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Getting ready for a big (off) Saturday

Hey everyone. It's another Saturday without Auburn football, which has good and bad points.

Bad for you because the Tigers are 4-4 and won't get better today.

Good for you because other things now can occupy your time. Me? I'm going to see Weezer tonight in Atlanta. I've been digging Rivers and the boys since buying their cassette tape in 1995. Yes, younger readers: Life wasn't always about MP3s or even CDs.

So for those of you who would prefer to watch some football this afternoon, here is a handy guide:

11 a.m. -- Illinois @ Wisconsin, ESPN2 (Wisconsin, 27-17)
11 a.m. -- Texas Tech @ Kansas, ESPN (Texas Tech, 63-21)
11:30 a.m. -- My Alma Mater @ Florida, Raycom (Florida, 63-5)
11:30 a.m. -- Oklahoma @ Kansas State, FSN (Oklahoma, 58-35)
2:30 p.m. -- Georgia @ LSU (Georgia, 52-38)
2:30 p.m. -- Oklahoma State @ Texas (Texas, 28-24)
2:30 p.m. -- Michigan State @ Michigan (Michigan State, 35-21)
2:30 p.m. -- Virginia @ Georgia Tech (Virginia, 24-17)
5:30 p.m. -- Colorado @ Missouri (Missouri, 58-0)
6 p.m. -- Middle Tennessee @ Mississippi State (MSU, 31-22)
6:45 p.m. -- Alabama @ Tennessee (Alabama, 23-3)
7 p.m. -- Penn State @ Ohio State (PSU, 13-6)
7 p.m. -- Notre Dame @ Washington (Notre Dame, 33-7)
9:15 p.m. -- Southern Cal @ Arizona (USC, 17-10)

Friday overflow/HoF update

Once a blog post hits 200 comments, it throws new comments on a second page.

That's confusing.

So I'm creating this thread. That way we don't get lost.

Carry on.

Let's all congratulate Michael and Cory for being added to the "Notable Newcomers" list. Well done!

Tuberville speaks, 10/24

*"Defensively, we never matched up with them very well. That's one of those that you always dread having. We've got to find some answers there. They have to be in there somewhere."

  • "It's like the second game of the season for this offense."

  • "We've been a first-half football team all year long."

  • "We're a team that's trying to find somehow, someway to put four quarters together. We just ran out of steam. Coming out of an open date, we hoped we'd be able to get those four quarters. We didn't."

  • "It's just been one of those years."

  • No "significant" injuries reported.

  • On second-half problems: "It's like you start looking at it after eight games. It's after three, four, five, six, seven games. We just don't play reckless. We're playing a lot of guys for the first time. A lot of the older guys are trying to do more than their share."

  • "We got out-quicked on the corners and things like that."

  • "We're starting to move along on offense, but we're taking steps back on defense. These are problems we've never had before. The effort is there. We've got to get back and play as a group. We have to believe in each other."

  • On Jerraud Powers: "He was struggling last night. We had nobody to put in his place. He was playing on one wheel for most of the second half."

  • What is your best offensive attribute?: "We don't have a big-play guy on offense. We tried to take the pressure off (Burns) so he doesn't have to execute on every play. I think it helped."

  • Tough time for you?: "My job here is to win football games and be a positive example to 120 young guys. It's tough. It hurts. You know how many people are counting on you. When you can't find the answers and you know they're there, that's what gets to you as a coach. We're going to keep working on this offensive scheme and make it better."

  • Is it hard for these kids to believe in each other?: Sometimes you have to question yourself. That's what we've talked about as a team: Can I give more? Everybody has to ask that question of themselves."


Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

The Big Plays

Hey everyone. Thanks for being so civil and reasonable with your comments during the past 15 hours or so. That's why the HABOTN is too darn hot: Quality people speakin' the truth without the need to posture.

Why posture when you know the BANHAMMER > you?

OK. So we've got Thomas H. Tuberville on the line at 3. I'm doing this one on the phone. I'll basically do what I did for Franklin -- type it live as best I can.

I went back through the play-by-play during the flights home today. Here are the official Jay G's Six Biggest Plays of The Game:
  • Wes Byrum's missed 44-yard FG (third quarter): Auburn actually built a nice little drive there, moved the ball 52 yards. Then Byrum comes in there and shanks one wide left. That would have tied the game. Everything went downhill for the Tigers after that.

