Three & Out returns to give you a periodic look at what's going on this spring in the SEC. In today's edition, we take a look at the quarterback battle, Auburn's all-decade team and the 'Ole Ball Coach spicing things up a bit on the air.
A LEADER EMERGES
When Nathan Stanley took the field to fill in for the injured Jevan Snead during the 2010 Cotton Bowl, nobody on the planet thought that it would be a learning experience for THIS season. After all, Jevan Snead didn't exactly set the world on fire in 2009. Nevertheless, that ended up being the case after Snead announced his departure to the NFL (or CFL...or UFL).
With only one week remaining in spring practice, Stanley finds himself in a position to win the Ole Miss starting quarterback job. The sophomore has been in a battle this spring with stud redshirt freshman Raymond Cotton. Stanley's scrimmage on Saturday afternoon put him squarely in front of the two-player chase.
After struggling early with two picks, Stanley tossed three touchdown passes Saturday afternoon, including a 50-yard bomb to Markeith Summers. Stanley has shown steady improvement throughout the spring, capitalizing on Raymond Cotton's lingering arm injury.
Despite missing several practices last week, Cotton saw action on Saturday, finishing the afternoon 2-of-11 for 41 yards and a touchdown.
"You can tell he's very raw and behind," said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt of Cotton. "He has some ability, but he couldn't afford to miss practices."
Ole Miss is going to be a hard team to gauge early on in 2010. With games against Jacksonville State, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Fresno State and Kentucky to start the season, the Rebels should boast a pretty impressive record when they travel to Tuscaloosa to play the Alabama Crimson Tide on Oct. 16. Assuming that he wins the job, that will give Stanley plenty of time to settle in.
AN IMPRESSIVE DECADE
During the month of April, Auburn fans were given the chance to vote for their All-Decade team for the 2000's. The final results were released on Tuesday, and the list is mighty impressive.
The All-Decade team features six former All-Americans and 16 first team All-SEC players. Nearly 10,000 votes were cast online for the 25-player roster.
Auburn All-Decade Team (2000-2009)
STEP UP TO THE MIC, STEVE
This off-season has been relatively quiet, now that Lane Kiffin parlayed a sub-.500 NFL record and a 7-6 record in college in to one of the top three jobs in college football (still not sure how that happened, but that's another story for another column). Other than the on-again, off-again Urban Meyer retirement saga, there hasn't been a whole lot of drama in the SEC.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier waded into the trash talk pool a bit on Tuesday on The Dan Patrick Show.
When asked for his opinion on the recently-departed Kiffin, Spurrier said that Kiffin "fudged on the rules a little bit" and that some things "got in that grey area."
Okay, so it's not the Kiffin/Meyer feud that lasted the better part of last off-season. As a matter of fact, it's not even close, but at least it's a start.
I'd love to have a "you can't spell Citrus without 'UT'," or a "Free Shoes University" quote to spice this off-season up. Spurrier is already frustrated with his starting quarterback, so he's at least close to mid-90's form.
For everybody's sake, make it happen Coach Spurrier. We can't handle the doldrums of the never-ending NBA Playoff schedule.
Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at
2010 Spring Three & Out Archive