<
>

SEC morning links

1. Former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron took the first opportunity to back away from critical comments he made in a radio interview this week. He now maintains that his critiques of the leadership on this year's Crimson Tide and comments about how Nick Saban might “handcuff” his offensive coordinators were taken out of context when the comments went viral, which represents the “ugly side of the media.” Earlier in the day, Saban disagreed with McCarron's comments about how the team lacks “true leaders like we had last year” by saying, “I don't know how AJ would really know.” McCarron might be telling the truth in saying his comments reflected a message he didn't intend to send, but blaming the blowback on the media is lame. He said what he said. If he meant something else, he should have said that.

2. Mississippi State won't just get back formerly suspended center Dillon Day for this Saturday's matchup with Auburn. The Bulldogs should get receiver Jameon Lewis back, as well, for one of the biggest games in school history. Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen is trying to keep things in perspective about State's hot start, but that's no easy feat around Starkville these days. The Bulldogs are confident about defending Auburn's offense after faring well against it in 2013, but the Tigers still pulled out a late win that was a pivotal point in their turnaround that led to an SEC title and a spot in the BCS championship game.

3. Fans often dislike early kickoffs, but Georgia prefers it for this week's visit to Missouri with another long road trip on tap for next Saturday against Arkansas. The Bulldogs requested an earlier kickoff Saturday in order to better cope with those travel concerns. But don't expect to hear any more about it from Georgia's players this week. Bulldogs coach Mark Richt cut off media access to the players -- including Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Gurley -- after Tuesday's media sessions with the pivotal SEC East game ahead. Folks at Missouri had plenty to say about Gurley, however. Just check out the comments in Monday's notes from the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Around the SEC:

We all know polls are never wrong, so this is completely relevant. A survey of 800 Kentucky adults showed that 51 percent believed that Kentucky will beat Louisville in next month's Governor's Cup game. Louisville has won the last three meetings between the teams, but got only 27 percent of the vote.

Police in Athens (Ga.)-Clarke County filed a warrant charging wide receiver prospect Darnell Salomon with continuing to use an iPhone that he said he did not steal from a female UGA athlete's dorm room while visiting campus.

The quarterback battle at Florida is not the one we expected after last Saturday's win over Tennessee. It's between Will Grier and Skyler Mornhinweg for the backup spot behind Jeff Driskel.

Texas A&M is extremely happy to be playing back at Kyle Field in Saturday's game against No. 3 Ole Miss.

Tweet of the day: