Category Archives: Auburn’s Cast of Thousands

The Auburn Way

I know we kid about it, but, damn, Auburn, do you really have to get this in your face about who receives a scholarship?

Bruce Pearl looks like a match made in heaven, doesn’t he?

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

“I kind of get tired of it sometimes…”

Poor Ricardo Lewis.

With just 25 seconds remaining, Louis etched his name in Auburn lore on the contest’s final score — an incredible 73-yard touchdown catch-for-the-ages off a deflected pass — which helped Auburn walk away with a 43-38 victory.

Now the play follows him like a shadow.

“Every time I’m out (fans want me) to do the pose or ask me what was I thinking,” he said. “After I caught it I was getting the same response. I just smile and I tell them it was one in a million. A feeling like, I can’t replay the feeling that I felt at that time. I just embrace it. I didn’t know what to do.”

What he was thinking?  What he was thinking was some variation of “man, I’ve got to be the luckiest sumbitch on the planet right now”.

As for being tired of it, during the week leading up to the Auburn game, if Georgia’s coaches aren’t making the defense relive that play to the point of nausea, shame on them.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

You’ve got to spend money to lose money.

In a year in which it won the SEC and played in the national title game, Auburn managed to turn in an athletic department operating deficit.

Severance payments totaled $2.7 million in 2013, largely for Chizik and his staff after the Tigers went 3-9. Auburn Senior Associate Athletics Director Jack Smith said the athletics department drew upon a cash reserve of more than $15 million to cover last year’s operating deficit.

Jay Jacobs is the bizarro Greg McGarity.

But that’s not even the most remarkable part of the story.  This is:  “Student fee subsidies also prevented Auburn from reporting deficits on its NCAA reports in 2011, 2010 and 2009.”

How do you win a national football title and lose money (but for what you forcibly extracted from students)?  Shoot, Tennessee used to be my gold standard for financial mismanagement in the conference, but at least the Vols have the excuse of not winning anything for a while.

Even Maryland managed to avoid finishing in the red last year.

Maybe Saban’s master plan is for Alabama to spend so much money that it forces Auburn into bankruptcy trying to keep pace.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Just Bidness

Fluke you.

Great.  It’s not enough that we had to watch it happen… and keep seeing it again.  Now Auburn’s using its winning play in last year’s Georgia game as kinda, sorta motivation for this season.

Q: How much do you think your guys are motivated by hearing some people try and say some of what happened last year was ‘flukish’ and that it was some sort of one-year wonder and they want to prove these guys are here to stay on top of the SEC?

Lashlee: I think they’re motivated by that. I think they’re motivated by being so close and not finishing. You feel like you had an opportunity to do something more special than people thought you could do and we didn’t just finish it the way we wanted. There’s the motivation in that in and of itself.

I don’t get too caught up in “flukish” and I don’t know that our guys do. It take some breaks to get to the national championship game. Doesn’t matter who you are. Obviously, the catch at Georgia is the one everybody thinks about…

I can think of another team that should be using that game as motivation.  And not of the kinda, sorta variety, either.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

If you can afford filet mignon, why shop at McDonalds?

Remember those heady days not so long ago, when Auburn and Tennessee were convinced they’d upended the traditional model for allocating salaries between head coaches and their staffs?  Good times, those.  Me, I kinda wondered what we’d get with all the new money pouring into SEC schools’ coffers if those hires didn’t work out.

Which they di’int.

And so – surprise, surprise – Jay Jacobs announces he’s done with that bullshit.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Just Bidness

Keeping up with the Sabans

Auburn has bumped its salary pool for its nine assistant football coaches by nearly $1 million.  Four assistants will make at least a half million dollars a year and no assistant will be paid less than $325,000, and yet

The Tigers inched closer to Alabama’s figures ($4.463 million) with the latest raises, though the Tide have yet to release updated figures following the season and the arrival of assistant Lane Kiffin.

Nussmeier’s base salary last year was $680,000.  Junior should be well north of that number.

Maybe Auburn can catch up with another SEC title.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Nick Saban Rules

“The ball was on the ground too much, for a variety of reasons.”

Does it occur to anybody to wonder if going at warp speed might contribute to Nick Marshall’s butterfingers?

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Warp speed, my ass

I suspect this is really the sound Gus Malzahn makes when he’s doubling down on tweaking Nick Saban:

“We think we can be quite a bit faster,” he said in his pre-spring press conference. “There were times last year [when] we had a lot of new people out there, a lot of moving parts, and as you get more comfortable, the faster you can get.”

If Gus is saying his team will come out of the gate this season more polished than it started 2013, no argument here.  The Tigers were a different offense in the SECCG than they were against Washington State. But to pretend there’s some magical higher gear he can move things to from where Auburn finished last season… I ain’t buying it.

Auburn can be better on offense, even with the loss of Tre Mason, if Marshall’s passing skills further develop.  But faster?  Eh.

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Today, in two Tweets

Really can’t think of a better way to sum up the day’s developments than with this:

Um… make that hiring Bruce Pearl.

And this.

True dat.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Thursday morning buffet

Hungry?

  • You know, there’s a guy every year who seems like he’s been around forever.  My 2014 nominee for that guy is Florida’s Andre Debose, who was just granted a sixth year of eligibility.
  • “I just don’t want to see any University of Alabama (logos).”
  • David Ching makes a case for a guy we probably haven’t thought about much yet, tight end Jordan Davis.
  • SEC basketball crowds suck.  And here I thought continuously loud music packs folks in.
  • So, the question becomes would college basketball be better served as a one-semester sport?  What I love about this discussion is that there isn’t a single word about what fans might want, other than to blame our limited attention spans.  “It is a big challenge to get people to care about college basketball when football is still being played.”
  • Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney thinks it would be swell if college football players didn’t come out early.
  • The day Georgia football almost died.
  • Pretty good column in the Boston College student newspaper about March Madness“Thanks to March Madness, regular season success is overlooked.”
  • Auburn’s AD has fired the football, baseball and men’s basketball coaches he hired since 2008.  Think he’s indebted to Malzahn right now?

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, SEC Football