Tag:Auburn
Posted on: November 12, 2010 6:37 pm
 

Insane Predictions, Week 11

Posted by College Football Blog staff

Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that TCU would drop a 47-7 bomb on Utah last week? We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.

Somewhat Plausible

San Diego State plays the role of BCS spoiler by upsetting TCU in Fort Worth, 27-24. Andy Dalton struggles against an aggressive defense, and SDSU takes advantage of numerous turnovers to crack the TCU defensive wall. While Boise State fans squeal with glee at their new life in the BCS Championship Game race, the win solidifies Brady Hoke as the hottest coaching prospect in America. By Monday morning, Hoke has job offers from Colorado, Minnesota, and Texas. Yep: Texas. --Adam Jacobi

Highly Unlikely

In Columbus, the Ohio State Buckeyes take on Penn State with their Big Ten title hopes still alive. Though PSU walk-on quarterback Matt McGloin has been somewhat impressive over the last few games, he hasn't faced a defense near the quality of Ohio State's -- and the Buckeyes know it. As a result, they're a bit over confident and are completely blindsided when McGloin explodes for 500 yards passing and six touchdowns as the Nittany Lions embarrass Ohio State 45-3. In a state of shock after the game, Jim Tressel completely breaks character and alleges that when Matt McGloin tried to walk on at Ohio State, he told the coaches he wouldn't play without a scholarship for less than $200,000.  Ohio State refused, and then McGloin walked on at Penn State.  "Do the math," says Tressel, and a media firestorm then ensues, leading to weeks of unnamed sources saying that McGloin might have taken or asked for money, but he also might not have.  Nobody really knows, and no evidence is ever found, and McGloin and Penn State are never punished.  Then the heads of all the BCS conferences meet in their secret lair and pat each other on the back for creating yet another diversion to keep everyone from talking about a playoff or bashing the BCS. --Tom Fornelli

Severely Unlikely

Facing a Cal defense already torn to ribbons by the other funky, explosive rushing attack the Bears have faced this season (i.e, Nevada 's), LaMichael James, Darron Thomas, and the rest of Chip Kelly 's Oregon offense spend most of the first quarter in the highest gear imaginable, running with impunity and snapping the ball only seconds after it's set by the official. As the Bears wear down and offer even less resistance, the Ducks get faster and faster, quicker and quicker, until late in the second quarter (with the score already 51-3) the Ducks appear to violate one of the fundamental laws of the college football space-time continuum by snapping the ball before it's even been set. As Thomas is hauled down for a 32-yard gain on the ensuing play, fans notice that the Ducks' usual eye-searing uniforms are ... changing? Changing, into something even more eye-searing: they've gone plaid. In green-and-yellow, nonetheless.

Although the new look is panned by virtually every fan and pundit watching, recruits in attendance reportedly "love it" and say it will "definitely" aid the Ducks' effort to land their signatures. --Jerry Hinnen

Downright Ridiculous

The Cam Newton saga takes an incredible turn on Friday evening before the Tigers host Georgia.  The NCAA informs Auburn that it is not Newton, but the rest of the offense which must sit out against the Bulldogs.  Staring down less than 24 hours to replace an entire offense, head coach Gene Chizik is clueless.  But not Newton.  Cecil Newton finds a loophole in the NCAA rules (of course he does ), that allows his son to take the field with 10 members of the U12 Louisiana Blitz, a club soccer team from New Orleans.  In the most bizarre Heisman moment in history, Newton and the middle schoolers put up 49 points on Georgia's defense.  Newton throws for 200 yards, rushes for 200 yards, and catches a touchdown from the starting goalie just to prove a point.  At the end of the game, Newton picks up a guitar and leads the entire stadium in a rendition of Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler." Because, as Newton says, "That's funny to Cam." --Chip Patterson

Posted on: November 12, 2010 4:47 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 11

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.

I know you couldn't tell if you have been following the news in college football this week, but there are actually games to be played on Saturday.  I know, I didn't believe it either, but it's true.  There's more to college football than just off the field issues concerning agents, players asking for money, and the NCAA possibly punishing those players because the only people allowed to make money from this sport are the NCAA, not those punk kids who make it for them.

But I promise you, there are games ON the field as well.  Here are some of the best ones for you to watch on Saturday in between updates on what Cam Newton may or may not have done.

Breakfast

Main Course - Northwestern vs. #13 Iowa - Noon - ESPN

Looking at this game on the surface, it doesn't seem all the impressive.  Northwestern is currently in eighth place in the Big Ten, and has lost three of its last four games.  What's the big deal?

