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Video report, 8/22

I have disabled auto-play for this video.

Want to see it again? Missed it the first time?


Scrimmage stuff, 8/22

Hey everyone. We're going to do this in stages.

  • The scrimmage was situational in nature. Drives were staged. No coaches would identify what went well and what didn't. The season is drawing near.

  • They apparently did not keep score. No winners were revealed.

  • There was no tackling per se. Defenders were instructed to hit, wrap up and let go.

  • Both Ted Roof and Gus Malzahn said they're at least "90 percent" sure of their two-deep rotations.

  • Ted Roof was in a great mood today. Maybe that means the defense played well.

  • Two coaches spent the scrimmage in the press box: Curtis Luper and Phillip Lolley. It's expected to stay that way.

  • Chris Todd played, but wouldn't discuss what kind of day he had. The season is drawing near.

  • We do know that WR Anthony Gulley made a one-handed catch that wowed the crowd. That's what CB Walt McFadden said and I believe him.

  • We do know that TB Onterio McCalebb had a long run. That's what McFadden said and I believe him.

  • Gus Malzahn on why he coaches from the sideline: "I've always been on the field. And I can at least see the field fairly good because that's what I'm used to. I like being there with that quarterback and looking him in the eye. A lot of times you can really read your quarterback and, for that matter, read your whole offense when you're down there."

  • Walt McFadden on Anthony Gulley's memorable grab: ``He made a great a play -- a one-handed catch. It was so pretty. It was like a post-corner ball. Todd put it out there thinking Gulley was 6-foot-7. He reached out with those long arms and made a great play. It looked like two fingers."

  • Ted Roof on the scrimmage: ``I thought it was good for us – good for our staff, our kids as far as our awareness and where we fit things, communication and all those things that go into being good. We didn’t take anybody down, but we still swarmed the football and tried to get the ball out."

  • Chizik, asked if there were any offensive standouts: ``I don't really look at it that way. I thought we had a couple nice catches in there. I think Gulley had a really nice catch on time during the two-minute drill. But that really wasn't the kind of day it was. A lot of it was against a scout-team look, what we call the berets. It really wasn't a chance or opportunity for that to occur."

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Days to kickoff: 14

Our Tar Heel Tiger's Auburn Minute is brought to you by the number:



This Augusta, Ga., native arrived at Auburn in 2001 via Hargrave Military Academy in southern Virginia. Carlos was named to the All-SEC Freshman team after starting 10 of 12 games that year. He missed a total of five games in his sophomore and junior seasons due to injuries, but started all 13 games during his breakout senior season.

Mr. Rogers's neighborhood was not a friendly place for receivers. On his way to earning the 2004 Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's most outstanding DB, Carlos completely shut down some of the country's leading receivers. He was also a consensus All-American and was one of the leaders of a defense that ranked first in the NCAA in fewest points allowed per game.

The Washington Redskins made Carlos the 9th overall selection in the 2005 NFL draft -- the highest draft position ever for an Auburn DB.


* Randy Campbell: QB and country singer led the Tigers to an 11-1 record in 1983, defeating four Top 10 teams that season. Three of those came in consecutive games. I don't know if there are any stats for this, but I'd bet your annual pay that he had the fewest turnovers in a season of any wishbone quarterback. Randy is a native of Hartselle, Ala.

* Ben Leard: Not from Hartselle, but from Hartwell, Ga., 45 miles NE of Sanford Stadium. Ben was the 2000 ALL-SEC quarterback. He still holds the Auburn single game passing yardage record with that monster 416 yd/4 TD winning effort between the hedges in 1999. And people think Michael Vick was cruel to dawgs.

* Freddy Weygand: Wideout in 1984-88 and native of FSJ's stomping ground, Gadsden, Ala. Freddy graduated from storied Emma Sansom High School and was a member of the 1983 USA Today ALL-USA Football Team (3 of the 24 members of that team -- Weygand, Rocker, and Stallworth -- signed with Auburn....hmmm).

Let's hear some shout outs for our other #14s

First Post: Saturday

Hey everyone. I'm actually kind of upset with myself for authoring three posts about Eric Smith yesterday, but I guess that's where we are in society. I think most HOTTIES are curious about what's going on, though, so it's in my best interest to keep you informed.