  • Mario Fannin goes for no gain on 3rd-and-goal from the 1 (first quarter): Gotta have that one. Just gotta. Someone blew that call; either Kodi Burns handed off the wrong direction or Fannin ran the wrong direction. It was a hideously mistimed error.

  • Burns stuffed on 3rd-and-2 (second quarter): This was just before half-time. Auburn had moved just beyond mid-field, then asked Burns to convert a short third down with a keeper. He gained only one yard. This was a prime opportunity to build momentum going into the second half.

  • Walt McFadden flagged for pass interference on third down (third quarter): It was 3rd-and-4 from the AU 43. The pass wasn't going to be caught and both players were fighting for position. McFadden pushed a bit more, though, and cost his team an important third-down stop. The Mountaineers scored moments later on a field goal -- their first score of the second half.

  • Montez Billings loses 7 yards on a reverse (second quarter): Auburn was ahead 17-3 and just recovered an on-side kick. They were trying to seize momentum with a trick play, which I considered a sound strategic decision. I would have attempted something similar in that circumstance. I'm not going to rip Tuberville & Co. for the call, but losing yards provided a significant mental blow. Auburn seemed to lose confidence after that.

  • Noel Devine gains 36 yards on the first play an important WVU drive (second quarter): It was a mis-direction pitch of some kind that completely fooled the Tigers. Auburn had gone ahead 10-0 moments earlier and the pressure was on WVU to make something happen. This was it. The play shocked the Tigers' defense and fueled the home team's first scoring drive.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Jay G update

As discussed several times before, I won't have time to blog much tonight.

I have an early flight out of PIT and I'm 90 minutes from PIT right now.

Tommy Tuberville will hold his regularly scheduled teleconference Friday at 3 p.m. I hope to be providing substantive updates before and after that event.

Take care and behave.

Commisserate with your fellow HOTTIES

All I ask: Keep it relatively clean.

Some kids read this. Cussing should be avoided.

Fourth Quarter, WVU 27-17

We're discussing the fourth quarter of Auburn's game at West Virginia.

  • WVU 27, AUBURN 17: Jalloh scores on a 32-yard pass. Auburn defenders miss three tackles, which has become a theme tonight. That's 24 consecutive points now for the home team.

Third quarter, WVU 10-17

We're discussing the third quarter of Auburn's game at West Virginia.

  • WVU 20, AU 17: Dorrell Jalloh catches a 3-yard pass from White for a score. The Mountaineers now have scored 17 straight points. This is also the fourth time this season Auburn has lost a double-digit lead.

  • AUBURN 17, WVU 13: McAfee 42 FG. The Mountaineers converted their first two third-down situations to keep a slow drive alive.

Second quarter, AU 17-3

We're discussing the second quarter of Auburn's game at West Virginia.

Through one quarter...
AU -- 11:59
WV -- 3:01

  • AUBURN 17, WVU 10: Alric Arnett catches a 44-yard pass from Pat White. Four plays, 78 yards in 1:31. The Tigers' defense is yielding a lot of yards in a short period of time.

  • AUBURN 17, WVU 3: Burns scores on a 9-yard run. Auburn took possession on the WVU 31 after a long KOR by Mario Fannin. Two plays: A wheel-route throw to Tristan Davis for 22 yards, Burns' run. This is best-case scenario for the Tigers.

  • AUBURN 10, WVU 3: Pat McAfee 23 FG. Two long runs to open the drive (plus a personal-foul flag against Zac Etheridge) moves the Mountaineers inside the 10. They can't finish, settle for a field goal.

  • AUBURN 10, WVU 0: Brad Lester scores on a 16-yard screen pass from Kodi Burns. The play was prefaced by an interception -- the Tigers' second of the night -- by Walt McFadden. Auburn took possession at the WVU 28.

First Quarter, AU 3-0

We're discussing the first quarter of Auburn's game at West Virginia.
  • AUBURN 3, WVU 0: Wes Byrum 19 FG. That's the new Auburn. They're running I, ace and the occasional shotgun formation. This drive stalled at the 1-yard line, but it lasted 20 plays and 9:54. I haven't seen that from the Tigers this year: Toughness.

Pregame/Visual goodness from WVU

Hey everyone. Quite a ride into Morgantown. Once you hit traffic here -- about three miles from the stadium -- you are locked up.

