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Alabama’s Saban “Sick And Tired” Of “BS” About McCarron’s Toe

gfx - they said itA quick tip for you: Don’t ask Nick Saban about quarterback AJ McCarron’s toe.  He’s tired of talking about “the most famous ingrown toe nail known to man.”

McCarron was spotted wearing a walking boot prior to the Tide’s season-opening win over Virginia Tech.  The uber-accurate quarterback then had a rough outing against the Hokies (10-of-23 for 110 yards a score and a pick), though part of his struggles could be blamed on a rebuilt offensive line that clearly needs to build some chemistry.

Regardless of McCarron’s performance, Saban’s grown weary of the toe talk saying he’s:


“…sort of sick and tired of talking about this BS because it’s nothing.  AJ’s mobility is fine.  His mobility was fine in the game and there was nothing wrong with him in the game.

We can make it something and make it an excuse, but really worrying about that kind of stuff rather than what you need to do to play well might be contributing to how you play.  To me, that’s the issue.”


Saban also made this declaration: “The people around (McCarron) need to play better so he has a chance to play well.”

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Spurrier Says Lattimore Will Play For USC Again, Then Takes Shot At Clemson’s Swinney

About 1,500 fans attended an afternoon rally for Marcus Lattimore on South Carolina’s campus yesterday.  Lattimore was lost for the season on Saturday when he sustained the second major knee injury of his career.  Speakers included teammates, school president Harris Pastides, and US Senator Lindsey Graham.  Well wishes and proclamations came in from US Vice President Joe Biden and Palmetto State Governor Nikki Haley.

That’s a darn big show of respect for a college running back who tore up his knee.  It says a lot about Lattimore’s reputation off the field, as well as on it.  You can see video from the rally by clicking here.

On a positive note, Steve Spurrier said that Lattimore wanted him to tell the crowd, “I’ll be back.”  The coach added: “We’re going to get Marcus for our or five years instead of three.  That’s one positive we know of.”

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Meyer Takes SEC Methods To Big Ten; Bielema Ticked

It seems Urban Meyer has taken a little something with him from Florida to Ohio State — his recruiting tactics.  Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio aren’t happy that Meyer broke a Big Ten gentleman’s agreement not to recruit prospects who are already committed to other Big Ten schools.  As you know, nothing close to that type of agreement exists in the no-holds-barred SEC.

Bielema has also hinted that Meyer might be employing other over-the-line tactics, but he wouldn’t go into specifics.  But with regards to trying flip commits, he said:

“I can tell you this, we at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC — in any way, shape or form.”

Fair enough.  Then just keep losing your January bowl games, Bret.

As for Meyer, he doesn’t sound like he’s going to be changing his methods even if Bielema tattles to commissioner Jim Delany.

“If they’re interested, absolutely (you recruit other school’s commits) — especially from your home state.  Is it gratifying to take a guy from another school?  Not at all.”

Did anyone else’s BS alert go off over that last line?

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Sheridan Talks Newton “Bagman” On Finebaum

Ah, and the pot is about to be stirred a bit more.  USA Today oddsmaker — and Alabama grad — Danny Sheridan is a guest on Paul Finebaum’s radio show this afternoon.  Late last week he claimed to know the name of the alleged “bagman” who acted as a cash-running go-between for Auburn and the family of Cam Newton.

We’ll keep you posted on what he says right here…

* Sheridan wants to address some of the criticisms aimed at him.

* Finebaum is also going to have an attorney take part in the interview.

* Sheridan has been told the name of the person the NCAA believes is the bagman.

* Asked to give the name, Sheridan said: “No, sir, I will not give you the name.”

* Sheridan said that his attorney — Vince Kilborn, who is on the show with him — warned him about going public with the name.  He told him that the “truth” would protect Sheridan in a defamation lawsuit, but he would have to give up his NCAA sources.

* The spin: Sheridan is protecting his sources inside the NCAA.  What a guy!

* Sheridan says that he knows there is a witness to all of this and he knows where that witness works, but he does not know the witness’ name.  And he will not share information on where the witness works.

