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Friday, November 29, 2013

The Iron Bowl of The Ages

We are only one day away from kickoff. #1 and undefeated Alabama come into Jordan-Hare to play the #4 Tigers in what will be a game to remember. It really doesn't matter what happens. Auburn blows out Alabama... memorable. Alabama blows out Auburn... forgettable. If it ends up being a field goal winner, both sides will always remember what they witnessed on Novemeber 30, 2013. Auburn comes in at a 10.5 point underdog, but have a lot to prove in the last regular game of the year. 

Keys For Auburn:

Nick Marshall- Nick needs to have a tremendous game on the ground AND through the air. Alabama's possible only week spot on defense is their secondary. If Marshall can open up the passing game, Auburn's running game should be able to succeed like normal.

Defensive Line- If Dee Ford and the crew can get in the back field and hit AJ on multiple occasions. The likelihood Auburn pulls of the upset goes up drastically.

Keys For Alabama:

Offensive Line- If Alabama's Line can with stand up to the challenge of Auburn's pass rush and give AJ time to throw Auburn will be in trouble. 

Stoping the Run- Auburn is 2nd in the nation for a reason. With multiple options on offense, Alabama has to be fast and smart. Play their position and they have a chance to keep the running game where they want them.


A Bammer Perspective- Auburn doesn't have a bad defense, but the "Bend, Don't Break" will break. A close half, but Bama pulls away and steps up in the second half.

Alabama 42-24

My Prediction- The game will come down to the 4th QTR. I think Alabama scores 28 points. Auburn has topped 30+ point on SEVERAL different occasions this year and with this offense, is almost unstoppable. LSU beat Auburn in the first few QTRs, but since then Auburn has rolled through the season. Auburn comes off of a bye week. Plays into Auburn's favor. Auburn hasn't had to open the playbook because if the dominance on the ground. Auburn's favor. Jordan-Hare. Enough said. Auburn's favor. The last time Auburn had a bye week before Alabama? 2010. That game ended well for us and "The Cam-Back" is etched in history. Alabama has NEVER beaten an Auburn team that scores 30 or more points. 

 Auburn 38-31

Be sure to follow @austin_preiss19 on Twitter and watch College Gameday and pick me out. I'll post my gameday sign on my Twitter page. WAR EAGLE!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

This post is strictly on most things I'm grateful for in my life. Both everyday life and Auburn. 

First off, I am extremely thankful for my Wife, family, and friends. While serving in the Army, they have stood by my side in all aspects and respected my decisions along the way. Thankful that I wake up everyday and get to experience all aspects of life along the way. This time of year things can be brought into perspective and realize exactly how well we have it. So just take time throughout the day to pay respects and dues to those and things in our lives that have directly impacted us. 

The Auburn Family Thanks

Gus Malzahn- I think we are all thankful and grateful for Gus. He has give. everyone at the University and in our homes faith in the Tigers football program. It was especially hard to bare last years season but, with Gus on the Plains, there is new hope that anything is possible. AU new day is upon us.

Nick Marshall- After last season the number one concern was "Who will be the QB?". Marshall stepped up as a leader early and it paid off. He took the job and lead this new and improved offense into a HUGE threat. Certainly thankful for Nick Marshall.

The Backfield- Auburn's backfield has been phenomenal. Tre Mason has been explosive and demonstrated leadership in the backfield that doesn't even compare to where this team was last year. Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne have also been magnificent. Grant as the speedster, has fit in for former speed back, Onterio McCaleb. Cameron Artis-Payne has been the more physical runner but, has also expressed just how fast he is once he gets in the open field.

Ricardo Louis- Enough said. Simply one of the reasons Auburn can say they won against Georgia a few weeks ago. Maybe the play of that resonates through Auburn history forever. Thank you Louis. Thank you.

The Defense- Ellis Johnson's philosphy has worked for Auburn. The Defensive Line has been outstanding and TFLs are through the roof. Freshmen play has been great as well. Thank you D for making us smile again.

The Rest- Certainly not to be forgotten. Cody Parkey has been AUTOMATIC all of his career. Chris Davis has also been a playmaker on D, as well as, the return game. Had a great career Davis and I know all of us appreciate you all. 


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

2012/ 2013: The Passing Grades, Review of the Two Seasons

The Auburn Tigers have gone through some drastic changes in only a year under Gus Malzhan that has him as the leading candidate for the Coach of the Year Award. Thank heavens 2012 has passed rather quickly. Truth is, if Auburn has any success last year, do they fire Gene Chizik? As miserable as last year was I would take that hurt to be where the University is today. AU new day is upon us and players, coaches, and fans alike have put the past behind us and are 1 win away from being SEC West Champions.

Here are a few stats and grades that can express just how big of a turnaround has taken place:


September 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Kiehl Frazier (10) fumbles the ball after being hit by Clemson Tigers linebacker Marcus Bullard (57) in the second half at the Georgia Dome. Clemson won 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
Offense- Points a Game- 18, Offense Grade: D

Passing- Last year the QB play was abysmal. Frazier played out of his element under the new offensive coordinator and it showed just how unprepared he was to play the position. Clint Moseley also was not up to speed with how the offense ran and Jonathan Wallace could have had better stats if he would have been implemented sooner than he was. Passing Grade: F

Rushing- One of the only bright spot about last years team was Tre Mason. He broke the 1,000 yard mark in the Alabama game, but he fought all year and demanded the ball more after each game. Kudos and a ton of respect for how he played last year. Rushing Grade: C

O Line- Only a few words are needed for last years O Line I'll keep it short and sweet. BAD. O Line Grade: D

