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1.22.2008

News of the day, 1/22

Hey everyone. It's been a few days. I know, I know. You've been thirsting for more of the HABOTN. We'll, I'm here for you. Again.

Let me start by saying that I'm super geeked about the new project we're beginning at the Montgomery Advertiser. On Wednesday, I'll be wading into east Montgomery asking people for their opinions on the BIG primary on Feb. 5. You may be thinking to yourself: Jay G.? Sports writer? Politics? I just do as I'm told. Plus, one of my bosses said it'll be "fun," so I hope to see at least one of you during my joyous journey.

I know so much about politics.

Enough about that. On to the show ...

First, let me love you on briefly for helping make this the HOTTEST Auburn blog on the 'net.

The Auburn men play Presbyterian College tonight. Seriously. In the middle of Southeastern Conference season. The team's mascot is the Blue Hose (in the "Blue Sox" vein) and are 0-20 on the road this season. Should be a fun time.

Fun times on the SEC women's basketball teleconference today. A few pranksters infiltrated the call, for reasons I'll never understand, and asked vile questions of Arkansas coach Tom Collen and others. Vile? One asked, in less eloquent language, how menstrual cycles affect the players. Bizarre. I'm trying to get a transcript for you all.

UPDATE: Here's a story from the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader about the situation.

I'm a little surprised by some emails I've been receiving about James Willis and Auburn's recruiting efforts in Mobile.

Now, we all know Mobile has been an Auburn stronghold for a while. Former assistant Joe Whitt handled that area for years and did a great job. Now that territory has been passed to Willis. While it's true that Alabama appears to be in an advantageous position down there -- gaining commitments from Mark Barron and Destin Hood and moving into the race for Julio Jones -- I certainly don't fault Willis for that.

Recruiting is random in a lot of ways. The things recruits find alluring vary widely. To draw conclusions based on a handful of kids doesn't make logical sense. Auburn's coaches have demonstrated recruiting acumen. They have good classes and bad classes. So do most programs. I suspect that the Mobile panic wouldn't be an issue had Enrique Davis not de-committed. If he ultimately signs with Auburn, which remains a possiblity, then what?

Plenty of the HOTTIES peeped that Duran Duran video, which was encouraging. I can't talk about Auburn all day every day. So I'm sharing another video. This one is "Love Is A Stranger," by Eurythmics.

Let me do this in bullet form:
*Eurythmics are one of the great groups because they made great songs from so many different genres. Stuff like this and "Sweet Dreams" are electro-pop. "Here Comes The Rain Again" is awesome in its own way. Then you have the hard-rockin' "Missionary Man" and "Would I Lie To You." Then you have dreamy pop like "There Must Be An Angel."
*Annie Lennox has The Best Voice in popular music and that's not up for debate.
*She's gorgeous. Again -- not debatable.
*This video scared me when it came out. I was 11 and I found the monkey threatening.



Questions? Comments? You can email me at: jgtate@gannett.com

30 Comments:

Anonymous ron mexico said...

I'm not really worried about mobile as much as I am about the whole state. I now Auburn has always done well in florida and georgia but it seems this year Alabama (the state) has plenty of talent. Hardly any of those are committed to Auburn. Example Rivals just came out with recruit rankings in Alabama and of the top 15- Alabama: 9 commits Auburn: 1 commit. Hopefully tuberville will make a late push which he has been known to do.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I think he'll make a late push, sure, but Auburn really hasn't made its living in Alabama. I'd say Tuberville has concentrated plenty on Georgia and Florida in past seasons. I think that's the case this year as well.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is I think a good example of how recruiting works or doesn't. I don't know if all these facts are correct, but Jay probably does or at least has some insight. In 2003 Auburn was fighting Florida State for 2 high profile QB recruits: Blake Field and Xavier Lee. Lee commited to FSU which led Blake to sign with Auburn (this is the part I'm not sure on). Neither one ended up meeting the hype. Blake could never get on the field at Auburn, while Lee played poorly in the few times he did reach the field. Now both have left their schools, with Lee jumping to the NFL (where no one will pick him in the draft). This case illustrates my feeling that in recruiting nothing is a sure thing. I simply hope that Tuberville will develop whoever he signs into effective playmakers (which I think he has done more often than not).

5:41 PM  
Anonymous autr said...

For all those that are dismissing the domination that Bama is having in-state, keep in mind that this is the best year ever for in-state talent. I know that we generally recruit more in GA and FL, but that has a lot to do with the fact that there is usually more talent out-of-state. That is not the case this year and we are getting our butt handed to us by Bama. The talent in Alabama this year is on par with GA, FL and TX.

We can all say that recruiting is an inexact science, but the fact is that most of the time, the higher rated the player, the better they perform in college.

If you need an example, look at the 2004 class. It was pitiful and we are paying for it now.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous ron mexico said...

