Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope that Toomer's Corner looks like this photo about 3 tomorrow afternoon. War Eagle!

Auburn Football practices at Tropicana Field and Beach Day

Thank You, Seniors 2014

A thank-you to the seniors has become a tradition for me. I think the first time I did it was in 2009. I don't know if the players ever read it, but it makes me feel good to think they might see it.  This group of seniors has been through so much. Coaching changes,  losing seasons, a trip to the Rose Bowl, loss of teammates and the highs of award-winning performances.  There have been bumps along the way, but they have represented Auburn with class and dignity.  I did put the list in alphabetical order in case any of the players want to read about themselves; it would make it easier to find. A special dedication is at the bottom to Jakell. It's little long because there are a lot of seniors this year. 

To all of the seniors- please keep in touch with your Auburn family.  It means a lot to go to a game and see former players visiting the team- on the sidelines with the younger players. Thank you for everything you did for Auburn. All of you had significant contributions. While the sun may be setting on your playing careers at Auburn, there is so much in store for you. We are so thankful to all of you for giving your time and heart to Auburn.

                               Picture courtesy of @tatershell from my personal collection

Niko Anthony: Players like you make a huge difference, even when you do not realize it.  The important thing is that you stuck it out and did not quit.  I just looked back at your major. I cannot imagine keeping to the practice and workout schedule with that kind of major. I know we are to expect great things from you in the future. Thank you for your dedication to Auburn.  Please keep in touch with the fans and the team/school.

Cameron Artis-Payne: From the A- day game on, you showed that you gave your best all of the time. You seemed to fit in immediately. You always spoke well in interviews. Thank you for coming to Auburn. It was an honor to cheer for you.  You seemed to take everything in stride.  It was a lot of fun to watch you run. You have a quiet leadership that truly shows. Thank you for your dedication to Auburn. I look forward to meeting you at the Senior Bowl. I also look forward to hearing great things about you in the future. War Eagle!

Angelo Blackson: I like your name. My mom noticed it right away when you first started at Auburn. She had a friend named Angelo. He was a legendary track coach and he died a few years ago. So she naturally paid extra attention to you.  It was a joy to watch you play. Thank you so much for coming to Auburn. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication.  I look forward to hearing about you in the future. War Eagle!

Ben Bradley: I am so glad you decided to come to Auburn. You were a quieter player, but you still made plenty of contributions. Thank you for all you have done for Auburn. Your hard worked showed. My brother-in-law and I enjoyed watching you make some nice tackles.  We look forward to hearing  great things about you in the future. I hope you stay in touch with your Auburn family. War Eagle!

Quan Bray: You are the definition of an Auburn man. Your career at Auburn started with the worst possible thing happening, but you never let it stop you. You worked hard, never quit and put your focus on the positive things. Thank you. I was so happy to see you run that return all the way back for a touchdown! We are all so proud of you. It was an honor to have you on my prayer list this year.  Thank you for everything you did at Auburn. I know we are going to see great things from you in the future.  Proud to call you a member of the AU family. War Eagle!

Sammie Coates: It has been an absolute honor to watch you play. Since your time at Leroy, you have grown as an athlete and as a man. To see you support your coaches, teammates and friends is an amazing thing. I love to see you taking pictures with kids.  The relationship you developed with Kenzie is also something amazing to see. I have been so proud to root for you. I know there are great things in store for you. Your leadership on and off the field is something that cannot be easily replaced. Your work ethic will be something that has a lasting effect on your teammates. I am excited to see you at the Senior Bowl. Please make sure you keep in touch with your Auburn family and the team. Thank you for everything you have done at Auburn.

Reese Dismukes:  I have watched you play since high school. I am so very proud of the player, person, and leader that you have become. Auburn has rarely had a player that has been as dedicated. No, it wasn't perfect. So much has happened while you were  at Auburn but you didn't let that stop you. You kept at it and became one of the most prolific players Auburn has had. Congratulations on the Rimington Trophy. No one deserved it like you did. Thank you for your dedication to Auburn. I cannot wait to see you at the Senior Bowl. I hope you keep in touch with the Auburn family and program. Come back and visit when you can.  War Eagle!

