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Friday, August 20, 2010
SEC mailbag: Quarterbacking the Wildcats

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Let’s see what’s on your mind in the SEC mailbag:

Paul in Louisville, Ky., writes: Do you think Kentucky will use two quarterbacks, or will Mike Hartline will be the guy?

Chris Low: Right now, the Wildcats are having trouble narrowing it to two, although Joker Phillips says he wants to do that following Saturday’s scrimmage. I still think the experience factor favors Hartline, and he was playing some of his best football when he injured his knee last season. But, yes, when it’s all said and done, I expect Kentucky to use multiple quarterbacks this season.


Jack in Centerton, Ark., writes: Hey Chris, just wanted to drop a line on this Hat Gate as it's being called. The national media is really off and running with this story and you have commented on it a couple times in your blog. I just want you to be aware that Bobby Petrino had nothing to do with getting this lady fired directly. She worked for a very biased Hog sports radio station. The media seems to be making this out like the U of A and Bobby Petrino had this woman canned, and that's not true. Petrino just made a comment at a press conference. The lady’s employer fired her. You could certainly argue the Petrino got her fired indirectly with his comment, but that's the chance you take when you where an opposing teams hat to press conference.

Chris Low: You’re right, it has sort of taken on a life of its own, but it’s just not something you hear happening every day. I don’t blame Petrino. I’d say several coaches would have made some type of comment if a reporter were wearing another SEC team’s hat and asking questions at a news conference. At the end of the day, the blame lies with the reporter for wearing the hat in the first place, and she’s explained why she did it and apologized to Petrino. It's time for all of us to move on, but it was different.


Josh in Chicago writes: What is your take on the SEC’s policy of oversigning players?

Chris Low: I understand that it’s worked out for both schools and players in the past, but I don’t like it at all. It’s one thing if a coach signs a player and explains to him and that player’s parents that there’s a numbers crunch and that he may have to “grayshirt” or wait until January to enroll. If the player’s on board with that, so be it. But to go to a player after he’s already been on campus and going through summer school classes and tell him he has to go home and can come back in January because the school signed too many players is a shoddy way to do business. But, hey, let’s face it. College football is a business.


Johnathan at Ole Miss writes: Chris, how come Jeremiah Masoli can be bashed all over the place for his transgressions, but so little be made about Cameron Newton's situation? They're almost identical. Seems like a double standard to me.

Chris Low: I don’t necessarily hear Masoli being bashed. It sounds like he’s been a model teammate to this point. Houston Nutt received some criticism for taking him, but so did Gene Chizik. Listen, all coaches take chances on players to some degree. If Masoli stays out of trouble and helps the Rebels have a successful season, you’re not going to hear much about the trouble he was in at Oregon. Same thing with Newton. If he plays well and leads Auburn to a big season, the whole laptop incident will be long forgotten. We’ll see what both players do with their second chances.


Drew in Lebanon, Tenn., writes: If the Vols are going to have such a down year, then why don't they just name Tyler Bray starting quarterback and split time at running back with David Oku and Tauren Poole?

Chris Low: I don’t think the Tennessee coaches feel Bray is ready to lead that offense from an overall maturity standpoint just yet. He has a nice upside and throws the ball really well, but so much more goes into being a quarterback than throwing the ball. Simms has done a better job of doing all the things it takes to manage an offense, which is why he’s going to be the starter. I wouldn’t be surprised to also see Bray play some this season. As for Oku and Poole, I think they will split time. Poole will be more of the every-down back, and Oku is one of those guys who can do a little bit of everything. Both have had good camps.