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Sprints // 03.18.09

Spring is in the air. And in the South, that means --

I mean, besides 90 degree weather.

That's right, spring practice. (There's some other college sport being played? Oh, you mean baseball. No? Then I have no idea what you're talking about.)

In any case, spring practice has begun, and there are plenty of things to wonder about. Like, can Joe Cox be the next D.J. Shockley? And, why is this Stephen Garcia's best spring practice ever? (Answer: So far, he's remained sober.)

Note: Actual ESPN headline.

If only Ladi Ajiboye could say the same ...

The AJC has five questions "to be answered in spring," even though they admit that spring practice won't answer one of them. Come again? Oh, and nobody cares who Alabama's new quarterback will be. When a team nearly wins a national title with John Parker Wilson as its signal caller, it has proven that position to be totally irrelevant to its success.

So C&F will offer the five question he would like to see answered this spring:

(1) Will Nick Saban scream at a punter who shanks one during practice?
(2) Will Chris Rainey generate a sonic boom, causing structural damage to the Swamp?
(3) Will any Ole Miss fans file a freedom of information request for Houston Nutt's text messages?
(4) Will Les Miles feel compelled to say something even more incendiary than Lane Kiffin?
(5) Will the Gypsy Coach of the South still be at Arkansas when summer arrives?

Tuesday NIT Results. Kentucky moves on, South Carolina loses. Auburn and Florida go Wednesday.

Play ball! The Gamecocks had more luck against Davidson on the diamond and were one of nine SEC teams to win Tuesday. The victories include Florida's 5-4 win against Florida State and Arkansas' impressive 7-3 defeat of Nebraska in a relatively important midweek game.

Not that all the wins were pretty. Kentucky needed 11 innings to win against New Orleans and Auburn staved off Charleston Southern in 13.

Tennessee, meanwhile, lost to Coastal Carolina -- a ranked team; this was no Wyoming repeat -- and Mississippi State fell short against Southern Miss.

[ The SEC baseball release for Tuesday ]

If it's NCAA tournament time, it's argue about football playoffs time. I'm not going to get into the playoff debate, because I'm a well-established opponent of a playoff in general, and particularly one that gets beyond about six teams.

But ...

It's not entirely fair to base your argument on a 64-team playoff, because only Mike Leach has called for anything resembling that. On the other hand, painting playoff opponents with a broad brush is grossly unfair, particularly because some of us not only base arguments on "reasonable" brackets, but also propose a playoff system we would find acceptable. Both sides need to calm down just a bit. There is no righteous answer here, because it's not a moral issue. It's football.

Speaking of playoff supporters and the tournament ... President Barack Obama's bracket will be revealed on ESPN today at noon. Shocker: The commander in chief didn't put any SEC teams in the Final Four. Which means he has been paying attention.

A reminder that you can still submit a bracket in the Team Speed Kills Tournament Challenge. You're guaranteed to not come in last -- your humble correspondent has that wrapped up.

Neyland Stadium gets renovated. No word if this includes a soundproof room where Monte Kiffin can put Boy Wonder during his timeouts.