AUBURN, Ala. — One would assume many people who will read this morning's "7 at 7" also made sure to tune in to watch Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football.
Of course, while the Panthers deserve all due credit for their 24-20 win over the New England Patriots, all the talk after the game centered on the final play, where a flag was initially thrown in the end zone on Tom Brady's last-second place. After a brief meeting, it was picked up and Carolina was able to celebrate its sixth consecutive victory. It's a shame for any game to be overshadowed by controversy, and that seems like it will be the case moving forward, as the debate will rage on whether there should have been a holding or pass interference call on the Panthers.
Regardless, both teams are now 7-3 and look well on their way to the playoffs.
And without further ado, let's get to this morning's links from around the NCAA.
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1. No one can doubt that Ed Orgeron has turned around Southern California since he was named the team's interim head coach on Sept. 29. Since that time, the Trojans are 5-1 overall, and more importantly, 5-0 in Pac-12 competition. And Orgeron has made it clear he hopes to get the interim title removed, as he told ESPN on Monday that he wants "to be the head coach at USC." One person he may have to beat out for the job is USC alum and Denver Broncos assistant Jack Del Rio, who interviewed for the position during the Trojans' bye week.
2. Not that this should come as any surprise, but Urban Meyer decried the BCS system on Monday. Ohio State's head coach said the BCS is "flawed," but also went on to admit he didn't think the four-team playoff will do much better at eliminating controversy.
3. James Franklin has missed four starts since injuring his shoulder against Georgia on Oct. 12. But Missouri's senior quarterback is back to optimum health now, with head coach Gary Pinkel saying Franklin is "100 percent cleared" to play this Saturday, as the Tigers travel to Oxford, Miss., to take on Ole Miss.
4. Missouri is far from the only team that has had to deal with injury issues surrounding its starting quarterback. While the Tigers now have their situation resolved, three other teams in Utah, Washington and Nebraska are still trying to work their way through things with just a few weeks remaining in the regular season.
5. Another starting signal-caller for a Tiger-named team (not Missouri) won't be missing any time. Despite injuring his collarbone in last Thursday's 55-31 victory over Georgia Tech, Clemson's Tajh Boyd will take the field with the first-team offense this weekend against against the Citadel.
6. Fellow ACC quarterback Jameis Winston has continued to make headlines with his play on the field. But after becoming ensnared in a investigation regarding a possible sexual battery incident, the redshirt freshman has begun to see his name appear in off-field headlines as well. Over the weekend, Winston's lawyer said he was "deeply concerned" about comments State Attorney General Willie Meggs made to the (Tallahassee) Democrat on Sunday regarding the case.
7. After a fight between players on Virginia State and Winston-Salem State last week, one player was left injured and another taken into custody. The injured player was Winston-Salem State's starting quarterback, Rudy Johnson, while Virginia State running back Lamont Daniel Britt was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury during the fight. The two teams were set to compete in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday, but the game was cancelled following the attack on Johnson, with Winston-Salem State winning by forfeit. Days after the incident occurred, however, the two schools still can't agree on exactly what happened last Friday.