What’s all the fuss about Auburn’s limo?

 

I’ve made an executive decision. Each week until we take a break in June we will celebrate “Fearless Friday.” That’s when you’re free, despite whatever your humble servant writes on that particular day, to sound off on any topic. It doesn’t have to be about football. It can be about politics, the economy (such as it is), movies, etc.

All I ask is that you keep it clean because from time to time my momma, a very smart lady, decides to take a walk on the wild side and read this blog.

So as we celebrate the first Fearless Friday in May, here are some nuggets for you to ponder:

 

What’s all the fuss about the Auburn limo? I saw the photos of Auburn’s stretch limo that it will use during spring recruiting. It’s big, it’s white, and it’s got Auburn stickers and flags. They used a Cadillac on Monday and a Hummer on Tuesday.

Now my first reaction was: “Now that’s a little over the top.”

But I’m an old guy. Auburn’s not recruiting me. The guys that they are recruiting are 17 and 18 years old and they are thinking: “Man, that’s pretty cool.”

The Auburn limo did what it was designed to do. It got attention. Some of it was good and some bad. But unless it violates the rules, what the adults think really doesn’t matter.

You have to be creative in recruiting because today’s teenager is not easily impressed. When Arkansas was recruiting Ahmad “Batman” Carroll, Razorback coach Houston Nutt got a replica of the Batmobile and drove it to Carroll’s hotel. The Hogs got Carroll.

I promise you there will be a lot more limos out there on the recruiting trail. Anything that gives a school even a slight edge or a perceived edge will be copied immediately. Expect an NCAA rule to follow.

 

Is there a logical reason why the NCAA would deny Mark Richt the chance to attend the graduation of a recruit? Unfortunately, there is.  At first glance, it looks like another one of those silly NCAA rules that makes absolutely no sense. Richt had promised recruit Chris Burnette that he would attend his high school graduation if Burnette was named valedictorian. Burnette was barely edged out for the honor but was still going to speak at graduation. Richt thought about going but the NCAA indicated that a waiver to the rule would be unlikely if Burnette was not the valedictorian.

Bottom line: The NCAA has such a rule because if it did not exist, coaches would have to promise to attend the graduation of every recruit. And those who did attend graduation would use it as a weapon in recruiting against those who did not attend. I hate these kinds of rules but they become necessary because people twist the existing rules to gain a competitive advantage. The NCAA comes off looking like the bad guy when they are really trying to save coaches from their own excesses.

If Burnette had been valedictorian, I believe Richt would have asked for a waiver and it would have been granted.

 

More proof that in the South, college football is not a game. It’s a way of life. An average of 37,936 fans attended the 12 spring games in the SEC.

 Let me repeat that. The average attendance for SPRING games in the SEC was almost 38,000. And if you throw out Vanderbilt’s spring scrimmage, which really wasn’t set up as a game and drew only 1,000, then the average for the other 11 games was 41, 293.

That spring game attendance was a higher per-game average than 63 of the 119 Division I-A schools had during the REGULAR SEASON in 2008.

Prediction: Some coaches are going to start catching heat because they don’t draw enough to the SPRING game. I’m serious.

 

Swine flu or no swine flu, there will be BCS hearings: ACC Commissioner  John Swofford, the current coordinator of the BCS, is among the college officials who are being hauled up the nation’s capital today for Congressional hearings on in the “fairness” of the BCS.

Politicians like Representative Joe Barton of Texas and Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who represent areas of the country who feel they were treated unfairly by the BCS, will get some face time today for the folks back home.

Whether or not you like the BCS, you have to admit this is a colossal waste of time and resources. I’ll admit that it does bring pressure to bear, even if the BCS has the law on its side, which it does. I’ll stick to my prediction: After the BCS contract with ESPN runs out after the 2013 season, we will have a four-team playoff.

