Tag:Auburn
Posted on: October 25, 2010 6:57 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:11 pm
 

Davey O'Brien semifinalists announced; no Persa?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Davey O'Brien Award, given annually to the nation's top quarterback, announced its 16 semifinalists for the award today. The list is as follows, in alphabetical order:

 

  • Matt Barkley (Soph.), USC
  • Kirk Cousins (Jr.), Michigan State
  • Andy Dalton (Sr.), TCU
  • Blaine Gabbert (Jr.), Missouri
  • Robert Griffin III (Soph.), Baylor
  • Landry Jones (Soph.), Oklahoma
  • Colin Kaepernick (Sr.), Nevada
  • Andrew Luck (Jr.), Stanford
  • Ryan Mallett (Jr.), Arkansas
  • Taylor Martinez (Fr.), Nebraska
  • Kellen Moore (Jr.), Boise State
  • Cam Newton (Jr.), Auburn
  • Terrelle Pryor (Jr.), Ohio State
  • Denard Robinson (Soph.), Michigan
  • Ricky Stanzi (Sr.), Iowa
  • Darron Thomas (Soph.), Oregon

 

All in all, this is a pretty thorough list of the quarterbacks who might end up being the top quarterback in the nation once December rolls around, but it certainly does seem as if there was one glaring omission: Northwestern sophomore Dan Persa . Persa currently leads the nation in completion percentage, is eighth in passing efficiency  and is fifth in total offense . Oh, and Persa also leads his team in rushing yards (341) and rushing touchdowns (six) -- each by pretty substantial margins over the nearest teammate.

Of course, it certainly merits mention that Northwestern is currently on a two-game losing streak, and that the Wildcats hadn't really beaten anyone of merit before the streak either. But in the Wildcats' losses to Michigan State and Purdue -- neither of whom have lost a Big Ten game yet, for what it's worth -- Persa was hardly "at fault" for the losses; he averaged 281 yards of total offense in the two games and scored four touchdowns to just one turnover.

It's hard to say who should be bumped for Persa's sake, though; every one of the top 16 semifinalists has a legitimate claim to deserving some sort of accolade. It's also worth pointing out, however, that until Missouri and Oklahoma faced each other this past weekend, Dalton, Gabbert, and Jones were all quarterbacking undefeated teams, and that's probably the only reason they're on the list; Jones and Gabbert, in particular, aren't even close to the top 16 of passing efficiency in the nation (34th and 39th, respectively). None of the three are terribly gifted runners, either, while Persa's been forced to anchor the woeful Northwestern ground game.

Of course, the O'Brien Award probably wants to avoid the embarrassment of not being able to even nominate a title contender's quarterback as a finalist, and with two conference losses, it's extremely unlikely that Northwestern will represent the Big Ten in Pasadena, much less make a run at a spot in the Top 10. Persa and his Wildcats aren't high-profile, and that's enough to leave him off this list. Inclusion's academic either way, since this is clearly Cam Newton's to lose, but it'd be nice to see a quarterback like Persa rewarded for putting together one hell of a season so far even when he doesn't have the supporting cast to win 11 games in a season.


Posted on: October 24, 2010 1:01 am
 

What I learned from the SEC (Oct. 23)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Cam Newton is the greatest thing to happen to college football since Denard Robinson.   So this isn't exactly breaking news, but OMG CAM NEWTON IS FREAKING AWESOME.  I knew going into Saturday's game that the only way LSU could beat Auburn would be if they stopped Cam Newton, but I also knew that stopping Cam Newton is like trying to stop the Earth from spinning.  Unless Les Miles had control over a meteor -- and he might -- it just wasn't going to happen.  We're only 8 weeks into the season and Newton has already set the single-season rushing mark for a quarterback in the SEC with 1,077 yards.  If he keeps playing like this he should be allowed to take any laptop he wants.  Hell, he can have mine.

2. Nick Fairley is pretty special too.
  I said it during the game on Saturday, and I'll say it again here.  Nick Fairley just isn't going to stop until he has the head of every quarterback in the SEC mounted on his wall.  As great as Newton played on Saturday, the reason Auburn won was because every time LSU dropped back to pass, Nick Fairley was in the back field flinging people around like bean bags.

3. LSU only has so much "luck."
  I knew it was going to be hard for LSU to survive the entire season without a loss with a passing attack that works more like a retreat, and it came to a head on Saturday in Auburn.  Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson were only able to complete 15-of-28 passes for 89 yards.  That's 3.2 yards per attempt.  Against an Auburn secondary that was absolutely torched by Kentucky and Arkansas over the last two weeks.

4. South Carolina really needs Marcus Lattimore. 
We saw South Carolina struggle without Marcus Lattimore last week, succumbing to Kentucky and blowing an 18-point lead in the second half, and the Gamecocks struggled again against Vanderbilt without Lattimore this week.  Yes, South Carolina won the game, but it had a lot harder time handling Vandy than it should have.  The Gamecocks were only able to manage 2.9 yards per carry, and had to rely on Stephen Garcia.   That may work against Vanderbilt, but trust me, having to rely on Stephen Garcia to win games is rarely a good idea.

