Sponsored by:

Auburn wins NCAA crown

The Auburn men have won the NCAA Swimming & Diving national championship.

They finished with 526 points. Texas finished second with 487 points.

This is the Tigers' eighth national title and sixth in the last seven years.
Auburn has won men's NCAA titles in 1997, 99, 2003, 04, 05, 06, 07 and now in 09.

Auburn's eight men's national titles are tied for fifth all time in the sport behind Michigan (11), Ohio State (11), Southern California (9), Texas (9) and Stanford (8).

This is Richard Quick's 13th national championship and first at Auburn. He has won more national championships in swimming & diving than any other coach in NCAA history.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Saturday update

Hey everyone. I'm basically taking a day to myself today, kicking it at home and not engaging in work-related activity.

It's rare, yes, but it happens occasionally.

I'll return on Sunday for post-practice information. Have a great Saturday!

HABOTN FAQ (first edition)

Feel free to make additions.


Why is this the "HABOTN"?
It's the Hottest Auburn Blog on The Net®. I was searching for a name that would distinguish our community from others that aspire to be this awesome. Dubbing it the hottest seemed interesting -- and the assertion can't be debunked. Try it.

When was the launch date?

March 1, 2006. Nobody attended.

Where are you located?
I live in Montgomery, Ala., and I cover Auburn for the Montgomery Advertiser. It's a newspaper.

Who pays you to blog?
I can't answer that.

Why is this free?
Because there is no payment involved.

What is "The Ring of Fire"?
Only the best and most veteran commenters qualify for the RoF, which is the highest level of the HABOTN hall of fame. We also recognize up-and-coming posters with "Feeling The Heat" and "Notable Newcomers" categories.

How do I get into the hall of fame?

One must be a frequent HABOTN visitor and somehow add to the site.

What about Michael? He makes no sense.
He doesn't make sense to you. He makes perfect sense to me.

Why is Dear Leader so good at making the first post to each thread?

It's one of life's great mysteries.

What is a "campfire"?
That's our term for live chats. We hold them at least once per week during the football season; every few weeks during other times of the year.

What is "puppet hour"?

It's the time of the day where a few of the more nonsensical HOTTIES gather and talk any number of off-topic subjects, such as puppets or cheerleading or any other non-sports related subject. Though the official time frame is 4-5 pm every weekday, a Puppet Hour can naturally occur at any point. Puppet Hour received its name due to the hatred and fear of puppets shared by the participants in the early days of these gatherings. Michael and Harrison often mitigate/fuel these discussions.

What is a "BANHAMMER"?
It's a large, golden sledgehammer use to punish annoying campfire particpants. I generally drop the BANHAMMER, though a few selected HOTTIES have been entrusted with the mighty weapon.

Why have you disabled anonymous posting?
We like our little enclave. We don't like the nastiness that has troubled many other sites in the Blogosphere. Anonymous posting is a conduit for much of that nastiness. Therefore, Einstein was right.

Why do people make references to Jay going to ESPN?
Jay has no comment on that matter. If a deal has been offered, he has not seen it. He communicates with his financial adviser periodically and promises swift dissemination of any information regarding his job status.

Where is the HABOTN swag?
It's in my drawer. And lots of other drawers. We sold HABOTN t-shirts during the 2008 football season, more than 100 of them, and they're now off the market. We expect to see them in the National Blog Hall of Fame one day. We may make more someday. Or not. Only one HABOTN hoodie exists.

Friday chatter

Hey everyone. So we all know the Tigers practiced Thursday, but what were they saying afterward?

Glad you asked. Keep in mind that us beat hacks don't ask about practice every day because, you know, that gets boring. So we ask about a variety of different things. If some of this stuff seems tangential, it probably is.

Gotta change it up sometimes.

  • On Thursday's practice: "I thought their effort was really, really good and we’re a little bit sloppy as far as execution goes today, defensively and offensively simply because we put in some more stuff today. The effort was really good. I thought they were focused for the most part. The sloppiness, I think, of execution just comes with more and more that you install. We’ll get better with that."

  • On what they can accomplish without pads: "What we’re all looking for right now is how to practice. I think the practice expectations of tempo, how we’re going to approach the ball defensively as far as getting yourself in positions to tackle; offensively, position blocking or getting all of your receiver split and your tailbacks lined up and the quarterbacks reads."

