Wednesday, August 31, 2016
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Football season is upon us once again, and with it, a beloved tradition returns to Auburn. Yes, the new trees at Toomer’s Corner are ready to be rolled by the Tigers faithful after big wins just nearby in Jordan-Hare Stadium. What is your favorite memory of rolling the trees? I’m sure everyone’s story will differ […]
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It has been a long offseason for Auburn football fans, but the time has come for our favorite team to take the field again. This Saturday night at 8 p.m. CT Auburn football will take on the second ranked Clemson Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Who: Auburn vs. Clemson When: 8 p.m. CT Where: Jordan-Hare […]
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The #TETtailgate Challenge is back for Year Two! Let’s build on last year’s success while showing college football fans everywhere that tailgating on the Plains is the best! And, you never know, there might be prizes on the line!
Do you and your friends take great pride in your tailgate? Do you put more thought into your tailgate than you did to your career choice? Are you more excited about gathering with your friends and family around copious amounts of delicious food than actually going to or watching the game? Well, maybe that’s a stretch….
Track ‘Em Tigers wants to see and hear all about your tailgate. More importantly, we want to acknowledge your hard work and dedication to celebrating the Auburn Tigers every single game. We want to see how all of our readers show their school spirit in their own way. And, the more unique, the better! It doesn’t have to be tailgating in the shadow of Jordan-Hare. It can be a viewing party where all of your friends grill out and play cornhole. It can simply be your decisions on delectable Saturday dishes for you and your family.
Using Twitter or Instagram, use the hashtag #TETtailgate and tag @TrackemTigers and@Best5Zach. Make sure to follow us. When it’s time to tailgate, start posting! Give us a brief description of what makes your tailgate tradition special. Make sure to tell us about any special visitors or fans from the other team whom you hosted. Let other fans learn special tips and tricks that you employ. Most importantly, post pictures of and recipes for your best tailgate dishes. We want all the details!
Additionally, I will be posting how my friends, family, and I spend our game days. Not only will that include some pictures and tailgate ideas but some awesome recipes!
Each week, I will choose a special tailgate and feature it as a weekly winner of the tailgate challenge. I’ll also show the best crowd selfie, best food, and most team spirit.
Use those hashtags and start posting! I already have!
The post Track ‘Em Tigers Tailgate Challenge: Year Two appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.
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It's been dubbed the BEST OPENING WEEKEND EVER. Now you have a schedule for how to watch all of the games.
Football is back! We've already had two games last weekend, but now it is truly back as every team is getting into their Week 1 games. Do you like college football? Of course you do, you're here! Well, there are great games on from now until Monday night, so you can definitely get your fix in.
Thursday night, I'd recommend checking out Tennessee vs Appalachian State. App State was sneaky good last season and barely missed out on winning the Sun Belt. They had one of the best defenses in the country. Tennessee may find out why you don't want to schedule the Mountaineers as your Game 1 opponent just like Michigan did back in 2007.
Or, if you're into "historic" things, you can check out the first college football game broadcast solely over Twitter.
There really aren't any great games on Friday night, but should that stop you from watching football? No, it should not. Check out Toledo vs Arkansas State for some scouting of Auburn's Week 2 opponent.
Saturday is when all of the big games occur. It starts early with that Oklahoma vs Houston game at noon and just keeps on rocking from there. LSU vs Wisconsin from the Currently Defrosted Tundra of Lambeau Field is at 3:30 along with UCLA and Texas A&M. Georgia and North Carolina kick off at 5:30pm on ESPN. There's an Alabama game on at 8pm against USC, but let's face it, the game you really want to watch is Clemson at Auburn at 9pm!
Sunday and Monday only have one game per day, but they're good ones! Notre Dame and Texas will face off Sunday night with Ole Miss and Florida State closing out the BEST OPENING WEEKEND EVER Monday evening.
See the full schedule below!
|Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Streaming|
|Charlotte at (19) Louisville||7:00 p.m.||FSN / WatchESPN|
|UT Martin at Cincinnati||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Tulane at Wake Forest||7:00 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|Maine at UConn||7:00 p.m.||ASN / ESPN3|
|Presbyterian at Central Michigan||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Appalachian State at (9) Tennessee||7:30 p.m.||SECN / WatchESPN|
|Indiana at FIU||7:30 p.m.||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|William & Mary at NC State||7:30 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|South Carolina at Vanderbilt||8:00 p.m.||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Southern Utah at Utah||8:00 p.m.||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|Jackson State at UNLV||8:00 p.m.||MWN|
|Rice at WKU||8:00 p.m.||CBSSN|
|Oregon State at Minnesota||9:00 p.m.||BTN / BTN2Go|
|South Dakota at New Mexico||9:00 p.m.||ROOT Sports|
|Montana State at Idaho||9:00 p.m.||ALT / ESPN3|
|Weber State at Utah State||10:00 p.m.||MWN|
|Friday, Sept. 2, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Streaming|
|MVSU at Eastern Michigan||6:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Furman at (12) Michigan State||7:00 p.m.||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Ball State at Georgia State||7:00 p.m.||ASN / ESPN3|
|Colgate at Syracuse||7:00 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|Army at Temple||7:00 p.m.||CBSSN|
|Albany at Buffalo||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Northwestern State at (23) Baylor||7:30 p.m.||FSN / FS Go|
|Colorado vs. Colorado State (at Denver, CO)||8:00 p.m.||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Kansas State at (8) Stanford||9:00 p.m.||FS1 / FS Go|
|Toledo at Arkansas State||9:00 p.m.||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|Cal Poly at Nevada||9:30 p.m.||MWN|
|Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Streaming|
|Georgia Tech vs. Boston College (in Ireland)||7:30 a.m.||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|(3) Oklahoma vs. (15) Houston (at NRG Stadium)||Noon||ABC / WatchESPN|
|Bowling Green at (6) Ohio State||Noon||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Hawaii at (7) Michigan||Noon||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Boise State at UL Lafayette||Noon||ASN / ESPN3|
|EKU at Purdue||Noon||ESPNNEWS / WatchESPN|
|Fordham at Navy||Noon||CBSSN|
|Howard at Maryland||Noon||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Missouri at West Virginia||Noon||FS1 / FS Go|
|South Alabama at Mississippi State||Noon||SECN / WatchESPN|
|Western Michigan at Northwestern||Noon||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|Liberty at Virginia Tech||12:30 p.m.||ACCN / WatchESPN|
|Villanova at Pittsburgh||1:30 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|Abilene Christian at Air Force||2:00 p.m.||MWN|
|Rutgers at (14) Washington||2:00 p.m.||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|(5) LSU vs. Wisconsin (at Green Bay, WI)||3:30 p.m.||ABC / WatchESPN|
|(16) UCLA at Texas A&M||3:30 p.m.||CBS / cbssports.com|
|Miami, OH at (17) Iowa||3:30 p.m.||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|SE Louisiana at (21) Oklahoma State||3:30 p.m.||FSN / FS Go|
|Kent State at Penn State||3:30 p.m.||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Murray State at Illinois||3:30 p.m.||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Richmond at Virginia||3:30 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|Texas State at Ohio||3:30 p.m.||CBSSN|
|Louisiana Tech at Arkansas||4:00 p.m.||SECN / WatchESPN|
|UC Davis at (24) Oregon||5:00 p.m.||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|(18) Georgia vs. (22) North Carolina (at Atlanta, GA)||5:30 p.m.||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Austin Peay at Troy||6:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Florida A&M at Miami (FL)||6:00 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|Hampton at Old Dominion||6:00 p.m.||CUSA.TV|
|NC Central at Duke||6:00 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|Savannah State at Georgia Southern||6:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Southern Illinois at Florida Atlantic||6:00 p.m.||CUSA.TV ($)|
|Western Carolina at East Carolina||6:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|VMI at Akron||6:30 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Alabama A&M at Middle Tennessee||7:00 p.m.||CUSA.TV ($)|
|Alabama State at UTSA||7:00 p.m.||KMYS-CW 35|
|Rhode Island at Kansas||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|San Jose State at Tulsa||7:00 p.m.||CBSSN|
|SE Missouri State at Memphis||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|SMU at North Texas||7:00 p.m.||ASN|
|South Carolina State at UCF||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Southern at ULM||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Towson at USF||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|UMass at (25) Florida||7:30 p.m.||SECN / WatchESPN|
|Southern Miss at Kentucky||7:30 p.m.||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|(20) USC vs. (1) Alabama (at Arlington, TX)||8:00 p.m.||ABC / WatchESPN|
|South Dakota State at (13) TCU||8:00 p.m.||FSN / FS Go|
|EWU at Washington State||8:00 p.m.||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|Fresno State at Nebraska||8:00 p.m.||BTN / BTN2Go|
|New Mexico State at UTEP||8:00 p.m.||beIN SPORTS|
|Northern Iowa at Iowa State||8:00 p.m.||Cyclones.tv ($)|
|Stephen F. Austin at Texas Tech||8:00 p.m.||FSN / FS Go|
|New Hampshire at San Diego State||8:30 p.m.||TBA|
|(2) Clemson at Auburn||9:00 p.m.||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Arizona vs. BYU (at Glendale, AZ)||10:30 p.m.||FS1 / FS Go|
|Northern Illinois at Wyoming||10:30 p.m.||CBSSN|
|Northern Arizona at Arizona State||10:45 p.m.||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Streaming|
|(10) Notre Dame at Texas||7:30 p.m.||ABC / WatchESPN|
|Monday, Sept. 5, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Streaming|
|(11) Ole Miss vs. Florida State (at Orlando, FL)||8:00 p.m.||ESPN / WatchESPN|
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The school would like you to know what to roll and what not to roll for the 2016 season.
