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Nuggets from The Football Coach

Hey everyone. Gene Chizik stopped by for a minutes to speak with reporters about various issues related to football.

Here's a basic rundown.
  • DE Cameron Henderson is off the team. He is not in school. That's a wrap. To make a nebulous story clear, he became cross-ways of the coaching staff last summer and his road to redemption, as it were, was mighty narrow.

  • LB Spencer Pybus, LB Adam Herring and OT Vance Smith will not return to the field. Ever. They have been dealing with chronic medical issues. ``Those are three great, great kids who love football," Chizik said. ``You have to look at what your quality of life is going to be 30 years from now. Medically, it was their decision to stop playing."

  • Chizik said he has not been contacted by Louisiana Tech or any other school regarding offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. A few LTU websites reported that Malzahn was interviewing there today, but he's attending the Auburn-Kentucky basketball game.

  • Chizik on his staff: ``I've talked to all of our assistant coaches. My goal is being able to keep all of our coaching staff in tact. There has been no official contact that I know about. I fully anticipate having our staff fully back together."

  • Chizik said S Aairon Savage has applied for a sixth season of eligibility. He has missed the past two years because of leg injuries. Former DL Tez Doolittle made the same appeal for the same problems two years ago and was granted the sixth season. He found out in March.

Kentucky 72, Auburn 67

Hey everyone. I am on the floor here at The Beav. This is going to be a sell-out without a doubt. The upper sections already are at least 75% full.

Auburn has a special visitor: U. Kentucky graduate Ashley Judd.

Kentucky won. We talked about it during the game.

If you missed it, you're rectangular.

Looking at: UK @ AU men

Hey everyone. We have a BIG ONE at The Beav today.

Undefeated Kentucky, they of the 17-0 record, are in Auburn and ready to tussle. Are you wondering how Auburn will perform? I'm not. I think I know, but here's an information box anyway.


When: Today, 3 p.m.

Where: Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum, Auburn

Records: Kentucky (17-0, 2-0); Auburn (9-8, 0-2)

On the air: TV — SEC Network; Radio — WMSP-AM 740, WLWI-FM 92.3

Probable starting lineups:

PG Dewayne Reed (6-1, 175), 16.1 ppg
G Frankie Sullivan (6-1, 195), 13.6 ppg
G Tay Waller (6-2, 193), 12.3 ppg
F Lucas Hargrove (6-6, 220), 13.1 ppg
F Johnnie Lett (6-8, 210), 2.1 ppg

PG John Wall (6-4, 195), 17.3 ppg
SG Eric Bledsoe (6-1, 190), 11.3 ppg
SF Darius Miller (6-7, 225), 7.6 ppg
F Patrick Patterson (6-9, 235), 16.6 ppg
F DeMarcus Cousins (6-11, 260), 15.3 ppg

Notable: Auburn lost its second consecutive league game at Tennessee on Thursday night, 81-55 … Kentucky has won 24 of the last 25 games in this series … Auburn's last win against the Wildcats came in 2000 … Auburn hasn't beaten a top-10 team since 2003, which represents a 10-game skid … Two of UK's top four scorers are freshmen from Alabama -- guard Eric Bledsoe (Birmingham) and forward DeMarcus Cousins (Mobile).

Radio Appearance Forthcoming

Hey everyone. I will be participating in my weekly segment on SuperSport 930 out of Jackson, Miss., in a bit. That extravaganza will begin around 9:07 a.m. CST.

We will discuss Auburn ... and other stuff.

Be there or be rectangular.

Auburn women def. Alabama, 74-62

Hey everyone. We are live in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum, where your Auburn Tigers are playing host to the Crimson Tide.

We'll also keep an eye on the men here. They're playing at Tennessee.

You may watch the men play. Their game is being televised on ESPN2 in high definition for those of you who have invested in that technology.

Auburn wins, 74-62.

FOURTH TIMEOUT @ 2:49, 2nd half
Auburn leads, 68-50. Auburn has scored on each of its last six possessions. Four of them were extended because of strong offensive rebounding. I guess the Tigers were just waiting for the pressure to mount. Then they took command.