 

Congrats to the new Hall of Fame class: I was privileged to serve on the Honors Court, the committee that picks the new class for the College Football Hall of Fame, for six years. So I know how excited the new members of the HOF are today. It is something very special when a former player gets that phone call and learns he will be enshrined with the greatest to ever play the game. The ACC and SEC are well represented in this year’s class: FB Ed Dyas (Auburn, 1958-60); LB Woodrow Lowe (Alabama, 1972-75); DE Pat Swilling (Georgia Tech, 1982-85), and QB Gino Torretta, the 1992 Heisman Trophy winner (Miami, 1989-92).

This class will be inducted during the banquet in New York in December.

 

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.

 

 

239 comments Add your comment

Dave

May 1st, 2009
6:36 am

I wish some BCS teams would go ahead and challenge a Utah team to play them in some games during the regular season. I would love it if FL would schedule Utah and just blow them out at the beginning of the season. If these teams can compete maybe they would earn respect at the end of the season if they can’t I hope they shut Orin Hatch and other congressmen up. Congress should not be involved in all of this here our nation is in a financial crisis and they worry about who gets to go play for a national football championship. No wonder this nation is in financial crisis they don’t have a clue what they were elected to do except get involved in things they have no business in..The steroid hearings were an embarrassment for congress especially those who were just praising Nolan Ryan and fawning over him for autographs. Mainly congressional hearing seem to be photo ops for congressmen to help them get reelected. Congressmen do these long speeches most of there time pontificating and showing what blow hards they are. Some don’t even ask questions and the people they bring in don’t even get to speak much at all.

buckblue

May 1st, 2009
6:57 am

Auburn should buy a Hearse to pick up recruits….cause they will need it when they get beat down again…by LSU and bama and uga….

Chris

May 1st, 2009
7:05 am

About five or six years ago, golf fans started yelling ‘Get in the HOLE’! when a player struck the ball. Obviously meant to replace the innovative ‘You’re the MAN’! exclamation of endearment.
It’s bad enough doing so for a putt but there are people actually yelling the same thing when a player tees off on a par 4 or 5.

Might as well bring back the wave

Bubbadawg

May 1st, 2009
7:21 am

God bless you Mrs. Barnhart!

some sense

May 1st, 2009
7:21 am

I can’t believe David Souter is retiring while a socialist is in office.

Nachos

May 1st, 2009
7:43 am

The Chizzz needs to use something better than a limo for recruiting. No one wants to go to that cow town unless you are a major doooshe bag. wawwwwww weagle

Dean

May 1st, 2009
7:56 am

Anyone know whatever happened to Ahmad “Batman” Carroll? Is he in the pro’s now?

JB

May 1st, 2009
7:57 am

Auburn and Tenn. Will make a lot of noise this year….but struggle to win 12 games BETWEEN Them.
Ole Miss will win a couple they are not suppose to and lose one they shouldn’t. Bama will lose 2 games. Their whole schedule looks weak. My Dawgs will be 10-2 AT BEST, but will beat Tech.
Florida should not lose. Too much talent coming back and great coaching. LSU will win the East and lose to Florida in the dome. Tech will lose 3 games ( my Tech business partner says the line play will hurt them this year). So, Any other thoughts out there ?

buckblue

May 1st, 2009
8:13 am

JB LSU is in the SEC West….

Majurzz

May 1st, 2009
8:14 am

You’re momma has a computer? Most old people I know wouldn’t even know how to turn one on.

Pago Flyer

May 1st, 2009
8:16 am

We enjoy “freaky friday”. But, can the DAWGS at least beat fl and gt in something!?

Gen Neyland

May 1st, 2009
8:22 am

Fearless Friday needs a BuLLdawg post or two. Tune in after midnight for the Mess of the Story…For those with a foot in the Mobile area, John Edd of Fox 10 is retiring. Weather may never be the same…Anybody have the latest Fulmer Cup rankings..?

