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Wrappin it up: Auburn 14, Tennessee 12

I'll be posting information here as I progress through the tape and the stats and the scuttlebutt.

The Mea Culpa Project was in FULL EFFECT down there. He called himself a "dumbass" at least twice and said the WR pass option was the dumbest call he's ever made. You guys are going to love this.


  • The propensity for penalties and miscues on offense has to fall on "the coaches." I mean, this is beyond a fluky trend. This happens every week. The only new offensive assistant is Tony Franklin, so it's reasonable to think he's somehow lax on fundamentals. I've never heard that. I'm just observing that based on what we all see on Saturdays.

  • I don't think Chris Todd deserves the angst. Auburn's offense was almost adequate with him in the game PRE BURNS. Then he gets yanked, doesn't understand why, and that's basically a wrap.

  • It's interesting to me that Franklin mentioned several times that Tuberville made the call on Burns. Here's the quote that made me wonder ... though Franklin made several additional references:

    "It was basically through no fault of his own," Franklin said. ``Coach Tuberville made a decision to make a change to try and give us a boost. It looked like it worked for a while and then we couldn't finish."

  • Auburn's defense is really good. How long before that begins to create an internal divide? The disparity is an every-week thing.

  • What has happened to Wes Byrum? Someone search the milk aisle tomorrow for clues.


  • On the unusual WR option pass on 3rd-and-18: "It might be the dumbest call I've made in 10 years. It's a third-and-short call, not a third-and-long call. I was being a total dumbass. That's what I was.

  • On quarterback development: "They both believe they can win. They're both confident. They both believe they're the best one. I honestly have failed them both. I haven't done as good a job coaching as I should have done. Neither one of them have played as well as they should have. It's a little puzzling to me because they played very well in the spring, they played really well in the summertime."

  • On the offense in general: "If you don't have a great defense (today), you lose. You can't win against great competition doing what we're doing. We are bumbling and stumbling on little stupid things. That's coaching. That's not their fault; that's my fault. I need to do a better job."

  • On Mario Fannin's expanded role: "It's another sign of me not being smart enough. I haven't gotten him the ball. If I line him up at quarterback, snap it to him -- he'd have the ball and wouldn't have to think as much. I've proven that I'm not very smart. We snap it to him, he runs. It's easy."

Fourth quarter

  • Can they really stick with Todd now? He is picked on a quacker then misses Fannin on a wide-open screen pass. I don't get it.

  • AUBURN 14, TENNESSEE 12: Montario Hardesty scores on a 2-yard run. The two-point conversion was defended. This drive was set up by Dennis Rogen's interception of a quacker from Chris Todd. He just can't throw deep with authority. The Vols took possession at the AU 37 and finished the job. Auburn's situation is getting serious.

Halftime/Third Quarter

  • Auburn's defense back into The Funk here late. Nice play by Jonathan Crompton to convert that 3rd-and-long. Then Gerald Jones moves behind center and the Tigers again can't get him to the ground.

  • Auburn opens the second half with an ugly three-and-out. Yuck. That was one pointless drive. I find this Burns situation so odd; Todd was playing pretty well by my estimation. Why leave Todd playing at MSU (when he wasn't playing well) and yank him now that he is making the throws?


    • Chris Todd was 9-of-12 for 63 yards ... and was replaced.

    • Kodi Burns was 2-of-4 for 25 yards. He also ran for 21 yards.

    • Auburn has a 4:54 advantage in time of possession.

    • Wes Byrum missed again.

    • Auburn only has a small advantage (151 yards vs. 129 yards) in total offense.

  • Pretty good half of football for the Auburn Tigers. I'll be back in a bit for more enlightening commentary. Please add yours in the comments area.

Second quarter

  • There you have it, HOTTIES. Third-down converted on a pass from Kodi Burns to Mario Fannin. Did it feel like a luscious birthday present?

  • The Backup Quarterback is in. How about that?

  • Sen'Derrick Marks already has batted down two balls.

  • AUBURN 14, TENNESSEE 6: Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton let go of a hand-off before Arian Foster was ready. Ball hits the grass. Jake Ricks, of all people, plops on the ball as it lay in the end zone. Touchdown. That's three defensive touchdowns for Auburn this year.