Brandon Fulse:  There are some things that trip us up in life. I know you were close with Philip. He would have been proud of you this year. You made some great grabs and continued the line of tight ends at Auburn. Thanks for your dedication and time to Auburn. I look forward to seeing great things from you in the future. War Eagle.

Corey Grant: I remember the first time I saw you run a longer run. I thought you must have a gear that other humans don't have. I was rooting for a TD in the Iron Bowl so much for you!  I am glad you came 'home' to Auburn to play for us. Thank you for your time and dedication to Auburn. I enjoyed rooting or you the last couple of years. Visit often! We will miss you. War Eagle!

Forrest Hill: I know you probably think your position is not noticed, but it is. You've been very steady. We seldom heard your name, so you know you did your job. We are DEFINITELY going to miss that! I know it's been and up and down career, but you stuck it out.  Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. It has been noticed and appreciated. Thank you so much for everything you did.  Please stay in touch and come back and visit Auburn often. War Eagle!

Brandon King:  Thank you for your dedication to Auburn.  I am glad you came to us. The 2013 season was something to be treasured.  You were a huge part of that  season. You showed talent and poise on and off the field. I look forward to hearing great things about you in the future. Please keep in touch with the Auburn family.  Thank you for your time and dedication to Auburn. War Eagle!

Nick Marshall: I know some people do not believe in second chances, but I am glad our coach does. Thank you, Nick. You gave us the most exciting season ever possible in 2013. You are a quiet leader, but still a leader. See, I love a good 'restart' story. You did it.  I am so glad you came to Auburn.  I cannot wait to see what happens for you in the future. I know it will be great. Keep in touch with Auburn as you go on. We'll be glad to have you home to visit any day.  Thank  you for all of your hard work and dedication.

Johnathan Mincy: You became one heck of an interception grabber this year. Things got tough for you, but you just worked yourself back to the top. I like that never-quit attitude. Your high work ethic is one of the things that will have a lasting effect on the younger teammates. Thank you for everything you did for Auburn.  Keep up your great work in life. You are going to do well. Thank you for your dedication to Auburn.

LaDarius Owens: When you came, we knew you would be someone we could count on because it is in your blood. Not only did you represent Auburn well, you represented your family well. Your faith helped guide you as a leader on the team. You were a rock for the team. Thanks for everything you did for Auburn. Maybe one day your son or nephew will don the uniform too. I look forward to it! I look forward to hearing about you in the future. War Eagle!

Trovon Reed: If it doesn't work out in one spot, try something else. You never seemed upset that WR did not work out for you. In fact, you used your skills as a WR to snatch some interceptions. That is the mark of a winner and an Auburn man.  Thank you for your time and dedication to Auburn.  Keep up the hard work in your future endeavors. War Eagle!

Chad Slade:  It's hard to believe you're a senior! I remember reading about Thomas. The parents would often reflect on how happy you made him. I know it had to be terribly hard to watch him grow sicker, but you did not run away.  Thank you. Those things mean more than anything you could do on the field. You were pretty darn good at that too. Thank you for all you have done for Auburn. Thank you for the time, dedication, and hard work. It will pay off many fold. I know there are great things for you in the future. I cannot wait to hear about those things. War Eagle!

Robenson Therezie: Thanks for all of your hard work at Auburn. You stood out from the beginning. I will always think about you when I hear about the batman and robin play. You turned into quite the interception-grabber. I think my favorite was probably against Ole Miss in 2009. You showed poise on and off the field. Keep that up. It will be something in your life that will help you. Stay in touch with your Auburn family and come back anytime.  War Eagle!

