Harvey Updyke

Harvey Updyke sentenced to three years for poisoning Toomer’s Corner oaks


Harvey Updyke has previously been known as the man accused of poisoning the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner. Now, he’s the man who actually did poison the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner. Or, at least admitted as such.

Two years after being arrested for allegedly poisoning the trees at the famous Auburn site, Updyke has finally met his legal fate. Following several delays in his trial — his most recent date was April 8 — Updyke changed his plea from not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to guilty on Friday.

Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob A. Walker II sentenced Updyke to three years on a charge of criminal damage of an agricultural facility, a Class-C felony. He was originally charged with first-degree criminal mischief, desecration of a venerated object and unlawful damage to a crop facility charges.

Updyke will remain incarcerated for six months — he’s already credited for serving 104 days in jail — and has been placed on five years of supervised probation after his release. He will also not be allowed to attend any college sporting event or talk with media. He is banned from any Auburn University property and has a 7 p.m. curfew.

Updyke, or “Al from Dadeville”, called the Paul Finebaum Show two years ago claiming he had spread herbicide around the trees following Auburn’s 2010 win in the Iron Bowl over Alabama.

The oak trees at Toomer’s Corner are expected to be removed late next month.

(Hat tip: al.com) 

Expect Oregon’s quarterback rotation to continue for the next two weeks

AP Photo

Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.

As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.

“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”

“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”

Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.

“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”

With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.

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.
AP Photo

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.