Defense- Allowed Points a Game- 28, Defense Grade: F
LBs, Secondary, and D Line- I almost turned away from the T.V when we came up on defense. My wife and I attended 3 games last year; ULM, LSU, and Arkansas. By the time we played Arkansas destroyed us, I had all but completely lost hope in our defense. Entire Defense: F

Special Teams- The only other bright spot of the 2012 season was Special Teams. Cody Parkey was automatic as usual and Steven Clarke had a few mishaps, but he was solid and played a key role for the Tigers. Special Teams Grade: A

Nick Marshall celebrates with the Auburn fans after his two-touchdown game in the Tigers' victory over Ole Miss. (USATSI)
Nick Marshall celebrates with the Auburn fans after his two-touchdown game in the Tigers' victory over Ole Miss. (USATSI)

Offense- Points a Game- 39, Offense Grade: A-

Passing- Nick Marshall has been an absolute game changer for Auburn this year. He has had experience in the SEC as a DB for Georgia and played a whole year on the JUCO side of football and excelled. His dynamic playmaking ability and cannon for an arm have made teams play true to their position. His accuracy is getting better each week, but a little improvement and the Tigers will be a threat through the air as much as they are on the ground. Marshall has 9 passing TDs through 11 games while Auburn as a team last year only totaled 8 between 4 different players. Jeremy Johnson has been magnificent when he touches the ball. A true passer, but has decisive speed when he needs it. Passing Grade: B

Rushing- Auburn is SECOND in the Nation in Rushing Yards only behind Army, which rarely passes the ball. Tre Mason, Corey Grant, and Cameron Artis-Payne all share the ball and contribute greatly when each touch the ball. You can't leave out Nick Marshall from this category either. Mason has evolved as the go to back, even though all play and play exceptional. Mason also leads the SEC in multiple categories and has stacked up some really impressive stats for anyone's eye's. Rushing Grade: A+

O Line- The Offensive Line has been a key factor in the success. Aiding Auburn's Rushing attack, the Line also gives Marshall ample amount of time to pass or make a play. The O Line is also a main reason why Auburn is 10-1 to this point. O Line Grade: A+

Defense- Allowed Points a Game- 22, Defense Grade: B

LBs, Secondary, and D Line- Keeping this short and sweet again with the Defense, but Auburn's freshmen have stepped up all year long and are filling out their expectations. The Defensive Line has been able to make plays all year long and the LBs and Secondary have forced turnovers and made plays that have won games on multiple occasions. LBs Grade: B-, D Line Grade: A, Secondary: B+

Special Teams- The Special Teams are the only consistent part of the 2012/ 2013 seasons. Except this year, the Tigers have added more of a threats in the Return Game. Chris Davis has been electric  since his return and has yet to disappoint when he gets a head start. Special Teams Grade: A+

Well there you have it. As you can see just in this small review, Auburn has made leaps and bounds in only one year. Much credit is to Malzahn and his staff, but these players are simply fighting and playing harder than every game except the LSU game last year. Auburn has a chance to make even more history this weekend by knocking off the top ranked Tide in Jordan-Hare. Can the Tigers somehow pull out another Miracle in Jordan-Hare? We will see this coming Saturday.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @austin_preiss19. Leave questions or comments on any Topic that you would like me write about in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Poetic Tiger: IRON BOWL 2013

We tamed the Mississippi State Bulldogs;
And silenced their annoying bells!
We defeated the Ole Miss rebels;
And played the LSU Tigers well!!

When we set back the Texas Aggies,
It caused Johnny football to be confused!
After slaughtering hogs, we climbed over ole rocky top,
Leaving the Volunteers feeling abused!!

We stunned and shocked the Georgia Bulldogs,
With a last minute miracle from an answered prayer!!
We strongly Believe now that we can turn back the Tide;
When we play the Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare!!

For The Auburn Tigers it's a matter of mindset!
Our confidence is strong and We Believe, 
That with faith and trust in each other,
There is nothing that cannot be achieved!!

We look ahead with the "eye of the tiger"!;
and soar high on the "WAR EAGLE's" wings!!
Anxiously awaiting this championship fight,
and all the excitement that it brings!!

There is no limit to what we can accomplish!
When it comes to winning, no challenge is too great!!
We'll put the hammer down and We won't stop til we win!
So Bring on Bama, we can hardly wait!!!!


Iron Bowl 2013 Hype Video: The Year of Redemption( Update)

This video has been blocked, but you can still see it on our Facebook page

My Thoughts: Thanksgiving

 This traditional American holiday was started as a way to thank God for leading us to the "New World" and to thank the Indians of New England for their hospitality. For me it means a time of retrospective thought. What am I truly thankful for in my life. Today, as we descend on another Thanksgiving holiday, I would like to share with you what I am thankful for, and as a new twist, what some of our contributors are thankful for. Feel free to add your thoughts in our comment section.

 I am thankful to my God first, for so many blessings that I am truly unworthy of. 
 For all of our country's great men and women in uniform serving to protect our country, preserve our way of life. From Firemen, Policemen, and those who volunteer, to the service men and women in our military. I give you my deepest, most sincere thanks.
 For my wonderful wife, who puts up with me, and this passion I have. 
 For my friends, and those friends online that I may never get to meet, yet make me feel welcome to be a part of their lives, and personal conversations.
 I am thankful for Auburn. A place of ideals that closely resemble my own.
 I am thankful for each of you that read our posts. With all of the options for your time, for you to take a small portion of it, to spend with us is heartwarming. We are forever grateful.
 I am thankful for Auburn sites such as The War Eagle Reader, and War Blogle, and Track Em Tigers. The Auburn beat writers all over the state like Ryan Black, James Crepea, Joel Erickson, and Brandon Marcello,  to name a few. These guys do the hard work of actually reporting the news of Auburn athletics. They make my "job" possible.

