The SEC coaches made the rounds on Wednesday during the weekly SEC coaches' teleconference, and the health of some of the SEC's top stars was a hot button topic with the assembled members of the media.
Georgia running back Todd Gurley, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw and Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall all have lingering health issues that could limit them from playing this weekend or keep them out entirely.
How are each of them doing and what's going on with Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema's ongoing tape saga with Auburn?
Let's take a look
Connor Shaw Is MIA
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw wowed the college football world on Saturday night versus Missouri, leading his team out of a 17-point fourth quarter hole to a dramatic double overtime win on a injured knee.
What wasn't known at the time was that Shaw was also suffering from a virus that made it difficult for him to hold down food in the Show Me State.
That virus has kept him out of action early this week and has his status for Saturday's game versus Mississippi State in doubt.
"Connor Shaw has been sick the last two days, and I haven't even seen him," head coach Steve Spurrier said. "I think he's going to show up today and try to do a little bit. Hopefully, by Saturday, he'll be fine."
So what is Spurrier doing to prepare Shaw for the Bulldogs if he's not around the football complex? Shaw's working from home.
"Some sheets were sent to his house that he rents yesterday," Spurrier said. "So hopefully he has an idea of what we're doing. Today's a very important practice day. He should be fine. I think last Saturday night is the last time I've seen him, so hopefully he'll show up today."
Welcome Back, Todd Gurley
Georgia fans have been waiting for running back Todd Gurley to return from an ankle injury he suffered in the win over LSU on Sept. 28.
The wait is over.
Gurley should return this week for the Bulldogs in what essentially is an elimination game in the SEC East against the rival Florida Gators.
"He's done well," head coach Mark Richt said. "Monday, I was encouraged and then Tuesday, I was more encouraged. He'll play unless he has some kind of wild set back. I hope he gets better daily, but he looked pretty good yesterday."
That's good news for Georgia, because while J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas filled in admirably after he and Keith Marshall went down, having Gurley back will allow Georgia to control the tempo and wear down a Florida defense that is getting outside linebacker Ronald Powell back this week.
Is Nick Marshall Really Hurt, or Is Gus Malzahn Just Playing Close to the Vest?
All signs pointed toward Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall playing against Arkansas this weekend from the moment last week's win over Florida Atlantic ended.
That may not be the case though.
Marshall's status is very much in question, after the junior injured his shoulder last weekend on a sack early in the second quarter.
"It's still day-to-day," head coach Gus Malzahn said. "He practiced yesterday, but we'll make a decision. As a matter of fact, it could be a game time decision."
Translation: He's playing.
If he practiced on Tuesday, he'll be in there taking snaps and running that dynamic Auburn offense. Malzahn is just playing it close to the vest.
Why is he playing it close to the vest? As an Arkansas native, this game certainly takes on a big meaning for not only Malzahn, but several staff members Rhett Lashlee, Tim Horton and Kodi Burns—all of whom have Arkansas ties.
Oh, there's also that tape-gate thing.
We're Talking About Tapes. TAPES!
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema made waves this week when he revealed a discrepancy between the game tapes that Auburn had sent him and the footage he has seen on television broadcasts of Auburn games. Specifically, Bielema notified the SEC that the "swinging gate" formation that Auburn sometimes uses on extra points wasn't included on the film, according to Brandon Marcello of AL.com.
Bielema was asked about any update he's received from the complaint to the SEC on Wednesday.
"Other than the conversations we had on Monday, I hadn't had anything back yesterday or today," Bielema said. "Just a couple of correspondences from the league office, and that's all we can talk about."
Bielema then went on to talk about the process in which he notified the conference about the discrepancy and if he had discussed it with Auburn.
"Myself, no," he said. "There were people on our staff. Again, all that is, is that we notified the SEC on Monday morning when it came up. That was the protocol in which I was instructed to do, and that's where it is."
Considering Arkansas has given up 52 points in back-to-back games, maybe, just maybe, Bielema should be more concerned with the plays leading up to extra points on film, rather than the one time per game (at most) Auburn lines up in a strange formation on extra points.
*Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
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