Since the day that [NAME REDACTED] committed his heinous act of vandalism, the traditional rolling of Toomer's Corner has been in limbo. The original Oaks were removed after the 2013 A-Day game and fans have been rolling wires strung across the corner of College Street and Magnolia Avenue along with every other tree they could find ever since.
Now, with the new Oaks transplanted in 2015 mostly rooted and established (though still with some work to do), the rolling of the trees at Toomer's Corner is ready to begin anew.
One thing the University is attempting to do, though, is limit the rolling to just those two trees.
Along with the transplantation of new Oaks, there have been some other changes to Samford Park. One of those changes is the addition of 10 descendent Toomer's Oaks along the walkway leading from the Corner to Samford Hall. Those trees are still very young and need a lot of time to establish themselves and grow strong.
Because of that, the school is stressing that those trees not be rolled. They are also trying to keep the rolling away from the other trees in Samford Park to limit the amount of cleanup and preserve the beauty of the green space. No one can forget how it looked like a blizzard hit the Plains after the 2013 Iron Bowl, but the school wants to limit that type of thing from happening again.
When will the first roll of the new Oaks occur? It will probably be within the first two weeks. Hopefully, it will be this Saturday night.
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He's got one very interesting spot on Auburn's fastest times board.
Yesterday, a fascinating story came out of Auburn's depth chart release with the word that walk-on kicker/wide receiver Will Hastings had earned a spot on the 2-deep. That article involved a search for whatever information we could find on his stats, abilities, highlights, etc.
Late last night, a thread on AuburnUndercover contained a picture from this tweet by Hastings' high school coach Kevin Kelley which shows Auburn's record board on speed/agility:
It was eye-popping that Hastings holds the top in three spots (10 yard, L-Drill, and Pro Agility). However, there was something else that caught my eye and the eyes of some of the commenters on our article, as well. In the "L-Drill" category, the #2 spot is owned by a "White."
There's only one player on the team with the name White, and that's quarterback Sean White.
We've heard quite a bit about how Sean's running ability is better than many people think. We've seen brief bits of footage, including this by WarRoom Eagle (turn the sound on, trust me) that shows he has some moves:
Even with that, though, second on the team in the L-Drill?!?
Just what is the L-Drill?
It's also known as the 3 Cone Shuttle Drill Test. According to topendsports.com, it's purpose is to test "agility, including speed, quickness, flexibility, change of direction, body control."
Sean White's time on the board in the above picture is 6.64. I think it's safe to say that's probably a bit fast and not as accurate as it would be at the NFL Combine. However, let's say for the sake of argument that it is 100% accurate. Where would that stack up among quarterbacks in the Combine since 2006? It would be second. Jordan Lynch owns the top spot at 6.55. Tim Tebow had 6.66 (no joke). Johnny Football was 6th at 6.75. Cam Newton isn't even in the Top 15. Cam was 10th in his NFL combine year with a 6.92. Nick Marshall posted a 6.96 in 2015.
6.64 would be tied for 4th in the L-Drill out of all players in last year's combine. Even assuming (rightly, I'm sure) that Auburn's numbers are off due to the nature of how the events are timed, it's still worth nothing that Sean White is second on the team. All of the other names on that board are wide receivers and defensive backs. Not even John Franklin III is up on that board for agility.
What Does This Mean?
Do you want a SMOKING HOT TAKE? Sean White is more dual threat than JF3. That's why he's the starting QB. He can make moves. He can make people miss. He can gain big chunks of yards when he does it. He's also a very accurate passer.
No, he's not Nick Marshall or Cam Newton. He doesn't need to run the ball anywhere close to the amount that they did. He just needs to be a threat to do it. This type of stat shows that he has more ability than what many previously thought. He's not a home run threat like Marshall was, but running the offense with the full playbook open is definitely in his wheelhouse because he can be a player to keep the defense honest.
Now, can he hold up if he takes a number of hits when he keeps the ball? That is a very legitimate concern that we'll have to find out about.
Just don't count him out as an effective runner is all I'm saying.
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Of my 847 favorite things about Auburn’s 2013 football season, the early mornings got as close as anything to being most favorite of all.
Waking up on a 2012 fall Saturday was an exercise in swinging your feet out of bed and knowing — before they’d even touched the floor — that by the time you got back under the sheets, you’d have spent four hours of your finite life watching the Tigers methodically stuffed into their eighth-grade locker once again. And when it’s not just the usual bullies but the band geeks and math-club nerds to which your team’s turning over its lunch money, well, it’s a special kind of misery.
Fast-forward a year, and I’m OK with my three-year-old getting me up at a quarter to seven. It’s time for a cup of good coffee, Premier League on one TV and Gameday on another, a stack of Eric Carle books to read together, and the quiet joy of knowing Auburn might win or might lose in a few hours’ time, but this go-round I’d watch them punch back, and punch back hard. By the time Davis crossed the goal line that November they’d become my favorite Auburn team of my lifetime. Only a year after being unable to wait until that day’s game — hell, the season — was over, I savored every Saturday minute like an expensive filet. The mornings were nothing less than a gift.
