|August 14, 2009||Auburn names its quarterback||no comments|
|August 13, 2009||Vick signs ... with Eagles||no comments|
|August 14, 2009||Lance Lynn thriving at Double-A||no comments|
|August 13, 2009||Alabama's Justin Woodall (Oxford native)||no comments|
|August 13, 2009||Updated: Where is LSU's Trindon Holliday?||no comments|
|August 13, 2009||Death leaves local cyclists "devastated"||no comments|
|August 13, 2009||NASCAR vs. Mother Nature||no comments|
|August 13, 2009||Heisman watch begins||no comments|
|August 13, 2009||SEC media policy update||no comments|
|August 13, 2009||Thursday linkage||no comments|
Auburn never really settled on a quarterback last season -- a tough season on The Plains.
A coach-killing season, in fact.
Senior Chris Todd – surgical shoulder and all - is the man from the get-go this time, new coach Gene Chizik announced Thursday. That sends junior Kodi Burns to receiver, most likely, with junior Neil Caudle in his accustomed role as the backup.
Todd, who started his career at Texas Tech, gets a home friendly with Louisiana Tech under his belt before Missisippi State visits on Sept. 12 ... the latest renewal of a series that hit a low point with last year's 3-2 Tigers' win in Starkville.
Speaking of which, if Auburn could've come up with four more touchdowns last season (against LSU, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Georgia), they would have gone 9-3 in the regular season and would have snagged a tasty bowl game.
And Tommy T. would have still gotten the boot, we suppose.
Meanwhile, last year's Auburn offensive coordinator, Tony Franklin, is now running the offense at Middle Tennessee State, the Bulldogs' Oct. 17 opponent.
John Clayton of ESPN.com asks and answers five key questions.
At Sportsline, Mike Freeman turns thumbs down.
In an online poll attached to this blog at Philly.com, 54 percent of voters thought it was a bad idea.
ProFootballTalk says Donovan McNabb is, privately, very unhappy.
The happiest guy in America today? Rick Pitino.
Lance Lynn, the former Ole Miss pitching standout, is turning heads with his performance at Double-A Springfield just a year after being drafted 39th overall. This story on the St. Louis Cardinals official site provides an update, including quotes from the Cards' GM.
This blog, which takes the current season into consideration, has Lynn ranked No. 3 in the organization. That's quite an arc of success.
But we keep looking at that opponent batting average (.258), hits per nine innings (8.8) and WHIP (1.31) and think he'd be more impressive at this level if he was missing more bats, as they say.
It's an extreme comparison, perhaps, but Greg Maddux (31st overall pick in 1984 by the Cubs) took two seasons to get to Double-A with stuff that wasn't overwhelming, but once he got there his Double-A WHIP was 1.01 ... and he was quickly shuttled to Triple-A and the rest was history.
Still, Lynn stands a decent chance of pitching at Triple-A Memphis at some point next year.
The linked story says Lynn was supposed to start a Thursday doubleheader game, but the second game got rained out. He'll pitch Friday night in the first game of a twinbill.
But since the Tigers put on full pads for Tuesday's drills, Holliday has been nowhere to be seen, according to The Advocate in Baton Rouge. He'd missed three workouts as of Wednesday and, according to this Times-Picayune report, wasn't there for Thursday's workout. Not was fellow senior Perry Riley, a linebacker who has apparently slipped out of a starting spot on the fall depth chart.
There's not a special teams coach in the SEC who won't worry about dealing with Holliday, who's 5-foot-5 and runs the 100 in 10.0 -- good enough for an NCAA outdoor championship. He's been the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week once in each of the past three seasons, including 2007 after a game against Ole Miss.
But there's a lot of competition at tailback this fall at LSU ... so where is Holliday?
Update: He's nursing a pulled hamstring, according to this report.
We’re having to work on a sad, tragic story today about the death of Tupelo High School senior John Paul Frerer, 18, an avid cyclist who was struck and killed this morning on Hwy. 6 while on his way to Oxford.