  • Aren't you surprised to see Eric Smith as the No. 2 back?

  • AUBURN 7, TENNESSEE 6: Lincoln hits a 35-yard kick this time. Same deal as before; the Vols go on a yardage binge early in the drive to gain advantageous field possession. Here are the yardages on UT's first four plays: 6 (run), 23 (run), 14 (pass), 11 (run).

  • Auburn's defense back in that "third quarter against LSU mode" ... conceding yards by the dozen. It's early in the game; can't claim fatigue here.

  • AUBURN 7, TENNESSEE 3: Daniel Lincoln hit a 47-yard kick to get UT on the board. The Vols gained 41 yards during a three-play span early in the drive. That reminded me of how Auburn conceded ground to LSU last week. It ended differently; Tennessee's push was stopped well short of the end zone.

  • Five penalties already: Ziemba (hold), Ziemba (offside), Isom (offside), Dunn (hold), Bosley (offside)

First quarter

Here we go ...
  • GENERAL ASSESSMENT: Good start for Auburn. Aside from the first drive, which was moving forward until another Lee Ziemba penalty, the Tigers have been playing better than expected on offense. Defense played well until the first 2 minutes of the period. The quarter ended with Tennessee facing a 2nd-and-15 from the AU 39. This is the Vols' most significant challenge of the game.

  • AUBURN 7, TENNESSEE 0: Robert Dunn catches an 18-yard pass from Chris Todd. Really impressive drive. Best drive of the year? They did it all: Run, pass, convert a third down with a smart pass, good pass on the touchdown, Mario Fannin making plays. Pretty impressive.

  • Auburn's first drive undone by a penalty. That never happens.

  • Opponents now 7 of 61 on third down this season.

Pregame video, 9/27


Getting ready at J-H

We have arrived. Working on video right now. I won't make my deadline, but there were, um, other things going on around that stadium that demanded attention. I hope you'll understand.

I'll be back in a bit.

Getting things started, 9/27

Hey everyone. I'm running behind just a tad, so I'd better make this quick.

I'll be joined by Joshua Moon today. We're headed up to Auburn at 11. We'll be doing a video that will be up approximately one hour prior to kickoff. That's just to give you a taste of what's happening around J-H.

Of course, the HABOTN will be updating frequently during the game. Stop by and enjoy some company (along with your beer) while we chat it up.

9:27: My weekly "First and 10" column ... with an ode to Rush.
9/27: Tigers, Vols feel the heat

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at

Adding to the HABOTN arsenal

Hey everyone. Snagged an iPhone tonight, as stated in the always-electric Twitter feed, and it's a big happy Apple family here tonight at HABOTN Headquarters.

Here is video proof.

If Apple made camcorders and 5-megapixel still cameras ...

Bonus Pump Video, 9/26

Here is our weekly Auburn GameDay video preview handled by Josh Moon and A HABOTN Representative.

The sunshine pumper that I am, of course, I picked the Auburn Tigers to win.


Pump report, 9/26

Hey everyone. Someone in yesterday's comments said I'm a (sunshine) pumper now because I said a few positive things about Kodi Burns and Mario Fannin. I'm continually astounded by how disaffected people are on the Internets.

Speaking of that, yours truly actually became somewhat enraged yesterday at my daughter's soccer game. Her team had a goal taken away because the opposing keeper took a shot off her chest, allowed the ball to bounce away and one of The Good Girls scored on the rebound.

Goal disallowed on the grounds a batted ball constitutes a save. Goal kick.

I'm peeved yet calm until a father from the other team rolls over to our parent area. He proceeds to start lecturing us about our players' dangerous behavior. Look, homes, our team won 10-1, so take your hater show on the road. What a goob.

You came here for Auburn, so it's Auburn that you now receive.

Advantage: Tennessee
Neither quarterback has lived up to billing so far. Jonathan Crompton gets the nod because he has a stronger arm and gets more time to consider his options. His pocket is a better work environment. That breaks what I consider nearly a tie.