Austin adds:
 Tre Mason because he never gave up on Auburn or trying to achieve his goals. Last season Tre wanted the ball more, and reached the 1,000 yard mark. He is a class act.
 Gus of course, he has given hope back to the players, and the university.

Randy adds:
 I am thankful for my Mom's health. 
 Even though most of them are Alabama fans, a good family. 
 SEC football.
 All of my blessings including good health
 Being semi-retired

Christy adds:
  My family, my friends, and a job I love.
  That I live in a country where we can worship Jesus

 Mike adds:
 My beautiful wife, Cherryl.
 My brother-in-law, Shane () who has become my best friend as well. (Shane is married to Cherryl's sis).

Poetic Tiger adds:
I'm thankful for God and my family. I'm thankful for my health. AND Of course I'm very thankful for the current coaches who have rescued our Auburn Tigers and turned the team around!!!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday,


Auburn Offensive Center Reese Dismukes

Monday, November 25, 2013

Orange Jumpsuit Guys Intro Video

The Ending of an Era, the Beginning of Another

The End of the BCS
With the last couple of weeks left, in what we know it as the BCS standings, the Auburn Tigers are ranked 4 after a very disappointing season in which the Tigers only won a total of 3 games. Since the beginning of the BCS there were always those teams that have been on the outside looking in. Auburn in '04, Boise State a couple of times, and in this very last year could be yet another. Ohio State has owned and dominated in the last two years. Problem is, they haven't played a schedule that demonstrates they should stay above a 1 loss Auburn or Missouri. Let's say that Auburn does beat Alabama. Auburn wins against Mizzou or South Carolina. Would the voters keep a team who has won against 3 top ten teams out? Under an Ohio State who hasn't played a top team all year? We shall see in the coming weeks.
Malzahn's Present and Future
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images
Not even the most optimistic Auburn fan would have predicted that Auburn would be going into the Iron Bowl 10-1, 6-1 in SEC play. Not even myself. I am and optimistic realist and would have been happy with an 8 win season. Anything better than last year. Gus Malzahn believed it would happen. He also gave hope to all the players and staff that it was possible to compete and have Auburn's name thrown around as an Elite SEC team again. Another name being thrown around is Malzahn. A semifinalist for the Coach of the Year award and well deserving. Him and his coaching staff have instilled discipline and a fire inside the locker room that has transcended on to the playing field. The Iron Bowl on November 30th could be a staple win and seal up those Coach of the Year talks and place an even bigger question up in the air... Pasadena?
As the end of a long, much aggravating system comes to an end a system arises at Auburn once again. One that has prospered and one that may put Auburn back into the prestigious powerhouse that it has been in recent years.
Be sure to follow me @austin_preiss19 on Twitter for Auburn, SEC and much more.

Time For Defense

Nova in pregame glorious flight vs UGA. Photo by Richard Stephens

 The overall sense of this writer is that the Auburn defense has been a bend but don't break defense. In the last game versus Georgia however, the defense did break in the fourth quarter. Whether Aaron Murray was down prior to the goal line or not, that drive that got them there was the real heart breaker.

 Auburn's defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson is not coaching this young team to play a "bend but don't break"  style of defense, it's turning out that way during the games. Johnson has called the big plays that opponents have been able to achieve against the Tigers "Trash Plays." That's not what happened on three consecutive drives by the Bulldogs two weeks ago. 

 "We had guys trying to make plays outside of the scheme" said Johnson, and "we had one coverage where we just completely turned a man loose in man coverage."

 Here is the entire interview thanks to

 In the upcoming battle with Alabama, the Tigers defense can not have a rash of mental breakdowns like we did against Georgia. Alabama is too good to "turn loose." They have a plethora of play makers that can score from anywhere on the field. We must play assignment football, and take away the trash plays, to give our offense the opportunities it will need to win the Iron Bowl.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Auburn Head FB Coach Gus Malzahn

Ole Miss at Auburn VB senior day highlights

How Did We Get Here?

 This Auburn team has continued to improve throughout the season with great coaching. The players bought in to what they were being taught, and worked extremely hard all year to get where they have a chance to do what they came to Auburn to do, win championships. 

 It all started in December of 2012, with a group of young men not having any sense of direction, and knowing they were in for a change with the coaches who would lead them. Enter, Gus Malzahn.

 Like a Sheriff in an old western movie, Malzahn took command of his deputies first. He publicly stated that he was in charge, and that this was a "New Day" for Auburn. he then promptly fired all of the assistant coaches from the previous staff, and built an impressive staff of his own.

 Bringing two of Auburn's favorite sons back home to the Plains of Auburn, was the coup that no previous head coach could duplicate. Then the work began in earnest. Coach Malzahn even stated to the media that they had to do some "Dr. Phil" work on the psyche of this young team while they were selling them on the idea that if they would believe, they could achieve.

 The season start was a long way away, but you could see an improvement in the A Day spring game. Behind the scenes during the summer, the players were putting lots of hard work. Then the season was upon them.

 Lets look at this video playlist from Auburn Athletics and relive the memories of each game this season. These games are what has led us to this point. preparing for the "Epic Iron Bowl" that is to be played fittingly at Jordan-Hare stadium.

War Eagle!