You won’t be surprised to hear “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” was a staple of those mornings, or that my English-majorin’ ass read way too much into it. Here’s Auburn eating five oranges, and winning a national title. Here’s Auburn having one piece of chocolate cake, one slice of salami, one piece of overconfidence, one slice of off-field problems and one slice of hiring Scot Loeffler. That season it had a stomachache! Then Auburn hired Gus Malzahn, and after that it felt much better. After one offseason, it nibbled its way out, and it was the most beautiful orange-and-blue butterfly I’d ever seen.
I knew Auburn wasn’t going to go to the national title game every year. I knew not every season was going to be like bathing in fun. I knew the 2014 schedule had multiple losses on it. But I also knew that as long as Gus Malzahn was Auburn’s coach, my Saturday mornings would never be unhappy again. The transformation had already happened, and butterflies don’t go back into their cocoons.
So I wasn’t so much upset or angry or sad as Auburn flailed its way onto the cliff-edge against Jacksonville State last fall, not nearly as much as I was blindingly, deliriously confused. And 11 games and 11 months later, I’m still just as confused. What in the blue the hell just happened? More importantly, with a 2016 season that could end in Gus Malzahn’s dismissal just days away: what in the blue hell is about to happen?
Among all active quarterbacks with at least 75 attempts, here is where Jeremy Johnson ranked for FBS career QB rating entering the 2015 season: No. 1. Career completion percentage? No. 1. Career yards-per-attempt? No. 1. Career touchdown percentage? No. 1.
You’re forgiven if you’ve forgotten that among Johnson’s nightmare campaign and the torrent of 20/20 “oh, of course he was terrible, anyone smart saw that coming” hindsight. Which is nonsense — not even Malzahn himself saw it coming. Johnson had been great against Arkansas in 2014. He’d been great in garbage time. He’d been great vs. FCS patsies. He’d been in the system for years. Malzahn named him the starter on the same post-spring timeline Cam enjoyed. Malzahn brought him to SEC Media Days. Malzahn did not bother to talk up Sean White as a legitimate challenger, or invest heavily enough in White’s preparation that the Mississippi State game became something other than what it was. Say you were skeptical Johnson was really a dark-horse Heisman candidate, sure. Say you foresaw Johnson eating bench after 25 percent of the season, returning only to average 2.8 yards per-his-22-attempts against Georgia, you’re a liar. Malzahn got blindsided.
This is where the 2015 dissection and the 2016 projection have to start. Yes, Malzahn failed to fix last year’s offense. With one quarterback a disheveled uber-mess and a second still in out-of-the-box eBay-certified mint condition when he replaced the first, would anyone have succeeded?
But just because the answer’s “no” doesn’t mean Malzahn gets a pass. He doesn’t yet get to live in the same zipcode as a pass. So he got blindsided. When the fallout from being blindsided is getting swept at home by the Mississippi schools in barely-competitive fashion; when it’s losing at home to a Georgia team whose picture is the first thing you see after Googling the word “mediocre,” dropping the program’s record against the Dawgs to 2-8 over the past decade; when it’s the Birmingham Bowl; when it’s coming within an overtime win over an FCS opponent or a last-ditch Kentucky drive of not even making the Birmingham Bowl … well, you better be damn hell ass certain you’re not getting blindsided.
Yes, Johnson’s collapse was hard to see coming. Until further notice, that Malzahn didn’t see it coming is a career-defining, tenure-altering, program-trajectory-derailing mistake all the same. The good news is that because it was something like an understandable mistake — again, see Johnson’s career ranks last July — there’s reason to think Malzahn’s capable of repairing the quarterbacking damage. Ditch White’s debut against State and his “boy, is Gus desperate” cameo against Georgia, and his season stats come to an acceptable 56 percent completion rate and a much-better-than-acceptable 8.9 yards an attempt. He went 3-2 in his last five starts, the two losses coming to the Sugar Bowl champion Rebels and at Arkansas — the latter a game White nearly stole out of Fayetyeville singlehandedly, only for his receivers and defense to hand it back.
White will be in his third year in the system. He was a top-100 overall recruit per 247Sports, a consensus better prospect than classmates Brad Kaaya of Miami or DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame. It’s not exaggeration to say he got noticeably better every start he made before getting hurt. And if he gets hurt again, well, John Franklin III — warts and all — sits too firmly in Malzahn’s schematic wheelhouse not to be an improvement on 2015.
At times it’s felt like too much attention has been paid to Auburn’s quarterback situation. There’s 10 other guys on the offense and 11 more who play defense, and all. But the evidence of the Malzahn era on the Plains is that the QB position is that important to his success, and more. Chris Todd was an 8-5 sort of quarterback. Cam Newton and Nick Marshall were 14-0, 12-2 sorts of quarterbacks*. Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley were a “just good enough to scrape out 8-5 with some help from a decent defense (and Stephen Garcia, and Florida’s quarterback injury plague)” tag team. 2-6 in the SEC sums up Johnson’s and White’s play neatly.
Malzahn knows this. Thus the biggest reason for quarterbacking optimism of all: the same coach who waved a wand and made my 2013 mornings perfect has spent his whole offseason turning that wand towards his quarterbacks, with the understanding that if they don’t perform to SEC standards in 2016, he won’t have to worry about SEC standards in 2017.
Surely White is good enough to make that effort count. Surely the magic cannot be so completely gone.
Here’s SBNation’s Bill Connelly, summing up in a paragraph why I hope for a thunderous Auburn rebound season, but can’t yet expect a thunderous Auburn rebound season, try as I might:
[Kerryon] Johnson was reasonably efficient for a freshman last fall, but he offered almost nothing from a big-play perspective. That doesn’t mean he can’t, but of last year’s foursome, only [Roc] Thomas provided even the slightest flash of explosiveness. The Auburn run game was limited to four-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust in 2015.
That put pressure on the passing game to get vertical. That’s a problem when you’re oscillating between a pick-prone junior and a redshirt freshman at QB, but thanks mostly to Ricardo Louis, the receiving corps occasionally delivered.
Louis is gone. The top two returning wideouts — seniors Marcus Davis and Tony Stevens — combined to gain just 359 yards in 44 receptions last year.
All the pixie dust in Malzahn’s possession won’t make White a threat to take a zone keeper 56 yards to the house. His ceiling as a pretty damn good quarterback is his ceiling as a pretty damn good quarterback, forever and ever amen.
On different Auburn teams with different Auburn defenses, different Auburn running backs, different Auburn receivers, pretty damn good would be good enough. But this Auburn defense has to prove it can deliver game-salvaging fourth-quarter stops even after another coordinator change. These Auburn running backs have to prove they can turn a 6-yard-gain into 35. (And the heretofore big-play-shy starter just added 16 pounds**.) These Auburn wide receivers have to prove opposing safeties should give them more than a token glance.
The defensive line should be murderous, particularly if Carl Lawson stays healthy, and Lawson not staying healthy is a cruelty I’m not willing to entertain. Otherwise, I look at Auburn’s roster, and everything looks a-OK. It’s all just fine.
A-OK is not good enough to win the games that matter on Auburn’s viking gauntlet of a schedule. Just fine isn’t just fine. Decent receivers and a passable defense and above-average running backs are good enough in a Malzahn offense with Cam Newton or Nick Marshall at quarterback. A Gus Malzahn offense with Sean White at quarterback and game-breaking receivers, a ballhawking defense and superstar running backs would likely be good enough, too.
But a team whose explosiveness seems concentrated so exclusively at defensive end (and, uh, guard?) is going to find the sledding tough no matter how sharp the coach’s Xs and Os are, no matter how steady the quarterback, no matter how desperate the stakes.