Well, Iowa isn't out of the Big Ten title hunt.  This game means a lot to the Hawkeyes for both their BCS aspirations and it provides therapeutic value.  You see, Northwestern has been a thorn in Iowa's side for years now, as Northwestern has won four of the last five meetings.  That includes last season when the Wildcats knocked Ricky Stanzi out for the last three games of the regular season, and handed Iowa its first loss.  Which eventually led to Stanzi missing the Ohio State game and a chance to win the Big Ten.

Side Orders: Not a lot of great choices this morning, but not as terrible as it has been in recent weeks.  There's Missouri and Kansas State who both have a remote chance to win the Big 12 North, but a loss in this game would kill either's chance.  There's also Miami taking on Georgia Tech, and the 'Canes can't afford to lose if they want a chance to play for the ACC title.  If those don't do it for you, I guess you could watch West Virginia and Cincinnati in the latest installment of "The Big East Presents: Something That Is Supposed to Resemble Football."

Lunch

Main Course - #2 Auburn vs. Georgia - 3:30pm - CBS

Listen, you've spent all week hearing about Cam Newton anyway, so why wouldn't you want to actually watch him play this week against Georgia?  I mean, when you think about it, you can't really be sure how many more chances you'll get to see Newton play at Auburn, so you should probably take advantage while you still can.

Oh, and there's also the fact that Auburn is still alive for a national championship, and with a win against Georgia, the Tigers would wrap up the SEC West and a trip to Atlanta.

As for Georgia, hard as it is to believe given the way it started the season, is only one win shy of being bowl eligible.  What a better way to do it than by knocking off the top team in the conference and destroying any chance they have to play for a national title?

Side Orders: There are some other quality non-Cam Newton related games going on during the afternoon as well.  Ohio State hosts Penn State, looking to keep hopes alive for a Big Ten title and trip to the Rose Bowl.  Oklahoma looks to right the ship at home against Texas Tech, and Virginia Tech can just about wrap up the ACC Coastal with a win at North Carolina.

Dinner

Main Course - #24 Florida vs. #22 South Carolina - 7:15pm - ESPN

The SEC East has been wide open all season long, but finally, it all comes down to one game on Saturday night in Gainesville. 

Even though it's been a down season for Florida compared to recent standards, the Gators still have a chance to get to Atlanta and win another SEC title should they get past the Gamecocks. On the flip side, Steve Spurrier still has a chance to win the SEC East and the SEC for the first time as head coach at South Carolina.

South Carolina hasn't played well since knocking off Alabama last month, but it still has a chance to salvage the season if it can knock off the Gators.

Side Orders: Plenty of other good games going on Saturday night if you prefer to look elsewhere.  Alabama can shake off the disappointment of last week's loss against LSU by knocking Mississippi State down a peg, and speaking of disappointment, Texas can boost its morale with a win over Oklahoma State as well.  There's also Oregon looking to stay undefeated at Cal, Arizona hosting USC and Stanford rolling in to Arizona State in the Pac-10.

Late Night Snack

Listen, I've developed a slight infatuation with Colin Kaepernick this season.  It's just every time I see him running down the field I can't help but think of an ostrich, and this amuses me to no end.  Why?  I don't know, it just does.  Tune in to see Kaepernick and Nevada take on Fresno State on Saturday night and find out if you see it too.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 4:23 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 10:49 pm
 

Auburn on Cam Newton's eligiblity: 'No comment'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In light of Kenny Rogers' comments yesterday, it certainly seems as if Cam Newton 's eligibility could be in question. After all, Rogers directly implicates Cam's father Cecil Newton in a plot to secure payment from Mississippi State for Cam's recruitment, and that is itself a major NCAA violation regardless of whether any money changed hands.

It's important to note, however, that Newton has not been declared ineligible by anybody, nor has the NCAA publicly recommended that Newton sit until the end of the investigation -- as North Carolina did with its 13 players and as Georgia did with A.J. Green -- to begin the season. The one change in the situation, however, is that Auburn is now refusing to comment on whether Newton's going to play this week.

Of course, if Auburn is still planning on playing Newton for the rest of the season, as Gene Chizik had insisted earlier in the week, it might not be in the Tigers' best interests to maintain that stance. After all, the more uncertainty Georgia has about Newton's status, the more Mark Richt has to prepare his team for Newton's backup, likely sophomore Barrett Trotter.

And yet, Auburn runs a serious risk of incurring more NCAA wrath than necessary if it continues to play Cam Newton in the face of major allegations. It's one thing for the Tigers to maintain no role in funneling money to Cecil Newton or his church, and that may very well end up being the case. But if the school is aware of allegations of severe misconduct by people connected to one of its players and lets that player be on the field anyway, it won't have much of a case for leniency if the NCAA concludes the allegations were legitimate. That's the type of hubris that can cost a school wins, bowl eligibility, and scholarships -- not to mention cost a head coach his job.



