7 at 7: Wednesday morning links, SEC-style

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 20, 2013 

AUBURN, Ala. — It seems like each Tuesday night, we're treated to fantastic college hoops.

Last week, it was Michigan State/Kentucky and Duke/Kansas. Last night, it was watching Marcus Smart go off for 39 points as he led Oklahoma State past Memphis 101-80. (Oh, and super freshmen Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins weren't that shabby Tuesday night, either.)

Man, this looks like it's going to be a great season of college basketball.

But let's shift back into football mode as we hit on some SEC links on this morning.

1. Can Johnny Manziel capture back-to-back Heisman Trophys? Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN.com writes that over the next two weeks, everything rests in Manziel's hands as he will face a pair of tough road tests against ranked teams in LSU and Missouri that will make-or-break his bid for consecutive bronze trophies.

2. How dire is Mississippi State's quarterback situation? With Dak Prescott and Tyler Russell both day-to-day, Mike Bonner of the Clarion-Ledger writes that the Bulldogs' best option this Saturday against Arkansas may just be true freshman true freshman Damian Williams, who entered last week's loss to top-ranked Alabama with less than 10 minutes remaining and MSU down 13. The first-year signal-caller didn't complete a pass in five attempts versus the Crimson Tide.

3. With two games left in the regular season (and possibly an SEC Championship Game appearance on tap), Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch takes a look at all the performance-related bonuses in Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel's contract. Needless to say, Pinkel could find himself taking home a nice chunk of change should his team be able to beat Ole Miss and Texas A&M and wind up in Atlanta on Dec. 7

4. Speaking of the Rebels, they are looking forward to the opportunity to play a top-10 opponent once more. Ole Miss beat then-No. 6 LSU on Oct. 19, and the Rebels have made sure to note that all three of their losses this year (Auburn, Texas A&M and Alabama, respectively) have come against teams ranked 6, 1 and 9 in the latest Associated Press poll. And now this weekend, they will welcome No. 8 Missouri to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

5. Most know about the struggles of the Florida offense this year. But after bringing in one of the nation's most highly-touted receiving classes in February, that has yet to translate to the field, writes Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel. That's why offensive coordinator Brent Pease is preaching patience when it comes to the Gators' first-year receivers, who have combined for only 128 yards and one touchdown on 18 receptions this season.

6. LSU's backfield for next season got a boost on Tuesday. Jim Kleinpeter of The Times-Picayune reported that the NCAA have granted running back Alfred Blue and fullback Connor Neighbors a fifth season of eligibility in 2014. It's even more important for the Tigers considering they may lose both Jeremy Hill and Kenny Hilliard to the NFL after this season.

7. Tennessee has a huge recruiting class for 2014, with a whopping 31 prospects already committed for next year. Evan Woodberry of the Knoxville News-Sentinel checked in with Tom Luginbill, ESPN's national director of recruiting, to get his thoughts on the Volunteers' class thus far.

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