JB

May 1st, 2009
8:23 am

Thanks Buck, LSU wins the WEST !!!!!

ThereIsADoddinHeaven

May 1st, 2009
8:23 am

The pandemic will get worse…Tech will beat UGA soundly this year and UGA will certainly not be 10-2 at best but 8-4 at best (not shocked if they finish 6-6).

Hawks take the current series…Braves finish below .500…Falcons win the South but lose in the second round…GT struggles even with Favors due to weak coaching and horrendous free throw shooting. UGA disbands their basketball team for lack of interest. The Gwinnett Braves play with empty stands once the newness wears off – This would have been a better placed team if it was in Gainesville or Dalton.

Hatton wins on May 2nd!

Mister T

May 1st, 2009
8:25 am

Pat Swilling was a beast!

Ken Swilling was even more so. HUGE fast and intimidating at safety. He would easily have given Lott and Woodson a run for their money. Chose to stay and play his senior year for coach Curry if memory serves. He became the poster boy for why players like M Stafforf come out early. He missed a career payday. I saw him come back to for an homor several years ago at a football game….well, he still became huge…more like me though.

While I am a Tech and ACC fan, Gino will undoubtedly be representing the 1991 & 92 Big East Champion Miami Hurricanes.

Eric

May 1st, 2009
8:38 am

Hey some-senseless, how about an explanation of what a socialist is. Could it be someone who uses city streets and interstates. Or maybe it’s someone who calls 911 during an emergency. I’m guessing you have no idea. Socialism is not a bad word. It’s a necessary fact of life and it’s a good thing, moron.
All those other morons who are making nasty rearmks about Auburn are obviously just disappointed that they didn’t think of it first. I think it’s brilliant and will pay off big time. Good for Auburn. WDE!!!

Hugh Howard

May 1st, 2009
8:39 am

Now Congress wants to get involved in College Football. Judging all the past successes these people have had, this should be really hilarious. I would like to know exactly what part of The Constitution they pulled this authority from. Oh I forgot, they aern’t familiar with the document. This could damage college football beyond repair. I did miss the part where this concerns our National Security and the protection of our borders.

ATLtiger

May 1st, 2009
8:44 am

I love the limo! Very creative and Auburn is off to a pretty good start recruiting for next year.

[...] Barnhart’s latest post at The AJC’s website covers a number of hot topics, including:1)  What’s all the fuss abou the Auburn limo tour?  (Great story about Houston [...]

KR

May 1st, 2009
8:51 am

Auburn using a limousine for recruiting isn’t surprising. Unless there is a rule against it (and I’m pretty sure there isn’t one), what’s the big deal? I find the press conferences held by the recruits to announce the school they have chosen to be far more “over the top.”

Have you ever seen the AU Athletic Department’s Cessna Citation jet? Complete with blue and orange stripes and the AU logo on the tail…

Mtn Bama

May 1st, 2009
8:55 am

Majurzz, you must live in an intellectual waste land. I will turn sixty this year and I don’t know anyone who does not own a computer. In fact I don’t know anyone whose business would exist without computers. As regards the Auburn limo, well these are desperate times on the plains and unfortunately for Auburn all the gimmicks in the world can not save them from the relentless work ethic that is Nick Saban.

SimpleDawg

May 1st, 2009
9:03 am

Gino Torretta….the poster boy for a “System Quarterback”. The worst Heisman Trophy winner ever! Line up Utah and UF in Salt Lake City to begin the year and the Utes turn to puke.

I’m surprised Auburn’s recruiting vehicle isn’t one of those monster trucks with a ladder so the guys can just jump in the back with the pig…..just like Varsity Blues.

The Diamond Dawgs are sinking fast….when you’re losing games to Wright State and Jacksonville State, losing 2 out of 3 to every good team you play, then you’re just not as good as you think. I guess the players that left were the difference makers.

Both of the Swillings were beasts.

