Tag:BCS National Championship Game
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:21 am

PODCAST: LSU beat writer Les East

Posted by Chip Patterson

Les East, of The Advocate, sits down to talk LSU with Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst in preparation for the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9. If the Tigers are able to beat Alabama again, how do they stack up against the greatest teams in college football history? The group also breaks down the Bayou Bengals secondary, and try to identify the best cornerback on the team.

Les also gives some insight into what has made Les Miles a great coach, and they break down the most important aspects of Monday's title game. SPOILER ALERT: Special teams might be important in this game.

Remember, all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store.

You can listen to the podcast in the player below, pop out a player to keep browsing, or download the MP3 right to your computer.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: January 14, 2011 12:53 pm

Nick Fairley declares for draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Auburn made a living out of defying expectations this season, but unfortunately for them, expectations have finally won out when it's come to early draft declarations. Cam Newton announced he was taking his skills to the NFL last night, and today Lombardi Award winner and national championship game defensive MVP Nick Fairley made it official: he's forgoing his senior season on the Plains to go pro as well.

Though Fairley reportedly became emotional during the announcement and thanked the "Auburn Nation" for their support, the decision couldn't have really been all that difficult. An unstoppable force on the Tiger defensive line this season and one coming off of a dominating performance in the BCS title game, Fairley is the No. 1 defensive tackle in the draft according to many and could go as high as the No. 1 overall pick. Barring some kind of catastrophe in pre-draft workouts, Fairley is a mortal lock to go in the top five; our draft gurus here at CBS have him at No. 3 and No. 4 in their current mocks , respectively.

Combine that kind of payday with the facts that Fairley is already four years out of high school (having spent two seasons, one a redshirt, at a Mississippi junior college) and has won virtually every honor there is for a defensive lineman to win on both the team and individual level, and there was really only one choice for Fairley to make. Like his teammate Newton, Fairley was more blinding supernova than enduring college star -- he started only two games and recorded just 3.5 tackles-for-loss in 2009, before blowing up for 24 this year -- but that won't keep him from being remembered at Auburn (and in college football in general) for a long, long time.

Posted on: January 10, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 5:50 pm

Join us for tonight's game

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Tonight is a bittersweet evening for us here at the College Football Blog.  On the surface, we're all extremely excited for the title game between Auburn and Oregon tonight.  No matter how you feel about the BCS and the way that college football settles things, it's hard to argue that the matchup between these two teams isn't as good as it will get in college football this season.

Underneath all of that, though, remains one rather depressing fact. After tonight, we don't have any more college football games for nearly nine months.  That's an entire pregnancy.  That's right, an entire living human can be conceived and formed in the time that will pass before you get to see your favorite schools line up on a Saturday afternoon again.

Still, we'll deal with that crippling withdrawal when we have to.  For now, we soldier on and look forward to the legends that tonight will bring.  No matter where you're watching the game, just know that the boys and I will have you covered.  If you like, you can join me, Tom Fornelli, over on our Facebook page as I'll be holding a live chat throughout the game.  If Twitter is more your thing, then follow our Twitter account (@CBSSportsNCAAF) where Adam Jacobi will be making observations about what he sees.  Or, if the social media thing just isn't your scene, you can stay right here on the blog.  Chip Patterson will have live updates here on the site all night long.

So join us tonight as we celebrate the culmination of what has been our first season here with you at CBSSports.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, and in the end, you'll know that no matter what happens, you're a better person for just being there.  Or you'll just have spent a few hours watching a great football game.  Whatever you prefer.  Just join us, won't you?
Posted on: January 8, 2011 2:21 pm

Newton investigation still ongoing

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Cam Newton will be taking the field Monday night in Glendale. There's no doubt about that. But it doesn't mean he's out of the NCAA woods just yet.

That's the biggest takeway from this report by Fox Sports' Thayer Evans , who spoke to a pair of Atlanta-area contractors who had agreed to do repairs on Cecil Newton's church in Newnan, Ga., and were interviewed by NCAA investigators the week before Christmas. The good news for Cam is that both said they weren't aware of any kind of scheme to funnel money to the Newtons:
[Emory] Wilcox and [Eddie] Norris, listed on separate city permits for work to be done on Cecil Newton’s struggling Holy Zion Center of Deliverance, each told the NCAA investigators that they were never asked to deliver nor did they deliver money to Newton.

