Image: CBS Sports Last week an interesting proposal came down from ACC commish John Swofford that the ACC, now considering the possibility of playing nine conference games, would forgo that extra contest and play eight if they could instead have each team schedule at least one SEC opponent every year. Also on the ACC’s wish list; world peace and being able to register on the affordable healthcare act website.
This model is definitely only in the brainstorming level of development as conferences look to the future of the four-team playoff this season and the best ways to position themselves for a run. The ACC, who is also considering major changes in it’s conference championship game to garner what most describe generally as national interest, is looking to bolster it’s impressive streak of BCS national championships, which now stands at one.
Bravo, yelled every other conference who would be unbridled with a mandatory extra out-of-conference game against a former BCS team, giving them one less possible hurdle into the playoff, the equivalent of a two touchdown lead if Vegas handicapped getting to the playoff like the game itself.
Other than getting all fourteen teams to sign off on the deal, an additional impediment to such scheduling mojo is a future 5-game schedule the ACC has signed with Notre Dame, who is expected to at least score more than one touchdown in each of those games. Geez. If the SEC turns the ACC down, it looks like they’ll have to hit up the Service Academies next. continue reading
There’s been a lot of speculation about why Rashaan Evans chose Alabama over Auburn when everything pointed to him staying home. Some have wondered whether money was involved or maybe this was all orchestrated by his father Alan, to “get back” at Auburn for his own failures as a college athlete back in the 1980’s.
Of course, there’s no proof any such thing occurred. And surely his father wouldn’t continue to hold a grudge against the school because he was beaten out by Bo Jackson and ended up at Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Maybe the kid just thought Alabama was a better fit. I have no reason to believe he or his dad’s intentions were anything but honest. More importantly, I could care less. There’s no better example than Rashaan’s father when it comes to recruiting.
Like his son, Alan was the can’t miss athlete of 1982. Then along came Bo, who today would likely have been a three or four-star recruit, and Alan was off to Division I-AA.
These websites make millions of dollars annually assigning stars beside the names of 18 year-old kids and then come up with ridiculous ranking systems that people go ape crap over.
Never mind that they are routinely wrong and few ever go back to check their accuracy four years later.
I’ll remind you that Johnny Manziel was a three-star recruit in high school. Trovon Reed was a five-star. I rest my case.
If you’re still feeling bad, here’s something to cheer you up. CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming says Auburn signee Tre Williams is every bit as good as Evans.
“Tre Williams is just as good as Rashaan Evans in my opinion,” Lemming said. “It’s not critical to their success, they’ve got enough talent to make up for the loss. They’d rather have (Evans) obviously to make him part of the team, but I think it’s all about the image.
“Losing a local guy, it would be like Alabama losing a Tuscaloosa player like Bo Scarbrough to Auburn, it’s the image. The long run, it’s something people can talk about.”
I refuse to get excited or down over the whim of an 18 year-old kid. Recruiting is important, but it’s not an exact science. I can assure you Gus Malzahn has moved on. Wake me up when these kids hit the practice field in August…
Is Tony Barbee trending in the right direction? A winner in three of his last four games, many are wondering whether he’s turned the proverbial corner. Here’s the most important stat: 5,647. That’s the average attendance at Auburn basketball games this season.
If you’re wondering, that ranks 13-out-of-14 teams in the SEC. Outside of running the table in the SEC Tournament and getting to the Big Dance, Barbee is history. When you spend $92 million on a basketball facility, you expect better than next to last in attendance. And you certainly expect better play on the court.
The Clint Meyers debut as Auburn’s Head Softball Coach ended last night in a tie after leading the Troy Trojans 6-5 in the sixth inning. The Tigers down at one point 5-1, rallied back to take the lead when rain and sleet caused the game to be called. Under the rules, the score reverts to the last completed inning. That means the game will go down as a 5-5 tie. So the only real winner was the weather.
Eventhough it was disappointing for the Tigers to not win Meyer’s debut game of his first season, his Softball Team did win the first game he coached on the Plains, when back in fall ball Auburn swept Wallace State Community College in a doubleheader 13-1 and 10-3.
