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Sprints Has a Christmas Story and Tales of Ohio State Tattoos // 12.23.10

A Dog 4 Deeds: Done
One of the most gratifying things about being involved in SB Nation -- and to some extent the blogosphere as a whole -- has been the degree to which we all rallied around making sure that JD, the son of Jeremy Mauss of the fine SBN blog Mountain West Connection, could get a dog to help him. We noted it at least once here on the blog, and tweeted it a couple more times. Thanks to all who gave.

It's a wonderful Christmas story, and that in itself is reason enough to be grateful. To see so many people from inside and outside or company take up the cause of a colleague was also special, though it must have been many times more so for the Mauss family. Though, in some ways, "done" is overselling things a bit. There's still training and other needs to pay for, so there's no reason to not give now if you still want to. But the most important step, the dog itself, has been covered.

So this seems like an appropriate time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and note that this will be the last edition of Sprints until Monday. We'll have a few things up in the meantime, but have a great holiday.


Ohio State involved in weirdest NCAA eligibility issue yet
Apparently, there is one thing at which Arkansas' Sugar Bowl opponent does beat SEC teams at: Odd ways of breaking rules.

Ohio State is investigating whether several of its football players traded signed memorabilia for tattoos and perhaps other favors from the owner of a Columbus tattoo parlor, actions that could put their eligibility for the Jan.4 Sugar Bowl and beyond in jeopardy, The Dispatch has learned.

Again, Cecil Newton asking for $180,000 to play football at Mississippi State is not a big deal. Ohio State players using their signatures to get free tattoos? Big deal. If you see this as slightly odd, you're not wrong. But Mark Emmert would like you to shut up.

The fact that this is relatively recent and that the holidays are here means its unlikely that this would get completely resolved by Jan. 4. But it's something for everyone to keep an eye on as the game draws nearer.

Game Formerly Known as the Peach Bowl is another sellout
And no, you can't say that the Chick-fil-A Bowl has its 14th consecutive sellout when it hasn't been called that for 14 years.


Fans better hope their quarterback can run the option
Steve Addazio will take over as head coach of the Temple Owls, meaning that his departure from Florida without the university having to ask him to step aside. This works out nicely for everyone involved -- well, everyone except Temple, if Addazio's record as a coordinator is any indication of how good a head coach he might be. Then again, we've seen great coordinators work out badly and not-so-great coordinators do well. In all seriousness, the best of luck to Addazio and the owls. Just hope that your offense never has a day like this.

Brace yourself
Shocking news about the Georgia football program: An Atlanta television station reports that A.J. Green is certain to go to the NFL Draft after the year. BREAKING NEWS!!! ALERT!!!!!

Klein said two sources close to the program have told him "There is a 100 percent chance he is gone, and a possible (NFL) lockout has no bearing on his decision."

We have no way to independently verify this story, except for common sense and the fact that there's no reason one can think of for Green to go back to college. Besides, this way he can sell his Liberty Bowl jersey and not get suspended for it.

Justin Wilcox issues non-denial denial about Texas defensive coordinator job
Really, do these guys just have a script they fill in at this point?

And it might actually be competitive this time
LSU's last Thursday night trip to Starkville ended in a 45-0 annihilation that left the entire town in ruins. (It might not have been quite that bad, but it felt like it.) Then again, LSU went on to play for the national title and Mississippi State went to its only bowl of the Sylvester Croom Era. Maybe that's why the teams have agreed to play the leadoff game for ESPN on the third weekend of the season.

It could also help LSU through one of the toughest early schedules in the conference next year. (The Tigers also face Oregon and West Virginia in September, though the game against Northwestern State probably makes things easier.)

As for Mississippi State, a midtier BCS program in the middle of a promising building campaign will take all the national attention it can get.

Does the health-care plan cover esophagus injuries?
Urban Meyer is apparently talking with ESPN about his future. Meyer has never been a media-friendly coach, but he's also the type who could probably do well (and add to the discussion) in a controlled studio environment.

National Football Post ranks top SEC draft prospects
The one name that kind of pops out to me on that list is Luke Stocker -- not because I'm all that surprised that he's on there, just because it's easy to forget that he's pretty good.

Kanter would play for Kentucky in 2011
That "permanently ineligible" ruling would have to be overturned, of course, but Enes Kanter's father says the Turkish player wouldn't bolt for the NBA Draft if he could play.