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steven-benchFormer Penn State quarterback Steven Bench has picked a new school as his transfer destination, but that school’s not in the Southeastern Conference.  Today, Bench announced via Twitter that will attend South Florida, where he’ll be eligible to play immediately (due to Penn State’s NCAA penalties).

Bench had also considered Mississippi State and North Carolina State (before the Wolfpack landed ex-Arkansas quarterback Brandon Mitchell via transfer earlier this week).  The Bulldogs’ starting quarterback, Tyler Russell, will be a senior this season.  Bench will be a sophomore this fall and would have been looking at a year on the bench and then a competition for the MSU starting spot in 2014.

South Florida has a new coach in Willie Taggart and an immediate opening quarterback in 2013.

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Missouri And Texas A&M Will Be Added To The Site Soon

Just a quick FYI on this chilly Monday morning.  Each day I receive a couple of emails from people wondering when we’ll add Missouri and Texas A&M pages to

When big news breaks — schedule stuff, coaching changes — we’re already covering those stories.  But we’re not ready to start covering Big 12 basketball.  And that’s what Mizzou and A&M are currently playing — Big 12 basketball.

The two schools enter the league officially next summer.  We anticipate adding Aggie and Tiger team pages sometime this spring, after the hoops season ends.

All of us here look forward to both schools joining the SEC and we’re already tracking their achievements in our frequent 2012 commitment comparison pieces.  But until they’re done with the Big 12, we’ll not be adding full team pages.

Hope that clears that up.  And thanks to all — including many, many of you in Missouri and Texas — for keeping track of America’s most happenin’ conference via

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MSU Not Expected To Announce Any Suspensions Until Kickoff; Twitter Rumor/Story Explodes

Earlier this afternoon, the Mississippi State fan website tweeted the following information:

“BREAKING NEWS: 10 players will not be suiting up in memphis tonight, including Fletcher Cox”

Cox is a key member of the Bulldogs’ defensive line, FYI.  In typical Twitter fashion, everyone who read the tweet from the website then re-tweeted it.  Several national writers passed the tweet along to their readers.

I’d like to think that some believed the tweet came from MSU’s athletic department because was smart enough to grab @mstateathletics as their Twitter handle.  So their tweet looked official.

But then again — knowing how Twitter works and how we in the media rush to be first on anything — the name of the tweeter probably had nothing to do with the avalanche that followed.

Since the “news” broke, there has been no confirmation from traditional media sources or from Mississippi State University.

Other tweeters have claimed to know that Cox is still in Starkville this afternoon and not with his teammates in Memphis.  Backup quarterback Dylan Favre has also been named as one of the 10 players not dressing out.  But again… there’s been no confirmation of those tweets either.

Brad Locke of The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal has tweeted the following:

“Dear tweeps: If I had confirmation about anything y’all are asking about, believe me, I wouldn’t wait for anyone to ask to divulge info.”

Fellow Bulldog beatwriter Brandon Marcello of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger held a chat with his readers this afternoon and said pretty much the same thing:

“If anyone (is suspended), it will not be announced until kickoff.  Mississippi State has not yet announced any suspensions. … The tweet circulating among the national writers is from a fan blog.”

Asked by a fan to check on the rumors, Marcello wrote:

“Partner, I’ve been checking since late last night.  When I know something, you’ll know something.”

Ah, the power of Twitter.  Put a blurb out there and everyone immediately buys it and passes it on.  Whether it’s a fan site talking about players being suspended (which might turn out to be true) or a reporter like ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb claiming that Texas A&M, Missouri, Clemson and Florida State are all joining the SEC (which turned out to be false), if it’s on Twitter it’s given instant credibility.

That’s so odd.  Because if you watch your local news or read a newspaper online or visit a site like this one, you hold the deliverer of information accountable for what we write or say.  You’re not going to immediately endorse our views after a quick glance.  But when it comes to Twitter, we see something, we pass it on, no questions asked.

I may sound like an old grump, but Twitter is a dangerous, dangerous thing.

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FYI… A New Set-Up On The Homepage (And More)

Just a couple of quick notes for all of you out there:

1.  As you might’ve noticed, we’ve slightly shortened the homepage today.  No biggie, just 10 stories on the homepage instead of the usual 25.  Older stories (like the ones from this morning) are still on the site, of course, you’ll just need to click the “Older Entries” link at the bottom of this page to see ‘em. 

We’re just giving this streamlined homepage a look-see to determine if we like it or not.  Your feedback is welcome.

2.  Be sure to check out our Recruiting Page as we cruise toward national signing day.  Josh Ward does a great job of keeping you up to date on all of the big recruiting stories from across the entire conference.

3.  Have you hooked up with us on Facebook yet?  Well, you should.  In fact, do so now.  Click here.

4.  And as always, don’t forget that we’re the kings of Twitter.  One of “The Top 100 Twitter Accounts Every Guy Should Follow” according to  Sign up to follow us here.

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Gators’ Game With Fairfield Canceled Due To Weather

Tonight’s schedule basketball game between Florida and Fairfield has been canceled due to weather.  Not weather in Gainesville, mind you, but weather in the Northeast.

This week’s blizzard has made it impossible for the Fairfield team to leave wherever it is Fairfield is located.  (That would be Connecticut, FYI.)

“We’re certainly disappointed for our fans that the game had to be canceled,” said Billy Donovan.  “But it wasn’t for any lack of effort from Fairfield trying to get here.  It was conditions that were out of everyone’s hands.”

The game will not be rescheduled for later this season.

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