On the Links: Opinion Offering; Season Begins; No. 7 for SEC?

This week’s game: Jackson State (0-0) at MSU (0-0), Saturday, 6 p.m., Fox Sports Net/ESPN3.com (Bob Rathbun, Tim Couch and Elizabeth Moreau)

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For as much talent and depth as Mississippi State appears to have, it’s easy to forget just how many young players will be counted upon to varying degrees this year. In today’s Journal, my opinion offering focuses on this fact (CLICK HERE).

As noted in the column, 23 of 51 players on the depth chart are sophomores or younger. That’s 45.1 percent. While many of those youngsters on second-string, they’ll all get significant snaps. Plus, you’ve got guys like redshirt freshman Benardrick McKinney filling major roles; he’s the starting middle linebacker.

The true test of this team will be how consistently the younger players can perform. And next week’s game versus Auburn will be the first measuring stick.

• Let’s hit some links: Ahem, THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON STARTS TODAY WOOT. South Carolina visits Vanderbilt, and for previews of the game, CLICK HERE for the SC angle, and CLICK HERE for the Vandy angle. Game kicks off at 6 p.m. on ESPN. … The only other game worth watching tonight is Mike Leach‘s debut at Washington State, which visits BYU (9:15, ESPN). Something I didn’t know: BYU is Leach’s alma mater (CLICK HERE). … Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com says the numbers point to a seventh consecutive BCS title for the SEC (CLICK HERE).