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The new world of college football: Is the SEC dying?

Hey everyone. So today we receive word (via named sources) that Nebraska will join the Big 10 Conference one year from now.

We also have received word (via unnamed sources) that Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and the Fightin' Tubervilles are on the verge of joining the Pac-10.

I still don't see how this affects the Southeastern Conference.

It's apparent that league commissioner Mike Slive has been talking with some of these schools. It's also apparent that Texas A&M is taking SEC overtones more seriously, though, as the story notes, that could be a function of ego in College Station. They have this thing about not having their lives dictated by Texas. Sound familiar?

Anyway, I still don't see the SEC changing right now. The schools that make most sense (Atlantic Coast Conference) have nothing to do with this realignment.

Do you hear any talk of the ACC disbanding? I didn't think so.

Southern Cal hammered by NCAA; Auburn playing revisionist history?

Hey everyone. Busy day in the world of sports, no?

News also broke this afternoon regarding rampant violations that occurred at Southern Cal from 2003-05. Part of the NCAA's penalty includes the stripping of the Trojans' football wins in 2004 and 2005, which irks Auburn fans to no end.

Southern Cal beat Oklahoma like a drum in the 2004 Bowl Championship Series title game. Auburn, despite being 12-0 heading into bowl season, wasn't allowed to play for the national championship. Many here believe the Tigers were improperly denied that opportunity ... and now comes news that opportunity was obfuscated because of cheating.

Does Auburn now have a true claim to the 2004 championship? No.

The BCS amended its bylaws a few years ago to permit the stripping of a title. There will be no retroactive changes; the 2004 season, officially, will have no BCS champion.

Still angry? Maybe you'll feel better vicariously reveling in Tennessee's enjoyment. Lane Kiffin left the Vols last winter for USC and now faces the loss of 10 football scholarships and bowl trips for two seasons. And he worked as an assistant at USC when these violations went down.

Karma, anyone?

Here's the full bill for USC (courtesy of the L.A. Times):

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Four years of probation: from June 10, 2010, through June 9, 2014.
  • Postseason ban for the 2009-10 men’s basketball season. (self-imposed)
  • Postseason ban for the 2010 and 2011 football seasons.
  • One-year show-cause penalty for assistant football coach Todd McNair (June 10, 2010, to June 9, 2011).
  • Vacation of all football wins, including football bowl games, from the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
  • Vacation of all basketball wins in the 2007-08 season, including the NCAA tournament. (self-imposed)
  • Vacation of all wins in women’s tennis between November 2006 and May 2009.(self-imposed)
  • Reduction of football scholarships by 10 for the next three academic years.
  • Reduction of men’s basketball scholarships from 13 to 12 for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years. (self-imposed)
  • Reduction of the total number of recruiting days in men’s basketball by 20 days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-11 academic year. (self-imposed)
  • $5,000 fine. (self-imposed)
  • Remittance of the $206,200 the university received for its participation in the 2008 NCAA basketball tournament. (self-imposed).
  • Disassociation of football player Reggie Bush, basketball player O.J. Mayo and “booster” Rodney Guillory.
  • Release of three men’s basketball recruits from their letters of intent. (self-imposed).
  • Prohibition of all non-university personnel, including boosters, from traveling on football and men’s basketball charters; attending football and men’s basketball team practices; attending or participating in any way with university football and men’s basketball camps, including donation of funds; and having access to the sidelines and locker rooms for football and men’s basketball games.

The Pac-10 makes its first addition

Hey everyone. News is breaking in the Mountain Time Zone where Colorado has accepted an offer to join the Pac-10 Conference.

Should SEC fans worry? Not about that.

However, Joe Schad (whom I respect) has a source telling him that Colorado simply is the first of several more Big 12 Conference schools to make the jump.

Nebraska is linked to the Big 10 Conference search for a new member. That deal is expected to be finalized this weekend.

Does that mean the Southeastern Conference must somehow keep pace? After listening to commissioner Mike Slive speak a few times last week and talking with a few ADs privately, it's reasonable to assume the league already has reached out to Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

How involved were those conversations? I don't know.

Was a membership offer extended? I'm almost certain it wasn't.

