Top of the morning, everyone. Just wanted to give you guys a heads up that there won't be a mailbag piece this week. I'm pulling a bit of double duty covering the JPs, so I wasn't able to do it. Speaking of the mailbag, the coffer is getting a little light, so please send in your questions to RBRMailbag@gmail.com, so we can keep that alive.
Braxton Miller new Heisman Trophy favorite as Manziel's odds slide | CBS Sports
"If he does in fact get suspended by the NCAA and is not starting against Alabama, the Aggies will move from getting only 4.5 points to at least two-touchdown underdogs in that game. It will also impact the spreads on their whole schedule moving their win total from 9.5 to 7.5 and their BCS Championship odds from 12-1 to 33-1, if not higher. Ohio State's Braxton Miller who was at 13-2 odds to win the Heisman will now be the new front-runner with odds of under 5-1."
It's easy to see why Braxton Miller is getting all of this preseason Heisman love. After all here are his numbers:
Total Yards - 2,937, Completion % - 67.2, Total TDs - 31, INTs - 3, Passer Rating - 175.28
Those are pretty impressive num... whoops. Those are actually AJ's numbers from last year. Here are Braxton's:
Total Yards - 3,310. Completion % - 58.3, Total TDs - 28, INTs - 6, Passer Rating - 140.48
I would also point out that 13 of Braxton's touchdowns came on the ground, so in the air he has a pretty pedestrian 15/6 TD to INT ratio. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on who deserves the hype this year.
LSU's Jeremy Hill reinstated, begins practice immediately | CBS Sports
Tigers coach Les Miles said Hill will face "internal" punishment, but the sophomore running back was allowed to begin practice immediately. It is still possible that Hill could miss time as a result of his recent legal troubles, but Miles declined to say how many, if any, games would be added to his punishment
According to Miles, Hill's reinstatement came as a result of a team vote on Monday afternoon. With the backing of his teammates, Hill pledged to be a better teammate and apologized for the "poor choice" that almost cost him the 2013 season.
It's okay, everyone. He said he was sorry. I'm afraid I let my naivete hang out on this one, because I truly believed that there was a real chance that Hill would have his probation revoked. Alas, it turns out face punching is looked on a lot lighter in some circles.
Robert Nkemdiche already making noise | ESPN
During Monday morning's practice, Nkemdiche was already getting some reps with the first-team defense. Expect that to increase, and expect coaches to let Nkemdiche be himself, as they try to build two parts of his game this fall.
Nkemdiche is one of the players I'm most excited seeing this fall. He definitely has the physical abilities to make some noise this year.
Top Virginia Tech CB Antone Exum ruled out for season opener vs. Alabama | AL.com
Virginia Tech won't have its top veteran cornerback on the field when it faces Alabama in Atlanta to open the 2013 season.
Senior Antone Exum, who tore his ACL and suffered a broken bone in his knee during an offseason pick-up basketball game, won't play against the Crimson Tide and could be out until October, Virginia Tech trainer Mike Goforth told reporters Monday.
Virginia Tech is doing a pretty terrible job of helping me not overlook them as a potential threat. You don't want to be shorthanded at all when going up against Bama, but with this wide receiving corps, you definitely don't want a man down in your defensive backfield, particularly not if the downed man is your most veteran cornerback. Way too early prediction - AJ's arm is going to be tired from all the touchdowns on September 1.
Monday Practice Report | AL.com
Not a lot to report here, honestly. It sounds like a couple guys got dinged up a bit in Sunday's practice. Most notably, Reuben Foster seemed to have injured a middle finger or two on his left hand and had his hand taped up. Jeoffrey Pagan has some sort of small injury with his left knee, and didn't participate in all of the drills. Finally, Deion Belue didn't participate in drills due to an injury to his left hamstring. The team will practice today, and then twice tomorrow. Coach Saban will hold a press conference after practice today. We'll have a press conference piece up this afternoon or this evening (depending on when the video becomes available). We should get some more information about those injuries then.
Here are some practice videos from AL.com
Reuben Foster, Deion Belue, Jeoffrey Pagan (if you'd like to obsess over the possible injuries)
And as always, we end by turning our thoughts to the almighty clock, may it's hours be like seconds these three long weeks. Amen.