Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Expanding the College Football Playoff Field is Simple but Will it Ever Happen?

Now that we’re in the college bowl season, it’s time for the annual debate on expanding the field for the college football playoff. But it’s really a misnomer to call the present model for crowning a national champion a “playoff.”

After seeing several SEC teams left out of the national Championship game in the past (in particular Auburn in 2004), this writer was glad to see a move toward a different process for determining the Division I (FBS) champion. However, what was agreed upon does not represent a playoff.  

A playoff would give everyone a chance to play in the big game. As we saw last year no independent (not named Notre Dame) has a chance. To call the present selection process “playoff” is disingenuous at best.  Call it The 13 Committee Selection Playoff or the Power Five Playoff but not the College Football Playoff.

A playoff should mean everyone has equal opportunity to access the final game. That is not the case and will never be the case as long as the Power-5 have control. Back in 2011 the Mountain West proposed an 8- game playoff and it was summarily shot down by the big boys.

Here’s the biggest problem with the current set up: One or more of the Power Five conferences are left out and it has left virtually no chance for the so called ‘smaller schools’ to make the final four. It would be an easy thing to fix by simply expanding to an eight team field.

Instead of 13 people meeting behind close doors to decide who’s in and who’s out, why not let the schools make that decision through competition? 

Let the play on the field determine the champion as it does in every other sport. Consider the conference championship games as the first round of the playoffs. The Power 5 conferences represent 64 teams – about the same field as is represented in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. If a power five team wins their conference championship they will advance to the national eight semifinals. Then the highest ranked non power five conferences champions or higher ranked independent would fill out the brackets. That would also mean all teams (not just 64) have a chance to play for the title based on their performance.

Keep the committee but change their responsibility to seeding the teams and selecting three at large teams from the non power fives or independents. This would give the UCF’s of the world a possible path to the championship while insuring that Notre Dame has their ‘privileged status’ protected. Although, it’s this writer’s personal opinion that the Irish should compete just like the other Power-5 schools in a conference championship.

Some say this type of paln wouldn’t work because an occasional two or three loss team may upset a higher ranked team in a conference championship game. Well that’s why it’s called a playoff. A playoff is not supposed to be the two or four teams that a select group (committee) deems as the best matchups.

Just like with the NFL, 10 wildcard teams have defeated teams with better regular season records to advance to the Superbowl. By the way, six of those at large teams became Superbowl Champions.

It really is that simple. Yet all kind of reasons are put forth as to why it wouldn’t work. And most of them are the same ones that were used to discourage moving from two teams to four.

Debunking the arguments against expansion after the jump.

Here are some of the most prevalent:

It would make the regular season less important.
No, it would just heighten the importance of having the best record to get to the conference championship because if you make it there, you’re in the semi finals.

* College football needs to stop adding more games.

Well that’s easy enough to fix. Start the season a week earlier or subtract cup cakes during the regular season. Doing the latter could have the added advantage of providing a second bye week to rest the players.

* Where would another round be played?
The first round would be played at home stadiums of the higher ranked team just like it is with the FCS level. After that, there would be four teams left and they would play in the Bowls just like they do now.

* Expansion would be a death knell for the bowls.
As my grandfather used to say, “That’s a load of bull.”
This argument was used a lot during talks about changing from the BCS. It didn’t happen then and it will not happen now. There will always be teams eager to play in a bowl game. In fact the demand for more bowls has grown since the four team CFP was instituted. In recent years, the NCAA has turned down several cities request to start new bowl games.

 * Moving to eight teams will only prompt cries to add more. Where does it stop?
It stops with this model. Yes there will always be calls for more teams to make the field. But this model should be the end all because it protects all the doubts put forth while still allowing ‘everyone’ a path to the championship game.

The powers that be know this will work because this is the way the other divisions have been handling their playoffs for years.

So if it’s really that simple, why can we move to the eight team model?

