With a little more than a month to go before toe meets leather for the 2010 college football season, Three & Out returns to give you a periodic look at what's going on this summer in the SEC. In today's edition, we take a look at a former Pac-10 quarterback that could be coming to Oxford, the end of an "era" in Knoxville and some bad news for the Bulldog defense.
The hot rumor going around the SEC this week is the possible addition of former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli to the Ole Miss Rebels.
According to David Brandt of the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt has met with athletics director Pete Boone regarding the possibility of adding Masoli to the team, but there's no timetable for a decision on Masoli's possible future with the Rebels.
Masoli led Oregon to the Pac-10 championship last season, throwing for 2,147 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushing for 668 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He ran into some legal issues in 2010 that ultimately led to his dismissal from the Oregon football program. Early in the year he was suspended for the season after pleading guilty to misdemeanor burglary charge. In June, he was permanently dismissed from the Ducks by head coach Chip Kelly following a citation for marijuana possession.
From an Ole Miss perspective, the move would make sense. Since Masoli has already graduated from Oregon, he is eligible to play immediately as long as he enrolls in a graduate program that the University of Oregon does not offer. Masoli would be a significant upgrade this season from sophomore quarterback Nathan Stanley and would not alter the future of the program beyond this season. All Masoli would have to do would be to stay out of trouble for four months, and then move on to whatever endeavor is in store for him after college football.
While Masoli would make Ole Miss more viable in 2010, I do wonder how much of an impact he would make. The SEC media recently picked the Rebels to finish last in the SEC West at Media Days. Would the addition of Masoli make the Rebels contenders for the division title? No. They've lost too much talent from a year ago, and are fighting against teams within the division that have either improved or, at the very worst, kept the same level of talent.
So if the Rebels aren't going to contend for Atlanta, is the PR hit worth the risk of slightly increasing their chances at making a bowl game? I think so. Contrary to what the moral police say, there are players with legal issues on every team. It's a win-win situation if the Rebels can send their seniors out with a bowl game and get the youngsters extra bowl practice in the process.
OUT WITH A WHIMPER
The Bryce Brown saga is over in Knoxville. Jimmy Hyams of WNML in Knoxville, Tenn., reports that the sophomore running back, who left the program before spring practice but remained enrolled in school, has officially left Tennessee. Brown skipped a scheduled meeting with head coach Derek Dooley and notified him of his decision via text message.
No, that's not a typo, he broke up with Vol Nation via text message.
Surprised? I'm not. Brown was the prized recruit of Lane Kiffin's one and only recruiting class at Tennessee, and leaving via text message sounds exactly like something that Lane Kiffin would do.
For Tennessee, it brings closure to the most noticeable reminder of the Kiffin error. Brown probably would have been the starter for the Vols at running back had he not left prior to spring practice. But once he left, he was not expected back. Losing a five-star recruit certainly hurts, but Dooley has been running the program under the assumption that Brown was not going to play for quite some time. This announcement just makes it official.
DAWGS GET SOME BAD NEWS
Having to replace six starters and install new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's new 3-4 system, the Georgia Bulldogs are already littered with question marks on the defensive side of the ball. Well, add another one to the list.
Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that senior linebacker Akeem Dent underwent surgery this morning on a toe that he injured last week in an off-field incident, and will miss the next 4-6 weeks. He was expected to start at strong-side linebacker for the Bulldogs this fall.
Dent's injury means that he probably won't be at full speed for Georgia's opener Sept. 4 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette. While the Bulldogs may not need him to topple the Ragin' Cajuns, the extra game time would be very beneficial considering the Bulldogs play South Carolina and Arkansas in consecutive weeks following the season opener.
Former defensive coordinator Willie Martinez is gone, so Georgia's got that going for them. But it's not going to be a quick-fix in Athens. It's difficult to find the proper personnel to run the 3-4 in college. With only spring practice under his belt at Georgia, Grantham was counting on getting his starters as many reps during fall practice as possible. While the injury might not cost Dent significant game time, the lost practice time will certainly have an impact on the development of the Bulldog defense.
Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter at
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