“There may be something there, but nothing related to me,” Norris told FOXSports.com.

The interviews also did nothing to support the theory that the Newtons had used an illicitly-paid windfall to repair the church, as Wilcox revealed that Cecil had yet to pay him for even minor electrical work. The church has avoided being condemned, a Newnan city spokeswoman confirmed, but is not yet up to code enough to host church services.

Despite all that, Evans' story illustrates that while the attention into the investigation into Newton's eligibility has waned, the investigation itself is carrying on all the same. Until the NCAA announces that it's officially concluded its look into the Newtons' finances -- and that that look produced nothing damning -- the possibility will remain that the next overturned log will uncover the improper benefits that would make Cam ineligible for the 2010 season. 

Posted on: January 6, 2011 10:51 am

Gibbs to roll White House tree for Auburn win

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If you're a college football fan, you likely know that after a big Auburn victory, Tiger fans swarm famous Toomer's Corner to roll the live oak trees there with roll after roll (after roll) of toilet paper. It's one of the school's oldest (and most fun) traditions. But what do you do if you're an Auburn fan who's potentially desperate to get his or her roll on after the BCS National Championship but living nowhere near Toomer's Corner?

If you're White House press secretary and Tiger diehard Robert Gibbs, you make plans to roll a very different, very high-ranking tree instead:
[S]hould his Auburn Tigers beat the Oregon Ducks on Monday night, Gibbs says he is planning a special D.C. celebration.

A toilet paper roll on a White House tree.

"If Auburn wins, I will come back, I will get a little agreement with the Secret Service," Gibbs said in an interview with the CBS College Sports Network to air tonight. "We'll put a couple of rolls [of toilet paper] up there, and then I can help take it down so it doesn't look like we trashed the place."

It helps to have friends in (and work in) high places, we suppose. All Auburn fans ask is that, in the event of a Tiger victory, someone snap a picture of the White House with the celebratory rolls up. All other fans interested in not confusing the international community with photographs of what would appear to be vandalism on the White House lawn ask is that, you know, Oregon wins.

The interview with Gibbs can be seen on tonight's edition of the Tony Barnhart Show, 10 p.m. EST on CBSCS.

HT: @kleph

Posted on: December 16, 2010 12:29 pm

Trooper Taylor sues school over son's braids

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Since polishing off South Carolina to win the SEC Championship Game and claim their berth in the national title game, the coaching staff at Auburn has stayed in the headlines. Unfortunately, it's been for reasons other than their coaching prowess: Gene Chizik's hitting the incentives jackpot , Gus Malzahn's hot-and-heavy flirtation with the Vanderbilt head coaching job, and now assistant head coach Trooper Taylor is in the news for suing his son's school over his hairstyle :

Taylor’s son Blaise Taylor , a 9th-grader who refused to remove his braids, has been prevented from playing for the junior varsity basketball team because of his hairstyle. Blaise refused to change it, saying braids were important to him as a connection to his role models.

On Friday in Montgomery, the Taylors filed a federal lawsuit alleging head basketball coach Frank Tolbert’s grooming policy is racially discriminatory since it singles out a hairstyle almost exclusively worn by black players while allowing white players to wear unkempt hair.

With the Auburn City Schools board standing by Tolbert (who is black), the suit is expected to be heard in court on Dec. 21.

Whether any of this -- Taylor's suit, Malzahn's Vandy discussions, even Cam Newton's Heisman win and subsequent media victory lap -- has any impact on the actual football to be played in Glenale is highly, highly debatable; with 25 days still to go until Jan. 10 and virtually all of the Tigers' planning and preparation still ahead of them, there's still plenty of time for Auburn to put any and all distractions behind them and focus on the task at hand.

Nonetheless, if we're wondering which team's head coach is happier with his team's break from the practice grind, we're betting Oregon coach Chip Kelly will take the relative calm around Eugene over the relative hubbub that seems to be surrounding Chizik's program at the moment.


