April 27, 2010
Making the morning rounds ...
• Today's hypothetical expansion scenario... The SEC is putting together contingency plans to keep pace in the conference expansion arms race if the Big Ten adds more than one team, and all brainwaves point to Texas as the most coveted target. De facto SEC historian Paul Finebaum notes today that the conference has pursued Texas before, as part of the expansion effort that ultimately added Arkansas and South Carolina in the early nineties, and met with a verrrry receptive audience in Austin -- at least until word trickled over the state capitol, where influential Aggies in the legislature put the kibosh on the move by demanding Texas A&M come with UT as part of a package deal. If they hadn't, says former commissioner/original expansion brainchild Harvey Schiller, the Longhorns may be in the SEC today, and there may have never been a Big 12 -- just as there may not be a Big 12 in any recognizable sense if UT can be lured eastward the next time around. [Associated Press, Mobile Press-Register]
• Pot kettle busted. Four N.C. State players were hit with misdemeanor marijuana charges Saturday after police found weed and paraphernalia at their off-campus apartment. Coach Tom O'Brien hasn't issued any verdict or punishment, but it's safe bet Wolfpack fans have seen the last of defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy, already on suspension after being arrested for assaulting a bus driver who'd booted him from the bus for being "loud and obnoxious" last month. [Associated Press]
• Speaking of pot... Tight end Aaron Hernandez's otherwise baffling slide into the third round of last weekend's draft was the result of multiple failed drug tests at Florida, according to several anonymous NFL sources who said Hernandez owned up to a little college toking at the combine (where he passed the drug test, for what it's worth). Former Gator teammate Percy Harvin was also tabbed as a pothead at last year, though it didn't hurt him nearly as much on draft day. [Boston Globe]
• Bye bye Bulldog. Logan Gray, apparent also-ran in Georgia's spring quarterback derby, is considering a transfer that would leave the Bulldogs in dire straits behind presumptive starter Aaron Murray. With likely No. 2 Zach Mettenberger booted from the team shortly after spring practice, Gray's exit would probably leave true freshman Hutson Mason as the only viable backup option in the fall. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
• RIP. Pennsylvania defensive end Owen Thomas, a second-team All-Ivy pick in 2009 and newly elected team captain, was found dead at his off-campus residence Monday afternoon. The university said cause of death hasn't been determined but "no foul play is suspected." [Associated Press]
Quickly ... Mark Ingram's hometown in Michigan might name a stretch of highway after the Heisman winner. ... Even as a Bronco, Tim Tebow is helping Jacksonville Jaguar ticket sales, after all. ... Kansas State starters overcome Bill Snyder's devious mind games in the spring game. ... And Lane Kiffin still trails Danica Patrick in the second round of Esquire's "Sexiest Woman Alive" bracket. Do your duty.