Advantage: Auburn
It's a tough call. Both Ben Tate and Arian Foster would produce better numbers in offenses that used them more effectively. Tate gets the nod because he has a broader set of skills. I expected more from Montario Hardesty.

Advantage: Tennessee
Not close. The Vols have Lucas Taylor and Gerald Jones, who are better than anyone Auburn has. Each guy is a home-run threat. Auburn doesn't have one.

Advantage: Auburn
Another tough call. Tennessee's line does a really nice job limiting sacks and handling business on that end. Run-blocking has been more of a challenge. Auburn, in general, is pretty good with both sets of responsibilities.

Advantage: Auburn
Fatigue was the Tigers' only problem up front last week. LSU has an outstanding offensive line and was forced to all but abandon the run later in the game. Auburn is loaded here.

Advantage: Auburn
Tennessee's Ellix Wilson is having a nice season. Rico McCoy has played well so far. Five Auburn players are piecing together useful sets of numbers. Depth matters.

Advantage: Tennessee
Safety Eric Berry and cornerback Dennis Rogan are really good players. Auburn's second-best defensive back, safety Zac Etheridge, is struggling with an arm injury that could affect him today. Check to Tennessee.

Advantage: Auburn
Auburn has a better punter in Clinton Durst -- UT's top guy has been suspended -- and a better placekicker. Robert Dunn is the better punt-return man. Rogan is the better kickoff guy, but that's still three spots in Auburn's favor.

Advantage: Auburn
Tuberville's program seems more healthy overall. These two programs have been on the same tier for several years now, though Tuberville has been better lately. Phillip Fulmer's 1998 championship is fading from memory.

Lucas Taylor (No. 12)
5-11, 185, Sr.
Last week: 2 catches for 24 yards (vs. Florida)
Scouting report: Taylor was an elite high-school prospect who transitioned well into college ball. He's a pretty complete player now. Taylor has 4.5 speed -- enough to pull away from most defenders -- and knows how to maneuver away from coverage. He's smart on the field. Smallish size makes blocking a challenge, but he's willing to hit some opponents. On a team with more efficient play at quarterback, Taylor would have a much higher profile. He simply doesn't get many chances to shine.

WR Tim Hawthorne (No. 13)
6-3, 209, Soph.
Last week: 2 catches for 87 yards (vs. LSU)
Scouting report: He doesn't receive much fanfare, but Hawthorne has made more progress than any receiver during the past year. His speed is only average. He overcomes that by playing intelligently -- thinking along with the quarterback in scrambling situations and running routes correctly. He seemed drop-prone during two-a-days, but he's been reliable so far this season. He's steady.

NG Tez Doolittle (No. 99)
6-3, 280, Sr.
Last week: 4 tackles including one-half sack (vs. LSU)
Scouting report: Doolittle began the season as an enigma after losing the 2007 season due to a torn Achilles tendon. The Opelika native has regained all that strength now and has been promoted into a starting role. He's an outstanding run-stopping element. Doolittle has the build and guile to close his designated running lanes as directed. While teammates try to extend themselves beyond their responsibilities, Doolittle stays true to plan. He doesn't miss tackles. He's generally not a pass-rush threat and durability remains a concern.

Auburn offense
Tennessee's defense provides some scouting difficultly because it's balanced. There aren't any true weaknesses. There aren't any major strengths, either. The Vols' defensive front is a step down from what Auburn faced last week, which should help the team re-establish the run game that evaporated against LSU. Still, developing better passing rhythm is Tony Franklin's primary goal right now. The Tigers showed last week that its aerial game can be an asset against top teams. It's unclear if tailback Ben Tate can be the home-run threat the Tigers so badly need. I don't expect many philosophical adjustments this week, though I believe Burns and Fannin will play bigger roles.

Auburn defense
This ought to be fun. Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton is supposed to be better than this. He made too many mistakes and misreads in the Vols' first two games. His approach was simplified for the Florida game last week. He wasn't a liability. He has to be a strength if Tennessee wants to win today. Auburn's defensive front will have a stout challenge today because UT's line provides outstanding pass protection. It's hard to hit Crompton. Still, the line is less powerful when it comes to run blocking. Auburn's defensive backs struggled against LSU's wideouts last week. If Crompton gets hot, Jerraud Powers and Walt McFadden will be tested on their ability to learn from last week's mistakes.

