It’s been a pretty busy couple of days so far this week on the Auburn beat, especially considering that it’s Chattanooga week. Before we get started, as always, be sure to show some love to your beat writers — Andy Bitter, Jay G. Tate, Charles Goldberg, and David Morrison — for their hard work. The reporting is all theirs.
– Recent talk, as you’ve likely read and heard, has been all about Coach Gus Malzahn’s name popping up in rumors regarding a couple of head coaching jobs. When asked about it yesterday, Malzahn said: “My entire focus is on this team and making it the best it can be… I love working here, I love working for Coach Chizik and I love coaching these kids. And my only focus is trying to win games and trying to win a championship.”
Of course, these particular rumors are pretty much completely bogus. But their (lack of) credibility is kind of irrelevant, because we all know that he will be getting a call or two some off-season or another. When he was asked if head coaching was a personal goal, he said, “Somewhere down the line I’d like to. But I’m in no hurry… We’ve got a great thing going here, and I’d like to see it through.”
Whether “through” means through the bowl game, or through the collegiate careers of Mike Dyer and Kiehl Frazier, remains to be seen.
– In case you haven’t noticed, it’s getting cold outside. Chizik says that the team likes it, and responds well to it. “When you’re used to so many days in the humidity and the heat, I think it gives them a little more pep in their step. I think you can kind of tell when the weather cools off, they’re bouncing around a little more out there.”
– Moving on to UT-Chattanooga, Lee Ziemba says that on a week like this, the team has to use it to focus on itself and improving. “You’ve got to view it as you’ve got to work on yourself. You’ve got to use it to improve individually. As far as technique, as far as understanding the scheme, things like that, that’s the way you can take a step forward in a game like this.”
– Mike Dyer is just 107 yards shy of Bo Jackson’s record for single season rushing yards by a freshman. However, I have a feeling senior Mario Fannin will be getting the majority of the loads on homecoming.
– This will be a very special homecoming for Josh Bynes. “A lot of people don’t know, but my mom and dad have never been to a game at Auburn, never seen one actually in Auburn. My dad’s coming up this weekend, so it’s going to be good for him to walk down on the field with me, the first time he’s actually been to the stadium and stuff. I think it’ll be a good last-year experience for me.”
– And now, your weekly (daily?) defensive back depth chart carousel update:
First of all, freshman cornerback Ryan White, who famously wanted a shot at quarterback, and was given a shot earlier this year in camp, had his redshirt burned last week against Ole Miss. And it was completely necessary, thanks to the injuries that have plagued the already shallow defensive backfield. But it wasn’t done hastily. Coach Lolley said he discussed the situation with White, and with White’s dad. And now he’s in and ready to go and should provide a big relief and a big boost to the DB corps.
So that currently makes your corners (with T’Sharvan Bell injured): Demond Washington, a banged up Neiko Thorpe, Chris Davis, and now Ryan White.
Also, Zac Etheridge has been practicing at nickelback some this week, so we could see him slide over there in certain packages, with either Ikeem Means or Demetruce McNeal filling Etheridge’s spot opposite Mike McNeil.
In other words, things aren’t getting any less confusing. Here’s hoping we can get T’Sharvan Bell and Aairon Savage back soon. Say what you will about the Auburn secondary, but it’s an achievement that Coach Lolley and Coach Thigpen can still stitch together anything resembling of a cohesive unit.
Big Sexy says
i wish bates had stayed at safety. with his talent and ferocity i think he could have been a really big name safety by the end of his full four years. i realize we needed help at linebacker, drastically it would seem, but he seems awfully undersized to ever dominate at linebacker like i think he would have at safety.
but i’m also pretty confident that the auburn coaching staff is better at this shit than i am.
Yep.. what you said.
Bates was playing with all sec potential back there last year. Hopefully they will move him back next year…if he hasn’t gained too much weight. We’ll have a few redshirt backers that were good recruits and curry and holland will have some experience. Freeman is becoming the next trey blackmon. long on potential,short on results. Hopefully Evans can step up and take the job from bates and make the decision easier to move him. He played more comfortable back there IMO.
any word if bates will be ready for UGA? I doubt he plays this week even if he is ready.
Justin / AubOrange says
There hasn’t been too much news about Bates, but I’m sure he’ll be 100% by Georgia. He was almost ready for Ole Miss, just not quite. Like you said, he probably won’t play too much Saturday, just to be sure.
I think you guys are underestimating his play at linebacker a little. He was third on the team in tackles before he missed the Ole Miss game.
So… Cam is all over espn right now…
Smyrna Tiger says
The MSU fans have been on the radio in Bham the last few months screaming payoff for Cam. Funny that the only one indicted by this story is MSU. Lets hope for the best. I am worried though.
