Midweek Ramblings From The Plains
It seems Auburn is one of the Chick-fil-A sponsor’s favorite teams. The Tigers have played in six Peach Bowls and three Kickoff Classics and will face Washington on Labor Day weekend. And yesterday the selection committee announced Auburn will be part of a three-game set for a new Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic series beginning in 2020. Florida State and West Virginia will play September 5, and Georgia and Virginia will meet September 7 followed by Auburn and North Carolina on September 12th.
This is the time of year when preseason award watch lists are released. On Monday Auburn defensive lineman Dontavius Russell and cornerback Javaris Davis were both named to the preseason Bednarik Award watch list. This award is presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year.
Jarrett Stidham was placed on two watch lists this week. He made cut for the Maxwell Award, which goes to the nation’s best player, and Tuesday he was named to the watch list for the Davey O’Brien Award, which honors the nation’s best college quarterback.
The good thing for Auburn fans is they can have a part in who wins the O’Brien Award as five percent of the selection process comes from the votes of fans. Voting will begin on Tuesday, September 4th.
Yesterday, coach Gus Malzahn was listed as one of four SEC coaches on the The Dodd Trophy watch list. This honor goes to the coach whose team finds success on and off the field. Interestingly, Washington coach Chris Petersen won the Dodd Trophy in 2010. Malzahn and Petersen will face off in the first game of the season in Mercedes Benz Stadium.
I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with the news out of SEC Media Days, but not much has come out of Atlanta the first couple of days. It’s enough to make one miss the Old Ball Coach. Love him or hate him, Steve Spurrier always brought entertainment, if not drama, to the event.
When the only thing of interest is LSU’s Ed Orgeron defending his hiring of the much traveled Steve Ensminger as his offensive coordinator, you know this year’s Media Days lacks in drama. That should change today as Nick Saban, the media’s favorite coach, takes the stage.
Coach Malzahn is scheduled to be the first coach up on Thursday, but if you’re really interested in seeing Gus at his relaxed best, I suggest you check out Brandon Marcello’s one-on-one interview over at Auburn Undercover. Marcello’s posts are fresh and insightful, and he doesn’t pull any punches.
A great feature he just finished at AUC was called “Driving the Plains.” It’s a weekly video of him driving around Auburn in his car while interviewing an Auburn coach. He did it with Bruce Pearl, and he just finished a four-parter with Malzahn. If you’re not a VIP member, it’s worth your time to become a subscriber and see and hear Gus with his guard down. Until next time…