  • On freshman DE Cam Henderson: "He has an attitude, he has something in him. He can be special. We just have to keep training him. He's a bit raw in fundamentals, but he has also the want-to. My thing is, I have to realize he's a basketball-type-looking-body guy. I have to be a little bit more patient with him and take a little bit more time with him to get him fundamentally sound."

  • On having flashbacks to his playing days ... same field and all: "It's something you really can't believe. I walk out there that first day and I'm like, 'I'm back out here as a coach. We used to have fundamentals over there on that field..." I could remember what we did at every place on that field. And that's the uniqueness of it. One thing about it, you always prepare hard there and went over to that stadium and let it all go. That's the uniqueness of it. There's a sense of pride when I walk out there. It's a sense of tradition and history of all the people that came through here and left a lot on that practice field."

  • On his initial thoughts about recruiting: "There has been a lot of traffic through Auburn. If you get a kid on campus, that's all it takes. This place sells itself. The people around here -- young, old, black, white, Chinese, brown -- are Auburn. Everybody around here loves Auburn. We've been on the buzz. Look on the internet. Everybody's talking about us. Once we start getting it rolling and win a few games, the recruiting will take care of itself."

  • On his approach to recruiting: (He handles eastern Birmingham, Atlanta and south Florida) "When was Auburn good? When we controlled two states: Alabama and Georgia. If we get those two states -- that's my main concentration -- then we won't have to go outside of that. I do Pahokee, the glades, Ft. Lauderdale. I'm going to recruit it, but I'm hoping we don't make it that far."

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Video report, 3/26

I have disabled auto-play.

Here are links to my most recent videos:

Practice basics, 3/26

Hey everyone. I have returned from my 30 minutes of practice viewing. Video is being imported to my computer as I write this.

Stuff I noticed:
  • Kodi Burns wasn't having a good day throwing the football. I watched him throw a variety of different passes today and many were off the mark.

  • Barrett Trotter was off as well. Neil Caudle was more accurate.

  • Gene Chizik is taking a serious role with special teams. He was breaking everything down for them today -- explaining how much he values intensity with that group.

  • Remember that drill Trooper Taylor was doing on Tuesday? The one where he's trying to draw the wideouts offside? Didn't work today. He couldn't draw a single penalty today. They ran that drill four times, too.

  • I noticed Eltoro Freeman during some lateral agility drills today. He's able to keep his body low and accelerate quickly. He really stood out.

Rollison makes his plea

In a development first discussed by MonD in today's thread, Auburn signee Tyrik Rollison already is trying to recruit on Auburn's behalf.

He's using Facebook, the popular social-networking site, to promote former U. Michigan wideout Toney Clemons for a spot with the Tigers.

Here's the message, titled "To all the Aubrun fans out there":
I'm trying to get my man Toney Clemons to come play for Auburn. He is no longer with Michigan and is looking for a new place to ball. We could use him at WR and I was asking for your help. Send him a message saying how much Auburn could use and how much you would like to see him on our squad. Anything from the heart will go a long way. Thanks for the help.
Rollison also included a link to some Clemons highlights.

Clemons, a sophomore at UM during the 2008 season, earlier this week announced plans to leave the program. ranked Clemons as the nation's No. 12 prep wideout.

Thursday morning reset

Hey everyone. You know how I feel about going over 200 posts? Now we're over 400 in yesterday's thread and I'm legitimately anxious.

Of course, it is yesterday's thread. We need a new one.

So we'll make this one a Choose Your Own Adventure. Comment as you see fit.

I won't be updating again until practice, which is scheduled to begin around 4:30 this afternoon. Video is permitted. You can expect a video around 5:30. It'll be running continuously through midnight, so there's no need to go all road rage during the drive home. Or the drive to work. Whatever works for you.

HABOTN TV will be waiting for you.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Blogger, which hosts this fine enclave of contentment, reports that it will have an outage beginning at 6 p.m. CDT. These typically last no longer than 30 minutes.

Daily update, 3/25

Hey everyone. Thanks for making yesterday a nice traffic day here at the HABOTN, where spring football took top billing. Judging from how the basketball team finished its game last night, football was the right choice.

So what do we have today?

