Category Archives: Auburn’s Cast of Thousands

Auburn wants a more balanced offense. The question is why.

This kind of talk drives me crazy.

“That was really probably the No. 1 priority in the spring, to be more balanced,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “We led the country in rushing last year. When you do that, defenses have to take some chances. We’ve got to do a better job this year of making them pay when they do take chances. … We feel like we have some receivers that can stretch the field and make some plays.”

The article is about the addition of stud WR D’haquille Williams, and I get that it never hurts to add more talent to an offense.  But Gus directed an offense that was second in scoring and second in total offense in the SEC last season, despite throwing the ball less than 30% of the time.  Why should he care about balance?

The answer is he shouldn’t.  At least not until opposing defenses begin to show they’re getting a handle on what Auburn’s doing.

I’m guessing this is simply random, meaningless coachspeak, because he’s got a pretty sharp offensive mind.  But if he wants to try to show otherwise, I won’t complain.  That’s the kind of thinking that worked so well for Chizik.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Strategery And Mechanics

“A teachable moment”

What do you figure the over/under will be for the number of times that phrase is uttered, typed or otherwise trotted out this week at SEC Media Days?

And too bad, C.J. Uzomah.  You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Crime and Punishment

Eliminate the middleman.

The thing I admire the most about the Nick Marshall pot citation story is the goddamned ruthless efficiency behind it.  Gus doesn’t have to spend any time waiting for a dismissal or juggling Auburn’s roster to add another quarterback to it, because Nick’s already on the Auburn roster.

It’s like bringing HUNH principles to roster management.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Crime and Punishment

Sunday morning buffet

Have some football.

  • Herschel Walker thinks the college football playoff format should be bigger than four teams to accommodate the SEC.
  • I heard a lot of talk from some of the NCAA’s witnesses at O’Bannon that paying players could harm the integration between them and the rest of the student body.  I wonder how they feel about this.
  • The arrests of seven athletes over a three-month span at Missouri led the athletic director to the conclusion that he doesn’t believe the spate of arrests was indicative of a cultural problem.  Isn’t that what they always think?
  • More academic speculation on what the Northwestern unionization effort might lead to.  Nobody knows, really.
  • Statistical comfort for Auburn:  Allowing big passing numbers is no indicator of a team’s success.  Except when it is:  “Four of the top five teams in the country in passing yardage — Florida State, Florida Atlantic, Michigan State and Louisville — held the top four spots in opponents’ passer rating, and they were the only four teams to hold teams under a 100 rating.”
  • If you’re interested in some inside ball, Shakin the Southland, which has been an excellent Clemson blog, has lost two of its major contributors.  Their story is here.
  • Auburn wants to do something about limiting opponents’ explosive plays, although if the problem really goes back to Tuberville’s time, I’m not sure why that really matters now.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, Crime and Punishment, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

Tuesday morning buffet

Suffering from a World Cup hangover this morning?  Eat something.

  • The Pac-12 distributed only 68 percent of its revenue to members in fiscal 2013.  Man, those television networks are expensive.
  • Would paying college players slow down early exits for the pros?  Maybe.
  • Gentry Estes looks at where Brice Ramsey’s at right now.
  • Kentucky beat writer asks the musical question “Does Georgia have anyone left to play defense?”  More than Kentucky does, I’m willing to bet.
  • Hawaii athletic department fails to pay players summer scholarship money due to clerical snafu, resulting in seven kids sleeping in the locker room until paperwork went through.  AD’s analysis of the situation “When it comes right down to it, we need to plan better.”  No shit, Sherlock.
  • In fiscal year 2012-3, Georgia generated more revenue from football and men’s basketball than your average NHL team.
  • To some extent, Chris Low’s rankings of SEC defensive lines looks like it was determined by throwing random darts.  Which probably means nobody really has a good handle on what the conference has this year.
  • Kevin Scarbinsky wonders if the SEC needs a rule prohibiting dismissed players from returning to the league, and concludes it won’t happen.  “Richt deserves credit for sticking to his principles in letting players go knowing they can and have come back to beat him. Hard to imagine the rest of the schools in the league would line up to save him from his own idealistic self.”
  • Here’s a list of ten toughest non-conferences schedules.  Only one SEC team makes the list – guess who.
  • And here’s Phil Steele’s combined experience chart for 2014.  Georgia is middle of the pack in that department.
  • John Infante points out that if Joker Phillips’ recruiting transgression is deemed serious enough, Boom could face the possibility of a suspension under the head coach responsibility bylaw.
  • Auburn is all about giving players second chances…”  Gah.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, General Idiocy, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, The NCAA

Matthews finds a home.

