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Fallout from Tuscaloosa

Hey everyone. Here are some things I heard after the game:

  • Tuberville said he's expecting to return next season: "I'm committed to getting this thing going again. In this conference and in college football, you're going to have up and down years. I have total confidence that I can get this thing turned around. It was my fault that we got it this way in terms of our offense. We just never very consistent on offense but I'm committed to getting it done. We'll start immediately in recruiting and working in that direction."

  • Here is Tuberville two-pronged plan to fix the Tigers' ills:

    • a. Offensive strategy: "We've got to figure out where we want to be, what we want to do, who's going to do it. I've got a lot of guys in mind, lot of interest.

    • b. Recruiting: "We've got to recruit some guys that can make big plays. We don't have that. We've got to get a few more offensive linemen, we've got to get back to being more physical; we weren't a very physical football team this year and after taking us out of being physical in spring practice and the first three or four games, it's hard to recover that during the season. So, we've got to get a playmaker."

  • On assessing his assistants: "We'll go out and recruit, starting the recruiting this week. I think official visits and contacts start tomorrow. Guys can go into homes and I'm not going to make any quick decisions; there's no reason to, we're not playing in a bowl game. I'll sit down and evaluate. I've got to go out and do recruiting and also get on the road and start interviewing people" (for the OC job).

  • Jason Bosley is not happy with the speculation rolling around: "I think it’s ridiculous, absolutely. For what Coach Tuberville has accomplished since he’s been here -- to go through a season like we’ve had this year with the adversity -- for there to be any discussion about his job security, I think is absolutely ridiculous. It’s absurd. If you’re going to do that to a man who’s done what he’s done for Auburn University, that’s ridiculous. That’s stupid. I don’t know where it comes from. When you have adversity, the cream of the crop rises to the top. So do the turds. That’s the way it is. People start pointing fingers real quick and it’s easy to point fingers at the head coach. But that shouldn’t even be a topic of discussion, in my opinion."

  • Tuberville said Chris Slaughter is still on the team. He missed the game because of a family health situation.

Fourth quarter, Ala leads 29-0

I have lost internet connection several times tonight and I cannot continue the drive-by-drive charting.

REMINDER ON COMMENTS: No cussing. Don't accuse anyone of a felony without an arrest report.

Third quarter, Ala leads 29-0

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

  • Alabama's first possession of the second half: Four and out.

  • Auburn's first possession: Brad Lester loses the ball on the drive's second play. Alabama recovers.

  • Alabama's second possession: Wilson to Nikita Stover for a 39-yard touchdown pass. Leigh Tiffin's PAT kick was blocked.

    • ALABAMA 16, AUBURN 0

  • Auburn's second possession: Ends on a fumble. Kodi Burns dropped a poor snap from Jason Bosley.

  • Alabama's third possession: Mark Ingram 1 run. Auburn had Alabama held on a 3rd-and-14. Wilson hit Ingram on a short pass and the tailback turned that into a 27-yard gain.

    • ALABAMA 22, AUBURN 0

  • Auburn's third possession: Three and out. Nothing doing.

  • Alabama's fourth possession: Ingram scores on a 15-yard run. It's getting ugly. All seven plays on that drive were runs. Alabama covered 50 yards. That's a wrap, kids.

    • ALABAMA 29, AUBURN 0

  • Auburn's fourth possession: Three and out. Nothing.

  • Alabama's fifth possession: In progress.

Access issue

Sorry, guys. I can barely get Internet access at all. I'm trying to get this handled asap.

