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Coffee and Magnolia: 5 March 2015

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News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet

Brandy Montgomery (10) Alabama vs Auburn Women's Basketball on Sunday, March 1, 2015 in Auburn, Ala.
Brandy Montgomery (10) Alabama vs Auburn Women's Basketball on Sunday, March 1, 2015 in Auburn, Ala.
Anthony Hall / Auburn Athletics

BASKETBALL

The women continued their winning streak Wednesday afternoon by taking down Florida 71-49 in the first game of the SEC Tournament. They will next face Texas A&M at 2:30pm , today. The game will be on SEC Network.

One other fun thing of note: Auburn's game in the SEC Tourney yesterday was a landmark in that I believe it's the first time an actual live SEC sporting event forced Finebaum off the TV since his show began being broadcast on the network. That is always a good thing.

The men are preparing for their final home game of the season against a Georgia team that gave Kentucky a run for its money just the other night. Of course, it's also a Georgia team that Auburn defeated in Athens on Valentine's Day. It will be Senior Night, so hopefully a big crowd shows up to give these guys a big send off.

BASEBALL

No other mid-week game this week other than the Capital City Classic. Friday's opening game of the Xavier series has been moved to 3pm from 6pm to take advantage of some warmer weather.

FOOTBALL

AL.com previews Auburn's offensive line going into Spring. They will be without a few key contributors from the past few seasons, including Pat Miller, who explained his decision to declare for the NFL draft following Auburn's Pro Day.

Speaking of that offensive line, AL.com ranks it the 4th best returning OL in the nation. I think it's going to be a good unit, but it's going to take it a bit to really gel, given than we'll have a new center, Kozan back from injury, and Braden Smith will probably work his way into the full-time rotation, as well.

ESPN is ranking position units, still. Now we have their rankings of Auburn's Special Teams and Defensive Backs. They have both units ranked 9th. It's really hard to argue when you consider Auburn loses dynamic punt returner Quan Bray, punting was questionable all season with Carlson having to handle those duties much more than we would like, and coverage of punts and kickoffs suffered, as well. Then the defensive backs gave up a TON of yards. Some of that is also on lack of a pass rush, though. As bad as some of the numbers were, Auburn also had more interceptions than they've picked up in one season in a long time with 22 INTs.

ESPN is also profiling big spring position battles, and Auburn is on there for running backs. I think that will be an interesting battle to see who will be the feature back, but I'm not worried about how it comes out. I think Auburn will be just fine at running back this season.

Some in the NFL have criticized spread offenses, but Gus Malzahn doesn't really  listen to that type of criticism. For one thing, Gus has always contended that his offense is not a spread offense. "Spread" is such a vague term. The criticism by NFL coaches has centered more on the play calling from the sidelines and that offenses utilizing systems similar to Malzahn's doesn't really fully develop a QB for what the NFL wants.

Gus is also in the news about criticizing the proposal to change the illegal lineman down field rule, which will be voted on very soon. Jerry Hinnen asks why we need to change it immediately rather than pushing for officials to just pay attention to the actual rule for a year, first. Our own WarRoomEagle pointed out to Jerry on Twitter that the rule change would then have to wait for another year as non-safety related rule changes are only allowed every two years.