So one of the most iconic plays in Auburn history goes down as being made by two former Dawgs now sporting orange and blue. Strange.

I hope Tray gets as sick watching the constant replay of that as I was seeing it unfold.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Friday morning buffet

Go get ‘em, Tiger.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

A fool of a program and its money are soon parted.

What is it with Auburn and football coaches’ buyouts?

It happened with Tommy Tuberville, who resigned under pressure in 2008. Auburn had to pay him $5.1 million not to coach.

It happened with Gene Chizik, who was fired in 2012. Auburn is still paying him the balance of the $7.5 million it’s contractually obligated to pay him not to coach.

… Should things take an unexpected and drastic turn for the worst during his tenure – which is Auburn Football History 101 – Malzahn’s buyout is $2,237,500 for each year remaining on his six-year deal. Let’s break it down by year on how much the school would owe him if it fires him after the following seasons:

2014: $11,187,500.
2015: $8,950,000.
2016: $6,712,500.
2017: $4,475,000.
2018: $2,237,500.

Here’s what makes that truly remarkable:

… No Auburn coach since Shug Jordan retired in 1975 has left to take another job. Every Auburn coach since Jordan retired was either fired or resigned under pressure.

It happened to Doug Barfield, Pat Dye, Terry Bowden, Tuberville and Chizik. It happened to Dye, Bowden, Tuberville and Chizik even though each of them experienced some incredible success, the kind that led to SEC West, SEC and/or BCS championships.

That’s almost pathological.

And just remember the next time somebody tries to insist there isn’t enough money in the system for something… they lyin’.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Makin’ bank on the Plains

You win an SEC title and play in the BCS title game, you can expect some new loot to be flowing your way.  And it’s raining bucks at Auburn.  End result:  another SEC coordinator is making more than Mike Bobo.

Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee received the biggest raise among the assistant coaches: An increase of $250,000 to $600,000 annually with a two-year contract extension to June 2017.

Where does that place Bobo now – middle of the pack in SEC offensive coordinator pay?  Hell, even Rodney Garner (three-year contract through June 2017, $550,000 annually) is making about as much as Bobo.

Malzahn’s staff earned $3,495,000 in salary last season not including bonuses, ranking fifth nationally and third in the SEC behind LSU ($4,565,803) and Alabama ($4,462,700), according to USA TODAY Sports. The same group will earn $4.32 million in 2014.

I hope the reserve fund sends Richt a Christmas card.

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

Tater Tot on his ’93 national champions

Jon Solomon’s updated his piece about Auburn’s search for more national champs with a quote from Terry Bowden, who coached the 1993 team that’s supposedly under consideration.  He’s pretty good about it, to be honest, ranging from awkward (his dad won the ’93 title) to sensible to honest:

“You’ve been in the same world I’ve been in,” said Terry Bowden, Auburn’s coach in 1993. “In the last 20 years I think this argument hasn’t come up that much. My dad’s Florida State team is the only team we’ve kind of recognized from 1993.”

Bowden said he’s not sure why the Auburn debate is happening now — “Isn’t this about what Alabama does, then Auburn does (for counting national titles)?” he speculated — but added he would be proud if the 1993 team is recognized as a national champion.

“In light of the fact we’re talking about a mythical proclamation that’s not chosen by the NCAA or an NCAA-sanctioned playoff, everybody has the right to claim what they want to claim,” Bowden said. “All I can say is I wouldn’t want to get into that argument, but I’d be proud if they’re recognized. I do know that football team and those young men beat the defending national champion and at the end of the season was the only undefeated team left in the country. Somebody chose them. I don’t even know who that is, to be honest with you.”

It’s a helluva lot less cringeworthy than anything Tuberville’s had to say on the subject.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands