Sports Talk: Ole Miss a bunch of posers

There was a story going around this week that Ole Miss had the fourth-best college football team in the country. Yeah, sure, and Muammar al-Gaddafi is a brilliant public speaker, too.

USC sent the Rebels back to Oxford with a slightly more realistic sense of where they stand in the national landscape, while the Gamecocks, with three wins in four games and a mere 7 yards from being unbeaten, continue to try to figure out how good they are as well.

Although the offense is up and down, the defense is solid, especially Eric Norwood, who's got more sacks than a Piggly Wiggly checkout counter. But the Gamecocks have gotten off to fast starts the past few years, only to falter down the stretch. So it's probably best to hold judgment until - say, maybe - late November.

In the meantime, I'll round up the rest of the week's top headlines that don't involve not-ready-for-prime-time football teams like the Rebs.

Mark Martin pulls slick one to defeat Juan Pablo Montoya in first Chase race. Martin executed his senior-citizen strategy perfectly by going 40 in the passing lane.

Carolina Panthers lose to Falcons to fall to 0-2. If things don't get better soon, Jerry Richardson may begin firing more relatives.

N.Y. Jets knock off New England. Even more stunning, three of Tom Brady's favorite supermodels switched sidelines and started cheering for Mark Sanchez.

Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley suspended for season after ripping team in interview. He's such an Aggravation that it Boggles the mind. He really doesn't have a Clue. He should use his Cranium because he has no Monopoly on common sense. His Life is a total Scrabble.

Urban Meyer and Lane Kiffin snipe at each other after Florida win over Tennessee. This is like trying to pick a favorite in the old Iraq-Iran war.

Herschel Walker to try career in mixed martial arts. And Vince Dooley is coming back as his manager.

Former champion Justine Henin decides to return to women's pro tennis tour. It was either that or mixed martial arts.

Oliver Purnell travels to Washington to speak to U.S. senators on health-care issues. The Clemson coach also worked with Lindsey Graham on his mid-range jumper.

Houston Astros fire manager Cecil Cooper. The Astros had fallen so deep into the NL Central standings that I thought they were being managed by D.B. Cooper.

Six Clemson football players sidelined from practice with the flu. The athletic department plans to capitalize by handing out Dabo Swinney souvenir thermometers to the first 10,000 fans at the next game.

Brett Favre sustains bent fingernail in win over Detroit. ESPN provided five hours of breaking-news coverage.

Arizona third baseman Mark Reynolds breaks his own Major League Baseball record for strikeouts. His whiffs supplied the only cool breezes in the desert all summer.

Pittsburgh Penguins preparing for the start of another run at the Stanley Cup. Local fans will need to fill that cup to the top to wash the bad taste of the Pirates out of their mouths.

NCAA names James Isch as interim president. Isch, you call this news.

Former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress sentenced to two years in prison for discharge of unlicensed gun. Just what we need - another remake of "The Longest Yard."

Curt Schilling decides not to pursue U.S. Senate bid in Massachusetts. Potential voters who were polled said they were very turned off by his bloody socks.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor throws out first pitch at Yankee Stadium against Red Sox. You had to like the way she brushed back David Ortiz.

Tour Championship being played in flood-ravaged Atlanta. What's the ruling when the entire East Lake course is a water hazard?

Survey says BCS schools receive lighter NCAA penalties than other Division I schools. The old Jerry Tarkanian line rings true: "The NCAA was so mad at Kentucky, it gave Cleveland State two more years of probation."

Bobby Cox decides to step down as Atlanta's manager after next season. The Braves are going to call it "The Screaming At Umpires Farewell Tour."

USC coach Darrin Horn lines up strong recruiting class. College basketball analysts are really tooting his Horn.

Football players brawl with basketball players at Kansas. Kansas has a football team?

Michigan bans purses from football stadium for security reasons. Even Mrs. Rich Rodriguez has to carry her lipstick in her sock.

NASCAR loses liquor sponsors Jim Beam and Jack Daniel. Looks like the drivers are all going to have to go back to running moonshine.

Russia's richest man wants to buy the NBA's N.J. Nets. Mikhail Prokhorov could become the most influential Russian in this country since Yakov Smirnoff. What a country!

Saints QB Drew Brees throws nine touchdown passes in first two games. Are these real games or is he playing Madden 2010?

Wayne Gretzky resigns as coach of NHL's Phoenix Coyotes. As a player, he was the Great One. As a coach, he was the Not-So-Great One.

New arena football league is in the works. Maybe I'm a purist, but the only football meant to be thrown indoors is a Nerf football.

College Football Hall of Fame heads from South Bend, Ind., to Atlanta in 2012. Yet another Midwestern transplant comes looking for a better life in the sunny South.

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