On the beat

Tiger Rag looks at what transpired in the week that was in football.

Lost… Fingertip by BYU kicker Breyon Jones. In the Cougars 49-23 loss to Notre Dame, Jones had his finger crunched between two helmets. Doctors closed the end of his finger with sutures, but his finger from mid-nail beyond was gone.

Reprimanded… Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry for racially motivated comments last week about how black athletes run faster than white athletes and his team didn't have many fast players. It was rumored the longtime Air Force coach could lose his job, but instead he was reprimanded and forced to apologize.

Accused… By a former Muslim player. New Mexico State coach Hal Mumme was accused of repeatedly questioning wide receiver Muammar Ali about the Osama bin Laden group al-Qaida in leading to his dismissal. Ali also alleges that Mumme forced the team to recite the Lord's Prayer after practice.

Moved… The North Carolina-Miami game to earlier in the day due to lighting problems. Lights at the Orange Bowl were damaged due to Hurricane Wilma. Saturday's game was moved to noon instead of its scheduled 3:30 p.m. kickoff due to the game finishing in darkness.

Criticized… ESPN, most especially former coaches who serves as analysts by Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville. Tuberville said the Worldwide Leader in Sports has grown so strong in college football that the opinions of the network's analysts influence voters. Tuberville, whose Auburn team went 13-0 a year ago but was snubbed form the national title game, said coaches like Lou Holtz use their opinion to try and influence voters one way or another. "ESPN has gotten so much power, it is scary. And most of their analysts are coaches who haven't won any games. That's why they (former coaches) are there," Tuberville said.

Versatile… The perfect word to describe former Ole Miss quarterback Robert Lane. Lane is still a member of the team, but the 6-3, 220-pound Monroe, La. native is playing a plethora of positions. It was reported last week lane was playing fullback. Now he is lining up at H-Back and tight end.

Spun… Tennessee's disappointing record by coach Phillip Fulmer. Fulmer said the Volunteers was the best 3-3 team in the country, that was before Saturday's 16-15 loss to South Carolina dropped the Vols to 3-4. Nobody on the team seemed really excited about their coach's label. "I don't know how to take that. The best 3-3 team in the country? I don't know if that's good or bad," said Tennessee wide receiver Jayson Swain.

Retired… Peyton Manning's No. 16 at halftime of the Tennessee-South Carolina game. It seemed fitting for the Vols to retire Manning's number Saturday, during a game against a team coached by a man Manning never beat in his career – Steve Spurrier.

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