AUBURN, Ala. — Even with Auburn having the week off, it's a big weekend in the SEC, with a pair of great matchups featuring top-25 teams (No. 6 LSU at No. 9 Georgia and No. 21 Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama) and a couple of other intriguing contests as well.
And with it being Wednesday morning, that means it's time for "7 at 7" to take a look around the league.
Let's get started.
1. We have a plethora of links leading into the mammoth LSU/Georgia matchup this week. My colleague at the Macon Telegraph, Seth Emerson, has a pair of stories, one noting how the roles for these two teams have changed since they last met (in the 2011 SEC Championship Game), while the other is a "what-if?" look at what might have happened if LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger hadn't been dismissed from Georgia in 2010. From the LSU side, the Tigers have said they have no problem going on the road this weekend, as they will embrace the hostility that greets them in Athens.
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2. We'll give Ole Miss/Alabama the same treatment as the game above. Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion-Ledger says Rebels wide receiver Donte Moncrief is studying what Texas A&M wideout Mike Evans did to have success against Alabama's defense two weeks ago. To combat these issues, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says the cornerback position is still an open competition, as the team rotated various players at the spot last week versus Colorado State. Finally, Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt sums it up best, saying he expects a 'throw-down when the two teams tee it up on Saturday.
3. How did Missouri beat Indiana so easily last Saturday? Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Tigers unveiled a defensive package in the third quarter it hadn't used all season that utterly flummoxed the Hoosiers, which helped the visitors cruise to a 45-28 victory in Bloomington, Ind.
4. Arkansas isn't lingering on its loss to Rutgers last week, writes Robbie Neiswanger of the Arkansas News Bureau. And with Texas A&M coming into Fayetteville, Ark., for the Razorbacks' SEC opener on Saturday, getting refocused won't be a problem.
5. The Knoxville News Sentinel takes stock of Tennessee through four games this season. As expected, the Volunteers' offense has been terrible (and slightly better defensively, but special teams has been a pleasant surprise.
6.Former LSU head coach Paul Dietzel passed away on Tuesday. The man who brought the Tigers their first national championship in 1958 also coached Army (1962-65) and South Carolina (1966-1974) before returning to LSU in 1978 to serve as the school's athletic director. The Times-Picayune's Jim Kleinpeter has a lengthy obituary on one greatest coaches in SEC history.
7. I'm going to post this last link without providing any context, and instead go with a headline-only tease. Drake (the rapper, not the university) said this about Johnny Manziel on Tuesday: "He's a pure soul."
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