Aftermath Thursday.

By Posted on: January 9th, 2014 in Football 19 Comments »
Stunning Year

                                                            These Tigers Did Us Proud!
                                                                    (Photo by Acid Reign.)

     War Eagle, everybody! College football post season moves are being made hourly this week, it seems. Upon further review, I could not be prouder of this Auburn football team and supporters, even if a national title had been won. Despite the loss in the BCS title game, A huge Auburn crowd welcomed the team home in the coldest weather in 20 years. Toomer’s Corner was rolled anyway, and Auburn fans rightfully celebrated the great accomplishments of this special football team. Like the 1989 team that suffered a couple of painful losses, but beat Alabama in Jordan Hare for the first time ever and won a share of the SEC Title for the third year in a row, this team will be remembered fondly for a long time.

     Normally this is the time of year where I immediately jump on the roster, strike off the seniors and NFL-bound juniors, and start looking forward to next fall. I can’t quite do that yet, this week. Auburn’s most incredible player, Tre Mason has yet to make a decision on his future, so I’ll wait. I trust that Tre and his family will get good, sound advice, and that he’ll make the best decision for his future. I’d love to see him back in the orange and blue next fall, but my best guess is that his wisest decision is to go ahead and get that NFL money. Auburn is loaded at the running back position, and there are no guarantees next fall. One bum leg injury could knock Tre out of the draft.

     Monday was interesting in that Auburn’s offensive line got a taste of what an NFL line might be like, when they played Florida State. There was an amazing battle going on, one that attracted my attention so much that I had a hard time calling the whole game. Both of Auburn’s NFL prospects at the end of this year, Greg Robinson and Reese Dismukes got a good workout. Reese is staying another year, and Greg is headed to the big league. I can’t fault either guy’s decision. Robinson will be paid big money, and there’s a demand for drive blockers with his kind of power. I would not be surprised to see him end up at guard for a team like San Francisco or Seattle, powering a good rushing attack.

     Reese Dismukes is electing to return to Auburn, and I think another year under J. B. Grimes will only pay more dividends. Dismukes is already one of the best centers in college football. Another year of fine-tuning could lead to an epic NFL career. His return to Auburn is a huge boost to the team, and the offense.

     Nationally, there’s big news happening. Charlie Strong was hired as the new Texas Longhorn head coach, and trustees and boosters are already publicly grumbling. That can’t be good for the program. Strong’s been a big winner everywhere he’s been, and I personally can’t see the angst. Is it a racial thing? If so, that’s pretty danged sad, in this day and age. Strong is one of the top guys in the game, and a good man. He’ll win big at Texas, if he’s not knee-capped by division in the ranks.

     Of note to Auburn fans of the past decade, former Tiger offensive coordinator Al Borges was shown the door as the Michigan offensive coordinator. Borges was a favorite here at Auburn, and condolences go out. Maybe it a sign of the times, but I just don’t see firing a coordinator who averaged 32.2 points per game this season. Maybe I’m old, but 30 points a game sounds pretty good to me. Auburn won the SEC and went 13-0 in 2004 with a 32 point a game offense. Maybe Michigan oughtta be looking a bit closer at their defense.

    Johnny “Football” Manziel has announced that he’s taking his high-wire act to the NFL, which surprised no one. In my opinion, he was the best player in college football this past season, and was penalized in the Heisman voting because he played on a team with an awful defense. He’s facing a questionable NFL future, as scouts aren’t keen on his size or off the field antics. For what its worth, Manziel has shown signs of maturity this season. We haven’t seen him acting out after frustrating losses, and he’s carried himself with class during post-season ceremonies the past month. Best wishes to Johnny Football going forward. We’ll not miss playing him, but I will miss watching his on-field heroics against other SEC foes.

     Other early NFL departures across the country include running back George Atkinson of Notre Dame, Missouri running back Henry Josey, and Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard. I understand Josey’s decision most, as he’s a back with a knee injury history, and is at the top of his game right now. Hubbard will probably find a roster spot, as the NFL does chew through linebackers. Atkinson is going out due to decreased playing time and a suspension, and may have a tough time making a roster, much less being drafted.