I'll retire from journalism someday and probably remember these kinds of stories, the ones with a skewed news-to-sensationalism ratio, more than anything. I don't mean that in a good way. So it goes.

Anyway, here's the Auburn situation at this moment:




Auburn scrimmages this morning. The event begins at 9:15 a.m. and is open only to high-level donors, their families and other associated hangers-on. I expect to post notes around noon CDT and a video after that.

Please check back for the LATEST.

Here's what the next few days look like:

Sat., Aug. 22, 9:15 (SCRIMMAGE)
Sun., Aug. 23, 4:20 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 24, OFF
Tue., Aug. 25, TBA (partially open to media)
Wed., Aug. 26, TBA
Thu., Aug. 27, TBA (partially open to media)
Fri., Aug. 28, TBA
Sat., Aug. 29, OFF

Also, please pick up the Advertiser's print edition if you live around here! Our fine Auburn coverage is only one element of our award-winning product.

Chizik addresses the Smith situation

Here's what coach Gene Chizik had to say about Eric Smith's early-morning arrest.

He spoke to reporters after the Tigers' practice Friday night.

``I've spent a lot of the day fact-finding and doing a lot of research on the incident," Chizik said. ``In my opinion, it's a family matter between Eric, myself and our football team. I can assure you that is has been addressed. I've met with the young man, I've met with our football team. We have certain expectations of an Auburn man and quite frankly he didn't live up to that. So we've addressed it and if you see him in an Auburn uniform again I can guarantee you that he's paid a price to be an Auburn man and he'll be a lot better one at that point than he is now."

Smith's arrest paperwork/Updates

Here is the official arrest record from the Auburn Police Department.

Not much to see here, but I thought you might like to view the document for yourself.

Click to enlarge:


AUBURN -- Auburn tailback Eric Smith was arrested early Friday morning for disorderly conduct.

According to records provided by the Auburn Police Department, Smith was arrested at the Lexington Hotel at 1:42 a.m. He later was transported to the Lee County Detention Center, where he posted a $300 bond and was released.

Police spokesman Capt. Tom Stofer said another student was arrested for public intoxication approximately 20 minutes before officers were called back to the hotel. This time, a fight was involved.

Smith was arrested moments later.

``They had a gathering going on there at the hotel," Stofer said.

Stofer said the charge can be resolved without going to trial, though a trial date has been set for Nov. 5.

Smith, 19, is vying for playing time behind senior starter Ben Tate. He rushed for 82 yards on 21 carries in 2008.

UPDATE: Smith is not participating in Auburn's practice this afternoon.

Eric Smith arrested

Reserve tailback Eric Smith was arrested early this morning for disorderly conduct. It's a misdemeanor charge.

At 1:42 a.m., Smith was arrested outside of the Lexington Hotel and transported to the Lee County Detention Center. According to the police report, Smith was not drunk and did not resist arrest.

Another incident was reported at the Lexington Hotel at the same time, though it's unclear if the two events are related. Auburn police haven't released information regarding the second event.

Smith's charge can be resolved without going to trial.

Why was Smith out at 1:45 a.m. on a school night? Good question.

A sticky situation on Thursday night

Hey everyone. As many of you saw and heard about on LB Craig Stevens' Twitter page, two beat hacks were involved in a humorous dust-up while interviewing said linebacker on Thursday night.

I have acquired a transcript of the argument. Names have been redacted.

NOTE: There was no physical altercation.

REPORTER A: Do you feel good about the starters at linebacker?

STEVENS: I feel real good. I feel like we could be one of the best linebacker corps in the country if all of us stay healthy. All of us play well together. We have Eltoro, the brazen bull. You got Josh, he’s like the talker. He’s tries to get everybody up. Me, I just go out, I’m like the hard worker. I just go out do all the dirty work and make all the crazy plays and stuff like that. I feel we’ll be good if we just play up to our potential this year.


REPORTER A: Appreciate it.

REPORTER C: Appreciate that.

(Both pick up recorders)


(REPORTER B moves into position for a one-on-one with Stevens after taping the first seven minutes of the interview between Stevens, REPORTER A and REPORTER C.)

REPORTER C: Oh, I thought we were finished with the interview. (Puts recorder back down.) I’ll put this back over here.

REPORTER B: No, you guys go ahead and interview him. When you’re done, I’m going to interview him. I’m not doing interviews for you guys.

**For the record, all previous questions were asked by REPORTER C and REPORTER A**

REPORTER A to REPORTER B: Oh yea, you ask all our questions for us all the time. I’ve never seen anything like it.

(Stevens' eyes get bigger, smirk on face)


REPORTER B: Go ahead. I’m waiting on you.

REPORTER A: Well, you sat there and taped ours.

I was sitting here doing the interview and you came over.

REPORTER A: I didn’t know we were doing 1-on-1 interviews.

REPORTER B: inaudible

REPORTER A: I guess I must have missed something.

Go ahead


(Stevens laughs)


REPORTER B: Well, I guess you can go. They’re gonna screw this up.

STEVENS: Aight, I’m done? Aight.


This short video (from a 1984 episode of SNL) is a great example of the tone involved with these exchanges:

Days to kickoff: 15

Our Tar Heel Tiger's Auburn Minute is brought to you by the number:


Mailon Kent was the Tigers starting quarterback in 1962. He led Auburn in passing that year, airing it out for 748 yards and 6 TDs against only 2 INTs. Kent was slated to return as starting QB in 1963, his senior season. To his misfortune, he suffered a knee injury shortly before the season. By the time he was healthy, Jimmy Sidle was on his way to an All-American year at QB. However, fate had not forgotten the senior leader.

When Auburn and Alabama met on a brutally cold day, November 30, 1963, the 9th ranked Tigers were 8-1 with their only blemish a 13-10 loss to Mississippi State in the game’s final 30 seconds. Sixth ranked UA-T was also 8-1 with a sophomore QB.

Bammer defenders dogpiled Sidle in the first quarter, knocking his breath out and injuring his ribs. Mailon Kent was sent in for the injured Sidle; "It was freezing cold and I wasn’t even warmed up," Kent said later. He promptly completed a 3rd down pass for 12 yards and a first down. That was good enough to get Woody Woodall in FG range as Auburn took a 3-0 first quarter lead.

Sidle would return to play, but when Auburn had 3rd and goal from UA-T’s 8 yard line in the 3rd quarter, it was once again time for Mailon Kent to shine. He grabbed his headgear and sprinted out to the huddle. The Tiger signal caller calmly threw a TD pass to Tucker Frederickson to put the game out of reach. To quote a contemporary SI article, “It was sufficient because End [and Captain] Howard Simpson and his buddies were on Alabama's mistakes like greedy children.”

James Mailon Kent, Jr. has been the owner of Mailon Kent Insurance Agency in Birmingham, Alabama for over 20 years. He has been a director of Superior Bancorp since September 1998 and has served as Vice Chairman since December 1998. His son was an excellent baseball player at Auburn who was named to the All-SEC team in 1999.

Sources: Auburn Football Media Guide, Phillip Marshall, Sports Illustrated, Superior Bancorp


* One of my favorite Auburn players when I was a youngster, halfback Mickey Zofko. My first Auburn jersey was a #15 in his honor. In 1969, his junior season, Mickey led the Tigers in rushing, kickoff returns, and all-purpose yardage. In the Bluebonnet Bowl drubbing at the hands of Houston (that was yet another game that ripped my heart out), it was Zofko -- not Sullivan -- who completed Auburn’s only TD pass of the night. It was a 36-yard halfback option to Connie Frederick. After graduating from Auburn, the Melbourne, Fla., native spent four years in the NFL, mostly with the Detroit Lions.

* (Jay G. addition) Clifton Robinson: Played from 1997-2000. Moved to tailback in 1999, despite being a diminutive slot-type receiver, and begged Tommy Tuberville for a move back to wideout. Tuberville told him there were no other options.

Let’s hear some #15 shout outs. There’s plenty for everyone.

First Post: Friday

Hey everyone. Last night was a late one once again. Broken record, I know. I think that was the last of the insanely late practices for a while. Auburn has moved today's practice up nearly three hours, so that's good.

Thanks to all of you who listened to my segment on Jackson, Miss., radio this morning. I'm pretty sick of doing radio, but I love being on their show. They (wisely) let guests talk on their show rather than trying to dictate tempo as many other hosts do ... or attempt to do. That's why I like 'em. I hope you do as well.

Anyway, here's the Auburn situation at this moment:




Auburn practices at 4:20 p.m. today, though I will not be attending. I have to pick and choose which practices I cover and, well, this one seemed less valuable than others that preceded it. So it goes. The alleged "final" fall scrimmage will be Saturday morning in the stadium. I will be on hand for that.

Here's what the next few days look like:

Fri., Aug. 21, 4:20 p.m. (partially open to media)
Sat., Aug. 22, 9:20 (SCRIMMAGE)
Sun., Aug. 23, TBA
Mon., Aug. 24, OFF
Tue., Aug. 25, TBA (partially open to media)
Wed., Aug. 26, TBA
Thu., Aug. 27, TBA (partially open to media)
Fri., Aug. 28, TBA
Sat., Aug. 29, OFF

Also, please pick up the Advertiser's print edition if you live around here! Our fine Auburn coverage is only one element of our award-winning product.

Radio Appearance Forthcoming

Hey everyone. I will be doing my weekly segment on SuperSport 930 in Jackson, Miss., in just a few short minutes. That extravaganza will begin around 9:05 a.m.

We'll be talkin' Auburn.

Please enjoy.

Depth chart guess: Defense

Auburn hasn't released a depth chart and probably won't until the first game, but I'm not above guessing.

So here goes.

SDE: Mike Goggans, (Hot Carter), Dee Ford
DT: Mike Blanc, Zach Clayton, Derrick Lykes
DT: Jake Ricks, Nick Fairley
WDE: Antonio Coleman, Nosa Eguae, Zach Clayton/Cam Henderson
SLB: Craig Stevens, Jonathan Evans, Ashton Richardson
MLB: Joshua Bynes, Harris Gaston, Wade Christopher
WLB: (Eltoro Freeman), (Spencer Pybus), Jonathan Evans, Ashton Richardson
CB: Neiko Thorpe, Demond Washington
CB: Walt McFadden, Harry Adams
FS: (Mike McNeil), Daren Bates/Mike Slade, T'Sharvan Bell
SS: Zac Etheridge, Drew Cole/Slade, (D'Antoine Hood)

*Of note: I can't get a feel for what's going to happen at that second DT spot. Fairley has been playing pretty well. I'll stick with Blanc for now.

Practice notes, 8/20

Hey everyone. Let's boogie.
  • Auburn is scrimmaging Saturday morning in Jordan-Hare Stadium. That will be scrimmage No. 3.

  • Auburn was in full pads today. It was a two-hour practice.

  • Gus Malzahn said they concentrated on situational drills.

  • Malzahn on Tyrik Rollison: ``You’ve got to really ask yourself, `Can he really help our team win?’ We’re still trying to figure that out. He’s extremely talented and performed well in scrimmages and seems to be catching on to the offense at a pretty good pace. We’re asking a lot of him. We’re just trying to figure out who our No. 2 and No. 3 guy is."

  • Malzahn on Rollison possibly redshirting: ``Common sense says you don't want to waste anybody -- especially if they're talented."

  • It looks like freshman Nosa Eguae is playing behind Antonio Coleman at rush end. **Formerly known as weak-side end**

  • Eguae's brother, Ike, coaches defensive ends at Coffeyville (Kan.) Junior College. Nosa learned some stuff. ``I want to make one mistake and get it right. I don't like making double mistakes, I feel like that's just bad responsiblity on my part."

  • Malzahn said WR Darvin Adams, who is out with an undisclosed injury, is not expected to miss much more time. ``We just want to make sure all of our guys are 100 percent when we get to the first game."

  • TE Philip Lutzenkirchen has lost nine pounds since fall camp began. And ... he wants to lose another five pounds. ``I feel like my body's gotten used to it and I feel like I've gotten a lot better."

HoF adjustments

Hey everyone. Periodically, we tweak our Hall of Fame (seen at right) to reflect changes in our membership. Sometimes people leave. More often, new HOTTIES arrive and make their mark.

