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Sprints Thinks More is Better // 08.12.09

Another preseason awards list? Sure! The Outland Trophy watch list is out, which is for the award that goes to the nation's top lineman. It has a distinctly SEC flavor to it, with ten players from the conference making it: UGA's Geno Atkins, LSU's Ciron Black, Alabama's Terrence Cody and Mike Johnson, Ole MIss' John Jerry, Tennessee's Josh McNeil, Florida's Maurkice and Mike Pouncey, and Arkansas' Malcolm Sheppard. Candidates can come and go from the list throughout the year.

Another preseason ranking? Sure! This time it's What If Sports and it's fancy computer formulas. It's really not all that different from everyone else: four SEC teams in the top ten, five in the top fifteen, and the sixth doesn't come until the 30s. If you hybridize the Coaches' Poll and ESPN's preseason power poll, this is about what you'd get.

Another another preseason ranking? Sure! Vegas is weighing in on the season too, and surprise surprise, it likes Florida. It really doesn't like Ole Miss though, with the Rebels not appearing in the top 54 teams based on odds. What I don't understand about people who comment on the various Vegas-produced polls is that they never acknowledge that the mindset of bettors plays as big a role as any in the lists. Maybe Vegas doesn't hate Ole Miss, it's just the hordes of gamblers that do.

More Wildcat formation? Sure! Now it's Tennessee's turn for some direct snap goodness, but don't call it the G-Gun. Why? Because instead of Gerald Jones back there, it's freshman wideout Nu'Keese Richardson. Why not Jones? He's got a cast on a wrist which makes it too tough, and he needs to focus on receiving. Why not bolster Eric Berry's Heisman campaign with some WildVol? Kiffin doesn't want him distracted from being the All American safety he is.

Serenity Now. Stephen Expat of the Arkansas Expats is looking for someone to hate. He's not mean spirited, he just means that the Pigs need a real in-conference rival. The fake "rivalry" with South Carolina doesn't even register, and nothing right now compares to the old SWC tangles of yore. My suggestion: overlook Houston Nutt and go for LSU. They don't have a real, "we're both each other's No. 1" rival in the league either.

Inset Allen Iverson quote here. ESPN's Chris Low has some quick observations from Alabama's practice. He found out that yes, Terrence Cody's weight loss is noticeable and is down around 350. If you're wondering how nimble and athletic someone can be at that size, just think of Shaq in his prime as the ceiling on that.

And again. Red Cup Rebellion's excellent reporting on Ole Miss' practice continues here.

SEC Media Policy: now in wait and see mode. Is anyone else shocked that 35 to 40 media outlets complained to the SEC about its new, asinine media policy? Expect a "tweaked" edition in the next day or two because hey, the season's almost here.

Yikes. It's easy to miss since football is taking over the world right about now, but A Sea of Blue has the sordid details about former Kentucky head coach Rick Pitino and a nasty defamation lawsuit he's working through. It's not pretty.

Because we haven't talked about newspapers in a while. It's not sports related, but technology columnist John C. Dvorak offers a good plan for saving newspapers in our digital world. It's not half bad, especially for Dvorak. I wouldn't recommend looking through his archives for more good articles, though. He's like the Paul Finebaum of the tech world in that pretty much all he does is write inflammatory things to generate a reaction.