I look at Lawson, and I look at Carlton Davis, and I look at White and Alex Kozan and Montravius Adams and most of all Gus Malzahn, and I want to believe. Sweet merciful Lord in heaven, do I want to believe this team will gift us at least some of the victorious highs of 2010, 2013, or the Tuberville era. But I don’t.
Not yet, anyway. That’s what the Clemson game is for.
No point in pretending the biggest question surrounding this Auburn team isn’t “how many games does Malzahn have to win to keep his job?”, is there? As with a lot of Auburn fans, my answer would depend on who those wins come against, how deflating the losses are, whether I’d need a coaching change to feel excited about 2017. It’s possible I’d be happy with 6-6, I think. It’s possible I’d be ready to move on after 8-4.
Cliched as it sounds, what I want goes beyond the record. I want those 2013 mornings back. I want to feel — I want to know, the way I did every week that amazing fall once they’d gotten off the mat vs. LSU*** — that whatever happens these coming Saturdays, Auburn will play its orange-and-blue asses off. Win, lose, I’ll be OK. Just make it fun. Just make it exciting. Just fight.
It’s all there in the song, really: Never to yield. Fearless. Strike up the band. Give ’em hell. Give ’em hell.
Fight on, you orange and blue.
Yes, of course, conquering and winning for Auburn and power are awfully nice. But what I want first is the fight. That much I believe in, and believe in wholeheartedly. 2015 was deeply, deeply weird, and deeply, deeply disappointing. I also believed, two Januaries ago, that Gus Malzahn would never field an Auburn team so dismal. But he’s still the same coach that unwrapped the beautiful Auburn butterfly out of that cocoon, and now he’s got his back as far against the wall as it’ll go. There’s nothing to do but come out swinging, and I truly cannot wait even these last three days to see what Gus Malzahn swinging looks like.
He’s going to fight. His team is going to fight. That’ll be enough for me. And it might be enough to win a hatful of games. As a different fight song says, the test begins: now.
*Marshall also went 8-5, of course, but he also had the misfortune of playing opposite the first defense of the Malzahn era that slipped from “not all that great” to “outright disaster.”
**Almost certainly necessary for Johnson to stand up under a 20-to-25-carry a game burden, but no, I don’t expect adding weight to boost his explosiveness — an explosiveness Auburn badly needs. Here’s crossing fingers a) I’m wrong to think Johnson can’t produce big plays in a larger sample b) Kam Martin can provide them anyway.
***It remains odd to remember one of the season’s two losses as a stirring emotional high point. But it was.
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For better or for worse, you all probably know of Clemson Tom (@ClemsonTom) by now. If not, watch this and this. Clemson Tom has been labeled as Clemson’s biggest fan. Bleacher Report labeled him the biggest fan in sports for two years straight and ESPN had him on College Gameday twice. I’ve run this website for 7 years and all I got was to interview Clemson Tom. Anyway, I asked him a few questions about Clemson and Auburn and he responded. Read on.
1. What’s the first thing you and other more sensible Clemson fans think of when they think of Auburn football?
Tradition. No lake. The whole Cam Newton deal. Toomer’s trees. The eagle that flies around the stadium.
2. Can you tell me one thing that Clemson hasn’t copied from Auburn? Go on… I’ll wait.
Logos. All-In. You don’t have a lake. You guys copy more from us than anyone.
3. Besides the obvious, who are two Clemson Tigers that Auburn fans should look out for and why?
Ben Boulware, his nickname is the junkyard dog and he plays linebacker for us. He plays extremely physical. Your quarterback will know exactly who he is.
The next guy is freshman defense of tackle Dexter Lawrence. The guy is possibly the next William the fridge Perry. He’s as big as he is fast.
4. Who are two Auburn Tigers that worry you the most and why?
None of the players do. Some guy named Nate said he was gonna fight me this weekend. He looked like he has done some prison time so he kind of worries me a bit.
Honestly, you don’t have any players on your team that worried me to the least. Maybe the fact that you guys have too many question marks gives me a little bit of worried because we don’t know exactly who you are.
5. What’s the biggest positional battle that will have the most impact on the outcome of the game?
I really want to see how our defensive backs do against your wide receivers. That’s a huge question mark for us. If your quarterback gets into a rhythm and can burn our DBs, we could be in for a problem.
6. Do you feel that Dabo does put a little more emphasis on a matchup with Auburn due to his history at Alabama?
I think so, but he’s also smart enough to understand that every game counts the same. A loss is a loss, no matter who it is.
7. Who are your two favorite Auburn Tigers of all time?
Bo Jackson. That’s it. I don’t like y’all that much.
8. What’s your score prediction and a quick analysis of this weekend’s game?
High scoring. I do you think you guys keep it competitive but I just don’t see how your defense can stop our offense. 31-27 Clemson wins.
9. Where will Auburn and Clemson end up this year?
Clemson will end up in Tampa. Auburn will end up looking for a new coach.
10. After the last time you defaced Auburn property, I may or may not have done a little something with your rock. Now that you’ve done it again, can you give me any advice on other Clemson landmarks I may or may not visit?
I didn’t do anything bad or even wrong. Your own security allowed me on the field, so get mad at them. I’m not like that idiot Harvey. I have respect for other university’s traditions, I’d never deface anything.
Now that you’ve read that, Clemson Tom has promised to read the comments and respond accordingly. So go ahead and let him know what you think of him and his answers.
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After a long offseason break, Oscar returns to share some common knowledge.
Back in 2000, I left my suburban home on the northeast side of Houston, Texas to move up to a small town in western Illinois. The name of that town is Galesburg. It was three hours from Chicago, three hours from St. Louis and surrounded by corn. It was the hometown of three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sandberg. It was also the home of George Reeves, the actor who would famously portray Superman in the 1950s, and Whitcomb L. Judson, the inventor of the zipper. I had moved up to Galesburg with my father, who had taken a job there, before the start of my junior year in high school, while my mother and sister stayed in Houston to try and sell our house. It was there, in Galesburg, on a Thursday night, I watched my first Auburn football game.
Sixteen years ago today, August 31st, unranked Auburn hosted Wyoming in a 35-21 victory over the Cowboys. It was in this game, Rudi Johnson would rush for his first of ten 100 yard rushing games (174 yards as a matter of fact) and three touchdowns. My dad and I sat on the couch (which was also my bed) in our efficiency apartment eating Kentucky Fried Chicken and cheering loudly for Auburn. It was a great night that would set up a good season for Auburn.
A season that would see Auburn winning its first SEC West title since 1997, play against Florida in Atlanta for the SEC Championship and be ranked in the top 20 with a 9 - 4 record. Rudi Johnson would receive SEC Player of the Year honors accumulating 1,567 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. It was a great season that I'm sure no one was expecting. Considering the previous year where Tuberville and Auburn went 5 - 6, I'm fairly certain that not many in the world of sports writing and sports broadcasting gave Auburn much of a chance if they even gave Auburn a chance at all.
That probably sounds a little bit familiar, doesn't it?
Heading into the 2016 season, the Auburn Tigers are currently unranked, projected to maybe, maybe, finish 6 - 6 and the current head coach, Gus Malzahn is already on the hot seat (according to many) before the season even begins. Unlike the beginning of the 2000 season, Auburn will not be opening the season against the likes of a team such as Wyoming. Instead, the Tigers will be hosting those other tigers from South Carolina, Clemson. Who, as we all know, played for the national title back in January (and lost) and is ranked as the second best team in the nation.
If there was ever a time when Auburn could have used an under the radar start, this was certainly not the way to go about setting that up.
