SEC: Statement games and national title implications

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SEC links for Saturday:

- The Cowboys Classic is a statement game for LSU and TCU. LSU isn’t happy with its No. 12 ranking and wants to prove its better than that.

- As Georgia meets Clemson tonight, Bulldogs know their key to victory is execution not emotion. This is a game with national championship implications, by the way.

- Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron was wearing a walking boot as the Crimson Tide arrived in Atlanta for game with Virginia Tech. The school says the boot is a precautionary measure and McCarron will be ready to play against the Hokies.

- Alabama players say they are anxious to see where the defending national champions “are at” as they open the season.

- Two different versions of the spread offense clash tonight when Auburn meets Washington State. It’s Gus Malzahn vs. Mike Leach.

- As Oklahoma State gets ready for Mississippi State, coach Mike Gundy had to change his defensive philosophy. Be sure and check out MSU’s new helmets, too.

- With Johnny Manziel decision decided, Texas A&M opens the season against an old SWC foe in Rice. Manziel will sit out the first half.

- Tennessee opens the Butch Jones Era, but how will it look? The Vols meet Austin Peay.

- Florida isn’t expecting a cakewalk today against Toldeo. The Gators swear they are not taking the Rockets for granted.

- No more talking as Bret Bielema Era starts in Fayetteville. Arkansas plays Louisiana-Lafayette.

- Missouri wants to put its 2012 season in the rearview mirror as it opens against Murray State today. James Franklin’s legacy is on the line.

(Ft. Worth Star Telegram photo)

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