Murray State at Auburn MBB highlights

Saturday, November 23, 2013

AUHD Are you Ready? Iron Bowl 2013

Auburn Volleyball Senior Feature

Auburn WBB Head Coach Terri Williams Flournoy

Epic Iron Bowl Memories

A possible epic iron bowl is approaching and I will be pulling out my auburn sweat shirt for this game from the Bo Jackson era. I still regret missing the 1972 and 1989 Auburn/Alabama games. 1972 was my first year at Auburn and I was in class with a lot of the guys on that team.
 No one that I knew on campus thought that Auburn had a chance in that game so like so many others, I sold my $2 student tickets and went deer hunting.
 I did listen to that game on the deer stand, just wishing I had decided to attend. As I mentioned on a previous post, I did have my transistor radio dangling from a tree limb in the woods and a doe approached as Auburn scored the winning TD. She just stood there and looked at me has I was cheering in the woods.

In 1989, I was living in Dallas, Texas and was unable to get home due to a business meeting. I was invited to an Auburn/Alabama viewing party on the TCU campus in Fort Worth, Texas. The place was packed with fans from both teams. Of course, Alabama was favored and Auburn won the field that day 20-10.  
I will not be missing this game. Could this be a repeat of history?

Friday, November 22, 2013


2013 will be the 66th consecutive meeting between the Auburn Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide since the series renewed in 1948.  Here are a few more interesting facts:

(1)  Alabama leads the overall series 42-34-1.

(2) Since the series moved to a home/home on campus game, the record is 12-12.

(3)  Since 1948, Alabama has outscored Auburn 1393 to 959.  Since 1989, Alabama has outscored Auburn 525-397.

(4)  The average margin of victory, since moving on campus, has been 12 points.

(5) This will be the 29th time since 1980 that at least one team is ranked in the AP Top 25 entering the Iron Bowl.

(6) The teams did not play for 41 years (from 1908 through 1947) because of a dispute between the schools over the 1908 contest.

(7) The 2013 Iron Bowl will be the 39th televised game in the series dating back to 1964.  This will be the 20th consecutive televised broadcast.

(8) Alabama's longest winning streak in the Iron Bowl is 9 games (1973-1981).

(9) Auburn's longest winning streak in the series is 6 games (2002-2007).

(10) Since 1989:
        Games at Auburn, Auburn is 7-4
        Games at Tuscaloosa, Auburn is 5-2
        Games at Birmingham, Alabama is 6-0

(11) Nick Marshall, Jeremy Johnson & Jonathan Wallace have combined for 1976 yards passing, with 15 TDs and 7 INTs.

(12) AJ McCarron has thrown for 2228 yards with 21 TDs and 5 INTs.

(13) Tre Mason leads the SEC in rushing with 1153 yards and 17TDs.

(14) TJ Yeldon is third in the SEC in rushing with 1022 yards and 12TDs.

(15) Sammie Coates is the fifth leading receiver in the SEC with 30 receptions for 687 yards and 5 TDs.

(16) Tre Mason leads the SEC in scoring with 108 pts.

(17) Cody Parkey is second in scoring with 89 pts, followed by Cade Foster of Alabama in fourth with 79 pts.

(18)  Dee Ford is second in the SEC in sacks with 8.

(19) Most passes attempted in an Iron Bowl is 55 by Scott Hunter (Alabama) in 1969.

(20) Most pass completions in an Iron Bowl is 30 by Scott Hunter (Alabama) in 1969.

(21) Most pass yards in an Iron Bowl is 484 by Scott Hunter (Alabama) in 1969.

(22)  Most pass receptions in an Iron Bowl is 10 by Julio Jones in 2010.

(21)  Most receiving yards in an Iron Bowl is 187 by David Bailey in 1969.

(22)  Must rushing attempts in an Iron Bowl is 42 by Johnny Musso in 1970.

(23) Most rushing yards in an Iron Bowl is 233 by Bobby Marlow in 1951.

(24) The longest field goal in the Iron Bowl is 52 yards by Van Tiffin in 1985.

(25)  The longest kickoff return in an Iron Bowl is 107 yards by Ray Ogden in 1964.

(26) In 1971, both teams came into the Iron Bowl undefeated.  Alabama was ranked #3 and Auburn was ranked #5.  The game featured Heisman finalist Johnny Musso and the Heisman winner, Pat Sullivan.  Alabama won the game 31-7 and clinched the SEC Championship.

(27)  The 1981 Iron Bowl victory by the Crimson Tide gave head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant his 315th victory, passing Amos Alonzo Stagg's winning record.

Some of the famous game nicknames:

1967 - The Run in The Mud
1972 - Punt Bama Punt

1982 - Bo Over The Top
1983 - Bye-Bye Bo
1984 - Wrong Way Bo
1985 - The Kick
1986 - Reverse To Victory
1989 - The First Ever
1994 - The Inch That Stole Christmas
2000 - Shut Down In T-Town
2005 - Sacked Bama Sacked
2008 - The Beat Down in T-Town
2009 - The Drive
2010 - The Cam-Back

(Photos courtesy of Google Images)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

2013 Auburn Hype Video

Swimming and Diving Auburn Invitational Preview

Nick Marshall and Buck Belue

photo courtesy 24-7 Sports

I heard an interesting comparison of the Nick Marshall to Ricardo Louis pass play today. The pass play was compared to the infamous Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott pass play that happened in the 1980 UGA/Florida game.

 UGA scored on that pass play with 90 seconds left in the game and won the game. Of course, UGA was a team of destiny that year and did go on to win the National Championship. This Auburn team may well be a team of destiny.

Orange Is Our Color

 A few weeks ago I learned an Auburn football themed book had been published. The title "Orange Is Our Color." The Tuberville Years Through Navy-tinted Glasses resonated within me. I have always been a fan of Tommy Tuberville, even before he coached at Auburn. He was a top notch defensive coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes and the Texas A & M Aggies. Wikipedia's description of his early coaching career includes such Auburn coaching pipelines as being a high school coach in Arkansas, and an assistant at Arkansas State. Sound familiar?

