Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cam Newton: The guy bama fans hate yet need.

     On December 13, 2008, the bama nation was rising to it's peak and enjoying life.  Not only had they just beaten Auburn ending a 6 game skid to their rival, but Auburn had hired Gene Chizik, a coach with a 5-19 record.   Jokes and chest beating quickly followed.  To add fuel to the fire, their leader promised to dominate Auburn 24/7 365.  They were quickly returning to their glory days.  Houndstooth apparel was making a comeback and they solidified their status the following year by winning the BCS national championship. 
     While they were busy celebrating, Gene Chizik and his all-star cast of assistants were quietly piecing together one of the best signing classes Auburn had ever seen.   This class included a JC signee QB named Cam Newton.  On April 17th, 2010, Cam took the field as a Tiger for the first time at the annual A- Day game.  He was welcomed with a standing ovation and the rest has become legend.  No one in attendance that day (myself included) could have ever imagined just what this young man would eventually mean to Auburn or Alabama.
     As we all know, Cam went on to dominate college football, winning almost every individual award and leading Auburn to an undefeated championship season.   He set school and conference records amid all the controversy surrounding his recruitment.  There is no need to discuss the specifics as this is a subject the nation knows all too well.  The reason that everyone knows the details is due to it being brought to light repeatedly by people associated with Alabama football.
     After winning the 2009 championship, Alabama was the preseason favorite to repeat and rightfully so.  They returned the majority of their skill players and had one of football's better coaches.  Yet in early November, they found themselves slipping in the rankings with 2 losses and watching Newton destroy defenses. They focused their frustration on Cam and Auburn.  How dare they take attention away from Alabama?  They played their songs, threw their fake money, and wore their $cam Newton shirts proudly while they blew a 24 point lead to Auburn at home.   This was the breaking point.  Auburn went on to win the national championship and prove it could go toe to toe with Alabama in recruiting and on the field. 
      This enraged Alabama fans everywhere.  They could not believe that Auburn had risen so fast.  Something had to be done.  So the onslaught of rumors and accusations continued.  Since the Iron Bowl, Alabama message boards have blamed Cam and Auburn for everything just short of the tsunami.   This is the plan.  If at anytime Auburn seems to be getting the better of Alabama in recruiting or public spotlight, another Bama man will go on record claiming to have proof of Auburn and Newton's wrongdoing.  We have gone from blank debit cards, to rigged slot machines, tapes of proof, and now bagmen. None of which included any evidence.  They catch phrase seems to be "I will release the proof (or name) in 2-3 weeks".  If you have proof, why wait?  Could it be to keep the charade going as long as possible?   It is becoming apparent that as much as they hate him, Alabama needs Cam Newton.  Without him, what would they have to blame for Auburn being the better team?  Or maybe another question would be without him, what could they use to distract people from what they are doing?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Been away for awhile.   But now I'm back to tackle the most recent set of accusations against Auburn.  Ok so lets break this down.  Since Auburn beat LSU and it appeared they were destined for greatness,  there has been an onslaught of accusations trying to tarnish their success and outright attacks driven by resentment.   First there was the Cam saga, which didn't play out like many hoped.  Then there was the poisoning of Toomer's Corner trees, created by the butt-hurt of losing a game after being ahead by 24 points.  Next after Auburn signed another outstanding recruiting class,  there was accusations of wrongdoings in Louisiana.   After that fell through,  there was the claim (and later faking) of tapes proving Cam did have knowledge of the money.  Now we are at present day and four disgruntled ex-players have decided they would go public with their stories of receiving extra benefits while at Auburn.  They do so on an HBO special reportedly earning nothing more than the good feeling of coming clean.   Yet they either can't remember the names of the people who gave them these benefits or just refuse to name them.   The weird thing is while HBO called mutiple Auburn players who said they received nothing and the former highschool coaches and teammates of the "confessing" players disputing their claims, none of this was mentioned in the show.  Yet they did have Tyrone Prothro discuss how he didn't receive anything while at Alabama.  Imagine that...  four Auburn players hand picked to talk about Auburn being dirty and then one Alabama player talks about how they are clean.   What they failed to mention is Prothro attended Alabama while they were on probation after being found guilty of paying players!  And then two years after he leaves they go on probation again for athletes receiving improper benefits.  I guess that wasn't relevant to the story.   As of now one of the Auburn accusers is refusing to cooperate with NCAA by saying he knows names, but wont release them and another says he will not meet with NCAA as long as Auburn attorneys are present.  I guess they got over that "coming clean" feeling.  

It is aggravating to have to listen to all of this mess, but I guess I can't blame some fan bases for being envious or even a little confused by Auburn's success.  After all they were promised by their current coach to "dominate them 24/7 365". 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Opportunities for Incoming Freshmen?

Erique Florence
Last year and the year before, the Auburn coaches recruited to fill immediate needs as well as building for the future.   This year they were able to focus more on the addition of future needs.  Very few of the Feburary signees were projected to see much playing time at least as a starting role.  With the recent events, that has changed.   The biggest immediate loss  is replacing a senior safety with 39 games experience.  Thorpe while being new to the position will be the more battle tested player and with experienced help also being needed at LB, I dont see Bates making the move back to safety. Look for Ryan Smith and incoming freshman Erique Florence to push for the other slot. 