Chatting about The Latest, 9/25

Hey everyone. Been an interesting morning. One my my TVs is behaving in an awkward manner, so I'm trying to identify the problem by shuttling equipment between my two HDTVs. Always a gas.

You came here for Auburn chatter. Let's do that.
  • Auburn finished its Tennessee preparations this morning with a 90-minute workout. The team hit more than expected because several guys -- ie Brad Lester and Zaccheus Etheridge -- haven't been exposed to live hitting since the LSU game.

  • I think you'll at least see Kodi Burns this weekend. I believe Tony Franklin saw the error of a equitable two-quarterback system and moved to the other end of the continuum by sticking with Chris Todd exclusively against MSU and LSU. I expect him to find a happy medium somewhere between those two extremes.

  • I think you'll see more Mario Fannin soon. He had surgery earlier this season to repair a serious shoulder injury. The more I watch things unfold, the more I think the wideout experiment simply was a way to keep him in the fray while that shoulder continued to heal. He's almost seven months out now. My guess is that his shoulder feels almost normal. As such, I think you'll see him emerge as a more consistent contributor in various ways. The coaching staff knows what they have here.

  • The season has ended for Jomarcus Savage. That shoulder injury he suffered toward the end of two-a-days became more painful. He underwent surgery last week. I expect to see him plenty next fall. He's an accelerated learner and has a ton of energy.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at

Video update, 9/24

Clip includes a short bit from Spencer Pybus ... and a couple long pieces from The Head Coach and Tony Franklin.


Wednesday wrangling, 9/24

Hey everyone. Just got back from a mind-freeing workout at the gymnasium and I'm now ready to serve you, the HOTTIES, in various ways throughout the afternoon and early evening.

How will I do this?

I'll be blogging, taking your calls, producing a video and writing several stories for the Advertiser's weekly "GameDay" section, which I hope you have been savoring each Saturday. As always, we have several items to discuss.
  • As I mentioned in today's story, my friend Bryan Matthews of has put the kibosh on new threads about Chris Todd and Kodi Burns. It was getting pretty raucous over there throughout the day Sunday. B-Matt finally had enough. So my question is: Why is everyone so up in arms about this?

    Why all this angst over the quarterback? You all know I'm not really pro-Todd or anything, but he was at least passable against LSU. He wasn't the problem.

  • As far as Burns goes, I think he's going to have a better chance to play this weekend. I tried to get answers about why Burns hasn't been summoned lately. I didn't get any information worth relaying. I can say that Tony Franklin is making the personnel decisions and, despite chatter to the contrary, Tuberville isn't micromanaging anything. He's letting Franklin work ... as promised last December.

  • I'm still getting questions around town and via email asking if Burns' lack of playing time lies in not understanding Franklin's offense. I am 100 percent certain that is not the case. Aptitude and attitude are two of Burns' biggest strengths.

  • It's odd how Antonio Coleman said yesterday that Auburn misaligned "90" percent of the time. Tuberville indicated it happened approximately 10 percent of the time. I'm no math whiz, but that's a big disparity.

  • I stopped by to talk with an offensive assistant yesterday. His first question to me: "Are they ready to run us out of town yet?" He was only kidding, I think.

  • Chris Todd was unusually chatty yesterday. I've never seen him so ... up.

  • Three cheeriest guys on the team:
    • 1.) Tez Doolittle
    • 2.) Brad Lester
    • 3.) Sen'Derrick Marks

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at

Video update, 9/23

Today's clip stars The Starting Quarterback, the Starting Strong-Side Linebacker, the backup Strong-Side Defensive End and a coach.


The Head Coach speaks, 9/23

Hey everyone. It's been another morning and early afternoon chock full-o information, much of it tangential.

Anyway, here is a summary of Tommy Tuberville's press conference.

I'll be posting a new video starring everyone's favorite quarterback around 2:45 p.m. ... better make that 3 p.m.
  • On the team's offensive struggles: "I'm sure there are some people who, now that we've lost a game, wonder why we're doing this. There's no doubt that the wave of the future is what we're doing on offense. I like the direction we're heading. I like the way recruiting is headed. This is our best ever."

