Welcome to Talkin’ Season*. SEC Media Days starts today at the Hyatt Regency (formerly the Wynnfrey) in Hoover, AL. For the second straight year, Auburn is batting leadoff. This time, Coach Malzahn is even going before conference commissioner Greg Sankey. We’ll have a roundup of Malzahn’s comments after his press conference this afternoon. In the meantime, al.com has posted 3 burning questions for Auburn’s three player representatives, Carl Lawson, Marcus Davis, and Montravius Adams, as well as five questions for Coach Malzahn. To me, the most interesting comments should be from Lawson and Davis. Lawson always gives honest and thoughtful answers, and Davis is a leader on the offensive side and a member of a receiving corps that will need to step up and make big plays this season.
Let’s get to the news of the weekend.
If you missed any of the VIP Series from Buzzfeed presents al.com, you can see a slideshow with links here. Gus Malzahn was listed as number 1, which makes sense. If Malzahn can put together an offense that runs at even 90% of some of his best, Auburn should be fine on that side of the ball.
The Outland Trophy watch list was released on Friday, and it included Montravius Adams, Alex Kozan, and Braden Smith. The Outland is given to the best interior lineman in the country. The award was previously won by both Zeke Smith (1958) and Tracy Rocker (1988).
Our own WarRoomEagle posted the latest in his series on the Delaware Wing T, this time focusing on how defenses are defined. Knowing how the defense lines up and how to attack them is an important part of any offense.
Brandon Marcello at SECCountry.com went through Auburn’s 2016 Media Guide and tabulated the differences in weights from the spring roster. Prince Tega Wanogho gained 32 pounds, which fits with his possible move to offensive line, though Marcello still lists him as a defensive end. On the weight loss side, potential starting tackle Darius James lost 12 pounds, but the most interesting one to me is Jovon Robinson dropping 11 pounds. I have a feeling that weight loss is geared towards ensuring that Robinson has the stamina to be Auburn’s #1 running back this season.
The wonder that is the FOIA has given us the amount of money Auburn will pay to its non-conference opponents in the coming seasons. The most notable parts of that release are:
- The Clemson and Penn State games do not involve any transfer of money, just a guaranteed number of tickets for the away team.
- Auburn has made tickets available to the marching bands of Georgia Southern (2017), Southern Miss (2018 and 2020), and Alabama State (2018). However, there aren’t any listed tickets for Alabama A&M’s band this season. I hope they find a way to get A&M’s band down this season. They were a big hit in 2012, and I missed that game**.
- Auburn is receiving $3.5 million for playing Oregon in Dallas. If I remember correctly, Auburn actually receives a bit more than the Ducks for this game. Auburn has also committed to purchasing at least 12,500 tickets, but I don’t see that being a problem. I’ll certainly attempt to see that one in person.
As far as recruiting, Auburn is targeting one quarterback and two running backs for the 2017 class. Auburn got one commitment from The Opening, consensus four star OG Nick Brahms, but missed out on tight end Tre McKitty, who committed to Oregon. Missing out on McKitty hurts, but Auburn should be in great shape on the offensive line for the 2017 class.
Former Auburn 3B Kasey Cooper had 3 hits, two doubles, in the World Cup of Softball. Cooper started the final and drew a HBP in the final inning, representing the tying run. Unfortunately, she was left on base as the USA fell to Japan in the final.
Former Tiger Dominic Bozzelli fell short in a 4-way playoff at the HECOM Heath Challenge. Just making it to the playoff was a win for Bozzelli, who finished a final round 66 with a 14-foot birdie putt to get into the playoff. Dominic is currently 4th on the WEB.com Money List.
The Tigers have released their 2017 schedule. It features non-conference meets against defending national champion Oklahoma, and will open the season on January 6th at home against Oregon State.
Auburn’s Women’s Golf team has also released its schedule for the upcoming season. The Tigers will compete in nine regular season tournaments. If you’re in the Atlanta area, be sure to check out the Fall Kickoff in Duluth, GA on September 6th.
An Auburn student is attempting to fill the vacant seat in the Alabama House of Representatives left by Mike Hubbard’s conviction on corruption and ethics charges. I won’t go further into politics, THAT WAY BE SPIDERS, but it’s always interesting when young people enter the fray to attempt to provide unrest to the current political system.
*-This is the first SEC Media Days without the Head Ball Coach since 2005. There have only been 4 of these without him since 1990. I think this is when it really sinks in that he has retired.
**-That is the only home game I’ve missed going back to the overtime win against Louisiana Tech in 2001.