This is the only blog that honors its most valuable posters in such a public manner. To make the list means you're valued and loved and respected by your HABOTN peers and the thousands more readers who never post.

It's quite an honor.

So here's what we're doing:

Norm (new identity)

Chocolate Scott
chip chip
Fearless Freep
Jason Crawford
Lowcountry Tiger
Craig Miller
Loganville Tiger

alan (from montgomery)

Also of note:

* Congratulations to all newcomers and the newly promoted. We're glad you're here!

* I have ordered the 'Feeling The Heat' with those closest to RoF consideration, at least in my view, at the top. The only way to make it into the Ring of Fire is to be voted in by current Ring of Fire members.

* I wasn't going to place IV on the list due to his very recent debut, but a few members contacted me privately to make sure IV was included.

Days to kickoff: 16

Our Tar Heel Tiger's Auburn Minute is brought to you by the number:


... and by WarEagleRK, who penned our fine report.

Mobile native Dameyune Craig played at Auburn from 1994-1997, getting his first significant time as a sophomore in 1995 as a backup for Patrick Nix. Terry Bowden used Craig in many short-yardage situations and almost exclusively as the goal-line quarterback to take advantage of his speed and to prepare him to be the starter the next year.

Craig was a two-year starter, leading us to a disappointing 8-4 record in 1996 and a win in the Weedeater bowl in Shreveport.

However in 1997, Craig was the man, even receiving some early-season Heisman talk until a loss to Florida and a still-unexplained 20-0 defeat at home to Mississippi State helped derail those dreams.

In 1997, he set an Auburn record with 3,277 yards passing and led the team to the SEC title game (vs. Tennessee) and a 10-3 record. Craig was responsible for 79% of Auburn's offense that year as the team averaged less than 75 yards rushing per game. If Auburn didn't have Craig under center, they would have struggled to get to six wins and a bowl game. Nonetheless, they finished one point short of an SEC championship.

Craig went on to a brief career in the NFL with the Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers. He still holds the professional football record for most passing yards in a game, when he threw for 611 yards playing with the Scottish Claymores in the NFL European league.

So everyone tip your HABOTN hat to a true warrior of the gridiron and a man sometimes carried Auburn on his back for two years to 18 wins.


* Greg Taylor: A diminutive WR from the early 90s.

* Daniel Cobb: Holds the Auburn record for most TDs passing in one game (5) in 2001 against Louisiana Tech.

* Rob Bironas: Current NFL All-Pro kicker who spent one season at Auburn (then moved on to Ga. Southern) in 1998 before being beaten out by the inconsistent Damon Duval and his 1999 blonde hair. He was an All-SEC selection during his one year on the Plains.

First Post: Thursday

Hey everyone. It was a late one at the Complex again. These 7 p.m. starts turn into 9:30 ends and we start writing around 10 o'clock. I operate efficiently at night -- as is the case with most beat hacks -- so it's not a big deal. I really enjoy easy drives home over barren interstate. It's just me and my iPod and my memories.

Anyway, here's the Auburn situation at this moment:




Auburn practices at 7 p.m. today, though the workout is closed to the media. I'm aiming to produce a video of interview footage, though it'll debut after everyone but SteveFC and maybe Jhag goes to bed. I'll create practice notes around 10:30 p.m. as well.

Here's what the next few days look like:

Thu., Aug. 10, 7 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 21, 5 p.m. (partially open to media)
Sat., Aug. 22, 9:20 (SCRIMMAGE)
Sun., Aug. 23, TBA
Mon., Aug. 24, OFF
Tue., Aug. 25, TBA (partially open to media)
Wed., Aug. 26, TBA
Thu., Aug. 27, TBA (partially open to media)
Fri., Aug. 28, TBA
Sat., Aug. 29, OFF

Also, please pick up the Advertiser's print edition if you live around here! Our fine Auburn coverage is only one element of our award-winning product.

Post-practice notes, 8/19

Gotta do these quickly.
  • OL John Sullen was working with the first-team offense on Wednesday ... at right guard. He's a tackle by trade. The presumed starter at RG, Byron Isom, is out with an undisclosed injury.

