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Posts Tagged ‘Auburn Tigers’

War(y) Damn Eagle–Lovers

Posted by Adam Butler on September 15, 2011

Strangely, this sign is neither an official nor unofficial live mascot of the Auburn Tigers

As we relayed Monday, “Spirit” the Eagle, Auburn’s flying mascot (despite the fact they’re the Tigers), had a little run in with a window at Jordan-Hare Stadium last Saturday. Now, on cue, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is squawking.

Chuck, BlogHawgs Stat Front Man, Brain, called that PETA letter, and it was a good call, brutha.

UPDATE: Sources indicate the cost of construction of an eagle sanctuary would require several $180,000 dollar donations.

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Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Not a Strong Start

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 12, 2011

It could be worse.

I hate it when I’m wrong.  It’s rare that I admit that I’m wrong.  I will debate for hours on end, even if I know I’m not correct.  Today I have to admit it, though; I was wrong – at least so far.  That’s about as much as you’ll get out of me in September regarding preseason predictions.

Heading into 2011 I was very high on the Georgia Bulldogs.  I anticipated Mark Richt’s squad would win one of their first two games – and honestly thought they might win both – against Boise St. and South Carolina.  The Dawgs hung with Boise for a half then wilted late.  They showed tremendous heart against South Carolina, but ultimately talent won the day.  As much as I respect Richt, I must admit that coaching plays a huge role in both of those losses.  His kids simply didn’t have what they needed to get the jobs done the past two Saturdays.

Here is what I wrote about the Georgia Bulldogs on September 2:

Georgia – Mark Richt will turn it around this year, and it could be a remarkable turnaround at that.  While I see a path to an unbeaten season, I’m not about to go down that road.  All the Bulldogs road games are ones they can win, but the lack of depth at RB and development of new receivers creates too much doubt for me to make the big, bold prediction.  They’ll probably end up dropping one of those roadies and stumble at home against Mississippi State.  Predicted Finish:  9-3, 6-2

What I seem to have overestimated was the Georgia growth on defense.  I really expected to see some maturation this year under Todd Grantham.  The results have been very similar to what Bulldogs fans have expected the past few years.  Their first two opponents have churned out just short of 800 yards of combined total offense, while scoring an average of 40 points per contest – ranking Georgia 111th in the country in scoring defense.

Offensively the Bulldogs have shown some life.  They put up 436 yards last week against a quality SEC defense and topped 370 yards against Boise St.  The Bulldogs are scoring points.  Like the last few years, though, they are not stopping the other team from getting on the board.

The problem for Georgia – in addition to the obvious – is the schedule looks quite less friendly than it did 2 weeks ago.  They catch a breather with Coastal Carolina this weekend, but then host Mississippi State before back-to-back road games against Tennessee (and their suddenly high-powered offense ) and Vanderbilt (2-0 to start the year for the first time since Jay Cutler).  Sprinkle in a trip to Ole Miss, and Georgia now looks to be in desperation.

I’m not counting the Bulldogs out just yet.  There is a lot of football to be played.  But I must admit that I’m not seeing the type of Georgia team I expected to see.

Auburn is another group I misjudged pretty badly.  Their win over Mississippi State can hardly be described as a shocker, but I fully expected the Bulldogs to go win that football game.  We learned that MSU isn’t quite the team I expected, but more importantly we learned that Auburn has the spirit of a champion.  As much as I dislike the Barners, I must admit that I am very impressed by the work Gene Chizik has produced.  The team is far from as talented as they were last year, but these guys fight.  I still believe they will struggle for bowl eligibility, but a win on the road at Clemson will force a full out mea culpa from yours truly.

The good news – for me at least – is that we’re only 2 weeks into the football season.  September predictions are good for little more than an exercise in futility come December, but no one like to see his predictions get torched so early.  I think Georgia will rally, but winning the SEC East looks like a long shot at this point.  And Auburn is probably still going to struggle to win 7 games this year, but they do have the heart of a champion.  It’s time we all recognize that and start to give Chizik the respect he deserves.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly Tops WDET Head Coach Gene Chizik

Posted by Adam Butler on December 21, 2010

for AP Coach of the Year honors.

I couldn’t think of a sarcastic joke about Chizik or WDET QB Cam Newton to be placed here. Sorry.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 14 Comments »

That Shiloh Coach Wins the Broyles Award

Posted by Adam Butler on December 6, 2010

honoring the top assistant coach in America.

Oh, the irony.

The man for whom the award was named–former longtime Arkansas Head Coach and Athletic Director Frank Broyles–was roundly criticized a few years ago by followers of That Shiloh Coach when Broyles was quoted as saying That Shiloh Coach’s offense would not work in the SEC without a mobile quarterback to run it.

I would submit that the 2009 and 2010 seasons have proven Broyles’ theory to be correct. (Let’s be honest–That Shiloh Coach wasn’t calling the plays in 2006 when he was Arkansas’ Offensive Coordinator. There were some good (and bad) plays and The Mississippi Coach called them, brutha! OK, the Mississippi Coach probably didn’t call the trick plays. That Shiloh Coach probably called those.)

