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Coffee and Magnolia: August 12th

Tuesday morning reads

Good morning, Auburn fans.

Opelika is getting a PGA event! The Barbasol Championship will be at RTJ Grand National next July, and three more years of RTJ hosts will follow. Pretty cool, I say.

Brandon Marcello offers a recap of 13 things we've learned from Auburn's nine practices so far, hitting on Alex Kozan's injury, newcomers Roc and D'haquille and a lot more. He picked 13 instead of the more obvious choice of nine, because, as we all know, "13 Seconds" has been the rallying cry of Gus and his players this summer.

New safety Derrick Moncrief got his own write-up on, focusing on his apparent ability to make an immediate impact in Auburn's defensive backfield.

Marcello also wrote about the Tiger offense trying to improve ball security this season. Nick Marshall was a notable bobbler of snaps last year (though a couple did end up turning into huge plays) and was also credited with four fumbles on botched handoffs. Auburn fumbled 30 times in 2013 and lucked into only losing 11 of them.

But Lashlee did have some compliments for his starting QB too, saying he's sure Marshall will be on the shortlist for many awards come November. He talked yesterday about each of his top three quarterbacks, offering up some good block quotes.

Despite the OC's very high praise ("There's not a better young man on our team, there's not a better leader on our team, there's not another young man on your team you'd want your daughter to marry someday") for Jonathan Wallace, the veteran of the signal caller pack is still without a clear role for the upcoming season, with special teams still in the mix.

On that side of the line, there's also been a lot of positive chatter about the receiving corps, notably Melvin Ray whose deep catch between two defenders has got several coaches and players saying he's made the best play of the new season so far.

Joel Erickson has a story about Cool Cat (Shon) Coleman and his mindset as he prepares to replace the NFL's most recent number two draft pick, with the cancer survivor saying he's not setting out to be anyone but himself.

Here's a cool chat with coach Rodney Garner and some of his reflections on his first season back in Auburn being one of his most rewarding seasons ever.

Phillip Marshall posted a brief lunchtime musings story, reminiscing on the first half of Monday at the athletic complex.

Jon Solomon has another informative post about the O'Bannon ruling, and the NCAA seeking clarification on when exactly the new standards are supposed to apply. Mike Slive released a statement from SEC HQ on the matter.

Speaking of the SEC's suits and brains, the SEC Network has released the schedule for its first two weeks of programming, and there's a lot to be excited for. If you're like me and routinely watching old football games on YouTube as a late night fix, the channel will more than hold you over on that front. Each school will get its turn in the spotlight, so we'll see all manners of documentaries, classic games from a number of schools and even the first live sporting events on the network, a trio of Kentucky basketball games from Puerto Rico.

In a little late summer Auburn baseball update action, we learned yesterday that the Tigers will head to Atlanta in March to take on Georgia Tech before hosting the Ramblin' Wreck in April. The schools have met over 100 times, but not since 2005.

In the collegiate summer leagues, Auburn players are drawing mixed results both at the plate and on the mound, but they're getting their reps in against quality opponents and that's what matters most. Blake Austin's Amsterdam Mohawks won the Perfect Game CBL championship series. Austin was a starting catcher in the league's All-Star game earlier this summer.

Also, former Tiger Dillon Ortman went five innings, allowing four hits and two runs with two K's in his first professional start for Anaheim's high-A Inland Empire of the California League, which is a pitcher's hell.

And finally, something no one wanted to read anytime soon, The New York Times on the life of Robin Williams.