I'm back from a relaxing few days at the beach, recharged and ready to tackle the 2010 season. We're just about a week and a half away from Big East media day in Newport, R.I., and things will be rolling from there.
But first, time to catch up on a few items I missed while I was gone:
Sheard's suspension: I thought things were just a bit too quiet this summer, with no major arrests or other off-the-field shenanigans that usually occur this time of year when players have a bit too much free time. And right on cue, Pitt defensive end Jabaal Sheard got charged with assault and other offenses after police said he threw a man through an art gallery's plate-glass window.
Sheard has been suspended indefinitely, and if this is a long-lasting time away, it's a big blow to the Panthers. I ranked Sheard as one of the Top 25 players in the Big East this summer, and the senior forms the league's best 1-2 combo at defensive end with Greg Romeus. Pitt has depth and can play Brandon Lindsey or Shayne Hale at defensive end, but the drop-off in experience would be major. Romeus may have to step up his game even further to make up for Sheard's possible absence.
Unless the facts in the case are just plain wrong, it's hard to imagine Sheard suiting up for Pitt in the opener at Utah, which makes that game even more of a difficult challenge now.
Shoemate officially a Husky: UConn coach Randy Edsall announced that USC transfer D.J. Shoemate was on board last week and is eligible to play this season. Edsall also confirmed that Shoemate will play tailback and that he'll be given a chance to compete for carries in a crowded backfield. The Connecticut running game, led by Jordan Todman, already looked stout. Now it's even deeper and more talented.
Carswell to Cincy?: Reports surfaced that another USC transfer, Brandon Carswell, could join Vidal Hazelton at Cincinnati. Carswell is a junior receiver who had only five catches last season. If so, he'd be the third Trojan to take advantage of the NCAA's get-out-of-probation free card and wind up at a Big East school this summer. And the Bearcats' depth at receiver would be even more ridiculous.
So those are a few old items. Now it's on to new business the rest of the day.