Let's go through what a few other Auburn peeps had to say about the team's first practice. Before you ask, the team is scheduled to practice again on Thursday afternoon. Gene Chizik told me last night that he will not practice in the indoor facility -- "We're not going to hold any glorified walk-throughs during the spring," he said -- and thunderstorms are expected to take hold today. Rain chances around here are 75% each day through Saturday.

Keep that in mind.

  • On practice: "It was organized, the guys knew where to go, they understood what each horn meant, so that's a big thing. Just learning how to practice is just as big as getting out there and doing X's and O's.

  • On his willingness to make players to pushups during practice (as you saw in yesterday's video): "I was taught a long time ago whatever you tolerate or accept, you encourage. Dropped balls, turnovers, stupid penalties will not be accepted at Auburn University. Those receivers know that after today. It's a point of emphasis to me. You have to get what you emphasize. What they do with the ball after the catch, that's why you sign them. That's called NLI - national letter of intent. But teaching the fundamentals, how to take care of the football, how to practice, how to win, and try to practice like a game. That's what I was trying to emphasize out there."

  • On his physical situation: "I was ahead of schedule big time. I think right now I'm probably where I need to be. We backed off a little bit. It was hurting me a little bit. Slowed it down. They took out that patella tendon, so just that pressure on the knee from where that used to be, it started giving me trouble, got a little tendinitis in there."

  • On what he's hoping to accomplish right now: "I've been watching. There are little drills I can do. Little get off the line drills, work on your releases. They don't want me to be involved in any contact at this point. It's not ready for contact, ready to be messing with going this way and that way. They don't want me making 100 percent cuts. They don't want me coming out of a dig route or anything like that on the left knee."

The real-word HABOTN reference keep coming. Here we have Tab, an official HOTTIE, reppin' the blog at the recent Exceptional Foundation Chili Cook Off in Birmingham. This is the Alagasco crew, which won the "people's choice" award for their southwestern chowder.

Thanks, Tab!

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Another video report, 3/24

I have removed the video from auto-play mode.

I created two videos yesterday. Please view them here:

Practice report, 3/24

I was able to observe practice for approximately 20 minutes tonight.

Let's just free associate it.
  • Practice moves at a faster pace. I sense more urgency.

  • In orange jerseys, but participating pretty fully: S Aairon Savage, S Zac Etheridge, WR Philip Pierre-Louis

  • In orange jersey, not participating fully: TE Tommy Trott

  • In blue jersey, not participating fully: WR Montez Billings, OT Lee Ziemba

  • Chris Todd didn't throw passes. He was pretending to throw passes.

  • RB Onterio McCalebb is smaller than I expected.

  • Assistant coach Trooper Taylor has a loud voice. It booms.

  • Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn doesn't negotiate about what happens in practice. He knows exactly what he wants and that's how it's going to be.

  • Gene Chizik, true to his word, roamed around throughout practice. I caught him getting on a walk-on for not running a drill correctly. Not saying that's good or bad. That's not something you'd have seen from Tommy Tuberville.

  • I saw Justin Albert. He was at full speed.

  • Auburn tonight played host to Arkansas TB Michael Dyer, the nation's top-rated junior tailback. He's not very tall. I'd say he's 5-10. He's a stout dude in the Tristan Davis/Ben Tate mold.

  • TE Gabe McKenzie didn't attend practice tonight. Chizik said the senior is dealing with a medical issue that should/could be resolved soon. I saw Gabe a few hours before practice, so he's around.

  • Neil Caudle is a happier guy. He feels like he has a legitimate shot at this job, based on all the stuff Chizik has said to that end, and it's clear that Caudle feels better in general. He took some tough mental hits last season.

  • On practice: "The biggest difference is tempo. We're really going to actually run that tempo. If you saw in practice, it's a tempo offense. There's not much looking to the sidelines for plays. We just run play after play after play. We'll have an advantage over defenses by wearing them down. We're going to run the tempo. We're not going to run the I."

  • On playing for Gus Malzahn: "In Arkansas, he's like a Bobby Bowden in Florida. Everybody knows him. He's the guy. I definitely always wanted to play for him when I was growing up. Even at Auburn, I've dreamed of him being my coach. I feel like it's a blessing, him being here. It's going to be a great future ahead of us."
  • On Malzahn's offense: ``I think it fits perfectly. I feel comfortable out there. I feel comfortable out there running these plays. It's a timing offense, which really plays well to me. I like to have rhythm and throw the ball in time."