His death has hit hard in two communities that knew him best -- the THS senior class and the local cycling community.
“The whole cycling community is devastated,” said Mark Bresee, a local cyclist and triathlete who had ridden with Frerer.
Frerer and two other THS seniors, swimmer Hannah Wilson and runner Max Holman, won the relay division at the King of the Hill Triathlon on Saturday at Tombigbee State Park.
We called Frerer at home Saturday night to talk about the triathlon, which his squad -- Team America -- won for the second year in a row.
“I’ve been riding in some races, but I’m not as serious as Hannah and Max,” are about their sports, Frerer told us. “We’re hoping to get a team going at the high school."
We'll have more on this story in Friday's Journal.
As much as we love college football, it seems a touch early to start projecting Heisman Trophy favorites. But ESPN.com has its first Heisman Watch feature out today.
It's Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford running 1-2-3. No surprises there, although you would think their reigning Heis-man might have gotten one first-place vote. (Buyer's remorse?) At this point, Jevan Snead is only getting two more votes from the 15-member panel than Tyson Lee is.
You ESPN conspiracy theorists may rightly wonder if the Worldwide Leader, which is widely percieved as having spoiled Peyton Manning's Heisman candidacy, will try to make up for that by pushing Volunteers' defensive standout Eric Berry.
No news to report today, although we think there should be a new draft floating around by the end of this week.
In the meantime, we hear that state press associations (in Arkansas and Mississippi for sure, mostly likely in other SEC states) are preparing legal responses of their own.
We have heard from more than one source that Gannett (Jackson, Nashville, Montgomery, several smaller Louisiana papers) have been advised by their lawyers not to sign the policy as it exists in draft form.
So, would the Tennessean and the Clarion Heath Ledger really not attend SEC games this fall? Just askin'.
Here's more reaction on the Milwaukee Brewers shakeup, including comments from Bill Hall about his departure from the Brewers. Hall tells the Journal Sentinel he expects other teams will be interested ... indeed, a veteran bat might come in handy for a team still in the playoff hunt. The Brewers insist they're aren't waving the white flag.
There's excitement in Starkville as volleyball practice gets under way with a new coach.
The International Olympic Committee executive board decides today which two of seven sports, including softball, baseball and golf, they would like to add to the program for the 2016 Olympics. You can bet that Mississippi State softball coach Jay Miller, who guided Team USA this summer, will be paying attention.
The Commercial Appeal has a sit-down with the new, 31-year-old general manager of the Triple-A Redbirds, who is dealing with the team's pressing financial challenges.
In Atlanta, a re-energized Chipper Jones is feeling, well, chipper. Winning will do that.
And losing? That's what the Cubs do.
Here's a pretty good critique of that new SEC media policy ... at least the pre-revision version policy. The linked piece has the advantage of being in plain English, as opposed to the SEC policy document leaked last week, which was written by attorneys. Or Vulcans. We hear a revised version of the policy should be leaking out at any moment.
NFL Network talking heads ask if Vince Young is headed to the third string in Nashville. Indeed, we heard the same issue raised on ESPN Radio on Wednesday. Whatever the thinking in Titans camp, Jeff Fisher isn't saying, but the Titans ran some option plays for Young in Tuesday's practice.
You can see the 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, but James Brown shares some observations that are quoted by USA Today.
An Alabama redshirt has joined the roster at Southern Miss, where he will be eligible in 2010.
Seven Florida State transfers have turned up at North Alabama since Terry Bowden -- Bobby's son -- took over as head coach of the Lions. The third-leading tackler on Alabama's fine defense is now at UNA, also.
Rick Pitino's troubles at Louisville bring to mind Mike Price's doomed mini-tenure at Alabama. Here's an update on his current team, UTEP, where he's just 14-22 over the past three seasons and 30-30 in his five years at El Paso. Phil Steele tabs the Miners to win the C-USA West, though, as they return 15 lettermen and won't face either East Carolina or Southern Miss in the regular season.