Thoughts on a Heisman Weekend

By Posted on: December 13th, 2010 in Football Comments Off

There’s few things in our sporting life any better than watching one of our own receive the Heisman Trophy. It’s the single greatest achievement in all of sports. When Cam Newton claimed the award for himself and Auburn Saturday night, he became the third orange and blue Tiger to step to the podium and accept the trophy. There are only four other schools who have more – Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Ohio State and Oklahoma.

The lasting memory of the night for me was watching close to a 1,000 Auburn fans gather in Times Square for what’s unquestionably the most unique Tiger Walk in school history.  Kudos to the New York City Auburn Club for putting it together.

That single moment is what separates Auburn from every other school in America. If that didn’t make the hair on your arms stand up then you may want to get to a doctor…

I thought it was classless for ESPN to bring up the Newton issues during the actual ceremony. Despite trying to clear the air and take questions during an extensive sit down with Chris Fowler earlier in the week, the network felt it necessary to make it a story during Newton’s big moment.

In the end, Newton showed much more class than the national media…

The joke all week among media members was that Stanford’s Andrew Luckwould collect his Heisman Trophy in April, when he’s likely to be the first quarterback chosen in the NFL draft. According to long time NFL executive and current draft consultant Gil Brandt, Newton’s name will be called within minutes of Luck’s.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Brandt called Newton, “the most exciting player I can ever remember watching” and said he had all the skills to be a star in the NFL.

“I am not an advocate of guys coming out of school early,” Brandt said. “But I think that if he does come out of school, I don’t think there’s any question he’ll be selected in the first half of the first round (of the draft) unless there is something physically wrong with him.”

Listening to Brandt gush brings back recollections of another great Auburn player 25 years ago. The same kinds of accolades were thrown on Bo Jackson following his Heisman win. If memory serves me correct, he pretty much lived up to the hype. Newton has those same tools…

The hiring of Will Muschamp at Florida has many interesting angles and is sure to make the SEC even more of a soap opera. The first question that must be asked is what happened to Dan Mullen? Many believed it was only a formality before he fled Starkville and arrived back in central Florida.

Apparently, Muschamp’s sub-par year at Texas had little effect on his reputation. It’s interesting to watch how Georgia people react to the hiring. There were more than a few holding out hope he’d end up in Athens next season.

Should Muschamp grab a win in his first Georgia-Florida game next year, look for there to be a mutiny in North Georgia. I can hardly wait…

I’ll always be grateful to Tommy Tuberville for what he did for Auburn, but his latest move is puzzling. Like his tenure at Auburn, he seems to thrive on being in the mix for other positions.

Tuberville has acknowledged interviewing for the Miami job (Al Golden was hired Sunday night). It was a classless move. Granted, Lubbock would not be high on my list of places to live, but the university made a commitment to him less than a year ago. More importantly, those players made a commitment.

Looking to bolt after only one year will likely make things more complicated for him at Texas Tech. After a 6-6 season that many saw as an underachievement, Tuberville may find himself in a familiar situation – at odds with the school administration…

If you are looking for tickets to Glendale, I’d recommend pulling the trigger soon. Watching the action on Stubhub.com, ticket prices are increasing slightly each day. Shortly after the SEC Championship, seats could be had for around $500 each. A check today shows the price of a single seat nearing $1,000.

This year’s championship ticket is at more of a premium than last year’s game. While the Rose Bowl seats more than 100,000, the Glendale facility holds slightly north of 70,000. The demand for tickets appears equally strong on the Oregon side. That’s no surprise considering the school has never played for a championship.

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