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Friday, December 28, 2012

Defensive Response

In response to this article about jumping on the Gus Bus, the author left the impression that he had some angst about how well the AU defense would play. I left this comment...

Please don’t take this as a personal attack. It is not meant to be.
I feel all the angst about running a HUNH offense, but I truly believe it is all misdirected. The amount of time any defense spends on the field of play, is solely the responsibility of that defense. No one has delivered a concrete argument showing how an offense scoring in 49 seconds has any real deflating effect on an effective defense.
I believe quite the opposite. If your offense can score at will, the defense should be more pumped to get back out there and get the offense the ball back the quickest way possible.
There is not an offense in the country that is directly responsible for the amount of time any defense spends on the field. Ideally I would like to see the AU offense back out on the field in less than two minutes after finishing a drive in the end zone. That is how defenses should approach their mission.

 Let me know what you think about this in the comments below.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Malzahn Chooses Experience

 As the staff at Auburn continues to grow, I have become more impressed with Gus Malzahn and his ability to hire experienced, hard nosed football coaches. It's no secret that Malzahn was not the first choice on my wish lists of coaches. However, as his transition into Auburn's head football coach continues, I have come to see what the selection committee did throughout its search process. Gus Malzahn is the right man for the job.

 The addition of Melvin Smith to the defensive coaching staff is another master stroke by Malzahn. Smith coached the Jim Thorpe Award winner last season, which is given to the best defensive back in America. His groups at Mississippi State have led the SEC in takeaways or interceptions two years in a row. Auburn had been sorely lacking in that department.

 With SEC experience on this staff nearing the century mark, our team should have no trouble learning what it will take to compete at the highest level in the toughest conference in America.

 Thinking along those lines, that much experience on the defensive side of the ball should allow Gus time to dial up more diabolical plays for the upcoming season.

 I can hardly wait to see what he has in mind.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Jesus, King & Dye

 One gets a sense listening to Rodney Garner speak, that he is as honest, and open individual as you could hope for. He left no doubt that he has been and always will be an Auburn Man. 

When he was talking about Pat Dye and his love for his former coach during his playing days at Auburn, Garner said Pat Dye made a tremendous impression upon his family. So much so, that his Grandmother had on her fireplace mantle a picture of Jesus on one side, and Martin Luther King on the other side of the mantle, but Coach Dye's picture was in the middle.

 Enjoy the video.

Who is #1?

 There will always be a contest on being named number 1 in whatever you do. Salesman? Yep, there are top sales awards given each year. It goes without saying that in sports the goal is to be #1, yet in the world of college scholastic achievement the goal is to teach and mold great people for the world we live in. Who is best at that? What college athletic department delivers the most return of revenue for the investment each year?
 Forbes magazine lists the top programs in the country. To see more click on the link below.

Texas Longhorns

Big 1213310478

Michigan Wolverines

Big Ten1208562

Notre Dame Fighting Irish


LSU Tigers


Georgia Bulldogs


Alabama Crimson Tide


Florida Gators


Auburn Tigers


Tennessee Volunteers


Arkansas Razorbacks


To view the entire article click the LINK

There is another matrix used in grading overall best institution. When all things associated with obtaining a college education are factored in, a different picture emerges. Let's look at a survey of the state of Alabama and it's rankings. uses many different measures in determining the rank of a particular school. The most important factors are a school's ACT/SAT scores, its student retention, faculty salary, and student / faculty ratio.
A school's score can be between 0 and 100, with the best possible score being 100. The list of top schools can be found on our Top-Ranked Schools Overall page.
It's important to note that some schools do not have enough data to be ranked in our system, and these schools will not appear in our lists.

Read more: About's School Rankings -

The School Safety Ratings are based on campus crime statistics as reported by 450 of the largest U.S. colleges and universities. Each college's safety score, which can range from 0 to 100, is calculated based on the number and type of campus crime reported during the calendar. The underlying statistics are compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For more information about our campus safety ranking visit our blog's post on the Safest Campuses.

