Tuesday Ramblings From The Plains (Super Bowl Edition)
Former Auburn star, Jonathan Jones celebrates after becoming a Super Bowl champion. (getty images)
Jonathan Jones can now tell others never to give up on their dreams. The defensive back was an All-SEC selection at Auburn, went undrafted in 2016 but played in the Super Bowl Sunday night. He became the first former Auburn player to become a Super Bowl Champion as a rookie.
I’m not a big Super Bowl fan or for that matter an NFL fan. However, what does interest me is how former collegiate players fare at the next level, particularly former Auburn players. And I was proud to see Jonathan run around on the field celebrating as a champion.
Jones was one of three former Tigers to play in Super Bowl LI. Joining him on the Patriots roster was second year NFL veteran, Brandon King (DB), also a free agent who beat the odds after going undrafted in 2015. The other player was long snapper Josh Harris, who played for the Falcons. Harris has played in every game during his five-year NFL career.
To play in the Super Bowl is a big deal. Most play for years and never get a chance to play on sports biggest stage. Congratulations to all three men.
After shelving the proposed $145 million dollar North End Zone expansion to Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn AD Jay Jacobs has announced a $28 million dollar renovation project for the south end zone.
The new facility is scheduled to be completed before the 2018 football season and calls for relocating the press box to the southwest corner of the stadium in order to add 150 additional club seats on the west side. There will also be two floors of club level seating above a new football locker room and recruiting lounge.
Auburn’s two National Championship Trophies and three Heisman Trophies will be on display in the recruiting area. While I’m sure the display will be nice, how much more impressive would it be for the Tigers to display not just two but all the national championships recognized by the NCAA?
Better yet, why can’t Auburn have a showplace museum of Auburn sports history to educate fans and impress recruits?
There are tons of Auburn sports trophies and memorabilia stored away, just collecting dust. Georgia and LSU have museums, and that school on the other side of the state has one of the best. I asked Jay Jacobs about this once, and he said it was something that may be considered at a later date. Why not now?
It always seems strange to think of baseball in the middle of winter. However, the Tiger baseball team will be hosting its inaugural fan day on Saturday, February 11 at Plainsman Park. Gates open at 9 a.m.. and events are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. A team scrimmage will be held at 11 a.m. with players and coaches signing autographs afterwards. There are several other special events planned. The most important to this donut aficionado is that free Krispy Kreme donuts will be given to the first 200 fans.
Finally, Auburn basketball has had its best start since 2002–2003, the last time the Tigers reached the postseason. And the Tigers are doing it with a freshman cast. An apparent healthy Danjel Purifoy helped lead the Tigers in beating Alabama Saturday night for the second time this season. And on Monday, Jared Harper was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for his performance in the game.
The Tigers currently sit at 15–8 overall and 4–6 in the Southeastern Conference. Could Auburn still reach the NCAA Tournament? Probably not. But if a couple of “ifs” can be answered positively, there’s still a small chance.
If Auburn can win five of its remaining eight games, they will finish with a 20–11 record. And if Auburn can get couple of wins in the SEC Tournament, the Tigers would have 22 wins, which would make them a bubble team, and the decision might then come down to an acceptable RPI.
Auburn starts that final stretch tonight when the Mississippi State Bulldogs come to town. The game tips off at 8:00 p.m. CT in the Arena and will be broadcast on ESPNU. If you can make it, why not come out and help the Tigers get the W? Until next time …