The answer is two fold. One, the power five conferences want to keep it an exclusive Power-5 club. The second and most important reason though is money. And that’s driven by the mega TV sports giant ESPN. The network wants to hype the who gets in and the debate over who should have been in. It’s good for ratings and that means more money.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the other day, “I wouldn’t say we’ll never go to it, but I’d be very surprised if we gave it any serious consideration … We haven’t had any conversations about expanding the field so far. This is a terrific enterprise and I just think we need to be really careful before we tamper with it.” Notice the word “enterprise!”

Yes it’s about business. ESPN doesn’t want to see a UCF vs.Houston when they know an Alabama – Clemson game would have a larger audience and hence produce more revenue.

With that being the case, will we ever see a true college football playoff? Maybe, but I don’t expect to see it in my life time.

The post Expanding the College Football Playoff Field is Simple but Will it Ever Happen? appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

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3-Star Defensive Lineman Jamond Gordon Reopens Recruitment

Tigers lose a commit on early signing day eve.

Earlier today when previewing the start of early signing day, I mentioned three commitments that would not sign early. I talked about how that doesn’t necessarily mean their commitments are shaky but if there was one to watch then 3* DL Jamond Gordon was probably the guy to keep an eye on. Well, tonight he went ahead and pulled the trigger and decommitted from the Tigers.

I’m a bit surprised by the timing but not so much the decision. Gordon has been wavering for a few months now. He was seen in Oxford more times than in Auburn this past fall and was once committed to the Rebels. As of today, they are the clear team to beat.

It will be interesting to see if he still decides to take an official visit to the Plains in January as previously planned. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. Rodney Garner is very high on the young man and I am sure would love to get him back in the fold. But obviously it’s going to take some work for that to happen.

As for where Auburn goes from here, not much changes. 4* Colby Wooden will sign tomorrow while 4* Jaren Handy will wait until February. The Tigers are still hard after Mississippi State commit 4* Charles Moore, Florida State commit 4* Quashon Fuller and Tennessee commit 3* LeDarrius Cox. All three are very flippable targets for the Tigers and as of today I expect Auburn to land two from that list. There’s also 4* Buck Derick Hall who will make his final decision tomorrow. Auburn appears to be the favorite in that race but it’s far from a slam dunk.

Obviously not the best way to kick off signing day but the Tigers are still in a good spot to bring in a bunch of big time players this week. We will see if tomorrow’s drama brings some good news to the Plains.

War Eagle!

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Auburn in the NFL - Week 15

More smug revenge for Daniel Carlson!

It’s time to look once more at how our former guys did in the pro league!



Chiefs - Dee Ford (LB) added to his season total with another sack to go along with 3 tackles on the night.

He’s got 11.5 sacks this year, but he’s tied for first in forced fumbles with a couple of pretty good dudes.



Texans - Angelo Blackson (DT) had 3 tackles and a fumble recovery in Houston’s comeback win.



Titans - Darren Bates (LB) had 1 tackle in the shutout win.


Redskins - Josh Holsey (CB) had 2 tackles in the win.


Colts - Braden Smith (RT) started again on the line and helped keep Andrew Luck clean as Indy allowed no sacks on the day.


Bengals - C.J. Uzomah (TE) made 1 catch for 27 yards in Cincy’s win over the Raiders.

Raiders - Daniel Carlson (K) scored the majority of Oakland’s points with field goals coming from 27, 40, and 50 yards. He’s been excellent since getting cut, missing a single kick in that time.


Bears - Cody Parkey (K) hit his only field goal from 24 yards out and made all of his extra points in the win.

Packers - Montravius Adams (DT) had 3 tackles in the loss.


Cardinals - Rudy Ford (DB) made 1 tackle in the loss.


Buccaneers - Peyton Barber (RB) ran 19 times for 85 yards and a touchdown, while catching 2 passes for 4 yards in the loss. Carlton Davis (CB) made 2 tackles as well.


Patriots - Jonathan Jones (CB) had 5 tackles and a sack in the loss.



Panthers - Cam Newton (QB) threw for only 131 yards on 16-29 passing to go along 15 rushing yards on 5 attempts. He’s clearly injured and we’ll see if he plays in the final two games of the season.

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2018 Auburn Football Early Signing Day!

Get the most comprehensive info on each new member of the Auburn football team!

It’s still a new phenomenon in college football, and one that many have clamored for over the recent past — EARLY SIGNING DAY. It’s a chance for kids who committed eons ago to make good on their promises and shut things down by committing for real to the school of their choosing and signing on the dotted line.

Auburn stands to bring in some huge talent in the 2018 edition of Early Signing Day, and there’s no better place to check in than right here, where AU Nerd has everything that you’ll need to know.

Letters of intent. New commitments. Decommitments. Drama. It’s all a part of the wonderful world of college football recruiting, and we’re just happy that you get a little pre-Christmas treat with a stocking full of shiny new toys for Gus Malzahn to work with.

Keep it here for everything you need! War Eagle!

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Highlights of Auburn’s 75-71 Win Over UAB

These aren’t technically highlights since CBS owns the video, but Auburn has posted some behind-the-scenes of before, during, and after Auburn’s thrilling 75-71 win over UAB.


‘Improve each day’: Auburn balances bowl work with preparation for 2019 in postseason practices

When Auburn is back out on the practice field, everything is simple again.

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NEW EPISODE ALERT: Orange and True Podcast Presented by Champ’s Chicken

Episode 29!

It’s that time of week again, everyone, and you can rest easy knowing that your Tuesday soundtrack will actually be curated by Son of Crow, AU Chief, and Ryan Sterritt as they discuss the finer points of EVERYTHING AUBURN on this week’s edition of The Orange and True Podcast Presented by Champ’s Chicken!

First of all, Champ’s Chicken is delicious and filling and wondrous and comes complete with all of the sauces and sides that you could ever possibly enjoy. PLUS, there’s a giant beer fridge cave that contains any and all varieties of your favorite adult libations. Go check ‘em out on Opelika Road and see the newest and best entry into Auburn’s “Chicken Finger Town” catalogue.

As for the show today, Ryan forgot to do show notes, so he lets Crow and Chief get right off the rails as they talk about 90s wrasslin’, basketball fouls, and more, but the guys do look at the win over UAB, tomorrow’s game at NC State, and more!

War Eagle!

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Auburn Football Recruiting: Early Signing Day Preview

4* Buck Derick Hall

Auburn will look to officially sign the majority of their class tomorrow and hope to add a few more key pieces.

Tomorrow some big time recruitments will come to an end. The early signing day, debuting just last year, starts tomorrow so prospects in the 2019 class will have three days where they can sign a National Letter of Intent with their University of choice if they so choose.

Auburn is expecting the majority of their class to officially join the program tomorrow. Here’s a list of who is expected to sign early for the Tigers:

4* WR George Pickens, 4* DL Jaren Handy and 3* DL Jamond Gordon are all expected to wait until February to sign. The most interesting name to track will be 4* DB Jashawn Sheffield who appears to have not given a firm confirmation that he will sign this week. South Carolina is reportedly making a strong push to have the talented athlete postpone and take his official visit in January. I suspect he ends up joining his HS teammate Simpson and signs early but it’s definitely something to watch over the next few days.

As for the the three firm not early signers, I think you obviously have to have some concerns that they aren’t shutting down their recruitments. All three are being pushed hard by some stiff competition and it would sure make Auburn’s life much easier if they just went ahead and ended things. But it doesn’t also mean that these three are going to flip. Last cycle, Coynis Miller, Matthew Hill, Richard Jibunor and Kolbi Fuqua all did not sign early yet still ended up in the class. We will see if the Tigers can do it again. For my money, Gordon is the name to keep the closest eye on. Ole Miss will get his final official visit and they are making things very interesting in his recruitment.

But Auburn is also hoping for a few “booms” tomorrow as well. A few of their top targets are expected to announce their commitments and I expect the Tigers to land a few. According to AuburnUndercover, these are the top Auburn targets expected to make their final decisions this week. I took a shot at guessing each of their decisions.

4* OG William Putnam | 6’4” | 280 lbs | Tampa, FL | TBD

Since sending out this tweet, it’s been basically radio silence from Putnam’s camp when it comes to his recruitment.

He had told reporters that he expected to make his decision by the end of this past weekend but that obviously was not the case. What does it mean? No one seems to know. That’s probably because Putnam doesn’t truly know thus the lack of public commitment just yet. This is a true 3 team race between Auburn, Clemson and Florida State. All three have reasons to feel good but also reasons to doubt. Heading into the weekend there was a ton of Clemson buzz, that turned into FSU buzz by Sunday night. Might it become Auburn buzz when it matters most Wednesday? Man I wish but I don’t think that will be the case. Instead, I think relationships win out and Putnam has said over and over that he’s closest to FSU’s OL coach. I’m guessing that proves the difference tomorrow (or maybe today) and Auburn misses on ANOTHER top 100 OL target.

Prediction: Florida State

4* Buck Derick Hall | 6’4” | 216 lbs | Gulfport, MS | 8:00 AM CT

Auburn is hoping to start the day off with a bang tomorrow. Back in July, it was thought that Auburn was closing in on Hall’s commitment but it never came. Since then, Mississippi State, Florida, Ole Miss and Florida State have all made serious pushes. However, every single time Hall left a visit from any of those campuses he continued to state that the Tigers were the team to beat. Mississippi State insiders seem to think it’s down to Auburn/Mississippi State. Ole Miss people seem to think it’s Auburn/Ole Miss. Florida State people seem to think they might have the best shot against Auburn. Typically, when one program is the consistent finalist among #sources, that’s the team that ends up being the pick. I think Hall’s close relationship with Gus Malzahn seals the deal for the Tigers and Wednesday starts off right.

Prediction: Auburn

4* RB Noah Cain | 5’10” | 212 lbs | Bradenton, FL | 10:30 AM CT

Cain has long been at the top of Auburn’s RB wishlist and the Tigers have pursued the talented back all the way up until the final days of his recruitment. But barring a sudden change in the winds, it appears highly unlikely Cain ends up in orange and blue next season. It was a wild ride for this young man. Once the #1 ranked RB in the class, he’s fallen to #7 and his teammate 5* Trey Sanders has emerged as #1. It seemed he was on the verge of committing to LSU until they were able to flip 5* RB John Emery away from UGA. It appears Penn State is the team that has made the most of this opportunity and they will be getting a good one in Cain.

Prediction: Penn State

5* LB Nakobe Dean | 6’0” | 220 lbs | Horn Lake, MS | 1:20 PM CT ESPNU

Auburn will be nothing more than a hat on the table tomorrow for Dean, if they even make the cut. The Tigers just never could seem to get much of a toe hold in the talented backer’s recruitment. He visited early in the spring then never made it to campus again until his official visit in early November. Alabama and Georgia appear to be the top contenders though Ole Miss is a scary darkhorse to watch. There are some big time BAMA/UGA showdowns tomorrow that will decide who gets the top class. I personally think the Dawgs get the better of the Tide in this one.

Prediction: Georgia

3* RB DJ Williams | 5’11” | 210 lbs | Sebring, FL | 2:30 PM CT

This has been a wild recruitment. The one time Appalachian State commit landed an Auburn offer on November 8th after the staff got their hands on his senior tape. That changed everything for the former 2* prospect. Offers came pouring in with Tennessee, Miami, Texas, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Michigan, Georgia and Clemson all jumping into the mix. All of a sudden, Williams had become a hot commodity. He smartly took all his official visits and has trimmed his list down to three: Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. Not bad for a former 2* eh? The Tigers sit in the best position having jumped into his recruitment the earliest. The Tide haven’t actually offered Williams but that could change if they were to miss on 5* RB Trey Sanders. The nation’s top ranked RB will decide between Alabama and Georgia roughly an hour before Williams. The loser of that battle will then turn the heat on to extraordinary levels for Williams. But I think the fact that Williams is Auburn’s Plan A makes the difference.

Prediction: Auburn

4* LB Kalen Deloach | 6’0” | 206 lbs | Savannah, GA | TBD

The Tigers finished #2 for Deloach back in late July when he committed to the Noles. But early this fall it appears there were some cracks opening in his recruitment. The Tigers hosted Deloach on an official visit for the LSU game and there was some buzz on his departure that Auburn had a real shot at pulling off the flip. Then he took an official to Michigan and all of a sudden the Wolverines became the hot team. However, FSU wisely had the last OV and appears to have locked the defensive stud back down. He will announce his final decision tomorrow and the odds appear to be very high it will the Seminoles.

Prediction: Florida State

OT Tommy Kennedy | 6’4” | 285 lbs | Lake Bluff, IL | TBD

Maybe the most intriguing announcement of the day will come from Butler graduate transfer Tommy Kennedy. Kennedy has spent the past four years playing in the Pioneer League but now the rising redshirt senior is looking to make the jump to Power 5 in hopes of proving himself NFL worthy. He’s got an impressive offer list including Auburn, Miami, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and plenty of others. The Tigers were the last to offer doing so Sunday night when Kennedy took a surprise trip after his Miami official visit to the Plains.

Why the delay? Well Kennedy has only one year of eligibility and Auburn should have two returning seniors at offensive tackle. However, there’s smoke that Prince Tega Wanogho might be seriously contemplating making the jump to the NFL and reports are Calvin Ashley is still not back with the team. That makes a very scary OT depth chart heading into 2019 especially given the struggles on the trail when it comes to signing quality underclassmen. So Auburn is hoping to make a strong late push and land another talented grad transfer to hopefully step in and save this offensive line next season. However, I think the Canes are gonna be tough to beat in this one. They were the first to offer Kennedy and received his last official visit. Just hard for me to see Auburn pulling this one off.

Prediction: Miami

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Former Central, Auburn University football player commits to Memphis

Three months after cornerback John Broussard left Auburn, the Central-Phenix City alum has found a new home.

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Auburn Wins Overtime Thriller in Legacy Arena

It was almost one of those wins that really didn’t feel like a win. For a second, many Auburn basketball fan’s first reaction to the overtime win over UAB was, “a bad and ugly win.” Some fans even took it a step further pronouncing “maybe Auburn isn’t as good as we thought.”

Can’t blame them one bit, at least in the immediate aftermath. Out-manned and out-gunned UAB laid every ounce of energy on the court for as long as they could. Unlike other teams that Auburn has faced in this young season, it was enough to get to overtime. While the 75-71 score looks close, once overtime began, Auburn wasn’t in jeopardy of losing.

Before diving into the Tigers and, specifically, the heroics of one diminutive Jared Harper, let’s take a second to talk about the UAB Blazers, this rivalry between the Blazers and Tigers, and keeping this matchup each and every year.

The Blazers aren’t exactly playing great basketball this year. Some could say that with Auburn and Alabama being down for the last few years, that UAB was the best program in the state of Alabama. Obviously, that isn’t’ the case with Bruce Pearl and the work he’s done in Auburn. Even before Pearl, Auburn owned a lengthy winning streak against the Blazers.

Despite not even coming close against Florida State and Memphis earlier this year, Blazer fans showed up to Legacy Arena with more than just a fired up 50%-of-the-crowd. They came out to do much more than represent “the other side” of the Mike Slive Invitational. They came to win, and win they almost did.

Auburn fans may not be pleased with how the game went Saturday night, nor should they. Auburn simply wasn’t very good. But, Auburn fans should feel really good about coming away with a win against a super-motivated team that may not have shot the lights out, but hit every single shot they had to hit to take the Tigers to the brink.

UAB shot just 31 percent from long-range, but don’t take that for face-value. Guard Jalen Perry was 4-8 from downtown and when he wasn’t on the floor, Jeremiah Bell stepped right into his shoes, hitting 3-7. The rest of the Blazers were a paltry 2-13. This game had more lead changes than the entirety of Auburn’s young season. Yet there were moments along the way that felt like Auburn had done UAB in for good, just to have one of those guards come right down the floor and bury a three ball.