Now, I want to be clear, I'm not counting out Auburn for this season. I think there is a possibility of having a better season than most are expecting. However, I am a little tense as despite my efforts to ignore the musings of summertime bored college football writers, sometimes I found myself reading their work anyway. I'm not proud of myself for giving in, but I did.
Of course, in all these articles, there was one common thread; Gus Malzahn and the security of his job.
Just do a google search, "Gus Malzahn hot seat" and see just how many results you get. Want me to save you the trouble? 24,900. That's right. Gus Malzahn and the current temperature of his chair has been mentioned in some way or some form, in some fashion, twenty-four thousand and nine hundred times.
Of course, some could say this is the result of a self-inflicted wound. The Auburn football program has now become synonymous with firing it's head coaches with regularity. Jokingly so, too.
Now, I don't want to be that fan. The one who becomes all agitated and says loudly, "but but but there have been plenty of other football teams that have done this! Southern Cal is now on their 4th head coach since 2008! Ole Miss fired their best head coach in 30 years after one bad season! Alabama went through four head coaches from '97 to 2006! Tennessee! Florida!" and so on and so on.
Well, I guess I was just that fan, but the only reason I can give you is, "because Auburn".
Because Auburn is the program that performed a coaching search before the season was even over, only to have that coach go undefeated the next season and miss out on playing for a national title. Because Auburn is the program that did fire their head coach two years after winning the program's first national title in 50 years! Only for almost that same team to play for another national title the following season!
Because Auburn is the team that went through these developments during what is now a peak in popularity of college football. It is also ever present due to immediate availability whether it be through blogs, social media, podcasts, television, et cetera and if one outlet says it, then everyone is saying it and therefore must be true. Not only is college football more popular than ever, but also Auburn is in arguably the most popular conference in the sport, the Southeastern Conference.
If all of this had taken place 10 years prior, then more than likely no one would be talking about this. Or maybe they would, who knows.
That's the world as it is right now folks. I'm sure a lot of you are saying, "but Oscar, that's the way it has always been for Auburn".
Maybe in the state of Alabama, but not so much elsewhere. Trust me, I know, I've lived elsewhere.
And what feels like the 10th time in 8 years there is a quarterback kerfuffle over who is and who should be the starting signal caller for the Tigers. It is, of course, a bigger fuss than it should be and is resonating at a slightly higher frequency this year due to a) Malzahn's "Plastic Walmart Deck set ablaze", b) the (there's no easy way to put this) proverbial failure that was Jeremy Johnson's junior year part and parcel to the hype that facilitated that failure and c) John Franklin III.
Once again, I could be one of those fans who points out that as of writing this that programs like Alabama or Michigan have yet to announce a starting quarterback. However, like I said, I don't want to do that even though I kind of just did.
What may be another big part of this supposed fuss is the aforementioned JF3. It would be hard to argue that there were not at least some Auburn fans out there who were excited at the signing of the former Florida State and EMCC quarterback. I'm certain many thought he'd be a Nick Marshall 2.0 (you can't improve on the Cam Newton model) and that Auburn would return to an offense reminiscent of the 2013-14 seasons.
But before Malzahn could even make a decision as to who would be taking the direct snaps, Netflix's series "Last Chance U" debuted and we all got a close look at Franklin's personality. It wasn't the best of portrayals, I'll admit, but what I saw was a young person who has been told his whole life that he is hot shit acting like a young person who has been told his whole life that he is hot shit. How did you think he was going to behave on camera? You have an athlete who is trying to re-up his stock and value as a football player by going to a program that will try to make him look as flashy and awesome as possible as a means to continue to prop up their own brand. Now, you're sticking a lens in his face, telling him to act like the camera crew isn't there and that when they're done that sometime in the near future he and everyone that knows or doesn't know him is going to be able to watch him play on the most renowned pay for video streaming service on the planet.
Yeah, that sounds like the makings of the biggest and best piece of humble pie that's ever been served.
Fans everywhere made their opinion of how they felt about JF3 known to anyone on the internet who would listen, whether they were positive, negative (largely this) or neutral (me). And as we all know, Franklin did not get the starting role. Not only did he not get the starting role, but he is sharing the backup spot with JJ. He's not even a true No. 2 or 3!
That leaves Sean White, finally named the starter last week. There's already plenty that has been said and written about him. Like Coach Malzahn has said (I'm pretty sure he said this), I believe White gives Auburn its best chance at winning football games this season. If the Tigers don't win many football games, hopefully, Sean will make Auburn at least look competitive in those losses. I honestly don't even know what else I can say other than that.
Wrapping all of this nonsense I've written is the opener against Clemson. I didn't watch much of the Lake Tigers' games last season. In fact, I only watched two of their games in full and yeah, those would be the playoff games. So, I turned to the one resource that I know is a horrible way to get a feel for an opposing team. That would be SB Nation's Clemson blog, Shakin' the Southland.
HAHAHAHAHAHA! I'm just kidding! I'm sure they do great work over there. I don't know, I've never read their stuff.
No, I'm talking about cfbstats.com. I know, this is a terrible thing to do, but I'm lazy and 60% percent of the time it works every time. Anyway, as I looked through 2015 Clemson's statistical data I started to notice how similar it was with Auburn's 2013 team. The biggest difference being that DeShaun Watson personally accounted for 5209 yards of total offense. That's 399 yards more than Auburn's entire offense put up last season. Yes, Watson did play two more games than Auburn did, but still.
Reading over these statistics brought back some fun memories of that 2013 Tigers team and led me to wonder about what it must have been like for opposing teams that had to face Auburn's offense three years ago.
I think we're going to find out come Saturday.
I'm not down on our Tigers and I think Gus and Co. will find a way to be competitive Saturday night. But as Randy Quaid said in Independence Day, "I picked a hell of day to quit drinking".
That's a lie, I haven't quit drinking.
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Three months away from a match against Montevallo, Auburn basketball should be the furthest thing in our minds. What I call a return for Auburn basketball may not even be three months away, it may be a little over a year. Still, it’s Auburn’s best shot at fulfilling expectations and going further than imaginable. A rise […]
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News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet
The Tigers won their first match of the year last night, defeating Kennesaw State in five sets.
It's come to this. The last day of August. We've had two games, nationally, but true football season begins tomorrow night.
You may be a bit rusty with the long layoff. Peggy wants to make sure you work on your #FanFitness before the game on Saturday! That's right, the Undercover Barner is back!
Gus Malzahn met with the media in his weekly press conference spot Tuesday morning. He discussed Stephen Roberts' suspension, the depth chart, Week 1's opponent, and more. Speaking of the depth chart, there's some eye-opening information in it with the surprises. We broke down the whole thing, here.
Perhaps the biggest shocker on the depth chart was the listing of K/WR Will Hastings, a walk-on, as the #2 at one of the slot receiver spots. We delved a bit into his past to find out more about him. He's almost a Wes Welker-type, and if that thought doesn't make you excited, then you have no clue who Wes Welker is. Which is possible if you ignore the NFL. So, just know it's good and I'm excited to see what Hastings can do.
How did the Top 5 preseason position battles according to AL.com end up in regards to the final 2-deep? They revisited the question in order to find out.
Carl Lawson is 100% healthy and the Tigers feel very good about that. As they should. A healthy Lawson is a serious difference maker on the field.
A bit more of an update on the status of the four players arrested back in May. Jeremiah Dinson has reached a plea and the other 3 apparently were granted youthful offender status and will not have to appear in court this week as originally planned.