THIRD TIMEOUT @ 7:11, 2nd half
Auburn leads, 57-48. Blanche Alverson broke another Alabama run with a three. She's good at that. I still think Alabama is playing better ball right now. Nothing is coming smoothly for the Tigers. Alabama's man-to-man defense has been surprisingly good. It's obviously annoying Auburn.

SECOND TIMEOUT @ 11:49, 2nd half
Auburn leads, 52-38. Auburn is just grinding. Offense isn't coming easily, but they're making it happen.

FIRST TIMEOUT @ 16:21, 2nd half
Auburn leads, 47-34. Alabama is playing harder than Auburn, in my opinion, but the Tide cannot shoot. Period. Auburn stays in zone. Alabama has carte blanche to shoot from outside and it refuses. They keep driving. Offensive rebounding is giving them a chance.

Auburn leads, 43-30. Alabama built a 9-0 run as halftime approached. A three from Blanche Alverson broke the surge. So that's where we are.

FOURTH TIMEOUT @ 3:59, 1st half
Auburn leads, 38-19. Auburn is staying it its 2-3 zone and making Alabama, a poor shooting team, shoot from outside. It's not going that well for the Tide. I'll say this -- Alabama is getting better quickly. Their 2006-07 team is the worst major-college team I've ever seen. At least their strategy makes sense now. They don't look lost. They're getting ripped here, obviously, but they have an idea.

THIRD TIMEOUT @ 7:58, 1st half
Auburn leads, 32-15. Auburn has cooled off a tad, but that doesn't matter. KeKe Carrier just "redirected" a weak shot from Alabama's Katie Hancock and, wow, it was an aggressive deal. Legal but aggressive. The Tigers are amped up.

SECOND TIMEOUT @ 11:38, 1st half
Auburn leads, 27-11. Carrier was laying it down early, then Alli Smalley became the focal point. She has scored seven points since that last time timeout -- two baseline drives and a three. It's ugly. Or pretty ... depending on your feelings.

FIRST TIMEOUT @ 14:47, 1st half
Auburn leads, 16-7. KeKe Carrier is unstoppable. She already has seven points.

Looking at Ala @ AU women

Hey everyone. It's time for the IRON BOWL of women's hoops.

Here's a look at what will be happening at The Beav tonight. I will be there for an official HABOTN Live Blog® this evening.


When: Today, 6 p.m.

Where: Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum, Auburn

HOTTIES planning to attend: TBA

Records: Auburn (10-6, 1-2); Alabama (8-8, 0-3)

On the air: TV — None; Radio — WMXA-FM 96.7 in Auburn

Probable starting lineups
G Dedrea Magee (5-7, Sr.), 8.9 ppg
G Ericka Russell (5-7, Soph.), 10.2 ppg
G Varisia Raffington (5-11, Jr.), 12.6 ppg
F Tierney Jenkins (6-0, Jr.), 10.8 ppg
F Tamara Williams (6-0, Sr.), 3.4 ppg

PG Morgan Toles (5-9, Fr.), 8.1 ppg
SG Alli Smalley (5-8, Jr.), 14.4 ppg
G/F Parrisha Simmons (6-0, Soph.), 2.8 ppg
PF Jordan Greenleaf (6-1, Jr.), 7.3 ppg
C KeKe Carrier (6-7, Sr.), 14.4 ppg

NOTABLE: Auburn coach Nell Fortner is 9-1 in games against Alabama and hasn't lost in more than four years … An Auburn win today, which would be its eighth straight against the Tide, would represent the longest streak in series history … Alabama hasn't won a conference road game since Feb. 12, 2006, at Mississippi State … The Tide has gone 2-44 against SEC teams since then … Carrier, the Auburn center, was named the SEC's Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 20.5 points and nine rebounds in games against Florida and LSU.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Looking at: AU @ UT men

Hey everyone. The Leapin' Lebos play at No. 9 Tennessee tonight.

Let's take a gander at this one.