Still, Slive and his top league cohorts -- Charles Bloom, Mark Womack, et al. -- are shrewd when it comes to business affairs. They honestly believe a lucrative and thriving SEC, with its 12-school lineup, doesn't need to position itself any differently with the upheaval out west.

At least that's what he said last week.

``Given our success over the last decade, we're pretty comfortable, as I think you all know," Slive told reporters in Sandestin. ``Having said that, if there's a significant shift in the conference paradigm, we will be thoughtful, we'll be strategic and our goal is for us to maintain our position as one of the most successful conferences in the country. People have been drawing inferences from that, they'll continue to draw inferences from that, but really that's about all we're going to say about it."

It's not like the Atlantic Coast Conference is disbanding. That's the SEC's closest neighbor and a conglomeration of schools within driving distance.

Texas? Missouri? Oklahoma? Considering how we all see Arkansas as basically the North Pole in terms of proximity, I don't see why these particular realignments will have any effect on the SEC Sphere of Influence.

Rowland is fast

Hey everyone. Auburn's ace photographer, Todd Van Emst, sent along this awesome photo of sprinter Marcus Rowland.

The sophomore ran a 10.18 in the 100-meter semis and qualified for the NCAA final. He already owns the fastest 100 time in the NCAA this year, so he technically is the favorite.

Make that 11

Hey everyone. The Major League Baseball draft continued today and two more Auburn Tigers -- outfielder Justin Fradejas (above) and reliever Stephen Kohlscheen -- were selected.

That bumps the program's total to 11 this season. It's a record.

A recap:

OF Trent Mummey, 4th round (Baltimore)
1B Hunter Morris, 4th round (Milwaukee)
SP Cole Nelson, 10th round (Detroit)
SP Grant Dayton, 11th round (Florida)
RP Austin Hubbard, 14th round (Tampa)
C Ryan Jenkins, 17th round (Kansas City)
OF Brian Fletcher, 18th round (Kansas City)
DH Kevin Patterson, 23rd round (Tampa)
RP Bradley Hendrix, 30th round (Cincinnati)
OF Justin Fradejas, 35th round (Colorado)
RP Stephen Kohlscheen, 45th round (Seattle)

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Auburn players in the MLB draft

Hey everyone.

Drafts are unpredictable. That's the only way I can explain how OF Trent Mummey, an excellent center fielder, was selected ahead of 1B Hunter Morris in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft this afternoon.

Mummey went 118th overall to the Baltimore Orioles.

Morris, the SEC's Player of The Year, went 129th overall (fourth round) to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Several more Tigers will be drafted in the coming hours.

** This was what he said after being asked about this season: ``After last night, when we lost in front of all those fans, it was really hard to take that Auburn jersey off. We had a lot of expectations this year. We wanted to go out a little further. The great group of guys we had really brought out the Auburn family for baseball. These past couple games were really great. It was really special to be able to experience that before this season ended. We brought back a winning tradition to Auburn.

``If this is my last year at Auburn, it's definitely the way I'd like to have gone out. It was really exciting to experience all the things I did. Coming back from my injury was really tough. At the beginning of the year, you have a lot of expectation for the draft. A week before the season, it was taken away. It was tough. I experienced a little depression there for a little bit. I was a little upset."

** On motivation after missing 28 games: ``I was doing it for the Auburn family. I felt like I had a lot to give to Auburn. Missing 28 games, I felt like I had to give a lot to the team."

** General comments: ``I had high hopes that it would happen earlier, but I'm in a great situation with a great organization with the Brewers. They had a lot of interest out of high school. I had a lot if conversations with them this year. I knew they were in the mix. It wasn't really a surprise to me that they were the ones who jumped forward and took me there."

** On learning that he'd been drafted: ``I was driving to my apartment. I was on the phone with my dad and we were sitting there with raised eyebrows wondering: What's going on? Then he told me: ``Congratulations." I'm relieved for it to be over with. It's behind us now."

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Auburn Regional Sorta Live V

Well, hello there, boys and girls.

We are once again sitting in a sticky press box at Plainsman Park. Your Tigers have taken the field, once again the home team in their own park. As you know, you'll have semi-live updates from the BIG ONE.

