LSU v Alabama

Alabama has the look of a champion in win over LSU


The last six regular-season meetings between Alabama and Louisiana State before 2013 were decided by a grand total of 32 points.

This year, the Crimson Tide decided to leave no doubt.

T.J. Yeldon rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns and A.J. McCarron threw three toucdown passes as No. 1 Alabama (9-0, 6-0) overwhelmed No. 13 LSU (7-3, 3-3), 38-17, in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night.

Along the way, the Tide sent a message: If you want to win the BCS title, you will have to take it way from us.

Alabama did what championship teams do. It took LSU’s best punches for a couple quarters and then put its foot on its opponent’s throat.  A game deadlocked at 17 early in the third quarter turned into a romp, as Alabama went on a 21-0 run to finish it off.

This could be the start of a late run at the Heisman for McCarron, who went 14 of 20 for 179 yards with no turnovers. He’ll have a chance to further burnish his credential when Alabama takes on Auburn and, potentially, the SEC East champ in the conference title game.

LSU will be kicking itself a little come tomorrow, though. The Tigers moved the ball well in the early going, but a J.C. Copeland fumble at the Alabama three squashed one scoring opportunity. An 82-yard kickoff return by Odell Beckham in the fourth quarter that placed LSU at the Bama 18-yard line was squandered after Zach Mettenberger  (16/23, 241 yards, 1 TD) threw three-straight incompletions to force a turnover on downs.

The Alabama defense was just too stingy and opportunistic to fall prey to the usual assortment of lucky bounces and bobbles that tend to go Les Miles’ way in games like this.

The Crimson Tide were just the better team. This win shows that, for all the talk of FSU or Ohio State, they are clear favorites to win their third-straight national title.

And, tonight they showed that it’s going to take a herculean effort to stop them.

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press

As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.