Oh, well. to the victors go the spoils–unless, of course you are Cecil Newton–in which case you just ask for the spoils from a program run by a man close to your son, don’t get them, and then send your son elsewhere, to a school with which your family has lesser ties, for free.

In other (soon-to-be-related?) news, Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis retired after a long run at the school. Also, two other Texas assistant coaches retired.

Posted in Commentary | Tagged: , , , | 21 Comments »

The Sport Jury: Auburn=The New Thug U

Posted by Adam Butler on November 15, 2010

 

Fairley's Big Belly-to-Back Suplex.

 

Ben Dial at  The Sports Jury still has Auburn University in is crosshairs and he is not letting up.

After watching Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley purposefully hurt opposing quarterbacks all season in a dirty fashion (See below Vids that are all from this season), I do not blame him.

Finally, someone (UGA) had enough of Fairley’s unconscionable play and, since the refs have sat idly by and thereby condoned it, decided the only way to do something about it was to give him some of his own medicine.

If he had been playing in the NFL this season he would have already been fined tens (hundreds?) of thousands of dollars and had multiple suspensions. Instead, he hasn’t skipped a beat and now his fans are painting him as a victim.

As Dial correctly points out, it is Fairley, his coaches, and the SEC (not UGA) that are to blame.

Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Late Night Fodder

Posted by Brett Kincaid on October 30, 2010

It’s late.  I’m up because my allergies are relentless right now, which means I’m in an extra-surly mood.  Nothing can cheer me up, though, like a great quote from the Mississippi head football coach.  After getting run over by Cam Newton and embarrassed at home, Hootie couldn’t help but pat himself on the back.  In fact, one would think he is responsible for Auburn’s offensive success.  His postgame press conference made me forget about sneezing, coughing, etc.

 Talk about their offense some more, how quickly they churn out stuff and call the next play. 

Nutt: When you get positive yardage on first down, it’s awesome. When you roll like that with an experienced offensive line, you can do that. One thing Gus Malzahn learned from our time together was how to run the ball with guys like McFadden and Jones, and those are the same plays – powers and counters with very good backs. There’s nothing like hanging your hat on a play when you know it’s going to get six or seven yards. Get to the line of scrimmage, and it’s easy to call a game when it’s second and three or second and two. Makes it real, real nice. 

Now… Where’s my NyQuil?

Posted in Commentary | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

The Butler Did It: Upon Futile Review

Posted by Adam Butler on October 18, 2010

As expected, the showdown between Arkansas and Auburn on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium had all the makings of an “instant classic”.

Unfortunately, it turned into another classic instance of SEC officiating ineptitude and, in the process, marred what should have been a knockdown, dragout,”last team with the ball wins” battle between the two best offensive teams the league has to offer.

As a result, Auburn’s 65-43 win won’t be remembered for being the biggest offensive output between two teams in a regulation SEC game. It will be remembered for officiating that offended good conscience.

Not once, but twice on Saturday, Auburn was awarded touchdowns on plays that should have been overturned. The first, and probably most blatant of the two occurred in the second quarter when Arkansas safety Tremain Thomas stripped Auburn runningback Marrio Fannin of the football just before he crossed the goalline.

The SEC’s predictable stance is that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call.

After the game, SEC Director of officiating Rogers Redding gave reporters a statement that had as many holes as the Arkansas defense on Saturday, explaining that on the Fannin fumble the head linesman signaled a touchdown, the line judge signaled a  fumble, the two conferred, and decided that the head linesman had the better view of the play, and therefore it was ruled a touchdown on the field.

The problem with this logic backside covering rationalization is that there was clear evidence that the ball came out before Fannin crossed the goalline (it went straight down and landed more than 3 feet shy of the goalline).

And, the other problem with that explanation is that there has not been any proof  the head linesman, who was much further away from the play than at least 2 other officials, signaled a TD.

But, if that had been the only rip job of the day, Arkansas fans might not be quite so frustrated with the outcome. It wasn’t.

After a furious Arkansas rally to take a brief fourth-quarter lead, the Razorbacks, behind backup quarterback Tyler Wilson (who had admirably and quite competently replaced a concussed Ryan Mallett) were down 44-43 and moving the ball when, what was ultimately ruled (and upheld by the replay official) a fumble by UA running back Broderick Green was returned by Auburn for a 47-yard touchdown.

Replays–and particularly an overhead shot–showed Green’s knee was down AND his elbow hit the ground before the ball came lose.

And it’s too bad, really. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton didn’t need any help from the officials to put his team in position to win. He obliterated the Arkansas defense for 188 rushing yards and 140 passing yards, putting on yet another eye-popping performance in what may well end as a Heisman-winning campaign.

Newton is so talented and versatile that he may be the toughest player in America to stop–a guy that gives Auburn a good chance to overcome its shoddy pass defense and win the SEC.   He is simply a 6’6, 250 lb freak show of a quarterback.