   "Tuberville coached at Hermitage High School in Arkansas to begin his career. Tuberville was an assistant coach at Arkansas State University. He then went through the ranks at the University of Miami, beginning as graduate assistant and ending as defensive coordinator in 1993 and winning the national championship three times during his tenure there (1986–1994). In 1994, Tuberville replaced Bob Davie as defensive coordinator under R. C. Slocum at Texas A&M University. The Aggies went 10–0–1 that season." -wikipedia

 The author, Josh Dowdy is an Auburn graduate, and in our discussions I asked him; What inspired you to write this book? His answered with this....

  "Ever since Tuberville first asked the Auburn Family to wear orange on game day, I've been intrigued by how strongly the Auburn people responded. As the years went by, I began to see Auburn fans wearing orange as symbolic of the relationship between Tuberville and the Auburn Family.
When we continued to wear orange, even after Tuberville moved on, I began to wonder why the connection between the coach and the people had been so deep.
After digging a little for the answer to that question, I decided I could only answer it by thoroughly researching the entire Tuberville decade."

 Josh Dowdy does an excellent job at setting up the book's theme and then walking the reader through the Tuberville years. Many memorable Auburn football games and the memories that I have associated with those games came flooding back while reading his book. 

 One moment in particular is the game against Florida in 2006. In the words of Josh Dowdy, that Florida game at Jordan-Hare, is described this way...

    "The Auburn Tigers got their first taste of Tebowmania in 2006." 
"Early in the Third quarter Florida punter Eric Wilbur dropped a deep snap. After picking it up, he still attempted to punt the ball even as he was being tackled by Tristan Davis. Jerraud Powers blocked the punt. Trey Smith recovered and took in to the end zone."

  Here is the video of that game I found on YouTube.

 This book kept me entertained throughout. Josh does not back down from any of the Tuberville years at Auburn including the infamous Jet-Gate scandal. I would highly recommend this to any Auburn fan. I think it would make an excellent addition to any Auburn fans Christmas list.

***Full disclosure notice: I was sent a promotional copy of this book by the author. Although, it was after I had purchased a download from Amazon e-books.

You can read more of Josh Dowdy and his works at the Auburn blog aptly named "Orange Is Our Color"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Auburn Sports Report: November 20

Bye Week Chili Cook Off

Reflections from the "Miracle Catch" Auburn vs. Georgia

NOVA photo by Todd Van Emst

 It was a historical night for auburn football and there was a football play that will always be remembered. I went to the game and the atmosphere was better than any other Auburn game that I have attended. I might add that I did not attend the 1989 Auburn/Bama game and I was told that it was very close.\
 I went over to the Auburn Arena to watch the 4th quarter thinking that the game was well in hand. I saw UGA fans exiting the stadium so I just wanted to sit back and watch the 4th quarter on the big screens in the Arena.
 The UGA comeback started and I could see the worried look on the faces of the Auburn fans. I do not think that Murray crossed the goal line; however, I am now happy that the play was ruled a touchdown because the Auburn pass play may have never happened. Also, Auburn would have had the ball near their own goal line and UGA would have had a good chance at getting the ball back with good field position.
 I was just starting to exit the Auburn Arena with a few other Auburn fans and we turned to watch the pass play by Nick Marshall. The pass was caught and it was bedlam in the Auburn Arena and you could hear the crowd roar across the street in the stadium. Auburn fans were hugging one another and I even had a few UGA fans say good game Auburn".
 I went up to Toomer's after the game and I was walking, I started wondering why I have such fond memories of the Auburn/UGA game. Here are my top three games that I have witnessed in this historic series in no particular order. I will say that I am leaning towards the 2013 game.

  1. 1978 - I had graduated from Auburn in 1976 and I went to the game with a group pf former classmates. The game was sold out and I was unable to get a ticket. Finally, I spotted one of my former professors at one of the gates and he asked if I wanted to of into the game. Of course, I took him up on his offer and I was able to see Auburn play in the "orange" jerseys and tie that game 22-22. At the time, I told my friends that it was the best game that I had seen in person. 
  2. 2004 - The crowd and atmosphere was electric and ESPN was set up in front of the coliseum that day. Several UGA friends bet me a dinner on that game, but I failed to take the bet. Auburn won that game 24-6 and I still remember the hit that Junior Rosegreen put on Reggie Brown. You could actually hear the collision from the stands. If that pass had been completed, the game may have been much closer. Auburn played well that afternoon and should have been given at a chance to play for the "Crystal Football". 
  3. 2013 - I am sure that we all expressed various emotions after this game was over. I experienced dealing with another loss to UGA to the thrill of winning all within a matter of minutes.  What a play and a catch! Some UGA fans called it luck, but I have never seen luck throw or catch a football.  

It is great to be an Auburn Tiger and I am just thankful that I decided to attend Auburn.

Now let's get ready for Bama!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


It seemed like Auburn had control of the game;
Then everything went south!
I was overcome with emotion!!
It felt as if my heart jumped into my mouth!!

"It's great to be an Auburn Tiger" was heard,
Over the cheers and jeers of the crowd!!!
AUBURN fans kept chanting it over and over again!!
And they were getting loud!!

I'm sure in their hearts Auburn fans were praying,
"Please let our Tigers score again!!";
And with a miracle from the faith of a mustard seed,
Those AUBURN men found a way to win !!

Ricardo Louis had been waiting patiently!
His time for a big play was well over due!!
So Louis told Marshall "just give me the ball"!!
I'll be right there to carry the load for you!!

Nick drew back with all his strength,
and the ball sailed into the air!!
It touched the hand of a Georgia defender first,
but Ricardo's hands were right there!!

