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SPORTS
September 11, 2011 | Chris Dufresne
Play it forward Five things to watch this week in college football. 1. Louisiana State at Mississippi State is a Thursday night gem featuring two of the top teams from the best division in college football — the Southeastern Conference West. The game is almost must-win for Mississippi State after Saturday's heart-breaking loss at Auburn. 2. No. 1 Oklahoma plays at No. 5 Florida State in a game with huge national implications. Oklahoma is No. 1 in the Associated Press poll for a record 100th time while Florida State is out to avenge last year's humiliating 47-17 loss in Norman.
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SPORTS
August 12, 2011 | Wire reports
The Texas A&M System board of regents has called a special meeting Monday that includes an agenda item about conference alignment. The session comes amid speculation that Texas A&M is leaving the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference. Texas A&M considered switching to the SEC last year before staying in the Big 12. The university hasn't confirmed it is again discussing a jump to the SEC, but talk has been intensifying that the Aggies are looking to leave. The news of the meeting comes on the heels of the Texas House Committee on Higher Education calling a Tuesday hearing, to which Big 12, SEC and Texas A&M officials have been invited, to discuss possible realignment of college conferences in the state.
SPORTS
August 8, 2011 | Chris Dufresne
Ryan Mallett has left the arena … how about a round of applause? The guy's arm was so strong the team once voted him "most likely to throw a watermelon through a keyhole. " He's probably going to make a terrific replacement someday in New England for Tom Brady. He has all the professional tools and the box they came in, yet he wasn't exactly Joe Montana in the clutch. Mallett was "almost' legendary. He could have won the Heisman Trophy — but didn't. In stinging defeats against Alabama and Ohio State, Mallett lacked the magic touch that made Auburn quarterback Cam Newton famous.
SPORTS
July 23, 2011 | Chris Dufresne
Football media days/daze staged annually by the Southeastern Conference compare to the frenzy of Super Bowl week, with a notable exception: Super Bowl week ends with a game. "This has got to be the largest credentialed media contingent for a nonevent," said Tony Barnhart, veteran multimedia sage of Southern football. The SEC credentialed 1,050 people for last week's gridiron fest at the Wynfrey Hotel. They take their "nonevent" football seriously down here. For three days, Wednesday through Friday, starting with Arkansas and ending with Louisiana State, fanatics of all shapes and allegiances jammed the lobby for the chance to glimpse their heroes.
SPORTS
January 6, 2011 | Chris Dufresne
A new year poses an old question: Who is going to stop Auburn quarterback Cam Newton? Kentucky couldn't do it. He rushed for 198 yards. South Carolina, in two losses against Newton, "held" him to 493 passing yards and 249 rushing. Louisiana State, which has a pretty decent defense, watched Newton cut loose for 217 rushing yards in October. A scandal didn't stop Newton, and neither did the Southeastern Conference, nor the NCAA. More than 100 Heisman Trophy voters left Newton off their ballots, yet he still received 82.2% of the first-place love in a runaway election.
SPORTS
December 8, 2010 | Chris Dufresne
Oregon sitting on top never did quite sit right, but order has been fully and faithfully restored. Someone down at the sanity office got wind before it was too late and priority-rushed Auburn to the fore, while simultaneously returning the Southeastern Conference Network to regularly-scheduled deprogramming. Whew, that was close. Only days ago, the Oregon Ducks were college football's jet-set juggernauts and Auburn was the team trailing Georgia, 21-7. The Pacific 10 Conference, for weeks, was rated as the nation's top conference.
SPORTS
November 22, 2010 | Chris Dufresne
Thanksgiving week means one thing: It's time to set the table. Oregon and Auburn remained 1-2 in the Bowl Championship Series standings Sunday, with Boise State gaining significant ground on No. 3 Texas Christian with a huge crossover game at No. 19 Nevada on Friday. TCU's grip on No. 3 appears to be slip-sliding away. Incredibly, only one of the six major-college conference races has been settled, and even that one requires a drive-by dissertation. We know Auburn and South Carolina are meeting for the Southeastern Conference title on Dec. 4 in Atlanta.
SPORTS
October 3, 2010 | By Chris Dufresne
Five things to watch in Week 4 of college football 1: Alabama has clearly established itself as the class of the Southeastern Conference and next week's trip to South Carolina might be the last chance for an upset until the Crimson Tide faces Auburn in the Iron Bowl. South Carolina, 3-1, has the advantage of coming off a bye week. 2: Weekend losses kept USC and Stanford from being next week's marquee matchup in Palo Alto. The Trojans can't win the Pacific 10 this year, but they can play the spoiler's role and very much want to prevent a third loss to the Cardinal in the last four years.
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