Ironically, Newton, who transferred from Florida to Auburn (by way of Blinn Junior College) for a fresh start (after some legal troubles) and to escape the shadow of former Gator Tim Tebow, has the kind of skills ESPN and Tebow’s worshippers only wish He had.

Newton’s performance Saturday was so impressive that it should have been defined by the plays he made and his physical gifts rather than the gifts that he and his teammates received. Instead, a would-be signature performance seemed to be rubber-stamped.

And, while I know some (READ: Auburn fans) will discount this as a whining, homer take, let me simply say that Newton very well may have led his team to the win without a boost from the refs and replay man upstairs, and that Arkansas’ defense and special teams play were abysmal. (just as Auburn’s pass defense for most of the game was dreadful)

But, that does not excuse the continued, laughably bad SEC officiating. Arkansas rightly fled the old SWC for greener pastures in the SEC almost 2 decades ago, and when it did, it should have been able to leave behind the days of having to be at least 2 touchdowns better than a Top 5 team, on the road, in order to have the chance to eek out a win.

The technology exists to correct bad calls and the SEC should use it rather than continue to hide behind the same bad, knee-jerk calls (or non-calls). But, the league would rather unwittingly affect its brand by protecting its officials over and over, again.

Meanwhile, Hog fans understandably feel like they keep having deja vu–kind of like stunningly bad replay (decisions) they can’t get out of their minds.

Posted in Commentary | Tagged: , , | 31 Comments »

Mallett v. Newton

Posted by Brett Kincaid on October 14, 2010

Chris Low takes a look at the quarterback matchup between Ryan Mallett and Cam Newton.  These two have separated themselves as the best to signal callers in the SEC.  They have eye-popping numbers, and their teams are a combined 10-1 on the season.  As Low explores, both of these guys are determined to do what it takes to win.

“I’m willing to win the football game at all costs, whether that’s me handing the ball off, me throwing the football or me running the football,” said Newton, who’s thrown 12 touchdown passes this season and leads the SEC in passing efficiency (180.7).

“As long as it comes under the win column, I’m all for it.”

The same goes for Mallett, who’s already set or tied 25 school records at Arkansas.

The record he wants most is a first-ever SEC championship for the Hogs.

“Our goals haven’t changed,” Mallett said. “We know what we have to do. I know what I have to do. It’s all about handling our business, and everything else will take care of itself.”

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Mallett v. Newton

National Pundit Predictions on Arkansas vs. Auburn

Posted by Brett Kincaid on October 14, 2010

It’s Thursday, so that means the national college football writers have begun to roll out their weekend predictions.  With Arkansas on the road this week, the Hogs are – predictably – expected to fall at Auburn.  Even here at BlogHawgs we find it difficult to predict a win for the Razorbacks, largely because this team, surprisingly, does not have a killer instinct in the second half.

This weekend’s game will certainly tell us a lot about how the rest of the season will play out.  The Georgia win looks less and less impressive as the weeks go by, so Bobby Petrino’s team needs to notch a big win on the road if the Hogs are going to be in the hunt for a BCS at-large big – assuming they do not reach the SECCG.

Here is a taste of the national mood on this game:

College Football News

What Will Happen: Mallett threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns with an interception last year in the Hogs’ win over Auburn. If he does that again, they’ll lose. The Tiger running game will overcome a big day from Mallett, but it’s going to be a fight until the final drive. Mallett will have the ball in his hands with a chance to march for the win, but his final throw into the end zone will get batted away.

CFN Prediction: Auburn 26 … Arkansas 20

ESPN Blogger Chris Low

Auburn 31, Arkansas 27: Both teams have to answer pressing questions. Is Auburn’s secondary good enough to handle Ryan Mallett and that Arkansas passing game? Can Arkansas do what nobody has been able to do this season and keep Cam Newton in check? The Tigers get the nod because they’ve been clutch in the second half this season, while the Hogs haven’t scored any points in the fourth quarter since the Georgia game on Sept. 18.

CBS Sports

Get ready for a shootout with two of the best offenses in the SEC. I expect this game to go like most Auburn games this year. Look for Arkansas to take the early lead behind Ryan Mallett, but I expect Cameron Newton and the running game to explode in the second half. Prediction: Auburn 34, Arkansas 31

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Auburn Angst

Posted by Brett Kincaid on October 13, 2010

Got a cigarette?

The Auburn Tigers have not lost a game this season and are ranked in the Top 10.  Most consider the Tigers as the team to beat in the SEC West now that Alabama has lost.  Cam Newton, the Auburn quarterback, has been an absolute beast and now sits atop the Heisman Trophy race.

So why is Kevin Scarbinsky with the Birmingham News nervous?

The Arkansas Razorbacks are coming to town.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

True Blue

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 16, 2010

The folks at Auburn are pulling out all the stops to gin up even more interest around their big game with Clemson this weekend.  This is the first regular season game between the two schools since 1971, and Aubbie is ready.  It looks more and more like we could see blue helmets this weekend.

Someone check on AU Jedd.  I’m afraid he may have a heart attack.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

 
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