The Long Snapper (3/1/10)


It seems that everywhere you look these days, people are talking about the NFL Draft.  While I’ve made it my goal to try to focus on the college football-side of sports, I will dip into the NFL from time to time to talk about a few former Gators and Bulls and some other former college stars.  Former



Tim Tebow

impressed at the combine, running a 4.72 in the 40-yard dash.  That was good for the fourth-best time among quarterbacks and great for a guy his size.  Former



Matt Grothe

is still rehabbing the injury to his knee which cost him the majority of his senior season.  He hopes to be able to perform at 100% during the Bulls’ pro day and has a tryout with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL lined up.  USF wide receiver

Carlton Mitchell

ran a 4.44 and 4.42 at the combine (his official time came in at 4.49), which wasn’t what he had hoped, but still a good time for a receiver that’s 6’3”, 215 lbs.  Mitchell should get some looks due to his measurables alone.

Clemson’s Jacoby Ford

flew, clocking in at 4.28 in the 40.  There was talk of

LSU’s Trindon Holliday

running in the low 4.2s, but

his official time ended up at 4.34

.  One of the early stories of the combine was the dominance shown by former


offensive lineman

Bruce Campbell

.  At 310 lbs., Campbell clocked the fastest 40-yard dash time among offensive linemen at 4.85.  Because of that, he has apparently already skyrocketed up some draft boards.  Buyer beware though.  Campbell didn’t perform as well on the field during the 2009 season as he did at the combine.  I can’t be the only one out there a little weary of the combine numbers former Terrapins have put up over the years.

While the BCS continues to get hounded over the way it crowns a FBS champion, the FCS has been quietly making some changes to its playoff structure.  Starting with the upcoming season, the FCS will hold its championship game in Frisco, Texas.  But that’s not the big news.  The big news is the expansion of its playoffs to include 20 teams (up from 16 teams).  Oddly enough, not all FCS conferences send teams to the FCS playoffs, but don’t worry, I won’t get in to explaining which ones and why.  One thing the FCS has learned is that, for it, a playoff works and now they want more of it.  One more round to determine their champion.  Four more teams added to the mix.  It’s hard to say if we’ll ever see a playoff in the FBS, but when the FCS one comes around this fall, do yourself a favor and watch it.  There’s some good football happening at the lower levels.

On that note, former Auburn and current FSU Community College North Alabama head coach Terry Bowden doesn’t believe there is any reason the FBS shouldn’t adopt a playoff system similar to that at lower levels.  He says the levels of fun and excitement alone would be great for the top tier of college football.  For more about what Bowden had to say about the playoffs, his job at North Alabama, and coaching, head over to the full story.  That is, if you want to hear more from him.  Me personally?  I always liked Terry’s willingness to tell it like it is.  Never seemed to shy away from giving his opinion.

No school is safe from the inevitable player-doing-something-inexplicably-stupid-during-the-offseason bug.  The Citadel is the latest to come down with the disease.  Quarterback Miguel Starks was arrested and charged with – get ready for the list – armed robbery, first-degree burglary, kidnapping, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.  Starks and three others entered the victim’s home, tied him up, and took a collection of his possessions.  The Citadel has yet to take action in regards to Starks position with the team, but has released a statement saying they are saddened by the news.  I know this goes firmly in the “those in glass houses” file, but I have to wonder aloud how Starks thought any of this was a good idea.  Temptation in one thing; committing a violent crime is another.  My guess is if it really went down as reported, Starks won’t be a member of the football team much longer.

Fortunate or not, we live in a world where everyone has a voice.  And with technology where anyone can make their voice heard.  Some even get paid to do so.  With that, I give you Dennis Dodd’s suggestions for the new Ole Miss mascot in fancy top 10 list form.  I warn you before clicking through (even though you may have already done so), it’s not funny and not the least bit creative.  It’s no secret; I’m not a fan of Dodd.  This doesn’t make me change my opinion in any way.  I am, however, a fan of lists.  Lists are neat and clean and can sometimes be enjoyable to look over.  This particular list isn’t one of that nature, but if you haven’t already, enjoy it for the name: Dodds and Ends.  Oh the cleverness; it practically oozes off the page.  I wish I had a name that lent itself to something as creative, but sadly I do not.  The closest I could probably get is Bull Shit and even that isn’t creative as much as vulgar to some (side note: if it is vulgar to you, loosen up, life it too short to care about someone saying…gasp…a bad word).  Bull DroppingsGator Bits.  None really scream LIST COMING!!!  But there is one coming…

Consider this new feature #1 in The Long Snapper (by numbering it, I’ve indicated there is another one coming below…see how I did that?).  Now taking suggestions for a pithy, creative, sometimes humorous title to the list and, of course, for list inclusions.  You know how to reach me.  I’ll start slow with three quick shots.  Although three is by no means the rule.