Louis kept his eye right on the ball,
While reaching with outstretched hands!!;
And as if by Divine intervention,
We got a miracle at Jordan Hare!!!!

AUBURN tigers BELIEVE in Miracles!!
So never lose Faith in the Orange and Blue!!
I BELIEVE mustard seed faith can bring miracles,,
And I BELIEVE in AUBURN!! What about you??

WAR EAGLE!!!!!!!!

(Side note--Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

poetic tiger

Where Do We Stand

Photo taken by unknown source

 The end of the regular college football season is coming at us with alarming speed.

 The Auburn Tigers have two of, if not three of the most difficult games left to play to decide where they will finish in the rankings for the year.Thus determining our Bowl destination. All eyes however, are on our arch nemesis Alabama. Ranked atop the BCS polls, and just about every other poll out there.

 If Auburn looses next week, then their post season fate is uncertain.

 Many predict that we would end up in the Sugar Bowl. For that scenario to play out, Alabama would have to win the SEC Championship game. If Alabama were to loose the SEC Championship game, the winner from the East would be the conference representative in New Orleans. That leaves the Capital One Bowl, the AT&T Cotton Bowl, and the Outback Bowl as possible destinations. Where Alabama would be ranked would be a determining factor, although if Auburn looses the Iron Bowl, Alabama would almost certainly be ranked ahead of Auburn even after loosing the SEC Championship game. That would leave our three biggest Bowl destinations scrambling to pick up our Tigers.

 Win and then destiny has us back in the SEC Championship game facing either South Carolina, or Missouri.

 Loose the SEC Championship game, and our destination again becomes uncertain. See above.

 Win the Southeastern Conference Championship game, and anything truly becomes possible. Auburn would most likely be ranked third or fourth in the country if the unbeaten teams that are currently ahead of them remain unbeaten.

 In 2011 everything that had to happen to the teams ranked ahead of Alabama happened in perfect order for them to get back into the title game. Could such a thing happen for Auburn? We have seen one loss and two loss SEC teams win the BCS title in recent years. Should the conference record in the title game be a weighted factor in possibly moving a one loss Auburn team over one or two unbeaten teams? My *Navy-tinted glasses disqualify me from making such judgment. 

 Lets look at what would have to happen to those unbeaten teams to insure that a one loss Auburn team made the title game.

 First we look at the Ohio State Buckeyes. Their last two season games are against Indiana, and Michigan. Neither of these teams currently has a winning record in their conference. If OSU can get past these two, then they will play in the Big Ten Championship game, most likely against a one loss Michigan State which is unbeaten in the conference. If the Buckeyes win that game, I can't see a one loss Auburn team jumping them. Loose that game, and Auburn most certainly jumps Ohio State.

 A side note here. The last team from the Big Ten to play in the BCS title game was Ohio State. They lost to a one loss Florida team in their first appearance, coached by the guy who now coaches Ohio State, Urban Meyer. The one loss by that Florida team was to Auburn. The Buckeyes appeared in back to back title games. They lost to LSU in the second.

 Next lets look at Florida State. The Seminoles have the distinction of playing in the first three BCS title games. They won the second contest vs. Virginia Tech for their only BCS title to date. FSU has to play Idaho next followed by the Florida Gators. I know most if not all of the Auburn family will be pulling for the staggering Gators to pull off the upset in this one. Florida State will then play Duke most likely, in the ACC Championship game. You read that right, Duke has the inside track to win their division. I do not see FSU stumbling to the finish of their season.

 Finally, the Baylor Bears are without a doubt the most fascinating team without a loss that we will discuss. The Bears are averaging well over 300 yards per game in passing, 300 yards on the nose in rushing, are ranked number one in the country in points scored averaging 61 points per game. That is a phenomenal statistic.

 This Baylor team however is no fluke. They are ranked 17th in the nation in points allowed by their defense. That is after facing West Virginia, Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech.  I have watched several of the Baylor games this season, and I will attest to their defense being a hard nosed, hard hitting, and attacking style of defense. 

 With that said, the Baylor Bears have their hands full with the remainder of their schedule. They still have to play Oklahoma State and TCU, before finishing this season with Texas. By far the most difficult remaining schedule of the unbeaten teams currently ahead of Auburn. The Big 12 does not play a championship game.

 Auburn's destiny is in their own hands. We have seen stranger things happen than what has to occur for this team to make another BCS title game appearance. Our Tigers just need to take it one game at a time, and not look ahead.

* Navy-tinted glasses comes from the book "Orange Is Our Color" by Josh Dowdy.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Auburn Equestrian Report: November 18

You Want Oregon? Really?

Toomer's Corner after the "Miracle in Jordan-Hare"

 I can't tell you the exact number of times I heard it this season, I can however tell you that many of my Alabama fan friends talked all preseason, and up until the Oregon loss to Stanford, that they wanted to play Oregon in the title game. Not "if" they got to play in the title game, when.

 Why not? ESPN was trying its best to arrange that very game. The big discussion every week on College Football shows centered around who Alabama was going to play for the title. Oregon it seems, was the likely choice. Don't get me wrong here, Alabama deserves all the media love they are getting. After all, they are the two time defending BCS title holder.

 Recently there has been a rash of signs from the fans that they, meaning their team "Wants Bama." I can assure you that most of them would lose rather emphatically. 

 All of that was to lead to this. We here at Auburn do not "Want Bama" nor do we desire to listen to the driveling media circus that this game will foster in the coming weeks. We get to play Alabama every year, and we don't need signs that state the need to. We understand, perhaps better than anyone else on Earth what it is like to play with Alabama.

