Since practices were by and large closed to the public the last three years, we really don’t know what kind of teachers offensive line coaches Frank Verducci and Tim Davis were. Generally speaking, what you see in games is a reflection of what is taught in practice and the yards per play the last three years – 5.42 in 2011; 5.25 in 2012; 4.79 in 2013 – would indicate that neither Verducci or Davis did a very good job of teaching technique.
We won’t know until the games begin for real if Mike Summers is an effective teacher, but if you’ve had a chance to catch any of Florida’s open practices so far then you’ve seen a natural born teacher go about his craft. Every single play is a teaching/learning opportunity and Summers doesn’t miss a chance to teach. On one play you’ll see him working on footwork. The next he’s teaching leverage. Then he’s tipping his guys on what to look for from the defensive guy across the line of scrimmage. There is very little yelling but a lot of instruction. The body language we see from the O-linemen in practice so far seems to tell us that whatever it is Summers is selling, they’re buying.
If what we’ve seen so far is a true indicator of future events, then it would seem that Mike Summers is a serious upgrade from the past three years.
Alabama: Nick Saban was non-committal about the quarterback battle between fifth-year senior Blake Sims and Florida State transfer Jacob Coker. “We’re not pleased or satisfied completely with where they are, but we’re not disappointed in the progress that we’re making at that position.” Does everyone understand? ... Suspensions and injuries have Alabama playing a lot of freshmen and redshirt freshmen along the defensive line. The big injury is he knee spran in A’Shawn Robinson.
Arkansas: Second year head coach Bret Bielema says the Razorbacks are “so much further along than we were at this time last year” ... Quarterback Brandon Allen threw for 191 yards and hit wide receiver Drew Morgan for a pair of touchdowns in Saturday’s scrimmages. Backup quarterback Austin Allen was 15-19 for 139 yards passing.
Auburn: Quarterback Nick Marshall, expected to be one of the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy, talked to the media Sunday for the first time since his marijuana citation. Sounding rather contrite, Marshall said, “I made a mistake and I’m just trying to gain the trust back of my coaches, my teammates and Auburn fans. I’m just going to accept my punishment with open hands. The incident that happened is just going to change me and make [me] a better man.” Marshall will not start Auburn’s season opener against Arkansas but head coach Gus Malzahn hasn’t indicated just how much time his star QB will miss in that game.
Georgia: Stud linebacker Ramik Wilson has missed four consecutive practice days. His spot in the lineup is being taken by sophomore Reggie Carter, who was Wilson’s backup last season ... The defense didn’t give up any big plays in Georgia’s first scrimmage. That doesn’t mean the quarterbacks didn’t light it up. Hutson Mason was 10-13 for 104 yards, Faton Bauta was 7-12 for 102 yards and Brice Ramsey was 8-16 for 134 yards. This, in spite of giving up six sacks.
Kentucky: Kentucky freshman nose tackle Matt Elam has slimmed down from 395 to 375. He’s 6-7 and a former US Army All-American. Kentucky defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot says, “Imagine a big train going fast down the track. When you see someone that big, you just don’t expect to see an explosion and someone so quick off the ball. And he has all that.”
LSU: The battle for the starting quarterback job between Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris is so tight that insiders are thinking it might not be decided until midseason ... Quentin Thomas, expected to start at defensive tackle, will miss the entire season with a torn biceps.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have 18 starters returning and 30 players with starting experience, but there are holes to be filled at left guard and right tackle. Right tackle is a battle between Damien Robinson (6-8, 330) and Justin Malone (6-7, 320). Left guard is being locked down by Jamaal Clayborn (6-4, 315) ... Redshirt freshman wide receiver Shelby Christy will miss the entire season after tearing an ACL in Friday’s practice.
Missouri: The defense got the win at the Saturday scrimmage, earning an 18-16 win over the offense when sophomore corner Aarion Penton intercepted a pass at the goal line. It was the second pick of the day for Penton ... Marcus Murphy led the runners with 58 yards while quarterback Maty Mauk completed 16-26 passes for 153 yards.
Ole Miss: No matter who the Rebels played on the offensive line, Robert Nkemdiche was too big a load to handle in Saturday’s scrimmage. His constant pressure on the quarterbacks led to several interceptions including two by corner Senquez Golson ... When he actually had time to throw the ball, quarterback Bo Wallace connected for two touchdown passes including one to Laquon Treadwell.