I definately agree Alabama is having it's way with Auburn so far. Hopefully when Saban can't offer as much playing time as he is now things will even out.

Not really sure the big draw on Saban either. He is boring, pompous and doesn't seem to care about his players, but he obviously has this recruiting thing down to a science.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous ron mexico said...

My favorite rivals story:

Greg smith signs with Auburn in 2004 is a two star and is listed at 6' 3'' 296 lbs. Gregs smith goes to JUCO for two years. He then resigns with Auburn in 2006 as a FIVE star and is listed at 6' 1'' 315 lbs (and from all acounts was at least 350). He went to JUCO got two inches shorter, gained at least 50 lbs, and got three more stars. He then proceeded to suck and i'm not sure he is on the team two years later.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Hoopie said...

A friend of mine stated that he heard Tom Lemming w/CSTV state on the Finescum radio show that AU was in his opinion, the #1 program in Div 1 for developing players to a high level(coaching up).

7:20 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I mean, that's not a revelation.

Auburn produces players in the sense that decent athletes roll in there and, more often than you'd expect, end up in the NFL.

Auburn never has been a big magazine-style recruiting production. Auburn rarely gets much national love for its recruiting efforts. It finishes like 12th to 20th in the Rivals.com rankings and goes about the business at hand.

I don't think this season will be much different.

9:14 PM  
Blogger A. D. Payne said...

A lot of truth in the NFL comment. It is truly amazing how many Auburn boys go on to the next level. How many active NFL players are AU boys? Last count was just under 40.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good example
from the 02 class:
Ben Grubbs - ***
Troy Reddick - ***
Jonathon Palmer - ***
Courtney Taylor - ***
Karibi Dede - ***
Anthony Mix - ***
Will Herring - ***
2003
Eric Brock - ***
Marquis Gunn - **
David Irons - ***
Pat Lee - ***
Doug Langenfeld - ***
Josh Thompson - ***
Carl Stewart - ***
2004
Jason Bosely - **
Tristan Davis - ***
Chris Evans - **
Wayne Gandy - **
Tyrone Green - ** (unsung hero of OL this year)
Brad Lester - ***
2005
Antonio Coleman - ***
Robert Dunn - no stars
Sen Derrick Marks - **
Walt McFadden - ***
Jerraud Powers - ***
Aarion Savage - ***
Jae Wilhite - ***
2006
Zac Ethridge - ***

etc.

You get the idea, a good percentage of our biggest contributors are/were 3 star ranked athletes by Rivals. They should really start a post recruiting rankings delayed 4 years to show how they actually performed. Auburn would be ranked in the top 5 every year.

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

40 in the NFL right now

7:41 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

See what I mean?

Look, Auburn is getting schooled in the state right now -- Reggie Hunt is the only highly rated Alabama kid committed -- but that isn't something I consider a big deal.

I'm just not real into recruiting. My thing is -- they'll either get kids they can win with or they won't. When they don't, we'll all write bad stuff about them and, by virtue of other opinions, they'll get fired.

Look at that list above. Look at all those 3-star guys who turned into useful players. I mean, the whole star system is overrated.

The W-L system is NOT overrated. You either win in the fall or you don't.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bottom line: Tubs knows what he is doing. His success in recruiting is represented by one of the top records in the past 4 or 5 seasons. Everyone makes too big of a deal about bammers having a top class. Historically, Tubs goes for quality people who wont get in trouble and will represent AU well. He recruits character as well as athletic ability and smart kids who will graduate. The difference is that the AU staff can take quality 2 and 3 star guys and coach the hell out of them and mthey end up being better than blue chip recruits. Those 3 star guys are always the leaders on the team. Ive learned not to second guess Tubs when it comes to recruting and hiring coaches. He has preoven himself over and over again. We need to quit worrying about what bammer is doing.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:57 and really all the other comments. These recruiting "gurus" are merely giving their OPINIONS on some kid based on his size, speed, vertical, etc. If someone can explain to me how you properly evaluate Julio Jones' skills based on the competition he plays, then I'm all ears.

His ranking isnt based on football skills (there are 50 WR in the country who can beat a 5'7" high school CB on a fly pattern) but rather the fact that he is tall, fast, and can catch. Really that's it. Doesnt factor in things like character, heart, determination, how he will adjust to college football/ college life in general.

And I'm not knocking Julio and saying he doesnt have heart and all that stuff, just using him as an example.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous auburnmath101 said...

I am having such a wonderful time watching people turn down Little Nicki. Oh, it's great. You reap what you sow, heh?

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Hoopie said...

My brother is a Bammer and watched julio in the Prattville-Foley playoff game. He said that P-ville hit him hard on the forst play of the game and he really never showed up in the game. THe 5-7" Prattville cb chucked him coming off the line and kept him off stride all night. The consensus among my brother and his Bammer buddies was: good athletic ability, no heart and hopes that Julio doesn't go to Bama.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous mr anonymous said...