Second quarter, Ala leads 10-0

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

  • Auburn's third possession: Not much happening there. Mario Fannin converted a third down with a nice screen catch-and-run play, but that was the lone Auburn highlight. 7 plays, 21 yards. (started at 14:53, AUB 24)

  • Alabama's third possession: Glen Coffee 41-yard TD run. Auburn had Alabama held at 3rd-and-11. John Parker Wilson hit Julio Jones on an out route, earned the first down and Coffee scored on the next play. 4 plays, 65 yards. (started at 12:06, ALA 35)

    • ALABAMA 10, AUBURN 0

  • Auburn's fourth possession: Not much going on. Burns lost his mechanics on a poor second-down pass. Alabama blitzed on third down and Burns couldn't find anyone available. (started at 10:21, AUB 24)

  • Alabama's fourth possession: They were making progress. Jerraud Powers made a "nice play" on Julio Jones during a third-down pass. Powers arrived a bit early. No penalty was called. (started at 8:42, ALA 38)

  • Auburn's fifth possession: Three and out. Kodi Burns can't pass. He has lost his mechanics and touch. He's also being pressured. (started at 6:09, AUB 19)

  • Alabama's fifth possession: Three and out. (started at 4:25, ALA 31)

  • Auburn's sixth possession: Ends with a blocked field goal. Morgan Hull was attempting the first kick of his career. (started at 2:27, AUB 28)

First quarter, Ala leads 3-0

We're discussing the first quarter of Auburn's game at Alabama.

  • Auburn's first possession: Nine plays, 25 yards. Converted two of their three third-down situations, but they punted on 4th-and-10. (began at 14:52, AUB 20)

  • Alabama's first possession: Nothing happening. Three plays, 5 yards. (began at 10:48, ALA 7)

  • Auburn's second possession: Wasted opportunity. Auburn started in Alabama territory. Burns made a nice throw on third down, but Derek Winter dropped it. Not sure if he had first-down yardage anyway. Still, Derek Winter? Three plays, five yards. (began at 9:19, ALA 49)

  • Alabama's second possession: Leigh Tiffin 37 FG @ 0:00. It was a good one. They had some good runs between the tackles. I think I'm seeing a lot of mis-alignments on the outside. Auburn made a nice stop on 3rd-and-1 to halt the Tide's drive. 8 plays, 76 yardsIn progress. (began at 7:36, ALA 5)


Misty in Tuscaloosa

Hey everyone. I have arrived in Tuscaloosa, where your Auburn Tigers soon will play Your Least Favorite Team.

It's not raining. It's misty, though, and it's wet.

I'm headed downstairs momentarily to get pictures from outside the stadium.

Let's aim for a campfire around 1:30 CST. I should be back by then.

The First Post, Iron Bowl Saturday

Hey everyone. I am awake. Weather reports don't seem all that damning.

Light rain in Tuscaloosa, but it looks like the precip will be out of the area by 10 a.m. or so. Overcast with a high of 62 degrees Farenheit is what tells me.

I'll go with it.

It's a big day for me: I get to drive my wife's SUV up there. She doesn't let me drive it usually, but The Advertiser Hacks need a big vehicle to ferry the four of us.

News? I have none for you just yet. It's early.

Radio Appearance Forthcoming

Hey everyone. Happy Black Friday.

I'll be on WMSP's The Roundtable with Doug Amos and Bag Moon around 1 p.m. CST.

If you're interested, the radio station streams the broadcast over the internets.

Macy's Parade Rick-Rolled

This was just awesome. If you don't know what "Rickrolling" is, you must be oblivious to YouTube.

Check out the puppet at 1:28 saying: "I like RickRooooolling."

If you don't know what a Rickroll is, check this out.

Happy Thanksgiving from the HABOTN

Hey everyone. I hope you're having a swell Thanksgiving at your location. Things here in lower Alabama are lovely: Sunny, temps in the low 60s and Dr. Tate is in town. We love Dr. Tate and Mrs. Tate. Good people.

I don't have much to report today. Auburn will hold a couple of walk-throughs. There will be no media availability. The team will eat dinner at Sewell Hall (yummy) and Tuberville will be the primary meat cutter.

I'm sure we'll have pictures later to prove this fact.

Scottie B. and his peeps have manufactured the Official HABOTN t-shirts. Please accept this picture as Exhibit A. If you haven't ordered your remarkably warm garment, you might want to go ahead and get that handled.