  • On Malzahn, the man: "He's always coaching is the main thing. He never takes a second off. He's real fast-paced. He talked real fast, which is good, because we get a lot of information from him. He thinks a lot faster."
  • On his December surgery: "What they did is basically go in and shave off the end of the clavicle that had become damaged or arthritic. They were just trying to play with it. They cleaned all that up. They drilled a hole in the AC joint and tied it back together and yanked it back down, so it's in place now."

Baylor def. Auburn, 74-72 (NIT quarterfinals)

Hey everyone. We made ESPN! Thanks to the HOTTIE who made this happen.

DeWayne Reed missed two free throws with less than 10 seconds remaining, allowing Baylor to cling to a one-point lead. After a Baylor free throw bumped the visitors' lead to two points, the Tigers raced down the court for one final possession.

Rasheem Barrett, whose sharp shooting boosted Auburn throughout the second half, missed the final shot from 23 feet.

Auburn ends its season 24-12.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Video report, 3/24 (early)

I have disabled auto-play for this video.

You don't want two playing at once. If you're interested in hearing Gene Chizik discuss matters, CLICK THIS LINK AND WATCH THE VIDEO, FOOL!

Chizik speaks, first edition

Hey everyone. Gene Chizik spoke with reporters briefly before he began preparations for football practice.

A few hours from now, he'll hold his first (official) Auburn workout.

Here are a few thing he had to say about it.

On the positional battles: "Nobody inherits a position. Everybody will start new. Everybody has a new chance. We'll evaluate what they do today -- not what they did last year."

On the quarterbacks: "We'll have to look not necessarily at where they are today, but where they'll be four months from now."

On his decision to close most practices: "There's enough pressure on these guys already to deliver. We don't want any extra pressure."

On his role in practice: "I'll be moving around. I have a vested interest in the defense, of course, but I don't need to worry about micromanaging my defensive coaches."

On injuries: He said nothing of interest, aside from some excellent insight about how different players heal from different injuries at a different pace. Thanks.

  • Justin Albert, the excellent scatback from Prattville, is on the roster and is healthy. He's expected to practice today. (Some of you all had asked.)

  • TE/LB/DE Brent Slusher has taken a medical hardship and won't be practicing.

  • Vance Smith has been moved from TE to OL. He's 6-2. I'm thinking guard.

  • Mario Fannin is listed as a wideout on the official depth chart. I have been told that is a mistake, he remains at tailback.

  • RB Onterio McCalebb will wear No. 23. He debuts on the Auburn roster at 5-10, 165.

  • LB Eltoro Freeman will wear No. 21. He debuts on the Auburn roster at 5-11, 222.

Can you feel it?

Hey everyone. As many of you all know, today represents the first day of spring football. Calm down. I know you're excited about practice ... despite what Allen Iverson might tell you.

So what's the haps?

It depends on how you see things. This is the first (documented) practice situation involving these players and these new coaches. Are you wondering how Gene Chizik handles business on the field? How about Gus Malzahn and Ted Roof Rusted?

Maybe some players?

Tell you what. I'll go with the Five Things That Interest Me going into the next month of football. Then you can counter with your interests in the comments section. We'll go from there.
  • Chizik's demeanor: My best guess is that he's a hands-on guy who will be getting after people on the field. That would be a major deviation from the way Tommy Tuberville handled business.

  • Quarterbacks: It's the same-ol, same-ol ... but it's still an issue. Has Kodi Burns streamlined his footwork? Can Chris Todd throw more authoritatively with a surgically repaired shoulder? Is Barrett Trotter legit? Can Neil Caudle stop throwing balls to the defense?

  • PPL: I was intrigued by Phillip Pierre-Louis last season. I thought he could emerge as a serious contributor. Then he suffered a season-ending knee injury on the first play of the 2008 season. He claims to be back. Can he still be a game-breaking threat?

  • Onterio McCalebb: They think the freshman, at Auburn via prep school, can be a Percy Harvin-type element in Malzahn's offense. I want to see this kid myself. I want to see how refined he is with the ball in his hands.