Pretty good draft for the Falcons….as long as they end up with at least 3 starters out of the 7 picks.

Braves need Hanson, a lead off man, and for Martin Prado to play more. Escobar and Johnson are not evolving into the young stars some projected.

Hawks are doing really well for a team with no designed plays, playing playground basketball against professionally coached teams, and without a major NBA Star.

Football is 4 months away !!!!!!

RAMBLE ON!!!

May 1st, 2009
9:03 am

Tony, what’s your favorite Led Zeppelin song?

Hootie Bookems

May 1st, 2009
9:09 am

Hootie would love to see The Right Reverend Nutt tooling around in a replica Batmobile, that would be a pricless picture to have. I am sure all the folks in Fayettenam had never seen such a sight.

Frozen_Gator

May 1st, 2009
9:11 am

Is Auburn recruiting cheerleaders or ball players?

Majurzz

May 1st, 2009
9:16 am

Mtn Bama. Lets do a little arithmatic.I’d say we can guess conservativly that Tony B. is 50 years old. Assuming that and assuming his momma hatched him when she was 18 that would make her 68 years old.Now lets pretend Tony is 55, and momma hatched him when she was 22. That would make Mrs. B. about 77 years old. Now if she is 68, that really isn’t old byt todays standard. 60 years old is realtively young. But what transpired the 8 years in between technologically wise is huge. Plus maybe throw in retirement at age 62 or age 65, I’d say Mrs. B. may very well have missed the curve on the computer age. Of course that is assuming she had Tony at age 18 and that Tony is age 50. Your thoughts?

Otto

May 1st, 2009
9:17 am

Good to see Chizik bringing life to the Auburn program. The team had lost energy and focus under Tubby. Spring practice was a vast improvement in both areas.

Jack G.

May 1st, 2009
9:17 am

Majurzz—-watch those old people remarks.—You are treading on shakey ground—I am 85.

Marble Rye

May 1st, 2009
9:22 am

Miami wasn’t an ACC member during the Toretto days, but I’m sure the ACC will still claim his accomplishments as their own. Like they do with all of Miami’s NC’s. Convenient.

Mac

May 1st, 2009
9:22 am

Erk Russell belongs in the HOF. Period.

Marble Rye

May 1st, 2009
9:27 am

Barton has no claim to criticize the BCS; Texas didn’t even win the South Division much less the Big XII and therefore should not have played for the NC to begin with. Hatch, on the other hand, does have a claim since Utah actually, you know, won it’s conference (unlike Texas).

I don’t care who you are, if you don’t win your conference you have no right to play for the NC regardless how good people think you are. You start putting non-conference champs in the national title game and you create more controversy and less solution.

Dr. Phil

May 1st, 2009
9:31 am

Ed Dyas kicked four field goals in the classic Auburn-Georgia game of 1959 only to lose to Tarkenton’s last-minute pass. Coaches will do just about anything for publicity, and that is exactly what Richt was doing with the graduation issue. He had no intention of going to the graduation, exactly for the reasons listed above. The rule is an excellent one. Otherwise you would have shirtless coaches driving up in Batmobiles and rap dancing on the lawn.

Rational Citizen

May 1st, 2009
9:38 am

With all the violence occurring south of the border, it’s time we as a nation had a rational discussion about the benefits of legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana. Before any of you have a knee jerk reaction to the idea, consider that we are essentially ceding a $60-100 billion market to organized crime. Think of the jobs that could be created in America, and the tax revenues it would generate. It would also allow our judicial courts to focus on more serious crimes, because simple possession cases are currently clogging the system and forcing our prosecutors to expend considerable amounts of time and energy dealing with a victimless crime.

If regulated exactly like alcohol, such that you have to be 21 to purchase it, with restrictions on where you could use it, it would cause very little harm to society. There are approximately 25 million Americans who admit to using marijuana regularly, and under our current laws our society suffers all the consequences but receives none of the benefits. The Prohibition of alcohol was tried, and it failed miserably. Our current laws on marijuana have also been a total failure, as the percentage of Americans who admit to using marijuana has remained steady since Nixon declared his “war on drugs.”