Posted on: December 10, 2010 11:11 am

Trial delayed in Alabama for BCS title game

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It happened last year when Alabama made it to Pasadena to play for a crystal football, so it's no surprise that it's happened again now that Auburn has advanced to Glendale to do the same: a scheduled trial in the most college football-mad state in he union has been delayed by a federal judge so that one of the lawyers involved can attend the BCS National Championship Game. As the Birmingham News reports:
Michael Mulvaney, one of the attorneys representing the Hartford Fire Insurance Co. in a civil case in federal court in Mobile, filed a motion Wednesday requesting that a trial scheduled for January begin on Jan. 17 or be continued to February in light of the championship game.

"As a life-long Auburn fan, I am asking the Court for grace and mercy to allow me to take my family (wife and 3 daughters) to the game, which is set for January 10, 2011 ... " Mulvaney writes in his motion ... "Since the last National Championship Game for Auburn was 1957 (and I was born in 1965) it is fair to say that this is a once in a life-time opportunity," Mulvaney wrote. "Without Cam Newton (or Nick Saban as our coach) it is hard to imagine this ever happening again."
There are many remarkable details included in the story. A few of them:

1. Mulvaney included several photos of his daughters wearing Auburn clothing as part of his argument. The ruling judge cited "Exhibit A," a portrait of his youngest in an Auburn cheerleading outfit, as reason to delay the trial.

2. As an Auburn fan herself, the judge claimed a "unique understanding" of Mulvaney's complaint.

3. The mention of Nick Saban as a coach more likely to take his team to the national title game was included, Mulvaney said, "in case the judge was an Alabama fan."

4. The other lawyers involved in the case -- one of which was an Alabama fan who acknowledged that a similar request was granted last year -- seemed universally in agreement that the trial should be delayed.

It seems reductive and stereotypical to say "only in Alabama" ... but until the legal system starts taking its cues from the college football schedule somewhere else in the country, it's also probably only fair.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 10:21 am
Edited on: December 10, 2010 11:12 am

Report: Vandy offers Malzahn"ballpark" $3M a year

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Given who's making the offer, this report from the Tennessean might say more about the upward spiral of college coaching salaries (particularly in the SEC ) than Nick Saban's contract at Alabama ever could. Why? Because it claims that Vanderbilt -- Vanderbilt! -- has just offered to pay Auburn's offensive coordinator some several hundred thousand dollars more per year in salary than his own league title-winning head coach earns :
Auburn coor­di­na­tor Gus Mal­zahn , who was in town Wed­nes­day, is thought to have recei­ved another offer from Van­der­bilt that approaches the ball­park of $3 million per year.
Say this much for Vandy: now that we know that the SEC's most downtrodden football program has the capacity to come up with this kind of scratch (though we're still not sure how ), it makes a lot more sense why they parted ways with Robbie Caldwell after only one season. When you can make this kind of play for a property as hot as Malzahn, there's no reason to hold on to a well-meaning-but-limited coach like Caldwell.

As for whether Malzahn will accept, both the report above and the one preceding it at the Tennesseean make clear that despite the chance to double and possibly triple his maximum salary at Auburn, he hasn't accepted just yet. (Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin has apparently moved up to second in the Commodore pecking order and would get the call if Malzahn declines.) He could be willing to wait out the falling dominoes at Florida and then possibly Mississippi State or Arkansas; they might not pay him as much as the Vandy offer and would be almost as difficult a job, traditionally speaking, but the latter would give him a chance to coach in his home state for a fanbase that is already wildly fond of him. That might be worth waiting on, though when we're talking about a ballpark $3 million bird in the hand, it also might not be.

In any case, it looks like Auburn will have to have those dominoes fall exactly right -- Malzahn waits on MSU/Arkansas, Vandy moves on to Franklin, Mullen goes to Florida, State can't make a strong enough offer or goes in a different direction -- to retain Malzahn's services for another year. The far more likely result at this stage is that he's gone, and that the bigger question for the Tigers now is simply keeping Malzahn as focused on the BCS National Championship Game as they can amidst the coaching storm.


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