SEC lunchtime links
December, 30, 2013
By Alex Scarborough | ESPN.com
And now we get to the real meat of the bowl season, particularly in the SEC, where several teams will wrap up their seasons this week.
- Auburn is going to try to run the football against Florida State. Everyone knows this. But passing against the Noles won't be so easy. With FSU featuring some of the best defensive backs in the country, Nick Marshall will have to be on his game to keep the defense honest.
- On the other side, it's up to Auburn defensive end Dee Ford to bring the pressure on FSU quarterback Jameis Winston so Winston doesn't have time to pick apart the Tigers' somewhat maligned secondary. But as Ford said, "It's going to be a full D-line affair."
- Oklahoma is worried about Alabama's physical nature. Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops called it the team's biggest challenge and said, "Offensively, they're the most complete team we've faced."
- Alabama, for its part, is maintaining the confidence of the No. 1 team in the nation. Tide tight end Brian Vogler said simply, "It's a respect thing. We want to go out and prove to people that we're one of the best teams in the country."
- Wisconsin coordinator Dave Aranda can see what Conor Shaw means to South Carolina. "[Shaw is] the heart and soul of the team," Aranda said. But beyond the intangibles, Shaw has been a production machine: 26-5 as a starter, 5,762 yards passing and 1,636 yards rushing, making him the only player in program history to record at least 1,000 yards rushing and at least 5,000 yards passing.
- Brotherly love inspires Missouri wideout L'Damian Washington. He vowed at a young age to do something positive with his life.
- Chase Daniel, Henry Josey and Kendial Lawrence all came to Missouri from Texas. In fact, the Tigers' list of Lonestar State alums is quite impressive.
- Les Miles and Kirk Ferentz have been a rare breed. LSU and Iowa's head coaches have enjoyed both prolonged job security and success at the same place for a while now.
- LSU running back Jeremy Hill has emerged as a top prospect at running back. But he insists that he's not thinking about the NFL just yet.
- Kevin Sumlin's tenure at Texas A&M hasn't always been smooth sailing. But the ups and downs haven't slowed the progress in College Station.
- It's with great sadness that we reveal the Chick-fil-A inspired Texas A&M uniforms as myth.
- Mississippi State defensive lineman P.J. Jones finally forgot that ever-worrisome boot on his foot this week. Since early in fall camp, he's been hampered with an injury. But as his coaches told him, playing through pain is part of the job.
Picks Of The Week: Ole Miss-LSU
12:00 PM ET UAB Arkansas 3:30 PM ET 1 Mississippi State Kentucky 4:00 PM ET Vanderbilt Missouri 7:15 PM ET 3 Ole Miss 24 LSU 7:30 PM ET South Carolina 5 Auburn 7:30 PM ET 4 Alabama Tennessee