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Phillip's (late) Lunchtime Musings

Sorry I'm a little late today, but here we go ...

Phillip Marshall, Senior Editor, AuburnUndercover.com

How bad can turnovers hurt in a football game? There is no better example than Oklahoma State's 38-35 victory over Texas A&M on Thursday night. The Aggies ran an astounding 106 plays and gained 535 yards. Oklahoma State ran 68 plays and gained 351 yards. A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson threw 62 passes and completed 40 for 409 yards. But he threw four interceptions, including one in the final minute that set up Oklahoma State's game-winning field goal. And those interceptions were the difference in the game. ...

The NCAA has made it official that written offers can no longer go out before August of a prospect's senior year. Verbal offers are still allowed. Bureaucrats who have to justify their jobs keep coming up with ridiculous rules, and this is another one. You know who will be hurt? High school players who think they have offers and then discover they don't. ...

CBSsports.com senior writer Dennis Dodd says this about Alabama and Florida heading into Saturday's showdown in Tuscaloosa: "They used to call it the SEC. Now they call it the Gator/Tide Invitational." I guess Dodd has transferred his fascination with USC to Florida and Alabama. The Gator/Tide Invitational? Didn't LSU win the national championship less than three years ago? Hasn't Alabama still lost seven of its last 10 to Auburn? Isn't Urban Meyer 0-2 against Auburn? Didn't he lose to Ole Miss at home? Alabama and Florida have certainly dominated the SEC for the past two seasons, but come on. ....

Louisiana-Lafayette, Auburn's Saturday morning opponent, has already been to Arkansas. It will play at LSU later this season. That adds up to three money games that will put in the neighborhood of $3 million in the bank. That's good for the athletic program's balance sheet. But what about the players who have to go play games in which, most of the time, success is measured in getting out without getting hurt? What do they get? A pat on the back if they are lucky. ...

Along those lines, in 1989, Auburn opened the season with a 55-0 win over Pacific. When it was over, Pacific coach Walt Harris declared that his players would like nothing better but to line up and play again. Asked about that in the locker room, his best defensive player laughed. "Uh, I don't think so," he said. ...

In less than two weeks, first-year basketball coach Tony Barbee's first team will go to practice. Barbee and his staff are recruiting like crazy, which bodes well for the future. But his first season will probably look a lot like Jeff Lebo's six seasons - little size and little chance. ...

Unless there's a change, the bats in college baseball next season will be significantly less lively than in the past. You'll see a lot more low-scoring games. Is that good for the college game? I don't think so. You don't want to go back to the 19902 when the bats were so lively it was like slow-pitch softball, but what you have now is an exciting game that is growing in popularity. Why not leave it alone? ...

Until next time ...

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