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Plainslinks is a corrective

Don't worry, Varez, the combination gypsy/voodoo/wraith-like enemy from the Final Fantasy series curse that's bene laid upon the Auburn basketball team has run its course by now. Surely. Surely.

I realized a little bit into my “Notes from the Beat” post that I had way, way too many links to lump any significant portion of them into that post and still it keep it at a manageable length. (Not that that’s ever been a substantial concern of mine, of course, but I do try for brevity on occasion.)

So it’s time for one final Plainslinks before we go into full-time previewin’ mode. They’re gonna come quick:

The AJC finally gets in on the “Cam Newton’s long journey to redemption” story. Not a whole lot you haven’t heard plenty of times this offseason, but Newton’s claim that Meyer had promised he’d rotate with Tebow in a “two-quarterback system” is new. That would be after he switched over from linebacker, right, Jevan Snead?

— Ziemba and Pugh are both up for the Lombardi. It’s an honor, as they say, just to be nominated.

It’s official: ex-Longhorn point guard Varez Ward has enrolled at Auburn and will play this season if the NCAA grants him a hardship waiver. It’s a blessing for an Auburn team in beyond-desperate need for help at the 1. Now if we can only get, oh, five more similar blessings.

— If you ever wonder why the rest of college football despises SEC fans, the first line of this braindead-on-arrival Clay Travis piece should be all the explanation you need. I swear, I’ll take the Big Ten’s occasional sanctimony and the Pac-10’s occasional ambivalence over that brand of obnoxiousness any day of the week.

— Hey, did you realize sports other than football have already started their fall seasons? Volleyball handled their Arkansas St. equivalents with ease over the weekend, while the SEC West favorite soccer team got a 2-1 win on the road. Good times.

— There’s loads and loads of precedent for a big step forward for second-year head coaches, both at Auburn and in the SEC; Track ‘Em looks at the phenomenon as it applies to the Tigers and Evan Woodbery the league as a whole. No excuse for not following in the proverbial footsteps, Gene Chizik.

— Sure PPL will have more on this, but the White Sox retired Frank Thomas’s number. Congrats to one of Auburn’s all-timers.

— Krootin’ links ahoy. We’ll start with Mike Blakely, who ran roughshod over national No. 2 Tampa Plant and mega-recruit James Wilder in an ESPN-televised game last Friday night. Check the seriously drool-inducing run (which made SportsCenter’s top plays) right hyah:

Blakely was saying all the proper non-informative things about his recruitment afterwards, calling Auburn, Florida, and South Carolina his three finalists, but the HOT RUMOR is that Auburn has moved out in front for him. Blakely’s leader has changed several times over the course of the year, of course, so grain of salt and all, but I’ll take it. (HT: AuburnEagle.)

Elsewhere, Woodbery scouts Erique Florence (and Caleb Peterson and Cameron Luper of, yes, the Luper Lupers), C.J. Uzomah is already proving himself the next Shaun Kitchens (yes, I just compared one of our commitments to a freshman who’s never taken a snap, just go with it), and Stephon Tuitt isn’t the lock to Georgia Tech he was.

— In the “in case you missed it files” from here at TWER, Thor Burk has a revealing look at Auburn’s rank in most licensed merchandise purchased (no, I wouldn’t want to wear USC or Ohio St. gear either), Dr. Jolley trash talks preseason trash talk in the way only he can, and though it’s nearly a week old now, if you still haven’t gone over the unearthed crowd shots from the 1973 Auburn-Florida game, you really should do so now.

— Elsewhere in the blAUgosphere, Kurt at Warblogle is winding down his best-at-Jordan-Hare countdown* and Rob Pate has his Arkansas St. preview up.

— And in the SEC, the first Alabama depth chart has been released; there’s a few surprises there. And at LSU, their bloggers are coming up with some clever, fascinating numbers that show their 2009 offensive line … whoa, was one of the worst of the SEC’s decade. And didn’t they lose their best guy in Ciron Black? And aren’t they coached by the same Guy Who Is Not Stacy Searels? I know I’m officially, seriously belaboring the “LSU = not that good” point, but I don’t get it. I really don’t. (Oh: Auburn’s offensive line ranked second.)

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