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SEC In The NFL – Campbell’s Collarbone, Cutler’s Comments

 The Oakland Raiders Jason Campbell (Auburn) suffered a broken collarbone Sunday but the quarterback says he could return to action as soon as six weeks.   An earlier report had Campbell out for the season.

“I’m having surgery today. It was a tough break,” Campbell said. “I’m going to stay positive. If everything goes right I could be back in six weeks.”

The Raiders are now 4-2 on the season after beating Cleveland 24-17.  Campbell went down with the injury in the second quarter.

With the trade deadline on Tuesday, what are the Raiders to do?

“If I was in at quarterback,” Darren McFadden (Arkansas) joshed Sunday, “we probably would have thrown for 600 yards, and the running backs would have been mad at me.”

A more serious option for Oakland could be Denver’s Kyle Orton, suddenly out of a job now that Tim Tebow (Florida) is now the Broncos starting quarterback.

Filling in for an injured LaGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay running back Earnest Graham (Florida) made the most of it Sunday, rushing for 109 yards in the Bucs 26-20 victory over New Orleans.  It marked Graham’s first 100-yard game since 2008.

“That Earnest Graham kid is a pretty good player,” said cornerback Ronde Barbee

Jay Cutler (Vanderbilt) had a special message for someone last night.

“Tell him I said (bleep) you,” was picked up by the cameras as Cutler moved to the line of scrimmage.

The subject of Cutler’s line was unknown but speculation has centered on Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz, known for taking his time calling plays which in turns leads to blowing multiple timeouts.

Cutler threw for 267 yards, connecting on 21-of-31 passes and two touchdowns as the Bears routed the Minnesota Vikings 39-10.

The Bears quarterback, who’s taking a beating this season from defensive lines, was sacked by the Vikings only once.

Chicago has changed its play-calling to help the offensive line.

‘It was a group effort,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘We’re all trying to manage what we can do on the football field. If we are smart about it, do the things we did [Sunday], more than likely we’re going to be successful.’’

A few other SEC-related notes from around the league:

Peyton Hillis (Arkansas) suffered a hamstring injured early in the Browns loss to the Raiders and underwent an MRI today.  Coach Pat Shurmer says Hillis is not being shopped prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline. Hillis rushed for 14 yards on six carries Sunday.

The New York Giants are 4-2 and lead the NFC East after the victory on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.  Eli Manning (Ole Miss) threw for 292 yards on 31 throws and coach Tom Couglin praised his quarterback after the game.  He “played very, very well,” said Coughlin.

Matthew Stafford (Georgia) threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns but struggled in the red zone as the Lions lost for the first time this season.  Stafford was only 4-of-10 in the red zone as San Francisco beat the Lions 25-19.

“We threw the ball a lot tonight, and sometimes that’s going to happen,” said Stafford.  “They played a lot of man underneath coverage, so you know your completion percentage isn’t going to be as high. Guys did a great job catching the ball for me.  We just didn’t do enough and make enough plays to win the game”

The Lions loss was overshadowed by fireworks after the game between the head coaches as Lions coach Jim Schwartz took exception to the celebration and post-game handshake from San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh.

The NFL announced that neither coach will be fined.

“On Detroit-SF coach incident, fortunately, there was no fighting and thus no basis for a fine,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “However, both coaches told Ray Anderson today that their post-game conduct was wrong and will not happen again.”

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Did Bin Laden Cost Florida A National Title?

You gotta love the way no team has ever lost a game legitimately… at least not according to its fans.  The refs stole it.  The other team must’ve paid its players.  The sun got in our guys’ eyes.

Well how ’bout this one: “Osama bin Laden screwed us out of a national title!”

That’s the view of at least one Florida fan who contacted columnist Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel this week.  Here’s the fan’s theory, as told by Bianchi:

The Rex Grossman-led Gators had an open date and were schedule to play Tennessee in the third game of the season in 2001, but then 9/11 happened and the Southeastern Conference made the absolute right decision in cancelling all games that week.  The Florida-Tennessee game was moved to the end of the season — after the Gators’ previously scheduled regular-season final against Florida State. 

The Gators ended up routing Florida State 37-13, but star running back Earnest Graham injured his knee in a much-publicized incident with FSU defensive tackle Darnell Docket…

… Playing without the injured Graham and not entirely focused on Tennessee, the Gators lost 34-32 to the Vols.

If the Gators had beaten Tennessee, they would have advanced to the SEC Championship against LSU.  If they had won that, they would have advanced to the national championship game against Miami in the Rose Bowl.

Instead, Tennessee reached the SEC title game and was upset by Nick Saban’s LSU Tigers, knocking them out of a BCS Championship Game matchup with Miami.  The Hurricanes wound up pummeling Nebraska for the national crown.

What’s laughable about this complaint is that it’s so eerily similar to Tennessee fans’ loudest complaint of the last two decades.  The Gators have won 14 out of 18 against the Volunteers.  That’s 14 out of 17 if you only count those games played in September and dump the ’01 contest from the stat sheet.  As a result, many UT fans have hooted and hollered for the SEC to move the Vol-Gator matchup to the end of the season.  The 2001 game was even used as proof by some that the results of the series would be more even if the game came later in the season each year.

Perhaps both fanbases should simply focus on winning the game and forget about the calendar.  When the two foes meet — be it in September or December — both teams have to take the field and play.

The calendar is simply an excuse used by the losing fans.  Much like this bin Laden assertion.

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