Shipping will begin Monday at the latest. We may see some shipments ferried toward the Post Office tomorrow. You never know.

Please check the original thread for information, instructions and The Order Form.

Tuberville speakin' on coordinators

Tuberville was on the SEC teleconference today discussing matters related to his search for a new offensive coordinator. The Mea Culpa Project (aka Tony Franklin's reign) ended on Oct. 8 and Tuberville presumabl has been hot on the trail of his next coordinator since then.

Here's what he had to say:
  • On how many people have inquired: "I've got a stack a mile high. I've kinda worked those down to probably a dozen and I'll sit down and start working from those midweek next week. I want to get a start on that."

  • On his timeframe: "I'm not going to be in a real big hurry. I think the first week in January would probably be the target date to have somebody on board. It could happen before that but I don't foresee it happening any earlier than that. I don't want to mess with anybody's season."

  • On Auburn's ideal offensive paradigm: "I'm looking for somebody that knows something about the spread but also knows how to run the football. You've got to be able to do that in this league. I think it's pretty much been proven. If you look at everybody in this league, the people that are pretty much going to be at the top of the league every year are going to have a good running game. Whether it comes from your quarterback in the spread or whether it comes from a two-back system, you still have to have a plan."

The HABOTN Heisman

Hey everyone. It's The Day Before Thanksgiving, which means the Jeu De Fer is only three days away. The HOTTIES have been hatin' for days already. Some of you almost seem frothy already. I'm glad to see it.

HEISMAN ARRIVES: My bribe money worked; I again will vote for the Heisman Trophy this season. I have no firm ideas about who deserves this award most. Anecdotal evidence (ie a short chat with Chris Todd yesterday) suggests that Texas quarterback Colt McCoy is the top candidate.

I'll definitely give the HOTTIES a chance to provide some input. This ballot isn't due until Dec. 10, so we have plenty of time to consider dark horses who may not be receiving much mainstream attention.

TODAY'S SCHEDULE: I made a strategic decision to stay home today. That means I will not attend Tuberville's mid-afternoon briefing. I figure it's all downhill after the hour-long chat he held on Tuesday. My parents are coming today. I gotta be prepared for that, too.


  • 17 of the last 20 Iron Bowls have been decided by 10 points or less.

  • Auburn hasn't conceded a first-quarter touchdown to Alabama since 1996.

  • Auburn hasn't conceded a first-quarter offensive touchdown to any team this season.

  • Auburn ranks second among FBS teams (out of 119) in rushing touchdowns allowed: 4

  • Auburn ranks third among FBS teams (out of 119) in opponent third-down conversion percentage: 27.6%

  • His Longhorns rank 110th among FBS teams (out of 119) in pass defense: 266 yards per game

  • His Longhorns rank fourth among FBS teams (out of 119) in rushing defense: 82 yards per game.

LIVE -- Auburn (men) vs. Bethune-Cookman, 2nd half

We're reporting LIVE from the big Auburn vs. Bethune-Cookman College game at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.


A TO @ 5:05:
Auburn leads, 53-33. I can't really watch. It's just a bunch of guys playing very poorly and with no conviction.

THIRD TO @ 9:07:
Auburn leads, 44-33. You can see the numbers; BCC is on quite a run here. Auburn is just sloppy sloppy sloppy. No flow on offense. Tripping over themselves. BCC is hitting some difficult shots.

SECOND TO @ 11:55:
Auburn leads, 40-22. You'd think ... Auburn up 18? Not bad., but you'd be wrong. It's bad. It's just that BCC is mind-numbingly terrible.

FIRST TO @ 15:36:
Auburn leads, 34-19. Auburn lost the ball on three of its first four possessions of the half. Not good. BCC still doesn't have a field goal this half. Not much going on, honestly.

AUB, 41%
BCC, 28%

AUB, 17
BCC, 15

Auburn (men) vs. Bethune-Cookman


Auburn leads, 28-16. It's not getting any better.

