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July 19, 2010
I learned a long time ago about something Aristotle said in, like, 1045, way before the BCS or even college football. He said, "The whole is more than the sum of its parts."
We're not trying to go metaphysical here, but when it comes to college football, Aristotle could be wrong. And we're going to tell you why. (And don't write in to explain holism, of which Aristotle's "maxim" is the general principle. Why not? Because I don't care.)
There are a lot of teams -- probably 10 to 12 -- that are going into this season thinking they have a legit shot at the national title. And there probably are about 25 to 30 more that think they have a real shot at their league title.
But every one of those teams has at least one questionable unit on either offense or defense, and today, we're going to spotlight some of them.
The reason they're important is that -- Aristotle's proclamation be damned -- you can't have a title-winning offense or defense if one of the units on either side of the ball struggles.
Here's a look at the biggest unit question on both sides of the ball in each of the Big Six leagues. We'll also take a look at the biggest unit question overall in each of the other five leagues.
These teams have the talent to win their leagues -- and in some cases, challenge for the national title -- but they won't unless these questionable units come through. In other words, the whole isn't going to be more than the sum of its parts if one of the parts is faulty.
This and that
Temple unveiled a Web site -- Pierce4Heisman.com -- promoting RB Bernard Pierce for the Heisman. Pierce, a sophomore, isn't going to win the Heisman, but kudos to the school for going the extra mile to promote him. He is a big-time running back (we mentioned him earlier in this story), and the Owls' postseason appearance last season was mostly Pierce's doing.
Southern Miss announced last week that former quarterback Jeff Hammond will be an associate athletic director for advancement. Hammond, who was at the school in the early 1970s, most recently has been known as Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond and has commanded troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hammond is set to retire in September and will move into a fundraising role at Southern Miss. Presumably, it will be tough to say "no" to a man like Hammond.
The hiring of Chuck Driesell as basketball coach is paying off for The Citadel. Former Wichita State guard Kenny Manigault plans to transfer and play for Driesell. Manigault is transferring home; he is a native of Charleston, S.C., where The Citadel is located. Manigault was a big scorer and solid defender at Pinewood Prep in Summerville, S.C.
Finally, we would like to take a moment to raise a glass to the first FLW College Fishing All-America team, as chosen by FLW Outdoors magazine. Twenty fishermen were selected, including two from national champion Florida (yes, there really is a national title for college fishing, though it isn't an NCAA-sanctioned sport). The name we noticed, though, is that of Auburn's Shaye Baker; he's from Reeltown, Ala., and, really, wouldn't you expect a guy from a town named Reeltown to know how to fish?
Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.