This is ridiculous.  Yet another person hurling accusations with absolutely no proof to offer.  “But I really have the proof, I just can’t share it,” doesn’t hold water.  Just more BS.

* Sheridan wants his internet critics to “man up” and to stop hiding behind the anonymity of internet messageboards.  That’s an odd thing to say for a guy who himself is hiding behind the threat of lawsuits.

* Sheridan also said he would not comment on whether or not the NCAA is still investigating the Newton situation… on the advice of counsel.

That’s all I can stand, folks.  I’m tuning out before Finebaum moves on to his usual roster of screaming, angry, insult-tossing callers.

Twenty minutes of my life… that I’ll never get back.

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Toomer’s Oaks Are More Than Just Trees

This week, I was hoping we’d all be able to move past the story of Auburn’s poisoned oak trees.  But as my inbox proved yesterday, we sadly are not.  So let me quickly step you through the Toomer’s Corner story from’s point of view:

1.  The story breaks that someone has poisoned the historic trees on Auburn’s campus.  Most of the emails we receive in response say that this is a disgusting act and the idiot(s) who did it should do time.

2.  When Harvey Updyke is arrested a day later, 90% of the emailers want the book thrown at him, but about 10% of the folks contacting us start to say, “They’re just trees.”

3.  Over the weekend, the emails we receive begin to bubble over with sarcasm — “Boo-hoo over the Barners’ (expletive) trees” read one — and some even started to take us to task for “playing up” a “BS” story.

Here’s the thing: The Toomer’s Corner trees weren’t just trees.  Let me explain what I mean by that.

I have a nice, gold ring.  I don’t wear any other jewelry, but that one ring is on my hand every day.  The 1925 coin set into the ring was a gift from my great-great-grandfather to my grandfather.  My grandmother took that coin, had it set into a ring, and gave that ring to my grandfather as a gift.  When my grandfather passed away nearly 25 years ago, the ring went to my father, the oldest son in the family.  My father is a minister and didn’t feel that it was appropriate to stand in the pulpit wearing a bright gold ring.  So he passed the ring along to me.  And I’ve worn it for 20 years.

Now if someone stole that ring, a person could easily tell me, “Hey, it’s just a ring.”  No doubt I could find another 1925 coin, go to a jeweler, and have them make a duplicate ring.

Only I couldn’t. 

My ring has special meaning to me.  It’s the coin my great-great-grandfather held.  It’s the ring my grandfather wore.  Just a ring?  Not if you’re blessed to have any sentimentality at all.

The 130-year-old oaks at Toomer’s Corner should be thought of in the same way as my ring.  In the same way as your family heirlooms or keepsakes.  Students at Auburn have walked under those trees in parts of three different centuries.  Grandfathers let their sons roll those trees with toilet paper after Auburn victories.  Sons let their sons do the same.  Those trees have provided a place of shared joys and memories.

You might scoff at the “murder” of Auburn’s trees, but that only reveals that something is missing from your make-up.  Someone who loves his own traditions yet holds no respect for the traditions (or politics or religion) of others, exhibits a weakness of character.

So to the many SEC fans who’ve written us to say that Auburn’s trees are “just trees,” why don’t you let someone come after your school’s sacred landmark and then share your feelings on vandalism.  Let’s say someone knocked over the Denny Chimes on Alabama’s quad.  I’ll bet no Tide fans would say, “Aw, it’s just a bunch of bricks.”

And to the few of you out there who’ve pointed out that Auburn’s trees were expected to die in the next 20-30 years anyway… so are you.  No, maybe not in 20-30 years, but we each die a little bit every day.  You’re dying as you read this.  That doesn’t mean someone would be doing you a favor by putting a pillow over your face to speed up the process.  To say the trees were dying anyway is an awfully childish defense of the indefensible.

Clearly, the further we get from the initial shock of Updyke’s insane, ugly act, the more it seems some rival SEC fans are going to lash back against those who are upset for Auburn.  Newsflash: The people upset by the destruction of a tradition don’t have a problem.  It’s the people who can’t grasp the meaning of someone else’s tradition who have a problem. 

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