Posts Tagged ‘Auburn Tigers’

Spurrier says only SEC division games should count (really?)

Neither Steve Spurrier nor Rex Ryan have been known as coaches who conform. That can be good or bad. (AP photo)

Neither Steve Spurrier nor Rex Ryan have been known as coaches who conform. That can be good or bad. (AP photo)

Let me preface this by saying that I actually like Steve Spurrier. He is a great coach, he changed the SEC with what he accomplished at Florida and he doesn’t cheat (although “suspending” former quarterback Stephen Garcia five times without forcing him to actually miss a game certainly set new standards for enabling and being disingenuous).

But Spurrier’s latest idea is beyond looney.

The South Carolina coach is about to make a wonderful self-serving proposal. He believes the SEC’s division champions — the participants in the conference championship game — should be determined not by the teams’ conference records but by just results within the division.

I’m sure the fact that the Gamecocks will play SEC West teams LSU and Arkansas in 2012 while Georgia plays only Auburn and Mississippi has nothing to do with this brainstorm.

It’s shocking, really, that Spurrier …

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Georgia-Auburn game could be sacrificed in SEC scheduling

The Georgia-Auburn rivalry includes this memorable matchup: Uga vs. Robert Baker. (Montgomery Advertiser)

The Georgia-Auburn rivalry includes this battle: Uga vs. Robert Baker. (Montgomery Advertiser)

There is a chance that SEC conference expansion will claim one significant victim: The Georgia-Auburn series.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said Wednesday that SEC athletic directors will meet near the end of the month to discuss future football scheduling. With the conference’s addition of Texas A&M and Missouri, the two biggest questions: 1) Will the SEC go to a nine-game conference schedule? 2) Will expansion force for the end of the SEC’s annual East-West rivalry games of Georgia-Auburn and Alabama-Tennessee?

Answer to No. 1: Probably not.

Answer to No. 2: Possibly.

Georgia-Auburn is known as the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry,” dating back to 1892. They have played every year since 1898, with three exceptions: 1917, 1918 and 1943. The reasons: World War I and World War II. It appears “Conference Armageddon” may have an equal impact.

The ACC recently announced that teams …

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Mike Smith knows failure starts with him, not coordinators (updated)

Things didn't go Mike Smith's way for the third straight postseason. (AP photo)

Things didn't go Mike Smith's way for the third straight postseason. (AP photo)

(UPDATED: 2:20 p.m.)

Once you get past the problems on the offensive line and the secondary, the quarterback’s accuracy problems, the breakdown of the running back and players just generally looking at times like they would rather be somewhere else, this is what the current chapter of Falcons’ tumult comes down to: Mike Smith is on the clock.

When an NFL team blows out a coaching staff, it basically is eliminating scapegoats. Think of it as a restaurant owner changing chefs because the tables in his dining room are always empty.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank isn’t happy because he hasn’t a won a playoff game in seven years, and it’s not for lack of his willingness to spend money. General manager Thomas Dimitroff isn’t happy because the moves he has made to turn the Falcons into winners have nonetheless had limitations. Somebody had to take the hit. For now that’s Smith’s assistant coaches.

Regardless …

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Auburn shows it’s not coming apart at the seams yet

Onterio McCalebb has no trouble filling in for suspended Michael Dyer as Auburn rolled past Virginia. (AP photo)

Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb has no trouble filling in for the suspended Michael Dyer as the Tigers rolled past Virginia. (AP photo)

A year after Cam Newton and Auburn’s slightly lesser beings descended on Atlanta and destroyed South Carolina for the SEC championship (to be followed by a BCS title), the Tigers returned to the Georgia Dome to finish a season with blemishes Saturday night.

Auburn didn’t go undefeated. It didn’t win a conference championship or go to a BCS bowl.

This time, Auburn showed up with a lame-duck offensive coordinator, no defensive coordinator, a backup running back (because the starter was suspended), and a team whose last three SEC losses came to LSU, Georgia and Alabama by a composite score of 132-28.

It’s hard to say exactly what the Tigers projected with their performance Saturday for next season in the SEC. But at the very least, they showed they’re not coming apart. They rushed for 273 yards without the suspended Michael Dyer. They …

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Does Malzahn to Arkansas State mean Auburn imploding?

Gus Malzahn's departure to Arkansas State has led to speculation of a rift with Gene Chizik. (AP photo)

Gus Malzahn's departure to Arkansas State feeds speculation of rift with Gene Chizik. (AP photo)

Is the party over at Auburn?

The Tigers’ drop from unbeaten BCS champions to 7-5 (4-4 in the SEC) this season wasn’t a great surprise, given the loss of Cam Newton. The recent departure of defensive coordinator Ted Roof to Central Florida for the same job was a little surprising. But with Gus Malzahn’s reported decision to leave his $1.3 million job as Auburn’s offensive coordinator to become head coach of a Sun Belt Conference team, Arkansas State, for $850,000, you have to begin to wonder what’s going on down on The Plains.