One of the Winn-ingest coaches in the sport could not beat the weather though, on a cold and wet night in east Alabama. “They showed some great character in bouncing back,” Myers said. “The most impressive thing was there were zero errors … and if we can have 55 more games of error-less games, I’m going to be a happy camper.”
Auburn scored four runs in the top of the sixth to tie it; and had two hits before the seventh inning that by rule was wiped out. McKenzie Kilpatrick hit a 3-run homer and Emily Carosone drove in what would have been the go ahead run in the seventh inning. When starting pitcher Mary Harper was pulled after the first inning, Lexi Davis came on and allowed only two hits and no runs in the final 4 2/3.
Although Coach Meyers didn’t get that first win of the season, make no mistake, there will be plenty to come. Considered one of the best coaches in the country (if not the best), Meyers has a .678 winning record having taken his previous team to eight straight Super-Regionals, made seven appearances in the College World Series, and won nine National Championships.
Auburn will now play five games in three days. The Tigers will play North Dakota State tonight, Morehead State and Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday and then play Texas Tech and Notre Dame on Sunday. It will be a full slate but hopefully this time, the weather doesn’t come away with another win.
Go Tigers beat all five!
Updated: Auburn’s softball team won the Plainsman Invite Championship Sunday after finishing the tournament 4-1-1. The Tigers will play again at Jane B. Moore field this coming Friday when they face Marshall and Loyola. The first pitch against Marshall is set for 5:30 p.m. The game with Loyola is schedule for a 7:30 p.m. start.
Who will make an impact in 2014? (Photo by Acid Reign.)
War Eagle, everybody! It’s the day after signing day, and aren’t we relieved that recruiting season has ended? Much like the numbness after a successful root canal, we’re glad it’s all over, for the rest of the year! For us Auburn Tigers, there is much to celebrate. Honestly, some folks thought Auburn would do well this year to finish in the top twenty. This coaching staff evidently put the full court press on as a magical season unfolded.
As always, we are left after signing day wondering who’ll contribute, and who’ll wash out. Immediate contribution by a true freshman is unlikely, unless a position has an immediate, glaring need. For the 2015 Auburn Tigers, the secondary is that spot, where 3 seniors who made major contributions on a thin unit are gone. This year’s class of 23 has 5 early enrollees who are already in school at Auburn, and you’d think that those guys would have a better chance of early playing time, having gone through winter and summer conditioning, and spring drills.
After the jump, we’ll break this class down by position, and how likely early playing time might be.
Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn talks about each member of the Tigers’ 2014 Recruiting class in this video. It was a great day for the program as the Tigers signed some of the top players in the country. Malzahn says he looked for two things in a prospect: character and ability.
War Eagle everyone. Today is the day that football prospects across the country will sign their National Letters-of-Intent. Players will start faxing their letters to the colleges of their choice this morning at 7 a.m. CT.
I know many of you are used to KoolBell doing this annual Signing Day Post here at Track ‘em Tigers but he is out of town this morning and unable to run the open thread. However, knowing Kool like I do, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds a way to pop in and add some of his thoughts to our discussion. So lets get to it.
Last year Malzahn’s staff put together a No.9 to No.11 class in a short time frame after being hired in December. It looks like his second group will be another strong one as Auburn begins National Signing Day with a class already solidly ranked in the Top 10 by every recruiting service. In addition, four of the top seven prospects in the state are committed to Auburn and the Tigers can add a fifth if Auburn High’s Rashann Evans signs today. He is scheduled to make his choice known at 10 a.m.
The Tigers are looking to have a class of 23-25 players. Assuming no players on their commitment list flip, and they sign one or two of the three big names left on their board, Malzahn’s second class could finish in the top five.