  • Antonio Coleman said earlier in the day that Auburn's defense was misaligned "90 percent" of the time against LSU, which seemed pretty high to me. Tuberville (indirectly) refuted that claim: "We're talking about 5 of 6 times that we didn't get lined up. It really wasn't anything they did. We didn't react quickly enough. That didn't get us beat."

  • On Tennessee: "Their team is a lot like ours -- changing offenses, changing coordinators, new quarterback."

  • On Tony Franklin's willingness to admit faults: "Some guys like to be accountable and take blame. He's the same way with players. We're not going to hide. There's a lot more to it than just calling plays; you've got to know people*."

    *He was referring to opposing coaches there.

  • On Brad Lester, who suffered a knee injury Saturday: "He was out there running around today. No damage. He's just a little sore. He should be ready to go (this weekend)."

  • On Tristan Davis, who was knocked out Saturday: "Still having headaches. He's not going to hit until Saturday."

  • On not wallowing in sorrow after the LSU loss: "You have to move on each week. The next Saturday comes up quickly."

  • On how this weekend's game against Tennessee will be physical: "They're all physical. This game will be physical. Then we go play a physical game next week."

  • Tuberville was asked to prognosticate the Georgia-Alabama game this weekend. He declined. I can't believe someone asked the question. That'd be like ... asking Les Miles about the billion-dollar government bailout.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at

Funny comment from Les Miles

I lifted this from Kyle Veazey's excellent blog over at the Jackson Clarion-Ledger's website.

Here is the section I enjoyed:
The final question posed to Miles today was whether he approved of the government's multi-billion dollar bailout of the financial industry.

No, really, it was. I kid you not. I can only hope, and I do surmise, given the laughter I heard in the room, that there's an inside joke here that we out-of-staters are missing.

But, Miles answered. "I turn most of those matters over to my wife, to be honest with you," he said. "I think there's some real concern about our national issues and making sure that our country continues to grow and thrive. I don't think anybody's paycheck absolves them from interest and want for the best of our country. I'm a free market guy, always have been, not irrespective of paycheck. I've always felt like the government should be less involved, and this may be the exception."

I really like that guy.

Early indications on Brad Lester ...

... are encouraging for the Tigers. An MRI taken today in Birmingham showed no major damage, though his status for this weekend's game remains unclear.

What We Learned, v 2.0

Hey everyone. I started a "What We Learned" thread yesterday, but it turned into something completely different. That's my fault. It's my mistake. I need to do a better job listing the posts correctly.

Wait. I think Tony Franklin's Mea Culpa Project is affecting me.

It's interesting how different people interpret Franklin's MCP so differently. Some think it's admirable to acknowledge faults and work hard to fix them. Others consider it a show of weakness and a symptom of underlying incompetence. I can see both sides. I'm still in the "admirable" camp -- I have a difficult time admitting mistakes -- but shortcomings have to be rectified.

Anyway, here are some issues/ideas/developments that I find intriguing:

  • Chris Todd's arm: It's interesting how everyone at Auburn now is in agreement that Todd's throwing power isn't what it once was. We all knew that in spring ball. He threw like my daughter. She's 6. A summer of proper rehabilitation allegedly corrected everything. He looked better in two-a-days without a doubt. Four games into the season, though, his arm strength is regressing. He's probably 25% better than he was during the spring right now. I told you guys then and I'll say it again: Grade 3 shoulder separations strain the "AC" ligament to a point where it often doesn't regain full tightness. The result is a shoulder that can't relay full power from his upper body to the arm. It's anatomical inefficiency.

  • Auburn's defense isn't perfect: LSU showed the Tigers a weakness or two. Fatigue seemed like a problem during the third and fourth quarters the other night, which surprised me. I hadn't seen that before. I never thought I'd see an Auburn roll up yards in chunks of 20s and 30s. Anecdotal evidence suggests Paul Rhoads may need to be more frequent with his substitutions, though I'm not sure examining that on a player-by-player basis makes sense. Sen'Derrick Marks and Jerraud Powers can play more consecutive snaps than other guys. Then again, you know, Spencer Pybus was in there plenty for Craig Stevens. Surely that was a fatigue-related swap.