Read more: About's School Rankings -

Rank in AlabamaOverall School Score
20122011School Name20122011
11Auburn University93.6392.31 (1.4%)
3Samford University91.2989.64 (1.8%)
2University of Alabama at Birmingham90.3491.42 (1.2%)
5The University of Alabama90.2388.09 (2.4%)
6University of Alabama at Huntsville88.1885.96 (2.6%)
4Birmingham Southern College85.8388.62 (3.1%)
9Spring Hill College84.4384.72 (0.3%)
15Tuskegee University83.9179.83 (5.1%)
7University of Montevallo81.8885.50 (4.2%)
10 13University of North Alabama80.6679.99 (0.8%)
11 21Troy University79.7276.18 (4.7%)
12 10University of South Alabama78.7680.95 (2.7%)
13 12University of Mobile78.6680.01 (1.7%)
14 17Jacksonville State University78.5177.71 (1.0%)
15 22Judson College76.9273.84 (4.2%)
16 28Marion Military Institute76.7364.50 (19.0%)
17 14Alabama A & M University76.1679.84 (4.6%)
18 8Amridge University75.4385.46 (11.7%)
1919Auburn University at Montgomery74.1676.57 (3.1%)
20 31Southeastern Bible College72.4361.52 (17.7%)

Read more: College Rankings - Top Ranked Universities in Alabama - Highest Overall School Score -

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Break

Jesus Christ is born

 We here at ATB have a deep belief that this is the time of year to spend with family. Enjoy the holidays the next few days as we all take time to reflect on our lives, and what they mean to each of us.

 We will have limited posts up through the holidays, so bare with us as we transition into the New Year. We have not left you, and will not leave you, we are just spending time with our families and re-energizing our batteries so that we can keep all of you entertained and informed about our favorite sports teams at Auburn University.

 May God bless each of you, may he keep you in good health, and out of harms way. May he guide you, and comfort you throughout the coming holiday season, and throughout the coming new year.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Visiting The Greats in Auburn Football

 We can't do a series about Auburn greats without mentioning Pat Dye. Coach Dye is credited with bringing Auburn out of the shadows of the "Bear" and Alabama. 

 Coach Dye had a career record of 153-62-5 (.707) & was 7-2-1 in Bowl games

 In this video we have Coach Dye in his early days talking with the team after a close and hard fought game with Tennessee.

Later in his career, after a tremendous victory over Alabama, he gave his most memorable speech. Listen to his words carefully. You can hear his love for Auburn, and his undying devotion to his players.

Patrick Fain Dye ended his career like a champion. Although Auburn was shutout that day by Alabama, Dye was his usual classy self, when asked about why he thought they came up short. He let his feelings show like the classical Coach Dye many had come to love and appreciate.

Gus Malzahn speaks at Super 6 banquet 12-5-12

Looking Forward: The Talon "D"

 Immediately when we found out about the hire of Gus Malzahn the Auburn Tigers knew exactly what type of offense they are going to run. Most of the intricacies and the warp speed of it all are something we will have to wait to find out. We know what we are getting, and most are salivating at the thoughts of triple digit numerical scoreboard. 

 What we are less familiar with as Auburn fans is the new defensive coordinator's style of defense. Coach Johnson incorporates a fifth defensive back. At South Carolina he called this hybrid Linebacker/Saftey a "Spur". Jay G. Tate of has dubbed the position at Auburn as "Talon". A name we hope is used by the coaching staff.

 We remember the 2010 SEC Championship game where Auburn trounced South Carolina 56-17

What most may not remember is that during the regular season, Auburn was battled pretty well by South Carolina. Cam Newton accounted for half of the Auburn ground game that day. Without the rushing performance behind an extremely talented, and experienced offensive line, Auburn would have easily lost that day. 

 Watch this next video of the Gamecocks defense against Alabama that same year.


