Tag:Cam Newton
Posted on: December 2, 2010 4:02 pm
 

ESPN chooses interesting timing for documentary

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Saturday December 11, the Heisman Trophy winner will be announced and presented with the iconic statue in the heart of New York City.  He will be greeted with fanfare and praise for his selection to join the ranks of college football's greatest players. 

Popular belief says that player will be Auburn's Cam Newton.

Which of course means that we will follow the announcement (if he does win) with hours upon hours and pages upon pages debating whether a player tied so closely to amateur improprieties should be given the game's top award.  In the post-Reggie Bush era, there is a segment of the population that would offer a resounding "NO."

No matter which side of the discussion you fall, it will be discussed.  Who better to exploit on the trends of sports media than the WWL?  

ESPN will broadcast the presentation of the Heisman Trophy, and following the program they will debut their newest film in the 30 for 30 documentary series.  Interestingly enough, the film revolves around the Southern Methodist University football program in the 1980's.

The film, cleverly titled Pony Excess, will likely have promos flooded through the commercial breaks of the Heisman broadcast.  For those that stick around and watch the film, they will quickly draw ill-timed comparisons between the new Heisman Trophy winner and the stars of the Mustang teams from that era.  Cam Newton may emerge from the "pay-to-play" allegations as a Heisman Winner and National Champion, but ESPN is not doing him any favors with their choice of scheduling.

Of course this could have been booked for months, or LaMichael James could win the trophy.  If he does, and ESPN does a last minute switch to a documentary on domestic violence, I'll know this is all part of their wicked scheme.



H/T: Friends of the Program
Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:00 pm
 

Walter Camp Award finalists announced

Posted by Tom Fornelli

One of the questions I have following the revelation that Cam Newton has been declared eligible by the NCAA is how will Heisman voters look at him now.  Yes, he's been cleared, but the fact remains that his father did solicit money in an attempt to sell his son's commitment to the highest bidder. Personally, if I had a vote, Newton would still be getting mine, and he'd be eligible for any postseason awards, but I have no idea how others will view it.

Though I now have an idea of how awards like the Walter Camp Award, which is given annually to the player deemed the best in college football by a group of coaches and SIDs, see it.  The award announced its three finalists today, and Newton is one of them.  Stanford's Andrew Luck and Oregon's LaMichael James are the other two.

Newton has accounted for 3,590 total yards and 42 touchdowns for Auburn this season.  James leads the nation in rushing, averaging nearly 155 yards a game for Oregon, while Luck has thrown for 3,051 yards and 28 touchdowns for Stanford.  All three players are deserving of the award, though I have to think that Newton is going to win it.

Those are video game numbers he's posted this season.

We'll have to wait until December 9th to find out who wins.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 9:41 pm
 

Alabama fires 'DJ' from Iron Bowl

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Before the Iron Bowl on Friday, Cam Newton and his Auburn teammates warmed up on the field to a couple of specially selected songs.  Newton had already been showered in fake money by the Alabama student section as he made his way to the field, and once he was out there the songs "Son of a Preacher Man" and "Take the Money and Run."

Obviously, the selections were in reference to the rumors that Newton's father Cecil Newton, a preacher, was shopping his son to the highest bidder after he left Florida. Honestly, when I heard about all of this before the game started, I found it to be rather amusing.  Maybe it wasn't the classiest way to go about things, but it wasn't exactly harmful.

Well, unless that was what motivated Newton to lead the Tigers back from a 24-0 deficit and win the game, but considering how things went in the first half, i doubt that's the case.  Either way, the man who was in charge of those musical selections has been fired by the school.

"Our processes require that all music and videos played in the stadium prior to and during every game be carefully scripted and approved by a senior administrator in the Athletics Department," Alabama public relations director Deborah Lane said in a statement. "The former staff member deviated from the script that had been approved for the game with Auburn, and the University took steps to immediately terminate his contract."

"The University of Alabama takes great pride in our football team's long-standing tradition of playing the game with dignity and class, and showing respect for players and coaches of opposing teams. We are disappointed when the actions of any staff member undermine our deeply held values and expectations."

Am I the only one who finds this to be a bit of an overreaction?  So the guy played some songs that weren't on a pre-selected list,* it's not like he set the building on fire here.  Now, had he started playing some Justin Bieber, then by all means, fire him. Heck, lock him up, but all he did was play a couple of songs as a joke.

A joke on the best player of the school's biggest rival, in what was the biggest game of the season for both schools.  I mean, isn't stuff like that what a rivalry is basically all about?  You're not supposed to like your rival, and I don't see any problem with having a little fun with him.

Besides, that's nothing compared to what Newton probably heard from fans in the stands.  Are the students who threw money at him going to get in trouble too?  