It’s time we had a rational discussion on this subject without people resorting to scare tactics like saying your kids are going to use marijuana and then get hooked on heroin. Legalization, Regulation, TAXATION. Let’s create jobs in America and bring this multi-billion market out from the darkness and into the light where it can contribute much needed tax revenues to state and local governments.

COXYLADY

May 1st, 2009
9:38 am

i cant wait till cox enters the field this year!! They’re is gonna be bedlam in Athens!!! We luv us some Joe!!! I predict he will really grow into his position this year!
Go Cox!!!!

COXYLADY

May 1st, 2009
9:40 am

I think the limo is a great idea! I wonder if Cox likes riding in them?

Rational Citizen

May 1st, 2009
9:41 am

One more point I forgot to make. By legalizing marijuana, we could cut off a very reliable source of revenue for Mexican cartels. Current estimates suggest that marijuana accounts for approximately 60% of the revenues for these cartels.

COXYLADY

May 1st, 2009
9:46 am

I am all for legalizing weed! For many reasons, and I do not even smoke it!

ReptilesRule

May 1st, 2009
9:55 am

Hey, any school can rent a Hummer limo, slap on a couple of school logo magnets and throw on a few flags! If that impresses a recruit, then he is easily impressed. Must not be much goin’ on in Alabama!

Marble Rye

May 1st, 2009
9:55 am

I too am for legalizing it. No worse than alcohol.

Will

May 1st, 2009
9:58 am

Big Tone, if memory serves me correctly, Batman actually wanted to got to UGA. But was such a thug that we wouldn’t let him in. So really the batmobile had nothing to do with it. Fayettville was his second choice.

Also, I’m sure the BSC guys are sooo scared. I bet sweet Barney Frank will tell eveyone how Ga Tech is his favorite team and he thinks they should get and automatic bid every year to the BSC. I think sweet Barney is fond of their tight puke yellow pants.

Kid Ray

May 1st, 2009
9:59 am

Souter is retiring explicitly BECAUSE there is a Socialist in the WH. He knows BHO will nominate a leftist to the SC.

Go Rutgers!

Charlotte Dawg

May 1st, 2009
10:01 am

Going around in a pimped out limo is only going to recruit one kind of athlete. And I’m not going to say what kind on this blog.

It is beyond pathetic. There are better ways to fight an up hill battle against Bama. What are these “kids” going to think when the same guy that was in the limo is yelling at them on the practice field. “Hey man, but we drank crystal in the limo…yo’. So what’s the dealio. I thought I was tha’ man.”

This ain’t MTV cribs! It is SEC football(or so I thought). If I was Saban, I would have a field day with this nonesense and use it to my advantage. And I doubt he’s worried. Good, quality recruits see right through this. Auburn can get the ones that don’t.

Tide4u2c

May 1st, 2009
10:05 am

Coach Richt is dealing with the “Saban rule” passed by lazy coaches that don’t want to get out and recruit like Saban and a few other coaches like Pete Carroll,etc like to do.Saban is known as a relentless recruiter who used to enjoy going to watch these high school players play,you can better judge talent,character,etc. if I remember correctly the year before the “saban rule” Saban visited over 100 high schools while lazier coaches were off doing something else like duck hunting,etc.Pete Carroll does not like this rule either, I guess coach Richt can get in line too.Did coach Richt vote for this rule?

[...] Just another reason why the SEC king. An average of 37,936 fans attended the 12 spring games in the SEC. That spring game attendance was a higher per-game average than 63 of the 119 Division I-A schools had during the REGULAR SEASON in 2008. [...]