 For now, let's enjoy these two moments in time we just revisited. Later I'll post a more in depth analysis of the style and type of defense Auburn will employ under the guidance of Ellis Johnson.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mr. Dee Ford

This is a really GREAT job by Dee Ford.

For all those who can not see the video, HERE IS A LINK
War Eagle Mr. Ford.

Calling All Hands

  One thing that all college sports have in common is the student athlete. Doesn't matter if you are on the Equestrian team, the Swimming & Diving team, Track team, or the starting quarterback on the Football team. Team mates change during your four or five years at college. The student athletes that graduate must be replaced with newcomers. That cycle never ends. 

  To consistently stay at or near the top, the best student athletes must be recruited, to replace the one's who are leaving, hopefully to graduation. This recruitment of players, is the life's blood of any college program. Regardless of the sport, without the influx of new talent every team in college athletics would cease to exist.

  So it is with ATB, we are recruiting some writers to help cover all of AU sports. We spend most of our time on football, although we don't do justice to the other sports and athletes that we love so much, we try to show our equal appreciation for all Auburn athletes.

 We are requesting that any one of you that has a love of any particular sport at Auburn to try your hand at writing. The requirements are small, and the time it will take is even more so. Your pay for this endeavor will be the same as mine, ZERO. This is a non-profit site. That is why you don't see advertising on here.

 So, if you have a love for any sport at Auburn, whether it be baseball, gymnastics, volleyball, whatever, just click on one of the names in the contributor box on the right side of the front page, and shoot me a message. Or you can contact me on twitter @AUTigerBloggin  You will be glad you did.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Introducing Charlie Harbison

 According to 24/ Gus Malzahn and Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson have chosen to hire Clemson defensive backs coach and Co-Defensive Coordinator Charlie Harbison. Harbison's defenses have consistently ranked among the best in college football in most passing departments. 

 Saturday evening Auburn defensive lineman Greg Robinson his approval.
: Auburn fans coach Cheese aka coach Harbison is a great hire man good recruiter too!...

 The following video is from a pre-game press conference where Clemson was preparing to face Troy.

 The following is from the official Clemson University athletics site:

  • In 2011, he coached cornerback Coty Sensabaugh, who had 14 passes defended and was drafted by the Titans.
  • Clemson was in the top 26 in the nation in pass efficiency defense in 2009 and 2010.
  • Coached first-team All-American DeAndre McDaniel in 2009 and 2010. McDaniel led the ACC and was tied for third in the nation in interceptions (8) in 2009. He was also named First-Team All-ACC both seasons.
  • Named one of nation's top-25 recruiters by Rivals in 2010.
  • Helped Clemson to a top-25 ranking and the ACC Atlantic Division title in 2009. Clemson had 21 interceptions, fifth-most in Tiger history and tied for fifth-most in the nation. Clemson was seventh in the nation in passing defense.
  • From 1995-97, he helped the Tigers to three bowl games (1996 Gator, 1996 Peach, 1998 Peach).
  • Coached great players in the 1990s at Clemson, including nine-time Pro Bowl selection Brian Dawkins. He was an All-American and led the ACC in interceptions in Harbison's first year at Clemson (1995).
  • Came to Clemson from Mississippi State, where he was defensive coordinator and safeties coach. The Bulldogs were seventh in the nation in pass defense and 20th in the nation in pass efficiency defense in 2007.
  • Has had two tours of duty at Alabama (1998-00, 2003-06). He helped Alabama to five bowl games in seven total years, including 1999 when the Crimson Tide won the SEC title. Alabama finished ranked #8 in the nation that year. He coached defensive backs in his first tour of duty and wide receivers the second time around at Alabama.
  • Coached at Louisiana State under Head Coach Nick Saban in 2001 and 2002. The 2001 team won the SEC title and ranked #7 in the final AP poll with a 10-3 record. Louisiana State played in two bowl games in his two years there.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Coach Lashlee on Quarterbacks

 Here is a short video from with Gus Malzahn, and Rhett Lashlee talking about the challenges ahead installing their offense.
Click on this LINK if video fails to appear. 