Took me 70 minutes to arrive at the Morgantown exit in I-79.

Took me 60 minutes to traverse those final three miles. So it goes.

  • They're running the "I" formations again this weekend. I'm seeing plenty of "ace" and shotgun in the team sets.

  • Neil Caudle appears to be running with the second-team offense. Chris Todd apparently is running with the third-team offense. Barrett Trotter is out there, but I can't really gauge his status.

  • Bosley is working at center. Ryan Pugh is at RT.

  • Big Snacks Berry is starting at RG in place of Byron Isom. I'm not sure what the story is there.

BUYOUT UPDATE: Colonial Bank had a realllly bad week. I wonder if that affects Tuberville's job security in the sense that, you know, a lot of people are in financial trouble these days. Is Auburn really willing to spend $12+ million just to change football coaches?

Anyway ...

Here are some photographs I'd like to share:

This is the countryside along I-79, just north of the Pa./W.Va. state line. It doesn't look like Alabama. They'll build on a hill in a heartbeat.

Here is a view of Milan Puskar Stadium from the field-level box seats.

This is their scoreboard. Not bad. It has a clean design, which I prefer over Auburn's let's get every conceivable number associated with the game on this screen approach.

This is a view from the north endzone looking south. On your TV screen, this is left looking right.

Here is Sen'Derrick Marks kickin' it with West Virginia cornerback Ellis Lankster. Both players are from Mob Town and are graduates of Vigor ... separated by two years.

West Virginia, like some schools, uses a big ol inflatable helmet during the pre-game shenanigans. Strikes me as high-school, but whatever. Here's a view from INSIDE THE HELMET. Feel the electricity.

Hall of Fame adjustments

I like to be transparent when it comes to issues as serious as the HABOTN Hall of Fame.
  • I have added a new subsection, entitled "BANHAMMERED," for those whose visits to the campfire ended on the business end of my mighty weapon.

  • I have added FakeSteveJobs, our resident Alabama realist, to the Notable Newcomers group.

  • I am promoting SteveFC, Monica, Bark and Eddie.

  • I anticipate at least two Heaters moving into the RoF in the coming days. If you'd like to stump on behalf of someone, please contact me via email. I like Yuengling.

Congratulations to all.

An Anniversary of sorts


Big day in my life. Unofficially, it was the first day of my career as an Auburn beat writer. I was merely a sidebar hag covering Ala-Tennessee that day. My editor called, told me that my new job was to handle Auburn's search for a new coach.

I'd never heard of David Housel.

Anyway, we're 10 years removed from Terry Bowden's departure. Has much changed? Tommy Tuberville is in serious trouble, a former assistant is questioning him on the radio and Important People are considering their alternatives.

Anyway, I thought it was worth noting.

Reminds me of a lyric from Rush's song "Circumstances": Plus ce change, plus c'est la meme chose.

(As alarming as Auburn's problems are right now, they're not in the same zip code as the 1998 debacle. The Tigers can fix their current issues. Terry Bowden's final year on the Plains defined the word terminal.)

Franklin speaks again

Tony Franklin is appearing on WMSP AM 740 in Montgomery today.

I'm listening and I'll post anything new -- or really interesting -- he says.

*Again talking about how he didn't talk with Tuberville directly. "We didn't have long game-plan conversations. That's OK with me. Me and Larry (Blakeney) didn't have long game-plan conversations."

*"To me, they weren't. That was a unique and different situation. I've never been in a situation where I worried if my play calls would get the head coach angry."

*On his play calls: "Most of them were not very good."


*On QBs: "(Todd) had a tremendous arm in high school. He was a wonderful prospect to bring in. What we didn't know was that the shoulder injury he suffered in (junior) college was much worse. His arm strength wasn't near what we thought."

*Why the QBs were weak: "There were a whole lot of deep-seated problems that, honestly, weren't problems with the quarterback. The plan and the scheme wasn't working for numerous reasons."

*Parallels with Franklin's "Patton Speech" and Mike Gundy's "I'm a man; I'm 40" speech: "Mike Gundy won his team with that speech. He took a calculated gamble and risk. That was the changing point in his career at Oklahoma State."

*On his big rant: "It turned out to be a positive except for those who got their feelings hurt."