Auburn Every Day and the Auburn Football Review will return for the 2016 football season. Auburn Football Every Day, a behind the scenes look at the Tigers, will air the first show on Friday while the Football Review will air Sundays after the games.
It's the #BestGameDayExperience in the nation, right? So, how did Auburn make it better for 2016? Read about 10 new features from the official site. I'm interested in the shakers for all before the Clemson game. Since the crowd is supposed to be in orange, I'd love it if the shakers were solid blue. I've beaten that horse to death, but I love that contrast. It looked fantastic in the 2013 Iron Bowl with the opposite color combination.
Someone (rhymes somewhat with PondScum) is still giving Danny Sheridan a platform. Apparently, he said he had the Tigers winning 10 games if John Franklin III was the starting QB. He dropped that down to them winning 9 anyway, so I guess JF3 is only good for one extra win?
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Kickoff for the first SEC games of 2016 is just one day away, so I’ve compiled my predicted order of finish list for the toughest division in college football — the SEC West.
1. LSU (12-0)
This is an LSU team that will look eerily similar to last season, as the Tigers return a staggering number of returning starters — nine on offense, and ten on defense. With Leonard Fournette in the backfield once again, I just can’t see the Tigers relying too heavily on Brandon Harris’ passing ability this year. As long as Fournette stays healthy and OC Cam Cameron is able to shake up the play-calling a bit more than last season, the offense should be just fine. I believe a little fire under Les Miles’ rear is just what this team needs to find that offensive spark in 2016. On the defensive side of the ball, former Wisconsin assistant Dave Aranda will take over as DC following the departure of Kevin Steele to Auburn. Aranda will have plenty of experience to work with, as the Tigers will start nine upperclassmen on defense this season.
LSU’s schedule shapes up nicely this year for a championship run, as they get Ole Miss and Alabama at home, not to mention a bye week before facing the Crimson Tide.
Expect great things from this team, as they earn their first SEC title since 2011.
2. Ole Miss (10-2)
Losses: Florida State, @LSU
Yes, the losses of the Nkemdiche brothers, Laremy Tunsil, and Laquon Treadwell will certainly hurt, but the Rebels still have a plethora of weapons to work with on both sides of the ball. From Heisman hopeful QB Chad Kelly to future NFL DB Tony Conner, this team is loaded with depth and talent.
One of the few causes for concern on the offensive side of the ball is the lack of experience on the offensive line, as the unit returns just two starters from last season with a combined 36 starts — tied for 107th in the nation. The past few years, the Rebels have struggled to run the ball effectively between the tackles However, if Greg Little, the no. 1 offensive tackle recruit in the 2016 class, is able to live up to the hype as Laremy Tunsil’s replacement, then this offense will be quite dangerous. Because while QB Chad Kelly certainly has the speed to evade pressure from the defense, if given time in the pocket, he won’t be afraid to burn you through the air, as he led the SEC in passing yardage last season with 4,042 yards.
Ole Miss will be tested early, as they play Florida State on Monday night to start their 2016 campaign before taking on Wofford, Alabama, and Georgia at home. If the Rebels can skate past that slate of games with at least three wins, watch out.
With one of the most versatile offenses in the SEC, this year is shaping up to be a great one in Oxford. Rebel fans may want to enjoy it, as this could be their last season free from NCAA probation.
3. Alabama (10-2)
Losses: @Tennessee, @LSU
My most shocking pick of the article has Alabama dropping below LSU and Ole Miss this season to finish third in the West. But because of the division’s strength this season, is it really even considered to be a shocking possibility?
In typical Alabama fashion, the quarterback race is still up in the air between Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett according to Nick Saban, so expect both of them to play on Saturday against USC. Most people say that mediocre quarterback at Alabama isn’t really a cause for concern considering the number of other weapons that the offense contains. For the most part, this is true. It’s never about the individual under Nick Saban, the focus is always on the team as a whole. The idea that almost anyone on that team could be replaced in an instant by someone of equal or greater caliber.
All that said, I still believe that this will be a “down year” for Alabama. But not by the fault of their own. Alabama’s schedule this year is the one of the toughest in the nation, second only to Auburn’s.The cannibalism of the SEC West should be alive and well this season, as Alabama will be on the road against Ole Miss, Tennessee, and LSU — arguably three of the top four SEC teams. You would have to expect at least one loss scattered somewhere in those games. I think there will be two.
Alabama will beat Ole Miss in the regular season, but because of an extra conference loss for the Tide against their tough cross-division opponent (Tennessee), Ole Miss will finish ahead of Alabama in the final SEC standings.
4. Auburn (8-4)
Losses: Clemson, LSU, @Ole Miss, @Alabama
Each offseason, it’s a media goose chase of sorts to try and successfully predict Auburn’s final record. In recent years, when Auburn is predicted to perform poorly, the Tigers come out and shock the nation by drastically exceeding expectations. But when they are predicted to finish near the top of the conference, it’s as if there’s a curse placed over the entire football program where anything that could go wrong, does. A cruel joke.
On paper, Auburn should finish middle of the table in the SEC. And I think that’s about right.
Sean White is not the ideal quarterback for Malzahn’s system, I understand that. But I do think he’ll be able to get the job done. After re-watching the spring game this week, White by far had the best presence at the quarterback position. He seemed more poised, confident, with a better grasp of the offensive system. And while he may have made a wrong read here or there, he was able to keep his composure — something I haven’t seen since Nick Marshall left. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll surprise us with his feet this year. I know he has some speed under his legs, so if he surprises the defensive ends every now and then by keeping it on the read option, it would have the potential to open up a world of possibilities for the run game.
On defense, this should be Auburn’s best in years. With a defensive line that contains four and five-star talent, there’s no reason that this unit shouldn’t be one of the nation’s best. Kevin Steele will be playing to Auburn’s strengths as he will start a healthy Carl Lawson in the Buck linebacker position to provide versatility for defense against the run, as well as dropping him into coverage to stop the pass on zone blitzes. As long as Lawson and the rest of the defensive line stays healthy, the Tigers will give opposing quarterbacks nightmares this year with its strong pass rush.
The schedule certainly doesn’t work in Auburn’s favor, as it very well could be the toughest in the nation. Opening with Clemson this Saturday will serve as a significant test before playing Arkansas State, Texas A&M and LSU at home to kick off Auburn’s SEC slate.The rest of the schedule also includes road games against Ole Miss, Georgia, and Alabama. Similar to Ole Miss, if the Tigers can escape the first third of their season with a miraculous three wins, then they will be well on track to deliver a season to remember on the Plains.
5. Texas A&M (5-7)
Losses: @Auburn, Tennessee, @Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU
Following the “unofficial” trade of quarterbacks between Oklahoma and Texas A&M, the Aggies ended up landing one of the best transfer quarterbacks on the market, Trevor Knight, while also losing sophomore QB Kyler Murray to the Sooners.
Knight had a very up-and-down journey during his time at Oklahoma. As a freshman, he stepped in for the injured Blake Bell and led the Sooners to a 45-31 win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. His sophomore year, he was replaced by Baker Mayfield nine games into the season due to lackluster play. And last year, he sat on the bench behind Mayfield most of the year, attempting just 40 passes the entire season. Now, at Texas A&M, Knight is looking for redemption. That spells good news for the Aggies.
Kevin Sumlin made a solid hire this offseason by snagging UCLA OC Noel Mazzone, and the pairing of Trevor Knight’s arm and Mazzone’s power spread offensive system will be deadly to opposing defenses in the conference. On the defensive side, John Chavis returns for his second season in College Station with a stacked defense that includes first-team All-SEC DE Myles Garrett, who some experts believe will be the no. 1 pick in the NFL Draft this year.
