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Thursday Afternoon Bites

You know what sucks? Being an IT worker who is on call 24 hours a day. This week it's my turn to be on call, and it really sucks some time, energy, and life out of you. In lieu of a big, focused, single-topic post, this is all I can offer for now. Enjoy.

Because that's all that was wrong with him.

LeBron James is helping Terrelle Pryor out with dealing with the spotlight. I can't fault the idea behind this, since the attention crush around Ohio State football is comparable with any SEC school and few have gone through so much attention so early as James did period, much less come out the other end as well as LeBron has.

Pryor's high school coach is the one who has it right though. It's not the attention that's causing the problem. The biggest issue is Ohio State's neolithic offense that is wasting his talent by trying to make him into something he's not (i.e. a prototypical NFL quarterback). Granted, the whole reason he went to Columbus was to play Tresselball and become something he's not, but given the fact that the NFL is unfreezing its stodginess a bit lately means that guys like Pryor could have a chance to be who they naturally are on the next level. Mixing in some zone read wouldn't kill him, and it would open up opportunities for the old Tresselball staples to work better than they are now.

Vegas watch, for those who are interested.

I know a lot of folks out there pay close attention to what Las Vegas thinks, so here's this week's Las Vegas Sports Consultants top 25. They are not with the AP that has Alabama at No. 1, as they still have Florida first and Texas second. They have eight SEC teams in their top 30 overall, with LSU at 11, Ole Miss tied at 12, Georgia at 25, Arkansas at 26, South Carolina at 28, and Tennessee at 29. If you're curious, they've got Florida as a three point favorite over Alabama on a neutral field.

This would be the point to include the disclaimer that few seem to ever acknowledge. Vegas does not set betting lines based on the quality of the team. They set lines so that there is roughly an equal amount of money bet on both teams. Florida being a three point favorite doesn't mean that LVSC thinks the Gators are a better team, but that they think that half the betting nation believes UF is a field goal or more better than Alabama. That's all.

I guess because they were available?

Marty Schottenheimer and Romeo Crennel will be the coaches for the East-West Shrine Game at the end of the year. You know, because there's nothing like an infamous playoffs choker and a milquetoast washout to teach the youngin's how to do things.

Yeah, I know they can't get current head coaches to run the game since it takes place during the NFL season, and both have been around the league long enough to get the basics communicated towards the up and coming pros. Schottenheimer is a good choice since he's had great regular season success over the years, but Crennel mismanaged the Browns for years and his claim to fame before that was being the figurehead coordinator for the defense actually being run by Bill Belichick. They might have found a second guy better than him, but he was available.

How much does Dan Mullen matter against Florida?

Well, the Gators have already changed their signals, so it's possible that he could cause miscommunication on Florida's side. Beyond that, it's not as big a deal as you might think because anybody can find Urban Meyer's philosophy in his biography, his tendancies on film, and his playbook online. Plus, Steve Addazio and not Meyer is calling plays and the offense, being a group effort as always, has some influence from new guys Scot Loeffler and Brian White.

The bigger story is the depleted state of Florida's defensive tackle position. Four DTs, including starters Lawrence Marsh and Jaye Howard, missed last week's game (if you were curious why Arkansas ran it so well) and aren't looking good for Saturday. The depth there is coming from the sparingly used Troy Epps and some lighter weight defensive ends. That's not good news for a game against Anthony Dixon and the nation's 13th ranked rushing offense.

Heisman watch, for what ever that's worth in Week 8.

Tim Tebow still leads the Scripps Howard poll, but Mark Ingram is a close second. On the other hand, ESPN and HeismanPundit's polls have Ingram a slight leader over Tebow. is also going for Ingram, with Tebow third behind Nebraksa's Ndamukong Suh.