 We have a heated rivalry with them, it is called the "Iron Bowl", maybe you've heard of it. We deal constantly with their fan base, we live in the same state as they do. Our neighbors are either 'Bama fans or Auburn fans. Even if you are an alum of another SEC school, you have a side in this game. It is that big, and always has been. That is why it has been named the greatest rivalry in college football.

 The players may be willing to play anyone. As a competitor you want to take on the best in the country. This year, two of the best in the country will go toe to toe. The last BCS Champion vs the last BCS Champion not named Alabama, our name is AUBURN!


PS: Auburn defeated Oregon in our BCS title game.

My Thoughts Auburn vs UGA

 What an electric atmosphere! The fans energy fed the players. The players were making big time plays, and that fed the fans.

 For a little over three quarters the Auburn Tigers were in complete control of this game. I even remarked to a neutral minded friend of mine that the clock had just went under thirteen minutes in the 4th quarter and that Georgia seemed like they were never really in this game. I spoke too soon.

 I remember Todd Gurly telling the press earlier in the week, that they intended to come into Jordan-Hare, and play against the same people, the same defense, and take the energy away from our Tigers. I tweeted at the end of the third quarter that "I still had plenty of energy." I tweeted way too soon.

 For all the world it looked as though the Auburn defense was going to really keep that powerful Georgia offense in check, and allow Auburn to cruise to the victory.

 What transpired in the final quarter was nothing short of frightening. It was full of mistakes, and full of blown opportunities. I witnessed the worst 4th quarter by this Auburn team this season, bar none! With a 20 point lead at the 12:29 mark of the final period, Auburn allowed the improbable. UGA and their star QB Aaron Murray went on a tear thru the Auburn defense to the tune of 21 unanswered points. 

 It makes no difference if Aaron Murray was down or not prior to crossing the goal line. If you allow a team to come back on you like that, you shouldn't count on a referee to save your bacon by making the right call. In other words, if you play just well enough for a referee to be able to effect the outcome of the game, you didn't deserve to win in the first place.

 In the midst of all of that, with the defense playing worse than it had all season, with Murray just having scored the go ahead touchdown, and the play being reviewed. There was a familiar sound in my ears that warmed my heart. It started low in volume, I could barely make it our over the CBS crew talking about whatever it was they were talking about. The sound grew louder and louder, and my heart nearly exploded with joy! I sat in my chair with arguably the toughest SOB I have ever known in the chair beside me, and my eyes got misty as I started cheering along: It's great to be an Auburn Tiger! Over and over again until the call on the field was confirmed, It's great to be an Auburn Tiger!

 Luckily, Ricardo Louis, and the rest of the team were not ready to give up. And how could they after what the fans had just done? Louis answered with the greatest football catch in Auburn history.

War Eagle!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Words Don't Accurately Describe

 Only one other time in my life have I seen such a miraculous reception in a football game. The Pittsburgh Steelers Franco Harris made such a play for the win. That play will forever be known as "The Immaculate Reception."

Whether you call it "The Miracle in Jordan-Hare" or not, doesn't really matter at this point. Rod Bramblett best described the play, and was as emotional as I had ever heard him be. I get emotional every time I hear this play call by Bramblett. Just like I did for some of those by the late Jim Fyffe.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Never Back Down

I'll let someone else more gifted with words than I, use the title Miracle on the Plains.

I still don't think I have the words to describe this tonight. Excitement. Fun. Despair. Disbelief. Miracle.

This team- there is something about them. They haven't quit in ANY game they have been in this year. They just continue to reach in the bag for something else; just a little more. There isn't a name I can mention that hasn't given it everything in his soul. I haven't blogged much this season because of a variety of reasons. One being two classes for CEUs that are typing up my online time.  Tonight, I could not stay silent.

Starting from the Mississippi State game, this team has shown they have what it takes. They aren't flashy in any way other than the run. Then came Texas A & M. I was truly in disbelief after the game. I kept waiting for something to happen, a flag to be thrown. It didn't come. The climb started. I let myself get a little excited.  Since then, its been full-on motorboat 'Smokin' the Sound' kind of play. (Gulf Coast reference. If you don't know what it is, Google it and come see it sometime) And I LOVE IT!

There aren't really many things to call out individually. They have all added. For instance, even though Cody had a blocked FG tonight, he kicked all of his kickoffs out of the endzone. No chance for return. We didn't need Steven a whole lot tonight but that one punt, where it dropped on about the 5 was incredible. (Plus, did you see- a graduate student in Biomechanics with a 3.7. Are you kidding me?)  There is one play I want to point out specifically. Jay Prosch. There was a camera shot of him with about 4 mins to go. He looked completely gassed. He crouched down again and gave it all he had. Nick, Tre, Corey, Ricardo, Sammie, Dee, Reese- they all were all out. I know there were more. My mind is fuzzy now!
 I was heartbroken and yelling at the TV when they called it a touchdown, but deep within my soul, I kept thinking about Mississippi State. Then it looked like Nick was limping and I thought it might be over. Nope! Forget that!

I'd tell you everyday my favorite movie is Facing the Giants. "A miracle has occurred here tonight!"

Except the miracle wasn't JUST tonight. It's been everyday of these coaches and players working, fighting, playing and going all out. This turnaround has been a miracle. I'd be lying if I said the game in two weeks was just gravy. However, whatever happens, I love this team. They are Auburn men who have been brave and fought. I don't know about you- but

I believe in Auburn and LOVE IT!


Fans cheer Auburn, Gus Malzahn before playing Georgia

Thursday, November 14, 2013

AU vs Georgia 2013 Poem

The Auburn Tigers have come together;
By leaving the past behind!
They have developed lasting relationships!
Teams like ours are hard to find!!

This season has been tremendous!;
With a breed of greatness that is rare!!
We BELIEVE we can defeat our opponent ,
Anytime any place anywhere!!