  • Assistant coach Tommy Thigpen acknowledged that he thought S Daren Bates' first scrimmage performance was a fluke. Then Bates put together another strong performance at the second scrimmage. ``I didnt know much about him," Thigpen said. ``I just knew we needed a body. (Bates) is very promising."

  • DE Antonio Coleman on Bates: ``Where the ball is, he is."

  • OL Ryan Pugh on why he likes Gus Malzahn's offense: ``You don't want to run sideline-to-sideline all game long. You see a lot more downhill running."

  • Asked if he would consider moving a player from another position to linebacker, Gene Chizik sounded despondent: ``Those types of players aren't on our team right now. They're at other places. There are no other options."

Practice video: 8/19

I have disabled auto-play for this video.

Want to see it again? Missed it the first time?


Early practice notes, 8/19

Hey everyone. Just a few to share after watching 1/10th of one Auburn practice:
  • LB Eltoro Freeman now is wearing a legit, plaster cast on his right wrist. It's black. I think it's pretty menacing as on-the-field weaponry goes.

  • WR Terrell Zachery was on "Muscle Beach" (ie where injured players go during practice) today. Not sure about his issue.

  • Kodi Burns was splitting time between quarterback and wideout.

  • Trooper Taylor had no problem yelling across the field at Burns, who wasn't tucking the ball after catching passes off the JUGS machine. "You have to get the little things right first," Taylor said.

  • Clint Moseley was wearing No. 11 today.

That's a wrap. I'm now working on a short practice video.

Days to kickoff: 17

Our Tar Heel Tiger's Auburn Minute is brought to you by the number:



In lieu of a full bio, we'll just post pictures and let you genuflect.

Jason Campbell: Triggerman behind the Tigers' 2004 undefeated season.

Reggie Slack: Triggerman behind the Tigers' 1989 home win against Alabama ... and two SEC championships.

Let's hear some shout-outs for other #17s!

First post: Wednesday

Hey everyone. I'm getting a relatively late start today because, wow, I set a record for home arrival (non-game division): 1:05 a.m. Goldberg and I were questioned by a security guard inside the complex around midnight. He didn't think we belonged there and took our names.

I wonder if this means I'll have to "spend some time" with Yox today.

Anyway, here's the Auburn situation at this moment:




Auburn practices at 7 p.m. today and the workout is open to the media. I'll produce a video of practice footage around 8:30 p.m. CDT. I'll also return around 10:30 p.m. to provide notes from the post-practice scene.

Here's what the next few days look like:

Wed., Aug. 19 7 p.m. Practice (7-7:20 p.m. window open to media)
Thu., Aug. 10 TBA Practice
Fri., Aug. 21 TBA Practice (20 minute window open to media)
Sat., Aug. 22 TBA Practice
Sun., Aug. 23 TBA Practice
Mon., Aug. 24 OFF
Tue., Aug. 25 TBA Practice (20 minute window open to media)
Wed., Aug. 26 TBA Practice
Thu., Aug. 27 TBA Practice (20 minute window open to media)
Fri., Aug. 28 TBA Practice
Sat., Aug. 29 OFF

Also, please pick up the Advertiser's print edition if you live around here! Our fine Auburn coverage is only one element of our award-winning product.

Video practice report, 8/18

I have disabled auto-play for this video.

Want to see it again? Missed it the first time?


Practice notes, 8/18

Hey everyone. Let's get to business.
  • Gene Chizik indicated LB Eltoro Freeman's most pressing physical issue is a hamstring; not the wrist issue that elicited a cast.

  • WR Philip Pierre-Louis was on the field tonight in helmet and shorts. Chizik, asked if it was fair to say PPL has a long way to catch up, Chizik said: ``Yes, that would be very fair to say."

  • Kodi Burns said he's still working at quarterback, under the auspices of offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, after each practice. Burns spends practice playing wideout.

  • Auburn's practice didn't end util 9:30 tonight. That's pretty late for college students who (presumably) need to study at least a little. Chizik said he's going late tonight and tomorrow to help avoid snags with class schedules. He is planning to move practices up to 5 p.m. or so beginning Friday.

  • WR Anthony Gulley said he "expected to redshirt" this season, but said he has been practicing with the first-team offense fairly often. He also is playing "behind" Mario Fannin in the sense that Gulley is shuttling between the 2 (outside wideout) and 3 ("H" back) positions like his more muscly teammate.