*Tuberville's dedication to the spread: "I depends on what day of the week it is. What you do out of formations is more important than the word spread. It's become a cliche term; it doesn't mean anything."

*Tuberville's offensive plan: "I have no idea what he believes in and I'm not sure he really knows at this point."

*What did you learn?: "For me, the lesson is to trust your gut instinct. I still feel good about me and my ability to coach football. (This system) still works, it just didn't work here."

*How will they do: "Tommy has always been able to pull rabbits out of his hat. Anytime you have good defense, you have a chance to win. I'd be surprised if they didn't win tonight. There's enough good players there to win -- especially defense. (Tuberville) will survive this one."

*You still going to teach camps?: (The SEC prohibits coaches from having a financial stake in coaching endeavors beyond his school's focus) "I'll talk with my former partners and see if we can get this working again and see if I can buy back. Troy is always going to be part of my family. We want to do as many things as we can with Troy University."

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

All we have are the embers

Thanks for a pleasant and enjoyable SECOND campfire of the day.

Big up to Jaybar for all THE VINE regarding everyone favorite's tight end from Kentucky. You can call him Slush or Slush Fund or, as Quentin Groves would say, Grape Slush.

Now I head for the hizzle tizzle.


Tony Franklin speaks

Former offensive coordinator Tony Franklin spent nearly an hour today talking on air with Paul Finebaum.

This was Franklin's first public appearance since being fired on Oct. 8.

Read below for an abbreviated transcript of what Franklin had to say. I was typing this stuff in real time, so I made several quick decisions about what to include or omit. This is everything I found important, though.

* Franklin has "wrapped up" his contract situation with Auburn.

* No gag order, no confidentiality agreement.

*"It's still not real clear to me what happened."

*"I felt like I had lost the football team. In order to get them back, something dramatic had to happen. I came up with the best George Patton speech I could come up with."

*"For two hours on the football field, I was 25 yards old again. I got in people's faces. I coached the way I did it as a kid."

*"I felt like I had those guys; they were with me."

*"I probably hurt some feelings along the way."

*"(Tuberville) was tired of everybody blaming me."

*Franklin now referring to Auburn's other assistants as "them."

*"I felt pretty positive about everything that was happening. The next time I saw (Tuberville), he came in and fired me. No one has ever come to me and said: Tony, this is what happened."

*"I'm befuddled to some degree."

*"They might have thought I went off the deep end."

*"He said: This thing isn't working. I feel like I gotta do something. I said: Coach, are you going to fire me? He said: Yep."

*When it was over with, we shook hands and he left and I began to pack my stuff and leave."

*"I had a conversation with an assistant coach (won't say who) who took some things personal. They weren't meant to be personal."

*"Everything is fine until you hit rough waters. When you hit rough water, you'll find that some people are on board and some people aren't on board."

*On the alleged gash from an altercation: "I have a huge hole in my head when I had cancer when I was 23 years old. They cut part of my skull out. I can't altercate anyone. I've never been a fighter."

*Curse players?: "My language is not the greatest thing in the world. My parents aren't real proud of me. I think there's a place for everything. It wasn't an issue I saw going into it. I've never been one to call people names. I do use rough language."

*Who got you fired?: "I believe there were two people who were wrong in this -- Tony Franklin and Tommy Tuberville. Those assistant coaches worked hard, tried to do a good job and we couldn't get it to work. Coordinators come in, coordinators leave, those guys stay. There's a reason they're staying. They're going to do what is best thing for themselves, the best thing for Coach Tuberville and the best thing for Auburn -- not what's best for Tony Franklin."


*What happened, Part II: "I was puzzled. I'm still puzzled to a degree. He felt like he had to make a decision based upon staff comraderie, possible, players that might not have taken my Patton speech as well as others. Maybe he responded to that after the fact. I don't know if I'll ever know."

*Difficult staff to be around?: "There's probably two sides to the entire deal. There's not anybody there that I'll be in touch with. That probably tells you as far as the friendship part. You don't have to be friends to make it work. It's more comfortable that way. In the beginning, basically Coach Tuberville comes in and says: This is who we are hiring. The interview process was those guys. I interviewed with those guys as much as Tommy. They were part of that process. It's one of those things where Tommy is saying: This is who I want, y'all go interview. They're not going to walk out the door and go back and say: Hey, we don't want to do this. It was something that would be very difficult to do make work regardless. I had a lot of feelings where I wondered about doing it."

*Why not move guys from Troy: "He just flat-out said no."

*"There were a couple of signs within a week of being there that it was going to be a difficult thing to do. My gut instinct on this thing was that it's probably not a great decision. My ego took over. I thought I could make it work." It's unique. It's a unique situation. As unique as it is, they've won a lot of ball games that way."

*"You fired a really good coach before me. Al Borges is a really good coach."



*More on Al Borges: "The conversations between Al and I are private. He was just being a good human being. (In previous seasons) I saw a coach who was a great scheme coach. The pressure to win at Auburn is so high -- not just win, win big -- somebody will decide that a guy who went 13-0 suddenly isn't good enough anymore. It's ridiculous."

*Holding back?: I've been angry before. The situation at Kentucky, I was fighting angry. Human nature taught me a long time to not expect a tremendous amount from people when things aren't going well. I never really expected anything, so it's hard to be disappointed."

*On Kodi Burns: "I'm not comfortable about talking about (players) in deep detail. I didn't know going into that press conference that Coach Tuberville had told the reporters that he had put Kodi in the game. He did, on the 28th play of that game, told me to do that."

*Talk to the media: "We were told as a staff that we would not be doing any more talk-show interviews. Since I was the only guy doing your show, I'm assuming it was probably directed toward me. It's something I was actually a little bit surprised about."

*Hang out with Tommy? He's been nice talking about you since firing you: "It's normal coach-speak. He's a guy who was hands-off until game day. Before that, we didn't have much of a relationship. I'd see him pass by in the hallway every now and then. He might stop in, in the 10 months I was there, maybe 4 or 5 times just to say hello. That's about it."

*"I didn't have a personal relationship with Tommy. I didn't have one before I came there. I didn't have one after I got there. I'd pass by him in the hall every now and then."

*"There's no doubt that the people he's been with for a long time ... he has closer relationships with them. I was not one of those."

*"I walk in the door, I'm the new guy on the block. The personal relationship wasn't there."

*How did you get the job: "I knew two people -- Noel Mazzone and Eddie Gran. Eddie called me and asked me if it was something I'd be interested in. My exact words to him were: "You know what I do. This is not a fit. This is not what you all do. I'm too old to learn something new. I don't want to. If that's something he really wants to do, to make this dramatic of a change, give me a call. Otherwise, it would be a waste of time for both of us."

*"I went home and I talked with my wife and told her what happened. She looked at me like I was crazy. I told her it wasn't going to work. A few days later, they called me back and I went to go talk with them."

*"When this thing started, it was something I knew would be a wild shot. It's a culture shock. It's like what Rich Rodriguez is doing at Michigan. At least he took his guys with him."

*"He's got his trusted soldiers he can rely on for information or discussions. He's definitely different than the Rich Rodriguez or Urban Meyer kind of coaches."

*"He'll make comments on Saturdays. Things that weren't exactly: Hey, great job, hang in there, it'll work before long. Things that were a little touchy to try to get you to do better. Everybody has a different style. I worked for Larry Blakeney for two years and he never said a word to me."

* (UPDATED) "I didn't take over the fifth or sixth-best defense in the country. When I took over in the bowl game, we were 102nd or 103rd in the nation in offense. I wish it'd have happened fast. I wish it'd happened quickly. Sometimes if you're that bad and you have a good coach, which Al Borges was a good football coach, there may be some more problems you've got to worry about.


*You getting back in the media, etc.:
It's something I'm considering. I love writing. It's a process I enjoy. I enjoy telling the stories. I'm sure I'm going to write again. As far as the media, I'm trying to get a sidekick deal on the biggest show in the Southeast. I am available right now."

*He's "excited" to get back to teaching "The System" with high-school coaches.

*Should prospects play for Auburn?: (He's speaking in general terms here)"You have to do your homework. (Recruits) should actually pick a school. The chances of that coaching staff being there for the entire five years, it's slim to none. Auburn is a great school, great academics."

*Fans have told him: "We don't treat people this way at Auburn. We're with you."

*Tuberville sacrificed you?: "It's a calculated gamble. I think he did the right thing, to be honest about it. He knew he had to take a chance on either me or some other guys. Probably the best thing was me. You were playing Arkansas. He's going into a game that he felt like was be a win. He thought people would jump in and see what happened. It was a gamble he took. Whether it works or not in the long run, who knows?"