It’s do or die time for Kevin Sumlin, as his seat is red hot this year. The fifth-year head coach has all the right tools around him to make up a solid team, but with a top heavy SEC West and tough conference games against Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss, and LSU, I find it difficult to believe that the Aggies even have a chance at winning nine games.
6. Mississippi State (6-6)
Losses: @LSU, Auburn, @BYU, Texas A&M, @Alabama, @Ole Miss
While former Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott is relishing his time his time in Dallas after being named the Cowboys’ starter, the quarterback race rolls on in Starkville in a two-man quarterback race between Nick Fitzgerald and Damian Williams. Both are expected to play on Saturday against South Alabama as no starter has been named ahead of the game.
Surprisingly enough, the Bulldogs return seven starters on offense, and six on defense. Granted, among those players that left were offensive playmakers, Dak Prescott and WR De’Runnya Wilson, and defensive stars, LB Beniquez Brown and DT Chris Jones. Needless to say, this team has pretty big shoes to fill this season. Assuming the Bulldogs can find a quarterback following their game against South Alabama, Dan Mullen’s offense will have an advantage with an experienced offensive line leading the force, as the unit returns four starters from last season, three of which are seniors. Solid line play will be crucial to provide comfort for the new quarterbacks in the pocket.
A key game for State will be on October 8th against Auburn at home with the clanging cowbells on its side. If the Bulldogs are able to pull out a win against the Tigers, that could be a huge momentum shift for two very winnable games on the road against BYU and Kentucky. But if not, it could be a very long year in StarkVegas.
7. Arkansas (4-8)
Losses: @TCU, @Texas A&M, Alabama, Ole Miss, @Auburn, Florida, LSU, @Mississippi State
I hold the opinion that Bret Bielema is not the answer for Arkansas. Other than a hot tail end of the year last season, what does he have to show for his time in Fayetteville? And this season will be even tougher for Bielema in his fourth year as head coach of the Razorbacks.
The offense lost three of its most powerful weapons in QB Brandon Allen, and RB’s Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. The Hogs will look to Kody Walker, a sixth-year senior to pick up most of the load on the ground this year. Walker is coming into the 2016 season with just 148 career carries for 644 yards during his time at Arkansas. At quarterback, Brandon Allen’s younger brother, Austin Allen, was named the starter back in April. 19 passing attempts is all he has to his name during his time in college, so this will be a rebuilding year of sorts for Bret Bielema’s offense, as the unit will struggle undergo growing pains due to a lack of experience at the quarterback and running back positions.
Coach Bielema could very well enter the 2017 season on the hot seat.
The post Predicted Order of Finish in SEC West appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.
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A past working relationship between Gus Malzahn and Herb Hand has made the transition easy this offseason as Hand takes over as head of the offensive line. With the turnover in the Auburn coaching staff the last few years, one would expect that a learning curve would have to take place between head coach Gus […]
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Prior to his Clemson week press conference, Gus Malzahn released his first depth chart of the 2016 season. The biggest news was released a few days ago, but there are still a few surprising spots on the 2-deep. I’ve posted a few thoughts on each position below. Have a look.
1. 13 Sean White (6-0, 200, So.)
2. 6 Jeremy Johnson (6-5, 234, Sr.) –OR–
2. 5 John Franklin III (6-1, 186, Jr.)
We’ve known Sean was the starter for around a week now, and the whole OR thing between Jeremy and John is totally expected as well. Gus isn’t going to give anything away that he doesn’t feel like he probably should give away. Naming Sean the starter is as far as he’s going to go.
1. 21 Kerryon Johnson (6-0, 211, So.)
2. 36 Kamryn Pettway (6-0, 240, So.)
Up until the dismissal of Jovon Robinson, this duo wasn’t the expected pair, but I have no problem with it. Kerryon has plenty of experience and was a playmaker last year. Pettway is a beast that will take some of the load and lay the load on any poor soul trying to tackle him.
1. 27 Chandler Cox (6-1, 236, So.)
2. 44 Landon Rice (6-5, 253, Fr.)
No surprise here. Chandler Cox will be Jay Prosch 2.0.
1. 85 Jalen Harris (6-4, 259, So.) –OR–
1. 44 Landon Rice (6-5, 253, Fr.)
I bet you didn’t realize that Jalen Harris was the starting TE last year, too. Yeah, that page in the playbook got stuck to the one before it apparently. I mean, he was a freshman starting, so they probably didn’t trust the position too much.
1. 80 Marcus Davis (5-9, 180, Sr.)
2. 3 Nate Craig-Myers (6-2, 204, Fr.) –OR–
2. 4 Jason Smith (6-1, 188, Jr.)
1. 83 Ryan Davis (5-9, 172, So.)
2. 12 Eli Stove (6-0, 177, Fr.)
1. 10 Stanton Truitt (5-9, 185, So.) –OR–
1. 33 Will Hastings (5-10, 172, So.)
1. 81 Darius Slayton (6-2, 191, RFr.)
2. 8 Tony Stevens (6-4, 212, Sr.) –OR–
2. 11 Kyle Davis (6-2, 219, Fr.)
I’m somewhat surprised that Jason Smith is an OR with a freshman and not a starter at one of the other three WR spots. Will Hastings must be something special. Tony Stevens might end up being a slight disappointment if he’s an OR under a redshirt freshman. I have a feeling Kyle Davis will move up the depth chart quickly once he’s back to 100%.
1. 73 Austin Golson (6-5, 314, Jr.)
2. 78 Darius James (6-4, 320, Jr.)
1. 63 Alex Kozan (6-4, 310, Sr.)
2. 75 Deon Mix (6-4, 315, Jr.) –OR–
2. 77 Marquel Harrell (6-3, 318, RFr.)
1. 52 Xavier Dampeer (6-2, 310, Sr.)
2. 54 Kaleb Kim (6-4, 290, RFr.)
1. 71 Braden Smith (6-6, 300, Jr.)
2. 64 Mike Horton (6-4, 331, RFr.)
1. 70 Robert Leff (6-6, 299, Sr.)
2. 76 Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. (6-8, 282, RFr.)
This is exactly the offensive line that I expected. Prince Tega moved from the defensive side of the ball and is already in the 2-deep. Maybe the coaches knew what they were doing.
1. 55 Carl Lawson (6-2, 253, Jr.)
2. 4 Jeff Holland (6-2, 250, So.)
Carl Lawson is still a junior. Let that sink in. I know he hasn’t played a full season in a while, but it feels like he’s been around forever. And if Jeff Holland is his backup, the Buck is strong. Really strong.
1. 95 Dontavius Russell (6-3, 308, So.)
2. 90 Maurice Swain Jr. (6-5, 314, Sr.) –OR–
2. 79 Andrew Williams (6-4, 289, So.)
Nothing surprising here. I mean, a sophomore is staring over a senior, but it was expected.
1. 1 Montravius Adams (6-4, 309, Sr.)
2. 5 Derrick Brown (6-5, 330, Fr.) –OR–
2. 94 Devaroe Lawrence (6-2, 303, Sr.)
Derrick Brown is going to be a beast if he’s an OR with senior Devaroe Lawrence, a guy who got significant playing time last year.
1. 3 Marlon Davidson (6-3, 273, Fr.)
2. 9 Byron Cowart (6-3, 276, So.) –OR–
2. 10 Paul James III (6-4, 271, Jr.)