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Looking Forward: The HUNH Offense

 It seems like an eternity since we had a functioning offense at Auburn doesn't it? While I won't speculate on rumors or hearsay about why the 2011 AU offense wasn't as productive as the previous two versions, I'll say that I am looking forward to the unbridled, non-haltered, and unabridged version of the Gus Malzahn HUNH offense.

 I will attempt through video, to give you some examples of what we can look forward to. The first video shows Gus himself explaining his famous Buck Sweep

This video shows us some actual footage of the AU Counter play. Enjoy some of this vintage footage from happier times. Can you name all of the players in this one?

The next look we get is the Mad Scientist again describing his use of the Wildcat.

Next we see ESPN analyst Todd McShay going into detail on the high powered Auburn offense.

 Clearly we are in for a treat offensively. We know that this offense can and does produce scores in a hurry. I always felt that Auburn was in every game when Malzahn led our offense, and that we had a legitimate chance to win every game. I am looking forward to that feeling making its return in the fall of 2013.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Blame the Defense

Defenders of freedom, and the Auburn Family

 I am going to boldly make this statement, and debunk a myth that many in college football believe. A true (HUNH) Hurry Up No Huddle style offense has absolutely no bearing on a defensive unit being tired or worn out at the end of the game.

 It is the sole responsibility of the defensive unit to get off the field in just three plays. If a defense can't get off the field in three plays, then it is to blame, not the offense. No matter how fast your offense scores and puts your defense back out on the field, the defense needs to only be back on the field for three plays.

 So, the next time you hear some big time sportswriter talk about how the NASCAR style offense is the culprit to blame for a team's defensive unit being tired, tell 'em the defense is to blame, not the offense.

 The most important piece of the puzzle for newly named head coach Gus Malzahn, is defense. Malzahn is a smart guy, in fact, many say he is an offensive genius. Figuring out what it will take to be successful in the SEC as a defensive unit will be his biggest hurdle. I hope he gets it right.


Auburn DE Nosa Eguae on Gus Malzahn hiring

Bo Jackson on Gus Malzahn's hiring

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Get On Board!

 Now that the suspense is over, and we know that Auburn has hired Gus Malzahn, the Auburn family can come together again, and support our 26th head football coach.

  First here is a statement released by Malzahn:
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to become the head football coach at Auburn University. It’s an outstanding institution with a storied football program that I had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand for three years,” Malzahn said in a statement. “I deeply appreciate the confidence that Dr. Gogue, Jay Jacobs and the search committee had in my ability to turn this program around and to bring Auburn back to national prominence. This is a homecoming for me and I look forward to being reunited with the Auburn family.”

 Here is the arrival at the airport...

 USA Today ran an interesting article on Malzahn as he prepared for his first ever game as head coach at Arkansas State. Click HERE to read that story. 

  There are numerous reasons to be excited about Gus returning to the Plains. We are going to examine a couple of them here.

All of this Auburn team has been recruited while Gus was at Auburn. The staggering support this will create among the players is vital to turning things around quickly, and creating a "Winning Attitude" that is necessary during the long grueling months of preparation for the next season.

 In his first talk with the team prior to the introductory press conference Malzahn said: "I told the team it's an honor to be back. Our expectations are to win championships. 

Nobody will out work us."

 Almost unanimously the recruiting class has responded by stating via twitter that they are on board with the Malzahn hire. 

Offensive style:
 We already knew the plan would be to have a fast paced offense. Which is good news considering that almost every player on the team was recruited for that style of offense. I am interested to see how Gus will use Jay Prosch. I know that Jay was largely wasted in the Loeffler play book.

 The QB play again will be key, I'll get into why later and in another post, but for now, these QB's are about to get back to playing fast paced fun football. 

 All of the current AU running backs should be extremely excited. Malzahn had Onterrio McCalebb averaging 8.6 yards per carry in 2010 & 5.7 ypc even after losing nearly the entire offensive line from the 2010 BCS National Championship team.