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UGA’s Rambo Could Declare For Supplemental Draft After Brownie Binge; 28 Dawgs Gone Overall

News continues to trickle forth regarding the suspension of Georgia starting safety Bacarri Rambo.  First, news spread that he’d be benched for two-to-four games.  Then came word that it would be four games and it was due to a second drug issue.  Now we know what he did… and what he might do next.

Rambo’s high school coach Allen Ingram has told The Athens Banner-Herald that Rambo tested positive for marijuana after eating laced-brownies during a spring break trip to Panama City, Florida.  The coach says the player didn’t know that the brownies had weed in them.  (Yeah, because spring-breaking college kids often whip up a batch of non-pot-brownies before heading to the Sunshine State.  Too bad Rambo didn’t stick to the wholly innocent banana nut bread his friends had also baked for the trip.)

“Some kids had them that were staying with him and he said he got high,” Ingram said.  “He thought the things had marijuana in them.  He sat there a couple of hours and didn’t know what to do.  He said if he turned himself in he’d get a four-game suspension for a second offense.”

The coach also said that he believe Rambo is not a pothead, despite those two drug issues.  Ingram said the first issue — which led to a suspension from last year’s season-opener against Boise State — involved Rambo being stopped for speeding and then police finding a joint on one of his passengers.  “I’ve got kids that go to other schools that say he doesn’t smoke.”  No, but apparently he does eat pastries and ride with folks who smoke.

Whether the star safety knew he was noshing on weed brownies or not, Rambo is now considering a jump to the NFL via this summer’s supplemental draft.  Such a move would further devastate a UGA secondary that is becoming perilously thin.

Mark Richt refused to answer questions or “confirm anything” about the reported suspensions of Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree, who is believed to have also failed a drug test.  (Maybe second-hand brownies are to blame.)  Meanwhile, his program continues to hemorrhage players.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that at least 28 athletes who would still have eligibility at UGA will not be with the program for the start of the 2012 season due to suspensions, dismissals, and transfers.


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UGA’s Rambo Suspended Four Games For Second Drug Issue

Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo was suspended from the Bulldogs’ season-opener against Boise State last fall.  Now there’s new word on the suspension he’s been handed for this fall.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that Rambo will be given a four-game punishment “as a result of a second violation of the UGA athletics department’s official” drug policy.

His high school coach has confirmed the situation saying, “He’s real down about it.”

Down, huh?  Well, that’s usually what happens right after a high.

(Rimshot.)  I’ll be here all week!

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Chick-fil-A Double-Header Set, But UT & NCSU Likely Won’t Be Pleased

The folks at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will be promoting two games instead of one to begin the 2012 college football season.  But one of those two games will attract significantly more eyeballs than the other.

Tennessee and North Carolina State will meet on Friday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta with the gametime to be determined.  That contest will be televised on ESPNU.

The next day or night — time to be determined — Auburn will face Clemson in the same venue, but that game will be shown on either ABC or ESPN.

Chick-fil-A began presenting these kickoff games in 2008.  Alabama beat Clemson that season.  In ’09, Bama beat Virginia Tech.  In 2010, LSU defeated North Carolina.  Last year, Boise State toppled Georgia.  The tie that binds?  All of those teams were preseason Top 10 (or at least Top 20) squads.

Well way back in 2009, the Chick-fil-A folks announced that Tennessee and NC State would be the featured matchup in 2012.  At the time, Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan said, “I fully expect that in 2012 both of these rising programs will be ranked in the Top 20.”  Uh, think again.

Since Stokan’s announcement, Tennessee has seen Lane Kiffin bolt, Derek Dooley enter and three seasons of so-so football culminating in an 18-20 overall record (including a 5-7 mark last season).  NC State — under Tom O’Brien — has improved from 5-7 to 17-9 the last two years (including a win over Louisville in the esteemed Belk Bowl last December).

Seeing Tennessee’s post-Kiffin struggles on the horizon, the Chick-fil-A group decided in September of 2010 to add a second game to its lineup: Auburn versus Clemson.  Auburn went on to win the national title that season and could make a preseason Top 25 or two this fall.  Clemson will likely be a Top 15 team entering the 2012 season after winning the ACC title last year.

