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Sprints Is Working for the Weekend Featuring Tennessee-Florida // 09.15.09

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Site notes. First of all, I will be traveling for real-life work today, meaning posting will be a little light today and early tomorrow. The combined SEC Power Poll ballot will be along later in the morning and I'll have the SEC Power Poll up tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET. No Team Speed Kills Now this week; we'll return next Tuesday with plenty to talk about.

Finally, we introduce a tweak in Sprints for weeks with big games. A special section when there's news from one of those big games, followed by the rest of the news from around the SEC. This will hopefully make things easier to navigate.


He is human after all. Maybe the Golden Tim Tebow isn't as nonchalant about Boy Wonder's anti-Urban screeds as he lets on.

"I don't like anyone talking about Coach Meyer. . . . I don't think Coach Meyer worried about it too much and I think we kind of dropped it and moved past it."

And that was the least blunt of his comments.

"He doesn't know what he's talking about," Tebow said.

Actually, Mike Slive already told us that.

Joel at Rocky Top Talk starts the Tennessee, um, trash-talking?

Vol fans have heard the beatdown talk all summer. Our own almanac has predicted it, and I don't think there's any reason to resent it. I frankly have no idea how the Tennessee offense is going to score even a single point against the Gators' stingy D, and I know our defense has held up so far this year, but let's be honest, it really hasn't been tested yet, either, and for all of his experience, I don't think Monte Kiffin has ever faced a well-oiled spread machine.

That'll get anybody fired up.

It would be tempting to make all sorts of TEH BLACKOUTZ HARHARHAR jokes here, but I somehow doubt that even karma will be enough to allow the Vols to pull the upset.


There goes the bowl game return
It's hard to overstate the importance of staying healthy for Vanderbilt, which isn't as deep as other teams in the SEC. So what do you say about losing two starters in a single game?

Senior safety Ryan Hamilton will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle during Vanderbilt's 23-9 loss at LSU last Saturday. Hamilton, a team captain who was making his 34th consecutive start, leaves a large hole in the Commodores secondary. ...

Vanderbilt will ask the NCAA to give Hamilton a medical redshirt, which would allow him to play next season. Hamilton redshirted as a freshman but not because of an injury. ...

The Commodores also lost starting right tackle James Williams for the season after the sophomore broke his left ankle at LSU. Johnson said he and his staff would look at several different combinations before settling on who will fill the role.

It might not be fatal for the Commodores' hopes of a second straight bowl. But the margin for error just went from slim to nonexistent.

It might not be a temporary issue
Mississippi State defensive coordinator Carl Torbush says something that can't be comforting to fans of the Western Division Bulldogs about the 49 points given up to Auburn on Saturday.

But in Vanderbilt's offense, Torbush sees the same goals, the same versatile athletes and the same run-oriented approach that can cause his players problems.

"It's not just (Auburn), it's basically everybody you're going to play," Torbush said. "That's where the game of football is. You've got to be able to adjust with what you have and be prepared that whatever (personnel set) you have on the field -- you better be able to keep on there the entire series of plays."

And the season gets longer in Starkville.

Because Nick Stephens has grown another head
Jonathan Crompton will be your starting quarterback for the Tennessee Vols this weekend. And there was much rejoicing. Among Florida fans. In Crompton's defense, it's not clear that anyone on Tennessee's roster could do better than he could against the Gators. It just means that we can expect more calls for his head out of Knoxville once the game is done.

Injury news for the Tide
Julio Jones will be back. Roy Upchurch will take a little longer to heal. Damion Square is done for the year. Grant is back to be a running back as a result.

You're probably right, but ...
Despite all the sabermetric/Phil Steele talk about regressing to the mean on turnover margin, some teams do just turn the ball over a lot. But a team like Georgia is probably not going to spend the entire year at the bottom of the barrel in turnover margin.

Hopefully, this will go better than it did against Louisiana Tech
Mississippi State confirms two more dates with UAB -- one of them in Birmingham, meaning the Western Division Bulldogs will travel to Legion field twice in a three-year period. Once again, gentlemen, this is the SEC; cupcakes must come to our stadium to get paid.