FOURTH TO @ 3:47:
Auburn leads, 22-16. It's just ugly. Tay Waller can't hit anything for Auburn, which means there isn't much scoring. BCC is sloppy and listless with the ball. It looks like a game you'd see at the Student Act around noon on a Tuesday.

THIRD TO @ 7:07:
Auburn leads, 19-14.
Awful basketball game. BCC just kinda heaves it up whenever and wherever; no offensive flow. Auburn has a better plan on offense, but it's not exactly pretty. Francis Aihe seems confused.

FOOTBALL PLAYER SIGHTINGS: Ben Tate, Antonio Coleman, Hot Carter, Gabe McKenzie, Tyronne Green, Byron Isom.

SECOND TO @ 11:43:
Auburn leads, 11-7. Rasheem Barrett is in the game. He missed a few games with a groin strain, which sounds painful. Auburn is playing so-so on offense. They're getting some decent shots. BCC is just free-wheeling. This is not a good basketball team.

FIRST TO @ 15:59:
Auburn leads, 4-2. I'm joined courtside by former Advertiser scribe Kelvin Sims. Very exciting. BCC is trying to slow this thing down, being very deliberate on their end. Auburn is just doing its usual on offense. Slow start in general.

  • Here is the lineup for your Auburn Tigers
    • F/C -- Johnnie Lett
    • PF -- Korvotney Barber
    • SF -- Lucas Hargrove
    • SG -- Tay Waller
    • PG -- Tez Robertson

Video report, 11/25


Tuberville speaks, 11/25

Hey everyone. I'm just posting a quick thing to let you know that I'm alive and I'm working for the HABOTN.

Tuberville just ended his daily briefing. He spent 40 minutes just jabbering about nothing with the writers and a few selected guests (Paul Spina and Vince Saia), so I'm a little behind.

Here is an overview of what he had to say:
  • On Wes Byrum's alleged knee injury: "Day-to-day. We'll have to wait. He comes out there with ice on it. There's not structural damage. For some reason it just locks up on him. That's what they say. I'm no doctor."

  • He said Brad Lester is "100 percent" for the first time since August.

  • On how he's gone 4-1 against top-five teams in his Auburn career: "We're usually not a flamboyant team. We don't look flashy. We go out, we play and we take it quarter by quarter. We know most of our games are going to come down to the end anyway. We don't go out and try to do big plays. We do take a few chances every once and a while, try to get the momentum. Momentum is huge against ranked teams."

  • On Kodi Burns: "Kodi's confidence wasn't very good a few weeks ago. He was even struggling with some of the things that we were doing. You've got to do it over and over in practice. He's doing that. It's helped him. His fundamentals are good. He's getting his hips to the target. He's learning to take a little bit off of some passes. Kodi is one of those (players) who throws a 90 mph fastball on every down. Sometimes you can't do that. If you have a 10-yard pass, you need to take a little bit off of it. It's a work in progress."

Synopsis for Jerry Hinnen:
Auburn is 5-6 heading into its tilt against No. 1 Alabama. Coach Tommy Tuberville believes his team will be spirited and well-prepared for the Saturday afternoon game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tusclaoosa, Ala. The Columbia Broadcasting System will be televising the game in color.

Video report, 11/24

More HABOTN goodness for your soul.


p.s.: New closing music works correctly today. John Popper and the guys at Blues Traveler made it special for me ...

The Players Speak, 11/24

We talked with a few of your favorite players today.

Here's a look at what's being discussed:

  • Sen'Derrick Marks said, again, that he probably won't be leaving for the NFL Draft. He said he'll be seeking coach Tommy Tuberville's guidance when and if a decision has to be made. Marks is one of those kids who doesn't think he's good, so take his comments with a grain of salt. If he's second round or better, he'll be gone.

  • Jerraud Powers also was asked. He said, as you'd expect, that he'll talk with people after the Iron Bowl. I don't see how Powers would leave early. He's short and not that fast, though he's a very intuitive player. I think he'll be back in 2009.

  • Marks said linebacker Tray Blackmon is planning to return next season -- contrary to popular reports. Marks should know: He shares living space with Blackmon.