1. USF’s Jason Pierre-Paul and Kion Wilson are more athletic than you’ll ever be.

2. EDSBS has fun with Chatroulette and James Wilder Jr.

3. Eastern Washington is installing red turf.  I’m doing orange in my backyard.

For those that don’t remember, The Long Snapper had a companion post for a short time.  The Sixth Man didn’t last long, but looked ever so briefly into college basketball.  I will freely admit I’m not a huge basketball fan, but I definitely enjoy it.  The big difference is that I know much less about the Xs and Ox of basketball than I do of football (that’s not to say I’m an expert when it comes to football at all, just much more versed than the sport on the court).  Because of that, I never got into basketball nearly as much as football.  But this time of year, it’s hard not to love the college game.  Today marks the first day of March, meaning conference tournaments and the Big Dance aren’t far around the corner.  With that, I bring back The Sixth Man.  Not its own column anymore.  Just a part of The Long Snapper.  One point of discussion.  One small topic to mull over.  Maybe something to spark some comments (doubtful).  If anything, a way to keep me with the knowledge that there are still other sports out there.  So here we go…

The Sixth Man: While researching (if you can call it that) items to cover in today’s post, I came across a message board posting on Alligator Alley on  The main idea of the original post was that Florida basketball player Dan Werner shouldn’t be blamed for his inadequacies.  Instead, Gator head coach Billy Donovan should be blamed for allowing Werner so many minutes on the court.  As expected, there were a great number of replies (Werner has been a hot topic for Florida fans for a few seasons now).  Posters seemed to take the following sides: blame Werner, blame Donovan, blame other players for not stepping up, blame recruiting over the past few years, blame a team still finding an identity, don’t blame anyone, or leave Werner alone because he’s just a kid trying his best.  I’m not sure exactly where I stand.  On one hand, I don’t believe Werner has the all-around talent to be playing as many minutes as he does for a team I expect to be in the NCAA Tournament year after year after year.  On the other, maybe Werner does deserve as many minutes on a perennial NIT team – something, whether we like it or not, the Gators have become.  I find it hard to blame Donovan because this season’s team has had issues with consistency of play and injuries, so I’m not really sure what the answer to “who gets Werner’s minutes?” is at the moment.  One argument – the final one – is typically one I go either way with.  When a recruit chooses to attend a rival school, I tend to say “how can we fault an 18-year-old for making the decision he thought best for him?” even though I may be thinking “I can’t wait until Florida plays his team and he gets run over!”  When someone makes a bad play, I may be one of the first to stand up and yell at the television.  I’m not sure if that’s right or wrong.  Honestly, I don’t care.  I’m a fan and sometimes I can’t understand why a certain player did a certain thing and I may voice my opinion regardless of if he’s a “kid” or not.  What I won’t do, is take one side and pretend I’m better than others.  I’ll continue to say I’m a passionate fan who wants the best for the team.  If what’s best for the team is putting a player who isn’t cutting it on the bench, so be it.  Whatever argument you support, some of the heat Werner has gotten recently is deserved.  When a performer of any kind does a bad job, he should be ready to handle the critics.  That’s not to say the critics are right or wrong in what they do, but that it’s going to happen.  These are big, visible programs we’re talking about.  No it’s not the NBA or NFL, but this is a program that won back-to-back National Championships only a few short years ago.  A high level of play is necessary at all times.  If Werner, or whoever for that matter, isn’t performing, they’re going to hear about it.  And finally, the “it’s not like you could do better, who are you to say anything?” argument never suffices.  If we all went by that, I wouldn’t have this site and you wouldn’t be visiting it.