7 at 7: Wednesday morning SEC links

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 23, 2013 

AUBURN, Ala. — For avid readers of the blog, you know Wednesday morning's 7 at 7 is set aside for links around the Southeastern Conference. Today is no different. But it's not a typical Wednesday in at least one regard, as the World Series finally starts tonight after the league championship series concluded on Saturday.

Doesn't that seem like far too long a gap to get these things rolling? The MLB season lasts long enough as it is.

(As for my pick, I'll take Boston in six games.)

On to the links!

1. Missouri is ranked No. 5 and 7-0 this season. Auburn is No. 11 and 6-1 after going 3-9 last year. The question is, who has the edge as the conference's coach of the year between the two Tiger head men, Missouri's Gary Pinkel or Auburn's Gus Malzahn? ESPN.com debates the topic, and no, neither Skip Bayless nor Stephen A. Smith is involved.

2. After playing arguably the nation's toughest schedule in the first seven games of the season, Ole Miss is glad to finally have time to catch its breath, in a figurative sense. As Hugh Kellenberger of The Clarion-Ledger notes, the combined record of the Rebels' first seven opponents was 32-10. Their final five foes, meanwhile, are a combined 18-17, even when including Missouri's unblemished 7-0.

3. Landon Collins is on the move once again. The sophomore who has bounced between free safety and strong safety for Alabama is once agains back at the strong side spot following Vinnie Sunseri's season-ending knee injury.

4. How bad was South Carolina's offense in its 23-21 loss to Tennessee last week? Head coach Steve Spurrier said he's lost a lot of sleep over it, and even gave a reason for the poor performance. "We thought we were too good" after scoring 52 points against Arkansas the previous week, writes Ryan Wood of The Post & Courier.

5. The targeting penalty has been, as many expected, controversial. How much so? One of the two coaches on the NCAA Football Rules Committee, Louisiana-Monroe's Todd Berry, said "it's radioactive." That's why it isn't surprising to hear that the rule will get looked at once agains during the offseason, according to Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald.

6. With a bye week between now and next Saturday's game against Auburn, Arkansas is looking for some answers to halt its five-game losing streak writes Robbie Neiswanger of the Arkansas News Bureau.

7. If SEC fans want to see the league capture an eighth straight national title, they better start cheering for Alabama and Missouri says ESPN.com SEC blogger Edward Aschoff.

(And yes, he mentions how difficult it might be for some fans to pull for either team — especially in the case of Auburn/Alabama. Besides, I'm not ruling out Auburn from having a shot, provided it can win out and have some of the undefeated teams in other conferences lose. But that's still a long way off at this point.)

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