Good morning. You're halfway through your work week if you work "regular" hours. Or you will be at lunch time. That's something cheery. Oh, and you're probably not a Brazilian soccer fan. Condolences, to those Auburn fans who are.
The preseason awards watch list rollout continued yesterday, with two Auburn seniors being picked out as players to keep an eye on. Reese Dismukes was named to the Rimington Trophy's watch list, an award for the nation's top center, while C.J. Uzomah was placed on the John Mackey Award list which goes to the country's best tight end. Dismukes is now a three-time recipient of the preseason watch honor and was one of six finalists for the award last season.
Also on the football front, many of the beat writers are filling in the seven-ish weeks until football kicks off with lists on lists. The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer's WarEagleExtra (run by Ryan Black, who celebrated one fun year on the beat yesterday) has been selecting ten topics du jour to discuss in the days leading up to SEC Media Days. Yesterday he had two posts, one talking about the dearth of experienced quarterbacks in the league entering this season, and pointing out this crazy tidbit: "With Manziel, McCarron, Murray, Mettenberger, Shaw and Franklin gone, the SEC has to replace a whopping 18,210 passing yards and... 156 touchdowns from last year."
Holding hands with that post were his earlier musings in the day, touching on how this season could see the running backs of the SEC back in style after the signal callers took the reins in 2013. Not completely undermining his point, embedded in that post is a Bovada link in which Nick Marshall is listed as the SEC's best bet to win the Heisman in 2014. Weagle weagle.
In the hometown paper, Alex Byington is beginning the breaking down of each opponent on the Tigers' schedule this fall, with one game highlighted each day until the Media Days kick off in Hoover. Yesterday the focus was on South Carolina and the impact that midseason meeting may have on the title race in both division. He's already covered the first half of the season in order opening with the first game against Arkansas, San Jose State, the Thursday night trip to Manhattan to take on Kansas State, La. Tech, the shot for revenge against LSU and the visit to Miss State and Starkville.
The venerable P-Marsh has a column at 247Sports in which he kind of rails on the former and current collegiate athletes who in his view are "trying to become radio and television heroes or trying to get their hands on money through the courts." Well, that's one view. Not mine, but we're all entitled to our own. He does make fair points and is always worth reading, regardless of your own #hotsportstakes on the issue.
Auburn's hardball teams are hoping renaissances similar to that of the gridiron club will be heading their ways soon, after each made splash hires at the head coaching level last year. Along with coaching, great talent is required to turn the programs around as well, and junior outfielder Branndi Melero is at the core of Auburn's softball squad right now. The first team All-American hit .404/.518/.737 last season with 15 homers while walking more than she struck out. I'm not exactly a college softball enthusiast, so I'm not quite well-versed in what softball numbers typically look like, but that slash line is mind-boggling regardless. The junior is playing with Mexico in this year's General Tire World Cup of Softball IX. While the tourney's site shows us that Mexico beat the Philippines yesterday 7-0 in five innings, it also only links to Gamechanger for a box score, which you apparently have to create an account to access. But Twitter shares that (via @Auburn_Softball) Melero walked in her first plate appearance, then hit a bases-loaded triple in the third, helping Mexico get on their way to the rout. Mexico plays Team USA on Saturday at noon central time on ESPN2.
Okay, just a few more things and I'll let you go start your day, I promise.
Here's a quick video from Golf Digest shot in Auburn while getting Jason Dufner all pretty for his cover shoot. In it he discusses some Ben Hogan, haircut advice and juggles a golf ball a lot more than I can. Like 108 times more.
In former Auburn footballers doing incredible things, today we have CFL video of Winnipeg's Demond Washington returning a kickoff 96 yards for six en route to the league's weekly special teams honors.
And, finally, something a lot of you may have already seen, the great Kevin Ives tweeted out one view of how the SEC would look in soccer kits, with prominent local sponsorships and home/road kits shown for your viewing pleasure.
Have a happy Wednesday!