*By the way, I'd love to be in on those meetings.  "Listen, I'm cool with 'Who Let The Dogs Out' but if you think I'm playing 'Zombie Nation' you can just get the hell out of this meeting right now."
Posted on: November 29, 2010 5:58 pm
 

Broyles finalists have offensive flavor

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The ancient saw about football is that offense sells tickets and defense wins championships. But based on this offense-dominated 2010 season, it may be time to admit that when it comes to college football, offense can just about handle the whole thing, thanks; likely BCS title game participants Auburn and Oregon both ride their record-breaking offenses first and their defenses second, and whether it's the Big Ten with Wisconsin , the Big 12 South with Oklahoma , or the SEC East with South Carolina (and their 100th-ranked pass defense ), defense-first teams are giving way to more explosive counterparts.

Which helps explain why of the five finalists announced today for the Broyles Award , given annually to the nation's top assistant coach, four of them are offensive coordinators at the helm of some of the nation's best attacks. They are:

Dick Bumpas, defensive coordinator/defensive line coach, TCU
Paul Chryst, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Wisconsin
Dana Holgorsen, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State
Gus Malzahn, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Auburn
Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, Stanford

Of the five, Malzahn has become (almost without question) the biggest name in the group and with his unorthodox scheme producing not only an SEC West title but a probable Heisman Trophy for Cam Newton , he's your likely front-runner. But all five have done incredible work this season: Holgorsen took over a Cowboy offense missing its longtime quarterback and biggest receiving threats and helped make Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter All-Americans; Chryst has made Scott Tolzien  the most efficient quarterback in the Big Ten by a mile while maintaining the Badgers' bulldozing ground-based mentality; Roman, likely the most obscure name in the bunch, has coordinated an offense that lost Toby Gerhart and still averaged better than 40 points per game; and though a couple of off-games have denied TCU their run at being the best statistical defense of the decade , Bumpas's perenially excellent Frogs again lead the nation in both total and scoring defense.

But a vote for Bumpas in 2010 feels a bit like counterprogramming opposite the Super Bowl or something similar. This is the season of offense in college football, and the Broyles winner will likely reflect that.

Posted on: November 29, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: November 29, 2010 11:54 am
 

James headlines 2010 Coaches' All-America Team

Posted by Chip Patterson

As many schools have wound down their regular season, the time has come for 2010's series of accolades and awards.  There will be predictable nods, deserving players snubbed, and a guarantee of AT LEAST one slightly irrational fan base being furious by the omission of their star player.  The first notable All-America team was released on Monday morning, the AFCA FBS Coaches' All-America Team.  

It is the only All-America team that is voted on exclusively by the coaches, and it was not surprising to see the team headlined by Oregon's LaMichael James and Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers.  Auburn fans, don't worry, your boy made the cut.

Check out all of the coaches' selections below:

  

A few notes on the list:

- Despite constant criticism for a "down year," the ACC has as much representation on the list (4) as the SEC and Big 12.  Only the Big Ten (6) produced more players on the 2010 team.  

- As Bryan Fischer pointed out, there were four Texas natives selected to the All-America team.  Outside of TCU's Tank Carder, none of them even play for a school in Texas.  How should that reflect on the in-state universities, particularly Texas head coach Mack Brown?  I know that the 2010 Longhorns would have benefited significantly from a Kendall Hunter or LaMichael James in the backfield.

- There was little turnover from last year's squad, with Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones being the only repeat selection from 2009.  However, the same could be true for next year's list.  Only ten players on the list could return for 2011, and there is no guarantee that they all will.  


Posted on: November 28, 2010 1:06 am
 

What I learned from the SEC (Nov 27)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Cam Newton is your Heisman Trophy winner.  Seriously, just give him the trophy now.  Don't even invite anybody else to New York because there isn't a point. After leading Auburn to that comeback win against Alabama, after falling behind 24-0 on the road, LaMichael James -- or any other contender -- would literally have to score 80 touchdowns in a game while saving a group of children from a burning building to take the Heisman away from him.  I'm not even sure I care if he did take money at this point. 

2. Hogs can smell sugar.  And they really seem to like it.  Arkansas took care of LSU on Saturday in Little Rock, and because of it, the Hogs still have a chance to go to the Sugar Bowl.  All they need is for Auburn to beat South Carolina next week and move on to the title game.  That would free the Sugar Bowl up to select an SEC team, and you have to think Arkansas would get a look.

3. Florida's nightmare season can get worse.  Go ahead, ask any Gators fan if they feel any better about 2010 after seeing the Gators get knocked around by Florida State on Saturday.  Honestly, I don't see how Urban Meyer can consider bringing Steve Addazio back next season unless his ultimate plan is to have Gainesville burn to the ground.