CJ Uzomah
Shaun Kitchens could have been a possible replacement for Eric Smith.  His size and ability to catch the ball would have worked well as a pass protection/wheel route threat.  Could this be a chance for newcomer C.J. Uzomah?  At 6'5" and 230 lbs he has the size and also posseses the soft hands needed for playing in the flat.  

Brandon Fulse

The void created by redshirt freshman Dakota Mosley leaves the offense without a 2nd string TE.  Enter Brandon Fulse.   The true freshman will be backing up Lutzenkirchen.   While Mosley played the same role last year and was able to redshirt, I would look for Fulse to see some time on the playing field.   

Friday, March 11, 2011

4 Auburn players dismissed from team

Police mugshots of the players.

As most everyone already knows, Coach Chizik has permanently dismissed Mike McNeil, Dakota Mosley, Shaun Kitchens, and Antione Goodwin following their arrests for burglary and robbery. 
Chizik released this statement
“While we realize the legal process will run its course and these young men have a right for their case to be heard, playing for Auburn University is an honor and a privilege. It is not a right," Chizik said. “We hold our student-athletes to a high standard of conduct on and off the field as representatives of Auburn University, and this kind of behavior is not tolerated.”
“I am extremely disappointed and embarrassed by the actions of these individuals. I want to personally apologize to all of those who were impacted by this senseless act, including the victims, Auburn University and the Auburn family,”

It is not uncommon for college students to make poor decisions and occasionally some even have brushes with the law, but this type of behavior is disturbing.  As an Auburn Alumni, I would not want to be represented by people of this caliber.  I fully support Coach Chizik in his decision and am happy he did it in such a quick manner.  To wait longer would have been detrimental to the team.  The Auburn staff has worked hard to build an atmosphere of "Family".  This is the major selling point in the recruitment of high school players.  To allow the players to stay on the team, would be the same as condoning the act.  It would send the wrong message to players and their parents.  Parents have to feel their child is in safe hands and will not be associated with people of such poor character. Coach Chizik has sent the message >
Our standards are high and to run with us, you have to meet them. 

The Auburn Creed is our standard and we expect those associated with Auburn to follow it.

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn.
Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.
I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind
and my hands to work skillfully.
I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect
and confidence of my fellow men.
I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid,
and in clean sports that develop these qualities.
I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.
I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men
and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.
I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is
my own home, and that I can best serve that country by
"doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God."
And because Auburn men and women believe in these things,
I believe in Auburn and love it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

10 things to watch at A Day and 2011.

1. Barrett Trotter -  filling the void left by a Heisman winner is no easy task.  Trotter looked sharp in last year's A day.  Is he ready to be the leader?
2. Trovon Reed - the excitement about Trovon played second fiddle to Cam last year.  After a year of waiting, expectations are high for the play maker.
3. Ladarious Phillips - LP was a fan favorite before he ever walked onto campus.  Will he get a shot at RB as well as DT?  The fans are hoping so.
4. Jake Holland - will he be able to step in and run the defense.  Holland saw limited action in 9 games last year.  He was trusted enough to play in the NC game.
5. Neiko Thorpe moving - Thorpe moves from corner to safety.  He was third on the team in tackles last year.  With his size and the corner talent building the move makes sense.
6. Emory Blake - Blake is the top returning receiver. He led the team in receiving TDs last year.  Can he lead the receiving corps this year?
7. Young D-line / New coach - The young but experienced D-line will be adapting to a new position coach.  Can Coach Pelton have them ready for SEC play by week 2?
8. Offensive Change? - What should we expect from Malzahn with a pass first QB?  I'm thinking Dyer will enjoy the difference.
9. New O-line - this one's a biggie.  The success of the season could hang on the success of the O-line.  Will they be up to the challenge?
10. Replacing Byrum- Cody Parkey will be asked to replace Auburn's all time leading scorer.  I think we'll  be fine here, but will he be as clutch as Wes?

Auburn's A day will be held Saturday April 16th at 2 pm.   General Admission $5.  Buy tickets HERE.
It will be shown live on CSS.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Scott Moore

Scott Moore and WZZN have decided to go their separate ways.  Thanks to the efforts of people such as  The Never to Yield Foundation, WZZN was pressed to make a decision on the future of Scott Moore's program on their station.  For those who don't know, Moore claimed he had heard tapes with Cecil Newton discussing in detail about Auburn paying money for Cam.   He also claimed to have copies of the tapes and text messages.  He was going to single handedly deliver a knock out blow to Auburn football (or so some hoped). When his claims were proven to be lies and the tapes fraudulent, it was evident that he was just another Alabama fan trying to slander Auburn.  Just another failed attempt to discredit Auburn.   This is not the Auburn from 30 years ago.  The fanbase is stronger and united.  It will take more than media propaganda to make us go away.  This season was proof of that.
Several of the top NFL draft teams are in Auburn today to watch Newton and Fairley workout. 2 of the top 3 looking hard at Cam.