Here’s the non-conspiratorial explanation of Malzahn’s decision: After turning down the Vanderbilt head coaching job last season, he realized his stock had dropped this season. He was desperate to get a head coaching position, thought he had the Kansas job locked up until Charlie Weis sold himself to the Jayhawks and suddenly was ready to take almost …

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Georgia has far better than ‘puncher’s chance’ against LSU

Aron White and Christian Robinson punctuate Georgia's return by planting the school flag at Tech.

Aron White, Christian Robinson punctuate UGA's return with school flag . (Johnny Crawford)

This is the column that I didn’t think I would be writing six weeks ago, when Georgia fizzled and nearly self-destructed at Vanderbilt, and a five-game winning streak seemed like the furthest thing from Mark Richt’s mind.

This is the column that didn’t seem plausible three months ago when I looked up at the scoreboard and saw, “Boise State 35, Georgia 21” after looking down on the Georgia Dome field to see a Bulldogs team get beat physically by a Mountain West Conference team and play flat emotionally — the worst possible exacta for a hyped-up season opener.

This is the column that says Georgia can beat LSU.

This is not to diminish anything LSU has accomplished this season. How can one diminish an SEC team going 12-0? The Tigers have played and beaten seven teams that were ranked at the time they played. That includes No. 3 Oregon to start the season (40-27), No. 2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa …

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Georgia saves its best for when it matters most

Aaron Murray threw four first-half touchdown passes when Dogs took a 35-7 lead. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Aaron Murray's four first-half touchdown passes gave Dogs a 35-7 lead. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

(UPDATED: 8:30 p.m.)

ATHENS — So. How many points do you think Georgia will be favored by over LSU?

The unexpected metamorphosis of the Bulldogs from 0-2 and punch-drunk to 8-2 and potential conference finalist took another unexpected turn Saturday. They were dominant. They were smart and efficient and tough. They looked remarkably top-10ish. They won a conference game that mattered in a way we probably haven’t seen in Athens since 2007.

Georgia body-slammed Auburn 45-7.

As the university president, Michael Adams, neatly summarized, “That was the first time this year when we really ran over somebody. You never know when a team is going to grow up.”

Goodbye to the wonder years. If this performance was something nobody could have projected two months ago, consider that the SEC East title suddenly comes down to a simple and certainly probable two-word mandate: Beat Kentucky.

Beat …

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LIVE: Gamecocks win, Dogs try to stay ahead in SEC East

It's Saturday in Athens. Can Georgia extend its winning streak today against Auburn?

It's Saturday in Athens. Can Georgia extend its winning streak today against Auburn?

ATHENS — Hello, and welcome to any place but State College.  I considered not posting the pregame blog until after the South Carolina-Florida game, but figured this would give some of you folks an outlet to comment on that game until Georgia and Auburn kicks off at 3:30.

As I wrote earlier in the week, the Bulldogs are in a position that didn’t seem plausible two months after they started the season 0-2. They have won seven straight and, at 5-1 in the SEC, sit one-half game ahead of South Carolina (5-2) in the SEC East. Forget the contributing circumstances (Georgia’s soft schedule; the Gamecocks losing their Marcus Lattimore and Stephen Garcia losing his mind). All that really matters is if the Gamecocks lose and the Dogs win today, Georgia is division champions.

Even if both teams win, the Dogs need only win next week’s home game over Kentucky to assure themselves a spot in the conference …

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Win streak shows Dogs haven’t quit on season or Richt

Mark Richt is smiling a lot more since an 0-2 start this season. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Mark Richt is smiling a lot more since an 0-2 start this season. (Jason Getz/AJC)

ATHENS – Let’s put aside for a moment the acknowledged asterisk of a soft schedule, that even the head coach has been underwhelmed by some of the wins, and certainly that Steve Spurrier and Stephen Garcia have provided everybody outside of Columbia with some wonderful comic relief.

Georgia has won seven consecutive games. That’s impressive at any level.

It’s a monumental achievement for an SEC team – even in a season when the SEC East doesn’t project as SEC-like.

The first two games against Boise State and South Carolina had been projected by at least one player as “our season.” The Bulldogs lost them both. The fact those losses haven’t defined their season says something about this team.

It doesn’t mean the word “great” should be stamped on the team. Nor does it guarantee anything for the Auburn game Saturday or the final few weeks on the schedule. But when a team goes from 0-2 to 7-0,  it says …

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Fight predictions: Falcons win, Jackets fall, SEC cowers

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What is going on with all of this violence lately? Coaches going after coaches. Coaches going after players who went after coaches. One player even punched another right in the soft part of his zone defense.

A man can’t even go hunting any more without the whole animal kingdom getting upset about it. True story: Some Alaskan moose hunter — and doesn’t every great story start that way? — went out the other day with his musket, hoping to blow off the head of one of nature’s, unarmed creatures, who were just sitting around playing gin-rummy.

Anyway, this guy gets attacked by a grizzly bear, because unbeknownst to the hunter, the Moose, the Grizzlies and the Deer (Wake Forest) have all formed some super alliance and soon plan to announce a conference championship game and a mega-TV deal with ESPN. (That part, I might’ve made up.).

Anyway, the hunter ends up escaping, and I think the grizzly’s head is now on somebody’s wall, and the moral of the story is that the guy with the …

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