5. Georgia may just win the SEC East.  It's hard to believe that the Bulldogs are still alive, but they are, and they're dangerous.  They hung 40 points on an SEC opponent for the third straight week and thanks to four Kentucky turnovers, only needed 290 yards of offense to do it.  Oh, and if Washaun Ealey scores five touchdowns in every game, Georgia is going to be tough to beat.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 6:12 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 8:53 pm
 

Video: Cam Newton may win this Heisman thing

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

POSTGAME UPDATE: The play below was the highlight, but in the end the Auburn offense had plenty enough to see off LSU , 24-17. As in, had 527 total yards of offense , 25 first downs, a staggering 441 rushing yards, and a flatly unbelievable
8.5 average yards-per-carry. The big second-half blow was Onterio McCalebb 's 70-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter to give Auburn the final seven-point margin.

Nick Fairley continued to pace Auburn's defense (4 tackles-for-loss, 2.5 sacks), but the story here -- given the strength of the LSU defense -- is the rise of what is without question the SEC 's most fearsome offense ... and arguably, give or take an Oregon , the country's.


Auburn
leads LSU 17-10 in the third quarter, but even the score of this matchup of undefeated SEC heavyweights sort of pales next to a transcendent football play like this one from Cam Newton :






















If Newton wasn't already your Heisman front-runner, he is now. In fact, he's in danger of lapping the field.


Posted on: October 23, 2010 5:23 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 5:27 pm
 

Auburn-LSU tied in slugfest; Lee out?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Through one half, the LSU defense has lived up to its reputation ... and unfortunately for the visiting Tigers, so has their offense. Gus Malzahn 's dynamic Auburn offense was held to just 10 points and 177 yards in the first half, well below their season averages. While Cam Newton ran for 78 yards and a touchdown, he also threw for only 32 total yards and looked uncomfortable in the pocket against LSU's (arguably) SEC-best secondary.

But those 10 points were good enough for a 10-3 lead until the final 15 seconds of the half, when Jordan Jefferson escaped a Daren Bates tackle at the 10 and sprinted in to tie the game. The play capped a huge 14-play, 78-yard, momentum-changing drive for LSU following a missed field goal by the usually-reliable Wes Byrum , the miss wasting Auburn's own 13-play march. Both teams will kick themselves for missed opportunities; LSU took the ball across midfield on their first three possessions and scored just one 48-yard Josh Jasper field goal.

So who's got the upper hand? LSU will take the second-half kickoff, a big deal in what's shaping up as an extremely low-possession game, but LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee suffered a wrist injury just before the half; Les Miles just said he would play in the second half, but if he can't, can Jefferson throw well enough to keep LSU moving? Can Auburn use their big home crowd to propel themselves into a big second half, as they did against Clemson and South Carolina ? But what if Nick Fairley really has a head injury and has to miss the second half himself?

The Lee injury might tilt the odds slightly in Auburn's favor, but after 30 minutes, things are way too close to call.

Don't forget to stop by Tom Fornelli's live Facebook chat during the second half and have your say.

Posted on: October 23, 2010 2:03 pm
 

Join us for a live chat during Auburn and LSU

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Watching college football is fun.  I know, I do it every Saturday for about 13 hours.  This afternoon I'll be watching Auburn and LSU battle on CBS, listening in on the soothing, dulcet tones of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson.   You should watch too, because it should be a pretty good game.

Know what would make the game even better, though?  Chatting about it with me.  If only there was some kind of way to do that.....

Oh, wait, there is!  I'll be hosting a live chat over at our Facebook page in which I'll be talking about the game and answering your questions about what the hell Les Miles happens to be thinking.  So make sure you join me there at 3:30 Eastern.

I promise, it will change your life forever.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 12:24 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:13 pm
 

Game day weather updates, Week 8

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. You like storms? We got storms. There's a front moving through the nation's heartland, and there's copious amounts of rain all the way from Chicago to Texas. Will this affect Missouri-Oklahoma? All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

Purdue at No. 11 Ohio State, 12:00, Columbus, OH: Upper 50s, clear

Syracuse at No. 20 West Virginia, 12:00, Morgantown, WV: Mid 60s, mostly cloudy

No. 8 Michigan State at Northwestern, 12:00, Evanston, IL: Upper 50s, rain

Ole Miss at No. 21 Arkansas, 12:21, Fayetteville, AR: Upper 60s, cloudy (storms later)

Afternoon kickoffs

No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 12 Iowa, 3:30, Iowa City, IA: Upper 60s, chance of rain

No. 6 LSU at No. 5 Auburn, 3:30, Auburn, AL: Upper 70s, clear

No. 14 Nebraska at No. 17 Oklahoma State, 3:30, Stillwater, OK: Mid 70s, chance of storms

Evening kickoffs

No. 7 Alabama at Tennessee, 7:00, Knoxville, TN: Mid 60s, partly cloudy

No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 18 Missouri, 8:00, Columbia, MO: Mid 60s, scattered storms

Air Force at No. 4 TCU, 8:00, Fort Worth, TX: Upper 60s, scattered storms

Late night kickoffs

Washington at No. 15 Arizona, 10:15, Tucson, AZ: Upper 60s, partly cloudy


Posted on: October 22, 2010 5:49 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 8

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.

