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Plainslinks joins the Big 10 for a day

I think we all saw this particular Tiger Walk coming, didn't we? Photo by John "Shug Life" Comer.
I think we all saw this particular Tiger Walk coming, didn't we? Photo by John "Shug Life" Comer.

The early shift. TV will give Saturday’s tilt in Fayetteville a certain Midwestern feel as Auburn and Arkansas will occupy the Big 10’s traditional 11 a.m. central spot on ESPN. This is relatively good news from a broadcast perspective: the team of Dave Pasch, old commentary warhorse Bob Griese, and Chris Spielman generally do good work, and the lack of an ABC/CBS/NBC national broadcast in that same time slot means that the Tigers and Hogs will be the morning’s main attraction.

The problem, of course, is that whole “morning” thing … and for that rare Auburn fan in the Mountain Time Zone like your humble Auburn Blogger, it means a brutal 10 a.m. kick. I’ll just have to grab me some of this, I guess.

Rod Smith update. TWER’s Thor Burk got in touch with Rod Smith late last week and reported the following:

“Recent Auburn Wide Receiver Rodgeriqus Smith needs your help readers!  His family lost their home and everything in it when it was struck by lightning and burnt to the ground.  The family lost everything and while Rod tries to get his pro career off the ground he has more important things to worry about with his family.  I talked to Rod this morning and he said anything would help whether it’s a box full of video games and t-shirts or a $10 check, he said anything would help at this time.  Don’t worry about getting Auburn in any trouble either, Smith’s eligibility is over so feel free to help as much as you can.  Don’t think that everyone else is helping so you don’t have to worry about it–they still need a lot of things.  Here is the address to send donations or care packages to:

Rod Smith
1386 Branch Drive
Tucker, GA 30084

Please help if you can.”

Smith also made a statement: “Anything would help at this time. Thanks and God Bless.”

Obviously, all of us here at TWER wish Smith and his family nothing but the best in this trying time.

Notes from the beat. Not too much came out of Chizik’s presser yesterday, but we did find out that Auburn changed up its defensive coverages into something softer after taking the 23-6 lead (more on how that worked out here), and that Frenchy–whose knees are fine–isn’t going to do anything more than handle punts for the time being.

Elsewhere, we found out that Ben Tate is taking his linemen to Golden Corral–ritzy!–but probably the big note from that Bitter post is that Adam Herring got most of the second-half snaps at WLB over The Toro; perhaps more signficantly, Roof just sounds happier with Herring, doesn’t he? I’m not sure how much it matters, of course–neither one recorded a tackle vs. the Vols.

With Honors. Byrum is your SEC special teams POtW, McCalebb the league’s FOtW. As well they should be; Byrum also gets a deserved fluff piece from the OA-News here.

Ben Tate Ben Tate Ben Tate. I usually don’t get too fired up about one player making one play against one other particular player … but yeah, Tate’s pwnership of Eric Berry (who still deserves every ounce of hype he gets) was awfully fun, wasn’t it? Which is why it’s all over the Auburn Internets. My personal favorite version is the Auburner’s gif, but you can also see every run Tate made here at TWER and the palpable, manaical joy from the blAUgosphere’s resident Tennessee-hater is pretty cool, too.

Reax, media-style. Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel sings the Chiznick’s praises; K-Scar can’t resist the Chizik-Kiffin contrast; and how’s a Cotton Bowl date against Oklahoma sound?

Reax, blAUgosphere-style. Quality as always: from Will, from Jay, from Acid, who I’m going to quote …

Offensive Line: A. When you run for 224 yards, and put up 459 total on a Monte Kiffin defense, you’re doing a tremendous job up front! We had just a couple of protection errors on stunts, and one false start. This was a super effort, and great job filling in by Bart Eddins!

… because I cannot freaking believe I didn’t cite the offensive line’s rather outstanding play in either my immediate postgame wrap or the Sunday knee-jerk. Certainly, Eddins was every bit as good as we’d hoped, and the fact that I was pimping him as Auburn’s best option off the bench in the preseason doesn’t excuse the fact I should have made note of that before now. Oh well.

Here at TWER, Kevin Strickland recaps the night (noting that Auburn made a quarterback who’d “played like Marsha Brady” look “like Tom Brady” for a quarter) and the esteemed Kenny Smith discusses the impact of Auburn’s special teams improvement.

And elsewhere, Auburn’s performance earns the seal of approval from Eyes on Auburn’s Rob Pate and Dr. Z., while Joe Auburn has birds on the brain.

Volleyball rising. Trust me, this is a big deal: Auburn’s volleyball team improved to 3-2 in the SEC and 11-5 overall with a 3-2 win over Arkansas yesterday. Why is this big?

Sunday’s win marks the first time since 2004 that Auburn has picked up back-to-back conference victories.

Remember, this is a team that went 1-19 in SEC play last year. Something’s cooking.

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