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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday links (10/8)

There's a LIVE chat starting at 1 p.m. ET/noon CT. We'll be talking Auburn football. I hope you can make it.

Here are some links to help get you through your Thursday ...
  • Arkansas will have to slow down Auburn's running game if it wants to have any chance Saturday, writes Robbie Neiswanger of the Morning News. That's no small task.
  • So does Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel in this mailbag. He also touches on whether or not it's a good idea to designate a coach-in-waiting now that the prime example -- Jimbo Fisher at Florida State -- is such a mess right now. He even tackles a Turner Gill question that directly leads to this mea culpa about Auburn:
"As I wrote last December, anyone who thinks race played a factor in Gill not getting a major-conference job is blindly speculating. For all we know, Gill was offered a job but turned it down. What we do know, however, is that Auburn fans desperately wanted Gill and were aghast when the school, instead, hired a guy who went 5-17 [actually 5-19] at Iowa State. That divisiveness, much more so than either candidate's resume, caused me to write that Chizik 'has absolutely no chance of succeeding at Auburn.'

"I know that looks pretty silly right now, with the Tigers sitting at 5-0 and their fan base elated. Even before the season, Chizik did a lot of things to win over the faithful, from hiring Gus Malzahn (which has proven invaluable) to elevating recruiting. But don't forget, this is Auburn. Chizik's debut season will ultimately be judged by how he does against Alabama, and like Tommy Tuberville and Terry Bowden before him, he'll be on the hot seat every day until he wins a national title (and then again shortly thereafter). I sincerely hope he proves my initial opinion wrong, and, hopefully, Tigers fans give him the opportunity to do that. It certainly helps that he's off to a great start and -- while it's unfortunate that this is even relevant -- that Gill is not."
  • Arkansas 38, Auburn 31: Gene Chizik has done a terrific job with the Tigers, who at 5-0 are the surprise team of the league. They’re extremely balanced on offense and playing with a purpose. The chinks have come on defense, which has given up more points and yards than anybody on the Plains would like. That will finally catch up with them in Fayetteville, where the Hogs will find themselves on the right end of a shootout this time.
  • "Arkansas can’t stop a cold, but they’ll try to score some points,” Tuberille said.
  • Georgia's already-thin receiving corps might be without Tavarres King when the Bulldogs travel to Tennessee, writes David Hale of the Macon Telegraph.
  • Florida quarterback Tim Tebow will be a gametime decision. Can't imagine that makes it easy for gamblers to take a side on this game. Interesting take here from Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles times: Sit Tebow if he's still iffy, because the Gators can afford a loss this early in the season and still get to the national title game by winning out.
  • Oklahoma State WR Dez White's career might be over because of contact he had with former NFL star Deion Sanders. Well, that and the fact that he lied about it to the NCAA.

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