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Friday, December 19, 2014

Outback Bowl

As we get ready for bowl season to start, watch this and enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Women's Basketball: Passion

In April of 2012, Jay Jacobs, who is Auburn University's Athletic Director, hired a proven winner to lead the Women's basketball program. Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was tasked to restore Auburn to prominence nationally.

Coach Flo started strong at AU with back to back 19 win seasons. This season they have come out of the gate with a 7-2 record. 

Next up for the Tigers is a trip to New York and the St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic. The tournament can be seen on ESPN3.  Then it's off to sunny Miami, Florida for the FIU Fun-N-Sun Classic. Coach Flo is 13-1 in December according to the official AU Athletics web site.

Coach Flo's team is passing the ball really well this season, and getting better scoring opportunities. Watching the highlight videos, you can see a squad that shares the ball, and is attacking on defense. That style of defense in known as "Club Press" and is best described here:

"CLUB PRESS: Auburn's high-pressure, full-court defense under coach Terri Williams-Flournoy, refered to by the players as "Club Press," has ranked as one of the best ever at Auburn over the last two seasons. In 2012-13, Auburn's 402 steals set a new school record for a single season while the 701 turnovers forced went down as second all-time on The Plains. In 2013-14, the Tigers forced 659 opponent turnovers while recording 354 steals, remaining a major force on defense in the Southeastern Conference."

SCORING  617  481 
   Points per game  68.6  53.4 
   Scoring margin  +15.1 
FIELD GOALS-ATT  252-558  168-474 
   Field goal pct  .452  .354 
3 POINT FG-ATT  39-119  51-178 
   3-point FG pct  .328  .287 
   3-pt FG made per game  4.3  5.7 
FREE THROWS-ATT  74-135  94-141 
   Free throw pct  .548  .667 
   F-Throws made per game  8.2  10.4 
REBOUNDS  344  317 
   Rebounds per game  38.2  35.2 
   Rebounding margin  +3.0 
ASSISTS  159  86 
   Assists per game  17.7  9.6 
TURNOVERS  140  200 
   Turnovers per game  15.6  22.2 
   Turnover margin  +6.7 
   Assist/turnover ratio  1.1  0.4 
STEALS  121  81 
   Steals per game  13.4  9.0 
BLOCKS  30  22 
   Blocks per game  3.3  2.4 

This team has not received a lot of media attention since the Bruce Pearl hire, although the splash they are capable of making in post season will get noticed. Look for these Ladies to make some real noise come tournament time in March. 

War Eagle!

Auburn Basketball Highlights vs. Winthrop

Auburn Women's Basketball Defeats Savannah State 62-56

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Muschamp vs Bama as Defensive Coordinator

Gus Malzahn/Will Muschamp the "BOOM" Brothers

"Duck Tells"

With the announcement of Coach Boom coming home to Auburn, the Auburn faithful immediately began to hear the backlash from the rival across the state. Things like..Bama just put up 600-plus yards on Florida or Muschamp was defensive coordinator at Texas when Alabama beat them for the national championship. Which are true statements but let's take a step back and look at the big picture for a realistic look into the overall matchup. Nothing like cold hard facts to backup a argument, who am I kidding it's the Iron Bowl rivalry. We never let facts get in the way of ribbing our rival.

It should be able to go unsaid but the difference between leading a team into a game as the head ball coach and being the defensive coordinator are miles apart as far as responsibilities. So I decided to dig into the Muschamp vs Alabama series reflecting Coach Boom as a defensive coordinator.

Coach Boom boast a 5-2 record as a DC vs the Tide. The 2 losses came in 2002 & 2009. Alabama has averaged 150 yards a game rushing during these 7 matchups. It is worth noting both of Alabama wins have occurred when they have rushed for over 200 yards. The Alabama passing game has been ineffective. Bama averages 25 pass attempts with only 12 completions, averaging 153 yards a game thru the air with a low 48% completion rate. Another interesting stat that jumped off the paper to me is Muschamp's defense has at least 1 interception in all 7 games. 

So what does this all mean in the grand scheme of things? Not much, other than to inform the naysayers that he has had alot of success vs Bama. Does it equal success next year vs them? That's TBD but if I was a Bama fan I would be worried about my own defensive coordinator who has allowed 78 points in the last 2 Iron Bowls. That's a average of 39 points a game for Auburn under Gus Malzahn vs the vaunted Tide defense. Combine that with Coach Muschamp's lone responsibility being DC. 

That my friends makes me say BOOM!!!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Auburn's Reese Dismukes wins the Rimington Trophy

Auburn Names Will Muschamp as Defensive Coordinator

 This video was provided by Brian Duckworth. You can follow Brian's video on YouTube and on Twitter.

Will Muschamp has been introduced as Auburn's new Defensive Coordinator, and right after the official press conference, he talked with Rod Bramblett, and Quentin Riggins. 

Will Muschamp, is home once again. His family is from nearby Rome, GA. His third stint at Auburn, and why he will be the highest paid assistant coach in all of college athletics deserves a closer look. 

Specifically, we are talking about his time as a D.C. and how he performed. HERE is his Wiki page if you would like to find out more about his entire football career.

Muschamp was first named a D.C. by Nick Saban while the head coach at LSU in 2002. In 2001 LSU won the West and the conference championship. That LSU team won the Sugar Bowl, and ended the season Ranked 7th in the final AP Poll. 

In 2003, with Muschamp in just his 2nd season leading the defense, LSU won the BCS National Championship.  The following is a quote from Wikipedia:
"That season, Muschamp's defense led the nation in both scoring defense (11.0 points per game) and total defense (252.0 yards per game). The Tigers topped the SEC in every major defensive category and also ranked second nationally in defensive pass efficiency (89.8 rating) and third in rushing defense (67.0 yards per game).[5] While at LSU, Muschamp coached four All-Americans including Bradie James, Chad Lavalais, Corey Webster and Marcus Spears."

After a brief stint in the NFL, Muschamp returned to the college game where he started as a Grad Assistant. 

Auburn named Muschamp their D.C. and immediately results were positive. In '06 the Tigers finished 19th in Total Defense, in '07 they were 6th, allowing 297 yards per game to opposing teams.  

Will Muschamp then moved to Texas where he earned the distinction of being one of the best in the business. His 1st season at UT, the defense ranked 51st in Total Defense nationally, by the end of  his 2nd season with the Longhorns, they finished 3rd in the country in Total Defense. In 2009 the Longhorns played for a National Championship.

Muschamp then became the head coach at the University of Florida. His defenses there were consistently ranked high. 8th his first season, then 5th, 8th, and 9th.

In a later post we will examine the possibilities of having such a strong defense combined with the potent Auburn offense. 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Quick Look Ahead

Another football season is ending and I now wait on this Sunday afternoon to see where Auburn will play in a bowl game. Some of us may be disappointed with the season and now Auburn's biggest rival has just won the SEC trophy, but I will say that the Auburn style of football is more exciting to watch than the other SEC teams. The future looks great for Auburn and I expect the next recruiting class to assist Auburn with playing for another National Championship.

By the way, the A Day game will be on April 18 and the Auburn girls softball team will be playing Alabama after the game so it should be an eventful Saturday. Now that is interesting scheduling by Auburn since the Auburn/Bama girls softball game always draws a big crowd.

War Eagle and enjoy the holiday season.

A Season of Hope

It started so well, that month we call October......

The first game of the month gave the appearance that this team had come together and was starting to realize their true potential. LSU had been summarily handled. A first quarter of full of sound and fury. A fireworks display to make even the 4th of July blush.

Hope was high that this Auburn team had found it's stride. With the offense finally clicking on all cylinders, this team was capable of something truly special. 

The Tigers stumbled against Mississippi State. Two early turnovers and lots of penalties made things look as though MSU had been there before, and that Auburn had not.The Tigers wilted on the road, yet hung in there until the very end.

Heading into the game versus South Carolina, Auburn was heavily favored. Auburn's defense was ranked 20th in the nation in total defense by College Football Stats.  It seemed, our offense could outscore anyone because our defense had found its stride. It only seemed that way.

South Carolina, led by that offensive mastermind Steve Spurrier had figured out an Auburn weakness on the defensive side of the ball, and had his team prepared to take full advantage. The result was a squeaker by an Auburn team at home.

The Old Ball Coach gave every team remaining on Auburn's schedule a blueprint on how to attack the Auburn defense. It was on film for all to see.

After narrowly escaping Oxford, MS with a win, our next opponent used the Spurrier approach to their advantage, it played to their strength, and Auburn had a fight on their hands with Texas A & M. Some key mistakes, and penalties were the undoing of our Tigers as The Aggies had a coming out party on our home field.

The rest of the season went downhill quickly. Auburn's defense finished ranked 61st in total defense, and was a major factor in the undoing of all that was hopeful. It wasn't all on the defense however as our offense continued to have mental lapses. Penalties, and missed assignments caused a lot of the problems. Most occurred at the crucial points in drives.

That season of hope has all but vanished. There is still work to be done. Auburn plays Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl. The practice is needed. 

Then we turn our attention toward next season. Who will declare for the NFL Draft? There is hope again for next season. That is the lure of Auburn football, "wait until next year." I for one have hope that something special is going to happen.
War Eagle!