CJ Uzomah: I have adored watching you play. My sister and I nicknamed you 'Oomie Zoomie'. We have an unusual last name as well. Philip would have been so proud of you this year. I know it wasn't easy for you. You were a LOT of fun to watch at media days. You know, you were like the start of the fight in 2013. When you caught that pass against MSU in 2013, it just got things rolling. You have been an amazing leader. It will be a loss for us without you. However, I know you invested in the younger fellas. Thank you for all of the laughs. Thanks for all of your time and dedication to Auburn.  Please keep in touch. You will be successful in whatever you do. War Eagle, CJ.

Jeff Whitaker:  What a trouper. Oh, the highs and lows you have been through. A national 
championship, bad seasons, coaching changes, loss of friends and teammates, and another trip to the national championship- plus multiple injuries. Only you could have made us laugh on the worst day as a member of the AU family. Your dedication to the team and university means more than you will ever know.  Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and leadership. Your investment in the team will last longer than your time at Auburn. We are all grateful of your hard work. Thank you for everything.  I know the future holds great things for you. I cannot wait to hear about it. War Eagle.

Jermaine Whitehead: We talked once for a little while. I do not know if you remember. I told you I knew where Greenwood was since I used to live in Hattiesburg and work in Lucedale. I have been rooting for you since then. When you weren't grabbing interceptions, you were working your tail off. Thank you. It means more than you know. I look forward to hearing good things 
about you in the future. Please keep in touch.  Come back and visit Auburn when you can.

Gabe Wright: You were also fun to watch at media days. Through all the ups and downs over the last few years, you have grow steadily. I am so proud to call you Auburn family. You were a clear leader on and off the field.  When you weren't in the backfield, you were helping younger players find their way. Thank you for your dedication and time you have to Auburn. I am excited about meeting you at the Senior Bowl!   War Eagle! Keep in touch and please visit often.

Jakell Mitchell: We did not really get the chance to get to know you very well. At the first game this season, I sat up a few rows from your family. To see them all in their 'dad of' and 'family of' shirts told me that you were going to be something special. I heard you were a workout warrior. I am sure that your dedication in the weight room and with workouts will be a legacy. Your teammates will remember. You will be missed. Thank you for your dedication to the team and to Auburn. We are really going to miss seeing you develop and grow up. War Eagle forever.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Outback Bowl Press Conference

This is a really good press conference. It is hampered by the stupidity of some members of the press that ask questions after Coach Malzahn says "That's all I'm going to say about Duke"

Auburn Basketball Continues Win Streak

Things are different this year in The Loveliest Village on the Plains, Bruce Pearl has brought a style of basketball to Auburn University that is fun to watch, and exciting to play.

Last nights foe was a good Middle Tennessee squad, and our Tigers just dominated the entire game.

Defensively, Auburn created 24 turnovers. Antoine Mason and K.T. Harrell both were on target from beyond the 3 point line as several Tigers contributed in the scoring. It was a complete performance, and frankly, a game unlike any I have seen at Auburn in quite some time. 

This was truly a great win for our men in Orange and Blue as they prepare for the upcoming SEC schedule.


2014-15 Auburn Basketball Intro Video Part 2

Auburn Football's trip to Busch Gardens

All-Pro Ben Grubbs Talks Auburn

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tribute to Our Seniors

While our hearts are filled with emotion!
You've bravely led your brothers through fire and ice,
And given your Auburn Tigers complete devotion!!

You have sampled the taste of victory sweet;
And have danced on the mountain top!!
Then, when feeling the cold sting of defeat,
You kept fighting and never stopped!!!

You've been examples to your brothers, 
Navigated them safely on a bumpy ride!!
And taught them to handle adversity,
With a "War Eagle" Spirit and Tiger Pride!!

You are a part of Auburn, and you are never alone!!
Through your veins runs blood of orange and blue!!
The Auburn Plains will always be your home;
Wherever you go and whatever you do!!

You are like fabric woven into the family;
And your Auburn Family stands by you!!
We offer our deepest gratitude to all of the seniors,
We are sincerely proud of you!