Tide rising

May 1st, 2009
10:07 am

Auburn’s limo gimmick may be just that but I think its a pretty cool thing, at least to the kids anyway. It grabs some attention no matter what people think and that’s always a good thing in terms of recruiting. Auburn probably does a little better in recruiting this year. They can’t do much worse.

LSU will not win the west even if they are equal to or better than Bama and Ole Miss solely due to the schedule. They face Bama and Ole Miss on the road and in the east they play Florida and play the dogs on the road. Too many tough road games to win a division. Plus Bama and Ole Miss both get to avoid UGA and Fla which are easily the 2 best teams in the east. This gives a huge leg up to Bama and Ole Miss. The division will be a toss up between the 2 of them this year and the biggest game of the year in the west will be Bama at Ole Miss.

Eric states that socialism is “not a bad word”. That “its a good thing. A necessary and good thing” he calls socialist.

Eric, making a 911 call and using the interstate highway system is not socialism and no, socialism is not a good thing. Take a look at socialism the world over and you will see that it is generally an abysmal failure. Look at the slow but gradual decline of socialist leaning western European states like France and Germany and then take a look at the fast rising capitalist economies of the 4 Asian tiger states like Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and you see a difference between high economic growth and rising prosperity versus low or negative economic growth and a continous lowering of the standard of living.

Obama’s supreme court nominee to replace Souter will tell you everything you need to know about the man from an ideological standpoint. My guess is that it will be someone from the 9th circus court of appeals, the most liberal federal appellate court in the nation.

whitx2

May 1st, 2009
10:09 am

What’s funny, is all i heard about from auburn fans after the iron bowl, was all the bama fans with flags on their cars. Now, when auburn coaches place flags and stickers all over a limo, they are the coolest. If bama coaches had done this, what would auburn fans be saying about it. I have heard how much this is helping auburn in recruiting but i haven’t heard about any new recruits this week. Are there any? Also, when these kids sit down with their parent, parents or grandparents,how cool will they think this is? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

I remember when 47 played for bama. Thanks Woodrow, for all the great plays.

Tony, best wishes to your mom.

Resident Socialist

May 1st, 2009
10:13 am

Obama is likely to nominate Sonia Sotomayer to fill Souter’s seat, and he would be very wise to do so. She is left-leaning, and would be the Court’s first Hispanic justice. So when Conservatives inevitably come out against her nomination Dems can say that Republicans hate Hispanics! Hahaha!

Republicans, if you don’t retake control of your party from the Christian Right you’re going to see your party disintegrate.

Majurzz

May 1st, 2009
10:19 am

The Vols won 5 games last year with an inept(s) QB and a sorry Off. Coordinator that was in Waaaayy over his head. They lost to a woeful UCLA in Pasadena, and an awful Auburn team at Auburn. They lost to maybe the worst team to visit Neyland in years (Wyoming). This year Western Carolina replaces Wyoming, UCLA and Auburn come to Neyland. The have replaced Clawson with a former pro coach calling the plays (Jim Chaney) with help from Kiffin.both these guys may be over their heads, but they won’t be as bad as Clawson was. So, if the Vols can with the 3 aforementioned games and lose to the the other teams they lost to last year, then they should have an 8-4 record. Not a far reach if you ask me.

Tapate50

May 1st, 2009
10:25 am

http://www.gump4heisman.com has a great take on the AU limo deal as told by a Bama fan… Its hilarious and worth a read.

m

May 1st, 2009
10:27 am

Dave…Utah already played a sec team…in the mecca of the south…in the sugar bowl…and guess what???? They beat the shiiite out of the sec representative…worse than floriduh beat alabammmer. Which proves one thing….the sec is the most overrated and overhyped conference in history.

The acc and sec played 12 games last year. According to you sec fools, the sec should have won most or all of the games. But guess what….it went 6-6. How could the lowly acc stay even with the omnipotent sec?

You sec fools are just that….Fools.

Thank God and Greyhound that the sec of coaches…chan gailey….is gone forever.