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Plainslinks loves to be the bearer of good news

Through the gates.

Well, this is new. I think I like it. So yeah, Rivals has this profile of Kenneth Carter up, and he’s talking about his workouts the way they always do in these things at Rivals, but he also says he wasn’t expecting Jeff Whitaker to sign, which is interesting, and haha he says LaDarius Owens will make an immediate impact on offense, slip of the tongue I guess, and he … wait, what?

When do you plan to report?
“I’m coming in Monday, I’m fully qualified.”

That, folks, is very good news. Carter was one of the few members of the 2010 class allegedly on the academic fence, and typically we don’t hear about their qualification status until just days before fall camp starts–or in the case of players like Daren Bates, sometimes not even until afterwards.

Not only that, but I’ll remind you once again that Carter is one of only two defensive tackles in his class and one of only three (not counting JUCOs) to qualify in the past two classes. He was a recruit we had to have cross the qualification finish line, and I think you could forgive Auburn fans for being nervous after the past few major recruits from Greenville (including 2009 Auburn commitment Jamontay Pilson) failed to make it.

But Carter already has, and it’s just another example of how things really have changed from the Tubby days. Wasn’t that long ago we could expect anywhere from a fifth to a third of Auburn’s signees to head off to prep school or JUCO; even as recently as 2009, we knew players like Reggie Taylor or LaVoyd James were question marks the day they signed. Now, with Carter safely in the fold, there’s not more than one or two of this class’s 27 members that are still in any kind of academic doubt. Jeremy Richardson is already at JUCO, you’ll recall, but he may wind up the only one.

In other words, the days of Auburn’s classes looking terrific on Signing Day and getting gutted by the fall are over.

If it’s Friday, that means … it’s baseball preview time! Tennessee arrives at Plainsman Park tonight, and your 5P Primer and the weekly Track ‘Em preview from Kevin are both available now. Bryan Matthews also has some worthwhile nuggets here. The big storyline: two Auburn wins clinches a trip to Hoover.

Kevin’s predicting that Auburn takes those two out of three, and I think that’s the most likely outcome, but a Tiger sweep really wouldn’t surprise me; Auburn’s been the substantially better team over the course of the season, and where Kevin sees a hot and dangerous Vol team coming in off of eight straight W’s and three SEC series wins, I see one that’s been playing a bit over their heads and may come down to earth. We’ll see.

Oh well. The Auburn softball team’s stay in the SEC Tournament was nasty, brutish, and short, as Florida knocked the Tigers around to the tune of 9-1. All nine runs were unearned, eight of them in the fifth inning alone. It’s not exactly the way you want your season to end, so we’ll hope the Tigers receive an NCAA berth when pairings are announced this Sunday. I have no idea how likely that is.

On the plus side, my high school alma mater’s softball team is off to hot start at the state tournament, so I’ve got that going for me.

Don’t panic. The odds are low you haven’t seen Orson’s attempt to LISTEN ALL O’ Y’ALL IT’S A SABOTAGE the intro song voting by now, but fortunately the odds are even lower it comes to anything other than silly Interwebs giggling. The wording at the polling page seems (to me, anyway) to acknowledge write-in candidates as “suggestions” rather than votes, and it’s not like write-ins wouldn’t be screened anyway, lest “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta” or some other wonderfully NSFW song somehow wind up on the ballot. I certainly don’t begrudge Orson or anyone else their fun, but I’m afraid their efforts are going to accomplish about as much as chickens pecking with a great deal of vigor.

Football linkage. Acid kicks off his previews for the 2010 season with a look at Arkansas State; the Red Wolves lost a ton from last year’s squad and should be a much less harrowing opening-week opponent than La. Tech looked to be last summer. Kiehl Frazier talks to the Sporting News, wisely doesn’t really say much of note, though it’s clear Malzahn’s presence has a lot to do with his interest in Auburn. The only team in the SEC that’s gone longer without losing to non-BCS competition than Auburn has is Florida; the Tigers have been perfect vs. mid-majors since the 10-9 loss to Southern Miss in 1991, but the Gators haven’t dropped one since a loss to Memphis in 1988. Whoa.

Video. Two very different but both very watchable clips: one featuring Bo, the Chiznick and the Chuckster at the Regions charity golf tournament; one featuring Auburn’s own Pine Hill Haints at the Bottletree, here at TWER.

Etc. Auburn’s women’s hoops team makes the grade … ESPN comes up with their best World Cup promo yet.

Random Ten: What the hell, it’s Friday. Here’s a song about Auburn’s baseball team:

1. “Old Friends,” Simon and Garfunkel
2. “One Chance,” Modest Mouse
3. “Abel,” The National
4. “Even the Losers,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5. “Digital Love,” Daft Punk
6. “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want,” The Smiths
7. “Go Hippie,” Fountains of Wayne
8. “Crown of Love,” Arcade Fire
9. “Contender,” the Pains of Being Pure at Heart
10. “Promising Light,” Iron and Wine.

I don’t think any of these songs would make for a good football intro video. Enjoy your weekend.

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