4. Georgia is going bowling after all.  It took longer than any Georgia fan was probably hoping for, but after beating Georgia Tech on Saturday night, the Bulldogs now have six wins and can get an extra two weeks of practice.  Considering how the season started, it's a small miracle.

5. Kentucky may never beat Tennessee.  Seriously, if there was ever going to be a season in which the Wildcats would finally knock off the Vols, this would have been the one, right?  Sorry, not the case.  Tennessee took care of the 'Cats and like Georgia, is now bowl eligible.  Which is an even bigger miracle than the one Georgia pulled off.
Posted on: November 27, 2010 2:09 pm
 

Vandy interested in Gus Malzahn

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The news just broke this morning that Vanderbilt head coach Robbie Caldwell had resigned, and that today's game against Wake Forest would be his last. This happened barely two hours ago, but the rumors about who Vanderbilt will be pursuing to replace Caldwell have already begun.  It seems that Vandy isn't looking outside the SEC for its top choice.

Not surprisingly, that choice seems to be Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.


Now, as Schad mentions in his tweet, Gus Malzahn will be one of the most sought after coaches during the offseason.  Everyone has seen what he's done on the offensive side of the ball during his coaching career, particularly this season with Cam Newton and Auburn.  So it isn't surprising at all that Vanderbilt would be interested.

What would be surprise would be to see Malzahn take the job at Vanderbilt.  Listen, I don't mean this as an insult to Vanderbilt, but let's be real here. Gus Malzahn can find a lot better head coaching job than Vanderbilt. He'll have his choice of any position that becomes available, be it one we already know of, or one that will come open after the season.

Vanderbilt is not the kind of school that Malzahn could walk into and experience success quickly, as the Commodores have a long mountain to climb if they want to contend in the SEC.  Sure, Malzahn would be a fantastic start to getting that accomplished, but I just can't see it happening.
Posted on: November 26, 2010 6:59 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 7:07 pm
 

Missed Tide chances aid epic Auburn comeback

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In an Iron Bowl for the ages, Auburn roared back from a 24-0 first-half deficit and defeated Alabama 28-27 this afternoon to remain on track for an undefeated season and BCS title game berth.

That sentence does only the barest minimum of justice, however, to an instant nominee for college football's game of the year and one of the greatest games ever played in what could be the sport's bitterest rivalry. Alabama didn't just dominate the game's first 25 minutes; they owned them lock, stock, and barrel, outgaining Auburn at one point 314 to 2. Greg McElroy had surpassed his career high in passing yards before the first half was out while Julio Jones simply did whatever he wanted to against Auburn's undersized and sloppy secondary. The comeback from 24 points ranks as the largest in Auburn history, and it still doesn't accurately represent how big a hole Auburn was in. To pull it off virtually guarantees Cam Newton the Heisman Trophy (provided the NCAA doesn't make a ruling against him in the next seven days) and Auburn's title as 2010's most distinguished comeback artists.

But that's also why as thoroughly as Auburn outplayed the Tide in the second half (the Tigers eventually pulled within 120 yards of Alabama on the total yardage ledger), the comeback truly began in the first. After scoring touchdowns on their first three drives, the Tide appeared well on their way to a fourth when Mark Ingram -- who hadn't fumbled in more than 400 touches -- was stripped from behind by Antoine Carter and saw the ball (unlukily, it has to be said) fly through the back of the end zone. The Tide's next possession ended at the 2-yard line after a first-and-goal. Another first-and-goal on the Tide's next possession ended in a McElroy fumble. Auburn trailed 24-7 at the half; they could have been down by 24, 27, 30 points with the game entirely over.

The blown opportunities continued in the second half. Late in the third, with Auburn looking to seize full control of the game, Quindarius Carr fumbled a punt to set Alabama up at the Tiger 27 and it took McElroy and Jones one play to move to Auburn's 12; they still settled for a field goal that loomed even larger once Auburn answered with the winning score on their ensuing drive. Alabama then drove inside Auburn's 35 over the course of 11 plays (and more than six precious minutes of clock), but punted after a Ingram loss and McElroy sack pushed them all the way out of field goal range. They would not threaten again.

So the headlines will discuss Newton's mental toughness, and Auburn's resilience, and Gene Chizik 's coaching staff's precision halftime adjustments, and they will have earned every one of those headlines. If there's been a bigger single-game accomplishment in college football this season than coming back from being 24 points down at Alabama, we're not aware of it.

But that doesn't mean Alabama didn't play a large role in their own demise, and that they won't be kicking themselves over letting this game get away for years (or in this rivalry, decades) to come.

For a video recap of the game, see below:



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com