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Lunchtime Links - Memphis Edition

Here's some news and notes on the Memphis Tigers to get you through the work day.

Geoff Calkins: Optimist might say stadium half empty " The Commercial Appeal

Geoff Calkins tries to get your panties in a wad about the lack of attendance at Thursday's Mississippi State-Memphis game. Sorry the athletic departments decided to move the game from Sept. 3 to accommodate TV. I'll oblige them by sitting on my couch and not driving three hours back and forth from Nashville to watch Mississippi State beat arguably the worst team in the FBS. Yawn...

Of course, it didn't help that Mississippi State asked for 6,000 tickets and returned 2,000 of them. Really, Mississippi State?

Where's all that passion I've been hearing so much about? And don't tell me that the game is on a Thursday night, and it's on TV anyway, and blah blah blah blah.

Alabama would have put 40,000 in the Liberty Bowl. Tennessee would have done close to that. If you're a real SEC program, you don't make excuses. You take over the Liberty Bowl and make it your own.

Memphis coach Larry Porter likes his RBs - The Memphis Edge

They don't have the PROVEN track record of Vick Ballard and LaDarius Perkins, but University of Memphis coach Larry Porter is pleased with the 1-2 punch at running back he'll field Thursday in the season opener against Mississippi State. Porter called sophomore Jerrell Rhodes the MVP of preseason camp. He said repeatedly during multiple stops Monday (press luncheon, Highland 100 meeting, radio show) that Rhodes has shown an increased maturity that should bode well during the season.

Porter says structure in place for Tigers to eventually succeed on the field " The Commercial Appeal

''I did not realize it would come as fast as it has,'' Porter said of his team's ''buying into'' the changes in philosophy. ''We started school last semester Jan. 14 or so and, unsolicited, we had over 20 some odd guys out there the first day working out on their own. As members of the coaching staff were finishing up recruiting, I was getting phone calls about how much things had changed. And I hadn't done a thing.''