Auburn Trees Poisoned

No federal charges, but Updyke indicted by grand jury


An already bizarre story has taken yet another head-scratching twist as reports from Tuesday night that reportedly emanated from Harvey Updyke‘s attorney have now been shown to be false.

Here’s a piece of the report published last night by Evan Woodbery of the Birmingham News regarding Updyke, who is facing state charges for allegedly poisoning Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner oaks late last year.

Harvey Updyke now faces federal charges related to the poisoning of oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in downtown Auburn, his attorney tells WSFA.

His attorney, Glennon Threatt of Birmingham, told WSFA in Montgomery that Updyke now faces six additional federal charges. Threatt did not provide details and had not yet returned calls.

Wednesday morning, the Opelika-Auburn News has reported that the story whose genesis was apparently on the Birmingham television station has been determined to be incorrect.  Instead, the News writes, “a Lee County (Ala.) grand jury has indicted the Alabama fan accused of poisoning the Toomer’s Oaks sometime after the 2010 Iron Bowl on multiple charges, including criminal mischief and the desecration of a venerated object.”

According to court documents, the grand jury indicted Harvey Updyke Jr. on two counts of first-degree criminal mischief, a felony charge; two counts of desecrating a venerated object, a misdemeanor charge; and two counts of unlawful damage, vandalism or theft of property from a farm animal or crop facility, a felony charge.

An arraignment has been scheduled for May 26, with a tentative trial date of June 20.  And then, hopefully, within a week or so we’ll never again have to type the name “Harvey Updyke”.

It remains unclear, incidentally, how the erroneous report regarding federal charges originated in the first place.

SEC shut out of AP top five for first time in half a decade

Stephen F. Austin visits Amon G. Carter Stadium to play the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs.
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The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.

Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.

And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.

That group breaks down as follows:

  1. Ohio State
  2. TCU
  3. Baylor
  4. Michigan State
  5. Utah

An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Oregon
  3. Boise State
  4. TCU
  5. Nebraska

Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.

None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.

Georgia loses ILB Reggie Carter for the season

Reggie Carter, Charone Peake
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After battling to get on the field throughout the season’s first five weeks, Georgia is shutting down inside linebacker Reggie Carter for the rest of the year, Dawgs head coach Mark Richt confirmed Sunday evening.

Carter fought shoulder problems throughout the year, and saw action in only one of Georgia’s first five games. A junior, Carter will be eligible for a medical redshirt.

The Snellville, Ga., native recorded 28 tackles in 12 appearances in 2014 and eight tackles in eight appearances as a freshman in 2013. UAB transfer Jake Ganus started in the spot many pegged to Carter before injure ruptured his season.

Carter totaled two stops in one appearance this season.