Cecil "the Diesel" Collins may have challenged Florida's Terry Jackson for the SEC rushing title this fall. Or he may have been in a dogfight with Tennessee's Jamal Lewis for the honor.
Then again, Collins may simply have been relegated to spot duty behind Kevin Faulk in the LSU backfield.
Gerry DiNardo quashed the speculation rather quickly last week when the Tigers coach kicked the junior running back off the team after an arrest on sex charges.
Ineligible as a freshman, Collins raised more than a few eyebrows with 596 yards in four games last fall -- including 232 against Auburn -- before a broken leg ruined his season.
Along with Faulk and Rondell Mealey, LSU appeared to have the nation's best 1-2-3 combination for '98. The 1-2 punch of Faulk, who rushed for 1,144 yards in '97, and Mealey should still be unmatched in the SEC.
So, in spite of the Diesel getting scrapped, the stable of thoroughbreds still runs plentiful in Baton Rouge and the offensive line remains big, experienced and talented.
FLORIDA STATE: ACC fans, don't count out seeing Peter Warrick ravage through your favorite defenses this fall.
Although Florida State is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the standout receiver's arrest last Monday, it doesn't appear likely that any punishment will be severe.
Warrick, a preseason All-American, was arrested at 4 a.m. on Monday in Tampa on charges of disorderly conduct.
The 6-foot, 190-pound junior reportedly shouted obscenities at deputies, then fled when they tried to arrest him.
"It will probably be something we handle within our program, unless something unexpected comes up," Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden told the Tallahassee Democrat.
That probably will consist of extra work after practice, rather than any suspension time.
Bowden, who said he takes all alleged wrongdoing from one of his players seriously, had a little fun with one aspect of the situation.
Warrick, who runs a 4.35 40-yard dash, was caught after a short foot race by 34-year-old deputy Barbara Reichard.
Bowden quipped, "I'm going to try to sign her to a scholarship."
TIME FOR BULLDOGS: Quincy Carter, who was granted relief from his baseball-only contract with the Chicago Cubs and will play football at Georgia this fall, has made major strides this season playing with the Cubs' single-A affiliate.
Through 14 games with Rockford (Ill.) Cubbies of the Midwest League, Carter is hitting .283 -- a dramatic increase from the .211 he belted last season at the same level.
Carter has also reduced his strikeout ratio, which was better than one every four at-bats last season, to about one in every six.
But just as the stroke comes around, it's about time to hit the gridiron. In little more than a month, Carter will be entrenched among a quintet of quarterbacks fighting for Bulldogs' starting job.
MORE OF THE SAME: Expect the gender-equity issue, which is so often drawn as a battle between college football and women's athletics, to be revisited later this summer.
When the NCAA Division I Management Council meets July 27-29 in Philadelphia, one of the topics on the table will be cutting football scholarships from 85 to 75.
A couple of proposals will be evaluated, including one that allows schools to spread 75 scholarships over 95 players. Currently, institutions can only offer full scholarships to football recruits.
The last cut in football came at the 1991 NCAA Convention in Nashville when scholarships were sliced from 95 to 85.
MIX-AND-MATCH MENU: South Carolina may have to mix and match its offensive line again this fall. A year after injuries decimated the line, the epidemic has begun again.
Sophomore Scott Browne suffered a broken foot last week, and it may force coach Brad Scott to shift All-SEC candidate Jamar Nesbit from left tackle to center.
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