Sprints Mourns the Trees at Toomer's Corner // 08.21.12

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 26: A general view of Jordan-Hare Stadium during the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers on November 26, 2011 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

9 Days Until College Football

The trees are dead
A new report says that the oaks at Toomer's Corner are probably a lost cause and will soon be "aesthetically dead if not actually dead." They're going to have to be replaced.

There's not a lot to say here. The instinct is to make it an object lesson in fans that take rivalries too far and to ask that we not do that -- but adults should know better to begin with, and we've also seen human beings killed over rivalries. If that's not going to snap people back into reality, nothing will.

Send Harvey Updyke to jail for a while -- fine. But I'm not sure it solves anything. The trees will still be dead, and somebody else will do something equally or more stupid in a year or two.

If only he was No. 86. And had a shoe phone
Maxwell Smith will be Kentucky's starting quarterback this year. For those of you who haven't been paying attention -- and it's Kentucky, so who really has? -- Smith was the favorite to get the job over quasi-incumbent Morgan Newton.

Mike Gillislee will be main running back for Florida
Again, not a huge surprise here. Florida's going to need some production out of the position to justify that No. 23 ranking.

"Gilly is gonna get the bulk of the reps, and then obviously Mack and Matt are in that next pecking order and Omarius Hines is going to get his touches as well, so that’s kind of where we are."

Oh, and there are other guys. Apparently, the Gators are going with running back by legislature this year.

Byron Moore says he's Tennessee's starting safety
Given that Derek Dooley isn't talking depth chart right now, that means we'll have to take Moore's word on it for the moment. Of course, given that Derek Dooley isn't talking depth chart right now, we'll also have to wait and see if Moore gets to continue starting given that he leaked the info.

Akeem Auguste, Shon Carson out for South Carolina after surgeries
The bigger loss here is Auguste -- perhaps you've heard that the Gamecocks have a pretty decent running back in this Marcus Lattimore fellow, and some depth behind him. But the loss of a guy who was expected to be a key contributor in the secondary hurts. Auguste will be "re-evaluated" in a month or so, but that doesn't even mean it's likely that he'll be back after that.

Colin Thompson out for Florida
The tight end is also scheduled to go under the knife.

It's hard not to root for Johnthan Banks
And part of that is because it's so rare to find anyone who has their priorities this straight -- all of their priorities this straight. Banks decided to forgo the NFL for one more year to spend it close to his son, K.J.

"I love being around my son and I'm trying to set a good example," Banks said. "I'm trying to be a great person, be a great man and show him how to be a great man."

Hopefully he can do that and get paid. But if it's got to be one or the other, Banks made the right call.

But what if they're attached to planes?

Houston and San Antonio make longshot bids for Champions Bowl
Arlington and New Orleans are still thought to be the main teams in the running, Brett McMurphy reports.

They're all strawberry
Product tie-ins are really going downhill. I mean, couldn't they at least do a blue raspberry for a couple of the teams or something? No, it's all strawberry for the college football Pop-Tarts.

Wait, they're making college football Pop-Tarts?

WAC football (1962-2012)
The conference realignment wave that began in 2010 has claimed its first victim: WAC football. The league will try to go on in other sports, but even that's far from a sure deal. It's a terrible thing for college football to lose a conference, but I'm not sure there's a solution to this -- if you go from a group of nine- to 12-team conferences to a group of 12- to 14-team conferences, odds are that someone's going to go. A toast to the WAC and the excitement of 120-point games.

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