Howdie folks and Happy Monday to you all. As always, it is Football Monday and we will get to that in a bit, but today’s first story comes on the hardwood.

Former LSU forward Anthony Randolph has his NBA career off with a bang, scoring a rookie-high 30 points in his first summer league games a few days ago. Randolph countered his big-time output with another respectable outing yesterday with 11 points and five rebounds.

I could be wrong and I hope I am wrong, but I see this as short-term success for Randolph. I look at LSU’s last two top-tier draft picks Stromile Swift and Tyrus Thomas and I just do not think Randolph was as solid on the college level as either of those two players were.

Sure, Randolph has the upside to be great and sure, he can jump out of a gym, but it seems as though these days every NBA team has a player to matchup with Randolph, so he will have to improve and change his game if he hopes to make it big-time.

The biggest dilemma to Randolph will be strength. Randolph weighs 200 pounds soaked and wet and that just will not cut it in the NBA. The dilemma with adding mass, however is will adding mass cause him to lose any of his leaping and explosiveness? I trust the Warriors to find the right blend and the right balance to make the Dallas native into a fine NBA player, although I do not expect superstardom like some predicted of him before the NBA Draft.

We’ll see, though and with a good summer league start, he is off to the right start and we certainly wish him well.
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Football Monday kicked off with a new twist last week as I broke down for you all the SEC teams with the best quarterbacks going into the new season.

I continue with that format today and give team rankings at the running back position.

SEC running back rankings

1. Georgia – The Dawgs do not have the depth of some of the other top teams, but they have the best back in the conference in Knowshon Moreno and that gives them the top spot in my eyes.

2. Florida– Counting Tim Tebow as a ball carrier, the Gators have three legit backs who can handle the ball in their spread option attack. With Percy Harvin already on board and newcomer Emmanuel Moody, the Gators roll three deep in the backfield.

3. LSU– The Tigers lost the heart of their team and a 1,000 yard rusher in Jacob Hester, but many within the fan-base in Baton Rouge claim that backs Keiland Williams, Charles Scott, Richard Murphy and Trindon Holliday can make this one of the best rushing seasons in LSU history.

4. Mississippi State– The Bulldogs return bruiser Anthony Dixon for his senior season following a 1,000+ yard campaign. With Syl Croom’s run-heavy system, look for the Bulldogs to be near the top in rushing offense again this season.

5. Alabama– The Tide return both their top backs from this past season, Terry Grand and Glen Coffee, who combined for more than 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns this past season. The Tide would be higher on the list, but plan to air it out nearly 500 times again this season with John Parker Wilson under center.

6. Auburn– The Tigers could end up being higher in the ranks this season because of the switch to a more Florida-like offense that will generate a lot of rushing yards from both their quarterbacks and running backs. Ben Tate does return for his final season as a Plainsman after a 900 yard campaign this past season, but also expect quarterback Kodi Burns to rake in 600 or so on the ground this season.

Too early to tell (listed in order of talent on the roster):

7. Tennessee
8. South Carolina
9. Kentucky
10. Vanderbilt
11. Arkansas
12. Mississippi

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We are blowing through this new Top 10 list and it is figuring to be difficult to sort through, as all the others have been to this point.

For today’s trip, we stop in Aggie Land in the heart of Big 12 country.

No. 6 most difficult stadium for visiting teams to play in: Kyle Field (Texas A&M)

This one is summed up with five simple words that are muttered anytime you visit College Station: “Home of the 12th Man.”

The Aggies have also made their fans’ claim look great on the field, also, having a .932 winning percentage at home in the 1990s with a 31 game winning streak in the early-mid ‘90s and a 22 game streak from 1996-2000.


One of the best press boxes in all of college football and one of the hugest video boards (called the 12th Man TV) give the stadium a professional feel, but 80,000+ thousand screaming Aggie fans keep the college atmosphere alive and well and make Kyle Field one of the best in the country.

We begin to crack the Top 5 tomorrow.
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Headlines:

Packers’ fans rally for Favre to start – Alas, let the circus begin. I really hope General Manager Ted Thompson saw this coming, because if not, he is in for a long summer and fall. Packers’ fans love Brett Favre like John Kerry likes flip-flopping and the people of Wisconsin will not let their beloved No. 4 be humiliated without a fight.

Red Sox reclaim AL East lead before break – Looks like the Rays have spent a little too much time the past few weeks watching ESPN tell them how great they are and not enough time winning games. If they do not put a big band-aid on this blister as soon as the break ends, we can begin to shovel dirt on everyone’s heartthrob for the first half of the season.

Braves head to break with blowout win against Padres – Has there ever been a more hit-or-miss team in the history of baseball than the Braves? There is no in-between for these guys. It seems as though they are either getting beat 3-2 in a close ballgame or winning 10-1 in a blowout. If these guys learn to win close games in the second half, they can still be players in the second half.

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That is all for me today. I wish you all the very best in your Monday’s and your work week’s.

P.S. Chase Utley and Lance Berkman in the Derby tonight.

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