Auburn got a good head start on this class by already signing five of the nation’s top Junior College players, all of whom are already enrolled and on campus. Those five juco’s are: * D’haquille Williams, Wide Receiver and the No.1 overall prospect in the nation. * Xavier Dampeer, the No.1 ranked Center in the nation. * Derrick Moncrief, the No.1 ranked Safety. * Chris Laye, 3-star Tight End * Stanton Truitt, 4-star Athlete
That leaves 16 NLI faxes expected in the Athletic office today and maybe three to four more from uncommiteds. The three big names that Auburn is still in the hunt for are: * 5-star-star linebacker Rashaan Evans * 4-star offensive guard Braden Smith * 4-star Defensive End Andrew Williams
We started this morning at 5 a.m. CT and will continue thru 2 p.m. giving you the latest news on which athlete has sent in his Letter Of Intent and try to provide as much information as possible on each new student athlete as we get word of their commitment.
Of course we will not be the first to get you this information, we will leave that up to the paid recruiting sites: autigers.com, Rivals.com, and 247sports.com. However, if you want friendly discussion of the happenings of Auburn’s 2014 recruiting class and as accurate as possible updates … then stick with us during the day.
Auburn Athletics released some important information yesterday about the upcoming football season. The Tigers first road game scheduled for September 20th has been moved to a Thursday night to accommodate ESPN.
Why is that so significant? Because the Tigers already are playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, now have to face a Big 12 team in a midweek game.
Make no mistake; this is not your father’s Kansas State. This is a team that has seen resurgence under Head Coach Bill Snyder. Last year the Wildcats went 8-5 and defeated Michigan in their fourth consecutive bowl trip.
In 2012 KSU was ranked No.1 in the BCS standings after starting the season 10–0 before a loss to Baylor in the 11th week of the season. The Cats went on to win their sixth Big 12 Conference Championship and played in the Fiesta Bowl. As a result Coach Snyder won his second Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year Award as well as the Big 12 Coach of the year for the seventh time in his career.
The 2011 team finished second in the Big 12 Conference with a 10-2 record and a berth in the Cotton Bowl. That year Snyder was named Sporting News National Coach of the Year and the Big 12 Coach of the year.
The last time these two teams met was in 2007. Auburn defeated Kansas State 23-13 in the season-opener at Jordan-Hare Stadium. This time the Tigers will probably be ranked in the top 10 going into Manhattan September 18th. And historically, Thursday night games have not been kind to top 10 ranked teams, especially the ones that are playing on the road.
So this will be a critical game for Auburn at an early juncture in the season. It sets up well for Kansas State to pull the perfect trap game on the Tigers. You can bet Coach Snyder and his staff will have the Wildcats ready and the fans will be excited and pumped to be playing the defending SEC Champions on national television.
Still if Auburn is to continue to play at a championship level, it’s this kind of road game the Tigers will have to successfully navigate. Besides, Coach Malzahn and his staff know something about how to prepare a team for a tough road test – see Auburn vs. Texas A&M in 2013.
Safety Markell Boston committed to Auburn today. (photo:the playbook.com)
With National Signing day less than 40 hours away Gus Malzahn and his staff appear to be closing in on another strong class of recruits. Auburn’s 2014 class is already ranked in the top 10 of every recruiting service.
The Tigers are looking to add 23-25 players and presently have 21 committments with today’s addition of 3-4 star Safety Markell Boston from Newnan, Georgia.
Boston took an official visit to Auburn on Jan. 24 and came away impressed. When Auburn extended the offer today, he accepted; choosing the Tigers over offers from Nebraska, East Carolina, Indiana and University of Central Florida.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder made 87 tackles this year, returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and was named Georgia’s Region 3-AAAAAA Defensive Player of the Year.
Auburn has several other top rated recruits still on the board including 4-star safety Steven Parker from Oklahoma, 5-star Outside Linebacker Rashann Evans from Auburn, and 4-star Defensive End Andrew Williams out of McDonough, Ga.
Williams just finished a good visit to UGA this weekend but is said to have a good relationship with Coach Malzahn and is friends with fellow Georgians Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams.
Could one or more of these recruits choose Auburn? We won’t know the answer to that question till Wednesday. Although most of the Tigers’ class seems to be complete, you never know what surprises may pop up as those National Letters of Intent start rolling off the fax machine in the AU Athletic offices.
Be sure to join us here at Track ‘em Tigers Wednesday as we will have our annual coverage and Open Thread discussion of Auburn’s 2014 signing class.