  • Lots of misinformation on Burns: I heard more than one "expert" report last week that Kodi Burns would play a much bigger role against LSU. Unless he grabbed three water bottles instead of his usual two, Burns' role didn't expand. These "experts" spoke with such conviction, too. So persuasive. Breaking news: You can't believe everything spoken on radio. I know this is the first time you've heard that advice. Take a few minutes to breathe before you react.

  • Tony Franklin's "Mea Culpa Project" is fun: He apologized again Sunday for not passing enough against LSU. Remember that he already has apologized for: Rotating quarterbacks, not rotating quarterbacks, not properly utilizing Tommy Trott and relying too much on scripts in the red zone. I don't think all of these apologies are heart-felt, but at least he's breaking orthodoxy (again) by coming clean with what he considers faulty production.

  • Ryan Shoemaker has work to do: First, he lost his job to a freshman who never had played football before. When the neophyte (Clinton Durst) was sick last week, Shoemaker did little to strengthen his reputation. He averaged 35.4 per punt. His final kick traveled 25 yards and gave LSU possession near mid-field down one point. Not good.

  • The last play: That was supposed to be a tricky play. It almost worked. The pass was supposed to go to Rod Smith, who then was going to pitch the ball to Mario Fannin on a hook-and-ladder deal. Smith caught the ball. Fannin was in position. The problem is that LSU had two defenders on Smith's back the moment he caught the pass. Smith had no chance to make a toss. Still, Fannin would have been gone (like GONE) had things unfolded according to plan.

This has nothing to do with Auburn, of course, but the HABOTN HOTTIE No. 1, Jenna Fischer, added a shot of herself on the ol' MySpace page. I feel an obligation as a warm-blooded American male to pass along this kind of visual goodness. I share because I care.

The Office season premiere is Thursday, by the way. I'm sure we'll all be watching.

Also, iTunes now peddles NBC shows in HD. I downloaded a free episode of Tina Fey's 30 Rock and, well, it rocked my 15.4" screen in HD.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University (top) and Jenna Fischer's MySpace page (bottom).

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at

Auburn men release basketball schedule

Some decent games on here.

I know it's football season and all. I'll withhold the usual commentary about how the team won't be very good and won't crack .500 in the league this year.

Nov. 7 Morehouse (exh.), 6 pm
Nov. 14 Missouri State, 7 pm
Nov. 19 (1) Mercer, 7 pm
Nov. 22 George Washington, 1 pm
Nov. 25 (1) Bethune-Cookman, 7 pm
Nov. 28 (2) Dayton, 5 pm
Nov. 29 (2) Northern Iowa, 4:30 pm
Dec. 3 at Xavier (CBSCS), 7 pm
Dec. 6 Louisiana-Monroe, 1 pm
Dec. 17 Tuskegee, 7 pm
Dec. 20 at Virginia (FSN), 3 pm
Dec. 22 Alabama State, 7 pm
Dec. 29 Alabama A&M, 7 pm
Dec. 31 Southeastern Louisiana, 3 pm
Jan. 3 Tulane (DH), 4:30 pm
Jan. 10 at South Carolina, TBA
Jan. 14 Florida (Raycom), 7 pm
Jan. 17 Alabama, 1 pm
Jan. 21 at Kentucky (Raycom), 8 pm
Jan. 24 at Arkansas (Raycom), Noon
Jan. 27 Texas-Pan American, 7 pm
Jan. 31 Vanderbilt, 1 pm
Feb. 4 at Ole Miss, 7 pm
Feb. 7 Tennessee (Raycom), Noon
Feb. 11 Arkansas, 7 pm
Feb. 14 Mississippi State (FSN), 4 pm
Feb. 18 at Georgia, 6:30 pm
Feb. 21 at LSU, 7 pm
Feb. 25 Ole Miss, 7 pm
Feb. 28 at Mississippi State (FSN), 5 pm
Mar. 3 at Alabama (ESPN), 8 pm
Mar. 7 LSU, TBA
Mar. 12-15 (3) SEC Tournament (Raycom/CBS), TBA

(1) Chicago Invitational (Auburn, AL)
(2) Chicago Invitational (Hoffman Estates, IL)
(3) Tampa, FL (St. Pete Times Forum)
* All Times Central

Legends still consider Auburn No. 15

Auburn didn't drop at all in the Legends Poll after losing to LSU last weekend. As I have said many times, I actually trust this poll more than the others because these guys, though old, know the game.