Posted on: November 11, 2010 3:52 pm
 

Boise's Rose Bowl hopes aren't dead yet

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There's a little known rule in the agreement between the Rose Bowl and BCS that could end up meaning a trip to Pasadena for Boise State this year should they miss out on a chance to play for a national title.  You see, when the Rose Bowl entered into a partnership with the BCS, it did so under the grounds that should one of their traditional choices -- the champions of the Pac-10 and Big 10 -- be chosen to play in the BCS Championship Game, the Rose Bowl would get the first choice of BCS-eligible teams to replace them.

A choice that has never included a non-BCS conference school.

In fact, the six times that a non-BCS team has played in a BCS bowl over the last few years, all six teams have played in the Fiesta or Sugar Bowls, with the Fiesta hosting four of them -- including both TCU and Boise State last January.

So as part of a new deal, the other BCS bowls approached the Rose Bowl and asked them to take a non-BCS school once during the next four years should one of its traditional choices not be available.

Which is a situation that looks very possible this year, with Oregon on top both voter polls and second in the BCS.  Should Oregon win out, odds are they'll be playing for a title, not in the Rose Bowl.  So the Rose Bowl would be looking for a team to replace them.

Now, they could take Stanford, and keep the traditional matchup against the Big Ten champion.  Or they could go TCU, but there's also a chance that TCU will qualify for the title game should Auburn drop a game before then.

Considering all the Cam Newton drama, and the fact that the Tigers have three games left against Georgia, Alabama and whoever wins the SEC East, this isn't exactly a longshot.

Still, if TCU went to the title game, the Rose Bowl wouldn't be obligated to take Boise this season because only one non-BCS conference school needs to be selected each season.  That being said, it may make more sense for the Rose Bowl to take Boise this year, and the Rose Bowl's director of media, Gina Chappin, says it's something the bowl has been considering.

“We have discussed it because of the situation that we’re in and the current landscape of the season so far,” said Gina Chappin.

“We entered this year with the reality that this was going to happen sooner or later. I don’t think any of us expected to get through this four-year cycle and not have this be something that would be a reality.”

If you think about it, it would make a lot of sense for the Rose Bowl to take Boise State over Stanford.  First of all, if you are required to do so at some point in the next four years, why not do it quickly and get the obligation out of the way?

There's also the fact that Boise State is a really good football team right now, and there's no guarantee that three years from now, should the Rose Bowl find itself in the same situation, that a non-AQ school will be available that is as good as this Boise State team.

Also, Boise State has already shown that it can compete and win BCS bowl games, and that it has a fan base that will travel and scoop up tickets in droves to the games.

It's possible that more Boise State fans would make the trip to Pasadena than Stanford fans would.  The Broncos are also a television draw, not that the Rose Bowl needs any real help there, but plenty of college football fans would be interested in seeing Boise State take on the Big Ten champion.
Posted on: November 11, 2010 11:49 am
 

Kiffin says Newton never asked UT for money

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Remember the good old days of the SEC when the only "controversy" was what Lane Kiffin had done or said?  Then Kiffin left Knoxville for USC, which has had its own issues with the NCAA lately, but not before he made an attempt to recruit Cam Newton while Newton was at Blinn Junior College after leaving Florida.   So, naturally, now that the college football world is one of Newton, Newton, Newton and more Newton, it only makes sense that somebody would ask Kiffin if anything unseemly took place during Newton's recruitment.

When asked directly if Newton or anyone claiming to represent Newton ever asked for money during the recruitment, Kiffin said "no."  Though he also said that Tennessee wasn't that actively involved in recruiting him, because he wasn't a great fit for the Tennessee system.  Newton was never offered a scholarship by Tennessee, something Kiffin said "doesn't make me look very smart."

Kiffin also went on to say that his time spent in the SEC gave him a unique perspective on the situation, because "you hear so many things down there."

"I remember so many things said about me that weren't accurate," Kiffin said. "It was a good lesson learned. If something comes on the radio or in print, I don't think there are any facts to it at all until someone shows some proof. This is a perfect example."

