So, this should be shocking to no one, really, but Ray Small is rumored to be in academic trouble once again (assuming, of course, his trips to the doghouse in the past were due to classroom issues).
At this point, it's speculation, but there's smoke just about everywhere -- here's a link to an Ozone forum discussion on the matter complete with the shrugs by fans and the caveat that Ozone forum links stop working after 18 hours or so.
Word is, Small must attend summer school just to get himself right for fall (and five hours worth of summer school at that). Jaamal Berry just might have a host to show him around Tressel's doghouse when camp starts up.
Assuming this chatter is at all true, call me optimistic or naive for thinking this was the year Small was going to put it all together. He had some momentum from leading the Big Ten in punt returns last season, had the play of the Spring Game and was in position to make good on Ted Ginn Sr's talk of him being the best wide receiver he'd ever coached.
This season is a money year for Small. If he steps up and delivers in the classroom and on the field, he can make himself some coin. If not, he'll join the list of names including D'Andrea, Lydell Ross, Alex Boone and others that have fallen short of expectations for one reason or another.
Doc Saturday has a list of his top ten teams of the past decade. The list is worth paying attention to because Hinton knows a great deal more about college football than you or I will ever hope to know and he also has great perspective, something many other professional writers lack at times.
He has four different USC teams in this group, which speaks to just how dominant that program has been since Pete Carroll arrived. The 2002 Buckeyes do not make an appearance and ultimately I'm fine with that as that squad won games on sheer will more so than raw talent and athleticism. That's not to say the team wasn't talented, because they were. In fact, the Miami team they beat would have been the top one-loss team on his list had he been able to justify including Ohio State.
But, bottom line: the 2002 Buckeyes wouldn't be favored in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup with any other team on the list. Would they have beaten some of the teams on the list? Probably. But the teams he lists carry gaudy stats around like 30+ point margin of victories and that Buckeye squad was an interception away from dropping a home game to UC. Still, we're keeping the crystal.
His top-ranked team of the past decade was the 2005 Longhorns and that should give us all hope because when you watch the play that settled the epic Rose Bowl that season, it's easy to see #2 pulling off that same number in the not so distant future.