SEC Society Page, Week 9: Ole Miss-Kentucky Is No Place To Take Your Children

Also: A long-standing SEC institution has a health scare in Jacksonville, while Arkansas and Tennessee explore an unusual arrangement.

TRANSITIONS

AILING. The Florida Gators' winning streak over the Georgia Bulldogs, in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday evening. Though the streak reported feeling "just fine" earlier in the week, its health took a sudden turn for the worse following the Bulldogs' comeback from a two-touchdown deficit to claim only their fourth victory in their last 22 tries. Doctors at Shands Medical Center Jacksonville say the streak is in critical but stable condition, and they will continue monitoring its health over the next 359 days. The streak had become an icon of good health and virility in defiance of exceedingly advanced age; "Short of Dick Clark or Jack LaLanne, I can't think of anyone who's stayed so strong and healthy for a ridiculously long amount of time," said one SEC coach.

 

LEGAL

CITED. Georgia running backs Brandon Harton and Wes Van Dyk, for failure to yield in separate incidents in Athens, Ga., Tuesday evening. Both athletes rolled through stop signs and were stopped by police, but were issued tickets and released on their own recognizance. Harton later said he and his teammate felt "left out" after three of the top four running backs on Georgia's depth chart -- Isaiah Crowell, Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome -- were suspended from Saturday's game for violation of team rules, while a fourth, Richard Samuel, underwent ankle surgery. "We thought this was all a plan by [offensive coordinator Mike] Bobo to see if we could beat New Mexico State without calling a single running play, and we felt bad that we hadn't done our part to help out," Harton explained. Van Dyk says the pair will try again sometime today -- "Maybe drive the wrong way down a one-way street or something" -- and leave their drivers' licenses at home.

FILED. An appeal with the Motion Picture Association of America, by the Ole Miss and Kentucky football teams. The MPAA announced on Monday that the upcoming game between the Rebels and Wildcats in Lexington, Ky., had been rated NC-17 for "language, extreme inept violence, and insult to the game of football." Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips said he and counterpart Houston Nutt, whose teams are a combined 5-11 and 0-9 in SEC play, had "already cut their playbooks to ribbons" and simply could not conceive a way of editing out any more offensive material. Phillips added that if the MPAA denies the appeal, the teams will simply play an "unrated" version when the game kicks off Saturday afternoon.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

MERGED. The Arkansas and Tennessee football teams, in advance of a critical game against South Carolina in Fayetteville this weekend. Sources familiar with both teams said the move was proposed by Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley, who noted that Tennessee had played well in the first halves of its last four games, while Arkansas had played miserably in the first halves of its last two contests but mounted stirring comebacks after halftime. "So he got together with Bobby Petrino and said, 'Coach, between the two of us we've got one outstanding football team,' " an assistant coach reported. The first string of the combined team will kick off against the Gamecocks at 7:15 p.m. EDT Saturday, while the second string will kick off against Middle Tennessee State in Knoxville 15 minutes earlier.

RECOGNIZED. Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, for nearly finishing the 10-pound Titan Cheese Steak at Piranha's Bar and Grill in Nashville. Piranha's awards $100 prize to any patron who can finish the gigantic sandwich, and also gives them the meal for free; witnesses say Franklin came close to finishing the Titan but was still had about a pound left when he conceded right before closing time. "He looked real good for a while there, though," said diner Jesse Waldmann of Franklin, Tenn. "Wouldn't have thought a skinny guy like that could've hung tough for as long as he did, but I guess he'll surprise you sometimes." At a press conference shortly afterward, Franklin said he was "disappointed to not be able to close the deal" with the gigantic sandwich, but added that he hoped "this will send a signal to other dining establishments that Vanderbilt football isn't a pushover anymore."

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