    "He can't wait to come back next year. He's doing real good. It's not like he's down about himself or he's throwing everything away because he couldn't play one year. He's ready to come back."

  • Jason Bosley seemed (politely) annoyed by the questions about Terrence Cody. The storyline is intriguing because Bosley will be conceding 100 pounds to Alabama's beefy noseguard on Saturday.

    "I don't worry about it. I'm going to go out and play hard. It doesn't matter who you're going against."

  • Kodi Burns said he already has identified the most important part of his Iron Bowl performance:

    ``Patience is a big thing. I think that over these last few games I've played, I've really learned that. This game being as big as it is, I'm really going to have to have a lot of it this game."

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Tuberville speaks, 11/24

We are live blogging Tommy Tuberville's weekly press conference.
  • Here we go ...

  • "Happy Thanksgiving, everybody."

  • "We've had good practices. Everything has gone well. By the time we get to the end of the week, we should be in good shape. The players -- they're into it. We'll probably be a huge underdog. We have a lot of work to do just to get into this game."

  • "Their offensive coordinator has done an outstanding job of taking what they had and molding it."

  • "They don't live off the pass; they live off the run. They look like what we've looked like in the past."

  • "Defensively? Speed. They have played very good team football all year long. Just watching them on film, you can tell they have a lot of confidence."

  • "They're a complete football team."

  • "It's a rival game like no other. Obviously, there is a lot riding on this game for Alabama with them being No. 1. We've been there. We understand that."

    (EDITOR'S NOTE: When was Tuberville No. 1?)

  • On the BCS: "Somebody is going to be left out. Different people complain every year. When they get their foot in the door, they get very involved."

  • On Terrence Cody: "We thought about dressing out Coach Dunn and putting him out there (for practice purposes). You just challenge your center and two guards and play the game. Everybody has big guys in the middle. It's just unusual that you have a big guy who is this talent. He's a big reason they're sitting where they're sitting in the polls."

  • Motivations: "We haven't talked about the streak. We haven't talked about a bowl. We're talking about playing for those seniors. The one thing we talk about all week long is poise. They'll go back when they're 50 or 60 years old and tell their kids and grandkids about the week of the Iron Bowl."

  • Six is good?: "It's satisfying, obviously. This is one game you've got to win. You want to give your fans the opportunity to have that ability to walk into a restaurant, walk into Wal-Mart or their places of business, and brag about the game. It's not the end of the world win or lose. Fans enjoy it a lot more than the players and coaches."

  • Value of this game: "When you get to the last game of the year, you forget about what has happened. I'm seeing a lot of smiles on their faces. It's nice to see them relax a little bit. I want them to relax and enjoy this week no matter what has happened. For us, this year, it's pride. The only thing we can control is this game."

  • On Wes Byrum: "Sometimes you come back with some confidence. When you lose it, it's hard to get it back. Wesley has done very well for us in the past. It hasn't been a great year for him -- as it has for everybody. Me included, quarterbacks."

  • "Every season is a 13-game playoff."

  • "They've had their bad moments, but they've been able to overcome them."

  • On John Parker Wilson: "He has more confidence in everyone around him. The running game has helped, but it all starts with those five offensive linemen."


Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Early Monday business

Hey everyone. Congratulations to Jet, who makes our "Featured Quote" section of the HABOTN. I got a great laugh out of that one. Fellow beat hack and slow writer Charles Goldberg of the Bammerham News also enjoyed it.

Here is today's agenda:
  • T-SHIRT ORDERS: If you reserved a shirt (or shirts) and you haven't ordered, then it's time to start thinking the best decision of your entire life. For only $15, you'll soon wear the hottest and most bodacious article of clothing ever created.

    Please check the original thread for information, instructions and The Order Form.

  • BEAT BAMA BASH IN MGM: If you're a (supporter of the Auburn football team) living in the Gump or surrounding areas, you have a shindig to consider on Tuesday night. The Montgomery Auburn Club is holding its annual Iron Bowl gathering next to Jubilee Seafood. We're talking about food, music, libations, the works. Dues may be paid at the door -- $25 for individuals, $30 for the fam.