Kiffin is the second head coach to recruit Newton, along with Bob Stoops, who has come out and said that money was never involved during the process.  Which is a good sign for all those Auburn fans hoping Newton is cleared of all this, but it doesn't prove anything.  All it means is that Newton is either innocent, or that Oklahoma and Tennessee were never really in the running for his services.
Posted on: November 11, 2010 3:37 am
 

Why doesn't SEC know about Newton calls?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Last night, the latest bombshell dropped on the Cam Newton ordeal was that Mississippi State recruiters had been specifically told by Newton and his father, Cecil Newton , that money had played a pivotal role in Newton's recruitment to Auburn over MSU. On its face, the charge is damning; if evidence exists of Newton and his father leading MSU to believe that it would need to pay money to recruit him, that's a serious problem, and the NCAA would need to know that immediately.

Except... here's the thing. Mississippi State acknowledged just today that it let the SEC know of the Cam Newton recruiting situation in January. That was 10 months ago. And yet, 10 months after that fact, here's what an SEC spokesperson said today :

SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said Wednesday evening that there was also no mention of the reported conversations in either of the school’s reports to the league.

Okay, great, but those exact conversations were reported on a major media outlet when they were reported on ESPN last night. So here's what we're hoping someone at Mississippi State can answer: why is ESPN learning about incriminating conversations before the SEC?

If a school has knowledge and evidence of serious wrongdoing in recruiting, as we've all been led to believe Mississippi State has against Auburn, it is incumbent upon that school to divulge as much of that information as possible to the appropriate authorities. And indeed, Mississippi State has been on the offensive as far as representing itself as a responsible steward of the SEC's rules, reportedly declining to pay the Newton family any money and reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities .

And yet, it defies immediate logic that MSU could be this proactive in enforcing the SEC's rules and yet neglect to mention this, the most obvious and egregious flaunting of the of SEC's rules among what MSU has reported so far. Why?

 

Posted on: November 11, 2010 1:06 am
 

Lombardi Award list trimmed to four finalists

Posted by Adam Jacobi

There are still four weeks of regular season football left, but the Lombardi Award has evidently seen enough to select four finalists already. The finalists for the Lombardi Award, given annually to the top lineman or linebacker in college football (no linebackers are in the running this season), are listed below.

  • Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
  • Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
  • Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
  • Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU

Clayborn is unlikely to win, as his 2010 statistics aren't nearly at the level of last season; it'll take an Iowa win over Ohio State that prominently features Clayborn in a disruptive role to bring him into the conversation as a potential winner. Even then, it might not do much to the overall narrative.

Nick Fairley was relatively unheralded coming into the season, but he has been an absolute terror on the interior and is easily the defensive MVP for the undefeated Auburn team. His 18 tackles for a loss lead all defensive tackles; he's got to be a unanimous All-American at DT this season.

TCU's offense is rolling, and Jake Kirkpatrick is the presumptive winner of the Rimington Award this season, but an offensive lineman hasn't won the award since Orlando Pace won at Ohio State in 1995 and 1996. Though we mean zero disrespect to Kirkpatrick, he is not the transformative blocking talent that Pace was, and Kirkpatrick will probably be the first to agree (humility is sort of an offensive lineman's "thing"; this usually only intensifies toward the middle of the line).

That leaves Da'Quan Bowers, the star defensive end for Clemson. Bowers leads the nation in both sacks and tackles for loss, and has generally made iife hell for opposing quarterbacks; while the Clemson defense's touchdowns and yards per pass are generally pretty pedestrian, its overall pass efficiency defense is one of the better in the nation. The incompletion percentage and interception percentages, meanwhile, are relatively high. That means one thing: pressured passes ahoy, and plenty of that credit goes to a terrorizing defensive line. Unless Clemson collapses down the stretch, this award is Bowers's to lose, and it would be an honor well-earned.

Posted on: November 10, 2010 1:19 pm
 

Chizik says Newton will play against Georgia

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Twitter has been ablaze this morning with Cam Newton rumors, as you'd expect given all that is going on with the Auburn quarterback and Heisman front-runner.  There were reports this morning that a radio station in Dallas was reporting that Newton would be suspended by the NCAA later this afternoon, though that report was quickly squashed by the same radio host who reportedly had said it.

Really, the only thing we know about Newton right now is that he's being investigated by the NCAA, and that he hasn't been suspended yet.  We also know, thanks to his head coach Gene Chizik, that Newton will be playing this Saturday against Georgia.   Chizik made that clear during his weekly stint on the SEC teleconference before letting everyone know he only wanted to discuss on-field issues.



Of course, that's the plan for now.  Considering everything that has gone on with this investigation, who knows what the situation will be by Saturday?  Hell, who knows what it will be three hours or twenty minutes from now?  I'm just waiting for the report that says Newton was the second shooter on the grassy knoll, or that he kidnapped the Lindbergh baby.
 
 
 
 
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