Marlon Davidson, a freshman, is starting on what could be the deepest defensive line in the SEC. Byron Cowart is still showing us that recruiting stars may not matter that much, but I see him having a big year, especially if Marlon can’t handle his freshman year.
1. 57 Deshaun Davis (5-11, 239, So.) –OR–
1. 30 Tre’ Williams (6-2, 240, Jr.)
I love Deshaun Davis. I also love Tre Williams. But I was surprised that Deshaun is an OR with Tre. I figured Tre would be the obvious starter here. Good for both.
1. 48 Montavious Atkinson (6-1, 211, So.) –OR–
1. 17 T.J. Neal (6-0, 235, Sr.)
This is somewhat surprising as well. TJ Neal was going to be the much needed experience in this linebacking corps, but he’s an OR with a sophomore. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I just figured he’d be the obvious starter, too.
1. 49 Darrell Williams (6-2, 231, So.)
2. 51 Richard McBryde (6-1, 231 RFr.)
This is fine.
1. 31 Javaris Davis (5-10, 182, RFr.)
2. 15 Josh Holsey (5-11, 195, Sr.)
Josh Holsey is getting is 6th year of eligibility, so I see him being a leader in the secondary, but Javaris Davis starting here shows where he is at this point of fall practice.
1. 23 Rudy Ford (6-0, 204, Sr.)
2. 19 Nick Ruffin (6-0, 203, Jr.)
This is a good, solid pair of free safeties.
1. 28 Tray Matthews (6-1, 207, Jr.)
2. 11 Markell Boston (6-0, 200, So.)
This is a good, solid pair of strong safeties.
1. 6 Carlton Davis (6-1, 195, So.)
2. 22 John Broussard Jr. (5-11, 168, Fr.)
Carlton Davis will carry the cornerbacks, but this is a slightly thin group. I’m not sure if Stephen Roberts will play here due to the depth issue, but we’ll have to wait until his suspension is up. I see it being one game.
1. 23 Rudy Ford (6-0, 204, Sr.)
2. 15 Josh Holsey (5-11, 195, Sr.)
This is fine.
1. 36 Daniel Carlson (6-4, 218, Jr.)
2. 43 Ian Shannon (6-3, 218, RFr.)
1. 91 Kevin Phillips (6-0, 185, Sr.)
2. 43 Ian Shannon (6-3, 218, RFr.)
1. 29 Tyler Stovall (6-1, 212, Jr.)
2. 5 John Franklin III (6-1, 186, Jr.)
1. 69 Ike Powell (6-3, 264, Jr.)
2. 68 Zach Wade (5-10, 182, So.) –OR–
2. 53 Clarke Smith (6-3, 239, Fr.)
1. 80 Marcus Davis (5-9, 180, Sr.)
2. 83 Ryan Davis (5-9, 172, So.)
1. 23 Rudy Ford (6-0, 204, Sr.) AND 21 Kerryon Johnson (6-0, 211, So.)
2. 9 Kam Martin (5-10, 177, Fr.) AND 10 Stanton Truitt (5-9, 185, So.)
I see nothing surprising in all of the special teams. I think it’s cool that there is an OR at 2nd-string long snapper. Depth!
So now that we know who is playing, how does it make you feel about Saturday? Better? Worse? Same? Let me know in the comments.
from WarBlogle.com http://bit.ly/2cpVavQ
On Tuesday we got our first game week depth chart of the season as head coach Gus Malzahn released the Auburn football depth chart for the Clemson game this Saturday night. You can take these depth charts with a grain of salt, but there are always several interesting developments from them. No. 1 – […]
from Fly War Eagle http://bit.ly/2cpMZzR
With eight home games on the schedule this season, there aren’t many road trips for fans to watch Auburn football this year. Part of being a college football enthusiasts is going to different venues to enjoy a college football game. Of course, nothing is better than enjoying a Saturday on The Plains, but it is […]
from Fly War Eagle http://bit.ly/2cpN1Ys
from Auburn Football http://bit.ly/2bArdqh
from Auburn Football news http://bit.ly/2bzgJKz
Erin Andrews and Cam. And Desmond Howard squealing at Corso’s TP tantrum. And my incredible Yes We Cam sign. And of course the God Thing.
That was a heck of a day on the Plains. You remember it.
h/t Auburn Obsessive.
from The War Eagle Reader http://bit.ly/2bPzQuM
from Yahoo Sports - NCAA Football - Auburn Tigers News http://yhoo.it/2bPzP9W
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from Auburn Football http://bit.ly/2bQBj6R
from Auburn Football http://bit.ly/2c9QyGc
from Auburn Football news http://bit.ly/2c9OgH2
from Auburn Tigers News http://bit.ly/2c9OgH2
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn met with the media on Tuesday leading up to the season opener against Clemson on Saturday. Here are some quotes of note. On Clemson’s offense “We are playing one of the best teams in the country. They played for the national championship last year and almost won it. They have […]
from Fly War Eagle http://bit.ly/2bEduMi
A big War Eagle to all our TET readers! I hope you are as excited as I am for the opening game of our Auburn Tigers this week. There is nothing like being on the Plains and cheering on the orange and blue. With that being said, it is SIGN UP TIME for all of you who have yet to register for our 9th annual Track ‘Em Tigers College Pick’em Contest. Over 50 have signed up and are ready to show off their skill at picking the winners and losers of each week of the college football season, but we need you to sign up if you haven’t done so yet. It’s not too late for you to participate and show us what you got, as we all fight for the coveted Golden Bo Trophy to be given out to the winner at the end of the season.
It’s simple to sign up. Here’s how you do it. You’ll need to create a Yahoo email account unless you already have one. Then go here. Insert our Group #3326: and the password, which is: tigers. Try to use the pickset name that you use on TET, so you’re easier to identify to other players. For example, my pickset name is Wareagle3020.
Here are the RULES:
Each week we will look at a slate of Top 25 and SEC games where you choose the winner Against The Spread. On Tuesday nights, we’ll post the previous Saturday’s winners and publish a ranking of the top 25 participants in our TET contest. And at the end of the regular season, whoever has chosen the most number of games correctly wins the ultimate prize in all of fantasy sports, the Golden Bo Award trophy.
1. Be sure to check the date and time of each kickoff. Sometimes games may be on Friday. Picks are now available for WEEK ONE
2. It’s important to fill out the tiebreakers. This is important because it will probably be congested at the top of the leader board early in the season.
3. Spreads can sometimes change during the week, so check your picks closer to the end of the week to see if you want to make any changes.
4. You can change your pick for each game up to 5 minutes before kickoff.
5. If you fail to make a selection for a game, you will lose that pick. Therefore, be sure to check your list of picks.
6. If you should fail to pick one game in a week, it will not jeopardize your other picks.
7. Each player’s two lowest weeks worth of picks will be dropped. Although this is calculated immediately, it’s still in play until the end.
8. That means players can join the fun during week 3 and still have a fighting chance. Be sure to tell your friends about this.
9. Try to play the entire season.
10. Please note that each week’s games and spreads don’t show up until Monday or sometimes Tuesday.
That’s all there is to it, but you need to sign up now because the games for week one begin at the end of the week! Sign up, get your friends to sign up, and let’s see who comes out on top.
Have fun and Kick ’em in the butt, Big Blue!
The post Track ‘Em Tigers 9th Annual College Pick’em appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.
from Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog http://bit.ly/2bAmAJq
Auburn's stunning 18-13 victory over LSU sent Auburn fans marching to Toomer's Corner by the thousand on Saturday night to celebra...