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College football mailbag (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday July 11, 2007 12:14PM; Updated: Wednesday July 11, 2007 2:48PM
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Jordana Spiro, My Boys
Jordana Spiro is one week into her reign as official Mailbag Crush.
Eric Charbonneau/WireImage.com
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In reference to your discussion of "running back by committee," you said, "About the only team recently to have much success with the approach is LSU." I can't believe you failed to mention the 2004 Auburn Tigers team with Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown.
--Bryan K. Walton, Wilton, Iowa

I could not believe how many e-mails I got just like this one. C'mon, people -- two people do not constitute a committee. As my colleague Pete McEntegart pointed out, if such a committee held a meeting, what would they talk about? How could they hold a vote on anything? There'd be too many ties.

What you're referring to with Williams and Brown (or McFadden and Felix Jones, or Laurence Maroney and Marion Barber III) is a running back tandem, and Lord knows there have been plenty of those over the years, most notably Army's Doc Blanchard ("Mr. Inside") and Glenn Davis ("Mr. Outside"). It's my understanding that when someone uses the term "running back by committee," they're referring to a team that lacks a true feature back and rotates between three or more guys, none of whom get significantly more carries than the others. Which is why I pinpointed LSU as my example: Last season, the Tigers finished 31st nationally in rushing despite no one back getting even 100 carries (Jacob Hester had 94, Keiland Williams 76, Alley Broussard 74, Justin Vincent 57 and Charles Scott 46). By comparison, in the Auburn example above, Williams had 239 carries, Brown 153.

Of course, it occurred to me after the fact that one particular running back committee would probably take exception to my comments: The Four Horsemen.

Hi Stewart. Just thought that I would pick up on the point that you made about Brits in your last Mailbag. As a HUGE fan of college football (yes, we do exist in England), please note that I have pre-ordered your book on Amazon (though I have also pre-ordered the new Harry Potter books). I also note with interest that this year's Celebrity Crush, Jordana Spiro, studied at RADA in London (about a mile from where I write). That alone makes Jordana as English as Prince Charles (but a hell of a lot better to look at!)
--Matt Rees, London, England

As it turns out, the Mailbag has quite a cult following in London. I found this out both first-hand from my friend Sasha, who just returned from a postgraduate program there, as well as through several e-mails like the one above. So to our friends across the pond, thanks for the support and no more soccer jokes (for at least a couple of weeks).

As for the aforementioned Ms. Spiro, I'm happy to report that your responses to her selection were overwhelmingly positive. (Though there were a few pretty vicious haters).

Kudos on the 2007 crush. Jordana is an unbelievably cute tomboy. And as a follow up to Jenna you can't do any better. Well done!
--Dwight, Atlanta

Rest assured, Jenna will not be forgotten. She retains Crush Emeritus status.

Jordana ... totally unexpected. Not too shabby, though. Good choice.
--Scott, Baton Rouge, La.

Jordana appreciates your compliments and says she agrees 100 percent with Les Miles. (OK, I made that up).

Maybe I'm just too spoiled (see my hometown), but Jordana Spiro is nowhere near hot enough to represent the College Fotball Mailbag. As a former college football player, this is an outrage. I wouldn't have a crush on her if I saw her in a bar, let alone the fantasy world of the Mailbag.
--Steve, Newport Beach, Calif.

Oh great -- another SoCal-Louisiana feud. I know who I'm siding with on this one.

As a single, Jewish guy who's currently deployed in Iraq, thanks for brightening my day with your selection for Celebrity Crush.
--
MSgt. Jonathan Wolf, USAF Balad AB Iraq

And now you've just brightened my day. Who knew the Mailbag Crush could have a global impact?

YES! OK, here's the deal Stewart. As your longest-standing Mailbag contributer (honestly, look for my John David Booty question that you published in your first-ever Mailbag, but more importantly, as a single, Jewish sportswriter in Chicago, any chance you can set me up on a REAL date with Jordana? Thanks in advance. You complete me.
--Matt Sohn, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

I'm not sure which is more disturbing -- this e-mail or my mug shot in that original Mailbag. Please don't answer.

I know I'm on the other coast, but I'm Jewish, 28, single and a lawyer. If Jordana informs you of any pending trips out to Hollywood, please pass on my e-mail address!!!
--Michael, Los Angeles

Oh I will. I'm sure the cops can use it to trace where they should deliver the restraining order.

The July 3rd edition of the Mailbag was a cry for help if I've ever seen one.
--Dave, Lexington, Va.

C'mon, Dave. What edition of the Mailbag isn't a cry for help?

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