The Poetic Tiger

Tiger Roar: Outback Bowl Edition

Here is your "AUfficial" Outback Bowl edition of Tiger Roar


Auburn Football at the Outback Steakhouse Team Welcome Dinner

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bruce Pearl Press Conference: December 22

Coach Pearl previews Auburn's next opponent Texas Southern. A dangerous team with loads of experience.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Muschamp Effect

Montravius Adams/ Auburn Fan Day photo by Randy Comer

Listening to the media, sometimes I can't help but chuckle. The talking heads want to blame Auburn's lack of stellar defensive play on a lack of talent. I say they are wrong!

Since the days of Gene Chizik and Ted Roof, Auburn has recruited highly rated college prospects. That trend has continued through the 2014 class. 

The facts show that Auburn has consistently been inside the Top 10 in recruiting since 2009/2010. Talent is NOT where the problem lies. It's coaching pure and simple. Now, that has changed.

With Auburn's hiring of Will Muschamp, the stage has been set to take the wealth of talent to the next level. A level that Muschamp is all too familiar with. A nationally respected defense with fire and energy enough to handle the best teams in America.

In an interview at the end of his first week Muschamp stated "I watched a lot of game film before I came," he said, "We've got good enough talent for us to be fine."

Let the "experts" talk all they want. Auburn will be really good at defense next season. You read it here first!


Auburn Basketball Highlights vs. Xavier

2014-15 Auburn Basketball Intro Video Part 2

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Our Digital Christmas Card

 I feel like 2015 will be a great year for our Auburn Tigers! Now let's start the next season by beating the Wisconsin Badgers!

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

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!

This is Auburn Basketball: Holidays

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Randy's Thoughts: An Historic Auburn/Bama Game

War Eagle Forever!

The “Iron Bowl” on Saturday night was a game that we will remember as Auburn fans even though it was a losing effort in the end. Auburn played well and put up 44 points and 630 yards of offense on one of the best defenses in America on Saturday night.

 Here are some of my random thoughts on this game after having a few days to think about the loss and to get back home from the Thanksgiving festivities.
  • Did anyone think that we would all witness an Auburn/Alabama game that would end with 99 points and over 1,100 yards of offense for both teams?
  • Nick Marshall will now go down in the Auburn record books for passing for 456 yards against a heralded Alabama defense. Ironically, this was his best game passing the ball and it will go down as a loss.
  • Sammie Coates and Duke Williams were almost impossible to cover as was Amari Cooper for Alabama. Amari Cooper will get the praise since Alabama won this game, but Duke Williams accounted for 121 receiving yards and Sammie Coates had 206 yards. 
  • Auburn was in the “Red Zone” 5 times and had to settle for field goals. I really think that Auburn could have called some running plays and possibly scored a few TDs. Of course, “Roc” Thomas fumbled the first snap of the game and he never saw the field again. Despite his fumble, I would have been using “Roc” in the “Red Zone” due to his speed. Also, Auburn’s offensive line was playing well enough to pave the way for the Auburn running backs.
  • The Nick Marshall interception seemed to be the turning point in this game. Auburn had the momentum prior to the interception. 
  • Amari Cooper caught two TD passes due to a breakdown in Auburn's pass coverage. It does seem that Ellis Johnson had decided to single cover Cooper which has led to his dismissal from the Auburn coaching staff. Of course, Alabama did the same with Duke Williams and Sammie Coates and Cooper’s catches just resulted in a few more TDs.
This loss will effect all of us as Auburn fans and Auburn could have easily won this game. Of course, missed opportunities are a part of football.

The future does look bright for Auburn Football. They will have Jovon Robinson and Kerryon Johnson coming in as running backs to add to the offense and I feel that Jeremy Johnson will set some records at the QB position. Also, I look forward to watching Tray Matthews play at the defensive back or safety position and Carl Lawson should be healthy.

 Now we need to wait and see who Gus will hire as the Defensive Coordinator. I am sure that a change in the defensive philosophy is coming for the 2015 football season.

I wish you all well for the holiday season and War Eagle!