  • LB Joshua Bynes, in a rare move, gave a "you'll have to ask Coach Roof" when asked who is playing behind him at middle linebacker. That makes me think nobody is playing behind him.

  • Chizik said freshman S Daren Bates is challenging for a starting job. Keep in mind: Bates was a 2-star recruit.

That's all I have for now.

Feedin' time: HABOTN Caps Have Arrived

Hey everyone. Great news. Scottie B., one of the most infuential HOTTIES alive and man behind the wildly successful HABOTN t-shirts, has moved on to clothing accessories.

We now have officially licensed HABOTN Caps available. Notice the plural. There are three caps available.

A. Stretch Meshed (fitted), $20

B. Moisture Management Stretch (fitted), $20

C. Twill (adjustable), $15

Here are the backs. All proudly exclaim the HABOTN name.

Here I am rockin' the "A" prototype:

* Prices include shipping.

* Logos are fully embroidered. No shady iron-ons.

* Download the order form here (It's next to the flashing red arrow.)

Days to kickoff: 18

Our Tar Heel Tiger's Auburn Minute is brought to you by the number:



Clifford Leroy Hare was a member of Auburn’s first football team in 1892, president of the old Southern Conference, longtime chairman of Auburn’s Faculty Athletic Committee, dean of the school of chemistry, and state chemist from 1930-48. He taught physical and organic chemistry at Auburn for 50 years. He also was an Auburn city councilman. Auburn Stadium was renamed Cliff Hare Stadium in 1949.

Each year, the highest honor an Auburn student-athlete can receive is the Cliff Hare Award (male) or the Leah Rawls Atkins Award (female). The Cliff Hare Award is presented to the senior male student-athlete "who, in addition to athletic and scholarship achievement, exhibits in great degree the qualities of leadership, integrity and courage."

*Alexander Wright was a sooooper fast wideout from 1986-89, playing a vital role in the 1989 Iron Bowl win in Jordan-Hare Stadium. His career 23.6 yards per reception is still an Auburn record.

"Ace" Wright played a total of seven NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Raiders and Rams. This Auburn graduate was twice named the NFL's fastest man and once ran a 4.09 forty. Yes, that's faster than Bo. Wright set a Dallas Cowboys record with a 102 yard kickoff return in 1991.

I'm very proud of this great Auburn man. I encourage you to read why. After retiring from the NFL, Wright resumed his education, earning an M.A. in Sports Management. He is currently Athletic Director at San Jacinto Christian Academy which, of course, is not in San Jacinto, Texas, but in Amarillo on the high plains of the Texas panhandle.


* Randy Walls: Quarterback who led The Amazin's to a 9-1 regular season record.

* Foster Christy: Started and lettered at FB all four years he was at Auburn. He was inducted into the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame. This Auburn grad has a Master of Divinity, teaches a weekly men's Bible study (in Steve FC's neighborhood) and is involved in leadership at his home church in Columbia, SC.

* Haygood Paterson, Jr. - Tackle on Auburn's 1932 Southern Conference Champions. (His father lettered in 1903-05).


Question: How did Cliff Hare end up at #18? After all, they didn't have jersey numbers in 1892.

Answer: There is an 1892 team photo in the AU Archives in which the players have been identified by a number key. Number 18? The great Cliff Hare, who may have been Auburn's first keeper of the clipboard (Dean Hare was not a starter on that team, but certainly was one of its intellectual leaders).

First Post: Tuesday

Hey everyone. I enjoyed an uneventful Monday handling some business around the house. The football team was off for the first day of classes. Times are a-changin', though, and it's time for me to get back to work.

Here's the Auburn situation at this moment:




Auburn practices at 7 p.m. today and the workout is closed to the media. That means tonight's post-practice report is going to be a late one. I don't expect to have anything up until at least 10 p.m.