Everyone is jumping to the conclusion that Auburn is being investigated. You would think that if this was the case, then Auburn would have been made aware of it long ago by the NCAA. So, it’s hard to believe that anything will be brought out against Auburn. The only thing I can see happening to hurt us would be if they declared Cam ineligible for any reason. But, since the Newtons have willingly cooperated with the investigation by turning over financial records, it’s hard to see that there’s much to the story in regards to us.
Unfortunately, that’s not stopping the rumor mill. To see what others were saying, I went to the Georgia Southern message board on their “open forum,” and sure enough there was a thread titled “Paid to Play at Auburn?” I had to set the record as it currently stands straight in that thread. I doubt it’ll be the last time. And, of course, the EDSBS thread is full of the Bammers over there (who I would normally rate as some of the more intelligent of their ilk) and others making the claims against Auburn.
Msu isn’t indicted- they did exactly what they were supposed to.
Assuming cecil’s financials are clear, the only one in the wrong is rogers
This is what I am going with:
AU knew about this in July.
They still played him.
MSU (I think) tried to buy him, but he went to AU for some reason
If it all turns out that Cam left MSU’s money on the table for AU for no $, I will celebrate like we beat UA. (and burn Starkville to the ground – Just kidding).
And the dirt farmers can suck it.
I got rogers in a headlock now; what do you want me to ask him?
Only one thing concerns me about this right now:
“The church has been in the news in Coweta County, Ga., often in the past year. According to stories in The Times-Herald newspaper Cecil Newton’s church was in danger of being demolished by order of the Newnan City Council in 2009 for failing to meet the city’s building code. One story said Cecil Newton told the council last September the building would be brought to code “inside of six months.” After numerous delays, extensions and compromises from the council, renovation work began last spring and The Times-Herald reported last week that the church is in compliance with Newnan’s building requirements. ”
I hope there is a bank loan or reciepts for donations in there somewhere. Convenient that repairs started in spring. I REALLY hope there is nothing to this other than a former MSU player acting like he knew newton and tried to get some money out of his old school.
Yeah, the thing about the church repairs is the one thing that concerns me. I still think that if anything about Auburn being investigated were going to come out, then it would have come out a long time ago, or in the initial reports. It seems to me like the Newtons willingly turning over all requested financial information is a pretty big plus in the “this is nothing” column. Let’s hope, anyway.
If the Newtons were going to depend on their children to fix their own financial problems, wouldn’t they get Cecil Jr., their other son who is already in the NFL, to help? Also, Cam Newton has already played at a Division 1A school. If it was going to cost a school money to secure his commitment, and he was working with an agent with such a big mouth, why didn’t this come out while he was at Florida? The only way this whole thing makes sense to me is if a former MSU player tried to secure a big-time quarterback for his old school, set up some future business for himself, and fleece Mississippi State all at once and State turned him in for it.
David, those are good points. I completely forgot about Cam’s brother already being in the NFL and that he could definitely have helped with the church repairs. I really think this will all wash away. Especially since there hasn’t been a single thing said about ANY investigation of AUBURN.
This article is clutch. It says to me that Auburn has been told that they’re clear, and that Cam is clear at Auburn. Otherwise I doubt Auburn would say they’re not allowed by the NCAA to comment on anything regarding the investigation other than “Cam’s eligibility is not in question at Auburn.”
John Ringer says
His brother Cecil was an NFL practice squad player for the Jacksonville Jaguars – he made $93,600 (all practice squad players make the same amount for the whole season). Gee, no chance he could have given his dad the money to fix the church if needed?
Big A says
Based on the facts thus far, nothing to worry about except bad press and definitely bad Heisman PR.
Big A says
His folks are smart to retain an attorney as well especially if they know they did nothing wrong. Slander comes to mind. He is obviously a future NFL player and being tagged as ‘on the take’ certainly doesn’t go well with what he went through at UF.
Saw on TheAuburner where Rivals or someone is saying that Urban Meyer is the one who wanted this story to come out. If that’s true… wow. Bitter, much?
Read Mandel’s piece, too. At least he’s the first to acknowledge that so far no one is actually accusing Cam or Auburn; just allegations about the Rogers guy. I can’t stand the thought that this would taint Cam, though. Especially if he did absolutely nothing wrong and the guy never represented him or his family in the first place. If something like that cost him the Heisman just because they don’t want to risk the slight chance of a Reggie Bush case, then I’d be P^$$ED.
Cecil also made the full tie roster last December. roughly around the same time some people are saying this was occurring. I’m sure that helped out his father
Big A says
Kicking the giant. How about some added motivation for Amen Corner for the big fella.
Another note: This information was brought to the NCAA’s attention last year. With the lightning-quick response from the NCAA on the UNC agent scandal we saw this summer, it seems clear that the NCAA would have clamped down on Auburn as well if they suspected any wrongdoing.