#1 Blake Field was NOT a high profile QB. high profile is the 4 to 5 star recruit, which he was not.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous mr anonymous said...

#2 Auburn is officially through recruiting Julio per James Willis. His mom really loved Auburn, she felt he had a home there. Instead, he's heading over to OU this weekend with his PIC, Burton Scott. Those two nuckleheads will be going to college together either at OU or UA,T.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron:

I didn't quite get the comment about Saban having this recruiting thing down to a science? Has that been proven since last January? I don't believe it has- correct me if I'm wrong. FSU is ranked up there every year. Yet, players are going there to fizzle out. Saban has much to prove as LSU has just won a NC with two losses and they're really a frontrunner to be there again next season.

Of course, we all know they have to go through AU at Jordan Hare. For some reason homefield advantage really means something in this series.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Auburn Defense Since 1998:

Inside the Numbers - Top Defenses this Decade

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Most appearances in the Top 20 in Scoring Defense this Decade:

Ohio State ............. 8

Oklahoma ............... 7

Auburn ................. 6

Georgia ................ 6

LSU .................... 6

Miami .................. 6

Southern Cal ........... 6

Most Appearances in the Top 10 in Scoring Defense this Decade:

Auburn ................ 5

Georgia ............... 4

Miami ................. 4

Oklahoma .............. 4

Ohio State ............ 4

LSU ................... 3

Southern Cal .......... 2

Most Appearances in the Top 20 in Total Defense this Decade:

Georgia .............. 7

Oklahoma ............. 7

Auburn ............... 6

LSU .................. 6

Most Appearances in the Top 10 in Total Defense this Decade:

LSU .................. 5

Oklahoma ............. 4

Auburn ............... 3

Georgia .............. 3

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Ron Mexico said...

As far as Saban having the recruiting thing down to a science. One of my friend's little brother is being recruited as an invited walk on by Auburn, and he went with Destin Hood to Alabama on an unofficial visit. He said the way they handled the recruits on the unofficial visit was very impressive. Bottom line, he hates Alabama and would never go there but he said he sees why people would be swayed to go there over Auburn. Also there was some article written about Saban's recruiting style and supposedly when Saban goes to a school to visit a kid he plans out which door he walks in and which door he walks out. He also schedules how long he is going to be there almost to the minute. That all sounds stupid to me, but he gets almost all of the kids he goes after, which can't be argued.

That being said I don't think he factors in a kids character or work ethic. Not saying every kid he recruits has a bad attitude, but I don't think that turns him away. I also don't think he is a great evaluater of talent. Best example: he signed Daunte Culpepper in miami instead of Drew Brees sending the dolphins into a tail spin while he ran away like a coward.

I just wrote way too much.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous ron mexico said...

Those are pretty cool stats about the defenses in the past decade.

10:17 PM  
Blogger AUBURN FOOTBALL STUFF said...

Annie Lennox is a mindless Bush and USA Liberal hater... I thought she works at Wal-Mart in London.?

7:40 AM  
Blogger AUBURN FOOTBALL STUFF said...

My 2008-2009 top 11 in my blog... Someone slap me. LOL

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

auburnfootballstuff:

your site is nothing but a smear campaign against Tuberville. Auburn doesnt need fans who criticize Tubs. Has he not given us 6 straight against bammers, the 13-0 2004 season, a nationally competitive team ranked in the top 15 every year, stability and an honest/clean program? He will certainly take AU back to ATL and compete for the NC. Over the last 4 years, he has lost 10 out of 52 games. It is unrealistic to expect perfection when we play in the SEC. You are acting like a bammer.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Mr Anonymous said...

Saban's robotic style of recruiting is really a little silly to me. The more ridiculous Rivals becomes, the more ridiculous the recruiting promise will become.

In all reality, Saban is not a people person. There almost seems to be a personality disorder there...something beyond "little big man" syndrome.

I can only hope Saban continues to pull the likes of Burton Scott and Julio Jones. If his style is as you described, he's missing a big chunk of character assessment. It's important. That's why you take 5 coaches to Freddie Smooth's house- 5 minds combusting on variables other than physical talent. That stuff's important.

Saban is selling bling and PT right now. Easy to do with 17 and 18 year olds.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Larry J said...

Jay G, I'd like to again say that you are one sweet, smart MF.

That'll be it...

2:40 PM  
Anonymous auburnmath101 said...

I think we should give Freddie Smooth a scholarship just because he has a name like Freddie Smooth. It's like a rock star. "And now appearing at left DT, from DESIRE HIGHSCOOL, FREDDDDIIIEEEE SMOOOOOOOOTH" ... and the crowd goes wild.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous auburnmath101 said...

I meant HIGHSCHOOL (yes I went)

4:05 PM  
Anonymous mr anonymous said...

I agree, Math. Smooth is a perfect name for show bidness.

5:06 PM  

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