Here's what the next 10 days look like:

Tue., Aug. 18 7 p.m. Practice
Wed., Aug. 19 7 p.m. Practice (7-7:20 p.m. window open to media)
Thu., Aug. 10 TBA Practice
Fri., Aug. 21 TBA Practice (20 minute window open to media)
Sat., Aug. 22 TBA Practice
Sun., Aug. 23 TBA Practice
Mon., Aug. 24 OFF
Tue., Aug. 25 TBA Practice (20 minute window open to media)
Wed., Aug. 26 TBA Practice
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Auburn adds another commitment

Hey everyone Our friends at, and ITAT are reporting that DE Justin Delanie has committed to Auburn.

He is the 15th player to announce plans to sign with Auburn in 2010.

He apparently played at Sumter County High last season, but will be at Linden High this fall. He's tall (6-foot-5) and apparently is an excellent sprinter. Yes, sprinter.

What Have We Learned?

Hey everyone. Auburn is now 14 practices into the 2009 season. Have we learned anything?

Answer: Not as much as I expected.

Still, we know some stuff. Here's a look at the five things I know now that I may not have known (or realized) two weeks ago.
  • Kodi Burns walks the walk: The junior quarterback learned last week that he no longer was under consideration for the starting job. He lost out to Chris Todd, who has been a consistent obstacle to Burns' upward mobility.

    When Todd was named Auburn's starter, Burns had several choices.

    He could have requested a transfer. Nobody would have been upset with him for making a decision that seemed obvious. Burns believes he has the skills to play quarterback and, surely, there are plenty of schools who feel similarly.

    He could have sulked. Dreams fuel passion and when those dreams disappear, Burns easily could have become discouraged.

    He didn't.

    Burns instead asked where the team needed help. When it became obvious that wideouts were in short supply and the so-called "Wildcat" position was vacant, Burns said he'd make a push.

    And he has. Burns scored a rushing touchdown out of the Wildcat formation during Auburn's second scrimmage and assistant coach Trooper Taylor said he's been amazed by how quickly Burns has emerged as a productive element at wideout.

    This could be the story of the year.

  • Subtraction by attrition: Auburn is a surprisingly sparse program right now.

    The NCAA allows teams to allocate a maximum of 85 scholarships each year.

    The Tigers don't have to worry about running afoul of that provision this season. Including the three walk-ons who were awarded scholarships last week, the team now has 76 players receiving aid for their work on the field.

    It's easy to see where those nine missing bodies should be.

    Auburn doesn't have many linebackers. Freshman Jonathan Evans started in the scrimmage because Eltoro Freeman is out with a wrist injury. Behind Evans is another freshman, Harris Gaston.

    Two other linebackers, Adam Herring and Spencer Pybus, are injured.

    The Tigers have similar issues at safety and along the offensive line. It's critical that Chizik and his staff find a way to increase staffing levels in short order.

    His lack of depth could become a terminal issue.

  • Freshmen are in the fray: Auburn typically uses only a few freshmen in meaningful roles, but this is no ordinary year.

    The Tigers will play freshmen at wideout. It's clear that Taylor, the team's wideouts coach, is smitten with his group of youngsters. DeAngelo Benton and Emory Blake have been in the spotlight all along, though observers said Anthony Gulley (pictured) showed surprising ability in the second scrimmage.

    Travante Stallworth also has earned praise.

    Auburn's youth movement starts now.

  • Taking offense: The offense has "won" both scrimmages according to the scoring system Chizik uses for these events.

    Surely that's not a good development.

    Defenses almost always win fall scrimmage regardless of score. Offenses require precise timing that typically isn't honed so early in the season, giving defenders an advantage that cannot be mitigated.

    The issue is this: Auburn's second-team defense is not very good right now. It's mostly populated by freshmen and players without a single meaningful performance on their resume.

    Defensive starters will be asked to play more snaps than usual this season.

  • It's business time: Chizik doesn't like mess.

    That's the primary reason behind three players leaving the program this summer. The coach has instituted a reasonably strict dress code and holds his players to reasonably lofty behavioral standards. He also demands that helmets be lined up almost perfectly during warm-ups.

    No detail is too small.

    It was reasonable to assume the no-frills aura he created upon arrival would wane as fall arrived. That was an errant assumption. Chizik is as guarded and focused as ever these days.

    We'll soon see if Auburn's new tone, set by the head coach, makes a difference on the field.
Photo credit (for Burns and Chizik): Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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