And, for yet another game, an Auburn opponent worked over the Tigers on the glass. While Auburn still had more offensive rebounds than the UAB, the Blazers were able to have put-backs. It’s hard to point to just that as one of the reasons that UAB stayed in this game, considering Auburn out-rebounded UAB 40-39, it never should have been that close. Auburn has a trio of big men that should be able to play with anyone in the country, bar none. Instead, it was an even split with a team that really shouldn’t have any business competing with the Top 10 Tigers.

Auburn continued their tendency of …

not dominating the boards this season. However, rebounding wasn’t statistically the reason this game went to overtime. It may just be who the Tigers are. But, something the Tigers are not is a poor shooting team.

Auburn was 18 percent from long range. It was a pitiful effort from downtown, almost as bad as the over-all 38 percent shooting. Bryce Brown is the man who controls that long range shooting and he was 0-6. While I can’t say for any certainty that may be the worst effort he’s had as a Tiger. Anytime your center has the best long range percentage, as Anfernee McLemore could say after this game, you would expect to have a lost.

But the Tigers didn’t.

Auburn did the one thing that every great team does: they hit free-throws. Specifically, Jared Harper hit free-throws. As a team, Auburn hit nearly 80 percent of the whopping 34 charity stripe tries while UAB was just over 50 percent on 11 attempts. Playing from behind in the waning moments of the game and the entirety of overtime, the Blazers had to foul and slow down the clock. Facing that strategy, Coach Bruce Pearl did what any smart coach does: manufacture ways to get the ball into the hands of the best free-throw shooter. In this case, that also happens to be the point guard, Harper, who is 91 percent on the year.

In a game where Auburn couldn’t hit the proverbial “broad side of a barn,” UAB hit every single clutch shot. But, Harper continued a free-throw pace that simply didn’t seem humanly possible. He was 15-16 on the night with much of that coming in overtime. Auburn scored 12 points in overtime, ten of those were scored by Harper and six of those ten were at the stripe where Harper was a perfect 6-6. Go back and read those two sentences again.

UAB had four players in double-digits. Auburn had just two: Harper and Chuma Okeke. Okeke had an efficient night, hitting 4-6 shooting, 3-4 from the line and kicked in two blocks. But, he led the way with three turnovers.

Saturday saw the long-awaited return of Danjel Purifoy. He played just seven minutes, but scored two points and added one of Auburn’s two steals. Auburn had ten turnovers and caused 13. It wasn’t quite the disparity that Auburn has had in past games, but it was just enough, as were the seven total blocks led by Austin Wiley who had three.

Up next is a match-up with massive implications as Auburn goes on the road to play North Carolina State on Wednesday. The ESPN matchup predictor gives the Wolfpack a 65 percent chance to win this game. The ‘Pack may be unranked, but sport a 9-1 record and are undefeated at home. The two teams are essentially gridlocked in almost every measurable stat except one: blocks. Auburn has a huge edge here, but blocks are one of those incredibly streaky things. Can Auburn’s big men do it again?

Torin Dorn leads the way at his guard position, averaging 16 points per game. He is shooting almost 46 percent from long range and has hit double digit scores in every game he’s played. Expect Dorn to get a heavy dose of Bryce Brown. Amazingly enough, Dorn leads the Wolfpack in rebounds. Can he beat out Chuma Okeke, who leads the Tigers? Can Auburn improve on cutting down on second chance points? Will Brown have enough in the tank from defending to be a factor? Will Purifoy get more than seven minutes?

The answers will come Wednesday night. Tune in at 6PM on ESPN2.

The post Auburn Wins Overtime Thriller in Legacy Arena 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

Mostly Sunny today!

With a high of 62F and a low of 43F.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Interesting Tidbits on Early Signing, Angry Bruce Pearl, and the SEC’s All-Time Leading Scorer

It’s Monday and I know you are already checked out for the holidays. Get caught up on all of the interesting tidbits you may have missed from this weekend.

-Early signing day is here. Learn more about what it actually is and how Auburn is projected to fare.