* 1. USC (18)
* 2. Oklahoma
* 3. Georgia
* 4. Florida
* 5. Missouri
* 6. LSU
* 7. Alabama
* 8. Texas
* 9. Penn State
* 10. Wisconsin
* 11. BYU
* 12. Texas Tech
* 13. Ohio State
* 14. Wake Forest
* 15. Auburn
* 16. South Florida
* 17. Utah
* 18. Kansas
* 19. Illinois
* 20. Boise State
* 21. Nebraska
* 22. Clemson
* 23. East Carolina
* 24. Oregon
* 25. Georgia Tech

Here is your panel: Frank Broyles (Arkansas), Lloyd Carr (Michigan), John Cooper (OSU), Fisher DeBerry (Air Force), Terry Donahue (UCLA), Vince Dooley (Georgia), Pat Dye (Auburn), LaVell Edwards (BYU), Hayden Fry (Iowa), Don James (Washington), Frank Kush (Arizona State), Dick MacPherson (Syracuse), Bill Mallory (Indiana), Tom Osbourne (Nebraska), John Ralston (San Jose State), John Robinson (USC), R.C. Slocum (Texas A&M), Bill Snyder (Kansas State), Gene Stallings (Alabama) and Virginia's George Welsh.

Auburn-Vandy goes late night

IMPORTANT NOTE: The SEC changed this game time after its initial release ...

Auburn-Vandy is now 5 p.m. on Oct. 4.

CBS picked first this week (for games of Oct. 4) and took Alabama-Kentucky first.

ESPN picked second and selected your Auburn Tigers. So that's a 5 p.m. kickoff.

So your Oct. 4 SEC television schedule looks like this:

Florida at Arkansas, 11:30 a.m. CT (Raycom HD)
Kentucky at Alabama, 2:30 p.m. CT (CBS HD)
Auburn at Vanderbilt, 5:00 p.m. CT (ESPN HD)

Late video, 9/21

I'm having trouble with the Advertiser's video portal, so I loaded this to YouTube.

Hopefully, we'll get back to pretty flash videos sometime soon.


Today's Developments, 9/21

Hey everyone. I'm up here at Auburn for an afternoon of interviews with all your favorite newsmakers.

I change the direction of this blog entry. We'll get into "What We Learned" on Monday. A lot of interesting stuff happened and was discussed today.

  • Tez Doolittle has been moved to the top spot at noseguard. That means Mike Blanc, the Happy Haitian, has been dropped to the second team. Coach Tommy Tuberville said Doolittle played the best game of his college career last night.

  • UPDATED Doolittle found out about his promotion this afternoon. Suffice it to say: He was very happy. For a guy who thought last year that he'd already played his final down of football, this is a very intriguing development.

  • Brad Lester is schedule to have an MRI scan on his knee today or tomorrow. It's notclear to me when that is going down. Preliminary results suggest Lester's knee, which was twisted awkwardly during a third-quarter tackle last night, isn't seriously injured. Still, he's uncomfortable.

  • Tuberville seemed dissatisfied with Ryan Shoemaker's performance, as you might expect. I think Clinton Durst will be the top punter against Tennessee this weekend.

  • UPDATED Tim Hawthorne said he was happy to see Chris Todd take more risks with his throws this week, which he said changed the entire offensive dynamic.

  • UPDATED Tony Franklin said he'll continue coaching from the press box this season because, as he said, he can see things more clearly from there. He said he called a much better game Saturday and, the 4th-and-1 call aside, I agree with him.

  • UPDATED Auburn threw 32 passes against LSU. It ran the ball 36 times. Franklin doesn't think that was the correct ratio.