It’s no wonder Tennessee-NCSU has been shifted to the Friday night, ESPNU contest — it doesn’t figure to be the draw that Auburn-Clemson will be.  But that doesn’t mean Vol and Wolfpack officials will be pleased with being relegated to a non-traditional night on a network with fewer cable subscribers than ESPN (regardless of what they say in their “ain’t it great” press releases).  Quite simply, this isn’t what Tennessee and NC State signed up for.

The schools gave up home games in the hopes of getting primetime, big boy coverage on a major network.  Instead, the Vols and Wolfpack will serve as the hors d’oeuvre to the Tigers versus Tigers main course the following day.  It makes sense for the Chick-fil-A group and for the networks, but it’s a kick in the teeth for UT and NCSU.

One wonders how future SEC squads might look at this move.  Next season, Alabama and Virginia Tech return to the game.  But in 2014, Ole Miss is scheduled to play Boise State.  Already, Alabama has been lined up once more as part of a double-header (to make up for what would appear to be a bad matchup ‘tween UM and BSU).  Will the Rebels want to be shifted to a Friday night on a second-tier network if it comes to that?

Stay tuned.

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SEC Headlines – 1/26/12 Part One

Between doctors, vets and sales calls for my actual job, today’s going to require just a quick scan of the day’s headlines.  Here’s the first whip-around…

1.  Auburn has decided that if the oaks at Toomer’s Corner die as expected, they will be replaced by one or more new oaks.  (Kind of an obvious solution.)

2.  The Alabama basketball team is going backward.

3.  Boise State doesn’t expect to add Arkansas to its 2012 football schedule.

4.  Dee Bost had a big night for MSU last night… without scoring a lot of points.

5.  Ole Miss will look to pull the upset when #14 Florida visits the Tad Pad tonight.

6.  Rebel quarterback signee Bo Wallace was cited for underage possession of alcohol last Thursday.  Egad.

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Report: Pease Visiting Florida, Then Alabama

Brent Pease is still the offensive coordinator at Boise State, but that could be changing soon.

Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun reported via twitter on Friday afternoon that Pease is currently in Gainesville.

“Brent Pease in Gville today, meeting with Saban on Tuesday. so it’s an either or”

Meaning Pease could become the offensive coordinator at either Florida or Alabama.

The Idaho Statesman reported Friday that Pease has already left his position at Boise State. But Broncos quarterback commit Nick Patti told the Orlando Sentinel that report isn’t accurate.

“I just got off the phone with coach Pete about it,” Patti said. “He’s talking with UF about offensive coordinator there. He just has no idea what he wants to do yet. I don’t think he has a plan yet.”

That plan should be decided by early next week.

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Which Rematch Do You Want: LSU-Bama Or LSU-Oregon?

Following last Saturday’s LSU-Alabama game, we wrote that if fans want a competitive BCS title game, they should be hoping for an Tigers-Tide rematch.

As if on cue, Boise State went out and proved it couldn’t even get through its own pansy schedule, losing at home to TCU 36-35.  And then Stanford followed that up with an even worse blowout loss at home to Oregon, 53-30.

Uh, yeah, those teams would have really given LSU fits.

Currently, the #2 slot in the BCS standings — the spot between undefeated LSU and once-beaten Alabama — belongs to Oklahoma State.  The Cowboys are averaging 51.7 points per game this year.  Wow.

But they’re allowing 26.3.  Oh.

Oklahoma will knock OSU from the ranks of the unbeaten in the Bedlam game at the end of the month.  At that point, there’s no telling what the computers will spit out — Oregon at #2?  Oklahoma?  Alabama?

The humans will most likely have the final say once again they’ll have to decide who to nudge into the title game.  A few voters might have wasted their votes on Boise State in order to make an anti-BCS, pro-Cinderella statement, but the odds of them doing the same for an unbeaten Houston are slim.