*"I do take the freedom of the press seriously. We make a lot of money because of you and because of people like you. That's why we get paid. If you can't put up with the two hours after this when people call me an idiot, you don't need to be in this profession."


Live from Corapolis, Pa.

Hey everyone. I have arrived. As noted initially by Evan Woodbery, the Pittsburgh airport is barren. I mean, there was nobody there. Creepy.

Here are two photographs I have taken:

a.) The PIT terminal ...

b.) The road that leads to my PIT PAD ...

I saw a ton of Auburn fans on the flight up here. I even met a few associate HOTTIES (read the blog occasionally), which is always nice. The word is spreading!

FRANKLIN SPEAKS?: One of the HOTTIES tipped me on the Franklin stuff, which I did not know until he messaged during my flight. Thanks for that. I am listening to Finebaum here in the Pittsburgh suburbs. I'll tape the segment, transcribe it and we'll discuss it.

In fact, I'll create a new blog post when (and if) he shows up for the segment.

Second leg begins

Hey everyone. I'm now in Atlanta, which claims to "service more than 230,000 passengers per day," which makes me laugh because service is an interesting verb.

Here's my view at the moment:

I received a nice surprise when Press-Register ace Evan Woodbery (one r) arrived here at the gate via Honda Civic from Auburn. This flight will be chock-full-o beat writers. Charles Goldberg and the Bammerham News Boys will be here as well.

The trip north begins

Hey everyone. I'm sitting in the Montgomery Airport, commonly referred to as Dannelly Field, on a swell Wednesday morning. This is what I'm seeing:

I'll be meeting with master author of The Gold Mine, Charles Goldberg, in Atlanta. He'll also have some henchmen in tow. I wish I had henchmen. I did before the newspaper business went south. So it goes.

THE REAL TEAM: Auburn is flying into PIT later today. They're chartering a big ol' jet airliner out of Columbus, Ga.

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

The Tuesday chatter

Hey everyone. It's been a weird Tuesday. We're all so used to this being a big information day, but everything was shifted back. I'm sure you're OK with that. The wait is almost over.

Here are a few things to share:

TEMPERATE TUBS: Tuberville is not a cold-weather guy. In fact, I think Auburn is about as far north as he likes to travel. He received a call this afternoon from Jimmy Perry, the team's director of operations, who already is in Morgantown, W.Va. He reported cold temperatures even in the sunshine.

``You know how I feel about cold weather," Tuberville said. ``I'll be so bundled up that people won't recognize me on Thursday."

INDOOR FACILITY UPDATE: There appears to be some renewed chatter about building an expansive indoor facility. The football team currently uses a 60-yard building immediately north of their practice fields, though Tuberville said in February that a bigger facility would be preferable.

Tuberville and a pair of university spokesmen told me today that they aren't aware of any official changes to the project's status, but it's still something worth mentioning.

To review, the project would entail some significant work with the massive drainage basin that flows south out of Jordan-Hare Stadium. If that is squared away, the preliminary plan is to close Biggio Drive and build the new, multi-purpose facility on grounds formerly used by the track & field teams.

You can see that on the map; it's the gray area on the left. The football practice fields are directly to the east of that.

Preliminary cost estimates were in the $10-$15 million range. Auburn has a lot of money tied up in the new basketball arena ($90 million+) and its associated projects, so indoor-facility funding seems scarce.

TEZ TALKS IT UP: Here are some excerpts from an interview with Tez Doolittle, the happy-go-lucky defensive tackle.
  • On the rumors about Tuberville: "I haven't heard anything about his job being in jeopardy and whatnot. People are still worried about who's going to be the coordinator and this and that but that's all we've heard about."

  • On the offensive changes: "They get to put their hand down on the ground and they come off the ball a little harder. I always heard Tyronne Green crying about being in the two-point stance about how he can't get push and stuff like that. Yesterday, went against the offense the last couple periods of practice and I saw Tyrone get down in a three-point stance so I was thinking 'I know they ain't about to pass' so I came off hard and I kind of jacked him up a little bit and he got mad yesterday so we were laughing about that. So I guess they like having their hand down in the dirt and stuff."