     The most inexplicable news this week is that apparently, Louisville is close to re-hiring Bobby Petrino for a second stint as their head football coach. After watching Louisville A. D. Tom Jurich absolutely lambast Auburn’s administration on integrity issues ten years ago during “Jetgate,” I am stunned. This guy questioned Auburn’s integrity, and is going to hire Petrino back? Yes, Petrino will inherit a loaded roster, and he’ll win big early on in the American Athletic Conference. But this guy has baggage, big-time. He left Louisville in a bind back in 2006, to struggle through the Kragthorpe years. His motorcycle mistress issues at Arkansas are well chronicled, as are the shocking ethics violations there in her hiring. Have the Cardinals no shame? I’d also point out that Petrino is not known for his recruiting. He had success at both Louisville and Arkansas with rosters stocked by previous coaches, and left the cupboard pretty bare at both places. Ask Bret Bielema, who suffered through an 0-8 season at Arkansas this past year.

     And finally, on a sad note, it appears that Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston’s legal troubles are not over. His accuser is filing a civil suit over the case. The comments in that CBS link are pretty heated, and disturbing. I’ve got very mixed feelings over this case, and rape allegations are notoriously hard to prove. What’s certain is that the whole thing is going to be an ongoing distraction for the Florida State program, and their players and fans. As always, my hope is that justice is done, whatever that may be. I certainly won’t claim to be smart enough to figure guilt or innocence based on the press releases at hand.

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  1. win4au says:

    I thought Louisville moves from the AAC to the ACC for 2014?, because Maryland bolted for the B1G?
    Petrino is going to give some of those ACC team hell with all that speed and talent on the roster.

  2. win4au says:

    Help me understand, If JW is found guilty of anything does it affect the 2013 season? Or is this a whole new case that has nothing to do with the legal issues this past fall?

    • MechTiger says:

      I don’t see how it could if it doesn’t involve some kind of direct NCAA violation.

    • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

      If FSU purposely mis-led or delayed the authorities for the purpose of keeping him eligible I think that would be pretty serious.

    • wpleagle says:

      It’s a CIVIL suit brought by an individual. The state of Florida declined to bring criminal charges. Should not affect FSU’s 2013 season.

      • win4au says:

        But if FSU had more involvement in the investigation than is led to believe just to keep JW eligible. Wouldn’t that be dealt with by the NCAA? And directly affect the 2013 football season.

        • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

          …..I can’t imagine anyone working for Florida State directly contacting the police or district attorney and asking for the case to be dropped. If it did happen, who’s going to admit to that? Who’s going to trash their career owning up to it? No, this won’t be an NCAA violation story.

          …..Even if Winston and various parties named do settle, or lose the lawsuit, it’s still a civil matter. Honestly, I don’t know for sure what school rules are about eligibility and lawsuit results, but I can’t imagine that would have any effect.

  3. WDErichie WDErichie says:

    Tre Mason has earned my respect on and off the field these last three years. A real class act and the definition of an Auburn man. Whatever he decides all I can say is War Eagle Tre!!!!!

  4. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Petrino again? Wow, talk about a win at all costs attitude.
    I think Tre stays. I bet he gets a 4th or 5th round rating.
    Barring injury, he could have a Heisman type year next season and go in the first round easy.

  5. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    If Tre is projected to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick, he should enter the draft. I wish he and Robinson would stay, but who can blame them for jumping to NFL? Glad Dismukes will be with us next season. That is a huge advantage for us in ’14.

    The comments I’ve read from Texas trustees and boosters indicate that they wanted a seasoned coach that has won championships. Nothing racial that I have read.

    Al Borges didn’t have a great deal of talent to work with at UM. Shaky QB talent, poor OL play, and poor defensive play, were not Al’s fault. Good luck Nussmeier.

    Tom Jurich = Hypocrit.

    The Winston lawsuit will be ratings bonanza for ESPN. Watch them stir the pot.

    Last but not least, WDE.

  6. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I don’t envy Tre’s decision. It’s a big one. Stay one more year and be competitive for a Heisman and a run at the playoffs, but put yourself at risk of a career-ending injury OR go for the draft and start making $$. Really tough decision for a bright, talented, sensitive young man.

