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What Do You Know… Newton Can Play Football

Something shocking happened over the weekend. Apparently, Cam Newton can play football with the big boys. After enduring months of scrutiny from guys calling themselves draft experts, Newton went out on Saturday and looked like well, the top pick in the NFL draft.

Watching coverage of the Carolina Panther scrimmage on ESPN, you would have thought Newton was some obscure late round pick that no one expected to deliver. Don't they know Cam always plays like this on Saturdays during football season?

Newton dazzled the nearly 20,000 fans in attendance at Charlotte with touchdown passes of 70 and 65 yards. Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith wasn't surprised by the showing.

"He's on his back foot throwing 50-yard passes. I mean, c'mon," Smith said. "I'm not going to sit here every week and say how good Cam is. He didn't win the Heisman Trophy because there was bad counting on the ballot. He won because he's good."

While bottom feeders back in Alabama continue to fixate over him, Newton has moved on to the next chapter. Despite being dogged by desperate Alabama fans hoping for anything to overturn Auburn's national title, Newton keeps smiling.

"In kindergarten they always said kids do something that you want to wake up and do in the morning and enjoy doing that for the rest of your life," Newton said. "I'm under contract for a couple of years so every single day I'm going to enjoy playing football. I'm going to be the person I am and that's enjoying life and playing football."

This has to be devastating for the Updyke Nation.

Panther's coach Ron Rivera remains mum on who'll start, but it's obvious that Newton is the crowd favorite. Competing with former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, the crowd booed last year's starter regularly Saturday afternoon.

Clausen's unwillingness to part with his number two jersey speaks volumes about his insecurity when it comes to Newton. Despite wearing the number seven number in college and only sporting the two since last year, Clausen doesn't seem interested in appeasing Newton.

Newton acknowledged on Sunday that he'd asked Claussen to switch and even hinted that they'd negotiated to no avail. It's Clausen's choice, but considering he'd only worn the number for one year, you have to question the guy's motive. Newton continues to play it cool, saying it doesn't matter to him.

The only number that matters is who's starting first on week one. Right now, Cam appears to have a leg up. Stay tuned.

I don't know about you, but I nearly spit my cereal out yesterday morning when I tuned in to SportsCenter to see ESPN hosting a forum entitled, Blueprint for Change that featured Alabama coach Nick Saban and former Florida coach Urban Meyer.

After teasing the segment by going through a laundry list of ills that trouble college football - including the Cam Newton case - host Rece Davis moderated the discussion on how to clean up intercollegiate athletics.

Give Saban credit; he's got a pair considering the numerous photos all over the web of his players whoring themselves for dress clothes. How he participated with a straight face is beyond me. Either he's really stupid or just delusional.

As for Meyer, exactly how many players did he have arrested on his watch while in Gainesville? Suddenly the Pontiff feels empowered to dispense advice. I know it's summer and there's not a lot left to say, but come on ESPN. Is that all you've got?