Weekly College Football Musings - Preseason

Christian Ponder

Today we resume our habit of weekly observations of the college football world. With less than three weeks to go until the opening weekend there is much going on out there, so let's get into it.

Terry Bowden's halfway house ---- Malcontents at major programs can rest easy knowing that Terry Bowden and the University of North Alabama is there for them. The Division II school is becoming a haven for transfers adding WR Jarmon Fortson (FSU), Steven Wesley (Miami) and Rod Woodson ('Bama) this summer. Fortson becomes the sixth former Seminole on the Lions roster. You have to wonder if Jamar Hornsby might end up there when he gets out of jail.

Ben Jones hurt ---- If Michael Pouncey isn't the best center in the SEC Ben Jones is. But the Georgia blocker will be on the shelf for awhile after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee. The Bulldogs hope to have Jones back for the season opener against Louisiana Lafayette on September 4th, but they NEED him back for game two at South Carolina.

Alabama defenseless ---- I've written several times that people are under-appreciating the problems Alabama is likely to have replacing nine starters from last year's defense. Well the Crimson Tide proved my point in a scrimmage Saturday. Quarterbacks Greg McElroy and A.J. McCarron combined to complete 47-of-59 passes for 603 yards and eight touchdowns in the workout. Puts an entirely new meaning to the phrase, "the defense rests."

Something to Ponder ---- Florida State established a website to promote QB Christian Ponder for the Heisman Trophy. They might be re-considering that effort today. The Seminoles offense turned it over a reported five or six times and incurred the wrath of Coach Jimbo Fisher for a sloppy afternoon of work. Ponder was 4-and-5 as a starter last season.

Hold the Masoli ---- Don't give the starting QB at Ole Miss to Jeremiah Masoli just yet. Many expect the Oregon transfer to get the keys to the Ole Miss offense, but it hasn't happened yet. Rebels soach Houston Nutt said after one scrimmage that Nathan Stanley remains the No. 1 guy with Masoli and Randall Mackey behind.

Keep your mouth closed ---- That's a requirement for LSU linebacker Ryan Baker who is out at least a month after suffering a broken jaw. Baker was listed as a starter after spring practice but it now appears LSU will not have him for at least the first two games against North Carolina and Vanderbilt.

Reggie says he's sorry ---- USC athletic director Pat Haden tells all that Reggie Bush has apologized to him for the trouble he's caused the Trojans program. Haden says Bush claimed is he could go back and fix things he would, and if he could return the Heisman Trophy he would. Hey Reggie, that you can do. Just box up the trophy and send it to the Heisman Trust, 17 Battery Place, Suite 943, New York, N.Y. 10004.

Big Ten unsure of divisions ---- The "Conference That Can't Count" will have 12 members next year and will play its football championship game in Indianapolis. However, commissioner Jim Delany is not sure how the league will break up into two divisions of six teams each. Delany says preserving rivalries and establishing competitive balance is more important than geography. Common sense says Nebraska will link up with Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Northwestern in the Western Division with Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Indiana and Purdue in the Eastern half.

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