When: Today, 6 p.m. CST

Where: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville

HOTTIES planning to attend: Scottie B.

Records: Auburn (9-7); Tennessee (12-2)

On the air: TV — ESPN2; Radio — WMSP-AM 740, WLWI-FM 92.3

Probable starting lineups:
PG Dewayne Reed (6-1, 175), 15.9 ppg
G Frankie Sullivan (6-1, 195), 13.6 ppg
G Tay Waller (6-2, 193), 12.8 ppg
F Lucas Hargrove (6-6, 220), 13.3 ppg
F/C Johnnie Lett (6-8, 210), 2.3 ppg.

PG Bobby Maze (6-3, 195), 8.5 ppg
G Scotty Hopson (6-7, 200), 13.8 ppg
G J.P. Prince (6-7, 205), 6.4 ppg
F Renaldo Woolridge (6-8, 210), 4.8 ppg
C Wayne Chism (6-9, 245), 11.2 ppg

Auburn lost its Southeastern Conference opener at home to South Carolina last weekend, 80-71 … One Tennessee starter (Troy Smith) has been dismissed while three other scholarship players are on suspension following Jan. 1 arrests … The Volunteers suited up six scholarship players against No. 1 Kansas last weekend and won, 76-68 … Auburn has lost five consecutive games in Knoxville by an average margin of 18.6 points … After playing No. 9 Tennessee, the Tigers will play host to No. 2 Kentucky on Saturday, representing the first time since 2003 that the team has played consecutive games against top-10 teams … Center Brendon Knox is averaging 15.6 points in Auburn's last five games while shooting 76 percent from the floor.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Theater of the Absurd takes a turn

Hey everyone. I promise this will not become the HTBOTN, but this Tennessee stuff keeps me so entertained.

Here's another classic.

This is Phillip Fulmer's official statement on what's happening at Tennessee. I cannot pick a favorite part.

“Over the last 24 hours I have been contacted by friends, great fans and media members, and I feel it is important to comment, as a man who loves the University of Tennessee deeply and shares this love with millions of great Volunteer fans and friends.

Recent events have been painful and an embarrassment to all of us who care about UT. I love the University; I am loyal to my alma mater and am ready to help as the University makes one of the most important decisions in the history of our football program. However, to prevent any misunderstanding, I am not seeking to be a candidate for the head coaching position.

I am looking forward to embracing the next coach and have some strong beliefs about the kind of man he should be. He must embrace Tennessee’s culture and traditions, be mature and of good character, and demonstrate integrity and leadership to our young men who desperately want to be shown the way. He must deserve, earn and keep the trust of our young men -- both present and future.

Tennessee football has been successful for so many years because it has been rooted in values and traditions. We can’t take those values for granted – if we do not guard them carefully, we will lose them.”

It gets better

Hey everyone. So John Brice from has posted an exclusive interview with Lane Kiffin, which includes this great exchange.

VQ: Will you miss not being able to needle Urban Meyer, or will you still needle him from the West Coast?

LK: No, it's good. Now I can do it and not get fined for it.

And some of you all don't like this guy? Come on.

Tennessee: WTH?

Hey everyone. The fun keeps on coming.

ESPN now is reporting that Lane Kiffin, the affable Tennessee coach, has agreed to a deal with Southern Cal. So he'd be gonzo from Rocky Top.

How bummed are Tennessee fans?

I don't expect you to be sympathetic. Auburn fans and (our few resident) Alabama sympathists have this in common: Feeling at least moderate disdain toward UT.

Next coach at UT? Thoughts?

No snags for Auburn's newcomers

Hey everyone. After a nice early-afternoon date with Wifey, I am here to report that Auburn's five newcomers have enrolled and, as of today, are attending classes on campus.

There will be no sudden snags, problems, surprises. They're in school and that's that.

So who are these newcomers?

Oh, pretending to be blasé about 18-year-old kids? I understand. It's OK.

I'm here for you.

