Multiple sources with direct knowledge of last week's discussions in South Florida have confirmed to SI.com that the new favored proposal for a four-team playoff within the bowl system would place the two semifinal games at the traditional anchor bowls of the No. 1 and 2 teams' conferences. For example, No. 1 Alabama of the SEC would host the No. 4 team in the Sugar Bowl, while No. 2 USC of the Pac-12 would host the No. 3 team in the Rose Bowl.
Earlier this year, Neighbors spoke to The Huntsville Times about the 50th anniversary of the 1961 national championship. "We had somebody over there hollerin' at us," Neighbors told The Times. "Coach Bryant was a great defensive coach. You've got to be lined up right to make plays, and he made sure we were lined up right. "We were fast and quick and we were in great condition and we'd get after you," Neighbors said. "It was unreal Remember, we had to play both ways. We had to learn how to count to three. (Today) they don't have to."
4 SEC players picked by the Colts, more than any other NFL team this year. The Bills and Vikings selected three SEC players apiece. The Colts took Alabama DT Josh Chapman, Mississippi State RB Vick Ballard, Georgia OT Justin Anderson and Vanderbilt DE Tim Fugger. Eight teams -- the Dolphins, 49ers, Jaguars, Lions, Raiders, Redskins, Saints and Titans -- did not pick an SEC player this year.
This time last year, Virginia found themselves with precisely zero quarterbacks with any collegiate starting experience. Suddenly, the Hoos find themselves with perhaps an overabundance: Michael Rocco, who fought for and rightfully won the starting position over Ross Metheny. David Watford, who ended up seeing playing time last year as a role QB rather than the total package. Greyson Lambert, the stud that enrolled early after choosing Virginia over offers from Alabama and Georgia, and who will likely take a redshirt next year. It's still yet unknown whether Sims will need to sit out a year or not. He played his redshirt freshman this past year at Alabama, and under traditional transfer rules, he'd have to sit out the 2012 year and wait until 2013 to play, as a junior. But he's applying to the NCAA for a hardship waiver, which may be granted for players moving closer to home for family issues.
When you compare the potential of a college running back to the greats who have played the professional game, it's not a stretch to call ANY recruit "ordinary". But that all changes with that first snap from scrimmage. Actions speak louder than words. And like Richardson said, he's got a lot to prove if he's going to be measured up against the greats who have played the game... including Jim Brown. For the sake of Cleveland Brown fans everywhere... I hope he makes Jim Brown eat his words.
"Real smart guy, similar to [Jerod] Mayo I would say in terms of leadership and command, and being able to run the defense, and that type of thing," Belichick said. "He's big, over 260 [pounds], somewhere in that range, 260-to-270, big strong guy that can do some different things, or at least did for Alabama. We'll see exactly where he's going to fit in here. I think he's got some versatility, different but similar to Mike Vrabel in some respects, playing outside, playing inside, playing down, playing up, that type of thing where he might have different roles for us depending on what unit we have out there."
"The Ravens had a great weekend. Any time you move out of the first round, still get a guy with first-round talent, and he happens to fill your biggest need, you're happy. Courtney Upshaw isn't a gifted pass-rusher, but he does exactly what Jarret Johnson did, sealing the edge against the run. He plays with relentless energy and has the experience to start immediately.
*The fall of Alabama pass rusher Courtney Upshaw to the third pick in the second round was not shocking. Some personnel men anticipated him falling after Upshaw showed up at his pro day weighing 279 pounds. Upshaw looked surprised when his weight was revealed. He may have discouraged 3-4 teams from considering him at outside linebacker, and caused some to question his commitment. Said one front office man, "That weight hurt him."
Safety: Starters Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis are coming off surgeries, so Alabama’s De’Quan Menzie, their fifth-round pick, gives the Chiefs a backup plan.
Tennessee’s Derek Dooley estimated at last summer’s SEC Media Days that he’d be taking the field in the fall with a roster composed of 70 percent freshmen and sophomores. He’s got 19 returning starters for 2012, mostly juniors now. But is that a positive, given last season’s gutting, galling results? Dooley paused for a moment in his office on the afternoon of his third spring game as head coach of the Vols. "You know, that’s a good question."
Furman, a redshirt sophomore, was a special teams contributor last season as one of Michigan's top gunners on punt coverage. He was expected to compete for a spot in the two-deep at safety this spring, but was suspended. He is expected to compete for a slot behind starting safeties Thomas Gordon and Jordan Kovacs this fall.