  • Organization: I'll be interested to see how things operate. I watched Tuberville & Co.'s approach for 10 seasons. I'm sure Chizik, Inc., will handle things much differently ... with drills, with time dedicated to each drill, with time allocated to special teams, etc.

SCHEUDLE UPDATE: Chizik with be speaking with reporters at 4 p.m. CDT. Practice begins at 7. Video will be allowed during a 30-minute window. I should be able to get that broken down and posted to the blog around 8:30.

Photo credit: Julie Bennett/Montgomery Advertiser

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

Rutgers def. Auburn, 80-52 (women's NCAA)

Hey everyone. We discussing the Auburn @ Rutgers game in the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers trailed by as much as 20 during the first half.

Rutgers didn't go easy in the second, answering every Auburn challenge.

This represents the final college game for DeWanna Bonner (school's all-time leading scorer), Whitney Boddie (all-time leading assister), Sherell Hobbs and Trevesha Jackson. Auburn ends the season 30-4.

The game is being televised by ESPN2. If you roll with satellite, it's on Channel 145 (Dish Network) or Channel 721 (DirecTV).

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Lebo speaks to the Media

Hey everyone. Sorry for the lateness. We're dealing with some financial hardship here at the Advertiser, a subsidary of Gannett, Inc., but this next furlough won't affect you as much.

I'll take it in May when almost nothing is happening.

A bit of housekeeping:
  • Josh Moon will be covering the AU-Baylor NIT game tomorrow night. It begins at 6 p.m. I will not be live-blogging the game because I won't be there.

  • I will be covering Auburn's first spring football practice, which begins at 7 p.m. You should be expecting a full report -- along with video -- later that night. If you can't stay up, you'll have a treat waiting for you in the morning.

On Baylor's affinity for the zone defense: "That is not something we have seen a whole heck of a lot of. We shoot a lot of threes and that is why people don't play it a whole lot against us. We have to be good in transition attacking it because we are used to transitioning back to man-to-man, and now they are going to be transitioning back to zone."

On what making the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden would mean (get your slide rulers out for this one): "It would be awesome. It is a huge stage. People don't realize how hard it is to just get into postseason. In the NCAA, you have 34 at-large and that is kind of the same ratio that get into the BCS (bowls) in football. You have 32 in the NIT now which is harder because five are automatic bids. So, you have fewer chances to get into postseason. You have about a 28 percent chance in basketball to get to postseason. Football is like 53 percent."

On the significance of playing in New York if Auburn wins this game: ``It would be a big plus for us following into next year. Guys would really want to play here. We would get better players. Everybody loves a winner. They'll think they can come in here and contribute to the winners."

Radio Appearance Forthcoming

Hey everyone. I'm going to fill in for Doug Amos today during the WMSP afternoon show. We'll be discussing plenty of Auburn-related topics because, you know, that's what I do.

The show runs from noon-2 CDT.

In Montgomery, tune into AM 740.

You outliers (ok, that's most of you) can stream the program here:

See you afterward for some pre-NIT chatter. Jeff Lebo speaks with the media at 2:15 p.m. CDT.

Chillin' on a Sunday

Hey everyone. I'm basically out of circulation today, trying to rest up for this week we have ahead. It should be a doozy.

  • We have men's NIT on Tuesday.

  • We have first day of spring football on Tuesday.

  • We have more spring football on Thursday.

  • We have more spring football on Saturday.

  • We have women's NCAAs (if Auburn beats Rutgers tomorrow) on Sunday.

Feel free to comment below on the men's NCAA games in progress. I did my best for Oklahoma State this afternoon ... to no avail.

follow me on Twitter

Phormerly Phred
Scottie B. in Tennessee
Ron Mexico
Scott from Tucson

Peter Frankenschmidt
Mr. Sensible

FakeSteveJobs (aka FSJ)
Steve from Columbia (aka SteveFC)

AUFan365 was Larry Bailey, 1948-2010

D. Miller
Dear Leader
mytommyd (is supposed to be mrtommyd)
Scott Chocolate
chip chip
Loganville Tiger
JD the Biscuitator

Cousin Humpers = Bammers (aka CH=B)
dan dan the AU fan
Jay 'W. not Tate'
Craig Miller
Comm'r of Flesh Wounds
Jason Crawford
Lowcountry Tiger

MrsFrontRim & FrontRim


Jay_G (an impostor)

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]