QB Cameron Newton -- (right in the picture) outstanding junior-college player, tall, strong
OT Roszell Gayden -- good junior-college player, tall, very strong
OT Brandon Mosley -- good junior-college player, tall, very strong
LB Jessel Curry -- good high-school player from championship-caliber program, fast
DL Craig Sanders -- good high-school player from a .500-caliber program, projectable

Oh yes he did ...

Hey everyone. The Dothan Eagle is reporting that Troy offensive coordinator Neal Brown has accepted the same position at Texas Tech under new coach Tommy Tuberville.

Brown is a nearly exact replica of Tony Franklin and has described Franklin as his mentor. They run essentially the same offense.

What can Auburn fans take from this? Tuberville clearly didn't consider Franklin's offense, the one that went awry during Auburn's 2008 season, the primary problem. It was a personnel problem from the beginning.

Home Improvement

Hey everyone. Today we will hold the first poll in HABOTN history, providing you the opportunity to make yourself heard.

Well, sorta. I won't actually hear you.

I have my own opinions about this, but I'm keen to see what you all think.

Auburn's most improved player. My definition: The player whose value, in your eyes, jumped farthest from Aug. 4 to Jan. 2.

You may vote for two. I know it's tough. I have listed the players in alphabetical order to perhaps prevent my top two guys from being at the top. Or near the top. Or the bottom.

So have at it. Get out and VOTE.


From the "Seriously?" Department

Hey everyone. From the Dothan Eagle comes this hilarious interesting story about Tommy Tuberville.

The new Texas Tech coach is interviewing Troy offensive coordinator Neal Brown for the Red Raiders' OC position. Why do I find this funny?

Brown is the closest thing one can get to Tony Franklin without hiring Tony Franklin. Brown worked for Franklin at Troy and has described himself as a Franklin protege.

It's the circle of life.

Photo credit: Charles Goldberg/Birmingham News

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

Oops. I said it again.

Hey everyone. I'm shocked to hear today that Mark McGwire, the former home-run hitter, admits that he used steroids "on and off" for a period of "nearly a decade."

This is not relevant to Auburn.

Just thought you might like to know.

Our official HABOTN word for the day is perjury.

Column as promised

Hey everyone. I mentioned yesterday that a column would appear this morning discussing how Alabama's 13th eighth national championship doesn't make Gene Chizik's job more difficult.

Here it is: Tigers make solid strides in spite of Tide's rise

Please enjoy.

If you're so inclined, please feel free to discuss the column in the comments section.

Former Auburn standout makes good

Hey everyone. A wild Wild Card game between Green Bay and Arizona ended with a former Auburn star hogging the spotlight.

Linebacker Karlos Dansby, who played on the Plains from 2000-03, recovered a fumble in overtime and returned it for the winning touchdown.

Photo credit: Matt York/Associated Press

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

Auburn engineers upset in Baton Rouge

Hey everyone. Just a short note ...

The Auburn women have beaten No. 11 LSU at the Maravich Assembly Center. It was the best game I've seen this season.

Alli Smalley hit a 23-foot shot with :03 remaining to force overtime. The Tigers moved ahead with approximately 1:30 remaining in overtime on a shot by Jordan Greenleaf. LSU went scoreless during its final four possessions -- including a botched, open layup at the buzzer.

Auburn (10-6) was led by point guard Morgan Toles and center KeKe Carrier, who finished with 17 points apiece.

It's the team's first SEC win in three tries. The Tigers lost at Florida in double overtime Thursday.

Photo credit: Bill Feig/Associated Press

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

OT: Ashley Judd is serious about her Cats

Hey everyone. I was reading through my hero John Clay's excellent blog this morning when I stumbled upon this video of Ashley Judd, UK graduate, talking about her team.

I'm struck by a few things.

a.) You know what No. 1 is. She's talented.

b.) She knows basketball.

c.) She (allegedly) reads message boards.

d.) Every school needs someone like this.

If you're as enthusiastic about Ms. Judd as I am, please watch this video and enjoy: Video: Ashley Judd talks about her Cats

(We're going to the 5 p.m. mass today, hence a rare Sunday morning post.)

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