Breakfast

Main Course - Northwestern vs. #8 Michigan State - Noon - ESPN

Michigan State leads the way for breakfast for the second straight week, which is what happens when you're the only undefeated team left in the Big Ten.  Be forewarned, though, just because this matchup doesn't seem all that appealing, it...ok, it isn't really.  It's just that the morning slate is light again because that's just the way things work in this television dominated world.

Still, the Spartans shouldn't take Northwestern all that lightly.  First of all, no road game is easy, even if it's being played in a stadium with 35 people in it.  Yes, Northwestern inexplicably dropped a game to Purdue last week, but that's Northwestern's style.  It has a tendency to play to its opponents.  So there's a chance that the Wildcats could hand MSU it's first "Sparty, no!" of the season.

Side Orders: Ohio State hosts Purdue, and this game may be interesting for a few reasons.  First of all, it's our first chance to see how the Buckeyes will respond following a loss, and they'll also be looking for revenge for last season's loss in West Lafayette.  Speaking of revenge, I'm sure Notre Dame wouldn't mind beating Navy and starting a new trend there as well.  Or you can just watch Texas, West Virginia and Virginia Tech romp over some conference foes.

Lunch

Main Course - #5 Auburn vs. #6 LSU - 3:30pm - CBS

Two undefeated Tigers roll into Jordan-Hare on Saturday, and only one will emerge.  Who is it going to be?  Well, there are going to be two different games being played in this one.  There's the game between each team's strength -- Auburn's offense and LSU's defense -- and their weakness -- Auburn's defense and LSU's offense.

Odds are that whichever team's weakness best resembles a strength is going to emerge victorious, and have a much easier path to the SEC title and possibly a BCS game.  If you're wondering which way I'm leaning, well, I'll just say that one team has Cam Newton at quarterback and the other has some indecipherable combination of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee.

Also, I'll be doing a live-chat during this game over at our Facebook page, so stop on by and make fun of Les Miles for four hours with me, won't you?

Side Orders: The afternoon is packed with some big games this week.  If for some reason two undefeated teams battling it out isn't good enough for you, you can always go with Iowa and Wisconsin or the also undefeated Oklahoma State taking on previously undefeated Nebraska.

Dinner

Main Course - #18 Missouri vs. #3 Oklahoma - 8pm - ABC

Personally, I've been waiting to dig in to this one for a while.  I've seen Missouri play a few times this season, and as I've said here before, I'm just not sure what to  make of them.  The Tigers are a good team, but are they really 11th in the BCS good?  Is that what a couple of victories over some 3-3 BCS teams and nobody else gets you these days?

Whatever the case, we'll find out on Saturday night.  If the Tigers can knock off the team that sits atop the current BCS standings, then I guess we have to take them seriously. 

Though, I feel I should point this out as well, just so Missouri fans can hate me a little less, I think Oklahoma is a bit overrated as well.  Still, I think the Sooners will prove to be better on Saturday night.

Side Orders: Bit of an light night on the menu this week.  There really aren't any other marquee matchups being played on Saturday night.  Kentucky and Georgia could be interesting seeing as how both teams are still alive in the SEC East, but other than that the only game that even catches my eye is TCU and Air Force.   Though, if you hate yourself, you could always tune in to Texas A&M and Kansas.

Late Night Snack

The Washington Huskies have found a home as a late-night snack here.  I've featured them here twice in the last few weeks, and they're undefeated in those games.  Can they run the streak to three on the road against an Arizona team that is without Nick Foles?
Posted on: October 21, 2010 5:34 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2010 7:29 pm
 

Cam Newton raising Alabama football art stakes

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The production and sale of college football-related art is a multi-billion dollar business* in the state of Alabama, and no one profits from it more than Daniel A. Moore , the Birmingham-based artist whose oil paintings of famous moments in Alabama football history have made him a household name statewide. An example from last year's narrow escape against Tennessee :



Each and every Moore production is wildly anticipated (and eventually purchased by the thousands) by Crimson Tide fans in much the same way indie rock geeks salivate over their favorite band's next release.

Auburn fans, however, haven't had any equivalent single artist to turn to for their artistic needs. But maybe that's just a case of not having the right artist with the right motivation. Not surprisingly, budding Heisman candidate/Auburn folk hero Cam Newton may just be that motivation, as painter Carolyn Foret describes on her website:

Inspiration hit me fast last weekend! Pardon me right now, Alabama fans or those not interested in football! But CAM NEWTON came to life on my easel after watching him superman himself into the end zone a couple of times for my team, AUBURN UNIVERSITY.
What does that life look like? Like this:



A gauntlet may have just been thrown down in Mr. Moore's direction. Maybe more to the point: if you needed any better evidence of the hold Newton and his seismic impact already have on the imaginations of Auburn fans, you've got it.

*Possibly a slight exaggeration.

HT: @warblogle .


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