    The partay runs from 5-8 p.m.

  • FOOTBALL SCHEDULE: Practice begins around noon CST. We'll be talking with players around 2:30 p.m. Here is the list of players available:
    WR Montez (Gonetez) Billings
    QB Kodi Burns
    OL Jason Bosley
    DT Tez Doolittle
    DB Zac Etheridge
    DT Sen’Derrick Marks
    TE Gabe (Spuds) McKenzie
    DB Jerraud Powers

    Tuberville's press conference is at 3 p.m. I'll be live blogging that. Video to run around 5.

Bike Hero

This has nothing to do with Auburn.

I mentioned in the Saturday campfire some stuff about a "Bike Hero" video.

Here it is. Very tricky.


Video report, 11/23

New closing music. Something went wrong during the final 2 seconds of that, but I'm tired and it'll just have to stay wrong.


The coaches speak

Hey everyone. Tuberville, de facto play caller Steve Ensminger and defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads spoke with the media mere moments ago.

I am breaking down film as we speak. Here are the points I remember:
  • Tuberville said they'll be working long practices until scaling back on Thursday. He said the team will hold a pseudo two-a-day on Thanksgiving -- a kicking-game walkthrough early and a team-wide walkthrough late. Nobody at Auburn will be on cruise control this week.

  • Ensminger, asked about Mario Fannin's expected role, said he defers to Eddie Gran on those kinds of decisions. It's apparently Gran's in-game decisions that dictate who plays and who doesn't. I hadn't heard that before.

  • Ensminger said Burns seems more in control lately because, yes, everything was simplified after Franklin was dismissed. Apparently, Franklin had quarterbacks considering up to four receivers on every play and that was causing confusion. The passing sets were cut back to two reads per play (ie the quarterback could pick Receiver A, Receiver B or freelance). Third and fourth options were added only after Burns showed command of the two-read setup. No wonder Franklin kept taking subtle shots at Burns' aptitiude: The kid was overloaded.

  • Rhoads, asked about why senior quarterbacks thrive in the SEC, offered a one-word explanation: "Wisdom."

Sunday of Iron Bowl week

Hey everyone. Thanks to the hard-core HOTTIES for attending last night's campfire. There really was no reason for us to convene and talk about the Oklahoma-Texas Tech game, but we don't heed orthodoxy here. We do what we want.

Roll call: Monica, Bear82, FSJ, DnATL, SteveFC, Zimas4Ziemba, DennyCrum, Peter Frakenschmidt, Eddie4AU, Michael, Mr Sensible.

Thanks for helping me make it to 9 p.m.

I saw this sign (at left) while walking into the Athletic Complex today. Just thought you might like to see what the players see when they're coming to work. Someone from the alumni association was thinking ahead. I wouldn't mind seeing a sign that said "Work Hard: Good leads and transitions today!" but I'm just a lowly hack.

Auburn began practice at 3 p.m. CST in Jordan-Hare Stadium. The lights are on. I'm told practice will go at least 16 periods, which means we'll be talking to Tuberville around 6 p.m. CST.

Today's designated interviewees are:
LB Josh Bynes
DE Antonio Coleman
LB Chris Evans
DE Michael Goggans
DB Walt McFadden
WR Rod Smith

I'll provide a Tuberville summary immediately after his commentary ends. I'll be doing a video tonight, which I expect to hit the HABOTN around 8:30 p.m. I'll also have player reaction at some point.

No. 20 AUBURN 87, No. 18 OHIO STATE 80: Whitney Boddie (right) gets the official HABOTN Baller of the Game for contributing 14 points and 11 assists in 41 minutes of work. Alli Smalley, who was a terrible shooter last year, apparently has turned the corner. She dropped 23 points Sunday on 9-of-17 shooting. The Tigers now are 4-0.

Bottom photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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