We stay focused on the game before us;
Taking it one week at a time!
This week we focus on win number ten;
And We have Georgia on our minds!!

This Auburn Georgia matchup is a little different;
Like two brothers vying for who loves them best!!
It's been called the deep south's oldest rivalry!;
But this year won't be like the last!

Our men have been steadily climbing higher,
In perpetual motion and on the move!
We will keep fighting til we conquer the bulldogs!
There's so much at stake and so much to prove!!

The atmosphere will be electric!
Jordon-Hare Stadium will shake and rock!!
Our tigers will take over the lead;
And start eating up the clock!!

The game plan will be business as usual!;
Doing what works to secure an Auburn Win!!
The bulldogs will go home defeated!;
And we will celebrate a VICTORY again!!!

WAR EAGLE!!!!!!!
poetic tiger

Jacksonville State at Auburn WBB highlights

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


From Tiger Walk to the end of the game, let them Tigers hear you yell!

 9-1 record.
 A number 7 BCS ranking.
 The last two legs of "Amen Corner." Georgia coming to town Saturday. Those who must not be named, two weeks later. And what's on the line for Auburn? An SEC Western Division Championship and a berth in the SEC championship. Win that and a BCS berth is guaranteed. 
     Doing it with power football, Auburn has done what experts across the land said they couldn't do. They have put themselves into a situation where they control their own destiny. After last years 3-9 disaster few, outside of a few of us Auburn fans, were thinking this was more than a 6-7 win team. Then, we hired Gus. And you know what we all say now, In Gus We Trust. And why not. Auburn is doing it with a running game rarely seen in this day and age. Doing it with a bend but sure as hell won't break defense. And doing it week in and week out. 
     Two weeks ago it was a trip to Arkansas. 9 passes was all it took. Well, that and 233 yards rushing. This week it was Tennessee in Knoxville. How about 444 yards rushing. Yeah. That 55-23 score is looking pretty stout. What about only 6 first downs and 3 points, UT scored in the second half. The D rose up time and time again. They make the plays when necessary.
 They aren't flashy. They aren't perfect. But they sure are good when it counts. This whole team is good when it counts.
 Auburn did something that over 100 other Auburn teams had never done, return a kick off and a punt for a TD in the same game. Of course this time an NCAA record was set for return yard average. (Thank you Chris Davis and Corey Grant)
     So here come the dawgs. The Georgia Bulldogs will bring their newfound number 25 ranking into Jordan-Hare on Saturday. Winners of 6 of 7 against Auburn the dawgs seem to have our number. Could that be the case again this year? I don't think so. It isn't because we are stronger, faster, or bigger. It's because we are focused. Like the beam of light from a laser this Auburn team is focused on the tasks at hand. And this weeks task is to beat Georgia. 
     It's going to be a good one. The Deep South's oldest rivalry. The record is dead even. Georgia has owned the series the past 7 years. Time to take ownership back. Time to take control of our destiny. Time to put a beatdown on the dawgs. 
     The running game must produce against a better than average Georgia defense. The passing game needs to come alive. The defense must bet off the field on third down. The special teams must keep containment while also making a few plays of their own. But we all know this already. It has been discussed over and over. What really needs to happen is Auburn needs to simply man up. Smack some dawg tail and send them packing early. Don't give them a chance to claw their way back into the game. Demoralize them just as they did the Vols last week. Hit em hard. Hit em quick. Hit em continuously. Don't let up. Not even for a single play. 
     We the fans can make a significant contribution to the team this week. We can be loud. Not just when we are at the line is scrimmage but while Georgia is in the huddle. Make it where they can't even hear the play being called. Then really let them hear it when they get to the line. No audibles this week. Leave nothing in the stands. Lose your voice. It'll come back. Lose your mind. It's Auburn Football. STAND UP!!! Keep your butt out of those seats. Scream like you are running from Freddy Kruger and he's gaining in you. It's up to is the fans to make Georgia so miserable they don't even want to come back out after halftime. Time to GET LOUD!!
     Beating Georgia means a lot to Auburn fans everywhere. For the team this year it could mean an at large berth in the Sugar Bowl. Yes folks, a BCS game one year removed from the worst season I have ever witnessed. A trip to New Orleans. National recognition. A great start to next year. A year in which Auburn should be a favorite to win the National Championship. But here's the kicker with a few breaks here and there the sights may get set much higher before the end of this season. That's right. A possible BCS Championship Game appearance. 
     For now, let's not get ahead of ourselves. We have a formidable opponent coming into our beloved stadium. An opponent whose time has come for a beatdown. An opponent looking to end the Cinderella story that is Auburn Football 2013. An opponent that, like all but one before them, will ultimately fail to do. So, my wonderful Auburn Family, walk into Jordan-Hare Saturday ready for war. Be loud. Be strong. Stand and cheer. And in the end be Proud to be an Auburn Tiger. 

War Eagle everyone. 
Now let's Beat Georgia.

The Cleansing - 2013 Auburn Football

Looking Ahead: Amen Corner

 It's that time of year already. It seems like just last week we were wondering what this young Auburn team would be like this season.

 On a team that does not have a lot of "star" players, certainly none that were talked about preseason, it is refreshing to hear the team compliment each other. Listen as Chris Davis talks to the media after the UT game.

Auburn runs the ball extremely well. At times during the season, we have seen Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson throw the ball well. 
 Coach Malzahn has kept the team focused on that weeks opponent, and on trying to improve one practice at a time, one game at a time.
 Auburn certainly has improved as we head towards the end of the season showdowns with our two biggest rivals.
 Listen as Tre Mason talks with the media after the road win at Tennessee. 


Sunday, November 10, 2013