    In case you guys have missed this article out of USA Today, it is a must read: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2014/01/07/bcs-championship-auburn-tigers-behind-the-scenes/4359835/

    In other NFL prospects: A&M’s awesome receive Mike Evans also declared for the draft. May he go to the Panthers!! :)

    I don’t get the lateral move by Nussmeier to Michigan. And now Bama is considering Kiffykins for the position?? Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME???? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAA

    As for Petrino to Louisville: garbage in, garbage out. Good luck with that.

    I doubt the Texas trustees and boosters are going to come out and say: I don’t like Strong because he is black. In this day and age, that won’t happen. What I find bizarre is that other names on their list did not have championships and what not coming out of their ears (except for Saban and maybe Gruden, but whatevs). PLUS, what seasoned coach is going to step into a situation where the trustees and boosters feel comfortable enough to talk badly about their coaches. Publicly, ousting a former coach and currently bullying their new coach…what in the heck are they up to behind the scenes? Yikes. Maybe we should be questioning Strong’s presence of mind. Frankly, Texas got a better coach than I think that they deserve and they will like it. Or they should like it. The trustees and boosters need to figure out what’s more important: their egos or their team and flipping act accordingly (Hint: which is opposite of the egregious way that they are acting currently).

    The Winston rape case is all around sad. No one wins. No one. I just don’t see anyone asking for a rape kit 2 hours after the original incident for the hell of it. Let’s just all hope that FSU didn’t have their hands in the investigation to protect their star QB……..

  7. AUTigerinBR says:

    Acid, great news summary. I love already being in the “know” when my 11 year old comes in to fill me in on happenings in the sports world. I will admit it– I want Tre Mason to stay for his senior year so badly. Yes, I know it is completely selfish on my part. He is such a wonderful athlete and person– all the best for him whatever he decides.
    Best wishes to Greg Robinson and hoo-ray that Reese Dismukes is staying. Leadership from day one.

    People outside the family don’t understand what makes Auburn different. We have a Creed. “I believe in Auburn and Love it”– it is so much bigger than one football game. Was I disappointed the title game did not go our way? Yes, I was. But I am more proud of the way we have celebrated the season in its entirety. Our players learned a life lesson when they put 2012 behind them and pushed themselves to be Champions. Along the way, they taught me a few lessons too. War Eagle!

  8. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I happen to think Kiffin would be a good choice, and I hope Bama looks elsewhere. I think after he got raked over the coals by the SEC press a few years back (admittedly, because of his own antics…), he’d be fine with coaching and letting Saban do all the talking, as is Bama policy.

    …..Whatever else you may think of him, Kiffin has fielded some tremendous offenses. Even in his single year at Tennessee, he took over the wreckage of the “Clawfense” and re-made Jonathan Crompton as a capable quarterback. Kiffin’s Southern Cal offenses were extremely prolific, especially when he was the coordinator around 2004-2005. He’ll have similar talent at Bama.

    ….Kiffin wasn’t ready to be a head coach, but I don’t think there’s any question about his ability to put a good offense on the field.

    • WarEagleEngr says:

      How bad is it going to suck for UT fans to get beaten every year by Alabama AND Lane Kiffin?

      I agree it would be a stellar hire for UA (for the reasons cited) but also, I think, for Kiffin himself. He would benefit professionally from working under a martinet like Saban. He clearly didn’t get the disciplined mentoring he needed under Pete Carroll.

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        You guys are all using logic when talking about the Kiffin hire…..that dude does not follow logic. Do you think that his ego is going to allow him to behave as an OC. Maybe I lack an imagination or have a highly active one–either way, I don’t see it.

        • WarEagleEngr says:

          You may very well be right, I certainly see that side of it. And I know some Bama fans who have (loudly) voiced their dissatisfaction with the prospect. But, I don’t know, for even money I’d place my bet on Kiffin getting hired.

          We’ll see…

  9. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    The Bammers are already bad mouthing a potential Kiffin hire. One commenter said that if he was hired the NCAA Infractions would be renting a permanent motel room in Tuscaloosa. Now that’s funny right there.

    I just heard Tre declared for the NFL. I wish him well and hope he goes high.

    He probably won’t be a Tre right away but I am hearing that Roc Thomas has Bo like potential. That is probably a stretch but even a little comparison is a helluva running back.