Avoid the clap ... and let's get going


CU Top 1:
Tough start ... again. Clemson put a couple on and Kyle Parker, who also plays a little QB in his spare time, brought three in with a DONG to center. You might be interested to know that the wind is blowing out rather briskly to right. I'm guessing that won't be the last ball to leave the park tonight. First score: CU 3, AU 0

AU Btm 1:
Not much. Gamache had a Ga-single up the middle and then worked his way around to third on wild pitches. That's the good news. Bad news: He didn't work himself home.

CU Top 2: The visiting Tigers have come to play. You gotta tip your hat to 'em. After that ending last night, they have every right to mail this in. Instead, they've just put two more on the board and chased AU starter Jon Luke Jacobs after just inning. Your score: CU 6, AU 0

AU Btm 2:
Signs of life. Your Tigers put a three-spot on the board. Fradejas and Bryant had RBIs. The Clemson pitcher also got an RBI, since he walked one in. New score: CU 6, AU 3

CU Top 3:
John Hinson has taken a little time off from "Wipeout" to hit a DONGER (Worked in a "Sixteen Candles" reference -- find that elsewhere). New score: CU 7, AU 3

AU Btm 3:
A little bit closer. McElroy with an RBI double and another RBI hit for Bryant. New score: CU 7, AU 5

CU Top 4:

AU Btm 4: Nothing on the board, but Brian Fletcher hit the best looking single you'll ever see. Bounced that baby off the wall.

CU Top 5: Clemson stretches it back out a bit. A run on a couple of hits. New score: CU 8, AU 5

AU Btm 5:
And Auburn closes the gap again. Mummey with a DONG to right. Back to two. CU 8, AU 6

CU Top 6:
A single, but no damage.

AU Btm 6: Ditto for Auburn -- single but no damage.

CU Top 7: You'll probably not remember the name Richie Shaffer in a few weeks, but he's very likely the guy that stomped on Auburn's super regional dreams. His double scored three. New score: CU 11, AU 6

AU Btm 7: A run crossed the plate, but a big opportunity missed. Fittingly, some guy had a goat behind the center field wall. There was also one on the base path. Last night's hero made two pretty big blunders -- either that or he was trying not to score. If so, well played, sir. Well played, indeed. New score: CU 11, AU 7

CU Top 8: A little action. Nothing anyone will remember.

AU Btm 8: Couple of tough breaks for the home team. Fletch F. Fletch's shot down the right field line could have been ruled either way. Ump called it foul. Might have been a mistake. Auburn's pitching coach certainly seemed to think so, as he was tossed for arguing and made quite a spectacle of himself. It was enjoyable. Morris then lined out and Gamache was doubled up in the process. AU still trails by four with one shot left.

CU Top 9: Bad news. Clemson put two more on the board and made a tough challenge that much harder. Three outs to go and the hometown Tigers need six to keep playing this season.

AU Btm 9: Somehow, Auburn didn't score. Ended with 18 hits and seven runs -- almost impossible.

Final Score: CU 13, AU 7

Recapping a big night in Auburn

Hey everyone.

I think this will summarize things from last night.

Here's what our own Bag had to say about Auburn's 11-9 win.

Auburn Regional Sorta Live IV

After a walk to Momma G's, a good sammich and a couple of blisters, we're ready to roll again.

The only thing I've wiffed on so far has been the weather problems and judging by the clouds, I'm not far off of that.

Somebody get the live chicken ...


AU Top 1:
Your Auburn Tigers have kept the offense going. RBI double from Fletcher and an RBI single from Morris gives Auburn a quick lead and a lot of momentum. AU 2, CU 0

CU Btm 1:
One hit, but no danger.

AU Top 2:
A hit that nearly decapitated poor ol' Lamb, but no runs.

CU Btm 2: Another hit. Still no real harm.

AU Top 3: A double from Mummey goes unused. Still, Auburn continues to hit the ball hard.

CU Btm 3: Sorry for the delay. Tech difficulties. Anyway, apparently Under Armour doesn't have a sunglass line and that has cost Auburn. Fletcher lost one in the sun in left and Clemson got a run out of it. Fradejas almost misplayed one in right, but I don't know what the issue was there -- Dramamine, maybe. Anyway, new score: AU 2, CU 1

AU Top 4:
Couple of threats but nothing to show for it ... except for a new Clemson pitcher. You got that going for you, which is nice ... I guess.

