|The father of Alabama QB AJ McCarron said the junior took Nick Saban's advice about staying. (US Presswire)|
A look at what's making news around SEC country on Thursday:
- Auburn brought in 11 offensive linemen in the last two recruiting classes to help rebuild a unit that lost every starter off of its 2010 National Championship team. One of the highest-ranked members of that group was T Christian Westerman, who signed in the 2011 class. After seeing limited action last season, the redshirt freshman will transfer to Arizona State, according to AuburnSports.com. Westerman, a former four-star recruit, will be closer to his hometown of Chandler, Ariz.
- Mississippi State will be without backup RB Nick Griffin when it takes on Northwestern in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1. Griffin tore his ACL in bowl practice last Saturday, the Clarion-Ledger reported. Griffin, a sophomore, also tore his ACL in spring practice of 2011. He rushed for 223 yards and a TD as the primary backup to RB LaDarius Perkins this season.
- Arkansas has confirmed the hiring of offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and offensive line coach Sam Pittman, both of whom held the same position at Tennessee last season. Chaney, who was also a former OC at Purdue and a former assistant coach for the St. Louis Rams, is known for his high-powered passing offenses. New Arkansas coach Bret Bielema thinks he'll be an ideal fit for what he wants to accomplish on offense. "Jim Chaney's approach will blend well with my ideas as we work to put together a plan for the team we have and over time develop our specific philosophy," Bielema told the school's official website.
- Tony McCarron, the father of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, told AL.com that coach Nick Saban advised the junior QB to stay in school another season rather than enter the NFL Draft early. "He's smart enough to know that everything coach Saban's told him to do so far has worked out pretty well for him," he said. "If it was coach Saban's advice to come back, and it was, then he knows he needs to work on a couple, two, three different things, come back, work extremely hard on those two or three different things, show your loyalty to the university and help them prepare somebody to take over for you when you leave."
For more up-to-the minute news and analysis from SEC bloggers Larry Hartstein and Daniel Lewis, follow @CBSSportsSEC.