So if LSU and Alabama both go undefeated the rest of the way, who would the living, breathing voters try to finagle into the title game against the Tigers:

* An Oregon team that went belly-up to LSU in Week One, 40-27 at Cowboys Stadium?  A Duck program that lost to Auburn in last year’s title game?

* An Oklahoma team that lost at home to a 5-5 Texas Tech team, 41-38?  A Sooner program that has lost three BCS Championship Games since 2003 and scored a total of 28 points in two title bouts with the SEC (24-14 losers to Florida in 2009, 21-14 losers to LSU in 2004)?

* Or an Alabama team that lost 9-6 in overtime at home to the Tigers?  A Tide program that won the national crown in 2009 and features a coach with two national titles from two different schools on his resume?  A program that’s shared a back-and-forth rivalry with LSU the past five years (in games that featured an average margin of victory of just 5.6 points)?

America may cringe.  And it wouldn’t really be fair to make LSU play Alabama again after they already won in Tuscaloosa.  But if all things remain equal, the Tide would have a better shot at giving the Tigers a good title game than the Ducks or Sooners would.

Current BCS Standings:

1.  LSU 10-0
2.  Oklahoma State 10-0
3.  Alabama 9-1
4.  Oregon 9-1
5.  Oklahoma 8-1
6.  Arkansas 9-1
7.  Clemson 9-1
8.  Virginia Tech 9-1
9.  Stanford 9-1
10.  Boise State 8-1
11.  Houston 10-0
12.  South Carolina 8-2
13.  Kansas State 8-2
14.  Georgia 8-2
15.  Michigan State 8-2

24. Auburn 6-4

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LSU, Bama 1-2 In First BCS Standings

If LSU and Alabama take care of business this weekend, their showdown in Tuscaloosa on November 5th will likely be a battle of #1 versus #2.  The first BCS rankings of the season were released yesterday and the Tigers and Tide are on top of the pack, safely ahead of Oklahoma and well ahead of everyone else.

The Tigers host Auburn this weekend in Baton Rouge, while Alabama will welcome Tennessee to Bryant-Denny Stadium.  With the way both teams looked this past weekend, it’s hard to imagine either squad stumbling this weekend.  Both teams then will have an open date on October 29th.

Three other SEC teams are in the BCS rankings: Arkansas at #9, South Carolina at #14, and Auburn at #20.  (Texas A&M is #17.)

Of the teams a top-ranked Alabama or LSU might face in the BCS title game in New Orleans, Wisconsin (solid run game, solid defense, Russell Wilson at quarterback) is likely the most dangerous.  But the Badgers currently sit behind the high-flying attacks of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Boise State.  And we’re all familiar with what SEC defenses do to high-flying offenses in national title games.  Bob Stoops certainly knows.

Below are the first standings of the year, complete with team records and remaining BCS-ranked foes remaining on schedule for Top 10 teams:

LSU (7-0) (Aub, Ala, Ark)
Alabama (7-0) (LSU, Aub)
Oklahoma (6-0) (KSU, TA&M, Ok St)
Oklahoma State (6-0) (KSU, Okla)
Boise State (6-0) (None)
Wisconsin (6-0) (Mich St, Ill, Penn St)
Clemson (7-0) (Ga Tech, SC)
Stanford (6-0) (Wash, Oreg)
Arkansas (5-1) (SC, LSU)
Oregon (5-1) (Wash, Stan)
Kansas State (6-0)
Virginia Tech (6-1)
Nebraska (5-1)
South Carolina (6-1)
West Virginia (5-1)
Michigan State (5-1)
17 Texas A&M (4-2)
Michigan (6-1)
Houston (6-0)
Auburn (5-2)
Penn State (6-1)
Georgia Tech (6-1)
Illinois (6-1)
Texas (4-2)
Washington (5-1)

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SEC Headlines – 9/6/11 Part One

1.  Florida’s football team has a blue-collar attitude (even though they broke out orange jerseys on Saturday.)

2.  The Gators now have a better idea of who’ll be playing on the O-line and in the secondary.

3.  The NCAA will hear the eligibility case of Florida D-lineman Sharrif Floyd today.

4.  Mark Richt is looking for help in replacing injured linebacker Alec Ogletree.  (The freshman and walk-on he used against Boise State just weren’t up to the test… and Marcus Lattimore’s up next.)