  • On his feelings about the new offense (Doolittle was a fullback in high school): "I want to run the ball, basically. I want to get back in my high school days and try to run the ball on the goal line. I was joking to coach Gran about that. I was like 'Coach, when we run the ball and get down on the goal line, let me pound that thing in.' We were just joking and laughing about that."

  • On WVA quarterback Pat White, a Daphne native: "He's very good with the option. When he sees the defensive ends crashing down, he's going to pull it down and run it. If he's in the pocket, he can kill you with his arm and his feet. So he's a good quarterback."

Radio Appearance Forthcoming

Looks like I'm back in Mob Town today.

I'm due to appear with Bo Megginson on the "Auburn Undercover" program this afternoon at 5:15. I'm not sure which radio station that is. Sadly, Phillip Marshall will not be on the broadcast due to travel arrangements. Bummer.

They allegedly stream the show.

UPDATE: The stream works for me.

Photo credit:

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

Campfire wrap-up

Thanks again for a fun evening here at the HABOTN.

We went almost two hours tonight, which was long enough to handle business.

See you on Tuesday.

Campfire notice

Sounds like we need some consolidation time here at the HABOTN.

Let's aim for a 9:30 campfire.

If you have a problem with that, I'll ask Kevin Yoxall to "adjust your attitude" on the SprinTurf field. How do you feel about that?

AU @ Ole Miss time announced

In the midst of the Monday madness, I neglected to inform you of this:

Auburn's Nov. 1 game at Ole Miss will be the Raycom game. That means Morning Football; 11:30 a.m. to be exact.

Come trick-or-treat with me in Tupelo on the 31st!

Video report, 10/20

Some of Tuberville's comments FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

(007 reference for Charles Goldberg, who has been running Bond-themed videos lately. Why? No idea.)

If you like it, watch it twice.


How about that, huh?

So you can see on the Twitter feed right over there ...

Tuberville came out this afternoon addressing any and all rumors about health. And the ones about contract buyouts. And basically everything else.

Apparently, he was forced to debunk plenty of rumors during his recruiting visits late last week. Much of it had been discussed here. We all know about Tuberville's neck problems, but he said that's not going to be a job-affecting deal.

Here are the quotes:
  • On the rumors: "I'm not tired of coaching. I'm fired up as ever. You know, I've been here 10 years as head coach, this is my 30th year to coach, and I feel as good right now as I ever had about coaching football and young guys. I still have that drive. You pretty much have to, 14-, 18-hour days this time of year. I read that my drive was gone."

  • On how the team has responded: "The one thing I will tell you about our football team is that with all these distractions from the outside, I can tell more about our football team when things go like this then I do at any other time. A good football team is made from within, not from without. We've got some great kids on this team that have busted their tail and they have hurt immensely. And you should as much time and effort as they put into it. You can put every fan together and it wouldn't come near the hurt that it hurts one of these kids to lose a football game, the effort and time they put into it. I'm proud of it."

  • On being An Auburn Man: "I just wanted to let you know. I've been here 10 years. I plan on being here 10 more. I'm looking forward to it. All these rumors get started. I'm 10 years an Auburn man and I'm 10 years more of an Auburn man than most because I put my heart and soul in this thing and we ain't going to stop now. We're going to keep working and striving to get better because we do have a good football team."

  • On the haters: "We've got a great program here that's going to get stronger, that's going to get better. All the detractors from outside that keep throwing stones at us, that's fine. I love it. It makes us work harder."

  • On any discussions he had with Jay Jacobs: "He's been very supportive. Dr. Gogue is the guy; he makes all the decisions. At the end of the year we sit down and we visit about how things have gone. Very little of it, to be honest with you, last year, wasn't even about winning or losing. It was about everything else. And that's what it should be. I'm a football coach and everything that goes along with it. I know more about this program than most people combined, what I've put into it in the last 10 years."

SO WHAT DID I THINK?: I'm like Tommy in the sense that I have no problem eschewing diplomacy when I'm angry. He's angry. This is exactly what I would have done. Was it the best move? Probably not. I think it creates almost as many rumors as it quells. Why did he feel the need to say that? Why would he address rumors if they're not true? is Live*

We have purchased the domain "" for our continued enjoyment.

It's annoying to be on a radio program and have the hosts ask me to identify the HABOTN's URL. It officially, of course, but that's a mouthful on radio.

