Will Cam Newton play? Will it even matter?

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Cameron Newton  of the Auburn Tigers reacts after scoring a touchdown against the LSU Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

One of the beauties of getting XM radio is that I get to listen to the Paul Finebaum show on a daily basis. For those that don’t know, Finebaum’s show is technically now a national college football radio show, but it can’t get away from its southeastern roots.

Every four out of five callers is from Alabama or Mississippi, and they’re crazy. The conspiracies they come up with on the officiating and play-calling from week to week would make Glenn Beck proud.

But the Cam Newton scandal has sent these folks into overdrive, and forced me to spend more time inside my car while it was sitting still in my driveway than one person should. People are blaming the press, Mississippi State, the press, Florida, the press, Nike, the press, Florida and the press. One caller, minutes after ESPN’s Joe Schad hung up with Finebaum, basically threatened to beat him up. It was amazing.

I don’t have a conspiracy theory on this, which is sad. But it will be really interesting to see how Auburn and Newton play today after having to listen to all of this over the last week.

I’m not picking the game because I have no idea who’s taking the field, but if Newton doesn’t play, expect the Bulldogs to win. A.J. Green has made them a legit SEC team. If Newton plays, however, the Tigers will roll on. Read the rest of this entry »

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Week 6 forecast: Will Sparty stop Denard Robinson? Will South Carolina pull the upset?

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25: Marcus Lattimore  of the South Carolina Gamecocks rushes against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

College football season continues to be awesome. It seems like every week I sit down to write my picks (which also continue to be awesome) there are a handful of games that are can’t miss.

I don’t know if that’s because there’s an increasing number of good teams in college football, or if all the cupcakes teams were feasting on at the beginning of the season beefed up their records artificially. Either way, I like being excited on a Friday night for what I’m about to see the next day, and I’ve been like that for a few weeks now.

This week is no different, in fact, it’s about as big as any weekend of the season. And maybe that’s artificially inflated for myself living in Michigan and seeing about 50% of my Facebook “friends” switch their profile picture to something Michigan or Michigan State related. It’s half exciting and half terribly annoying (example: New friend request from John Doe. Hmm, John Doe doesn’t ring a bell, I wonder what he looks like. Oh, he looks just like Denard Robinson. Strange. Ignore. (Not true, I never ignore. My ego can use all the friends it can get, virtual or not.)).

Enough parentheses, let’s get to the games. Read the rest of this entry »

It doesn’t get any better than Saban vs. Meyer (and several other great games)

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 06:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide congratulates head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators after the Gators 31-20 win in the SEC Championship on December 6, 2008 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Say what you want about Nick Saban and Urban Meyer (and believe me, there’s plenty to say about both of them), but they are very likely the two best coaches in college football right now.

The duo has combined for four national titles since 2003, and it wouldn’t be that far fetched to say they’ll combine to win another four in the next eight seasons. Alabama and Florida are at the top of the college football heap, and will continue to be there as long as these two men are at the top.

Apparently, they could have been together, but Saban big-timed Meyer and didn’t return his call in 1990. In Saban’s defense, 1990 was before caller ID (right?) and maybe his wife lost the phone number, or took it down wrong. Or maybe Saban is a big-timer (this is probably more likely). Either way, Urban seems to have forgiven him. Probably because he’s done well enough for himself since then.

Their teams play each other today, in what’s probably the game of the day when you consider everything (records, rankings, history, etc.). Click ahead to see who wins that one and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Stoops, Arizona look for big-time program win

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Coach Mike Stoops of the Arizona Wildcats celebrates with cornerback Mike Turner #2 after beating the USC Trojans 21-17 in the NCAA college football game at the Los Angeles Coliseum on December 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Under the direction of Mike Stoops, Arizona has won some very big games. The Wildcats knocked off a top 10 team three years in a row from 2005-07, with UCLA, California and Oregon all being their victims. This past year, Arizona even knocked off the Pac 10’s Goliath in USC.

But those wins all came late in the season, when Arizona had already piled up a handful of losses. One thing the Wildcats — who seem to perennially be thought of as a sleeper team — have not done, is capitalize on any preseason hype with a big-time early-season win.

They have the chance to do that tonight, though, when they play host to No. 9 Iowa. A win moves the Wildcats to 3-0 and gives them some serious national respect. It would also be a huge victory for the Pac 10, which is trying to assert itself as a top conference, even with a lethargic, and penalized, USC.

Can Stoops and Arizona pull it off? Click through for that prediction, and more from today’s games. Read the rest of this entry »

Florida receiver Chris Rainey faces stalking charge

GAINESVILLE, FL - APRIL 10: Running back Chris Rainey #3 of the Florida Gators signs autographs for fans before the Orange & Blue game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on April 10, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

After a lackluster showing in their season opener against Miami (OH) two weeks ago, No. 10 Florida got back on track last Saturday with a convincing 38-14 victory over South Florida.

But the program has suffered some embarrassment to start the week, as receiver Chris Rainey has been charged with aggravated stalking, which is a third-degree felony.

SI.com has the details:

According to Gainesville Police, Rainey sent the woman he dated on and off the last three years a text message that read, “Time to die,” after leaving her home Monday night.

Officer Jesse Bostick said the woman fell asleep and missed a call from Rainey. Rainey went to her home, they talked and she told him to leave. According to Bostick, the woman got the text a short time later and called police.

Florida has not announced what disciplinary action it will take against Rainey, though Gators’ offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Tuesday, “Chris Rainey is not a part of our team right now. That’s really all I have to say on that.”

The young women asked for the charges to be dropped.

“I did not want to have him arrested,” she said. “When the police came, I signed papers to not press any charges. I don’t fear for my safety. … People all over the country have been calling my cell phone. I’m not afraid of him. I’m more afraid of all the repercussions.”

The good thing here is that the woman didn’t feel threatened, but that doesn’t mean Rainey should escape punishment, obviously. It’ll be interesting to see how the Gators handle the situation and if Rainey will remain a part of Florida’s program.

Although I have to admit, if they do kick him off the team I don’t see how that’s helping the kid out. He clearly messed up and taking away football may put him on track to make future mistakes because he lacks that structure in his life. I think it would be best for all parties if he could learn from his mistake under the tutelage of Urban Meyer, even if the team has to suspend him for a certain period of time.

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