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SEC morning links

10/31/2014

1. Louisville nearly provided our first test case for how a loss by one of the top four can shake up the College Football Playoff rankings, but the Cardinals ran out of gas against Florida State on Thursday night. Regardless, we’ll lose at least one top-four team this week since No. 3 Auburn visits No. 4 Ole Miss on Saturday. Will the selection committee simply move up one of the next two teams in the rankings, which at the moment would be Oregon and Alabama? Or could No. 7 TCU leapfrog a team or two and crack the top four by beating West Virginia on the road this Saturday? It will be interesting to observe how much each Saturday’s results can reshuffle the committee’s rankings.

2. Saturday’s South Carolina-Tennessee game will be a battle of the walking wounded. Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said Thursday that linebacker Skai Moore (ankle) and Kadetrix Marcus (shoulder) will not play. Ward said the Gamecocks are preparing to face Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs, not South Carolina native Justin Worley, whom Tennessee’s coaches have said will not play. The oft-injured Worley will not get the homecoming he would have liked to cap his career.

3. Sebastian Tretola was an obvious choice as the SEC’s Offensive Lineman of the Week after Arkansas’ left guard threw a touchdown pass on a trick play last week against UAB. But a Heisman Trophy contender? The Razorbacks are promoting him for college football’s most coveted award with a tongue-in-cheek video after the 350-pound lineman put himself on the map last weekend. In all seriousness, Bret Bielema’s trick plays are part of why his teams are entertaining to watch.

Around the SEC

• The NCAA reinstatement committee denied Georgia’s appeal on its Todd Gurley decision, meaning the Bulldogs’ star running back must sit out the next two games before a Nov. 15 return against Auburn.

• Kentucky hopes to end its SEC road woes when it visits Missouri this weekend.

• Texas A&M won’t announce its decision on a starting quarterback until Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe.

• LSU’s grounds crew had to replace at least nine patches of sod that were dug up by fans on the Tiger Stadium playing surface after the Tigers’ 10-7 win Saturday.

• Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley writes that it will be shades of 1973 for Florida when it faces Georgia on Saturday.

Tweet of the day

Guess who Bruce Pearl wants to be for Halloween.