No Wavering, Football Movers and SEC's Down Year

Phillip Marshall writes about a variety of subjects in this column.

Ramblin' around…

Seldom has so much been made of so little as last week when speculation was rampant that Jeff Lebo might bolt for Tennessee after one year at Auburn.

Talking to people at both schools, the truth of the matter is this: There was never any serious interest on either side. Tennessee was looking elsewhere from the beginning and Lebo had no interest in leaving Auburn.

"He's never wavered," said one close to him. "He was never going anywhere."

Lebo believes he can win big at Auburn. It's not like it's never been done. Sonny Smith went to five straight NCAA Tournaments, advancing to the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight in consecutive years. Cliff Ellis took Auburn to the Sweet 16 twice.

Jeff Lebo

Time will tell if Lebo can get it done, but he certainly gave every indication this season that he can…

I've said it before and I'll say it again. No Auburn football team in my memory has had more speed and athleticism than the one that will take the field against Georgia Tech on Sept. 3…

Gabe Gross is having the spring of his life with the Blue Jays. Whether he starts the season in Triple-A or in the big leagues, his day in the sun is coming soon. It couldn't happen to a classier young man…

Meredith Jenkins will soon move out of Auburn's media relations office to become to a higher ranking administrative job overseeing women's sports with senior women's administrator Barbara Camp.

Those of us who have worked with her over the years will certainly miss having her in the media relations department. She's a professional in every sense of the word and has been among the nation's best…

According to people who should know, safety Junior Rosegreen, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and defensive end Bret Eddins helped themselves significantly with their workouts at Auburn's Pro Day on Monday. It goes without saying that Jason Campbell opened more eyes and maybe took a big step toward being a first-round pick…

Does anyone else wonder how, considering his own past, Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron keeps from turning red with embarrassment that two of his coaches have lost their jobs after being arrested on alcohol-related charges?…

That wide receivers Ben Obomanu and Lee Guess are going to earn their Auburn degrees in three years is nothing short of remarkable. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to do that and play college football. Heck, it takes a tremendous amount of discipline to do that if all you do is go to school. Noseguard Tommy Jackson, by the way, will earn his degree in 3 1/2 years …

Anyone who thinks Auburn won't face a serious test against Georgia Tech in the season-opener isn't being realistic. The Yellow Jackets return 10 starters off a defense that was among the nation's best last season. Quarterback Reggie Ball, who wanted to play for Auburn, got some revenge in Georgia Tech's 17-3 victory in 2003. He'll be out for more on Sept. 3…

There is no longer any debate. SEC basketball in 2004-2005 was the weakest it has been in years. Only Kentucky managed to get to the Sweet 16, and even the Wildcats aren't nearly as imposing as in previous seasons. West Division co-champions Alabama and LSU were both one-and-done. The league was very young this season. Next season should be significantly better...

Numerous radio talk show types seem to believe the NIT should fade into history. They point to relatively small crowds at many games. My question: What does it hurt? Anyone who doesn't find it interesting doesn't have to watch…

Bobby Knight proved again this season he can coach, getting Texas Tech to the Sweet 16. Not many have ever questioned his coaching prowess, but he has long been, in my opinion, a black eye on college basketball. He demands discipline from his players, which is a good thing, but he doesn't hold himself to the same standards... Until next time …


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