South Carolina: Brendan Nosovitch considered transferring but has decided to remain at South Carolina. Nosovitch apparently has been passed up for third on the the quarterback depth chart by walk-on Perry Orth, who was 9-13 for 147 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s scrimmage. Nosovitch might end up at tight end ... First team quarterback Dylan Thompson completed 9-15 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown and led the first team offense on a 70-yard scoring drive.
Tennessee: Head coach Butch Jones says the Vols “grew up” and “matured” during their first scrimmage of fall camp. Jones admitted there were “a lot of mistakes, penalties, turning the ball over” but says he was happy with the overall team approach ... Freshman defensive end Derek Barnett is getting rave reviews for his play the first week of practice.
Texas A&M: It’s a dead heat for the starting quarterback battle between sophomore Kenny Hill and freshman Kyle Allen ... Stud tackle Cedric Ogbuehi was in a boot Saturday. He’s got a heel bruise and was in a boot as a precautionary measure. Corner De’Vante Harris missed the scrimmage with a urinary tract infection.
Vanderbilt: Running back Brian Kimbrow went down with an ankle injury and was helped from the field. Head coach Derek Mason later said the injury wouldn’t keep Kimbrow out of practice long ... Vanderbilt will go two-a-day four times this week ... At the Commodores’ weekend scrimmage, the defense dominated.
Perhaps lost in the headlines of the Ed O’Bannon case, which the NCAA lost last week, is the fact that the decision by the judge doesn’t apply to non-revenue sports. With rare exceptions, the only revenue producing sports on Division I campuses are football and men’s basketball, but if those athletes get compensation and the women don’t, you can expect another round of lawsuits. What happens next is going to be dicey because Judge Claudia Wilken ruled the NCAA can’t cap the amount of a scholarship at less than the actual cost of attendance. Cost of attendance will vary from school to school but the figure that kept being talked about in the lawsuit was $5,000, which is more than the $3,000 figure that has been talked about for months in the talks about autonomy for the power conferences plus Notre Dame. The judge doesn’t think compensating players will drive any school to “financial ruin,” citing high coaches salaries and spending on facilities as ample proof there is more than enough money.
Injuries have put Tiger Woods’ quest for Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 wins in majors in doubt. While Tiger ponders his health and his future, Rory McIroy has won four majors after Sunday’s win in the PGA and he’s only 25. Whereas Tiger always struggled with the driver, this kid hits rockets and spends most of his time in the fairway ... The ACC wanted a $52 million exit fee from Maryland when it bolted for the Big Ten. After some bickering, Maryland will pay $31 million. That’s a ton of money for a school mired in red ink ... Johnny Manziel’s debut with the Cleveland Browns wasn’t spectacular but it was solid enough that speculation is rampant that he will be the starter by the time September rolls around ... Michael Sam had a tackle and hurried the quarterback into a bad throw in his NFL debut ... Go to CBSSports.com and watch Jadeveon Clowney blow up a right tackle then tackle a running back almost in his tracks ... Derek Jeter passed Honus Wagner for sixth place on the all-time hits list ... Did you see the video of Tony Stewart hitting that driver in that sprint car race in New York? What the heck was that guy doing getting out of his car and standing in the way of a car driving 140 miles an hour?
Show of hands time. How many of you used to watch wrestling back in the day when Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Andre the Giant, Johnny Valentine and Wahoo McDaniel were big stars and Gordon Solie used to describe in detail “spinning toe holds” and “atomic elbow drops?”
Music was at a crossroads in the early 1960s. The street corner doo wop harmonies began to evolve into more sophisticated styles. The surfer, car and folksy tunes of 1961-63 gave way to the British Invasion and then came Motown with its songs that made you want to dance. The music got louder and the guitars began to scream. We’ll call this “Screaming Guitars Week,” a five-day journey through the last half of the 1960s when the electric guitar changed the way we listen to music even today. Cream came along in 1966 when Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker united for a breathtaking two-year run that started with the album “Fresh Cream.” They followed that up with “Disraeli Gears” in 1967, which made it to #1 on the album charts thanks largely to the popularity of “Sunshine of Your Love.”