CU Btm 4:
Nothing much.

AU Top 5:
Fletch F. Fletch has left the yard with a two-run DOOOOOOONNNNNGGGG. AU added another run on top of that and I've made early dinner reservations at Provinos for tomorrow night. New score: AU 5, CU 1

CU Btm 5:
Uh, yeah, might've spoke a bit soon there. OK, no might about it. The visiting Tigers have bounced back to score SEVEN runs in their half of the fifth. Everybody in the lineup doubled at least twice in the inning. New score: CU 8, AU 5

AU Top 6:
There's a sign that AU will not be going quietly. Mr. Fradejas, who would never make it in Arizona with a name like that, is doing just dandy here, thank you. He DONGED one over the big, green wall. New score: CU 8, AU 6

CU Btm 6:
Nothing much to report.

AU Top 7:
Just think of me as Bobby Boucher's girlfriend. Your Tigers get two runs in odd fashion -- walked one in and an infield single for the other. New score: AU 8, CU 8

CU Btm 7:
Back they come. A walk, a sacrifice and a two-out double puts Clemson back on top. Score: CU 9, AU 8

AU Top 8:
There was a chance there. Had a runner at first and then at second for Morris and Caldwell. But Mighty Casey popped out and Caldwell struck out. One shot left.

CU Btm 8:
Nothing but one loud out.

AU Top 9: Crede Simpson drinks free tonight. Simpson's three-run, pinch-hit home run with two outs allows Auburn to see another half-inning and possibly another day. New score: AU 11, CU 9

CU Btm 9:
Tying run left at third. See ya tomorrow.

Final Score: AU 11, CU 10

AU Regional Sorta Live III

Here we go with what is sure to be a looooooooong day of baseball for all of us.

No need to waste any additional time here.

May our bats be swift and our balls be plentiful ...


AU Top 1:
That's right, the Tigers are the visitors in their own park. Must be weird. Didn't seem to bother Mr. Fletcher. Went deep. Your score: AU 1, USM 0

USM Btm 1:
Uh-oh. B.A. "Baracus" Vollmuth hit what has to be his 75th home run this weekend to put the Golden Eagle on top. Then Travis Graves solved a bases loaded jam for the Tigers by doubling to center. New score: USM 5, AU 1

AU Top 2:
Casey McElroy put a dent in the Under Armour sign in left-center. Scored three. We're well on our way to a 30-run day. New score: USM 5, AU 4

USM Btm 2:
Relatively quiet. B.A., whose initials are fitting, singled -- but when doesn't he? That was all, though.

AU Top 3: Tie game on a nice double from Kevin Patterson. Should've given the Tigers the lead but Jenkins got his feet tangled on the third base line and tripped. Brand new game anyway. AU 5, USM 5

USM Btm 3:
A double and a two-out, RBI single put the Fightin' Favres back on top. And we had our first of what's sure to be NUMEROUS pitching changes. New score: USM 6, AU 5

AU Top 4:
A GRAND DONG from Mr. Morris has turned things around for the visiting, yet homestanding, Tigers. We also got pitching change No. 2. New score: AU 9, USM 6

USM Btm 4:
That'll help the pace a bit. A quick one. No harm.

AU Top 5: Hey, hey, hey -- halfway home. Your Tigers put up SIX more in the fifth. The big blow was ... let's see ... somebody hit a homerun. It happened like a half-hour ago. I forgot. You can now go do something else and wait on the late game to start. New score: AU 15, USM 6

USM Btm 5:
Couple of runners. Neither of them touched the plate ... when it counted.

AU Top 6: Didn't score. Call it mercy.

USM Btm 6: Didn't score. Call it surrender.

AU Top 7: Thanks to an it's-hot call by the first base ump on a double play, no runs again.

USM Btm 7: We're rolling now, baby. Still 15-6 ... and hot.

AU Top 8: Two more runs for the Tigers. Might wanna think about saving some of this for later. New Score: AU 17, USM 6

USM Btm 8:
One more meaningless run for the Golden Eagles. Score: AU 17, USM 7

AU Top 9:
Nothing. But ... we can see the end. Sweet mercy.

USM Btm 9: A run on a homer. Needed a pitching change to get it done, though.

Final Score: AU 17, USM 8

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