AUBURN, Ala. Yes, for the first time in history, "7 at 7" is making an appearance during the evening. This was brought on, as you might expect, by Auburn's bye week. Normally, Thursday morning features links from the Tigers' opponent on Saturday, but ... well, you get the picture.
And since we're not held down by any specific rules here, I'll just link to whatever I see fit, while still keeping it sports-related.
Without further ado, let's get to the links.
1. In possibly the biggest news in the world of collegiate athletics Thursday, Electronic Arts announced it would no longer manufacture its NCAA Football game starting next year due to the ongoing "dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football." Further developments came later in the day, as CBS Sports revealed EA Sports had reached settlements with nearly 100,000 current and former college players who have appeared in the basketball and football versions of its video games since 2003.
2. Southern California athletic director Pat Haden has been in Indianapolis the past two days meeting with the NCAA. After seeing the sanctioning body reduce its penalties on Penn State earlier this week, Haden "felt compelled to discuss USC's sanctions in a new light." (And somewhere, Miami is still saying, "Hey! What about us?")
3. A fantastic piece on "The Gospel of Mike Leach" by Sports On Earth's Michael Weinreb. I mean, you have to link to an article that has Leach explaining why you should use coupons on a date, right? And if it has a video link where Leach discusses dating on an even greater scale? Count me in.
4. It might go under the radar given who he's playing for, but Vanderbilt senior receiver Jordan Matthews has a has a chance to set SEC career records for both receptions and receiving yards provided he stays healthy for the rest of the season.
5. A couple of big stories from Major League Baseball on Thursday. The first has Commissioner Bud Selig saying he will step down from his position in January 2015 after serving 22 years at the head of the sport. The second has New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano pushing for a laughable $305 million contract. No, I'm not kidding. Sources close to Cano say he really believes he's worth that much money.
6. Great story on the dynamics of football in Mississippi and how rare it is for both Ole Miss and Mississippi State to field good teams at the same time. (Hint: The state just ain't big enough for the both of 'em.)
7. After posting a tribute article on Mariano Rivera on Tuesday, what better way to end this special edition of "7 at 7" than a video of some of some of the legendary closer's greatest highlights? Check it out below.