn't ever suggest that Jameill Showers was likely to be the starting quarterback at Texas A&M. Why do you ask?

This seems a little strange
Tobias Singleton is leaving the Ole Miss football team after deciding -- what, eight months later? -- that he's not keen on the new coaches. And Hugh Freeze can't talk about whether Singleton's potential transfer options will be limited "because he did not know what Singleton planned to do next." Very odd.

You might want to reword that headline
Because saying that "Arkansas names on-campus recruiting director to replace Petrino mistress" could meant that you named an on-campus recruiting director to fill the vacant job of ... yeah.

We're pretty sure that the headline instead means Nick Holt is replacing Petrino's mistress as on-campus recruiting director. They had to do this eventually -- well, they probably had to do this eventually -- so it's best to go ahead and get it out of the way while there's football practice going on.

Mississippi State to provide fans with new opportunities to avoid games
This is one of the odd things that sports teams at all levels have taken to doing in recent years -- providing opportunities for people to come to their games and not watch them. Sure, there are going to be plasma TVs showing the game in all the places where people aren't watching the games -- but you can watch the game on TV at home.

Anyway, the whole Mississippi State expansion is going to cost $75 million. Wonder how much they're spending on the televisions.

Cue the piano music and soft-focus lenses
College GameDay is going to be at Michigan-Alabama, to the surprise of absolutely no one who pays attention to these things.

Quote without context

"When Smokey's been hunting the way you want him to hunt, you throw that dog a bone," Dooley said in a UT release.

Bill Curry retiring after 2012
This is relevant not only because a lot of SEC teams play Georgia State -- though there is that -- but also because he was a coach at both Alabama and Kentucky in the past. Just don't ask Alabama fans about that time.

Coaches' poll in trouble
It's hard to tell what Larry Scott means when he says that coaches won't be "in that position" beginning in 2014, when the playoff kicks in. If he means that they won't be in the position of determining a national title -- well, sure. If he means to suggest that the coaches' poll is going to go away in 2014, that's not necessarily true. There are coaches polls in many of the sports that have playoffs now; those polls just don't mean quite as much.

All that said: when one of the conference commissioners that I consider to make up the triumvirate of college football -- Scott, Mike Slive and Jim Delany -- trashes the coaches' poll, it's a sign that the poll is quickly losing whatever shred of legitimacy it had.

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