The NHL playoffs are under way. Major League Baseball is still

The NHL playoffs are under way. Major League Baseball is still taking its first swings. The NBA playoffs that seem to never end are about to begin. As for me, you can have all three.

Why? I can’t see the puck. I haven’t forgotten the strike. I’ve had enough of those ref-shoving Lakers, Jordan, Scottie and The Worm. Instead, I’d rather have a dose of college football the SEC variety which, by the way, is just 135 days from kicking off.

Give me Alabama’s Dwayne Rudd banging heads and the Tide’s Deshea Townsend stealing quarterback aerials. Let me see a healthy Madre Hill running for the Razorbacks. How can you not enjoy watching Danny Wuerffel pull the trigger of the Gators’ “Fun n’ Gun”? I want to see Georgia’s Jason Ferguson, a Nettleton product, have an All-SEC season. I’d love to see LSU’s Kevin Faulk get 20 to 25 carries a game. Give me another year of watching Mississippi State’s Keffer McGee pound-for-pound there’s not a tougher running back in the league scrap and fight for yardage. Let me enjoy watching Tommy Tuberville rebuild the Rebel program the right way. I want to see Tennessee’s Peyton Manning have a Heisman kind of season.

Do you get the sense that I’d rather be at Legion Field, Tiger Stadium or Vaught-Hemingway than at Yankee Stadium or some other professional venue?

Rebel, Bulldog schedules

We’ve gotten a few calls lately for Ole Miss and MSU schedules. So here they are:

Ole Miss: Aug. 31, host Idaho State; Sept. 7, host VMI (Jackson); Sept. 14, host Auburn; Sept. 21, at Vanderbilt; Oct. 3, host Tennessee (Memphis); Oct. 19, at Alabama (Tuscaloosa); Oct. 26, host Arkansas State; Nov. 9, at Arkansas (Fayetteville); Nov. 16, host LSU; Nov. 23, at Georgia; Nov. 30, host MSU.

MSU: Sept. 7, at Memphis; Sept. 21, host Louisiana Tech; Sept. 28, at South Carolina; Oct. 5, host Georgia; Oct. 12, host Auburn; Oct. 26, at LSU; Nov. 2, host Northeast Louisiana; Nov. 9, at Kentucky; Nov. 16, host Alabama; Nov. 23, host Arkansas; Nov. 30, at Ole Miss.

Speaking of schedules, here are a few early observations about the upcoming SEC season:

The easiest starts: Three-way tie among Ole Miss (Idaho State, VMI), Florida (Southwestern Louisiana, Georgia Southern) and Auburn (UAB, Fresno State).

The toughest start: Vanderbilt (Notre Dame, Alabama).

Toughest five-game stretch: Tennessee (Florida, at Ole Miss, at Georgia, Alabama, at South Carolina).

Game of the Year: Sept. 21, Florida at Tennessee.

Rout of the Year: Sept. 7, Florida over Georgia Southern.

Crummy Game of the Year: Nov. 2, UAB at Vanderbilt.

Some closing tidbits

The SEC officially kicks off its season July 30-Aug. 1 in Birmingham, when the coaches and players get together with the sports writers and broadcasters for Kickoff ’96. … SEC teams will play in the bowl alliance (champ) Sugar, Orange or Fiesta Citrus Bowl (No. 2) , Outback Bowl (No. 3) , Peach Bowl (No. 4) and Independence Bowl (No. 5). … The SEC championship game is set for Dec. 7 in Atlanta. … The SEC led the nation in attendance for the 15th straight season with 4,858,986 fans passing through the turnstiles.

Gene Phelps is the sports editor for the Daily Journal.

Click video to hear audio