-Even more analysis about Auburn’s commits can be found here.

-Get to know more about recruits Owen Pappoe and Bo Nix.

-Kenny Dillingham has arrived and begun his work.

-More insight into how Malzahn calling plays effect the team.

-Auburn players are in the NFL, see how they performed this weekend.

-Daniel Carlson is the best comeback story of 2018.

-It was a rough one in Birmingham, but men’s basketball found a way past UAB.

-Jared Harper is still good at basketball.

-Bruce Pearl talks about the odd encounter with UAB’s head coach.

-Catch up on where Auburn lands in the top 25.


Early Early National Signing Day Notes

The college football early signing period starts this Wednesday, December 19th. Auburn’s class enters this period ranked 12th per 247sports. Let’s take a look at what Auburn knows they’ll get and a few they hope they’ll get.

TE, Luke Deal: Early Enrollee
TE, Tyler Fromm: Early Enrollee
DB, Cam’Ron Kelly: Early Enrollee
OL, Justin Osborne: Early Enrollee
QB, Bo Nix: Early Enrollee
LB, Owen Pappoe: Early Enrollee
DB, Zion Puckett: Early Enrollee
DE/Buck, Colby Wooden: Early Enrollee
WR, Ja’Varrius Johnson: Graduates in spring
OL, Keiondre Jones; Graduates in spring
DB, Nehemiah Pritchett: Graduates in spring

DB, Jashawn Sheffield: Graduates in spring
DB, Jaylin Simpson: Graduates in spring

DE, Jamond Gordon: Ole Miss making a push.
DE, Jaren Handy: Strong commit, will take some other official visits.
WR, George Pickens: Strong commit, others making a push.

RB, Noah Cain: Penn State seems to be the favorite with Auburn andTexas being right behind.
LB, Nakobe Dean: Alabama is the clear favorite, Auburn still somewhat hopeful.
LB, Kalen DeLoach: Florida St. commit considering Auburn and Michigan.
LB/Buck, Derick Hall: Auburn has lead, fighting off Mississippi State and Florida St.
OG, William Putnam: Auburn, Clemson, and Florida State are all feeling optimistic. Nobody knows.
RB, DJ Williams: Auburn appears to be in the lead.

Note: DB, Maurice Hampton: LSU commit, not signing early. Wants to play football and baseball, expect LSU and Auburn to battle till the end.

This early signing period will lock down a lot of Auburn commits. Aside from possibly Noah Cain, do not expect any surprises.




It’s not much, but Auburn finally made a move up in the rankings.

True, it took a couple losses by the old #1 team to get the Tigers up to #7, but whatever needs to happen, I’m cool with it. Right now, Auburn’s the second-highest ranked SEC team after Tennessee, who had a monster week that included wins over #1 Gonzaga and at Memphis. Admiral Schofield is playing like a man possessed, and it’s pretty clear that the game of the year in the SEC will be played the last weekend of the regular season at Auburn Arena.

Other SEC teams in the rankings include Mississippi State at #17 and Kentucky at #19, while Florida’s hanging out in the Receiving Votes category.

For Auburn, this week will be a nice little test with a road trip to NC State (also receiving votes) and Murray State back at home before Christmas. Currently, NC State’s one of the hottest-shooting teams in the country, hitting better than 51% of their field goals overall.

Games to watch in the Top 25 this week include:

  • 12/18 - #14 Buffalo @ Syracuse
  • 12/19 - #7 Auburn @ NC State
  • 12/20 - #2 Duke vs #12 Texas Tech
  • 12/21 - #24 Furman @ LSU
  • 12/21 - #14 Buffalo @ #20 Marquette
  • 12/22 - #19 Kentucky @ #9 North Carolina
  • 12/22 - #1 Kansas @ #18 Arizona State

Big week for hoops! If Auburn can get through unscathed, the Tigers may be in a position to have a top five team before SEC play begins. War Eagle!

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SEC basketball power rankings

College football is nearing a conclusion, so it's time to get caught up on the SEC basketball pecking order before conference play in January.

from Auburn Sports Impact