    ``The biggest mistake I made is not throwing the ball enough," he said. ``We threw it 30-something times I think, 32, but if I went back and had to do it over again I would have thrown it 10 or 15 more times. The things that we struggled with in running the football, we probably couldn't fix that night. I should have thrown the ball more."

  • UPDATED Paul Rhoads was actually impressed to see his players down today. Apparently some of his former teams at Pitt were able to rebound from losses almost instantaneously.

    ``I've been on a lot of plane rides where there's too much giggling and farting going on that shouldn't take place," he said. ``This team was still what I would call distraught today."

1. USC (62) 2-0
2. Oklahoma 3-0
3. Georgia (2) 4-0
4. Florida (1) 3-0
5. LSU 3-0
6. Missouri 4-0
7. Texas 3-0
8. Alabama 4-0
9. Wisconsin 3-0
10. Texas Tech 4-0
11. Brigham Young 4-0
12. Penn State 4-0
13. South Florida 4-0
14. Ohio State 3-1
15. Auburn 3-1
16. Wake Forest 3-0
17. Utah 4-0
18. Kansas 3-1
19. Boise State 3-0
20. Clemson 3-1
21. Vanderbilt 4-0
22. Illinois 2-1
23. East Carolina 3-1
24. TCU 4-0
25. Fresno State 2-1

1. USC (56) 2-0
2. Oklahoma (2) 3-0
3. Georgia (2) 4-0
4. Florida (1) 3-0
5. Missouri 4-0
6. LSU 3-0
7. Texas 3-0
8. Wisconsin 3-0
9. Texas Tech 4-0
10. Alabama 4-0
11. Brigham Young 4-0
12. Penn State 4-0
13. Ohio State 3-1
14. South Florida 4-0
15. Wake Forest 3-0
16. Auburn 3-1
17. Utah 4-0
18. Kansas 3-1
19. Clemson 3-1
20. Boise State 3-0
21. Illinois 2-1
22. Oregon 3-1
23. TCU 4-0
24. Fresno State 2-1
25. Vanderbilt 4-0

Auburn adds two more commitments

Auburn added a pair of commitments on Sunday, bumping their total to 25 players.

I'd say they're closing in on a full class.

The first commitment was OL Steven Jacques of Hollywood, Fla. He was being pursued most diligently by South Carolina, South Florida and West Virginia. At 6-foot-3, Jacques looks like a future college guard.

The second commitment was DE Montez Robertson of Avon, Indiana. He received scholarship offers from several schools, but was most enamored with Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Robertson profiles as a strong-side end in college.

Thanks, as always, to our friends Bryan and Jeffrey at for their generous assistance.

LB Harris Gaston, Birmingham (Bessemer Academy)
WR Brandon Heavens, Birmingham (Bessemer Academy)
QB Raymond Cotton, Ft. Meade, Md. (Meade)
DT Terrence Coleman, Mobile (Williamson)
DE Jamontay Pilson, Greenville (Greenville)
TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, Marietta, Ga. (Lassiter)
TB Rodney Scott, Cross City, Fla. (Dixie County)
LB Jonathan Evans, Mobile (Blount)
WR Travante Stallworth, Leesville, La. (Leesville)
WR Ladarius Perkins, Greenville, Miss. (St. Joseph)
OL Andre Harris, Hampton, Ga. (Lovejoy)
WR LaVoyd James, Mobile (Williamson)
OL Aaron Moore, Frisco, Texas (Centennial)
DE Donald Ford, Odenville (St. Clair County)
LB Brandon Jacobs, Lilburn, Ga. (Parkview)
LB Jamie Collins, Meadville, Miss. (Franklin County)
DB Reggie Taylor, Fort Valley, Ga. (Peach County)
CB David Conner, Batesville, Miss. (South Panola)
LB Jonathan Atchison, Atlanta (Douglass)
OL Tyler Knight, Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County)
OL Steven Jacques, Hollywood, Fla. (South Broward)
DE Montez Robertson, Avon, Indiana (Avon)

*LB Eltoro Freeman, Alex City (Miss. Gulf Coast CC)
*DL Nick Fairley, Mobile (Copiah-Lincoln CC)
WR Cameron Kenney, Dacula, Ga. (Garden City Community College)
* signed with Auburn out of high school in Feb. 2007.

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