BARNEStorming: Ben Brown out with Injury and other Thoughts Around the College Football World
OXFORD, Miss. – Ben Brown is a student. He is an athlete. Most of all, he is an Ole Miss Rebel.
The senior had his Rebel career end early after suffering a torn bicep tendon in the fourth quarter two weeks ago at Tennessee. It could have ended better, but the journey is right out of a storybook.
The Vicksburg native continued his family tradition as he played football for the University of Mississippi. Brown followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father who also played football at Ole Miss.
Brown will go on to achieve many things in his life. He will attain many titles in his life. But one thing will never change. Ben Brown is an Ole Miss Rebel.
FINALLY, A BIG TEN WEEKEND
Big Ten fans enjoy proclaiming its teams are better from top-to-bottom than any conference in the country. This weekend, the schedule looks appealing.
Not only does No. 6 Michigan play at No. 8 Michigan State, but No. 20 Penn State travels to No. 5 Ohio State. No. 9 Iowa also plays Wisconsin which was highly-ranked at the start of the season.
Now the Big Ten will see up close the fratricide that occurs in the SEC. These teams are going to start knocking each other out of its rankings.
MAKING A MCCALL
Recently there has been speculation about Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler. Heading into the 2021 season, he was tabbed as the Heisman favorite for one of the top teams in the country.
But the Sooners – who remain undefeated – have been unimpressive and Rattler was unimpressive and lost his job to freshman Caleb Williams.
Yet if a quarterback is going to transfer, how about Grayson McCall of Coastal Carolina. The sophomore has hit the ceiling at the Conway, S.C., school. Last season, the Chanticleers went undefeated during the regular season and still was relegated to a minor bowl.
This year, they have already lost a game so CCSU will probably not win its division in the Sun Belt Conference.
He has all the NFL tools, but scouts would like to see him play against teams other than Troy, Georgia State and Louisiana-Monroe.
With two years of eligibility remaining, Ole Miss would be a nice spot to show scouts how his skills translate to the SEC.
ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT PICKING AN UPSET
This one will help the playoff committee. Give me Houston over No. 24 SMU in the I-45 Showdown. If the Cougars can pull this off, Cincinnati will not have a ranked team on its schedule the rest of the year, giving the committee and excuse to drop the Bearcats out of the top four.
Houston is 5-1 and watch out for watch out for Marcus Jones. The defensive back has broken up two passes, but he has flipped to the other side of the ball and as a receiver, he has 109 yards on ten catches. The difference could be on special teams where Jones has 244 yards in punt returns and he has taken two back for touchdowns.
South Carolina has had to resort to playing a graduate assistant coach at quarterback this season. It is a safe bet the Gamecocks wish Jake Bentley was still in Columbia.
Bentley is currently at South Alabama. This season, he has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes, thrown for almost 1,900 yards and he has 11 scoring passes.
The Jaguars started 3-0 and are currently 4-3 with 1-6 Arkansas State coming to Mobile Saturday.
Bentley, who is a graduate student at USA, had a season at Utah between South Alabama and South Carolina. He currently is ninth among current FBS quarterbacks in career passing yards (8,409) and 13th in touchdowns (61).
He has probably circled Nov. 20 on his calendar. That is the day the Jags travel to Knoxville to give Bentley a shot to knock off Tennessee.
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.