5.  Tailback Isaiah Crowell had an OK game in his debut.

6.  Steve Spurrier says he may vote Boise State #1 “after watching them beat Georgia.”

7.  Kentucky’s Joker Phillips had some rough words for his receiving corps: “It was embarrassing watching them.”

8.  While UK’s offense struggled, Winston Guy and the Cat defense looked pretty good last week.

9.  Central Michigan has a history of giving Kentucky close games.

10.  South Carolina’s coaching staff is still confident in struggling cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

11.  Derek Dooley admits that Tennessee’s offensive line was “whipped” at the line of scrimmage by FCS-level Montana.

12.  Wide receiver Justin Hunter has made “monumental” progress.

13.  Cincinnati’s offense will be a test for UT’s defense.

14.  Vanderbilt’s players know UConn will be a big upgrade over Elon.

15.  Grading on a curve, Larry Smith’s passing stats looked pretty good to James Franklin.

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SEC Headlines 9/4/2011 Part One

LSU 40 – Oregon 27

1. Les Miles: “The defense played spectacularly.”

2. LSU’s thirty-fourth consecutive victory against a non-conference opponent – longest streak in the country.

3. Scott Rabalais: (W)ith Nike’s Phil Knight watching, it was a dark night for Oregon…”

4. Dennis Dodd: “Judging by Saturday, LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis barely paused for breath in the offseason in assembling this defense.”

5. Pat Forde:  ”The Ducks can frazzle and fatigue a defense, then just flat run away from it. Unless it’s an elite SEC defense.”

6. Stewart Mandel: (M)ake no mistake about it, the fourth-ranked Tigers’ season-opening statement had Miles’ hatprints all over it

Boise State 35 – Georgia  21

7. Seventh loss for Georgia in last eight games against a ranked opponent.

8. Field position and injuries hamper the Bulldogs’ effort. Georgia lost two key starters in first half.

9. Isaiah Crowell’s Georgia debut – 15 carries for 60 yards.

10. Brandon Boykin delivers postgame message to team.

11. Tony Barnhart: “Boise State pretty much kicked Georgia’s butt in front of the home folks who got out of the Georgia Dome pretty quickly.”

12. Andy Staples: “Since I’m a card-carrying Internet writer, this is the part where I’m supposed to call for Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity to fire Mark Richt and then have Richt deported. But I won’t do that.”

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SEC Headlines 9/3/2011 Part Two

1. Dennis Dodd: “As the Big 12 looks for new dance partners and Texas A&M waits to be asked to the SEC prom, realignment is centering on Texas and Oklahoma.”

2. Late Friday afternoon Big 12 conference call – presidents from Oklahama, Texas and Texas A&M reportedly excluded.

3.  University of Oklahoma president David Boren: “There is no school in the Big 12 more active than we are right now.”

4. Coaches and television contracts have turned the SEC into the dominant league in college football.

5. Jon Solomon: “The games are back. Lord, do we need them.”

6. The three Boise State players withheld from tonight’s game are all from Amsterdam.

7. Mark Bradley:” I still can’t get over Boise State being favored against Georgia — in the Georgia Dome.

8. Jim Kleinpeter:” LSU might even need this game a little more than Oregon, with a tougher schedule to follow.”

9. Scott Rabalais: “If you think that (Jarrett) Lee might be panicked by suddenly being thrown into the role of starting quarterback and’d be mistaken.”

10.  ”(R)arely has a game on Labor Day weekend featured as much significance to the BCS title hunt as this one does.”

11. With both Alabama and Tennessee waiting for his answer, Dave Hart considers his options.

12. John Adams on Montana- Tennessee: “You want insight and information? Wait till next week.”

13. For only the second time in his 19 seasons as a head coach, Houston Nutt will not call plays this year.

14. By position, best and worst case scenarios this season for the Florida Gators.

15. Some of the rule changes impacting college football this year.

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