So now I can say "" and that'll suffice. It's worth the money.

Plus, we value brevity.

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Schedule update

Hey everyone. Happy Monday to you.

QUICK GLANCE AT WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT: Tuberville speaks at 1 p.m. Selected players (ie the usual suspects) will be available around 1:30. As you expect, I'll Twitter anything major Tuberville says in real time.

I'd encourage you to sign up for Twitter if you haven't already. Literally tens of HOTTIES can't be wrong. It's fun, free and can help boost your social life in addition to boosting your Auburn knowledge.

I'll return around 2 to provide a Tuberville synopsis. Then a video around 3.

I'll be working here at Auburn until 7 or so, which means I'll be available to take your calls, emails and comments.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

A little something from Tristan Davis

It's obvious significant changes have been made to the offensive structure. Davis has been really good about explaining certain elements of strategy to reporters, who sometimes understand.
  • On what's changing: "The big issue is everybody knowing what they're supposed to do. Sometimes, how things were, we were guessing. We really weren't 100 percent sure. You can't play football thinking. You have to be there mentally. You have to know what you have and go do it. You can't be out there thinking: I think I've got this, I think I've got to throw the ball to this person. Right now, they're making it a point in knowing what we have. By the end of the week, we will know what we have."

  • On what he means by `know what we have': ``We might run the same play three times with three different groups so everybody can see how the play unfolds with three different looks. Before, we might have run the play against one look and gone to the next play."

Remember the talk immediately following Tony Franklin's dismissal about how the gameplan wasn't being communicated all that well? Sounds like that has been rectified.

A little something from Ryan Pugh

Remember him? The Tigers' starting center was very outspoken after the Vanderbilt game. He was confused about the play-calling. He certainly wasn't the only one.

He made a return appearance today. Pugh had a few interesting things to say.
  • On if Auburn will return to its 'smash-mouth' roots: "You'll see smash-mouth. We're going to throw it. We're going to do what it takes to win the game. I think everybody's just excited about it, really."

  • On how things have changed for the offensive linemen: "We've still got Coach Nall there, so things aren't going to change much. Same old, same old."

  • On the team's recent practices: "As a team I know we've looked better at practice and we've just had a little bit more bounce in our step. I felt good at practice today. I felt like I had a good practice. We've just got to keep going out there and keep working."

Video report, 10/19

If you like it, view it twice.

Enjoy yourself.

Tuberville speaks, 10/19

OK. Unusual situation. Your Head Coach wasn't able to answer some questions about injuries, who will play, etc. As a consolation, he agreed to break protocol and meet with the media again after practice to provide (accurate) information about injuries and, possibly, how Barrett Trotter is lookin'.

He spoke only briefly at 3. Here are the highlights:
  • Initial assessment on Barrett Trotter: "Barrett did very well last week, as Neil (Caudle) did."

  • (UPDATED) On the possibility of Trotter playing this week: "We need another day. It didn't go as well as I would have hoped in terms of mistakes and stuff from all of them. We need another day of looking at all of them and trying to figure out who can do what."

  • Tuberville seemed prepared to use Trotter this week in a second-team role. He made allusions to how Auburn used Burns last season as Brandon Cox's change-of-pace complement.

  • Yes, that's a change of position for Tuberville. He said last week that Trotter would play only if expected to handle a featured role.

  • (UPDATED) On Kodi Burns' role: "He's going to get a little bit better every time he plays. We're not going to take him out, just to say ok, he's having problems let's take him out. (For Trotter,) it'll be like a deal where (Burns) went in for Brandon -- just certain plays. Young guys, whoever plays the other role, is not going to know it all. You can't expect them to. They'll know an abbreviated version."

  • On CB Jerraud Powers, who has missed one game with a hamstring injury: "I don't want to put him out there and then have a chance of losing him for the season."

  • On LB Josh Bynes: "He's been a bright spot for us. Mentally, he's a lot further along than I expected."

  • On DT/DE Zach Clayton: "The only position he hasn't played is quarterback. He's another bright spot. He's the young Tez Doolittle."

  • (UPDATED) On how practice went last week: "It was a real good week of practice, a lot better than most open dates (with) everybody kind of coasting through it. You couldn't coast through that one. We had to get better. We did a lot of contact and went against each other quite a bit. We'll do the same thing today. This will be one of the longest practices that we've had all year."

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